Law Library announcements, legal research updates from around the world, new and interesting research resources and web sites of interest to the faculty at the Syracuse University College of Law. Note: For easy navigation, right click on hyperlinks to open links in a new window.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Research on Law Reviews

Brian Leiter (Leiter Reports, 7/15, 2005) brings
our attention to University of San Diego Professor
Thomas Smith's troubling blog post in The Right Coast
about law review citations in Lexis Shepards.

Here's a snippet from his article:

"[My] data concerns law review articles that are in
their [Lexis'] Shepard's database and how much they
get cited. This data covers about 385,000 law review
articles, notes, comments, etc. etc. that appear in 726
law reviews and journals, and looks at how often they
are cited. Cited by other law reviews, or cases. First of
all, 43 percent of the articles are not cited ... Almost 80
percent (i.e. 79 percent) of law review articles get ten
or fewer citations. So where are all the citations going?
Well, let's look at articles that get more than 100
citations. These are the elite. They make up less than
1 percent of all articles, .898 percent to be precise.
... 96 percent of all citations to law review articles."

You can read more at on The Right Coast blog.

Westlaw Launches Graphical KeyCite Feature

From the Law Librarian Blog, 7/18/2005:

"Graphical KeyCite is an alternative way to view
the direct history of a case. Instead of the traditional
text-based KeyCite display, you can view the direct
history of a case as a flow chart. You can access [this
feature] from a traditional KeyCite display, or
from a case law document in From either
a displayed case or the traditional KeyCite display, click
Direct History (Graphical View) on the Links tab.

Graphical KeyCite was released in on
July 9, 2005."

Click here to read the full article.

NYLJ Article on David E.Kelley's "The Firm"

We knew it was coming. Reality TV has invaded the
legal community. A recent article in the New York
Law Journal introduces us to the The Firm,
a reality show slated to debut on July 28. According
to the article, the show will feature real-life young
lawyers from around the country "arguing real cases
in front of real judges, with the one attorney
eventually [winning] a $250,000 jackpot."

The article cites several choice comments from
New York attorneys contacted for their
reaction to the show's concept.

Friday, July 15, 2005

"Wayback Machine" Searches Internet Archives

Thanks to Professor Colares for this tip, who
told me that he used this site extensively
as a practitioner.

With the Internet Archive Wayback Machine
search engine, you can now surf the archived
web and visit web pages that are no longer
retrievable through traditional search engines.
Just type in a URL and a range of dates to
see archived pages of many web sites.

For example, when I enter,
I can see the law school's web sites back to
1996. Links from the archived pages are live
as long as the pages are still archived on the

Please note: Some sites, such as the Washington
Post and New York Times, have blocked access
to their archives. Other sites, such as CNN, have
removed specific dates. (CNN has removed Sept.
11, 2001.)

Hein OnLine Plans 7 New Libraries

According to the Summer 2005 HeinOnline Newsletter,
Hein plans to add the following seven Libraries (no release
date provided):

Code of Federal Regulations Library - will begin with the 1938 edition

Legislative Histories Library - will include complete legislative
histories not found elsewhere online

Federal Agency Library - will include Administrative Decisions,
Tax Court Reports, SEC Decisions & Reports, Internal Revenue
Cumulative Bulletin, and more.

Philip C. Jessup Research Library - will contain "Problems,
Judges' Briefs, Rules, and leading written Memorials of the
International Moot Court Competition," along with two
ILSA international law journals.

Presidential Library - will include Public Papers of the
President and other presidential documents.

ALI Library - will include over 3,400 documents from
the American Law Institute, including previously un-
released material.

U.S. Statutes at Large Library - complete set

Thanks to the E-LawLibrary Weblog for the heads up.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Findlaw "Going to Seed?"

Robert Ambrogi (Robert Ambrogi's
LawSites blog, 7/12/2005) claims that FindLaw,
a staple in the Internet legal research diet, "has let
its index go to seed, failing to weed out dead URLs,
update site descriptions or add new resources as
they come along." Ambrogi says that the
"deterioration of FindLaw's index is so extreme
as to call into question its usefulness as a primary
resource for legal professionals." Ambrogi then
goes on to describe his check of the integrity
of FindLaw's links. If you love FindLaw, you
may change your mind after reading Ambrogi's

Ambrogi ties FindLaw's decline to its acquisition
by West in January, 2001.

Gigablast Government Search Engine

Gigablast, a search engine company founded in 2000,
has released a Government search engine in beta version
which indexes more than 34 million pages.

The Advanced search option allows for refined searching.
In addition to tradition boolean searches (i.e., terms
and connectors searches) you can restrict your search to a
specific URL or group of URLs.

Search results feature a list of retrieved items
organized by subtopic. For example, a search
for federal legislation provides links to
results under House Bills, Senate Bills, Congressional
Bills, etc.

Gigablast has also released beta versions of a Blogs
search engine and a Travel search engine.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Resource on Journalists' Shield Laws

With the jailing of New York Times journalist
Judith Miller for refusing to disclose her sources,
reporters' shield laws are a hot topic. Thanks to
Robert Ambrogi (Robert Ambrogi LawSites
7/7/2005) for pointing out the following web
resource on reporters, subpoenas and shield laws:

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

The section on Reporters and Federal Subpoenas "provides
in-depth and frequently updated coverage of efforts to enact
a federal shield law as well as of ongoing legal controversies
involving reporters' subpoenas. A separate section,
The Reporter's Privilege, is a detailed examination of the law
regarding the reporter's privilege in every state and federal
circuit. It provides statutes and cases and discusses both
substantive and procedural issues."

Law Professor Reflect on Writing

From the E-LawLibrary Blog, 7/11/2005:

A recent issue of the San Diego Law Review -
vol.41,no.4 (2004) - features a collection of
articles on legal scholarship. It is available on
HeinOnline and should be on Lexis and Westlaw.
The collection includes:

"Why We Write: Reflection on Legal Scholarship"
(Emily Sherwin, p.1739)

"Why Do Empirical Legal Scholarship"
(Theodore Eisenberg, p.1741)

"Why I Write (and Why I Think Law Professors Generally
Should Write)" (Yale Kamisar, p.1747)

"Legal Scholarship: A Corporate Scholar's Perspective"
(Jonathan R. Macey, p.1759)

"Legal Scholarship as Resistance to Science"
(Steven D. Smith, 1775)

"Writing Highs and Lows"
(Kimberly A. Yuracko, p.1783)

Google Short Message Service

Noted on the BeSpacific blog, 7/10/2005:

"Google SMS (Short Message Service) enables you to
send queries as text messages over your mobile phone
or device and easily get precise answers to your
questions. No links. No web pages. Just text — and the
information you're looking for...local business listings...
driving showtimes and theater locations
of movies currently playing near conditions
and 4-day forecasts...the latest stock quotes...quick answers
to straightforward questions..." [link]

Friday, July 01, 2005

BarclayBlog Hiatus

The BarclayBlog will be on hiatus from
7/2 through 7/11. Enjoy the 4th of July