Wikipedia: Still Not A Learned Treatise
Dog bites mailman. Poor dog owner: she gets sued.
Poor dog: he's probably been put to sleep.
Poor Wikipedia: it gets no respect from courts.
Poor mailman: he lost his case against the dog owner.
Poor mailman's attorney: he tried to submit a Wikipedia article as evidence in superior court.
[P]laintiff argues that defendant Castaldo knew or should have known that her dog Dusty possessed a vicious propensity because, again, the Australian Heeler/Border Collie mix is an aggressive breed, and her means of restraining the dog shows her knowledge that the dog was dangerous. However, the only evidence presented by plaintiff that the Australian Heeler/Border Collie mix is generally known to have propensities for aggression comes from an article on Wikipedia.com, an online source that can be changed at any time by any user. In contrast to plaintiff’s Wikipedia article, Defendant Barefoot presented admissible evidence that Dusty did not have aggressive tendencies.
The plaintiff might as well have created a blog, "Dusty Is A Vicious Border Collie Mix," for all the good that Wikipedia did him as evidence. In fact, I just created one for him. It's every bit as admissible as Wikipedia.
Practice tip for budding attorneys, law students, and scholars: When it counts, don't count on Wikipedia.
Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White
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