Monthly Archives: August 2010

New Law Student Guide to Free Legal Research

I am thrilled to share with you a new website designed to assist law students with navigating the free Web. The  Law Student Guide to Free Legal Research on the Internet   is sponsored by the Free Law Coalition, comprised of Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII) and Justia, and is hosted by CALI. Its author, Sarah Glassmeyer, JD, MLS, is the Faculty Services and Outreach Librarian and Assistant Professor of Law at the Valparaiso University School of Law. Professor Glassmeyer provides reference services, teaches legal research to 1Ls, and speaks frequently on legal research and the web.

When you visit the website, remember to check out the Research Primer, which includes 10 easy steps for legal research and a great flow chart on the legal research process. Then download the actual Guide in PDF; and, of course, visit the blog!   (Post-TC)

Wish I’d Said That!

Can a drunk person give a valid confession? The Court of Appeals of Kentucky said yes, except in extreme circumstances, stating “If we accept the confessions of the stupid, there is no good reason not to accept those of the drunk.” Read all about it in Britt v. Commonwealth, 512 S.W.2d 496 (Ky. 1974).

Research hint: use the citation information or party names in your favorite print or online source.
[RKM]

New Federal Regulations Blog-Website

Jerry Brito, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has developed a new blog/website, OpenRegs.com [http://openregs.com/home]   This website tracks federal regulations daily. It also has several features not available at the official government site www.regulations.gov. These features include the ability to browse by individual agencies and topics. You can also subscribe to discussion groups and forums on each regulation, individual topics, or by agency.  This blog includes user-submitted related links and regulation related news also.

For those of you addicted to your iPhone or IPod touch you can also get an application to access it from your device. You can find recently issued notices of final and proposed rulemaking anywhere at any time. This site  is another open forum website to promote transparency in government and allow citizen interaction. It is a pretty good website if you like regulations. (Post-David)

Advice to new law students

Incoming 1Ls have probably been getting advice from everyone they meet about how to succeed (or at least survive) the fabled first year of law school.  A poster to the Lawyerist blog makes her recommendations, which – not surprisingly – are to do a moderate amount of preparation and partying.  She has a few specific suggestions for each of those alternatives.  [PRM]

Movie Exemptions for Anti-circumvention Copyright Rule

On July 26th, 2010 the Librarian of Congress issued an exemption on six classes of works that will not be subject to the prohibition against circumventing access controls under 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1). See http://www.copyright.gov/1201 for the full determination. The 1st exemption of The Librarian of Congress is motion pictures on DVDs. The ruling allows “Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students.”
What does this mean to for law school faculty? This new ruling means that law faculty can legally extract movie clips and incorporate them into lectures. The exemption also allows them to use copied portions of movies in non-classroom settings under certain circumstances. This is a great breakthrough for educators. We await further interpretations but it is a hopeful sign that higher education is getting exemptions to use materials in this manner. The true purpose of Copyright is starting to be recognized “to promote the progress of knowledge and learning.”
(Post-David)

“Web 2.0” version of the daily Federal Register


The National Archives Office of the Federal Register and GPO have launched FR 2.0. [http://www.federalregister.gov.] The site was established to mark the 75th anniversary of the Federal Register Act on July 26, 2010. The site displays a prototype of a “Web 2.0” version of the daily Federal Register. The FR 2.0 web site is a beta site at this time, but it may be approved as an official edition in 2011. Of course, the document is not official and the site notices that “It is not an official legal edition of the Federal Register, and does not replace the official print version or the official electronic version on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys.gov). Each document posted on the site includes a link to the corresponding official FR PDF file.” The site has a “Browse” function by agency or by topic. This site is visually appealing and easy to read. It will get better as they add more material and possibly it becomes official. There are links to GPO and additional documents on the page. (Post-David)