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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’

LexisWeb

Lexis has released a web search page, LexisWeb, that offers, in effect, federated searching across an unspecified number of law-related web pages from sites vetted by Lexis editorial staff.

From the user guide [PDF]:

The Lexis Web product includes important, legal-oriented Web content selected and validated by the LexisNexis editorial staff. You can trust that all content has met LexisNexis criteria for being authoritative and accurate. The current beta version combines content from thousands of Web sites and millions of Web pages, with more being added each day:

• Governmental agency information (federal, state, local)
• Informal commentary on

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

India as a Legal Research Powerhouse?

Not yet, according to widely reported remarks from Bangalore over the weekend, to the graduating class at the National Law School. See the Hindu ((Not the Hindu Times, Simon, as you blogged in August)),Economic Times and Mangalorean reports.

National Law School of India University Vice-Chancellor A. Jayagovind on Sunday expressed concern over decline in the number of students pursuing higher studies in law.

The Vice-Chancellor went on:

“Our law schools are however yet to make a mark in terms of advancement of knowledge. Hopefully, most of us have been able to impart reasonably good legal education which was

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Pipl Search: Online Directory for Searching for People

A column by Randolph Hock in this month’s edition of The CyberSkeptic’s Guide to Internet Research alerted me to Pipl (apparently pronounced “people”). It does not appear to have yet been discussed on SLAW so I thought I would mention it now.

It is a search engine to find people. What’s makes it different, according to the site, is that it searches various (presumably free) databases on the Web that are part of the “deep” or “invisible” web:

Unlike a typical search-engine, Pipl is designed to retrieve information from the deep web, our robots are set to interact with searchable

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Are Good Litigators Born?

I’ve always been leery of proponents of a biological basis for intelligence [or running].

I have conceded that genetics play some role on an individual basis, but need to be activated by the environment. Measures of intelligence are far too culturally specific, and ignore many other forms of intelligence. And I wholly reject, for largely scientific reasons, attempts to correlate genetic intelligence with racial or ethnic groups.

The same holds true for great lawyers.

Some of us are born to a long line of lawyers, or have parents that are judges or legal academics. We grew up . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Sorting Appellate Judgments by Judge

Maybe you too have experienced this frustration. You want to know how many judgments a particular appellate court judge has written. So you turn to your favourite case law search tool and type in the judge’s name, perhaps using the special field designated for that purpose. Unfortunately, the results of your search include all of the cases where that judge was on the panel – not just those cases where the judge actually wrote a judgment. I know there are some articles that gather this kind of statistical data for certain courts at various times, but I was wondering if . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Settlement Is Good

A piece in yesterday’s New York Times talks about the results of a soon-to-be-published study which finds that in most cases (61%) where plaintiffs refuse to settle and go to trial they wind up with less than the proposed settlement would have given them. That settlement is good is hardly news: according to the authors of the study somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of cases in fact settle; but the study hopes to raise questions about the reasons for going to trial in the 2054 disputes studied. The study, “Let’s Not Make a Deal: An Empirical Analysis of Decision . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law

EISIL

Although EISIL (Electronic Information System for International Law) has received a glancing mention here on Slaw, we haven’t pointed at it directly until now. From the “About” page:

EISIL offers the international law expert the depth of resources for sophisticated legal research. At the same time, EISIL can provide the novice researcher with the information needed to undertake a successful search. The comprehensive scope of EISIL enhances its potential as a research and teaching tool.

The search page is organized into the following main topic heads, each of which offers links to “basis sources” in the area and appropriate sub-topics . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

Real Estate Practice Portal

Hats off to David Whelan and his colleagues at the Great Library for an intelligently designed practice portal clustering together resources for real estate lawyers in Ontario. Somewhat similar to the Pathfinders developed in many firms, it’s a great resource for solos and small firms. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

FastCase on Fox Business

Here is a link to an interesting segment in Fox Business’s digital innovations scheme. This time it’s about FastCase’s challenge to the empires of West/Thomson in Eagan, MN and Reed Elsevier in Dayton OH. The interview talks about possible patents on the search algorithm, but nothing is on the USPTO yet. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

Interesting Use of LexisNexis

As I’m sure many of you are already aware, LexisNexis has received some interesting press lately. In the July 28, 2008 report issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, a LexisNexis search used by a DOJ employee is reprinted (on p. 21). This search was apparently used for vetting potential employees:

[First name of a candidate]! and pre/2 [last name of a candidate] w/7 bush or gore or republican! or democrat! or charg! or accus! or criticiz! or blam! or defend! or iran contra or clinton or spotted owl or florida recount or sex! or controvers! or racis! or fraud!

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

The Thirst for Knowledge…

Out-Googling Google.

by David J. Bilinsky

July 29, 2008.

♫ I tried my best to let you know
That I’m not trying to test you
It’s just so hard to let you go
When I have nothing against you…♫

Words and music by Midtown

It was just a matter of time. It isn’t that I have anything against you, Google, indeed I have learned so much from you, but in time, all things must end. Alas, I have found another.

Cuil (pronounced cool) is the new well, Cool search engine in town. And she is big – very big . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet