Jeff Roberts of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition raises the question of expanding free public access to court documents in Colorado. Specifically, he identifies the only location where a non-lawyer can view and request copies of all civil court documents from ICCES, the Integrated Colorado Courts E-Filing System. This location is the Colorado Supreme Court’s law library in the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center in downtown Denver. Fees and access to PACER have been the topic of discussion in the legal community for many years. The urgency of this discussion and a resolution that ensures free public access to court filings is critically dependent upon the future of court law libraries.
Ashley Ahlbrand is the Educational Technology at Librarian Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law. Her expert teaching and training skills offer readers insights into the role of Google as well as integrative browser add-ons like Lexis Views in preparing students to effectively and comprehensively complete research assignments.
Marcus Zillman’s guide is a comprehensive and selective bibliography including search engines, world wide web resources, services and sites currently offering free, value added content on the web. As more and more of the global population is accessing the web, making informed choices about what content to use to obtain reliable, accurate, actionable information becomes more critical. This guide provides an extensive range of reliable, relevant information to leverage – whether you are an educator, a librarian, a researcher, a lawyer, a student, a professional working on mission critical organizational objectives, or in the interest of current awareness. Gaining insight into your resources can be a challenging process if undertaken without benchmarks and skillfully researched pathfinders. This guide comprises a wide range of resources for everyone who regularly engages with web content for knowledge discovery, producing work product, and creating value added content related to specific sectors, issues or topics.
A Matter of Trust: Why the Time is Right to Adopt the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA) in Florida
In this article, Law Librarian Patricia Morgan brings our attention to a group of prominently related issues on electronic legal research whose application are critical for attorneys, librarians and courts. In an era where cost-cutting has become increasingly important, there already exists an untapped resource related to legal research. More and more resources exist online (some exclusively). It has been a long time since the introduction of the Internet, but it is finally going to prove instrumental in reducing the cost of legal research. It is time to come to terms with the fact that most legal material should be readily available electronically and that there must be a way to verify that the material is authentic. As Morgan queries and answers – Uniform Law, Anyone?
Criminal law expert Ken Strutin’s article addresses how DNA forensics is about information, privacy and the presumption of innocence. It has become the determinant for identification, solving cold cases and exonerating the innocent. Strutin describes that at its core, it is an inestimable library of personal data. Due to the increasingly important role of Personally identifiable information (PII), courts and legislatures have been attempting to balance the interests of the individual in protecting their genetic information with the usefulness and necessity of that same data for criminal investigation. Strutin notes clearly that any DNA or forensic database is a composite of intertwined informational and legal values that pose competing and conflicting questions about the analytics (accuracy, reliability and validity) of the data and the lawfulness (constitutionality) of its gathering. His article collects recent notable decisions and scholarship appearing in the aftermath of Maryland v. King.
Lawyer and legal tech expert Nicole Black highlights how federal court judges are leveraging research and current awareness sources and services provided to professionals and the public via their respective court websites, as well as actively using mobile tools and apps in their daily work flow.
Steven A. Lastres writes that research has always been core to the practice of law. However, the results of a recent survey Steven has authored identified a “New Normal” in today’s business climate that has a profound effect in the delivery of legal services and impacts how research is conducted.
Via the American Society of Access Professionals, of which he is President, attorney and FOIA expert Scott A. Hodes informs us about the new guidance to all federal agencies that acknowledges the need for federal employees to attend mission-related conferences and provides some best practices for approving travel and conference expenses. This new guidance adopts many of the best practices suggested in a meetings protocol that the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) provided to OMB at their request.
Scott A. Hodes’ New Year’s commentary is both an overview and a roadmap to the FOIA process. Scott’s experience has taught him that requesters do not realize that their biggest obstacle to having their requests processed in a timely manner is not usually FOIA offices. The biggest obstacles tend to be the program offices that have equity in the records sought and the agency executives who see FOIA offices as an expense they don’t want to fund.
This is attorney Nicole Black’s review of The Cybersleuth’s Guide to the Internet, 12th edition, a book that helps lawyers learn how to use the Internet to conduct effective and free investigative and legal research.