According to a press release from the Ohio State Bar Association, the OSBA is now offering members free access to Casecheck+ (a negative citation service) as part of Casemaker. This service was previously offered as a premium service with an additional cost for members. If you are not aware, Casemaker is the OSBA's online product that offers members 24x7 access to cases, statutes, jury instructions and other legal materials. OSBA President Jonathan Hollingsworth has issued a video message about the launch which is worth watching. By this initiative, the OSBA is definitely giving Lexis, which provides Shepard's, and Westlaw, which provides KeyCite, some food for thought.
Without any fanfare, the Ohio Supreme Court has issued a revised and updated Writing Manual: A Guide to Citations, Style, and Judicial Opinion Writing. Many lawyers have not followed the Manual's suggestions, and the 2013 version even states in its Preface that:
Although Ohio judges and lawyers are not required to follow this manual, the committee hopes that it will be useful in writing opinions and drafting briefs and pleadings.
Like the superceded 2012 version, the new 2013 Manual is divided into 3 parts:
Part I, the Manual of Citations, governs the citation format used in Supreme Court opinions and other opinions. It sets forth rules for the forms of citation for cases, statutes, and other sources, provides examples for each category, and explains the use of WebCites. Part II, the Style Guide, provides direction on certain aspects of style used in Supreme Court opinions. Subjects covered include capitalization, punctuation, use of footnotes and headings, captions, and commonly misused words. Part III, the Structure of a Judicial Opinion, is a guide intended to assist writers of judicial opinions. It offers an outline setting forth the basic components of an opinion in the traditional sequence, followed by several examples written in the Supreme Court style.
Our Law Library has launched a brand new program for members called "Borrow a Librarian for Free." As part of our new outreach efforts, we now offer our members legal research and general computer assistance at their offices. Legal research services include help with using search engines, search strategies, legal research databases like Lexis and Westlaw, social media and iPads. General computer services include help with terminolgy, Internet browsers, email basics, PDFs, word processing, screen savers, Skype and much more. Half day appointments are available now for members of the Cleveland Law Library and the Cuyahoga County Law Library Resources Board. Just call us at 216-861-5070 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We believe this new service is unprecedented in the United States. Wish us luck with this new venture, and if you are a member, please take advantage of what we have to offer.
Happy Law Day! This year, the American Bar Association (ABA) is celebrating Law Day by recognizing the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and championing the theme of “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.” The ABA encourages everyone to "explore the movement for civil and human rights in America and the impact it has had in promoting the ideal of equality under the law." The ABA also recommends "reflecting on the work that remains to be done in rectifying injustice, eliminating all forms of discrimination, and putting an end to human trafficking and other violations of our basic human rights." Our Law Library is celebrating Law Day this year by offering all of our members free WestlawNext training on Thursday, May 2nd from 12:00 - 1:00 and 1:30 - 2:30. Everyone who attends is eligible for one (1) hour of CLE credit. This program is open to all private and statutory members of the Law Library. If you are interested in attending, please register by calling or emailing the Law Library.
Nathan has enjoyed his work at the Law Library. His duties
have included, helping patrons locate library materials, suggesting changes to
the Library's collection of Internet Legal Websites, and assisting with reference
inquiries by telephone.
Yale Law School is starting a brand new degree called a Ph.D. in Law. This degree will be the first of its kind in the United States and will offer lawyers with JDs who want to enter academia the opportunity to focus on legal scholarship for another three (3) years. According to Yale's web site:
"This program will offer young scholars an opportunity to contribute to the development of law as an academic field, and it will provide an alternate path into law teaching alongside existing routes such as fellowships, advanced degrees in cognate fields, and transitioning directly from practice or clerkships."
Applications are already being accepted, and classes will begin in September of 2013.
The Library of Congress just recently launched Congress.gov as a new online repository for U.S. legislative information. Although the site is still in beta testing mode, you can currently search across the following content using a new search engine LOC boasts has a "user-friendly design":
"legislation from the 107th Congress (2001) to the present, member profiles from the 93rd Congress (1973) to the present, and some member profiles from the 80th through the 92nd Congresses (1947 to 1972)."
According to a Library of Congress blog, Congress.gov will eventually replace Thomas.gov next year. As you may know, Thomas,gov has historically been the 'go-to' place for federal legislative history and information. Among other data and information you will still need to use Thomas.gov for include legislative searching back to the 101st Congress (1989), contains House and Senate roll call votes, the Congressional Record since the 101st Congress (1989), Committee information, Presidential Nominations back to the 100th Congress (1987), and Treaties since at least the 94th Congress.
Joining Colorado, the state of California has just passed a new law that addresses permanent, public access to official legal materials. Specifically, this new law, called the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA), was passed as Senate Bill 1075 and provides for the "official designation, authentication, and preservation of certain legal material in electronic records by an official publisher." The phrase "legal material" is defined as the California Constitution, California statutes, and California Codes. Librarians consider these materials as "primary" legal resources. When these legal materials are preserved in electronic format, their integrity must be ensured, backup and disaster recovery is required, and their continuing usability must be guaranteed. The new law gives publishers a lot of time to implement it because it does not become effective until July 1, 2015.