Monthly Archives: November 2009

ABA Launches Courts of Appeals Website

The ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements has launched a new website designed to provide reporters, lawyers, educators, and the public with prompt, accurate, unbiased information about newsworthy and legally significant cases pending in and decided by the Federal Courts of Appeals.  The website contains short summaries of recent opinions of public interest and noteworthy cases pending oral argument.  

There is a Caveat; this website only covers the Third, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits. It is in the initial stages and there are plans to expand coverage to include the other circuits. ABA membership is not required. You can access the website at:  (Post-DEL)

Thanksgiving/Exam Hours

Tuesday, Nov.24 7am-9pm
Wednesday, Nov.25 8am-5pm
Thursday, Nov. 26 CLOSED
Friday, Nov.27 1pm-9pm
Saturday, Nov.28 9am-10pm
Sunday, Nov.29 through Friday, Dec. 11:
Sunday 9am-1am
Monday – Thursday 7am-1am
Friday 7am – Midnight
Saturday 9am – Midnight
Note: The library will close at 6pm on Friday, Dec.11.

EU selects its first President

The Council of the European Union selected its first President, Herman Van Rompuy, currently the Prime Minister of Belgium.  This new post was created by the Treaty of Lisbon which goes into effect on Dec. 1st of this year.

Catherine Ashton from Great Britain will be the new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

More information on the election is here.


Google Scholar is Expanding into Legal Information.

Google Scholar now has available  legal opinions and journals.  Currently the site  has made available all US Supreme Court opinions, Federal Appeals opinions since 1924, and many Federal District Court opinions.  There are also opinions from state courts included since 1950.

You can access the opinions and journals by clicking on the main Google Scholar page  radio button entiled “legal opinions and journals.” More precise searching is available on the Google Schloar advanced search  page, including the ability to restrict the search by specific states.

This is clearly a developing tool but it shows a lot of promise. For more details regarding this new development see either of  the following sites: or

Yo can also go to  and enjoy finding out first hand how well you like the search engine  and the results.  Don’t forget Advanced Search for more detailed search parameters.


Nobelists ask Congress for Open Access to Federally Funded Research

Forty Nobel Prize-winning scientists in medicine, physics, and chemistry delivered a letter to Congress this week asking them to support the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S.1373). Senate Bill  1373, introduced by Senators Lieberman and Cornyn, would, within six months of publication, provide online public access to peer-reviewed journals funded by eleven U.S. agencies and departments. To read more and to access the full-text of the letter, visit the website for the Alliance For taxpayer@ccess website at  (TC)

Affordable Health Care for America Act

The House passed H.R. 3962 on Saturday, November 7th with a vote of 220-215. Read more on The Hill blog. The text of all bills presented in the House and Senate are available on the Library of Congress’s THOMAS website.

A favorite bill tracking website ( See H.R. 3962 information) that utilizes THOMAS and other government databases is (TC)

Veterans Day — History

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009 is Veterans Day.  In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson first issued a proclamation recognizing veterans and marking the signing of the Armistice ending World War I.    For more history on this holiday, see this link at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs:

President Obama’s proclamation related to this year’s Veterans Day is here:


The Justice Gap in America

The Legal Services Corporation recently released its 2009 update to the 2005 report Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Needs of Low-Income Americans. It comes as no surprise that the number of individuals in the U.S. living below 125% of the federal poverty level has increased from 49.6 million in 2005 to 53.8 million in 2008. For every client served by legal services, one will be turned away. Only on legal aid attorney is available for every 6,415 low-income people. (TC)