Monthly Archives: April 2010

Attention: Foreign Law Fans!

Check out this article in the European Journal of Law and Technology. Its author, Graham Greenleaf, is a Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales and Co-Director of the Australasian Legal Information Institute. His article traces the development of global access to free legal information. Not only do you get the fascinating background story, but you also get links to Legal Information Institutes around the world, and many other national legal resources.

World Bank Data free

The World Bank has made its data sources free to the public at this web site:

The new web site includes World Development Indicators, whose entire contents were previously only available by subscription.  As the World Bank notes in its press release, this new site “also opens up the Global Development Finance, Africa Development Indicators, Global Economic Monitor, and indicators from the Doing Business Report.”   Researchers in international law and international affairs will find this site very useful.  The site is available in four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.


Tax Court rejects “Geithner defense”

Tax season is over, but if you are worried about your tax returns and planning to use the “Geithner defense” should you be audited, the news is not good.  In Lam v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2010-82 (Apr. 19, 2010), the U.S. Tax Court specifically held that blaming TurboTax for errors on her return did not excuse the taxpayer from penalties.  “At trial Ms. Lam did not attempt to show a reasonable cause for petitioners’ underpayment of taxes. Instead, she analogized her situation to that of the Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner. Citing a Wikipedia article, Ms. Lam essentially argues that, like Secretary Geithner, she used TurboTax, resulting in mistakes on her taxes.”  The comparison didn’t fly in this case.  However, the court left open the possibility that it could be successful in other cases, saying that petitioners have not “shown that any of the conceded issues were anything but the result of [their] own negligence or disregard of regulations,” and they therefore are liable for the penalties.


Circuit Riders Visits Aiken

The USC-Aiken campus was beautiful last Friday with everything in bloom. Their Gregg-Graniteville Library was also very inviting. We conducted our Legal Research for Non-Law Librarians workshop in the library’s nicely-equipped computer lab on the second floor. Thanks so much to the Director, Jane Tuten for gathering academic, public, and special librarians from Aiken and North Augusta to attend. We always learn something and we hope they did also. It’s a great deal of information to grasp, even for such a knowledgeable and attentive audience. Everyone seemed happy to learn that our materials are available on our Circuit Riders website.  Next stop is Greenville County Library System on April 29th. (Post-TC)

Looking for Space: Free Online Storage

For those of us who are constantly running out of room for storage or who want to be able to access you documents remotely, think about an online storage site. Here is a list of sites that are all FREE and will allow you to store and access your material. These are limited space but pretty good size for most people.

Here are two good sites for free online storage:

Don’t forget Microsoft’s entry, For additional sites and commentary on available sites, see

There is also a new program that uses the cloud to store and sync materials with your computer or mobile device. This site is new on the scene but showing a lot of promise, ZumoDrive. ( To use ZumoDrive, you first upload all your key stuff from your main computer. Then, once you install the small ZumoDrive program on your other devices, all those file names show up on your screen and can be fetched from the cloud when you like. You can add files and folders from the other computers as well. And you can also access your files via a Web site or an iPhone. For more information, see the online review  of this software, 

It is an option to think about. (Post-DEL)

Big Research Hint

Here’s another one from the Department of Things You Shouldn’t Have to Be Told:  Don’t rely on cases that do not contain the propositions that you are arguing before the court. A California appeals court found it necessary to make this point when one of its parties did just that. Read all about it in Miscione v. Barton Dev. Co., 61 Cal. Rptr. 2d 280 (Cal. Ct. App. 1997).  Use the party names or citation as a search query in your search engine of choice – or use the citation information for easy access to a print source.


Legal Talk Network – A collaborative forum

For those of you looking for a place for new information or discussion of legal issues and practice tips checkout the Legal Talk Network,  The Legal Talk Network contains podcasts on a variety of legal practice.  It contains news on technology and discussions by legal experts on new Supreme Court cases and other information topics. It is authorative and has been recognized by the ABA Journal as one of the best sources for legal information.    It is an interesting and useful place to go for new information and different opinions on legal hot topics. Add it to your list of resources.   (Post-DEL)

It’s National Library Week

Libraries across South Carolina need your support this week!

This week is National Library Week, a perfect time for you to send a quick e-mail to you state legislators and governor to let them know how important libraries are to you!

Libraries are in a perfect storm. They are busier than ever helping families survive during these tough economic times, yet public, school, and academic libraries are facing closures and elimination of librarians and library workers—the people who help those with a job application, teach 21st century skills, and nurture the love of reading in kids that will serve them the rest of their lives.

State governments provide much needed funding for libraries to provide public access to the Internet for everyone, databases for individuals and small businesses, homework help, and much more. Without this funding, libraries are in peril, and residents in South Carolina are denied critical resources when they need them most.

Please send an e-mail to your governor and your representatives today, and pass this message on to your friends and colleagues.

Thank you for advocating for libraries and library staff in South Carolina.


Michael Dowling
Director, Chapter Relations Office
American Library Association