Saturday, February 28, 2009

Financial Services Fact Book

Reputable, essential, unique--Financial Services Fact Book 2009 is an online book for the times. With the current economic downturn, the "financial services industry," an umbrella term that includes banking, mortgages, insurance, securities, consumer finance, and related services, is at center stage. Financial Services Fact Book 2009, jointly produced by the Insurance Information Institute (III) and the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), provides recent commentary along with comparative statistics and attractive graphs and charts covering all categories of the financial services industry for the period 2003-2007. This is a user friendly resource for reliable background and data about an important law-related sector of the economy. Bookmark the web page, or link from LEXICAT, the library catalog.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, February 27, 2009

Coming in March . . .

With February coming to a close, watch this space and your email for the Top 10 workshops from the Library. These workshops are designed to help you brush up your research skills as you head out for your summer or permanent job.

Our first workshop - on Wednesday, March 11 - will feature two law firm librarians who will lead a discussion and answer your questions on cost efficient research and offer some law firm survival tips.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Catalog Of U.S. Government Publications

The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications is a finding tool for federal publications. It includes descriptive records for historical and current publications, and provides direct links to those that are available online. Users may search by authoring agency, title, and subject, as well as by general keyword. There is also an advanced search option.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Searching the Deep Web

The phenomenon of the "invisible Web" or "deep Web" is not new, yet information remains hidden from search engine crawlers. Alex Wright discusses recent attempts to capture this data in Exploring a 'Deep Web' That Google Can't Grasp.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Forensic Science: reality v. television

You may have heard of the CSI Effect that is a reference to the phenomenon of popular television shows raising peoples real-world expectations of forensic science and especially crime scene investigation. Sensible people acknowledge that television takes dramatic license with science, but we tend to think that there is at least a reasonable basis for the techniques and procedures shown.

A report recently released by the National Academy of Sciences depicts a forensic science system badly in need of overhaul. From the report, "with the exception of nuclear DNA analysis ... no forensic method has been rigorously shown able to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source."

Hofstra Law School's Prof. DiFonzo has written on the many problems with DNA crime labs. Not the science used, but how the evidence is handled.

Lawyers who work with scientific evidence - used in criminal investigations, products liabiality, medical malpractice, etc. - need to be aware of these issues.

It seems that the forensic science shown on televison may be more fantasy than we thought.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, February 23, 2009

Leash Laws

Do you need to find the leash laws for your state? Take a look at the Animal Legal and Historical Center's overview of state leash laws. It provides a handy table where you can look up your state's leash laws. Do proceed with caution--while the site does give information on statewide leash laws, many municipalities also have ordinances concerning dogs. For more information about the municipal leash laws, look here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blogging Jurors

A recent article in the Fulton County Daily Report points out the new problems, and opportunities, attorneys are faced with as jurors sign onto blogs and social networking profiles to complain about the cases they are deciding. It might be possible not only to find out if a juror is commenting during trial, but also to use information culled from social networking sites to tailor a presentation to specific jurors.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat