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Cheap Altruism for Law Review Editors:

When law review editors check quotes against the original sources, they often find that the WESTLAW or LEXIS versions have glitches. I've sometimes been told this by law review editors.

If you find that, why not report it to WESTLAW and LEXIS as well as to the author? That will cut down on future errors by others. WESTLAW and LEXIS say they take such information seriously, and make the corrections. For LEXIS, click on the Feedback link in the upper right hand corner and fill in the form. WESTLAW says they prefer reports by phone -- call 1-800-REF-ATTY. And please pass this message on to others.

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Lost in Transcription:

A reader writes, apropos my comment about tell LEXIS and WESTLAW erors:

Look at 42 C.F.R. 441.303(f)(1), on LEXIS:

The annual average per capita expenditure estimate of the cost of home and community-based and other Medicaid services under the waiver must not exceed the estimated annual average per capita expenditures of the cost of services in the absence of a waiver. The estimates are to be based on the following equation:

D+D minutes > G+G minutes .

The symbol ">" means that the result of the left side of the equation must be less than or equal to the result of the right side of the equation.

D = the estimated annual average per capita Medicaid cost for home and community-based services for individuals in the waiver program.

D minutes = the estimated annual average per capita Medicaid cost for all other services provided to individuals in the waiver program.

G = the estimated annual average per capita Medicaid cost for hospital, NF, or ICF/MR care that would be incurred for individuals served in the waiver, were the waiver not granted.

G minutes = the estimated annual average per capita Medicaid costs for all services other than those included in factor G for individuals served in the waiver, were the waiver not granted.

First, notice that this inequality is called an equation, but let's let that pass. [EV: The word "equation" is in the CFR, not in the LEXIS version.]

Second, see how the greater than symbol is defined, for those readers who don't know math, to mean less than or equal to.

Third, why are two of the quantities called "D minutes" and "G minutes"? The definitions are similar to D and G, respectively, so that "D + D minutes" and "G + G minutes" are both total costs of something. So I figured out that they must be primes, which the translation to LEXIS must have converted into "minutes."

You can check the text of the regulation [here] and you'll see that, indeed, it is a less than or equal sign, and primes. [EV: I had trouble pulling up the PDF, but I trust my correspondent, and the text version

Finally, check the regulation on Westlaw (where I've often found there are fewer mistakes), and you'll see that they have it exactly right.

I'm pleased to say that my correspondent assures me that he is indeed reporting this to LEXIS. But let this be a warning to us all . . . . (And, yes, I do rely on LEXIS and WESTLAW versions of many documents myself, and count on cite-checkers to check them against the print versions, unless something strikes me as really wrong or the matter is extremely important. I try to be careful, but there are limits.)

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