Saturday, October 10, 2009

Forum Network Launched

Now there is another free online video site, created by PBS and NPR, with a wide range of quality academic lectures, interviews with business and political leaders, and series specials of interest to law students. Forum Network, which is both searchable and browseable by topic, includes titles from Harvard professor Michael Sandel's lecture series on "Justice: What's the Right Thing To Do?"(including "The Moral Side of Murder: The Case for Cannibalism" and "Hired Guns?/For Sale: Motherhood) and topics in constitutional issues, technology, and legal history, such as "Slavery and the Law in New England." This is a fun site to browse for videos on legal issues, and joins YouTube EDU as an excellent source for exploring new academic knowledge and challenging issues with leaders in their fields.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, October 09, 2009

DropBox - my new file sharing toy

How many times have I wished I could access my laptop from my smartphone or using another computer and needed a file from my laptop? DropBox has the answer. I downloaded it to my main computer and put whatever files I need in my DropBox folder. I then add whatever other computers I want (by downloading the same software) and I then have access to those files. For a good visual summary, view the video at at the GetDropBox .

The two best parts are 1: any time I update a file on any of the computers, the file is updated for all. This means no more emailing files, putting them on USBs and then forgetting which one was changed. Best part 2: I can also access these files by logging into my (secure) account on the web. So, I can access these files from any computer AND my files are backed up. As a bonus, you can share files with other DropBox users.

Believe it or not, this is all free - at least the first 2GB. You can upgrade for a few $$ or refer friends to increase you space. (Your friends get added space too!)

Post a comment if you have questions.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Government Agency Documents Online

The University of Virginia's Government Documents department offers a Web site that provides access to government agency documents, including agency decisions, that are available online. The site includes guidance documents and interpretation letters, as well as links to agencies' e-FOIA reading rooms. The site is organized both by agency and subject.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The EPA Website

Looking for information about environmental law? Take a look at the website of the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA website is filled with all types of information including guidance documents and regulatory information. It also has a list of laws and executive orders that influence environmental protection.
It is a great place to start researching environmental law.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

First Monday in October

The first Monday in October begins a term of the United States Supreme Court. The acronym for the court is SCOTUS and you can watch a docket or find an opinion on their official website. However, if you want analysis of court activities, to data mine SCOTUS case law, or to hear oral arguments check out these websites.

SCOTUSblog: this is an excellent site for following the court's day to day activities, commentary & analysis, transcripts of oral arguments and more.

The Supreme Court database: The Database contains over two hundred pieces of information about each case decided by the Court between the 1953 and 2008 terms. he analysis tools allow you to select and summarize cases from the Database based on your needs.

The Oyez Project: is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality 'tour' of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, October 05, 2009

Accessing Exam Archive

Looking for another study aide? Try the Exam Archive. To access the Exam Archive:

  • Go to Hofstra Law School Library Main Page
  • Scroll down. In the lower, left-hand margin click “Exam Archive”
  • In the Hofstra University Library Electronic Reserves (ERes) window logon with your Novell Username and Password (this is the same username and password used to logon to the portal)
  • You will be prompted to enter the password (contact the reference or circulation desk for the password)
  • Click on “Accept”
  • Click the professor’s folder to access the exams.

Click here to access the Library’s study room policy.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, October 04, 2009

New York Historical Court Records

A number of Law Review members have been asking for help finding New York cases from the 1600's and 1700's--back when there were officials called schouts. Chances are that, in the end, most of these cases will have to be retrieved from clerks offices and archives. But we have been trying to make finding these cases a little easier. Here are a couple of the tips we have gathered so far.

-- If you are not looking for a case, but rather for a complaint or a pleading, don't hold out much hope for finding it published anywhere.

-- Supreme Court Cases, New York County. A number of the cases sought are from the New York City branch of the Supreme Court, which was founded in 1691. These cases are kept by the New York County Clerk's Office (see The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York's Duely and Constantly Kept. The only other source we have found so far that we think may have these cases is Supreme Court of Judicature of the Province of New York, 1691-1704, which is held at Axinn Library's Special Collections Department, but we have not looked for any cases in these volumes yet.

-- Kingston cases. Many of the other cases sought are from Kingston, or elsewhere in Ulster County, which means that they are probably translated Dutch cases full of words like schout. One source gatherer got lucky and found one of these cases in this book. And like the Supreme Court cases, some of these Dutch colonial cases may be in Axinn's Special Collections within volumes of New York Historical Manuscripts, Dutch, however we haven't had the chance to see whether many cases are contained in those volumes yet.

UPDATE: We have checked the books mentioned at Axinn's Special Collections, and the volumes held by Hofstra do not contain full records for the cases sought.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat