Stephen Hetherington on Law Reports

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Law Reports
Stephen Hetherington, Publishing Manager
20 May 2014
Who are we?
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We have a team of 17 editors working exclusively on our law reports titles. Between
them, they have almost 200 years’ experience in editing law reports (and extensive
knowledge of specialist subject areas).
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We also have a separate team of 11 law reporters who attend court and write summaries
of judicial decisions for our daily online law reporting service.
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The editors working on our law reports titles have the following legal or publishing
qualifications:
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7 are members of the Bar of England and Wales
1 is a solicitor
4 have the Legal Practice Course qualification
15 have undergraduate law degrees or equivalent qualifications
6 have post-graduate law degrees
9 have London College of Communication certificates in advanced copy-editing and proof-reading
All members of our team of law reporters are either barristers or solicitors.
LexisNexis® Confidential
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What do we publish?
21 different series of law reports
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All England Law Reports
All England Commercial Cases
All England European Cases
Butterworths Company Law Cases
Butterworths Family Court Reports
Butterworths Human Rights Cases
Butterworths Intellectual Property and Technology Cases
Butterworths Local Government Reports
Butterworths Medico-Legal Reports
Construction Law Reports
Industrial Relations Law Reports
International Tax Law Reports
International Trust and Estate Law Reports
Law Reports of the Commonwealth
Northern Ireland Law Reports
Northern Ireland Judgments Bulletin
Simon’s Tax Cases
Simon’s First-tier Tax Decisions
West Indian Reports
Manx Law Reports
Times Law Reports
LexisNexis® Confidential
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What do we publish?
• Plus following 3rd party law reports (on Lexis
Library)
 Bahamas Law Reports
 Costs Law Reports
 English Reports
 Estates Gazette Law Reports
 ICLRs (The Law Reports)
 Irish Reports
 Sessions Cases
 Scottish Civil Law Reports
 Scottish Criminal Case Reports
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Volume of content
• 1,300 law reports published in 2013
• 39,000 pages (approx. 750 pages per week)
• Print, CD, online
LexisNexis® Confidential
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What value do we add?
• Case selection
• Accuracy (copyediting)
• Headnote (summary of facts, plus legal reasoning applied to those
facts). Also includes case lists, catchwords, procedural history,
references to Halsbury’s Laws/Halsbury’s Statutes etc. Note about
whether legislative material still in force.
• Categorisation (indexing)
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Selection criteria
• Cases which make new law, either because they deal with novel
situations or extend the application of existing principles
• Cases where the judges restate old principles of law in modern terms
or which are examples of modern applications of old principles
• Cases where the law is clarified by an appellate court when inferior
courts have reached conflicting decisions
• Cases which interpret legislation likely to have more than a very narrow
application
• Cases which interpret commonly found clauses in, for example,
contracts (especially commercial contracts such as charterparties) and
wills
• Cases where the courts clarify points of practice or procedure in
common use
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Copyediting
• House style
• Check and add citations
• Check for errors in the text
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Typos
Sentences that are difficult to understand
Incorrect citations
Factual errors
Incorrect statements of the law
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Copyediting
Text of judgment said:
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‘Accepting, as the Special Commissioners did, that Ch I was probably drafted on the
basis that contributions and benefits would normally take a monetary form, I do not
consider that the words used must be taken as an indication by Parliament that they
could only extend to non-cash contributions.’
What it should have said:
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Accepting, as the Special Commissioners did, that Ch I was probably drafted on the
basis that contributions and benefits would normally take a monetary form, I do not
consider that the words used must be taken as an indication by Parliament that they
could only extend to cash contributions.’
Comment from judge: ‘You are quite right. Everyone has missed the error!’
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Copyediting
Text of judgment said:
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‘If the first hurdle is overcome there is no need to consider the second; the entity has
already failed to fulfil the condition.’
What it should have said:
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‘If the first hurdle is not overcome there is no need to consider the second; the entity has
already failed to fulfil the condition.’
Comment from judge: ‘… very well spotted. … It is fortunate that the error is
reasonably obvious (or I hope it is) but not so obvious that I spotted it myself when
reading and preparing my own draft (but then neither did counsel when they had an
opportunity to proof read it!). …’
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Copyediting
Text of judgment said (quoting from a statute):
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‘… This section applies to securities falling within subsection (2) or (4) below. …’
What it should have said:
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‘… This section applies to securities other than securities falling within subsection (2) or
(4) below. …’
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Copyediting
Text of judgment:
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‘… it is just unreasonable …’
What it should have said:
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‘… it is just and reasonable …’
Text of judgment:
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‘… crimes of humanity …’
What it should have said:
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‘… crimes against humanity …’
Text of judgment:
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‘… National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children …’
What it should have said:
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‘… National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children …’
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Copyediting
Text of judgment said:
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‘Section 403(8) of the 1988 Act requires, in summary, that for the purposes of calculating for any
accounting period the excess of profits over charges on income which can be surrendered, the profits
must be calculated without regard to (a) deductions for losses or (b) deductions for allowances or (c)
expenses of management, of other periods. These three categories appear, with one qualification, to
correspond to the other three categories of reliefs which can be surrendered under s 403. The policy
of the subsection appears to be to prevent the excess of profits over charges on income from being
inflated by other reliefs carried forward from earlier years. It confines the surrenderable relief to the
excess over profits in the accounting period.’
What it should have said:
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‘Section 403(8) of the 1988 Act requires, in summary, that for the purposes of calculating for any
accounting period the excess of charges on income over profits which can be surrendered, the profits
must be calculated without regard to (a) deductions for losses or (b) deductions for allowances or (c)
expenses of management, of other periods. These three categories appear, with one qualification, to
correspond to the other three categories of reliefs which can be surrendered under s 403. The policy
of the subsection appears to be to prevent the excess of charges on income over profits from being
inflated by other reliefs carried forward from earlier years. It confines the surrenderable relief to the
excess over profits in the accounting period.’
This mistake (or these mistakes) were not picked up by a rival series of weekly law reports.
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Headnoting
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Headnoting
Citation
Case name
Court
Neutral citation
Panel
Hearing and
judgment dates
Catchwords
Headnote
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Headnoting
Headnote
Notes
Case list
Introduction
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Headnoting
Introduction
Counsel and
solicitors
Judgment date
Judgment
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Headnoting
Judgment
Disposition
Reporter
LexisNexis® Confidential
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Q&A
Any questions?
LexisNexis® Confidential
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