Friday, April 28, 2006

Office of Immigration Statistics

The Office of Immigration Statistics is an office within the Department of Homeland Security that is charged with "developing, analyzing, and disseminating statistical information needed to assess the effects of immigration in the United States." New information from the Office includes Naturalized Citizen Maps, Mapping Trends in Naturalization, 2004 Yearbook of Immigration Satistics, Legal Permanent Resident Population Estimates, and a Fact Sheet on Diversity Legal Permanent Residents.

From Librarians' Internet Index.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Iraq Memory Foundation

The goal of the Iraq Memory Foundation is " place the Iraqi experience of suffering and oppression, between 1968 and 2003, in the global context of the history of pain and suffering." From the Librarians' Internet Index:
The goal of this Baghdad-based foundation is to provides a "view of the inner workings of the Ba'thist institutions of repression and social control that dominated ... Iraqi life between 1968 and 2003." The site includes a description of projects and selected items from collections. In Arabic and English. The foundation is an outgrowth of the Iraq Research and Documentation Project (IRDP)founded at the Center of Middle East Studies at Harvard University.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Justice and FTC Gasoline Letter

The U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have issued a Joint Letter to State Attorneys General Regarding the Adverse Consumer Impact of the Increasing Prices for Gasoline and Other Refined Petroleum Products. The Letter can be viewed here.

From ResourceShelf's DocuTicker.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Recent Reports on Legal Topics

Recent reports on legal topics:

Source: Resource Shelf's Docuticker

State Immigration Laws

The debate over immigration policies is not limited to the federal government. The National Conference of State Legislatures has created an Overview of State Legislation Related to Immigrants. As of February 28, 2006, state legislators in 42 states had introduced 368 bills related to immigration or immigrants.

From Cincinnati Law Library Blog.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Changing the Rules- Ohio Edition

The Ohio Supreme Court's Commission on Rules of Practice and Procedure coordinates proposed and recent changes to Ohio's court rules. The Court's Rules Advisory Committee submits proposed changes to the Court, which (after considering comments by the public) submits the changes to the Ohio General Assembly. Legal researchers may be interested in:

Learn about how changes are made to Federal court rules here.

National Park Week

National Park Week (April 22-30) is proclaimed by the president annually to celebrate national parks in the United States. You can visit the Travel, Transportation and Recreation section of to find background information about the celebration, view a schedule of events, and search for a National Park online.

Studying for Exams

For readers who are studying for exams, Heafey Headnotes has posted some helpful advice for exam preparation:
It’s that time again! Exams begin in less than two weeks, so I thought it would be a good idea to provide some helpful law school exam prep info on Heafey Headnotes. Professor Dionne Koller at the University of Maryland has a very useful seven-page guide to taking law school exams. Despite the crazy graphics in the background, her guide offers really solid advice for mastering essay exams. And for those who are getting ready for the oh-so-fun experience of studying for the California bar exam, Professor Vernellia Randall offers tips on taking multiple-choice exams. You can find a wealth of additional exam prep resources on the Law School Academic Support Blog.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Changing the Rules

News and information on proposed changes to the federal rules of practice, procedure ,and evidence are available on the U.S. Courts Federal Rulemaking website. The full text of pending rule amendments, such as the change to citation of unpublished decisions approved by the Court last week, are grouped by type of rule such as appellate, criminal or evidence.

Researchers may find the following pages helpful:

  • Researching Rules Amendment (includes minutes, reports and history of the committees that propose changes to the rules)
  • Publications (includes links to working papers of the committees, related law review articles, and Federal Judicial Center publications).

Learn more about the Court's rulemaking process here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Who owns the moon?

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is a good place to start research on outer space law issues. Its International Space Law website has links to treaties, selected national laws, UN resolutions, and FAQ about space law(including who may own a celestial body such as the moon) .

EISIL's space law directory is another good place to begin research. It has links to primary documents and other space law websites.

Google Mars and Google Moon use the Google Earth technology to allow users to virtually visit outer space. Google Mars has more features, but both map where people and our spacecraft have visited.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Voices of Jihad Database

The nonprofit RAND Corporation has created the RAND Voices of Jihad Database. According to the website:
This online database is a compilation of speeches, interviews, statements, and publications of jihadist leaders, foot soldiers, and sympathizers. Nearly all content is in English translation, and has been collected from publicly-accessible websites. Original links are provided, along with excerpts and full-text content when available.
From Law Librarian Blog.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Plagiarism Today

There is a new plagiarism blog, "Plagiarism Today." From InSite:
Targeted specifically to webmasters and other digital rights stakeholders, Plagiarism Today (PT) is a blog dedicated to increasing awareness among copyright holders and the media
regarding the prevalence of plagiarism on the Web. PT has been online since June 2005, and covers a broad number of categories, including Legal Issues, DMCA, Prevention, and Products. A unique contribution of this blog includes guides to Internet plagiarism for webmasters, which cover "Stopping Internet Plagiarism," "How to Find Plagiarism," "Contacting a Plagiarist, "Finding the Host" and other useful tips. The author has also created a "Host Report," which summarizes the responsiveness of web hosting companies to reports of copyright violations. Plagiarism Today allows comments and the site is searchable.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Supreme Court Changes "No-Citation" Rule for Federal Courts

Legal Times is reporting that the Supreme Court has adopted a rule that will prevent federal circuits from having "no citation" rules for unpublished opinions. Under the new rule, attorneys will be able to cite to unpublished opinions, but the courts will still be able to determine what weight to give these opinions.

Apparently, Congress can prevent this rule from going into effect if it acts before December 1st.

New CRS Reports

Some new Congressional Research Service ("CRS") Reports have been made available. The Reports cover a wide-range of topics, including:

USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005: A Legal Analysis

Transnational Organized Crime: Principal Threats and U.S. Responses

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program

Campaign Finance

NATO and Energy Security

For a more complete list of recent CRS Reports, check out Open CRS.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dialect Survey

How do you pronounce words like "pecan" or "caramel"? Is it "soda" or "pop" (or "coke")? Dr. Bert Vaux, currently a linguistics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has conducted a Dialect Survey. The Survey polled people about their pronunciation of certain words and which words they used to describe certain things or events. The results were then plotted on maps, so you can see the geographical trends. The Survey was conducted a couple of years ago, but I hadn't seen it. It's kind of fun.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Family Law - Comparative Tables

The American Bar Association's Family Law Section has created a set of tables which summarize various family law issues in all fifty states. Internet Legal Research Weekly describes the tables:
This is just a small part of the ABA's Family Law Section site, but it has some great information. Here' you'll find a set of tables summarizing the
certain family law issues for all fifty states. You can check out custody criteria, grounds for divorce, property division, third-party visitation, and other topics. A nifty way to compare family laws amongst the states.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Legal Podcasts

The Benesch Beat is a podcast by lawyers at Ohio law firm Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP. The podcasts are professionally produced lectures on legal and business topics. Some of the recent topics include the firm's pro bono efforts, electronic discovery, and doing business in China.

The podcasts directory has a link to an RSS feed.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

2006 World Factbook Available

The 2006 CIA World Fact Book is a great source of basic information about most countries of the world. The 2006 edition is the first to includes information about the European Union. The country profiles describe the country's geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, transnational issues (such as refugees and illicit drugs).

The rank order page ranks the countries in all of the above categories as well. Check out which country has the most cellular phones in use, the highest population, or the lowest public debt.

The book may be used online, downloaded or purchased in print. The online version is updated throughout the year.

Thanks to beSpacific and TVC Alert for news of the updated version.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

If its online, it must be true...

Finding the answer to your question with Google or another online search engine is usually fairly easy. Determining whether it's the right answer is the problem. So how sure can you be that the website is authentic? Try these out:

  • Which WTO website would you trust? A or B
  • Which food pyramid is official? A or B

While the real site may be pretty easy to spot in these examples, it's not always the case. So, remember to be a bit skeptical and pay attention to details like the domain name. ".gov" is for federal government sites, while ".net" can be used by any internet provider.

Other questions to ask:

  • Who are the authors of the website? Do they have an agenda or a viewpoint that may bias the information you want to rely on?
  • When was the site last updated? If you can't tell, be sure to update the information with another source.

Thanks to Mary Ellen Bates for the examples.

But it was there last week!

Content can disappear from the web at any time. One place to check when you have an URL (say from a law review article or judicial decision) is the Way Back Machine. Just type the URL into the search box and click "Take Me Back."

The Way Back Machine doesn't archive everything on the web, but it's one of the best tools to find a website that has disappeared.

New CRS Reports

Some new Congressional Research Service ("CRS") Reports have been made available. The Reports cover a wide-range of topics, including:

Lobbying Reform: Background and Legislative Proposals, 109th Congress

North Korean Counterfeiting of U.S. Currency

Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Program: Administration, Funding, and Legislative Actions

For a more complete list of recent CRS Reports, check out Open CRS.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Great Sources - From InSite

The recent issue of InSite, Cornell University Law Library's current awareness service, has highlighted some excellent sources. From InSite:
Created by graduate student Joshua Tauberer in 2004 and oriented towards the average American citizen, is a personalized "nexus of information" about the United States Congress, which follows the status of legislation and the activities of Congressional senators and representatives. GovTrack allows users to create customized data sources monitoring events such as the status of specific legislation, the speeches of representatives on the House and Senate floors, voting records, campaign contribution summaries, and other public information. After registering (for free), users may tailor their searches to specific government employees, bill numbers, or Congressional Research Service subject terms. Users may then monitor these searches and have the results pushed to their e-mail accounts or RDF/RSS feeds on a daily or weekly basis. The search can even be embedded into a third-party website through a simple script, which will automatically post new developments in the monitored areas of interest. GovTrack gets its information from the THOMAS website, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)on a daily basis.

NCJJ: National Center for Juvenile Justice
Founded in 1973, the National Center for Juvenile Justice is a private, non-profit entity devoted to juvenile justice research and is affiliated with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Through research and technical assistance, the Center works to improve the justice system for children and families. The Center’s services are provided by three divisions: Applied Research, Legal Research, and Systems Research. The website provides detailed explanation of the Center’s services and projects. Services include statutory analysis, statistical research and analysis, and program planning and evaluation. The main feature of the site is the extensive publications database that includes a variety of documents and reports prepared by the Center and other organizations. Publications are listed by title and topic. Topics include arrest statistics, delinquency, and minority youth. Most documents may be downloaded in PDF. Other publications include the Center’s annual reports and several serial publications. These are generally available on the site except for the Juvenile and Family Law Digest, which must be ordered.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Thank a Library Worker Today

Today is the day during National Library Week that we celebrate National Library Workers Day, so remember to thank all of the people that make the libraries you visit an ideal place to research, study, and learn.

Want to learn more about becoming a law librarian? Visit the American Association of Law Libraries Education and Career Center or this LLRX article on career moves into law librarianship. The Bureau of Labor Statistics sums up the occupational outlook for librarians here.

New Identity Theft Report

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has issued a new report on the occurrence and consequences of identity theft in the United States.

Learn more about identity theft by reviewing this LLRX article which reviews federal law and provides links to other sources.