In his very perceptive post on Moreno, Guert points out that the New Mexico Court of Appeals has cited Moreno. In ruling on a speedy trial issue, the New Mexico Court of Appeals cited Moreno for the proposition that “where appellate defender requested numerous delays due to ‘other case load commitments,’ court declined to hold the defendant accountable for such delays, concluding that ‘ “[o]ther case load commitments” logically reflects that [the defendant’s] case was not getting counsel’s professional attention, a fact that is the very antithesis of any benefit to [the defendant]’ ” State v. Stock, 147 P.3d 885, 892 (N.M. Ct. App. 2006) (brackets in original).
I would be fascinated to learn how the New Mexico Supreme Court discovered the Moreno case in the course of deciding Stock. Was it cited by one of the parties? If so, how did counsel for that party discover it?
Several years ago, there was an initiative by CAAF to ask West Publishing to cross-digest military appellate decisions under non-military digest topics and numbers. I believe that Gene Fidell has also been a long-standing proponent of such cross-digesting. (In fact, I think the use of “migration” in this post’s title harkens back to something Gene wrote. Gene, am I right about that?) I wonder whether cross-digesting is less important today. I would be fascinated to know how important West digests remain as a tool for finding the law. As use of electronic databases has become necessary to the effective practice of the law, I suspect that use of West digests, even through the use of digest numbers on WESTLAW, has markedly declined. While I use both LEXIS and WESTLAW, I tend to use LEXIS much more — probably because I learned it first and and I’m better at using it, not necessarily because it is better to use. In LEXIS, military appellate decisions are included in the GENFED file. I wonder whether either the New Mexico Court of Appeals or a counsel arguing Stock before that court found Moreno through a GENFED search while looking for federal case law declining to attribute delay sought by an overworked public defender to the defendant.
Is the migration of military case law to civilian courts desirable? If so, how can that process be stimulated? And does cross-digesting remain an effective tool to promote such migration?