Saturday, November 21, 2009

Copyright Watch

While prowling the web this week, I was led to Copyright Watch, a newly launched website created by copyright experts from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Information for Libraries and other international groups. The focus of Copyright Watch is global, as it aims to be a comprehensive, up-to-date and user friendly online repository of national copyright laws and developments. Users can select a continent or browse for a country. The brief country descriptions include links to relevant international organizations of which the country is a member. In addition to providing quick access to foreign copyright laws and monitoring copyright developments around the world, the site and its blog will be updated to include proposed amendments and commentary from national copyright experts.

Copyright Watch is a great resource for foreign and comparative law research, and for anyone who wants to keep up with global copyright law and its impact on business and information access around the world.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, November 20, 2009

Talking Turkey (day)

Amazingly, Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. In between menu planning and feasting on leftovers (yes, virtual cats love turkey dinner), if you want to come to the Library we will be open next week during the hours listed below. Right after Thanksgiving, and I mean RIGHT after Thanksgiving the Library will start our exam period schedule and will be open for extended hours.

As always, you can check the Library hours page for when the Library is open and the Reference Desk hours page for when you can get Reference Librarian assistance.

Week of 11/23
Mon 11/23 8am-midnight
Tues 11/24 8am-midnight
Wed 11/25 8am-8pm
Sat. 11/28 10am-2am
Sun 11/29 10am-2am

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finland Makes Broadband Internet Access A Legal Right

It is interesting to follow the creation of new legal rights as they appear around the world. One such new right is Finland’s government’s decision to make access to a one megabyte broadband Internet connection a legal right for its citizens. Read more about this story here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Search for Legal Opinions using Google Scholar

Google Scholar has added full text searching of caselaw and legal journals. Just go to and choose the "Legal Opinions and Journals" radio button. You can also use the advanced search feature to limit your search by jurisdiction.

In addition to the text of the case, Google Scholar offers a nice looking "How Cited" feature that shows how the case has been cited and provides a list of citing cases and related documents.

Many bloggers have already expressed excitement about this development and are naturally wondering how this will affect Westlaw/Lexis products. Read more about it here,
here and here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

You are comfortable with your computer, phone and other tech devices, but legal technology may be something you don't really think about. Technology is technology, right? Well, yes and no. There is software and applications that are developed specifically for law firm needs (e-discovery) and there are those pesky legal implications for what you may or may not be doing online.

The ABA is helping lawyers deal with what they should and need to know about legal technology. Check out the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center(LTRC). It provides an FYI, Overview of legal technology that is useful for giving you an idea of the specific types of software required: calendar & docket, conflict of interest, document assembly, etc.

There are articles and presentations on what is happening with legal technology and tips on how to maximize use of resources. This is a good site to discover what you need to know and help you keep on top of the latest trends and developments.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, November 16, 2009

Research Resources: Electronic Commerce & Law Report (BNA)

If you would like to get national and global perspectives on the digital economy with news of trends and developments, try Electronic Commerce & Law Report. Electronic Commerce & Law Report (BNA) features comprehensive coverage of the major legal issues surrounding digital communications content, transactions, and infrastructure, on federal, state, and international levels.

To access Electronic Commerce & Law Report (BNA):

  • Go to the Library's home page, click "Online Resources"
  • Click the "Commercial and Corporate Law" link
  • Scroll down to "Electronic Commerce & Law Report (BNA)"
The Report is published weekly on Wednesdays, except the Wednesday following July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The archive provides access to Reports from April 12, 1996.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New York Criminal Law Research Can Be Easy

Sometimes trial attorneys do not like doing legal research. And all criminal lawyers are trial attorneys.

That is why some criminal lawyers should be glad to know that, often, no intensive research is required to find very good explanations of New York's criminal statutes. This is because the Practice Commentaries by Judge William Donnino which appear throughout the McKinney's copy of the New York Penal statutes (and on Westlaw) are excellent.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat