Enhancements to Dane Co. Clerk of Courts Web Site
Source: Paula Seeger, Dane County Legal Resource Center
Source: Paula Seeger, Dane County Legal Resource Center
Interesting trend. I suspect that we will see more law student team blogs to come.
I thought the following article was especially interesting:
Wisconsin hires first Stenomask reporter - Court Reporter Mark Garvin may look like he’s taking oxygen, but actually he is taking the court record through a special device called a Stenomask
I'm pleased to announce another blog from the UW Law School - Law & Entrepreneurship News
According to UW Law Prof, Gordon Smith, L&E News is a new, student-edited blog examining recent developments in law and entrepreneurship. "More specifically, we will track judicial, legislative, regulatory, transactional, and scholarly developments relating to a number of topics. Each of these topics will be the primary responsibility of a student editor, who will research and write the blog entries."
As the UW Law Library's Reference & Electronic Services Librarian and fellow blogger, I'll also be involved with this project as a research adviser. I've been working with Prof Smith and his students helping them develop research strategies and use tools such as Bloglines to organize their research.
I was pleased to see that the very first recommendation was on the importance of asking questions. I always try to stress this with our law students as well.
Source: Stark County Law Library Blawg
[Phishing is "the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft." From Small Business Computing.com]
Source: Stark County Law Library Blawg
"If anything, my workload has increased a lot," [Librarian Margaret] Toole said. So much information is now available that having someone who can sift through it and find the relevant information quickly is a definite advantage, she said.Source: ResourceShelf
Now, as it turn out, the White House may actually be incorporating blog-like features into its Web site. Read more in the article, White House Goes to the Blogs, from the Washington Post.
Badgerlink, which is available free to all Wisconsin residents thanks to funding from the DPI, is a collection of several subscription databases containing articles from thousands of newspaper and periodical titles, image files, and other reference materials.
There are a lot of really terrific titles available in Badgerlink, including newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and a selection of Wisconsin newspapers. There are also thousands of scholarly journals, including many law related titles. And unlike many publications which have articles free on the Web, Badgerlink contains older articles as well.
If you've never used Badgerlink, I highly recommend taking a look. It will be time well spent.
From the article:
A TiVo-style digital video system designed for police cruisers is making it easier for officers on patrol to make charges stick against lawbreakers and avoid frivolous lawsuits.
The Tyler Police Department in Texas recently outfitted its 60 patrol cars with dash-mounted systems, saying the technology helps catch criminals in the act and, over the long term, saves money.
"Now that I've got them on video, I figure, 'Let's go to court, I'd be happy to play them for you,'" Tyler police officer John Weavers said.
Tyler, a city of about 83,000 people 90 miles east of Dallas, is one of seven police departments using a digital video system from IBM's Global Services division and Coban Research and Technologies Inc., a private company near Houston. The product is one of the first specifically designed for law enforcement.
Survey: How the U.S. Uses the Net (11 Aug) A new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that Americans go online mostly for maps and directions. Second to maps and directions is communication. "Seventy-nine percent of those online use the Net to contact family and friends." The survey also reveals a growing dependence on search engines. About 20 percent of the American public goes online daily in search of answers.
From the site:
PDPhoto.org is a repository for free public domain photos. Unless something is clearly marked as being copyrighted, you can assume it is free to use. But if you intend to use an image you find here for commercial use, please be aware that standards for such use are higher. Specifically, you should assume no model release was obtained. And pictures featuring products or property should be used with care. The photos are here to be used, but I don't want you to get either of us in trouble over it.
Use a multipage PDF for animations
This PDF file is an example of the creative use of Acrobat to create animations. We started with a diagram of an intersection, then created a couple of simple custom stamps. The result is a very useable low-cost animation of an auto accident. Just use the arrow keys or the "next page" button to move from the first to the last.
As a bonus, this file can readily be adapted for use in other situations with similar intersections, because the stamps are readily moveable on the page. (The file can be viewed and used under Acrobat Reader 6, but the full product is needed to move the stamps and to create new ones as described below.)
From Wired News comes "Copyright Crusaders Hit Schools," an article about the American Library Association's campaign to educate kids about copyright and fair use.
For the third year in a row, software companies are supplying schools with materials that promote their antipiracy position on copyright law. But for the first time this year, the library association is presenting its own material, hoping to give kids a more balanced view of copyright law.
The American Library Association will distribute its materials through high-school librarians this winter or spring. In September, the ALA will hold focus groups with teenagers to better understand how they use the Internet, what they think about the technology and what language they use. That information will contribute to ALA-created comic books that address various copyright issues relevant to students.
Thanks to Steve Nelson of Marquette Law School for passing this one on.
Here are a couple bits from that article:
This was cast into the light recently when the defense in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case announced that they may investigate text messages sent among Bryant's accuser, a former boyfriend, and another friend.
Text messaging is a store-and-forward technology. One person types a message and sends it to the service provider (Cingular, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.). The provider then sends that message to the intended recipient. This is much the same way e-mail works. And in most circumstances, there's some record of the information contained in these messages left on the server.
There is a good article in TechNewsWorld this week called "Filters Get Smarter, But So Do Spammers" about spam filters and the dangers of filtering about legitimate emails.
TVC Alert's Genie Tyburski shared this advice:
Email is not a reliable means of communication. If you have to sift through 500 junk emails daily to get to the dozen or so you want to read, you're going to do something about it. Many people select a filter, which is the focus of this article. But filters are not an exact science. Those that don't allow you to review--and override, if necessary--what they mark as spam arguably are more trouble than the spam itself.
In any event, business email users ought to recognize that the message they send may not make it to the recipient. Therefore, if the message is important, follow it up with a phone call. The article drives home this point by relating the tale of a missed business opportunity because the sender assumed the recipient, who never received the email, wasn't interested.
Source: TVC Alert
The Department of Labor recently announced a free electronic subscription service, which allows citizens to receive notifications by e-mail alerting them to newly available information.
Subscribers can choose to receive alerts on number of topics including DOL news, Administrative Law Judge materials, Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplaces, Compliance Assistance, Disability Employment Policy, Employment and Training, Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Small Business Programs, & Wages and Hours.Source: beSpacific
A lot of people have been surprised by this. But today I saw a comment in one of the blogs that I read that brought it into perspective (and I apologize that I can't seem to find the locate that posting). It was pointed out that the Digital Deliverance study was only looking at results from the top page of hits in Google News. So it makes sense that the big news providers would dominate. When searching for news of a national scope, most people want stories from national news sources.
But for those that do want to see what the other news sources are reporting, they simply need to keep scrolling through the search results in Google News. The stories are there, they are just farther down in the search results. Seems like that's how it should be to me.
There is an excellent piece in the August 4, 2004 issue of the Wisconsin Law Journal entitled, "Locating Wisconsin Appellate Case Information & Briefs."
It's full of tips on:
1) where to find the status of Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Supreme Court cases; and
2) where to access briefs for appellate cases
Since many of you probably won't have access to the Wisconsin Law Journal in print, I'll let you know that you can find #1 at the Wisconsin Supreme Court & Court of Appeals Case Access site (WSCCA.1) and #2 at the UW Law Library's own Wisconsin Briefs web page (although our server is down this morning - check back later). But do read the article if you have a chance since it includes a lot of great searching tips.
The author is Connie VonDerHeide, a member of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin.
Source: TVC Alert
COLLIER COUNTY [FL]—The Courtsmart system was installed in Collier County almost a year ago and is also being used in Lee, Charlotte and Hendry counties. It's designed to make a video and audio record of criminal trials. But because of a glitch, the Courtsmart system failed to properly record a Collier County trial. Now the convicted criminal may get a new trial.
Courtsmart is a high-tech recording system that takes the place of human stenographers in the courtroom. It provides an audio and video record of criminal court trials. Courtsmart is supposed to record every word attorneys, judges, even jurors speak.
But at least one criminal court trial in Collier County was not recorded by Courtsmart. The portable units, used while a hard-wire system was installed, didn't work. "The machine was pausing every three seconds to look for a connection to a computer network-- and when it did that, it would cause instantaneous glitch in the recording," said Kellum.
The skips happened during the trial of 64-year old Raul Trevino who was charged with driving under the influence. During an appeal, the judge and attorneys found out there is no audible record of the proceeding.
An appeals court hasn't made a ruling yet, but it is likely Trevino will get a brand new trial.
For nearly a year, the Allegheny County prothonotary's office has been electronically scanning court documents in civil cases, including divorces and child custody cases, and posting them online for public access.
The problem is that many of the files contain potentially sensitive personal data, including birth dates, Social Security numbers, even bank account numbers -- the information ID thieves crave in order to steal people's identities.
For the first time, anyone with Internet access anywhere in the world can use USPTO’s Web site (www.uspto.gov) to track the status of a public patent application as it moves from publication to final disposition, and review documents in the official application file, including all decisions made by patent examiners and their reasons for making them.
The system, known as Public PAIR (patent application and information retrieval), offers the public an advanced electronic portal to PDF viewing, downloading and printing an array of information and documents for approximately 500,000 patent applications not covered by confidentiality laws. As new applications become eligible for publication 18 months after they are filed, they will be added to the database. It is expected that about 300,000 application files will be added annually.
Growing List of Prisons Installing Legal Research Kiosks for Inmates DAYTON, OH, August 02, 2004 - LexisNexis U.S. and Touch Sonic Technologies® today announced that prisons in Ventura County, California are the latest corrections facilities to select the companies’ new legal information kiosks to provide inmates with access to the law.
"The kiosk is very efficient for inmates to use. Some have never used a computer before, but they found it easy to conduct searches," said Indira Stelly, legal assistant for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. "We will eventually do away with nearly all our books because the kiosk includes almost all the information we had on our shelves."
Thanks to colleague, Charmarie Burke, for passing this one on.
From Inter Alia:
A blawg goes dark
With all the people starting their own weblogs nowadays, you don't often see that someone is shutting theirs down. But it's true: the CIA has asked President Bush to discontinue his blog.
WSLL Web Tour (CLASS IS FULL) 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. Print registration form.
Using Loislaw.com @ the State Law Library: How Does It Work? Wednesday September 8, 2004 8:30-9:30 a.m. Here’s an opportunity to become more familiar with the various Loislaw.com databases provided on WSLL’s public access computers, and how they can save you research time and money. Learn the basics of searching and printing while exploring everything from the primary law of all state and federal jurisdictions to the wealth of information in the State Bar of Wisconsin CLE books. Tired of slogging through print digests? There’s a better way! FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.
The Wisconsin Legislature Website Wednesday October 6, 2004 8:30-9:30 a.m. In this hands-on overview of the Legislature's site you'll learn how to track legislative activity, locate bills and acts, and search the online Wisconsin Statutes. You'll also learn about the Legislative Notification Service and where to find publications of the various Legislative Service Agencies. FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.
Internet 101: Essential Skills for Lawyers and Legal Researchers Wednesday October 27, 2004 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon This class will focus on Internet fundamentals for the novice user. Learn the basics of surfing the web; how to use tools, such as browsers and web email; when to use a search engine and when to use a search directory; how to use plug-ins; and how to protect your computer from viruses and spyware. This workshop will incorporate legal research examples appropriate for lawyers, paralegals and legal researchers. The hands-on format allows you to practice while you learn. Fee: $125.00. 3 CLE credits applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.
Using Shepard's Public Access @ the State Law Library Wednesday November 3, 2004 8:30-9:30 a.m. Shepard's Public Access allows fast, easy Shepardizing and retrieval of cases, statutes and more. It's available for free use at the Wisconsin State Law Library, Dane County Legal Resource Center and Milwaukee Legal Resource Center. Attend this one-hour session to learn more about this timesaving tool. FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.
Finding Federal Material on the Web Wednesday December 1, 2004 8:30-9:30 a.m. Now more than ever, the first place to look for federal legal materials is the Web. In this hands-on class, you'll learn how to find briefs, oral arguments, opinions and court rules, and view legislative histories, committee reports, bills, acts and statutes. You'll also learn where to find and how to use the Federal Register, CFR and presidential documents, and how to track down agency decisions, orders and rulings. The class also includes a visit to the "CyberCemetery" of websites and publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions. FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.
Using Wisconsin Legal Resources on the Internet Tuesday December 7, 2004 8:30 a.m.-12:00 noon This hands-on course focuses entirely on locating and using web-based Wisconsin legal and government information, including statutes, regulations, caselaw and much more. It is appropriate for attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants. Fee: $125.00. 3 CLE credits applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.
"They may help you focus what you're looking for, but it all comes down to the content that they're searching. . . When I've used Google, I can't say that I have very often found a state-law site." (Quoting a real-estate law litigation and arbitration specialist)
We librarians have been monitoring this one. About a week ago, the Department of Justice asked the Superintendent of Documents to instruct depository libraries to destroy all copies of several DOJ publications, mostly dealing with asset forfeiture. DOJ claimed that the documents were "training materials and other materials that the DOJ staff did not feel were appropriate for externaluse."
This, of course, sounded alarm bells in the library community. It didn't take ALA President-Elect Michael Gorman to issue the following statement: "ALA has submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the withdrawn materials in order to obtain an official response from the Department of Justice regarding this unusual action, and why the Department has requested that documents that have been available to the public for as long as four years be removed from depository library collections. ALA is committed to ensuring that public documents remain available to the public and will do its best to bring about a satisfactory resolution of this matter."
It appears that ALA's swift action helped resolve the issue. Here's a selection from the latest announcement from American Libraries on the situation:
Department of Justice Rescinds Order for Libraries to Destroy Documents
The U.S. Department of Justice has withdrawn its June request to the Government Printing Office ordering depository libraries to destroy five DOJ publications—resources for prosecutors handling seized assets and forfeiture cases, including statutes and case histories—because the department had determined they were “for internal use only.”
Before the decision, some librarians had vowed to preserve the materials until the matter was resolved. In a July 29 posting to the ALA Council discussion list, Boston Public Library President Bernard A. Margolis noted that he had contacted Lester Joseph—acting chief of the asset forfeiture and money laundering section of the DOJ’s criminal division, who reportedly made the decision to remove the items—and asked him to reconsider his request. “I believe all he really wanted was that new editions/publications not be placed in the depository system. I do not believe . . . that he actually wanted these to be destroyed,” Margolis said.
Sources: ResourceShelf & WLA mailing list
If you want to view a complete case list or actually read the cases cited, however, you'll need to log into Westlaw. In Westlaw you can also create a Profiler Alert to receive notification of new dockets, briefs, cases, articles concerning the attorney.
Source: TVC Alert
One of the latest is a Search Engine Comparison Chart from Diana Botluk. It is a very useful comparison of some of the more advanced search features available from several leading search engines.