Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Computer Use In the United States 2009

U.S. Census Bureau compiles data on the computer use and ownership in the United States. The most recent results available are compiled to the date of October 2009.

Fastcase iPhone App

Fastcase is offering an app for your iPhone. Fastcase is a web-based legal research service that includes primary law from all 50 states, deep federal coverage going back to 1 U.S. 1, 1 F.2d 1, 1 F.Supp. 1, and 1 B.R. 1, cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions, deep newspaper archive, legal forms, one-stop PACER search of federal filings, people finders, and business intelligence tools.

Fastcase for the iPhone is the largest free law library on the iPhone and it uses smart search technology from Fastcase's fully-featured Web-based legal research application, which allows you to sort the most relevant results to the top of the list, customize and re-sort search results, and integrate citation analysis tools right into the results list.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One thing that bothers me about Google Scholar’s Legal Opinions and Journals

When using Google Scholar’s advanced search option for legal opinion and journals, the title of the law review article retrieved is more often than not linked to the version of the article in HeinOnline or another subscription database like JSTOR. Since our Library subscribes to Hein, access on campus is not an issue. However, if you try to access the article from home, you see the first page of the article, with an invitation to purchase it from Hein.

You’ll never know that an article is available for free unless you click the link at bottom of the citation that says "All # versions." Sometimes a link will appear in the column on the right—this represents a free version, but doesn’t consistently appear. Why can’t the free version of the article — from a law review website, an institutional repository, or SSRN — appear first, or appear in a column on the right that is clearly marked?

See the picture above for an illustration of where to click for the free version when you access a law review article via Google Scholar. Keep in mind that the article you want might not be available for free, but as more and more law schools establish repositories of faculty scholarship the likelihood that it is increases every day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pace Law School Initiative to Help Haitians In Westchester

On behalf of Pace Law School Public Interest Law Center (PILC), the Public Interest Law Center, the Immigration Justice Clinic of John Jay Legal Services and the Empire Justice Center are collaborating to create an organized pro bono/volunteer effort to respond to the legal needs of Haitians living in our community. Efforts will be focused around helping Haitian immigrants living in the US to obtain Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which may include outreach and community education, direct assistance in filling out applications, and other advocacy efforts.

A training session is schedule for Friday, February 26, 2010, at 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Pace Law School. For more information, please contact the Director of the Public Interest Law Center, Jennifer C. Friedman.

Bridge The Gap Legal Research Program

On behalf of LLAGNY, the 15th annual Bridge the Gap Legal Research Program is scheduled for Friday, March 26, 2010 from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm in the New York City Bar Association.

This year's event will include programs aimed at legal career development and will be open to recent graduates who may have their employment offer deferred or who are still looking for work. The program include topics on Social Media: Ethics and the Practice of Law; Legal Research on a Tight Budget, and Research for Career Development. New York MCLE credit will be available for some of these sessions.

Check out more information for attorneys here and more information for law students here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report: Consumer Version

2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report: Consumer Version is available. The Industry Version is available for purchase.

More than 11 million adult consumers became victims of identity fraud in 2009, up from nearly 10 million in 2008. The number of fraud victims rose for the second year in a row. On the other hand, victims’ out‐of‐pocket costs and the time required to resolve fraud have decreased. Out‐of‐pocket costs can include unreimbursed losses, lost wages due to time taken off work, and possible legal fees for those victims attempting to prosecute. Banks have stepped up their efforts in counteracting fraud and minimizing the cost and inconvenience suffered by consumers. Most victims don’t experience any out‐of‐pocket costs, but those who did suffered an average cost of $373. The average time to resolve the fraud for these victims was 21 hours. Due to the zero‐liability fraud protection offered by most banks and credit card companies, most victims will only have to pay out‐of‐pocket expenses to cover their time in resolving fraud, not for reimbursing fraudulent charges.

U.S. International Trade In Goods and Services, December 2009

Friday, February 12, 2010

SCOTUSblog on iTunes

The blog of the United States Supreme Court, SCOTUSblog, announced that it has its own iTunes channel.

All the podcasts we’ve recorded since 2006 are now available on a single convenient podcast feed, which you can subscribe to by searching for “scotusblog” on iTunes. is a free mobile application that reads text (SMS) messages and emails aloud in real time and automatically responds without drivers touching the mobile phone.

Some of its features include:
  • Hands free
  • One-touch activation
  • Bluetooth and radio transmitter compatible
  • Optional customizable auto-responder
Consider the numerous state cell phone driving laws and drive safely.

World Bank Data In Google Search

With a little bit of a delay, via The World Bank News and Broadcast press release,

Now, a special Google public data search feature will show numeric results for 17 World Development Indicators (WDI) reliably sourced to the World Bank. For example, a Google search for GDP features a box at the top of the page highlighting Bank data and linking to Google's Google's public data graphing tool. Google's graphing tool lets users see and compare country-by-country statistics and offers customized graphs with a ‘link’ or web address that can be easily embedded and shared in other websites.

Winter Olympics Google Doodle

Google changes its doodle to celebrate the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

WestlawNext and The Bluebook Citation Format

The WestlawNext site has some informative user guides and brochures, including a chart that compares features of the current Westlaw and WestlawNext. I was interested to read their comments about the use of The Bluebook citation format in WestlawNext. In one of the brochures, they talk about having

Copy and paste with citation, including Bluebook. You can paste text
into your work product with the official citations -- including The Bluebook, ALWD, California, New York and other leading formats.

It seems that if you "copy with reference" it will include a Bluebook citation by default, and you can choose other formats by clicking on the preferences option at the bottom of the screen. I am looking forward to seeing a live preview of the new interface!

Monday, February 8, 2010

BJS Redesigned Its Website

We have featured statistical reports made available via the Bureau of Justice Statistics website; though we have not pointed out that the entire website has undergone a redesigned. The cleaner look makes it much easier for users to navigate through the realm of information.

Some of the most recent releases include:
National Corrections Reporting Program:

Updates the electronic series of selected tables on most serious offense, sentence length, and time served of state prison admissions and releases and parole entries and discharges. It collects demographic information, conviction offenses, sentence length, credited jail time, type of admission, type of release, and time served from individual prisoner records in participating jurisdictions.

HIV in Prisons, 2007-2008

The report provides data on the number of female and male prisoners who were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or had confirmed AIDS. Findings include the number of AIDS-related deaths in state and federal prisons, a profile of those inmates who died in state prison, and a comparison of AIDS rates between prison inmates and the general population. The report also covers the circumstances under which inmates were tested for HIV.

Firefox for Mobile Available On Nokia's Maemo

Nokia N900 owners can enjoy many of the same Firefox features they know and love on the desktop on their mobile device. Firefox for mobile includes the following features:
  • Awesome Bar
  • Weave Sync
  • Add-ons
  • Location - Aware Browsing
  • Tabbed browsing
  • Safe Browsing
  • Is available in more than 30 languages
  • And more

Alexander Greenawalt On Radovan Karadzic

Alexander Greenawalt, Associate Professor of Law at Pace University School of Law, regularly contributes to the New York Times Microblog: Latest On Radovan Karadzic. Check out the latest post! View the microblog here or subscribe directly via RSS feed.

Friday, February 5, 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT: 2010 FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians

The Foreign, Comparative and International Law Special Interest Section (FCIL-SIS) of the American Association of Law Libraries is now accepting applications for the 2010 FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians.

The FCIL Schaffer Grant for the July 10-13, 2010 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado provides a waiver of the AALL Annual Meeting full registration fee and a grant of a minimum $2,000 to assist with accommodations and travel costs.

Applicants must be law librarians, or other professionals working in the legal information field, currently employed in countries other than the United States with significant responsibility for the organization, preservation, or provision of legal information. The application deadline is March 15, 2010. The Grant Committee will not consider late or incomplete applications.

Details regarding the FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians, as well as the application form, can be found HERE.

Please feel free to forward this announcement to interested parties, post it on your blogs, share via listservs, or spread the word otherwise!

Feel free to contact any of the Committee Members directly.

Thank you for your assistance,
Lucie Olejnikova
2010 FCIL Schaffer Grant Committee Member

The President's Budget, Fiscal Year 2011

The U.S. Government Printing Office has released President Obama's Budget for Fiscal Year 2011. It is available in PDF format at:

Issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Budget of the United States Government is a collection of documents that contains the budget message of the President, information about federal borrowing and debt, analyses of federal spending, historical tables comparing government budget matters from 1940 to the present, and detailed information about appropriations and budget, organized by federal agency.

GPO has signed and certified the PDF files to assure users that the online documents are official and authentic.

The Law Library will also receive The President's Budget of the U.S. Government in the print edition in the near future.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bloomberg Law at Legaltech 2010

They weren't there--at least not on the exhibit floor. Does anyone know why?

Lexis for Microsoft at Legaltech 2010

Lexis presented its new product in a more low key fashion. No flashing screens or classical musicians, just a solid presentation by Lexis reps, with Microsoft engineers available to answer questions.
Lexis for Microsoft Office will be introduced to law firms this spring and to the academic marketplace in the fall. It allows users to access Lexis while reviewing an Outlook email message or Word document, opens relevant information from Lexis on the right and embeds links and Shepard’s signals into the Outlook email or Word document. It includes a toolbar that lets you Shepardize while still in Word, with the Shepard's results showing up on the right. It seems like it will be a real timesaver, in that it allows you to edit documents and research with switching between tabs or windows.

This news release has more information.

Westlaw Next at Legaltech 2010

Westlaw Next was introduced at Legaltech NY on Monday by Thomson/Reuters. They went all out--full page ad in the N.Y. Times, serving coffee right on the corner in front of the Hilton, a flashy multimedia presentation called the Westlaw Experience that didn't impart a lot of information but supplied employment for several classical musicians, and sales reps with notebooks offering to demo it for you every ten feet. The product itself was demoed in the Westlaw booth. The new interface is cleaner and clearer, definitely a step in the right direction. There is a bar at the top of the screen where you type your natural language search, then select the jurisdiction from a list. When the documents are returned, there is a list of the most relevant documents from each category—case law, statutes, court documents, and secondary sources. On the left is a list of the types of documents and number of each retrieved. KeyCite flags are still integrated and the depth of treatment is now indicated by a green bar. ResultsPlus (not called that any more) still appears. There is no link for the Directory, Formfinder, Court Docs. It appeared that the only database restriction was by jurisdiction.

I'm not sure (and no one would tell me) exactly what data they were searching. It had to be an older data set since a search for the recent Supreme Court case Citizens United did not find that case.

The advanced search module was not available, but the Westlaw rep said that it was forthcoming. I inquired about getting a demo password, but there were none available. The interface is more modern, and should be available to the academic market in the fall (no word on pricing). Westlaw has invited local law librarians to another more in-depth demo on Feb. 17, and I am looking forward to seeing it then.