Monday, June 09, 2008

Another UA NMCCA opinion? [UPDATED]

Almost exactly a year ago, we noted that 15 ostensibly published NMCCA opinions had never shown up in the Military Justice Reporter. Most of them showed up later that summer -- presumably after a search and rescue team was dispatched to locate them. Now we seem to have another UA NMCCA opinion.

We previously posted a pdf of NMCCA's en banc published opinion in United States v. Abdirahman, __ M.J. ___, No. NMCCA 200401082 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. May 19, 2008) (en banc). That opinion was issued the day before NMCCA's published opinion in United States v. Dossey, __ M.J. ___, No. NMCCA 200700537 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. May 20, 2008), and three days before NMCCA's published opinion in United States v. Pimienta, __ M.J. ___, No. NMCCA 200600788 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. May 22, 2008).

None of the three is on NMCCA's own web site. Dossey and Pimienta -- both of which were issued after Abdirahman -- are on both NKO and LEXIS. Abdirahman is on neither. Why not?

[10 June evening update: Abdirahman went up on NKO today. But bizarrely, Dossey and Pimienta went up on NMCCA's own web site today but Abdirahman, which was released before either of those opinions, didn't. Nor is it on LEXIS.]

[11 June evening update: Abdirahman is now up on NMCCA's web site here.]


Anonymous said...

Isn't it hypocritical for NMCCA to codemn commands (and SJAs) for failure to forward a ROT to Washington, DC, in a timely manner when it can't even publish its own decisions?

Anonymous said...

Surely you are not suggesting that NMCCA has a legal obligation to publish its decisions? It's not really a fair comparison. You'd have a valid point if NMCCA were failing to transmit its decisions to appellants and their counsel, but no one is suggesting that.

Personally, I think practicioners have become somewhat spoiled with the advent of the internet. Time was when we had to wait for pocket parts to the Military Justice Reporter to arrive in the mail. These days, we have NKO, LEXIS, Westlaw, and the JAG homepage, yet people still complain when the decisions aren't immediately and simultaneously available everywhere. Heaven forbid we should have to check more than one location to verify that we have the most up-to-date case law. What did these people do in the days of Shepard's Citators?

NMCCA could do a better job of getting its opinions out, but some parts of the process are out of its control.

Anonymous said...

There was a time scribes took reeds to papyrus to write out the law...Time was we notched the ears of the convicted. Times change.