Friday, November 27, 2009

Media Alerts on Federal Courts of Appeals

The American Bar Association this month launched the Media Alerts on Federal Courts of Appeals web site. The new site is intended to inform the media and the public of important cases in the federal appellate courts. “It represents a collaborative effort to broadly disseminate timely, accurate and unbiased information about noteworthy and legally significant cases in the federal courts of appeals. The site will be updated daily with postings on key decisions and alerts on upcoming cases.”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Case Law Research on Google Scholar

Google announced this month that users will be able “to find and read full text legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts" using Google Scholar. According to Google, "Google Scholar allows you to search and read opinions for US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791." Users interested in doing case law research will probably find the advanced search screen easier to use than the basic search. This is an exciting development for those interested in free public access of legal information; however, legal professionals should probably keep their LexisNexis and Westlaw accounts for the time being.

Google has not provided information about how it collects this case law, so we do not really know how comprehensive its collection is. We also do not know how frequently the case law information is updated. These shortcomings do substantially limit its use for legal professionals. That being said, it is a massive undertaking to collect and update U.S. case law, so it is probably not reasonable to expect any free service to be comparable to expensive professional services like LexisNexis and Westlaw. Google Scholar’s case law search is hopefully a sign of great things to come.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Anniversary of Darwin's Origin of the Species

On November 24, 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, a controversial work that provides the foundation for theories of evolutionary biology. It also played a role in The Scopes Trial, which famously addressed the tension between creationism and evolution in American classrooms.

Monday, November 23, 2009

'Happy Gilmore' Golf Shot Breaches Duty of Care

Here's another one for all you golfers out there: The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia recently determined that the Happy Gilmore golf shot is a breach of the standard of care required of a golfer playing on a course with other golfers. Just something to keep in mind the next time you hit the links...

From Legal Blog Watch

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Game

It's that time of year again...this weekend the Ohio State Buckeyes will face the Michigan Wolverines in their annual Big Ten showdown. For more on the history of this impressive rivalry, check out this page, created jointly by OSU and Michigan Libraries.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Posthumous Publication Debate

On Tuesday, The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov was published, nearly thirty years after the author's death in 1977. The debate over whether this work should be published focused on the author's own wish that the manuscript be destroyed and his son, Dmitri's reluctance to destroy what could prove to be a major literary contribution. For more examples of works published posthumously, check out this list from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Voices from the Past

Reading historical documents can be pretty interesting, but what about hearing historical speeches? Here is a compliation of quite a few historical audio recordings, including selections from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Winston Churchill.

From Concurring Opinions

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So, you want to be a Supreme Court Justice?

Ok, so you already are in a fantasy football league, and you agonize over your March Madness bracket picks, well now there's a new game in town, and it's perfect for law students. Welcome to FantasySCOTUS.net, the online fantasy league that asks you to predict the outcome of cases currently pending before the Supreme Court. The site was just established this term, but it looks like it will be a fun game for anyone interested in following SCOTUS decisions.

From Legal Blog Watch

Friday, November 13, 2009

Exploring Constitutional History

The National Constitution Center has launched a great new website -- Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline. Loaded with interactive features, this site contains a huge amount of information on a wide range of topics, including voting rights, war powers, religious freedom, federalism and much more.

From Librarians' Internet Index

The 12 Facebook Personalities You Love to Hate

CNN's list of the twelve most annoying types of people on facebook...how many of your friends fit into one of these categories?

From Law Librarian Blog

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honoring Our Veterans

Today is Veterans Day, a day when we honor all American military veterans. For more information on this important day, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website, which includes a historical overview of Veterans Day and other information.

Monday, November 09, 2009

New Jury Instruction Research Guide

There is a new research guide available for anyone doing work on jury instructions. This guide "helps you find the standard and pattern jury instructions issued by state and federal judiciaries, as well as other sources when those standard instructions do not cover your situation."

From CM Law Library Blog

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Need a Good Book?

Looking for a good book to read or want to keep your friends up to date on the good things you've been reading lately? Then check out goodreads.com. It's a lot like a virtual book club, where you can rate books that you have read and check out what your friends and others have been reading and what they recommend.

If you're looking for something a little more substantive, be sure to check out the Moritz Book Club, which you can sign up for on TWEN!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

100 Days until the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver

We're now just 100 days away from the Opening Ceremonies for the 21st Winter Olympics which will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Although we are still months away from competition, NBC has already launched it's website for the games. It's a great place to learn more about the events, athletes, and the city of Vancouver as we countdown to opening day.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Google Flu Trends

As both the seasonal flu and H1N1 continue to spread, Google has realized that certain search terms provide a pretty good indicator of where flu outbreaks are occuring and how many people are becoming ill. The Google Flu Trends tracker allows you to see trends in the spread of the flu both in the U.S. and around the world.

From beSpacific