Friday, October 29, 2010

Texas Supreme Court Quotes Mr. Spock

Wired reports that the Texas Supreme Court made a Star Trek reference in a recent opinion. See footnote 21.

From: LISNews

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Legal Reference Apps

The Law Pod dot Org is offering legal reference apps for iPhone and Blackberry users. Offerings include basic versions of the federal rules of civil procedure, criminal procedure, appellate procedure, evidence, and bankruptcy, in addition to the U.S. Constitution. More will apparently follow. Law Pod is a venture of William and Mary law student Fitz Collings. According to the Law Pod website, 10% of the venture's revenue from apps sales supports law student scholarships. Cliff Maier, a Mayer Brown IP attorney in Palo Alto, has also developed a series of legal reference apps. For more details see the website of his company, Waffle Turtle Software.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Information About Buyers Protected

A federal judge in Seattle recently ruled that Amazon was not required to provide identifying information about online buyers and their purchases to North Carolina tax authorities seeking to collect sales and use tax. The judge based her ruling on the First Amendment. Read the Seattle Times article which includes a link to the ruling.

From: WSJ Law Blog

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Supreme Court Audio Recordings

Starting with its October 2010 term, the U.S. Supreme Court has begun releasing audio recordings of oral arguments at the end of each week in which arguments are held. This practice is a break from the past when audio recordings were typically unavailable until the start of the next term. The recordings are accessible from the court's website. C-SPAN issued a statement praising the change but advocating for a continuation of the court's policy of same day release for high-interest cases. Not surprisingly, C-SPAN also seeks eventual television coverage of all public sessions. Click here for access to the audio recordings of cases heard so far this term.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Selling Class Notes in California

NoteUtopia has been ordered to "cease and desist" by the California State University chancellor's office. The office says that the company is violating state education codes that prohibit students from selling their class notes. (Read the Sacramento Bee article).

From ZiefBrief.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Digital Casebooks on SSRN

University of North Dakota law professor Eric Johnson has created a free, downloadable torts casebook available as a pdf on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). The casebook is basic, consisting solely of edited cases in the areas of negligence and liability related to health care. According to Johnson, the value of the textbook is in terms of its editing. In the casebook’s introductory notes, he offers to provide an editable copy to instructors who wish to modify the book to suit their particular courses. A second volume covering additional torts topics will follow. Johnson credits University of New Hampshire law professor Thomas Field for inspiration. Field’s digital casebook on intellectual property law, which contains notes and problems sections in addition to edited cases, is also free and downloadable as a pdf on the SSRN.

Monday, October 04, 2010

THOMAS State Legislature Page

The folks at Law Library of Congress have added a State Legislature Page to the resources available at THOMAS. This new page displays a map with links to the legislative bodies for all fifty states, Washington, DC, and U.S. territories. This interactive map directs users to available legislative history resources at the state level. Links to other sources of state legislative information, such as the National Conference of State Legislatures, are also included on the page.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Google Instant

Have you noticed a change this month when you put search terms into Google? Google recently changed its default search on its search engine to "Google Instant" for most web browsers. The key feature of Google Instant is its "predictive searching." Google tries to predict what you are searching for as you type in your terms. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box. The results are updated as you continue to type new characters into the search field. If you don't like Google Instant, you can turn it off. Just click the link next to the search box on any search results page. (You can also change the settings in your Google Account preferences).