Friday, August 10, 2007

Gonzalez puzzler

I am confused.

Exactly one year ago today, on 10 August 2006 (yes, that is one year ago today), NMCCA issued an opinion marked "PUBLISH" in the case of United States v. Gonzalez, No. NMCCA 200400055 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. Aug. 10, 2006). Something was amiss with the NMCCA-to-West Publishing pipeline at the time, as we previously discussed here and here, and the decision was never published.

If you go into NKO and access the Gonzalez opinion, you get the same version as that linked above.

Now open up the opinion marked Gonzalez, 08/10/06 on the NMCCA web site's 2006 opinions page. You get a similar, though not identical, NMCCA opinion marked unpublished and dated 28 August 2006. Huh?

If you look at Gonzalez on LEXIS, you get the 28 August unpublished version of the opinion. United States v. Gonzalez, 2006 CCA LEXIS 365 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. Aug. 28, 2006). On WESTLAW, there are two files with Gonzalez's case number. One is the 28 August unpublished opinion linked above. United States v. Gonzalez, 2006 WL 4579686 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. Aug. 28, 2006). The other is supposed to be the 10 August Gonzalez decision, but it indicates: "Decision intended for electronic publication only. For electronic decision, see 2007 WL 4579686." The link to 2007 WL 457986 is inoperative.

So it appears that NMCCA released a to-be-published opinion in Gonzalez on 10 August 2006, then simply released a new, slightly different, and unpublished version of the same opinion on 28 August 2006 without referencing the opinion issued 18 days earlier. It also looks like the published opinion was originally put up on NMCCA's web site, but the unpublished opinion was substituted for it sometime later, but without changing the opinion's date to cover those tracks. It also appears that only the 28 August version was sent to LEXIS, but that at some point, both versions were sent to WESTLAW.

Am I missing something? Does this make sense to anyone?

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