The BVR legal team often receives inquiries about our method and “rules” behind our case law research and digesting process, so we're sharing this important background information with you.
The BVLaw case law database includes thousands of court cases that center on valuation and litigation matters. As we digest these cases, we keep the following guidelines front and center:
- The very definition of “digest”: 1: a summation or condensation of a body of information: such as: a systematic compilation of legal rules, statutes, or decisions 2: a periodical devoted to condensed versions of previously published articles (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
- Our objective for the digest is to provide a detailed analysis of the case opinion so users of BVLaw obtain a knowledge of the main case issues without having to read the lengthy opinion in its entirety.
- The key issues in the opinion covered in the digest are those that, in the opinion of the digester, are of central importance to the users of BVLaw. This means that some decision factors in the case will not be covered but often will be referred to in general and noted.
- The digests do not include exhaustive citations within the opinion, but users of BVLaw can link directly to the case opinion and easily access all citations.
- As a general rule, the digests present “just the facts” and avoid editorial opinion, except where appropriate. For example, the digest could say the ruling is “important” or a “landmark decision.” Editorial opinion (“this is a terrible ruling”) is best left to other channels.
- We include analysis as appropriate. For example, “this is the first case we know of that has addressed this matter” or “this appellate ruling goes against every other circuit that has ruled on it.” This is factual insight versus editorial opinion and is important to include wherever possible.
- When we dive into complex rulings, we use the “just tell me a story” strategy to summarize as simply and concisely as possible. We will avoid minutiae if not helpful to the narrative.
Provided here is a recent digest of Harvey v. Harvey—an apt example of our approach to and standards for digesting a full opinion.
We take your feedback to heart and are interested in any comments you might have on these guidelines. Please address them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.