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June 30, 2004

Underneath Their Robes & Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary

A new blog called Underneath Their Robes has developed quite a following. "The mission of UTR is to get 'underneath the robes' of our federal judges, to find out what they are really like--not as impersonal guardians of the Constitution, or as disembodied legal minds analyzing complex legal disputes, but as human beings."

To get a flavor of what UTR is all about, here are some recent topic of discussion:

- Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary (with self-nomination from 9th Circ Judge, Alex Kozinski)
- Judicial Divas
- Bench-Slapped! Article III Infighting

June 28, 2004

Listen to Live WI Senate & Assembly Proceedings via the Web

Wisconsin Legislature In Session offers live broadcasts of the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly proceedings. Includes links to related documents, voting records, calendars, and more.

- In Session Assembly (video and audio available)
- In Session Senate (audio only)

June 24, 2004

Enhancements to Wisconsin Statutes on LexisNexis

From LexisNexis Information Professional Update, June 2004:

"LexisNexis Wisconsin Annotated Statutes are now available at www.lexis.com.

LexisNexis annotations include tens of thousands of LexisNexis Case Notes -- updated quarterly -- plus links to Lexis® Search Advisor and specialized Wisconsin sources to assist you in interpreting and applying the statutes.

When you select LexisNexis Wisconsin Annotated Statutes, you can browse the table of contents for topics. Or choose to search the table of contents (or full-text resource) for concepts. Once you display a section of interest, you'll discover LexisNexis Case Notes as well as reference links directly to pertinent Wisconsin treatises/analytical materials and Wisconsin law reviews. These enhancements follow the section text.

Navigate easily among the document sections; click on the Explore button on the bottom left side of the screen. Also use the direction arrows next to each LexisNexis Case Note to select specific case notes and return to the case notes list. From each case note you can link to cited cases and statutes. You can also move from the notes to related Lexis Search Advisor topics where you can request more cases, LexisNexis® Headnotes, treatises and law reviews."

Finding Expert Witnesses via the Web

The February issue Wisconsin Lawyer has an excellent guide to finding expert witnesses on the Web. Author, Diane Duffey, member of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin writes:

"Whether one is trying to locate the least fallible expert for one's case, or to unearth the weaknesses of an expert employed by the other side, there are many techniques for conducting expert witness research on the Internet. Further, expert witness directories simply abound on the Web. This article recommends some strategies and Web sites to consider using when looking for information on expert witnesses."

June 22, 2004

Search Google Like an Expert Via Soople

Did you know that Google offers many advanced search features such as an image search, movie review search, search for specific file type (pdf, doc, etc.) and more? NO??

Then check out Soople, the "Easy Expert Search." Soople provides a single, easy to use, template for using many of Google's advanced search features.

Read more at in this article on Law.com

Source: Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

Reaching the Gen X Jury

Law.com has an interesting article about changing demographics in juries and how law schools are adjusting their curriculum.

"Professor Steven Lubet, the director of Northwestern's trial advocacy program, describes the use of high-tech trial techniques and their impact on case presentation to Gen X jurors as a fundamental shift, and he expects other law schools across the country to incorporate technology into their advocacy programs."

Source: Stark County Law Library Blawg

Workshop: Using the Internet for Case Preparation

New Workshop from the Wisconsin State Law Library:

Using the Internet for Case Preparation
Wednesday, July 28, 2004 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Wisconsin State Law Library Computer Training Room
120 MLK, Jr. Blvd., Madison

In this hands-on class, guest instructors Diane Duffey, Librarian at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., Milwaukee and Theodore A. Potter, Associate Director at Marquette University Law Library will demonstrate websites, portals and search engines that may be used in case preparation. Participants will learn the difference between a legal portal and a search engine; how to evaluate websites; and how to use the Internet efficiently to track news relevant to your case and to find information on people, corporations, and expert witnesses.

1.5 CLE credits applied for.
Fee: $50.00

To register: Print out and complete this Registration form, and mail it with your payment as per the instructions on the form.

Please direct questions about registration to tammy.keller@wicourts.gov

June 17, 2004

Need Info on a WI Corporation? Ask CRIS

Not new - but worth repeating:

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) offers a nifty free search tool called CRIS(Corporate Registration Information System) for locating information about corporations in Wisconsin.

CRIS provides the official corporate name, registered agent address, principal office, state of incorporation, type of entity, prior corporate names, and notifications of merger or acquisition.

For more information on CRIS, see the recent article in the Wisconsin Law Journal, "Free Information in Wisconsin: Getting What You [Don't] Pay For -- CCAP & CRIS" by Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin (LLAW) member Jennifer Dedolph.

For more information on finding other company information, see "Mining for Company Nuggets" in the Wisconsin Lawyer by Carol Bannen, another LLAW member.

June 16, 2004

Shorten long URLs

Wish that Web page had a nice short URL that you could write down or share with someone? Fortunately, there are a number of free URL shortening services that do just that.

One of these services, notlong.com, has a very useful chart comparing features of many url shortening services.

Source: beSpacific

Free WI Admin Decisions Online

The Spring 2004 edition of Class Action, the Association of Wisconsin Legal Administrators newsletter, has a nice article entitled "Are Wisconsin Administrative Decisions Available Online??" The article, written by Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin member, Carol Schmitt, gives tips on where to find decisions by agency.

June 15, 2004

Compare Prices at Online Bookstores

Want to catch up on a little reading this summer? Before you buy, compare prices by searching AddAll or BookkooB.

Search by title, author, or ISBN. AddAll searches for the best prices on new & used books. BookkooB only searches new books.

Cell Phone Viruses on the Horizon

PCWorld has an interesting article about a virus that can infect cellular phones.

"[The virus] spreads between mobile phones using a specially formatted Symbian operating system distribution (or SIS) file disguised as a security management utility... Once it has infected a mobile phone, [the virus] scans for other phones using Bluetooth wireless technology, then sends a copy of itself to the first vulnerable phone it finds"

Source: TVC Alert

June 14, 2004

Monitor Changes to Any Web Page

WatchThatPage is a free service that will notify you of changes to any freely available Web page. You can request to be notified of any change or just changes matching keywords that you supply.

Create a profile and add pages that you want to watch. Notification will be delivered via email. No download is required.

June 10, 2004

Search Engine Overlap - Compare Your Search

A new tool from Thumbshots Ranking allows you to perform your own comparisons of selected popular search engines. Results are displayed visually, making it easy to see both the rankings and comparative positions of pages in search engine results.

Search engine guru, Greg Notess, has run tests with the tool and discovered that the major search engines have surprisingly little overlap, even for popular search terms.

From: Search Engine Watch

Google's Gmail Creating a Buzz

LawLibTech has a nice summary of the buzz surrounding Gmail, a free web based email service from Google. Gmail accounts (if you can get one) offer an extremely large amount of space (1 gigabyte) and include a robust search engine for sifting through your messages.

The catch, one that has privacy groups worried, is that Google scans the text of your messages and delivers ads based on the keywords it finds.

Listen to Live Wisconsin Supreme Court Oral Arguements

Not new, but worth repeating:

Listen to live streaming audio of the Supreme Court Oral Arguments. Please note that this feature is only available for arguments heard in the Supreme Court Hearing Room in Madison. See the Monthly Oral Argument Schedule for date and time of upcoming oral arguments.

From the Wisconsin Court System Website

June 9, 2004

Wisconsin RSB to Digitize Historical Statutes & Admin Code

It appears that the Wisconsin Revisor of Statutes Bureau has plans to digitize all laws and statutes back to 1848 as well as prior versions of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. A definite schedule is not in place, however.

According to Bruce Hoesly at the RSB:
Basically we are scanning pages as time allows. We already have scanned the Acts back to 1969 and those are available on the internet. We also will be scanning administrative code and rule orders. Statutes will be going up volume by volume as they are completed rather than one chunk. As statutes get done they will be added to the list of archived statutes which is already on our website that currently goes back to 1989. (bottom of the left hand column.) Old acts appear on the Wisconsin Acts page

As you may or may not know, the history notes in the online Folio statutes, which go back to the 1971 Laws, are linked to the respective archived acts. And administrative code history sections are linked to all electronic rule orders that are currently available in electronic form, as well as to the registers, which contained the noted changes and those registers are linked to the Admin code text that was replaced. Those links only go back to around 2000, but will be expanded as well.

It may also interest you that we will be adding links from the case annotations in the Folio version of the statutes to Wisconsin appellate cases on the court's web site. By the end of the year, we expect o have links to all of the cited cases on the court's web site, which go back to 1995. If at any time the court adds to its archive we will add links.

June 8, 2004

Professionals Spend More Time E-Searching & Are Dissatisfied with Experience

According to an upcoming report by Delphi Research, over 40% of professionals are spending a large amount of time (7-8 hours per work week) doing computer-based searching.

Not surprisingly, satisfaction levels are quite low with over 60% indicating that they are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their search experience.

Source: beSpacific

"The Partner" - A New Reality Series

According to an article on Law.com, Fox is planning a new reality series called "The Partner" in which "charismatic young lawyers compete in mock trials/courtroom showdowns on prime-time TV. The last lawyer standing wins a lucrative job at a law firm."

It appears that NBC will also be jumping on the bandwagon with a similar show produced by David E. Kelley.

Source: Bag and Baggage

June 3, 2004

Pirated Books on the Web Becoming Popular

There is an interesting article in the New York Times about students and others downloading pirated books from the Internet. Titles range from best sellers, textbooks, technical manuals and more.

Source: TVC Alert

Search Shortcuts on Yahoo! - Lowest Gas Prices, Etc.

Yahoo offers Search Shortcuts for a number of searches including lowest gas prices, flight trackers, dictionary definitions, sports scores, and much more. Search shortcuts are explained on the shortcut cheatsheet.

Source: beSpacific

June 1, 2004

Free Legal Research Workshops

The Wisconsin State Law Library (WSLL) & Dane County Legal Resource Center (DCLRC) will be offering a number of free workshops.

WSLL Workshops:

Wisconsin Court System Website: What's On It For Me?
Wednesday July 7, 2004 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Navigate the Court System's website and find the information you need. Learn how to access Circuit Court records, find mandatory forms, search Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions, and check appellate case status. Explore additional resources such as the Self Help Center and court administrative office pages. Join us for a tour of this useful website.
FREE Class. Registration is limited to 8.
For more information, see the WSLL Workshop Schedule

WSLL Web Tour
Wednesday August 4, 2004 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Take a guided tour of the information-packed WSLL website. Explore Wisconsin & Federal legal resources, travel around the Legal Topics page, and learn to navigate our web catalog and LegalTrac.
FREE Class. Registration is limited to 8.
For more information, see the WSLL Workshop Schedule

DCLRC Workshops:
Legal Research in a Nutshell
The class covers the basic Wisconsin primary and secondary legal resources in print and on the Internet and is designed for those with little or no experience with legal materials.
• Saturday June 19 at South Madison Branch of Madison Public Library (2222 S Park Street). Call (608) 266-6395 to reserve a spot.
• Thursday June 24 at Monona Public Library (1000 Nichols Rd., Monona). Call (608) 222-6127 to reserve a spot.

Legal Information Sessions
Monthly workshop on various topics related to legal research or court procedures. Presented by DCLRC staff, no legal advice will be given at these sessions. The public is welcome to attend. All sessions are 12-1 p.m. in the DCLRC (Room 315 in the Courthouse). Contact us for more information, 266-6316 or dclrc.ref@wicourts.gov.
• Thursday June 17: How to Research a Legal Question. This session will cover how to develop a method or process for finding legal information and resources. Various ways of researching a legal question will be shown.
• Thursday July 15: How to Find WI Primary Law: Statutes and Ordinances
• Thursday August 12: How to find legal resources written for the nonlawyer
• Thursday September 16: Initiating a Court Action: Locating Court Rules & Forms
• Thursday October 14: Dane County Court Offices Tour
• Thursday November 18: Who ya’ gonna call? Finding legal services and resources in Dane Co.

New York Times Archive - Free Search

New York Times articles from 1851-1995 are now available via the NYT Archive. A free search will display the citation and lead paragraph. Full text articles are available for a fee.

Source: TVC Alert

Personalize Your Web Search with A9

Amazon.com has released a new personalized search engine called A9 which is powered by Google. Among other things, the search engine saves your previous searches, tells you which sites you have already viewed, offers info about sites retrieved, and links to Amazon's "search inside the book" feature.

For a review, see Mary Ellen Bates' May Tip of the Month, Let's Get Personal.

Source: Inter Alia