Thursday, May 31, 2007

Native American Citizenship

Librarians' Internet Index brings our attention to the Native American Citizenship web site:
This series of illustrated essays discusses the history of American Indian citizenship and U.S. policy concerning Native Americans. Subjects include the reservation system, American Indian schools, citizenship for native veterans, the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act, and related topics. From Nebraskastudies.org, a project of the Nebraska Department of Education and the Nebraska State Historical Society.
I wrote a paper about Native American Citizenship when I was in law school. It's an interesting topic.

Keeping Current Can Be Hard to Do for Law Librarians

Hofstra Law Librarian Tricia Kasting writes about the diffculty of keeping current. I find that updating the blog forces me to stay up-to-date on developments in the biz, which is a nice secondary benefit.

Supreme Court Font Rules

I don't know why this interests me, but it does.

A Defendant Blogs his Own Trial

This definitely looks interesting.

UPDATE: More on this at ZiefBrief.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Immigration Reform Research Guide

Amy Taylor, at the Georgetown Law Library, has created a research guide for tracking the Immigration Reform Bill as it proceeds through the 110th Congress.

From Santa Clara Law Blog.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Jurisprudence as Art

Now this is an exam.

How Does Bounty Hunting Work?

I have often wondered exactly how bounty hunting works, but my interest hasn't been sufficiently sustained to actually research it. Thanks to Librarians' Internet Index (LII), I have my answer. LII describes the HowStuffWorks' article, How Does Bounty Hunting Work:
This feature describes the job of bounty hunters (or bail enforcement agents), who are sometimes hired by bail bondsmen to track down people who have left town and missed their court appearance. Discusses the legality of bounty hunting, typical bounty hunting activities, and history. Includes links to related articles.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Google to Begin Integrating Search Results

"Google...said it is now integrating results from a variety of its search engines in an attempt to deliver as relevant and comprehensive a result set as possible." Read the entire PC World article here (via TVC). ZiefBrief has a nice rundown of the changes.

Firms Opting Out of Martindale-Hubbell?

Is the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory becoming a thing of the past? Robert J. Ambrogi has the story.

A Career Not Measured in Billable Hours

A good commentary in the Legal Times from Debra Bruno about the legal profession's reliance on billable hours and the effect that has on attorneys.

Back to the Future of Legal Research

I attended the Back to the Future of Legal Research conference, hosted by Chicago-Kent College of Law, on Friday (5/18). The conference covered a variety of topics including digital legal information, developing legal research programs, new tools for legal research, and many other related issues. Conference handouts and podcasts of the sessions are now available online.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bush Bans Trial Lawyer Contingency Fees

President Bush issued an Executive Order today barring contigency fee arrangements with outside lawyers and expert witnesses who work on behalf of the U.S. government. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) calls the order "a major step forward in the fight to change America's out-of-control lawsuit climate." The ILR would like to see similar reform at the state level, in places such as Ohio.

I have not seen a response yet from the ILR's friends at the American Association for Justice, but I would be surprised if they do not have a contrary opinion on the matter.

UPDATE: Jon Haber, from the American Association for Justice, says that the Executive Order "removes from the federal government a powerful tool successfully used by state attorneys general to prosecute wrongdoers and hold them accountable in our courts." (From WSJ Law Blog).

Monday, May 14, 2007

Court of Appeals Launches Wiki

Robert Ambrogi is reporting that the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has launched a wiki:

The National Law Journal today reports that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has launched its own wiki, a first for the federal judiciary. The wiki will allow lawyers and judges to post and change notes on procedure and practice. It launches with the complete contents of the Seventh Circuit Practitioner's Handbook. Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, who spearheaded the project, told the NLJ:

"The goal is to concentrate on procedure (in both the court of appeals and the district courts) but not to cover substance. We aren't interested in
comments about the meaning of ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code and will take down any pages that go beyond the scope of practice and procedure (including jurisdic

What's a wiki? Read all about it.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

CIA Electronic Reading Room

Librarians' Internet Index describes the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Electronic Reading Room:
This site provides "an overview of access to CIA information, including electronic access to previously released documents. Because of CIA's need to comply with the national security laws of the United States, some documents or parts of documents cannot be released to the public." Includes collections in areas such as Vietnam and China, and specific documents such as a report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

opensecrets.org: 2008 Presidential Election

Librarians' Internet Index has a nice write-up of the information available from opensecrets.org about the 2008 Presidential Election:
Compilation of data on campaign contributions for the 2008 presidential
election. Candidate profiles include total funds raised and spent, cash on hand, debts, and a breakdown of sources of the funds (such as individual contributions). Also includes week-by-week comparisons, a donor lookup, contributions by industry, and other data. From the Center for Responsive Politics, "a non-partisan, non-profit research group ... that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

CEO Compensation

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) compensation is a hot topic at the moment. The Wall Street Journal Online has posted its CEO Compensation Scorecard. Not to be outdone, Forbes has its special report on CEO Compensation. Both reports include compensation data for top CEO's and related information.

From beSpacific.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

WaPo's Presidential Campaign Tracker

The "washingtonpost.com's Presidential Campaign Tracker uses information from campaigns, media reports and other sources to compile a listing of events involving presidential candidates and their spouses. The tracker covers events since January 2007. It does not include every event -- particularly fundraisers, which often are unannounced. Some events will be added retroactively as more details become available." Events can be browsed by candidate, state, and date.

From beSpacific.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More Smoking Ban Litigation

In addition to the American Cancer Society challenge to the regulations exempting private clubs from Ohio's smoking prohibition that was filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, there are two other pending challenges to the exemption. The Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association has a suit pending in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court (A 0610614), and the Ohio Licensed Beverage Association recently filed suit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court (07 CV 005103). Both groups claim that the prive club exemption violets their equal protection rights.

From Cleveland Law Library Weblog.

UPDATE: Judge: No 'right' to smoke

Supreme Court Using Video to Explain a Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision yesterday (4/30) in Scott v. Harris. Carolyn Elefant describes the 8-1 decision as "effectively establishing a flat rule that a police officer in a high-speed chase that poses a threat to the safety of others does not violate the Fourth Amendment even where the officer places the fleeing motorist at risk of injury or death." An issue in the case was whether the actions take by the police officer to stop the fleeing individual were reasonable.

In the decision, Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, discusses a videotape of the police chase and Justice Stephens dissent:

JUSTICE STEVENS suggests that our reaction to the videotape is somehow idiosyncratic and seems to believe that we are misrepresenting its contents...We are happy to allow the videotape to speak for itself. See Record 36, Exh. A, available at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/video/
scott_v_harris.rmvb
and in the Clerk of Court's case file.
(Emphasis mine).
So now you have the U.S. Supreme Court citing to a video in a decision, and then putting the video on its website so everyone can see what it is talking about. I like this development...I think.