Legal Research Blog
Book designer Craig Mod recently published this (visually stunning) post on his personal blog explaining why he gladly bids good riddance to the printed word. This point of view comes as a bit of a surprise from someone who has devoted the past six years to “trying to make beautiful printed books.” You’d think that a book designer of all people would be waxing philosophical about the value in preserving his craft. Not so.
Mod, to his credit, sees incredible potential in the iPad, and argues that this new beautiful container will actually make written works less disposable. Read the entire post here or the New York Time’s take on his post, here.
If you have ever received a ticket for running a red light that you swear you didn’t see, courtesy of one of those new-fangled red light cameras, you are not alone. The same thing happened to former Missouri State Highway Patrolman Adolph Belt, and in the words of Missouri’s high court: “he did not take the matter lightly.” Belt, a “traffic expert,” went back to the intersection, timed the yellow caution light and found that it was too quick and that the stoplight and the cameras needed to be synchronized. So he fought the citation all the way up to the Missouri Supreme Court — and won.
But as is often the case with these types of stories, his victory had little to do with the merits of the case. Instead, the Missouri Supreme Court determined that the city of Springfield was wrong to deny him a de novo trial of his initial hearing because violation of a red light ordinance is a moving violation. This is not the first time state judges have taken issue with red-light camera enforcement. According to The Newspaper, similar rulings have been handed down by the Iowa Supreme Court and the Ohio Supreme Court. Read the entire decision, Springfield v. Belt, No. SC90324 (Missouri March, 2, 2010), here.
In case you haven’t heard, the iPhone vs. Nexus One rivalry has moved into the courtroom in the form of a high stakes patent battle.
On March 2, 2010 Apple filed “filed a lawsuit against HTC [the manufacturer of Google's Nexus One smartphone] for infringing on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. The lawsuit was filed concurrently with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and in U.S. District Court in Delaware.” (Read Apple’s full press release here).
For a great in-depth look at the lawsuit (an access to the complaint) check out Engaget’s coverage here.
Ever since we launched the first full featured legal research app — Fastcase for the iPhone — back in January, we have been hearing a lot of requests for Fastcase apps for other smartphone platforms.
We love getting this kind of feedback, so we created a poll where you cast your vote. (We can’t make any promises at this point about which type of app we will tackle next, but we will certainly factor in your feedback as we plan our next move).
In case you haven’t already heard: Fastcase is the largest law library on the iPhone, with free download of the app, and free searching of Fastcase’s comprehensive national law library of cases and statutes. The app uses the same next-generation legal research engine as Fastcase’s acclaimed Web-based platform. Fastcase for the iPhone users can search the comprehensive Fastcase legal research database with keyword (or “Boolean”) search in addition to citation lookup for cases and statutes. The app also supports “browsing” statutes in outline view. Best of all, the app is absolutely free to download and use. If you haven’t already dowloaded the app, you can get started here.
We do our best to provide our customers with all the resources they need to know Fastcase in and out. We conduct webinars on a nearly daily basis, answer folks’ questions via live chat, and provide a lot of great resources online.
But often times, the best advice about Fastcase comes from customers themselves. Bar associations, bloggers, and librarians are great resources for tips and advice, so it’s our pleasure to highlight a recent favorite from Laura Bergus, writing for Social Media Law Student:
“This view [Interactive Timeline] is also helpful for analyzing the usefulness of your search query at a glance: if the inner circles are consistently very small compared to the outer circles, your search is probably not hitting the issue that these cases are usually cited for. This may be expected for certain issues, but is a good indicator you need to refine your search if you’re looking for seminal cases on a particular topic (because you would expect such cases to be cited heavily both in the search results and in the total database).”
Smart huh? Use Interactive Timeline to measure the effectiveness of your search. This is a prime example of a blogger identifying a specific aspect of a feature that we’ve never highlighted before—it’s a great tip and an effective use of the Interactive Timeline.
If you have any tips, suggestions for new features, or general feedback, let us know. Happy Searching!