Not to be left behind by West with its brand new online product called WestlawNext, Lexis is getting ready to lauch its new flagship, which will be called Lexis Advance. Thanks to the blog called "3 Geeks and a Law Blog" for this tip. Lexis plans to starting rolling out this product later this year.
The Sixth Circuit court has affirmed the Akron District Court's dismissal of Cleveland's nuisance suit alleging that subprime lending tactics by 22 financial entities caused the local foreclosure crisis. The Sixth Circuit's decision devolved to a proximate cause analysis, with the Court concluding that: "the connection between the alleged harm and the alleged misconduct is too indirect to warrant recovery." See our prior post about the district court decision and links to additional information.
A new study that is being released today by the Council of State Governments Justice Center indicates that Ohio's probation system is expensive and ineffective. According to a news report from the Columbus Dispatch, the study criticizes Ohio's decentralized system whereby numerous individual county agencies address probation issues. The same article indicates that the study also shows that offenders are not receiving the correct probation-i.e., minor offnders linger too long in the system while more serious offenders are released without adequate supervision.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has just upheld the conviction and death sentence of Abdul Awkal for the murder of his wife and brother-in-law in the basement of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse in 1992. I remember the day well when the Courthouse rang with the sound of gunfire in the Domestic Relations Court. The Court rejected the defense contention that the defendant was suffering from psychosis at the time of the killings and the claim that defendant's attorney failed to present an adequate insanity defense to the jury. Click here for all Sixth Circuit published and unpublished opinions in the case. Click here to read a news release from the Ohio Attorney General's office.
The new survey of Am Law 200 Librarians from law.com shows that although they have been hit with layoffs and cost-cutting, they are surviving the storm with savvy business practices. These librarians are buying less print, playing tough with print and online vendors of all sizes, taking advantage of free in-house vendor-training sessions to perform otherwise costly research, and working leaner on smaller budgets. The good news is that their duties are expanding to include business development research, which will continue to make them indispensable to their law firms. Click here for a good summary of the survey results.
According to the New York Times, e-books are selling hotter on Amazon than traditional print books, thanks to the Kindle. Presumably, these include mostly pleasure and leisure time reading, as opposed to legal research materials. Our law library purchases 17 libraries of legal e-books as part of Wolters Kluwer's library of titles on Loislaw. Our members have full access to these valuable resources.
The National Center for State Courts has just released its 2010 edition of Future Trends in State Courts. According to the Press Release, the focus of this report looks at "court reengineering"-which evaluates court operations with the goal "to improve processes and save money while increasing efficiency and maintaining service levels to the public." The report gives concrete examples of states that are tackling this project through changes in service structures, technology and much more. While part of the study reports that the recession is impacting court activity in Ohio, it also indicates that litigants are finding more and more help finding legal information from their local libraries. Significantly, the report also indicates that Ohio is planning to implement appellate court e-filing in the next 2-3 years. Both Steve Hollon, the Administrative Director of the Ohio Supreme Court, and Chris Davey, Ohio Supreme Court Director of Public Information, played major roles in creation of the report.
Yesterday, the 8th District Court of Appeals in Cuyahoga County amended Local Rules 18(B) and 22(A) governing filing failures and entry of judgment, respectively, and added new Local App. R. 26 on en banc consideration. New Rule 26 supersedes former Local Appellate Rule 25.1. Click here for the text of the current rules.
A new study of state judges that was conducted by the American Bar Association reports that pro se representation is up across the country. Apparently, this trend is a disadvantage for both the litigants and judges. The survey shows that pro se litigants make procedural and evidentiary errors, and experts claim that judges also spend more time on pro se cases, thereby delaying court proceedings. Click here to read an article from law.com about the survey and its results. The survey was conducted by the Coalition for Justice.
Law360 reports that a recent study of about 700 female partners shows a firm bias against women at major and midsize lawfirms. Instead of familial obligations-which most people have tended to blame for lower salaries among women-this study claims firms do not give women origination credit, do not allow them to work cases they bring in, and keep women out of the client solicitation loop. According to the survey, gender biases in pay and raises can lead to a discrepancy of 22%, or a salary difference of $66,000 between male and female partners. The survey was conducted by the Project for Attorney Retention and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.