Notes on the Attorney and Judge Name Database

As I have compiled the list of the names of the attorneys and judges in our clipping collection, I have noticed a few things that I thought might be important for someone researching a particular attorney or judge.

This note is by no means comprehensive. I considered my job to be data entry, and did my best to not edit or make substantive judgements about the contents of the folders. I did make notations of names on the outside of the folders if I found that the folder contained information on an attorney not listed. I also split some folders if it did not cause confusion (that is, some folders contained information on quite a few different attorneys and judges. I thought it might be easier if each folder only contained a few different files).

I did my job as quickly as possible, and I am sure there are errors. I would recommend that anyone looking for information on a particular attorney keep these points in mind:

1) The files are likely misfiled. I tried to return the files in alphabetical order, but didn't consider this to be a top priority since the files are very much out of order. An example would be: the attorney name database lists all names beginning with "Mc" after "Ma," whereas in the file cabinets, the "Mc's" are filed first. There have also been times when I have found files completely out of alphabetic order.

2) There may be some misfilings due to homographic errors. For example, I have found attorneys and judges with the last name of "Reid" in files labeled "Reed."

3) There may be problems with initials. Some pictures and information, especially about early attorneys and judges, have only initials in place of full first names. The people who have filed the information have at times put the initials with information containing full names. In the database, many times I listed the initials as well as the full name because I have found errors (as indicated by problematic dates) when initials are matched up with full names.

4) I have chosen to normalize the database by using only the first initial of any given middle name. If there is more than one middle name, I have used the first initial of all the names.

5) Please look behind the pictures that are in mylar sheaves. Many times, multiple pictures have been placed there, and have either fallen behind or have deliberately been placed behind other pictures.

6) A lot of the files have tiny newspaper clippings that tend to fall out and get lost. I have tried to attach the clippings to a larger sheet of paper, but I know I missed some. Please be careful.

7) Watch out for the Smiths! One folder, "Smith A-M" contains clippings on over thirty different attorneys and judges. I decided that it would be too unwieldy and unworkable to split the folder up. "Smith N-Z" is only slightly smaller. The same is true for other common names as well.

8) Oftentimes a name has been misspelled either on the folder or in some of the information that has been transcribed.

9) There have been times when a name has been on the outside of a folder when I cannot find any information about the person located inside. I included these names in the database with a checkmark in the box indicating that there is no information. There have only been a few cases where this has been necessary.

--Brandy N. Whittington, Law Library Intern

Last updated July 8, 1999