Friday, January 29, 2010

Patent Pending for a Method of Writing Campaign Slogans Using Aerosol Food Coloring on Snow

Scott Brown's chief legal counsel, Daniel Winslow, filed a patent for an advertising method involving aerosol food coloring on snow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Haitian Nationals in U.S. Granted Temporary Protected Status

In response to the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced that Haitian nationals in the United States on January 12, 2010 have been granted Temporary Protected Status. Temporary Protected Status "will allow eligible Haitian nationals in the United States to continue living and working in our country for the next 18 months." The announcement clearly states that Temporary Protected Status applies only to Haitian nationals in the United States as of January 12, 2010, and will not apply to Haitian nationals who attempt to travel to the United States after January 12, 2010.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Revised Rules for the United States Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States has adopted a revised version of the Rules of the Court. The revised version will take effect on February 16, 2010. The Supreme Court has posted the new rules as well as a list of revisions. Notice the new section 5 in Rule 34 which states,
“All references to a provision of federal statutory law should ordinarily be cited to the United States Code, if the provision has been codified therein. In the event the provision has not been classified to the United States Code, citation should be to the Statutes at Large. Additional or alternative citations should be provided only if there is a particular reason why those citations are relevant or necessary to the argument.”
One can only wonder what alternative citations lawyers were providing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Changes approaching from legal research vendors (LexisNexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg)

What's in store for legal researchers? Plenty of changes, it seems as Westlaw prepares to debut its new interface ("WestlawNext") on February 1st and LexisNexis puts the finishing touches on its new platform ("New Lexis") to be rolled out later this year. Both vendors have seen declining revenues due to the difficult business climate for law firms. Bloomberg is hoping that its fixed seat pricing and new web interface will entice legal researchers to drop their existing research providers and sign on for BloombergLaw access.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Who Owns the Law?

Who owns the law - the body of law in statutes enacted by Congress and the state legislatures, in cases decided in federal and state courts, in the regulations promulgated by federal and state government? Right now, there is limited free access to the official body of law. is a new initiative to promote open access to primary law sources at all levels of government. A panel discussion held as part of a conference at Stanford Law Library is linked here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Web Guides to Researching State Legislative History

The legislative process and the materials generated therein vary with each state. When researching state legislative history, checking a legislative history research guide for that state is an excellent place to start. Indiana University School of Law Library has compiled links to state legislative history research guides and state legislature websites for all 50 states. So, if you need to know how to find bills, debates, hearings or other legislative materials for New York, California, Connecticut or any other state, the online guides are conveniently located all in one place.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

National eJuror Program Launched

The U.S. District Courts have launched the National eJuror program to administer the jury service system. In the 14 districts now using the new system, court administrators have noted a savings of staff time and money due to eliminating paper mailings. Potential jurors appreciate the ability to defer their service dates, update their own information and complete other jury service communications online. The program implementation continues in 2010 with 81 districts expected to be running the eJuror system by April 2010.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Leading international lawyer and scholar dies tragically

Sir Ian Brownlie CBE QC, an internationally acclaimed lawyer and scholar, and an ardent champion of human rights, died tragically on January 3, 2010 in an automobile accident while on holiday in Egypt. Brownlie was knighted last June for his services to public international law, and had practiced in the area of human rights law since 1967. He appeared before the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice. He was also a member of the International Law Commission. His scholarly work includes Principles of Public International Law, now in its 7th edition, as well as Basic Documents in International Law and Basic Documents on Human Rights Law.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Year end report on the Federal judiciary

On December 31, 2009 United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. issued a one page report on the state of the Federal judiciary. This unusually brief report was accompanied by a four page statistical appendix. In his report, Chief Justice Roberts stated that the Federal courts were "operating soundly", and expressed thanks to Federal judges and court employees for their service.