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LLRXBuzz - January 14, 2002

By Tara Calishain, Published on January 14, 2002

Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.



In This Issue:

American Law Sources On-line

Deutscher Bundestag

Real Corporate Lawyer

California Discrimination Law

Survey Shows Interest in E-Government

Digital State Survey Released

Northern Light Ends Public Search Engine Access

Google Ads Wildcards to Phrases

LLRXBu zz Tour of 50 State Web Sites

LLRXBu zz Archives: April 3, 2000 - Present

The Latest on Legal Research 02

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American Law Sources On-line

American Law Sources On-line (http://www.lawsource.com/also/) is a portal of mostly free law sources in North America. Click on the United States, Canada or Mexico link or browse down the page.

Under the US, you will find links to court decisions as well as constitution and legislation information from each of the states plus American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and more. Each state has its own page, which is an interesting mix of plain links, pull-down menus, and search boxes for other sites.

Also under United States, you will find links to Law, Commentary and Practice sources. The Law category features searchable databases of Federal Court
decisions and additional resources like the US Code and information on Titles 8 and 26. Commentaries come from legal periodicals, interactive discussion forums and more.

Sources in Canada operate the same way, with law summaries, court decisions and legislation information from each of the territories. There are also links to Canadian law schools and legal periodicals. Likewise with the Mexican sources, though most of the law sources are in Spanish.

I like this site. Even with all of the information it offers, the user can easily locate sources and navigate back to search options. Annotation is solid and the information is well-organized.

Deutscher Bundestag

Deutscher Bundestag (http://www.bundestag.de/datbk/library/) is a global
directory of Parliamentary Libraries. Although a major portion of this site is in German, the directory is in English. Click on the alphabetical list of sovereign
states to determine which countries are included.

Records include the official name of the country and its Parliament, along with the official language. The Library's official name and location is listed followed
by information about it and its collection.

Details on the United States start with Congress and links to each of the individual states plus commonwealths and unincorporated territories.

Real Corporate Lawyer

Real Corporate Lawyer, at http://www.realcorporatelawyer.com/, is sponsored by the R. R. Donnelly & Sons Company. It focuses on providing educational resources for lawyers interested in corporate and security areas of the law.

The Cyberlaw Center is in the left column. (You can't miss it, it's right next the blinking yellow "New" icons.) Clicking on any of its features, such as Proxy
Fights, Regulation FD or Road Shows, opens questions relating to the subject with answers bookmarked further down the page. New options in the Cyberlaw Center include MTN Programs, Rule 144A and Shelf Offerings.

The center column has Special Features like the complimentary "live" program entitled "eLawyering Ethics." The center column also has Staff Guidances
and drop-down navigation box for direct access to various sections.

The front page also offers a free monthly newsletter, and a list of contents in the current issue. The tabs across the top include links to other publications and an e-zine archive.

California Discrimination Law

This site, at http://www.californiadiscriminationlaw.com/, looks at discrimination laws within the state of California. It's written for legal professionals as well as consumers.

Areas of discrimination covered include Race, Age, ADA and National Origin. Types of information include full term descriptions and how application of the term may be different in California than under federal law.

California Discrimination Law also explores Retaliation by Employers as well as Racial and Sexual Harassment. The site's section on Other Information Sites has Web links sorted by categories like Civil Rights, Women and
Law Sites. Lots of information here.

Survey Shows Interest in E-Government

According to the 2001 National Technology Readiness Survey, over half of adult Internet users accessed state or local government Web sites last year and a third clicked onto a federal government site.

The survey reflected a business use of government site to do such things as pay taxes and apply for permits. One spokesman said e-government may actually become more popular than e-commerce because it beats the
lines in government offices. Check out the press release here:
http://www1.internetwire.com/iwire/iwprj?id=36582&cat=te.

Editor's Note (SP): Data from the survey is available at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, at this link: http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/pr/charts.html.

Digital State Survey Released

The Progress & Freedom Foundation, along with the Center for Digital Government, has released the findings of Digital State 2001, the fourth annual
report on the progress our states are making in using digital technologies to delivery citizens' services.

Each state's chief information officers are polled in the survey's eight categories including Social Services, Digital Democracy and Law Enforcement.
Illinois and Kansas tied for first place, while Washington, Maryland and Arizona completed the top five. The full press release is at:
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020102/dcw001_1.html.

Editor's Note (SP):  The link for The Digital State 2001, in pdf, is http://www.pff.org/publications/digitalstate2001.pdf.

Northern Light Ends Public Search Engine Access

Northern Light announced yesterday (press release at
http://library.northernlight.com/FB20020108420000192.html) that public access to their search engine will end on January 16. Northern Light will continue to make its excellent news search engine available, however, and
will also make available its online collection of over 7,000 Special Collection documents.

I talked to a Northern Light rep yesterday about the shutdown. The GeoSearch, stock search, and most of the other searches peripheral to Northern Light are going away in addition to the full search engine shutdown.

Northern Light has suffered from a low profile for years. Even though it's got excellent technology and admirable syntax, it was always "Oh, and Northern
Light." As in, "Google and AltaVista are good search engines. Oh, and Northern Light." Northern Light's decision to focus on its enterprise customers and provide for the Web-surfing public as a second concern seems like a sound idea to me.

My only concern is that their news search engine will have an equal problem of obscurity. Eight months ago, when there were fewer news search engines, Northern Light's selection of searches, free e-mail alerts, and news syntax would really stand out. But now news search engines are popping up like mushrooms after a heavy rain. Will Northern Light's news search be noticed?
Will Northern Light consider a modest monthly fee for access to e-mailed news alerts if costs of running a news search engine come prohibitive? I hope so.

A couple more Northern Light notes: they have ended their sponsorship of the Indy Racing League, not a big surprise if they're moving away from general consumer services (story on that at:
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20020107/sp/car_irl_sponsor_1.html). They've also teamed up with In-Q-Tel, the Central Intelligence Agency's independent, non-profit company funded by the U.S. government, to develop an advanced search engine for In-Q-Tel. You can see the story on that at
http://library.northernlight.com/FD20020108100000108.html.

Google Ads Wildcards to Phrases

If you're a regular ResearchBuzz reader you already know how to search for phrases in Google using "wildcard words" -- you just use the word "the," which
Google always considers a stopword. So, search for "three the mice" in Google and you'll find three green mice, three blue mice, three blind mice, etc.

Google has made using "the" unnecessary by adding a word-sized asterisk to its search syntax. What is a word-sized asterisk? It's an asterisk you can use in place of a word; "three * mice" will find three green mice, three blind mice, etc. This asterisk CANNOT be used for part of a word. If you try to search for "three bl* mice" you'll get no results. Thanks to Gary Price for this tip.