Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

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Vanceone
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Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

Post by Vanceone » 2013-05-03 07:12:41

So I've followed Nisus for years, even back in the old classic days, and enjoy running Nisus compact in various emulators.

So here's my question: now that my state has started requiring court documents to be filed in RTF format, it seems like a perfect time to switch to Nisus. Can Nisus do a Table of Authorities like Word can, and ye old WordPerfect from classic? I know that out of the box, it cannot.

But Nisus has this powerful Macro language; and I'm somewhat of a programmer (though Perl is new to me). Could you mark text, somehow, and then write a macro to create and update a Table of Authorities--without your marking of the text showing up in the final document? Does Bookends or something that integrates with Nisus allow Table's of Authorities?

It really sucks to be tied to Word.

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phspaelti
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Re: Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

Post by phspaelti » 2013-05-04 21:25:35

Hello Vanceone
I don't know anything about the standards in legal writing, so excuse this naive question. How is a Table of Authorities different from a table of contents or an index? Would it be possible to use those features of Nisus to accomplish this?

As far as the Nisus Macro language is concerned, for most tasks there is really no need to know perl at all. Perl would mainly be useful if the macro included a lot of computation, or if you were hoping to write a macro that could also be used in other applications.
philip

Vanceone
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Re: Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

Post by Vanceone » 2013-05-09 06:38:17

A table of authorities technically speaking IS an index; an index of citations to be specific. Let's say you are writing your legal document and you refer to the case Smith v. Jones on four different pages. You need to list Smith v. Jones in the Cases section of your Table of Authorities (there's several different categories).

So basically it is an index of potentially unlimited entries separated under several different categories like Cases, Statutes, Regulations, Treatises, etc. In some places if you refer to a particular citation over 4 separate times you actually use the term "passim" instead of the page numbers.

You usually cannot use a Table of Contents because anything that would require a Table of Authorities will almost always require a Table of Contents too. And sometimes you need a general index as well, though that is less common.

An example of this would be found here: http://paralegaltoday.com/issue_archive ... 2_nd03.htm Note the table of contents appearance with the page numbers on the right and the filler periods.

A Table of Authorities is very rarely found at the end of a document; usually it is in the introductory materials after the table of contents.

Could Nisus's index feature do something like that?

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phspaelti
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Re: Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

Post by phspaelti » 2013-05-10 00:09:51

Vanceone wrote:A table of authorities technically speaking IS an index; an index of citations to be specific. Let's say you are writing your legal document and you refer to the case Smith v. Jones on four different pages. You need to list Smith v. Jones in the Cases section of your Table of Authorities (there's several different categories).

So basically it is an index of potentially unlimited entries separated under several different categories like Cases, Statutes, Regulations, Treatises, etc. In some places if you refer to a particular citation over 4 separate times you actually use the term "passim" instead of the page numbers.

You usually cannot use a Table of Contents because anything that would require a Table of Authorities will almost always require a Table of Contents too. And sometimes you need a general index as well, though that is less common.
Well, that isn't really the issue. With Nisus you can have two (or more) table of contents in the same document, and you can have two (or more) indexes as well. The deciding factor is which type of output would be more appropriate.
Vanceone wrote:An example of this would be found here: http://paralegaltoday.com/issue_archive ... 2_nd03.htm Note the table of contents appearance with the page numbers on the right and the filler periods.

A Table of Authorities is very rarely found at the end of a document; usually it is in the introductory materials after the table of contents.
Again this is not really at issue. With Nisus you should be able to put the TOC or index in your document at whatever place you need.

So aside from these two options, one could perhaps also use bookmarks (perhaps using a macro to insert them). The latter option would give something that would have live updating. But I'd try one of the two other ways (index, or special TOC) first.
philip

Vanceone
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Re: Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

Post by Vanceone » 2013-05-15 16:07:28

So I have experimented and it turns out you CAN do a Table of Authorities with Nisus; in fact it might be easier than in Word. (Cue shock).

Well, I should qualify that a bit.... easier in some ways, but slightly harder in others.

Here's how, for future reference. The trick lies in subindexes.

Create a new index, labeled Table of Authorities or something.

The key here is you will only ever have up to 16 index entries! Each and every citation must be indexed as the main category.

So let's say you have this sentence in your memorandum: The court in Smith v. Jones, 245 P.2d 123, 1999 UT 45, ¶ 16 stated that 16 Utah Code Ann. §145 further interprets 22 U.S.C. §456 to explicitly disallow taxing of rabbit warrens, as Reynolds , Conspicuous taxation of Rabbits in a Mechanized Society, 43 Harv. L. R. 223 (1834) suggests.

Yes, it's an ugly sentence. I've seen worse in the legal field. Those are all made up citations too, for the record. I'm also not sure that it's according to bluebook. But anyway, there's 4 separate citations in that sentence, each in a different category. So for the case, Smith v. Jones, you would mark it for inclusion in the table of authorities by using the index as command. In the "use topic" section, index it as "Cases:Smith v. Jones, 245 P.2d 123, 1999 UT 45" If you have federal and state cases and need to distinguish them, use "State Cases:Smith v. Jones, 245 P.2d 123, 1999 UT 45"

Here's how it works: put the category name before the colon, in this case Cases, and then the actual citation after the colon. Note, do not use a space after the colon. For statutes, it's the same thing: "Federal Statutes:22 U.S.C. §456" And so forth.

Unfortunately, Nisus doesn't keep track of previously indexed titles, so you will either have to copy and paste or retype if you plan to mark citations one at a time. That's enough to drive you back to Word. There's 2 easier ways, though.

The first is to use Nisus's find and replace to find all instances of the citation--just do a search on the full case name (Smith v. Jones) and OR it with the short cite. So, search for "Smith v. Jones" or "Jones" and you will select every mention of the case in your document. Index it then, and you've marked all of them.

The second, and preferable in my opinion, is to use the "Index from a word list" option.

Create a new document. Put a two column table in it. In the first cell, put the citation. In the next cell (second column) put the Table of Authorities version--including the Colon. So, Smith v. Jones in the first cell, Cases:Smith v. Jones in the second cell. The next row, Jones in the first cell (or whatever your short cite is) and then Cases:Smith v. Jones in the second cell. Repeat until you've covered all versions of your citation.

When you want to mark your document up for the table of authorities, just Select all and then index with the word list. Bam, you are done. Insert the index where you want the Table of Authorities to be. When you insert your index, use only 1 column.

Styles you can use: Index Heading one is the Category name: Cases, Federal Statutes, etc. In my table of authorites I make that one a small cap, etc. Turn off page number display. Index Heading two is the actual case name or statute level, etc. Format how you want.

Best part of the word list option: if you use the same cases over and over, you don't have to recreate the word list (this is better than Word) each time.

Hope that helps!

nisusnew
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Re: Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

Post by nisusnew » 2013-05-20 16:02:39

Hi Vanceone, And Anyone!

I also want to have a Table of Authorities with three categories - Cases, Statutes, and Rules.

I'd like to be able to catch all instances of a case name in one go and have them automatically added with page numbers to the index, as opposed to having to select them one by one throughout the document and add them individually.

Could you please break this down a little more about how you did it, I'm not getting it. (I'm new to nisus.)

Thanks,
Janice

nisusnew
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Re: Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

Post by nisusnew » 2013-05-20 17:30:44

Actually I think I figured it out, thanks!

Candace
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Re: Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

Post by Candace » 2013-05-29 16:07:09

Hi Vanceone,

I've always made TOA in NWP by highlighting the Jones in People v. Jones for the index, copying the full cite (People v. Jones (1884) blah blah) into the "Index as" box, then hitting Mark all. Boom -- all instances of People v. Jones, Jones, or the full cite will appear in your index under the full name.

I'm interested in your method, but you lost me here:

"The second, and preferable in my opinion, is to use the "Index from a word list" option.

Create a new document. Put a two column table in it. In the first cell, put the citation. In the next cell (second column) put the Table of Authorities version--including the Colon. So, Smith v. Jones in the first cell, Cases:Smith v. Jones in the second cell. The next row, Jones in the first cell (or whatever your short cite is) and then Cases:Smith v. Jones in the second cell. Repeat until you've covered all versions of your citation.

When you want to mark your document up for the table of authorities, just Select all and then index with the word list. Bam, you are done. Insert the index where you want the Table of Authorities to be. When you insert your index, use only 1 column. "

You seem to be saying that you make a document separate from your brief and list all the possible permutations of your cite. When you say, Just Select all and then index with the word list," I don't know what you mean. I also don't see how the word list on one page will affect the Index on the other. Can you walk me through that? Thanks. Candace

Vanceone
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Re: Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

Post by Vanceone » 2013-06-06 12:02:17

Sorry for the delay in responding.

Yes, it's a separate document. You make a two column table on the second page; it's sort of a database, really, that we are creating.

So, table has something like this:

Cell 1 Cell 2

Smith v. Jones Cases:Smith v. Jones, 123 P.2d 345 (Utah 1996)
_________ (next cell down________
Jones Cases:Smith v. Jones, 123 P.2d 345 (Utah 1996)

...
What you do is put all your short cites, full cites, etc. for each case on it's own row. Cite to find in the first column, full citation in the second. In the full citation, use your category before the colon, then the actual citation. No space between them. Make sure you save this document somewhere.


Then, in your main document, with your completed motion or brief or whatever, select all the text that you have citations that need to be in the table of authorities.

Now, once it's ready, go to your tools menu, the index submenu, and there's an option: Index using Word List. It opens an "open document" dialogue. Just find your second document, open. Nothing appears to happen (outside of a spinning watch, possibly, for a couple of seconds), but if you then go to where you want your Table of Authority, then go to tools: index again and insert index ( I suggest strongly changing the number of columns to 1), then viola, your table of authorities appears.

Now, if you need to have another, actual index in your paper, you'll have to make two separate indexs and play that way, but for most papers or whatnot, it's not necessary.

Hope that helps!

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Re: Can you build a table of authorities with Nisus Writer?

Post by rmark » 2013-06-18 15:58:56

Vanceone,

Thank you for all your work on preparing a "table of authorities" in Nisus Writer Pro. We have long known (in the abstract) we could do what you have described, however, not being lawyers ourselves, we did not know how to give the kind of instructions you have offered.

We would like to describe this process for a future edition of the User's Guide. Having a good sample document (with the "names changed to protect the innocent") would help. If you have one you could send me <support@nisus.com>, please do.
Write On!
Mark Hurvitz
Nisus Software Inc.

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