Briefing the Briefs: URL Shortening in Legal Docs

URL shortening in legal briefs, and now legal opinions (Volokh Conspiracy, 2 Dec 2013) – Most readers will be familiar with URL shortening services — redirection services that give users a short web address that points to a longer one. I’ve come across URL shortening in legal briefs more and more, and I have used such links in briefs myself. The shortening avoids an unsightly excessively-long URL when you are linking to content on the web, and it’s also easier for the reader who might hand-type the URL into a browser. In the opening brief in United States v. Auernheimer, for example, I linked to instead of to the ugly In the last two years, federal court decisions have started to use URL shortening links, too. Judge Kozinski uses them extensively in today’s dissent in Minority Television Project v. FCC, a case on the First Amendment implications on banning certain kinds of ads on public TV. A quick Westlaw search finds 9 judicial opinions before today’s decision that use Google’s URL shortener, Several of them use the service for maps. It’s an interesting development, and I suspect it’s one that we will see more of rather than less of in the future.

Provided by MIRLN.

Image courtesy of krishnan.