Friday, April 27, 2007

Summer Westlaw & Lexis Access for Students

Law student access to Westlaw and Lexis is limited during the summer. However, students who require access for educational purposes (summer classes, faculty research assistance, law journal work, etc.) can extend their access to these systems throughout the summer. Westlaw users can register for the summer extension after logging into the system. Lexis users should log-in and then look for the Summer Access link on the right of the screen. If you have any questions about your Westlaw or Lexis summer access, contact Reference Librarian Matt Steinke or the College's Westlaw and Lexis representatives.

Friday's Strange Legal News

Ohio judge frees man after Bible quiz

Armed Miss America 1944 Stops Intruder

Judge Sues Dry Cleaners for $65 Million

Indian Court Orders Gere's Arrest for 'Obscene' Kiss

Judge, Prosecutor Face Heat Over Affair

N.Y. Governor Criticizes Judicial Conduct Commission Chairman Over Humor Book

Man jailed over fountain drink

Woman pleads guilty to posing as lawyer to have sex with prisoner

Citing Fraud, Judge Tosses Case After Video Shows 'Paralyzed' Woman Walking

Thursday, April 26, 2007

United States Attorneys Kids Page

The U.S. Department of Justice has a web page designed for children, the United States Attorneys Kids Page. According to Librarians' Internet Index:

This site provides an introduction to the workings of U.S. courtrooms. It includes a description of federal prosecutors and U.S. Attorneys, an illustrated guide to a courtroom and its participants, and a glossary. From the U.S. Department of Justice.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

State Legal Climate Lists

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) has released its annual ranking of states with the best and worst legal climates. The states with the best legal climates, according to the ILR, are Delaware, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa. States with the worst legal climates include West Virginia, Mississippi, Lousiana and Alabama. These rankings are based upon "how reasonable and balanced the tort liability system is perceived to be by U.S. business."

The American Association for Justice (AAJ), formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association, calls the ILR survey “bogus" and has issued its own list, The 10 Worst States to Get Sick or Injured In. Alabama, Alaska and Colorado top the AAJ's list.

Alabama just can't catch a break.

From the WSJ Law Blog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Decoding the OMR (Ohio Monthly Record)

One of the resources for Ohio legislative history is the OMR. The OMR is an unofficial supplement to the Ohio Administrative Code with “monthly updates, of the full text of, or a reference to, all administrative agency rules, including emergency rules that have been adopted, amended, or rescinded”.

It is only available in print and can be found at the following locations in the Moritz Law Library:

1) The most recent editions are located in the Reserve Room under call number
KFO 36 .O44

2) Older editions, starting in 1977 are in the Law State Section under the same call number

The OMR has many other features, however when you are looking at Ohio legislative history in a Westlaw publication you could see something like the following listed:

1998-99 OMR 2340 (E)

The first part refers to the year of the journal, in this case 1998-99. The second part refers to the title, the Ohio Monthly Record. The third part, the numerical portion, refers to the page number within the OMR. The last part, the letter, indicates what happened to that piece of administrative code. In this case it was “Enacted”.

There are 9 letters which could appear:

A- Amended E- Enacted TF- Transferred From

N/A- Not Applicable TT- Transferred To W- Withdrawn

R-Repealed L- Legislative Action RRD- RC 119.032 rule review date

Please note these can appear as a combination for example R-E. Also if the “A” appears in the following format “A*” this indicates it was "an emergency rule, in effect for 90 days unless readopted".

Monday, April 23, 2007

Business Casual Attire for Lawyers

Findlaw as a nice, brief article offering some tips for lawyers who are increasingly dressing business casual:
Law firms, even "white-shoe" firms, have changed dress codes to reflect the times. With many companies now allowing employees to wear jeans to work, law firms have changed to a business casual policy in order to make employees comfortable and able to fit in with clients. In order to dress appropriately, the business casual lawyer should adhere to a few rules.
The article offers tips for both men and women such as "long-sleeved shirts are still the accepted norm" and "Skirts should reach the knee while standing and offering full coverage when seated." The article concludes with some general advice, "[d]on't mistake the attire worn by attorneys on television as appropriate attire. When in doubt, overdress. Always remember, the law is a conservative profession."

From Stark County Law Library Blog.

Best Places to Work in the Fed. Gov't, 2007

Attention job seekers, the 2007 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings are now available.
Geared toward a broad audience of job seekers, researchers, federal employees and government leaders, Best Places to Work draws on responses from more than 221,000 civil servants to produce detailed rankings of employee engagement across 283 federal agencies and subcomponents.

The Partnership for Public Service and American University’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation use data from the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Human Capital Survey to rank agencies and subcomponents. Agencies and subcomponents are ranked on a Best Places to Work index score, which measures overall employee engagement. The Best Places to Work score is calculated both for the organization as a whole and also for specific demographic groups.

In addition to this employee engagement rating, agencies and subcomponents are also scored in 10 workplace environment (“best in class”) categories such as effective leadership, employee skills/mission match and work/life balance.

Best Places also offers a snapshot overview of each agency and subcomponent, trend data on changes since 2003 and 2005, tips and information for job seekers, and expert analysis of what the results mean.
You can visit the Best Places to Work website or download the 2007 brochure.

From beSpacific.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ohio Smoking Ban Litigation

An interesting development noted by the Cleveland Law Library Weblog:
The American Cancer Society sued to eliminate regulations which allow smoking in private clubs. The Cancer Society urges that allowing smoking in private clubs goes against voter's wishes and against the language of the Constitutional amendment the voters enacted. Opponents say that the ballot language indicated there would be an exemption for private clubs. The case is American Cancer Society v. Ohio Dept. of Health, filed 4/18/2007, Franklin County Common Pleas Case No. 07 CV 005306. The docket can be viewed at the Franklin County Case Search.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Campaign Contributions Map

The New York Times has a neat online, interactive map that shows where the various presidential candidates are receiving their financial contributions.

BBC to Offer Broadcasting Archive Online

From beSpacific:
Guardian Unlimited reports"The BBC wants to put nearly one million hours of material on the internet for viewers to watch, listen to and download and has already begun the long process of retrieving and transferring programmes. A trial involving 20,000 users will begin next month, and the service could be available nationally in a year's time."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Report on President's Court Nominations

Nominations to Article III Lower Courts by President George W. Bush During the 110th Congress, a new CRS report, has recently been released. Open CRS provides a summary:
This report tracks nominations made by President George W. Bush to judgeships on the U.S. courts of appeals, the U.S. district courts, and the U.S. Court of International Trade -- the lower courts on which, pursuant to Article III of the Constitution, judges serve "during good Behaviour." It lists and keeps count of all nominations made to these courts during the 110th Congress, including pertinent actions taken by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate. It also tracks the number of judicial vacancies on the courts (including vacancies classified by the federal judiciary as "judicial emergencies"), the number of nominations pending to fill the vacancies, and the names of the pending nominees. Last, the report presents the total number of persons nominated by President Bush to each category of lower Article III court during his entire presidency (breaking down each total to show the number confirmed, pending, returned and not re-nominated, and withdrawn).

New Search Engine has launched, Quest, a new search engine that searches legal websites. According to TVC:
It features two tabs - one for searching the network of sites and the other for querying Web sites with legal information. After conducting a search, you may narrow the results by selecting from the options on the left-hand side of the page. These include information types (e.g., articles, blogs) and sources.
Robert Ambrogi has a more detailed write-up on his site.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Free Quicklaw Access for U.S. Law Schools

I like free stuff. According to WisBlawg, Quicklaw access is free for law school users:
It's not very well advertised, but U.S. law school users may access Quicklaw at no charge. To register, call 1-800-387-0899. A .edu email address is required.

Quicklaw, from LexisNexis Canada, is a Web-based resource that offers over 2,500 databases of law, news and information from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Africa, Malaysia and the Caribbean. Includes cases & case citator, legislation, regulations, and news & journal articles. See the source directory for more information.

Ohio Legal Research Workshops

Attention Moritz students, space is still available for the Library's last two Ohio Legal Research Workshops, Ohio Statutes and Legislative History (4/18) and Using Ohio Print Sources (4/19). For more information and to register, please go to the Ohio Legal Research Workshop web page.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Smith Baby Has Father

There are actually a number of very interesting and complicated legal issues surrounding Anna Nicole Smith's life and death...her estate, the estate of her elderly husband J. Howard Marshall, the Supreme Court case, etc. However, yesterday one of the relatively simple issues was determined:

And, yes, I'm just posting about this because I like the picture.

Thanks to Above The Law for the picture.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Reasearching Non-Profit Companies

TVC has an interesting post about researching non-profit companies:
(4 Apr) One of the most useful documents to examine when you are conducting research on a non-profit organization is the form 990.

According to the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, "[t]he Form 990, entitled 'Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax,' is a report that must be filed each year with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by organizations exempt from Federal income taxes under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, and whose annual receipts are 'normally' more than $25,000 a year. It is an information return and not an income tax return since the organizations that file it do not pay income taxes."

Bill Smith, a reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who covers non-profit companies, offers a guide on key areas of the form. For example, he advises, "Usually high fundraising expenses can signal that a nonprofit relies too heavily on outside telemarketers or direct mail fundraisers to raise money for their operations, leaving little for their actual programs."

Monday, April 09, 2007

Task force recommends consortium of Ohio law libraries

The Daily Reporter is reporting that the recently released final report of the [Ohio] Task Force on Law Library Associations has recommended that "all county law libraries be brought under the wing of a new public entity dubbed the Consortium of County Law Library Board, to help alleviate the financial burden currently placed upon county treasuries." The Cleveland Law Library Weblog has some more details:
The report will be submitted to the Legislative Service Commission to draft new legislation concerning county law libraries. The Task Force envisions restoring some of the county funding to libraries taken away by HB 66. In the 125th legislative session, HB 66 resulted in an elimination of county support for the law libraries over a five year period. Before HB 66, the ORC required counties to provide county law libraries with the salaries of 3 employees, space and shelving. The Task Force report would require counties to pay for one library employee, space and shelving, but only if the county law library joins a statewide consortium. The Task Force report also recommends mandating the composition of county law library boards. Boards would be mandated by statute to include 2 county commissioners, 2 judges and one private attorney.

Laptops Banned from Law School Class

Georgetown Law Professor David Cole has an interesting article in the Washington Post that discusses why he decided to ban laptops from his law school classes.

From Concurring Opinions.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Study Says New Lawyers Lacking Research Skills

A new study by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, in partnership with LexisNexis, found that most new lawyers lack critical practice skills, including adequate legal research skills.

From TVC.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

New Free Online Ohio Code

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Lawriter was going to be taking over the publication of the free online versions of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) that are currently published by Anderson (Lexis). The Cleveland Law Library Weblog notes that Lawriter's versions of the ORC and the OAC are now online. Lawriter's version of the OAC seems pretty comparable to Anderson's (which is still online); however, Lawriter's version of the ORC does not appear to contain history notes for the statutory sections. An effective date for the statute is provided, but there is no bill or amendment information in the note.

Monday, April 02, 2007

HeinOnline World Trials Collection

HeinOnline (subscription required) has recently added the World Trials collection to its online library. Hein describes the new collection:
HeinOnline’s latest enhancement to the online research community is our World Trials Collection; a new library module that will rival some of the best trials collections in libraries around the world. Thanks to the contributions of law libraries such as Cornell Law Library and the University of Missouri-Kansas City as well as works loaned to us from antiquarian booksellers, HeinOnline’s World Trials Collection is well on its way to establishing itself as the PREMIER online trials resource. In addition to trial transcripts HeinOnline’s World Trials Collection also includes monographs that analyze and debate famous trials, as well as biographies of some of the greatest trial lawyers in history.
Thanks to the Valpo Law Blawg for the tip.