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, March 30, 2009

HeinOnline Tip of the Week: How to Print a Specific Section or Document Within the Federal Register

The HeinOnline Weblog announces a useful new
Tip of the Week tutorial on how to use the Table of
Contents at the beginning of the Federal Register
to identify where a section begins and ends (which
then makes it easy to print the document using
the custom page range printing tool).

This step-by-step illustrated tutorial makes the
process clear and easy.

Google Enlarges Its Search Results "Snippets" for Some Searches

Google has announced that it will increase the length of
its search result "snippets" (abstracts) for more
complex searches.

Why is this change useful for researchers? When you enter
a longer query with more than three words, regular-length
snippets may not give you enough information nor provide
a meaningful context. Now, Google will increase the number
of lines in the snippet to provide more information and
show more of the words you typed in the context of the page.

For example, a search for "hearing impaired disability
employment rights Australia" now retrieves this four line
'snippet' that includes all of our search terms. A significant
term, hearing impaired, appears only in the last line, which
may have been omitted in the earlier Google results model.

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Website
Following Australia 's ratification of the Convention on 18 July, ...
National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy : We have
continued to .... to oversee a project examining human rights issues
for hearing impaired and deaf
update/0808.html - 36k - Cached - Similar pages

New Legal Site Focuses on LGBT Community Legal Needs

Legalout is a subscription-based online resource center that
provides the GLBT community with assistance in preparing
legal documents through an online format. Documents are
available on estate planning, living wills, domestic partnerships,
financial and health care power of attorney, co-parenting
agreements, and many others. In addition, the site provides
links and other information to support the legal needs of the
GLBT community.

The first document is free, after which users can choose either
a monthly subscription of $19.95 or an annual subscription of
$119.95. There is also an option for professionals that allows
multiple users and additional sharing and collaboration features.
All subscription levels allow unlimited access to the legal documents.

Hat tip to Robert Ambrogi on LawSites.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Webinar on "Getting Started" in HeinOnline

Could you or your students benefit from a tutorial
on the basics of using HeinOnline? If so, check out the
webinar being hosted by Hein on Wednesday, April 15th
from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. EST.

The webinar (for HeinOnline subscribers)
will cover the following topics:

Logging in to the database and accessing the content
Navigating from one collection to another
How to navigate within the content using the interface

How to use the Field and Advanced Search options
How to print/download documents
Where to find additional help and resources for specific collections

To register, email Please include your
full name, name of your institution, and the email address to which you
would like HeinOnline to send the webinar invitation.

Getting Serious About Research Online

Sarah Kubik (associate faculty member in visual
communications and design at Indiana University-
Purdue University) writes in Higher Ed Today
about the value of authoritative online research
sources in the evolving academic information

Kublik, who was "shocked at [a student's] apparent
laziness and naiveté on conducting research" when he
presented three website addresses as his research
source list, realized that students are not being trained
to analyze online sources and select quality information
because many academics dismiss Internet sources
out of hand.

Kublik encourages academics to "take seriously issues related
to citing materials in media that didn’t exist a generation ago."
She advocates for recognition of online-only journals
(generally not peer-reviewed) that are frequently located
by students in web searches and cited in their research.
She suggests that, "while it once made sense to equate
print with quality, it’s time to embrace newer forms of
communication as valid. If they need academically
sound forms of verification and procedures for citation, let’s
get to work."

Make sure to look at the comments following the article.

Hat tip to Marie S. Newman at Out of the Jungle.

LitiLaw: Legal Article Research Portal

From About LitiLaw:

A tremendous amount of high-quality legal research has
been written by lawyers as part of continuing legal education
(CLE) programs or conferences, or published in legal magazines
or articles...[o]ften they represent the best writing available
on a legal subject, but can be difficult to find.

Litilaw gathers descriptions of and links to these articles and
organizes the articles into an easy to use searchable collection.
We include the title, authors, a description, the publication,
year published and number of pages. The collection is text-
searchable to allow users to find articles by applicable keywords.
Articles are available full-text in PDF or PPT formats.
Articles are categorized and organized into over 50 substantive
and procedural areas of law.

Friday, March 20, 2009

NY Times on How Unauthorized Use of Technology Affecting Trial Outcomes

An article in today's NY Times addresses the increasing
concerns about how the unauthorized use of technology
is affecting trial outcomes.

The article discusses instances of jurors doing Internet legal
research on a case in violation of judge's orders, using
Blackberries and iPhones to discuss cases with outsiders,
and posting updates about cases on Twitter and Facebook.

According to the article, mistrials and appeals resulting from
this kind of unauthorized use of technology are on the increase,
posing more challenges to judges to curtail juror behavior
to protect the integrity of the courtroom. Says Douglas
Keene, president of the American Society of Trial Consultants,
"The technological landscape has changed so much that
today’s judge has to... not just go through boilerplate

Hat tip to Laura Appleman at Faculty Lounge.

Berkman Center's Media Cloud Tracks Traditional and Citizen-based News Sources

Do bloggers introduce story lines into mainstream media
or the other way around? What parts of the world are being
covered or ignored by different media sources?

These are the kinds of questions that inspired the
Berkman Center for Internet and Society (teamed
with Thomson Reuters) to launch Media Cloud,
an analytical system that lets you track and analyze
the flow of news as it appears in the mainstream media,
citizen media and blogs.

From the Media Cloud homepage:

The Internet is fundamentally altering the way that news is
produced and distributed, but there are few comprehensive
approaches to understanding the nature of these changes.
Media Cloud automatically builds an archive of news stories
and blog posts from the web, applies language processing,
and gives you ways to analyze and visualize the data. The
system is still in early development, but we invite you to
explore our current data and suggest research ideas.
This is an open-source project, and we will be releasing all
of the code soon.

You can read background on the project here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Survey of Public Opinion About Government Secrecy

The Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University
has conducted a survey of public opinion about government
secrecy to mark Sunshine Week, a non-partisan open
government initiative led by the American Society of
Newspaper Editors.

According to the survey, since 2006, the percentage of
adults who believe the federal government to be somewhat
or very secretive has been on the rise -- from 62 percent
in 2006 to 74 percent in 2008. In this year's survey, the
percentage drops slightly to 73.

The web site provides select survey findings.
Graphics for the survey and other FOI issues are
available from McClatchy-Tribune for use during
Sunshine Week.

Hat tip to Robert Ambrogi's post via Legal Blog Watch.

New Blog on the Ward Churchill First Amendment Case

University of Denver law students and faculty from
the Race to the Bottom blog have launched a separate
blog on the Ward Churchill first amendment case.

"Churchill came to the public forefront when reports
surfaced about an essay he wrote that contained critical
comments about the US concerning the 9/11 attacks on
the trade towers in NY (the comments are posted on
Wikipedia). Churchill was ultimately dismissed from the
University of Colorado. He has brought suit alleging
that he was dismissed for exercising his first amendment
rights because of the criticisms in the 9/11 essay.
The University of Colorado, on the other hand, is
asserting that Churchill was dismissed because his
conduct fell 'below minimum standards of professional
integrity.'" (Race to the Bottom, Covering Churchill v.
University of Colorado).

Students and faculty will attend every session of the trial.
They will post after each session, assessing the progress of
the trial. In addition, others will be asked to participate and
write occasional commentary.

Primary materials, including the complaint and the answer,
are posted on the Denver Corporate Governance web site.

HeinOnline's Tip of the Week: Searching for a Section in the U.S. Code

This week, the HeinOnline Weblog tutorial
offers strategies for searching the new U.S. Code

This tutorial will be of particular interest to those
doing historical research. The HeinOnline collection
covers the years 1925 - 2006.

Monday, March 16, 2009

ABA Immigration Consulting Fraud Web Site

The ABA Commission on Immigration has launched
a web site devoted to Notario fraud. Notarios
falsely advertise themselves as immigration consultants
qualified to assist immigrants seeking lawful status.
Victims not only pay (often exorbitant) fees for
services they never receive, but may suffer
adverse legal consequences as a results of the
services notarios do provide.

The site describes the practice of notario fraud and
its implications for victims. It offers a list of resources,
a listserv, and a referral service for victims and
for attorneys who wish to assist them.

Hat tip to the Law Librarian Blog.

How to Limit a Web Search by Date

Have you ever tried to limit an Internet
search by date? If so, you know how
challenging it can be.

Phil Bradley (librarian and web search guru)
offers a number of suggestions on which
search engines to use and what features they
offer to restrict searches by date.

Hat tip to the LibrarianInBlack.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

ABA Standards for Faculty Employment Challenged

Inside Higher Education (3/2/2009) reports on challenges
by some law school deans to the ABA standards on the
hiring and employment of faculty members. According to
the article, "many law deans have argued that the
[ABA] requirements represent unwarranted intrusion in
their schools' affairs and drive up costs." Others argue
that the status of some law school staff (such as clinical
faculty members and librarians) would likely be negatively
affected should the standards be eliminated.

A push to drop the standards was launched by Henry Bienen
(departing president of Northwestern University), who
sent a letter to 130 college presidents whose law schools
belong to the law deans' group, encouraging them to
sign a statement requesting that the ABA Council on
Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar drop the
standards related to terms of employment. Bienen
has faced critics at Northwestern and elsewhere, who
fear that the proposed changes could threaten academic
freedom for tenured as well as and non-tenured faculty.

Pew Report: Generations Online in 2009

The Pew Internet and American Life Project
has issued a report that reveals some surprises
about Internet use by groups of all ages. According
to the report, older Internet users are more
likely to research government web sites than younger
researchers, and only 73% of teens currently say they
use email, down from 89% in 2004 (likely because
of an increased use by teens of social networking

This and other Pew Reports of related interest may
be viewed and downloaded in PDF from the Pew web site.

Documents: U.S v. Bernard L. Madoff

The U.S. Department of Justice, Southern
District of New York, has launched a web page
for information and documents pertaining to
U.S v. Bernard L. Madoff.

Current documents include (all PDF):
Criminal Complaint
Order Freezing Assets and Granting Other Relief
in the SEC's civil action
Order Appointing the Trustee
Madoff Filed Brief
Madoff Reply Brief

In addition, the DOJ site links to the Madoff
Trustee Site and the SIPC claims site.

Monday, March 02, 2009

New and Updated Foreign, Comparative and Int'l Law Research Articles from GlobaLex

GlobaLex (NYU Hauser Global Law School Program)
announces the following new and updated research
articles for February, 2009:

Research Guide to the Somaliland Legal System
(Mohamed Farah Hersi)

UPDATE: Global Warming: A Comparative Guide to
the E.U. and the U.S. and Their Approaches to the U.N.
Framework Convention on Climate Change and the
Kyoto Protocol (Deborah Paulus-Jagrič)

UPDATE: Comparative Law (Paul Norman;
Updated by Hester Smith)

UPDATE: Japanese Law via the Internet
(Makoto Ibusuki; Revised by Takako Okada)

UPDATE: Introduction to Researching South
Pacific Law (Peter Murgatroyd)

State and Federal Resources on the Stimulus Package

beSpacific has posted a list of
state and federal resources on the stimulus
package. The list includes sources from
government agencies, the national Conference
of State Legislatures, and related information
posted on beSpacific.