Issue 32712 - Table of Authorities
Summary: Table of Authorities
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: code (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.1.2
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 24 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
: 87162 126405 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2004-08-07 21:47 UTC by plem
Modified: 2019-07-12 06:36 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Issue Type: FEATURE
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---

Here is a sample legal document written with Microsoft Word, to illustrate what this functionality looks like (120.50 KB, application/msword)
2008-07-05 01:59 UTC, stevedperkins
no flags Details
opinion of the court (50.41 KB, application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document)
2016-06-24 18:56 UTC, Darlington Antwi Koranteng
no flags Details

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Description plem 2004-08-07 21:47:33 UTC
A table of authorities is somewhat like a bibliography and a table of  
contents.  TOAs are used for legal documents.  They are way to cite cases that 
are referenced in a document 
Here is an explanation of a TOA 
(a pratical example) 
Here is a real world example of a TOA 
"A Table of Authorities is a list of references (cases, statutes, rules, etc.)  
in a legal document, along with the numbers of the pages on which the  
references appear. To create a table of authorities, you mark the citations  
and then create the Table of Authorities. You can search your document for  
the next long or short citations to mark, or automatically mark each  
subsequent occurrence of the citation." 
"A table of authorities lists the citations of cases, statutes, rules, and so  
on in a legal document-along with the pages they appear on. For example, we  
can list citations that appear in their long form (such as "Forrester v.  
Craddock, 51 Wn. 2d 315 (1957)") or in their short form (such as "Forrester  
v. Craddock")." 
-- found this one from a google cache 
-- doc.html 
I hope this helps provide some good information.  I used the following two  
searches on Google to find this information: 
"table of authorities" 
"table of authorities" format
Comment 1 michael.ruess 2004-08-09 06:49:19 UTC
MRU->ES: pls comment before reassigning this RFE...
Comment 2 eric.savary 2004-08-09 08:36:01 UTC
As described. A usefull enhancement
Comment 3 floid 2007-12-10 18:31:03 UTC
In the US, a citation may look like:

Plaintiff v. Defendant, 555 State App. 555, 123-456, 888 A.2d 9999, cert.
granted on other grounds, 333 State 444, 212 A.2d 111 (2007)

...where "Plaintiff v. Defendant" should be underlined.

The indexing feature works pretty well for this, with a few quirks:

As of 2.0.2, index entries can't be formatted.  Case names are supposed to be
underlined, this requires manual massaging over (potentially a lot of) entries

In the above example, the "Plaintiff v. Defendant" title deserves underlining
and the rest of the text doesn't, something paragraph styles can't handle.

Indexing an Ibid, Id., or second cite requires cut and paste of the cite and
produces a visually small anchor (the width of one space character, maybe less)
rather than highlighting the word.  Pasting can be error-prone, leading to index
entries for "laintiff v. Defendant" or possibly " Plaintiff v. Defendant" with a
leading space.

It's nice that you can select and copy text while the Entry dialog is hovering,
but unexpected that highlighting text changes the anchor point selected when you
entered the dialog.  Highlight Ibid, select the text for the index entry you
need, paste in, and you've accidentally made the anchor on the text you copied.
  Highlight Ibid, select the text for the index entry you need, paste in before
reselecting where you want the anchor to be and the reselected 'Ibid' blows out
the text you wanted in the field.  (Eventually, you learn to select, copy,
select, paste, commit.)

Nobody really paid attention to how the index feature handles very long,
multiline items.  This can get ugly (cite ending in a number filling a line,
followed by a single '.', '-', or space, then the page number), and cleaning it
up with formatting options -- to, say, preserve three '.'s space at a minimum --
is non-obvious.  

If the case name is long, often you want a line break after it to keep things
legible, but too much manual editing will flow the table across another page and
break all the automatic numbering, while 'Updating' the table will blow out all
changes.  (These tables generally appear in the first pages of the document,
following a TOC.)  To fix this perfectly you'd need to make manual edits visibly
different from automatic content, preserve them, and treat the page numbers in
the generated table as fields to be updated.  If the user wants to start clean,
he/she'll delete the whole table and insert a fresh one.

The Bibliography feature may also work, but the procedure for using a local
database per-document is poorly defined and requires editing a huge number of
separate fields for each entry, instead of using the standard citation format
that someone will have already typed into the document you're trying to generate
the Table of Authorities from.  My "user story" from five minutes of
experimentation is that I found it appears to force a [ ] citation style into
the text of the document, that can't be selectively underlined, rendering it
painful and unsuited for this task.
Comment 4 floid 2007-12-11 17:14:05 UTC
A few more experience notes:

A legal document can require multiple sections in the ToA -- for reference, this
can be emulated by using "Cases", "Statutes", and "Treatises" as index "keys,"
if you can accept the alphabetical sort those categories get.  It does require
painfully editing every index entry anchor in the document once you realize
this, of course.

You can make as many "user-defined" indexes as you want, but as of 2.0.2
user-defined indexes cannot be sorted alphabetically and do not inherit the
options to 'combine' keys and do page number ranges.  This is a huge drawback to
the index feature and recent documentation suggests it hasn't changed in later

The alphabetic sort naturally doesn't have the intelligence to numerically sort
statutory references like the below properly (predictable, but an annoyance):

C.G.S. §55-555(a)(1)	
C.G.S. §55-555(a)(11)
C.G.S. §55-555(a)(6)

The document I'm preparing requires an Appendix which requires its own multiple
Tables of Authority; given the above, I have no choice but to put it in a
different file, and will still run into problems requiring manual editing, since
it should really be separate Tables / Indexes for different types of content
with page breaks between.  As above, if you can only get alphabetical sort and
intelligent combining of keys and page ranges:

C.G.S. §55-555(a)(6)........3, 5-8, 43, 49, 52

...for the predefined types, you can only really have one index.

(Ideally, I'd be able to create a bunch of named user-defined indexes: 
Testimony, Statutes, Cases, ... , which would all *be* of the alphabetically
sorted type.  Or smarter legally-aware types.)
Comment 5 gokee2 2008-03-05 05:59:21 UTC
Hello everyone,

I am wondering what needs to be done to make a table of authorities generator in
openoffice?  I have not done much programing in C++ or looked into openoffice
extensions yet.  If I wanted to try and make a feature in openoffice for
generating a table of authorities would the "best" way to go about it be to make
a extension or to code it right into openoffice using the code for a table of
contents as a base?


Comment 6 michael.ruess 2008-03-18 06:20:48 UTC
*** Issue 87162 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 7 stevedperkins 2008-07-05 01:59:56 UTC
Created attachment 54953 [details]
Here is a sample legal document written with Microsoft Word, to illustrate what this functionality looks like
Comment 8 shannonbrown 2008-09-18 04:11:26 UTC
This is a larger issue than it appears. Why? Many attorneys want to use 
OpenOffice, especially to represent indigent clients on serious legal appeals 
and legal cases--i.e., the lawyer likely does NOT get paid, but the lack of the 
core legal feature limits the use of OpenOffice. Working on this project can 
literally mean the difference between an innocent person going to "the chair" 
or a person seeking asylum being granted asylum.

I am willing to help in advising, testing, or general technical issues. Prior 
to entering lawschool I worked in the IT industry (CIO and web dev.).

Comment 9 nicklevinson 2008-09-30 01:25:36 UTC
Formal styling of case names requires selective italicization. For example:

Plaintiff v. Defendant, 250 U.S. 306 (1942)
_Plaintiff v. Defendant_, 250 U.S. 306 (1942) (fairly formal)
_Plaintiff_ v. _Defendant_, 250 U.S. 306 (1942) (most formal)

One approach is to identify strings within strings as exempt from 
italiciziation. Examples:

 v.  (including leading and trailing spaces)
Ex parte  (including trailing space) (as in Ex parte _Thompson_)
 ex rel.  (including leading and trailing spaces) (as in _U.S._ ex rel. 
_Quixote_ v. _Stammerbob_)

Comment 10 nicklevinson 2008-09-30 01:31:43 UTC
To support internationalization of this feature, I suggest:

1. Let a user select a text string and tag it as ToA material. Compiling the 
ToA would then copy all these strings together into a table together with their 
(possibly dynamic) page numbers or page ranges. The user would then manually 
categorize, sort, edit, and format the strings as the user wishes, thus being 
able to conform to the user's nation's practice. Even though editing the ToA 
would be manual, that would be faster than having to copy manually and then 
edit manually.

2. Define particulars for each nation for which OOo has a language version. 
Local programmers can do this as demand warrants. Permit a user to select a 
national set of particulars from all national sets, regardless of the language 
being used by their installation of OOo; for example, an American lawyer might 
write a brief for an Israeli court.

3. Define particulars for each subnation. A subnation can be defined any way 
local users wish. For example, in the U.S., military law cited to military 
tribunals uses different conventions than those that apply to civilian law; 
thus, "UCMJ, Article 3" is clearer to military officers but a Title 10 U.S.C. 
reference to the same UCMJ provision is clearer to civilian lawyers and judges. 
Programmers familiar with demands of any subnational community can program this.

4. Create an empty list of authority types. OOo should populate the list from 
each set of national and subnational particulars programmed by whomever 
programs them; that requires a standard by which programmers would declare 
authority types (at least one) so that OOo can extract them from each 
national/subnational set of particulars. To keep the list short enough for one 
user's needs, all national and subnational sets of particulars should populate 
a checklist in an options dialog; a user may then opt for only certain set(s) 
to be relevant to their work, in which case only those sets would populate the 
authority types list. Then, when a user tags a string as ToA-eligible, the user 
can assign an authority type to it before compiling the ToA. The compiled ToA 
would then be presorted.


Comment 11 stevedperkins 2008-09-30 02:05:55 UTC
While it might be interesting for OpenOffice to have the ability to
"automagically" recognize legal citations by their format alone, I should point
out that it really isn't necessary to go that far in the first phase.  The other
major word processors (Microsoft and WordPerfect) require users to manually tag
citations throughout the document, so consumer expectations currently aren't any
higher than that.
Comment 12 bigjimslade 2009-11-30 17:35:01 UTC
Let me add to this a number of things:
1. There are many legal citation formats.
2. Citation formats require italics/underling and sometimes smallcaps.
3. The appearance of the TOA entry, is often not the same as the citation in the
text. For example, the text may include a page number in the cite:

Felder v. Casey, 487 U.S. 131, 151 (1988) (With the case name in italics)

that should appear as

Felder v. Casey, 487 U.S. 131 (1988) (With the case name still in italics).

After a case has been referenced, there are several short forms that can be used
in the text, including:

Felder, 487 U.S. at 152

4. This is a feature that Word does VERY poorly. In fact, most attorneys do it
by manually.

A. There needs to be an ability for the user to create TOA groups (e.g
"Statutory Materials", "Regulations", "Cases") and an ordering for those grous.
A. There needs to be an ability to specify a citation that will appear in the
TOA, a group assignment, and how it will appear (an index entry).
B. There needs to be a mechanism mark points in the text where the TOA entry
B. There needs to be an ability to generate a TOA in various forms. This should
include sorting the entries in alphabetical or numeric order.
Useful features would be to allow editing and correcting from within the TOA
itself. For example, if a case appears under the statute section, it would be
desirable to be able to select the entry in the TOA and change it to a case.

If an entry appears multiple times (ie variations in spelling), it would be
desirable to be able to select the spelling variation and reassign it to the
desired spelling.
Comment 13 bettina.haberer 2010-05-21 14:42:35 UTC
To grep the issues easier via "requirements" I put the issues currently lying on
my owner to the owner "requirements". 
Comment 14 Lee 2015-05-06 17:25:15 UTC
A work-around exists by 
(1) Insert an Index/Table by selecting table Type of "Alphabetical", then renaming the table to "Table of Authorities".

(2) select the full text of the entry you want to index. Select from Insert menu Table/Index / Entry. On dialog that opens select "Alphabetical" as table type. Make sure "main entry" is NOT checked, and enter category of authority in Key1, e.g. "Cases", "Statutes", "Rules", etc. Then click 'OK' at bottom of dialog.

Tips - 
Multiple instances of cases should be all the same text throughout body of document.
Right-click first word of table and select "Update" to effect changes in the table.
Just before you print final version to PDF, right-click first word of table and select "Edit", and un-check "Protect contents from manual ..." and "OK" to close dialog. This allows you to manually change font of case citations to underline or italics as required. If you update the table, expect to have your formatting of citations to be undone.

The problem is that although the word 'type' is used in the index of tables to ascribe "Alphabetical", which implies multiple alphabetical tables may be possible, as of OO 4.1.1 only one instance is possible, which you rename in step (1) above. Fortunately you can use "key1" to group categories of authorities.

A test-case would be to select Type "Alphabetical" on the Insert / table index dialog, rename the table to create a new instance of an alphabetical table, and add an entry through the Entry dialog showing the newly added table. The Index of Tables should show the new table as well.

This comment was written before exploring "User-defined" tables as a matter of expediency.
Comment 15 Darlington Antwi Koranteng 2016-06-24 18:56:50 UTC
Created attachment 85586 [details]
opinion of the court
Comment 16 oooforum (fr) 2019-07-12 06:36:53 UTC
*** Issue 126405 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***