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August 31, 2005

Looking for a Speaker? Try The Speaker's Wiki

Looking for a speaker for a conference or meeting?

Take a look at The Speaker's Wiki, a listing of speakers, their websites and affiliation, contact information, past speaking engagements and other important information to help conference organizers choose speakers to talk on important topics, including speakers resources.

As a wiki, anyone is invited to contribute to the listing: leave a comment about a speaker you've heard or add yourself to the listing.

Source: blogher

August 30, 2005

Holographic Imaging in the Courtroom

Holographic imaging has made its way to the courtroom. According to an article in Legal Technology,
[H]olographic imaging. . . makes it possible to show such things as three-dimensional views of aneurysms, running automotive parts and structural failures.

"For $450, you can project a 3-D image in the air of a section of a brain. And the judge or jury can look around the image ... and it's identical to the subject's brain," said John Eamigh, a technology consultant for the Chicago-based litigation consulting firm Zagnoli McEvoy Foley.

But some lawyers worry that too much gadgetry will sever the emotional connection they need to make with jurors.

Source: Legal Technology Blog

Welcome Back UW Law Students - Here's a History Lesson

This is orientation week at the UW Law School and, once again, the familiar buzz of students in the atrium is wafting up to the reference desk.

As we embark on a new academic year, I thought it fitting to share a bit of law school history.

The first UW Law School class graduated in 1869. There were twelve graduates and the course of instruction was one academic year. The cost of tuition per term that year was a whopping $20 for the first term & $15 for each subsequent term.

The photo of the two law students is circa 1896. Check out the photo on the desk - ooh la la!

Sources: The University of Wisconsin Law School 1968-1968: An Outline History (1968 WI Law Rev. 322) and the first law school catalog (1868) as published in the Wisconsin Law Review (1968)

Law Library Blog Survey

This post is for fellow law library bloggers (past, present, and near future):

I’m working on an article for Law Library Journal on the topic of blogs. It will be a piece on the state of the law library blogosphere: Who is blogging? What are we blogging about? Who reads our blogs? What technologies are we using? and Have our blogs been successful?

I need your help. As fellow law library bloggers, I’d like to learn more about your blogging experiences. Would you please take a few moments to complete a short survey? It is available at http://survey.perseus.com/7dae68ec.htm.

For the purposes of this article, I am only interested in professional blogs affiliated with a law library, a law library association, and / or written by a law librarian. I would like to hear from you if you have a blog now, had one in the past, or have plans to start one in the near future. Be assured that I will not connect your responses to you or your organization when writing my article.

Please complete a separate survey for each blog to which you contribute(d). If there are multiple authors for the blog, please select just one person to complete the survey (preferably the person responsible for its creation).

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

August 29, 2005

Exhibit on The 1970 Sterling Hall Bombing

To mark its 35th anniversary, the Wisconsin Historical Museum has opened a new exhibit called "Resistance or Terrorism? The 1970 Sterling Hall Bombing."

From NBC 15 News: (includes link to video of news story)

"What the exhibit seeks to do is to provide a little of historical context and background, so visitors to the exhibition can understand what was going on at the time. What some of the emotions were, what some of the philosophies were of the time... things that led to the particular event, and the aftermath," says Paul Bourcier from the Wisconsin Historical Museum.

The exhibition at the museum on the Capitol Square runs through October first.

Milwaukee Video Bloggers

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a interesting piece on video bloggers (a.k.a. "vloggers") in the Milwaukee area. (August 24, pg. A.1 - available via Badgerlink)

Highlights from the article:

From unbashful bloggers to proselytizing pastors, people are using inexpensive software and high-speed Internet connections to share video clips of their lives.

As with many other parts of the Internet, the topics for vloggers are as diverse as the people who vlog from cooking lessons or political protests to a single dad showing how to change a diaper and warning not to watch "if you are easily grossed out."

An interesting concept. However, I'm not sure that I possess the kind of spare time required to watch footage of a computer programmer riding a bicycle into a lake off a pier. Does anyone?

Guide to the Federal Courts

The U.S. Courts have created a useful guide entitled, A Journalist's Guide to the Federal Courts.

Although the guide is intended for journalists covering a federal trial court or appellate court, its usefulness extends to a wider audience.



Federal District Courts
Key Players
Types and Sources of Court Information
A Criminal Case
The Trial
A Civil Case

Bankruptcy Courts

Federal Appellate Courts
The Appeals Process
Key Players
Types and Sources of Court Information


Promoting Your Blawg

Daniel Harmon, editor of The Lawyer's PC, has written an outstanding article on "Blawg Promotion." (Available on Westlaw, 22 NO. 22 Law. PC 1)

As the number of blawgs continues to skyrocket, readers may find themselves overwhelmed with choices. Harmon offers some excellent tips on how to make your blawg stand out from the crowd. "[A] blog. . . can be a waste of your brilliant ideas and information unless you can attract readers."

Some tips include:

* Drop your blog's name constantly
* Register with search engines & directories
* Link to other blogs
* Make the blog's name descriptive of its content
* Use keywords in your post titles
* Offer your own unique perspective - "Don't Saw Sawdust"
* Encourage Reader Feedback
* Invite journalists to read your blog

August 24, 2005

Study Finds that Companies Routinely Share Sensitive Information

A recent study by Reconnex, provider of enterprise risk management systems, revealed the following alarming statistics:
  • 91% of Companies Assessed Exposed Employee and/or Customer Personal Data - This included credit card & social security numbers entering or leaving their network. Many exposed this data directly in the subject lines of emails, in clear, open text.
  • 80% of Companies Assessed Had Unknown Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Protocols Running - This raises concerns for lawsuits involving illegal distribution of copyrighted materials and inadvertent sharing of sensitive information.
  • 80% of the Information Analyzed Was Webmail and Webtraffic; Only 13% Was Email - Although many employers regularly monitor email, few monitor web-based communication methods like Instant Messenger. This finding, which indicates that most employee communication is web-based, raises concerns regarding inadvertent sharing of sensitive information.

Source: The Daily Caveat

Find Spelling Variations with Surname Finder

There are a number of nice people finding databases on the Web, but what happens when you aren't sure of the spelling an individual's last name? A database search is only as good as the query that you input. As the saying goes: garbage in, garbage out.

Although Surname Finder is designed as a genealogy search engine, its browsable list of last names could be quite useful for finding variations in spelling.

Source: PI News Link

Women's Equality Day

Friday, August 26th is Women's Equality Day which celebrates the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

On Thursday evening from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m, the Wisconsin Women's Network will host a celebration at the Capitol in the Senate Parlor. Their special guest is Genevieve G. McBride, incoming director of UW Milwaukee's Women's Studies Department and author of the anthology, Women's Wisconsin: From Native Matriarchies to the New Millennium.

I'm pleased that an article that I wrote on the history of prostitution in Eau Claire will be included in the Women's Wisconsin anthology.

August 23, 2005

Current Law Journal Content Adds RSS Feeds

I've mentioned it before, but it's worth reminding that Washington & Lee Law School has compiled an awesome tool called Current Law Journal Content. CLJC indexes articles from current law journal using RSS feeds.

The service is very robust. You can do all of the following:

  • Display all the tables of contents for law journal issues added during a user selected date range.
  • Search for words in article citations (author/title/abstract/journal-name fields).
  • Link to tables of contents for any one of the 1049 individual law journals.
  • Link from an article citation to the full-text in Lexis, Westlaw, BEPress, SSRN and other databases (passwords may be required).
And just announced, dynamically produced RSS feeds of law journal contents pages are also available. Bear in mind, this part is a bit complex. The following is my understanding.

To construct a feed, start with this base URL:

Then, add on any or all of the follow pieces: (slightly modified per clarification from creator)

  • "format=rss&articles=yes" (This tells the feed to display a listing of articles; "format=rss" is required; removing "&articles=yes" will give just a list of issues (with a linkto a TOC), and no listing of articles within each issue)
  • "age=x" (This is the number of days ago to look for issues - so "age=6" is a week ago) - Note: either age or country is required
  • "country= x" (this is the country in which the journal was published) - Note: either age or country is required
  • "id=x" (This is an id number assigned to users that establish a profile and who may thus limit the output to a personalized set of journals)
Check out the following examples:

For more info on Current Law Journal Content, contact mastermind, John Doyle at Washington & Lee. Good stuff!

August 22, 2005

Swedish Library Goes "Face-to-Face" with Prejudice

USA Today reports on the unusual program at a Swedish library that allows you to "borrow" a real live human being.

From the article:

This weekend, nine people, including a homosexual, an imam, a journalist, a Muslim woman and a gypsy, will be available at the Malmoe Library for members of the public to "borrow" for a 45 minute conversation in the library's outdoor cafe.

The Living Library project will enable people to come face-to-face with their prejudices in the hopes of altering their preconceived notions.

"Maybe not all journalists are know-it-all and sensationalist, just unafraid and curious. Maybe not all animal rights activists are angry and intolerant, but intelligent and committed."

"You sometimes hear people's prejudices and you realize that they are just uninformed."

Source: Library Link of the Day

What Would You Have Done Differently in Law School?

Last week, ABA's Answers of the Week featured some interesting answers to the question:
If you could go back and attend law school again, what opportunity do you wish you had pursued? Or what seemed like a big deal at the time but, looking back on it, you would not pursue again?
Source: UBLaw Phoenix

WI Court Summer Intern Program

The Third Branch has a nice article on the Wisconsin court system summer internship program for law students, which placed 32 volunteer law clerks in 19 counties and at the Supreme Court this summer.

Highlights from the article:

"It's a lot of question and answer and give and take,"” said Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Kevin E. Martens. Martens volunteered for the program and was matched with Elizabeth Bailey, a Wisconsin native who is currently a student at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va.

Bailey said her duties as a law clerk offer a good mix of firsthand experience and old-fashioned legal research. Martens said research done by student clerks not only speeds up individual cases, but also gives judges in large districts like Milwaukee the ability to coordinate and share information, to make the best possible use of research.

Bailey recently witnessed her first trial, and said everything about the process, down to watching jurors'’ faces and hearing defendants'’ stories, was informative. She also said she hadn’t expected the level of camaraderie she saw among different court personnel, or realized the extent to which their roles intertwined.

August 17, 2005

Vancouver Firm Launches RSS Feeds for Its Publications

Last week, Steve Matthews, law librarian at Clark Wilson LLP in Vancouver, announced the launch of RSS feeds for the firm's publications. Kudos to Steve and Clark Wilson on realizing the use of RSS outside of the blogosphere!

Steve described the project on the Slaw blog:

With more and more email getting caught in spam filters, alternative technologies are really needed. RSS not only delivers instantly upon publication, but it’s pretty much guaranteed to arrive to those who request it. For law firms, who are often worried about protecting client privacy, RSS is the ultimate in permission marketing - clients are in control, with the choice to subscribe completely in their hands.
I wonder how long it will take other firms to realize the potential of RSSifying their newsletters and publications? I think it's noteworthy that a law librarian is leading the way.

Source: Vancouver Law Librarian Blog

ReferenceUSA Business Directory Available Remotely from Madison & Milwaukee Public Libraries

As part of our continuing effort to highlight terrific databases available at no charge from local public libraries, I'd like to introduce ReferenceUSA Business.

ReferenceUSA Business is a directory of over 12 million U.S. businesses. It contains detailed information including contact info, estimated sales, number of employees, Fortune 1000 ranking, credit rating, lines of business (SIC & NAICS), officer names & titles. It even has a link to news articles about the business from Google News.

ReferenceUSA Business is available at both Madison area and Milwaukee area libraries. It is also available remotely with a library card from either library:

August 16, 2005

Wisconsin State Journal Explains Wikipedia

Today's Wisconsin State Journal has a nice explanatory article entitled "Working on the Wikipedia." Wikipedia is the online encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute.

The article appears on the front page of the Daybreak section. It doesn't seem to be available on line yet, but will probably be available soon on the WSJ web site and Badgerlink.

The Downsides of Blogging

Robert Ambrogi reports on a recent article on the downsides of blogging from the Chicago Tribune. The article opens with one woman's decision to halt her company's 3-year-old blog.
"I believe blogging is not profitable," [she] said, "and there are better ways to connect with your clients."
The article warns businesses about jumping too quickly on the blogging band wagon and offers advice on the drawbacks of blogging. In his blog post, Ambrogi offers his own comments about the effectiveness of blogs. But just as interesting are the comments to his post, one of which is from the woman profiled in the article who states that some of her comments were taken out of context.

Evaluating a Blog's Content & Influence

BlogPulse is a useful new tool that can help you evaluate the content and influence of a particular blog - who authors it, how active the blog is, how it ranks in comparison with other blogs, what it's about, etc.

Simply enter in a blog's url to view it's BlogPulse Profile. WisBlawg's profile reveals our blog rank (3896), post frequency (12 per week), how many times we've been cited and by whom, links to sources we've cited, and more.

Source: LJ Tech Blog

August 15, 2005

Add a Law Libraries Button to your Blog

Thanks to ublaw phoenix & Out of the Jungle's James Milles (University at Buffalo Law School), we have a cool new Law Libraries button that links to the list of Law Library Blogs and Blogs by Law Librarians or Law Library Associations. Check out the bottom of the right sidebar.

I highly recommended that other bloggers add it also. Let's the get word out about law library blogs!

Google Temporarily Stops Scanning Copyrighted Books

The New York Times reports:
Stung by a publishing industry backlash, Google Inc. has halted its efforts to scan copyrighted books from some of the nation's largest university libraries so the material can be indexed in its leading Internet search engine. [The suspension is effective until November.]

Google wants publishers to notify the company which copyrighted books they don't want scanned, effectively requiring the industry to opt out of the program instead of opting in.

That approach rankled the Association of American Publishers.

''Google's announcement does nothing to relieve the publishing industry's concerns,'' Patricia Schroeder, the trade group's president, said in a statement Friday. ''Google's procedure shifts the responsibility for preventing infringement to the copyright owner rather than the user, turning every principle of copyright law on its ear.''

Thanks to UW Law Library colleague, Howard Nash, for the tip.

Depository Library Blog & RSS Feed

Two from the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) newsletter:

  • An RSS Feed for FDLP Desktop News and Updates is now available for free from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).

August 11, 2005

Burning Ears, A New Blog Tracking Law Libraries & Law Librarians

Paula Seeger, of DCLRC Blawg, announces a new blog called Burning Ears which will track stories about law libraries and law librarians in local news reports across the United States.

Reports that are available for free will be linked, while fee-based articles will be cited and summarized. Feel free to submit stories you find in your local press or non-law or non-library publications.

Way to get the word out there about law libraries and law librarians, Paula!

Bibliography on Supreme Court Nominee, John G. Roberts

The Law Library of Congress has compiled a lengthy bibliography of resources by and about Supreme Court Nominee, John G. Roberts.

The guide includes materials in the following categories: articles/books, cases, opinions by, cases - argued, cases - Deputy Solicitor General, nomination hearings, nominations in general, secondary sources and web resources.

Source: Law Librarian Blog

Google Fills in the Blank

The next time you use Google, check out the wildcard feature. Include an asterisk in your query and Google will match one or more words of text so that the query matches a contiguous sequence of words. Huh? Think back to those "fill in the blank" quizzes at school.

Here are a couple of examples from Google Blog:

August 10, 2005

Conquering the Invisible Web Presentation

This morning, I'm teaching a class at the Wisconsin State Law Library entitled, "Conquering the Invisible Web." The class will be repeated on Wednesday September 21st, although I'm told that this section is full also.

I will introduce the concept of the invisible (and visible) Web, explain what can and cannot be found in the invisible Web, and offer strategies for finding information anywhere, including the invisible Web.

For those that won't be attending, I share my PowerPoint slides. My presentation is based on my article, Searching Smarter: Finding Legal Resources on the Invisible Web, which appeared in the Wisconsin Lawyer.

August 9, 2005

Article: Online Legal Research Billing Policies

From Cindy May's Recommended Readings, LLAW Newsletter, Summer 2005

Brown, Cynthia L. “Online Legal Research Billing Policies.” Legal Information Alert 24(1):1, 4-6, 15 (January 2005).

The author requested sample online legal research billing policies via the law-lib discussion forum. In this article, she describes what she learned from the many variables she found in such policies, and how she used the results of her survey to develop a new policy for her library.

Free Webinar Today - Blogs for Lawyers

Thinking about starting a blog? Check out the free webinar, "Blogs for Lawyers: Building an Audience to Build Your Practice," hosted by blawgers Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighell and Raza Hasan from FindLaw.

The webinar will cover:

  • How blogs can help attract clients to your law practice
  • How blogs can showcase your expertise and establish you as an authority in your field
  • What distinguishes a blog from a standard Web site
  • Effective ways to promote your blog to increase readership

There are two sessions today: 11:00 am- 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm- 4:00 pm CDT. For registration information, see Web-ex.

Source: Blawg

Using your iPod for Business

Legal Technology has an interesting article on ways to use your iPod for business applications, such as voice recording and on-the-go language translation.

Source: Inter Alia

August 8, 2005

Guide to Statistical Web Sites

Check out the August 3, 2005 issue of the Wisconsin Law Journal for a useful guide to "Statistical Web sites by the numbers." The article contains annotated links to authoritative statistical sites in a variety of areas. Unfortunately, it is not available online.

The article was written by Bev Butula, president of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin.

Lexis Updates to Include Shepard's Alert, Spell Check, Etc.

Coming Soon to LexisNexis (From News for Law School Faculty and Staff):

Shepard’s Alert – Receive updates to any Shepard'’s report, including statutes. Set up an Alert directly from your Shepard'’s report or from the new Alerts tab available on the research system.

Spell Checking Feature – Use the Check Spelling link to identify search terms you may have spelled incorrectly. Replace misspelled terms with correctly spelled alternatives in one click!

Delivery Font and Spacing – Print in single or double space, 10-14 point font in either Times New Roman or Courier. Your document is also now available for downloading or email as an attachment formats.

Updates to Get & Print - Updates to this product include dual column format and running citation header for PDFs, formatting option for duplex printing, and batch retrieval of Table of Authorities reports.

Search Engines Don't Overlap

Search Engine Watch reports on a new study which found that the results from most search engines do not overlap with other search engines. It found that for first page search results, 84.9% of total results are unique to one engine. The search was conducted by Dogpile, a metasearch engine that displays results from multiple search engines.

This finding is important for researchers to understand. Relying on just one search engine can be detrimental. While you may not find what you need in your favorite search engine (or subscription database, or book, or journal. . .), you might just turn it up with another.

Source: Robert Ambrogi's Law Sites

August 4, 2005

State of the Blogosphere Reports

Technorati recently reported some interesting figures their State of Blogosphere reports.

The report offers the following summary on the topic of blog growth:

  1. Technorati was tracking over 14.2 Million weblogs, and over 1.3 billion links in July 2005
  2. The blogosphere continues to double about every 5.5 months
  3. A new blog is created about every second, there are over 80,000 created daily
  4. About 55% of all blogs are active, and that has remained a consistent statistic for at least a year
  5. About 13% of all blogs are updated at least weekly
I find number 4 particularly interesting. Even though the blogosphere is growing tremendously, almost half of blogs aren't being maintained. This would suggest that many new bloggers begin with gusto, but lose enthusiasm when they realize that it takes time and effort to maintain a blog. Something to think about before starting a blog of your own.

Source: The Depraved Librarian

Linking Landline and Cell Phones

Last month, RCA unveiled a new product for linking landline and cell phone use: the RCA Cell Docking System. The New York Times reviewed this new technology

Dial a number and press Home, and you're making a phone call on your home line. Dial and press Cell, and you're routing the call through your cellphone, which sits elsewhere in the house. Similarly, you can answer all incoming calls - home or cell -with this one handset.

The system is compatible with Nokia, Motorola or Sony Ericsson phones - the cellular carrier you use doesn't matter. It's available for about $130 at Best Buy and Circuit City.

August 3, 2005

Second Invisible Web Class to be Offered

It seems that the Conquering the Invisible Web class which I'll be teaching next week at the Wisconsin State Law Library was overbooked, so we've decided to offer a second section next month.

The new section is scheduled for Wednesday September 21, 2005 10:00-11:30 a.m. and openings are still available. The course is based on my article, Searching Smarter: Finding Legal Resources on the Invisible Web, Wisconsin Lawyer, September 2004.

For more information on this and other classes offered by the State Law Library, see their Classes and Tours page.

Milwaukee Bar & Thomson West Open Learning Center

In catching up on my print reading, I noticed the following announcement in The Lawyer's PC: "Thomson West Opens New Learning Center with Milwaukee Bar." The article is available on Westlaw (22 No. 18 LAWPC 7)

According to the article:

Thomson West has partnered with the MBA to establish and support a Learning Center located on the MBA's premises in Milwaukee. The MBA and Thomson West
Learning Center will be used for general Westlaw training as well as continuing legal education (CLE) seminars for MBA members. The objective of helping legal professionals understand the value of Westlaw is to enable them to deliver better service and counsel to their clients.

In addition to Thomson West-sponsored training sessions, the Milwaukee Bar Association partners with West LegalEdcenter (www.westlegaledcenter.com), a leading online continuing legal education service from Thomson West, and produces many live and on-demand webcasts for member training and CLE accreditation.

Review of "The Law Firm" Reality Show

Law.com has a review of the first installment of NBC's "The Law Firm," which has "something no other reality TV show has: a behind-the-scenes look at real trial lawyers in action on real cases. "
Of the 10 lawyers left, eight are members of the California State Bar, seven live in or around Los Angeles, five are women, two are criminal defense attorneys and one of them is bound to be driving us crazy next week.

Forbes Reminds Readers About Databases Free at Public Libraries

Kudos to Forbes for reminding readers about the many wonderful databases available at no cost to researchers from their public libraries. The author writes:

[Public libraries] offer Net access to an increasingly wide range of databases that don't exist on the open Web and, because they reside behind a fee-based gate, don't get indexed by the likes of Google. . . Since libraries license the info in bulk, it typically costs individual users not a penny. Which is a lot less than it can go for on the open Web.

In fact, the availability of this very article serves to illustrate that point. Although this article is available on the Forbes Web site, you must register to become a member of Forbes.com first. While membership is free, registration raises privacy and efficiency concerns.

Fortunately, Forbes is one of the many titles available full text via BadgerLink, a collection of subscription databases containing articles from thousands of newspaper and periodical titles, image files, and other reference materials. BadgerLink is freely available to all state residents via Wisconsin's libraries through funding from the DPI.

Besides access to known articles, the subscription databases in BadgerLink offer advanced search capabilities for locating authoritative information, alert services which inform you of new articles, and access to an archives of older articles, including Forbes back to 1985. Try finding all that on Google!

August 2, 2005

DOJ Launches National Sex Offender Public Registry

The Department of Justice recently launched a National Sex Offender Public Registry with which users can submit a single national query to obtain information about sex offenders.

Wisconsin is one of about 20 states currently included in the registry. However, according to the DOJ, data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be available by the end of the year.

The registry is a cooperative effort between the state agencies hosting public sexual offender registries and the federal government.

More on Oversight Committee Investigation into CCAP, Wisconsin's Circuit Court Access Database

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more on the investigation into the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA) database, commonly known as CCAP.

Highlights from the article:

But now an oversight committee of 20 will review the rules governing CCAP. The panel includes judges, clerks of circuit courts, representatives from the courts, district attorneys' offices, law enforcement agencies, the state public defender's office, state legislators and the media,

The committee is scheduled to meet five times between June and December and make recommendations to A. John Voelker, the director of state courts. He, in turn, is expected to decide by next spring if he will make any changes to CCAP.

Two committee members, state Rep. Marlin Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) and Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, have diametrically opposed views on the information Web site.

"My problem is that it is too easy to dig up dirt on anybody and use it in ways that it is not intended for," said Schneider.

Lueders sees things differently. "The solution to problems created by access to information should not be less access to information, but more information," he said.

See also original WisBlawg post dated 07/05/2005

Corporate Blogs as Marketing Tools

The Wisconsin State Journal has a nice piece on the role of corporate blogs as marketing tools. The article offers the following tips to consider before launching a corporate blog:
  • Strategy - Define the target audience, goals and objectives
  • Technology - Choose a blog package with user-friendly features
  • Marketing - Don't forget to publicize the blog

Organizational Blogs in Dane County

Dane 101, online publication about persons, events, and issues that shape Madison and Dane County, discusses organization-based blogs emerging in Dane County. Note that both WisBlawg and DCLRC Blawg are featured.

From the post:

The use of the blog platform as a communications tool by governmental bodies and NGOs is slowly but surely spreading in south-central Madison. In addition to the School Information System, . . . there are several other blogs. . . emerging as significant in their own right. These include the blogs of two local librarians focused on legal matters, a political party, and a new website for a Dane County school district.

August 1, 2005

WTMJ Radio Show Host Sued for Libel Over Blog Post

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on a libel suit involving Milwaukee WTMJ radio talk show host Charlie Sykes over a post on his blog. The suit was settled last week for $5,000.

The bulk of the article discusses the implications of the Communication Decency Act for media-bloggers.

Versus Expands Library, Increases Prices

According to Robert Ambrogi, it seems that VersusLaw will expand its library of federal district court opinions to include cases back to 1950. At the same time, it will raise the monthly prices of its premium and professional plans by $5. The monthly subscription to the premium plan will increase from $19.95 to $24.95 and to the professional plan from $34.95 to $39.95. The standard plan will remain at $11.95 a month.

See Robert Ambrogi's LawSites for more information about VersusLaw.

Obtaining Court Documents When They Aren't Available Online

Although many court documents are available electronically thanks to systems such as CM/ECF (Case Management/Electronic Case Filing) via PACER, not all courts are using this technology.

In those situations, the researcher must make other arrangements to get needed documents. If the court is local, making a trip to the courthouse might be an option. If not, you could try calling the clerk of court. I've had mixed success with this method. A few will send documents right away at no charge. Some will send them fairly quickly for a fee. Others will send them for a fee, but it may take months of waiting and numerous follow up calls. Finally, some clerks of court won't send them at all.

That's why it's useful to know about services such as LexisNexis CourtLink Document Retrieval Service from whom you can order dockets and documents from all federal and state courts dockets.

According to the LexisNexis, for a limited time, you can try the CourtLink Document Retrieval Service and receive $30 off each of your first five individual document orders placed for documents from all federal, state and bankruptcy courts in the United States.

New Edition of WSLL At Your Service

The August edition of Wisconsin State Law Library Newsletter, WSLL At Your Service, is now available.

Highlights include Surprising Facts about Shopping Online (and Around the Corner) and the Dogs of Wisconsin Libraries collection.