Monday, September 29, 2008

U.S. Courts - The Federal Judiciary

The U.S. Courts website provides information about the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. It links to the U.S. Constitution and provides information about the individual federal courts. It has a library that includes legal forms, information about court fees, commonly used terms, judicial ethics and conduct, periodicals, publications and reports, statistical reports, and other web resources. This site also lists information about the Administrative Offices, Defender Services, Educational Outreach, Electronic Access to Courts, Federal Rulemaking, Judicial Conference, and Probation & Pretrial Services.

The Way Back Machine

The Internet Archive, also known as the Way Back Machine allows users to search digital archival information. The advanced search option is also useful.
The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in the Presidio of San Francisco, the Archive Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software, as well as archived web pages in our collections.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Global Legal Monitor

Produced by the Law Library of Congress the Global Legal Monitor provides up-to-date information on legal developments around the world. News items can be searched by keyword or browsed by topic or jurisdiction. This should be particularly interesting to students of International and Comparative Law, and Environmental Law.

Recent items include stories on border negotiations between Uganda and the Congo, animal genetic protection in China, Indian Supreme Court review of India's abortion law. This is a great way to broaden your outlook by keep up with legal events worldwide.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New York Times special section on environmental business

Today's New York Times offers a special section on the business of the environment. Topics include hydrogen powered cars, solar energy, nuclear power, coal, windills, and bioenergy resources.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Library Acquisitions

Here is the latest list of books that have been recently added to the library collection. When available we have included a link to the Google Books entry for the item to offer you a short overview and synopsis of the book.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Petitions to Watch at the U.S. Supreme Court

The first edition of “Petitions to Watch” for the October 2008 term features cases up for consideration at the Justices’ opening conference of September 29, as featured on SCOTUSBLOG.

The following issues are raised: district courts’ ability to amend incorrect sentences, the constitutionality of appointments to a patent appeals board, the validity of the “automatic companion” rule under the Fourth Amendment, the statute of limitations in securities fraud claims, whether state criminal convictions require jury unanimity, and many (many, many) others.

Editions of Petitions to Watch from prior terms are available at SCOTUS archives here.

Charles Whitebread, 1943-2008

USC Prof. Whitebread, known far and wide to BAR/BRI students for his funny and entertaining lectures on criminal law and procedure, died on Sept. 16. His advice on taking the bar--that all you need is a "glib understanding" of many subjects--was the best I ever heard. USC has tributes to him available here.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Jureeka! is a Firefox add-on that looks for legal citations in ordinary webpages and turns them into hyperlinks that lead to a free version of the cited source (mostly U.S. law), as featured on Legal Writing Prof Blog. The JUREEKA! blog lists the recognizable citations, such are citations to US cases in regional reporters (A.2d, P.2d, P.3d, N.E.2d, N.W.2d, S.E.2d, and S.W.3d). Jureeka! retrieves materials only by the recognizable citation; however it is a dynamic tool because it is not known where the case is going to come from. It seems to work like a crawler searching for citations and linking to the freely available legal materials on the Internet, which can be useful when one does not have an access to a subscription legal database.
Feel free to share your feedback!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Night in jail for wearing saggy pants?

Florida judge ruled the saggy pants law unconstitutional in case of a 17-year-old teen who spent a night in jail after being arrested for wearing saggy pants, as reported by local media in Miami, Florida. The saggy pants is a hot topic on the National Public Radio (NPR). As reported by CNN, the crackdown on baggy pants is also being pushed in Louisiana, Atlanta, Georgia, and Trenton, New Jersey.
Do we now have the 'fashion police' making sure people's clothing does not present a 'nuisance' to the society? What do you think about passed and proposed laws banning saggy pants that are starting to ride up across the country?