Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Real Court TV Viewing

Now that exams are over it’s time to relax and watch all those legal programs you didn’t have time for during the semester.

If you want to see what real trials are really like, you should check out the Open Court Project Archive. You do need to register and sign in to see the archives, unlike the live courtroom, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t having a session on Christmas Day.

If your preference is for appellate work, you can watch webcasts of past SJC oral arguments courtesy of Suffolk Law School.
Of particular interest to TV fans are the November 8 oral arguments of two separate cases, one brought by the DA’s office and one by the public defenders, which deal with the propriety of an experimental project allowing Internet streaming of proceedings in the First Session of the Quincy District Court, sometimes known as the Open Court Project.

Those of you hoping to watch the U.S. Supreme Court from the comfort of your own homes will be happy to know that bipartisan legislation to open up that court’s proceedings has been introduced (S. 1945 and H.R. 3572).

While this legislation is still pending you can watch the December 6 Hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, “Access to the Court: Televising the Supreme Court.”

Happy watching and
Happy Holidays

Friday, December 16, 2011

PACER mobile site

PACER users now have access to the Case Locator feature on their mobile devices. Case Locator serves as an index tool for all federal district court, bankruptcy court and appellate court litigation.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Loss of Statistical Abstract of the U.S.

Librarians and researchers rely on the Statistical Abstract of the U.S. as a trusted and in-depth look at the wealth of data collected by the federal government and other sources. Law students are always surprised to discover that their "impossible" questions about education spending, for example, can be answered with the Statistical Abstract. Due to federal budget cuts, though, the Statistical Abstract is unlikely to continue. What are the alternative sources? James Shaw, in his LLRX article, offers some suggestions.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Amendments to Federal Rules

Amendments to key federal rules became effective on December 1, 2011 when Congress failed to act after the rules amendments were approved by the Supreme Court. The amendments include changes to Federal Rules of Evidence, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Bankruptcy Rules. The full text of the amended rules can be found here.