Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Collateral Consequences" of Convictions Site Launched

Those convicted of crimes know that re-entering society will be difficult.  What many don't appreciate is the full extent of the "collateral consequences"--the legal restrictions, disabilities, or disadvantages that are triggered by state or federal convictions and imposed either by their state or the federal system.  They rely on their attorneys to advise them about restrictions on employment and licensing (from school bus driver to apprentice electrician), on housing, voting, and holding office, and on requirements for public notification of a criminal record.

This week, the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section and the National Institute of Justice launched a new website, fulfilling a Congressional directive to provide lawyers and the general public with this important information. Right now, an inventory of collateral consequences for New York and seven other states is searchable by triggering offense category, consequence category, and keyword.  Federal categories and consequences are included, and a helpful User Guide adds to the site's value. The target date for adding all jurisdictions is December 2013. Check out this important new site for attorneys, law students, and clients. 

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Today In Legal (And Literary) History

On September 20, 1878, Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Sinclair later became an influential author and social reformer. In particular, his novel The Jungle exposed unsafe and unsanitary conditions in America’s meat-packing industry, and helped to inspire the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.

(Credit to Findlaw)

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Public Beta Site Provides Free, Fact-Based Legislative Information

"The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Government Printing Office (GPO), today unveiled, a new public beta site for accessing free, fact-based legislative information. features platform mobility, comprehensive information retrieval and user-friendly presentation., at, eventually will replace the public THOMAS system and the congressional Legislative Information System (LIS)."

Click here to read a fact-sheet on and Thomas.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Make your Twitter page POP!

Twitter has launched a new design feature for your Twitter page.  Using the menu, you can add a picture header to your page and create more interest in your twitter feed.  While you can upload any pitcure to your Twitter header, some of the designs actually incorporate your profile picture and header into one seamless picture...with varying results.  Some are cool, others are serene and still others are just funny. 

Check out 10 great examples of the new Twitter header/avatar combo.  Ryan Seacrest is number three on the list:

Quick video instructions on creating the Twitter header above and a template for editing your pictures to the perfect size and shape are available here: ttp://

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, September 17, 2012

Stats and the City

Courtesy of Crain's New York, Stats and the City offers mountains of data on NYC.  You can search, explore topics and drill down into interactive charts.  You can also explore statistics for the five boroughs and contrast/compare.

Some of the info is surprising - only 14% of New Yorkers still smoke - and some is obvious - City living is getting more expensive but it all paints a complex picture of life in the Big Apple.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat