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Abstract

In this comment the author examines the new and growing body of federal opinions citing Wikipedia an authoritative source. The comment details how Wikipedia articles are generated, and the ease with which anyone can edit them, to illustrate their shortcomings as sources for making judicial determinations. The author provides examples of federal cases where judges rely on Wikipedia to define terms ranging from colloquial phrases to medical equipment. The author points out that in spite of several academic institutions and the U.S. Trade and Patent Office banning it as a source, federal judges continue to rely on Wikipedia in their decision-making. Upon a thorough analysis of Wikipedia articles’ credibility and volatility, the author concludes by proposing a rule to ban Wikipedia citations from federal judicial opinions, orders, judgments, and other written dispositions.