Features and Columns — September, 2014

Documentation Capturing

In the past, many of us have failed to document processes for ourselves or for our organizations. A good example of a professional arena where good documentation has the potential to have a positive impact is within the IT department. When a computer-related system blocks access to staff or fails to timely record updates, the IT staff has to respond accurately and effectively. Ulysses Weldon and Lorette S.J. Weldon focus on the importance of good documentation and how computer-related systems are installed, configured, customized and implemented. — Published August 9, 2010

July, 2010

Your Cheat Sheet for Local Rule Motion Practice Part Two: Central District of California

You know the Federal Rules backwards and forwards, but its compliance with the local rules that really makes a civil litigator look like a pro to colleagues and clients. In this ongoing LLRX series, the editorial team of SmartRules gives you the tools to navigate motion practice in these busy federal courts with ease and grace. We've outlined the key provisions and highlighted the pitfalls. Here's what you really need to know about motion practice in the Central District of California. — Published July 19, 2010

Development of a SharePoint Site

Lorette S.J. Weldon continues her series with a discussion on how to interpret and document the requirements of an organization or a specific department in order to develop a successful SharePoint site. — Published July 11, 2010

Testing the Accuracy of Database Information Produced in Civil Discovery

Conrad J. Jacoby identifies the trend that increasingly electronically stored information ("ESI") requested in litigation discovery originates in databases or other structured data repositories. Previously, this data was stored in discrete e-mail messages, spreadsheets, and word processing files that have long made up the bulk of most ESI document productions. Businesses creating and managing their accumulated information have discovered that they are able to extract far more utility if they store their data in a single repository and in a standardized format. — Published July 5, 2010

Law Libraries Transformed

Not long ago, the law library was "a place". It housed printed materials and staff and provided work space for research. Lawyers went there to use books and consult librarians to locate and complete assignments. Today Eleanor Windsor and Ron Friedmann report that the notion of a modern law library is very different, shaped by the skills of specialized researchers and information managers rather than by bookshelves and bound volumes. — Published July 4, 2010

June, 2010

Employment Online Resources

This guide for researchers by Marcus P. Zillman is a comprehensive bibliography of resources and sites comprising the latest and most comprehensive, reliable content and value added information currently available on this subject via the Internet. — Published June 24, 2010

Basic Legal Research on the Internet

This article explores the corner of the Internet landscape that concentrates on legal research. For the most part, these databases and search tools are free, although some might require a library card. Essentially, this is a short list of "go to" sites that most researchers will find useful. Before delving in, author Ken Strutin also examines a few time tested research concepts for the Internet age. — Published June 24, 2010

Problems with Creating a Course to Help Colleagues

How many times have you wondered how to do a task or work with software? You feel wonderful once you have found a colleague who could share their "know-how" about how to complete that task more efficiently or how to implement an applications that does not have a manual that makes sense to you. Lorette S.J. Weldon focuses on four factors to consider when you want to share your knowledge on your own: cost; timing; equipment and global presentation. — Published June 20, 2010

FOIA Facts - Ideas for Faster FOIA Processing

Scott A. Hodes notes that in the current Congress there are bills pending that would create a commission to come up with ideas for faster FOIA processing. He contends that by taking those ideas, along with a few days of congressional oversight hearings to solicit other opinions, Congress would have ample information to create an actual bill that would implement faster FOIA processing now rather than wait for a "commission" to come up with these same ideas. — Published June 13, 2010

What is Open Source?

In the past few years, the term open source has been bandied about not just in library-land, but in every industry. When a term is talked about this much, some would say to the point of overuse, people start to think it's a fad. In this and upcoming articles, Nicole C. Engard is here on LLRX to tell you that open source is no fad, and why. — Published June 12, 2010

May, 2010

Your Cheat Sheet for Local Rule Motion Practice - Part One: Southern District of New York

You know the Federal Rules backwards and forwards, but its compliance with the local rules that really makes a civil litigator look like a pro to colleagues and clients. In this column, Wendy Schneider provides professionals with the tools to navigate motion practice in these busy federal courts by outlining the key provisions and highlighting the pitfalls. — Published May 18, 2010

Forensic Evidence and the CSI Effect

The media's popularization of certain types of evidence may be inspiring a "CSI effect" on decision makers according to Ken Strutin. There is a question about whether impressions created by the media in its treatment and portrayal of forensic proof as either irrefutable or absolutely necessary for conviction is truly impacting the outcome of criminal cases. Ken's guide is a collection of select legal scholarship and media studies that illuminates the extent of the phenomenon and whether it needs to be addressed and how. — Published May 9, 2010

Knowledge Discovery Resources 2010 - An Internet MiniGuide Annotated Link Compilation

Marcus P. Zillman's latest guide is a touchstone from which all researchers seeking comprehensive, reliable and diverse resources for knowledge discovery via the Internet can benefit. The key is to be able to find the important knowledge discovery resources and sites both in the visible and invisible World Wide Web. This guide to selected knowledge discovery resources and sites offers excellent knowledge and information discovery sources to assist you attaining your research goals. — Published May 7, 2010

Are You SharePoint-Ready?

Lorette S.J. Weldon explores how "ready" are librarians to use SharePoint 2003, 2007 and 2010? She asks: do you consider yourself an IT Librarian or a non-IT Librarian, an answer that can be part of your job description. She reviews results from a survey presented at Computers in Libraries 2010, with insights into how this application is leveraged in various organizations. — Published May 4, 2010

April, 2010

Justice Stevens Invented the Internet

With the announcement that Justice John Paul Stevens will resign from the Supreme Court at the end of this term, Jonathan Band and Matt Schruers focus on one of his opinions that has had a direct daily impact on virtually all Americans: the majority opinion in Sony v. Universal, decided by the Supreme Court in 1984. This decision is the legal foundation of the Digital Age. — Published April 23, 2010

The Government Domain: New & Free Regulations Trackers

Peggy Garvin reviews new, free, non-government resources that have recently come online to complement the official U.S. government regulatory information sites, RegInfo.gov and Regulations.gov. For this bounty, Peggy says researcher can thank innovative developers and the relatively new availability of a free XML version of the Federal Register that can be downloaded in bulk. — Published April 21, 2010

Of Refrigerators and E-Discovery

Conrad J. Jacoby's commentary offers perspective on the complexities and nuances of technology innovations, in the home and in the office, causing him to reflect on how incomplete or incorrect impressions of how a responding party organizes and manages its business records impacts knowledge management and e-records. — Published April 21, 2010

The Odd Couple: SharePoint and Librarians

Lorette S.J. Weldon examines how SharePoint is used within the library to facilitate the coordination of collaboration, capturing and organizing "corporate" knowledge, and organizing digital content. She also reviews the results from her survey, "SharePoint Usage in the Library" which demonstrated how librarians could program their department's SharePoint site without code. — Published April 14, 2010

For the New Law Firm Librarian: A Conversation Between Two Veterans

Elaine Billingslea Dockens and Karen Krupka, each of whom has over 20 years of law librarian experience, discuss the field of law librarianship, and key issues and factors that new law librarians are likely to encounter as they enter this unique, and still vital profession. — Published April 12, 2010

March, 2010

Getting Educated at LegalTech New York 2010

Conrad J. Jacoby provides an overview of the New York LegalTech show and conference, long one of the preeminent opportunities to catch a glimpse of the future of legal technology. Conrad highlights how the conference provides a surprisingly accurate snapshot of litigation support, electronic discovery, and even the health of the legal industry as a whole. — Published March 27, 2010

FOIA Facts: Nonsense

Senators Patrick Leahy and John Cornyn have introduced a bill establishing a committee of citizens to make recommendations on improving FOIA performance. A similar version of this bill was introduced in 2005 and went nowhere fast, according to Scott A. Hodes. — Published March 19, 2010

DNA Identification Evidence in Criminal Prosecutions

In criminal cases, there have been challenges on sufficiency grounds and concerns over the use of forensic DNA evidence as the sole or primary proof of guilt. Uncorroborated DNA matching might not be enough to satisfy the burden of establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The reliability of forensic DNA testing results might be questioned for any number of reasons, e.g., laboratory error, cross-contamination, interpretive bias or fraud, etc. Ken Strutin's essay provides an overview of nuclear DNA typing, a sampling of the kinds of discretionary decisions that analysts often confront when interpreting crime scene samples, and concludes with with remarks about current disputes in forensic DNA typing, and how recognition of its inherent subjectivity might inform and illuminate these debates. — Published March 7, 2010

The Web Guide for the New Economy

This guide by Marcus P. Zillman showcases the latest world wide web resources for discovering new knowledge on and understanding about developments with regard to the New Economy. The rapid changes in government transparency policies have resulted in the release of large volumes of data pertinent to researchers that public, advocacy and corporate entities are publishing to the web. — Published March 7, 2010

Cloud Computing for Lawyers

This is Nicole L. Black's primer for the legal profession on an emerging technology which is defined as a "type of computing that is comparable to grid computing, [and] relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. The goal of cloud computing is to apply traditional supercomputing power (normally used by military and research facilities) to perform tens of trillions of computations per second." — Published March 6, 2010

Social media, geolocation and privacy, oh my!

Nicole L. Black highlights how our net activities are carefully monitored and meticulously tracked by some of the biggest players, including Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook. Our individual online footprints, from the Web sites we visit, the items we purchase, the people with whom we communicate, to the locations where we access the Internet, are extremely valuable commodities that are increasingly sought after. — Published March 6, 2010

February, 2010

Law Firms Now Outsourcers?

With the recent announcement that UK law firm Eversheds will launch its own outsourcing business, Ron Friedmann addresses the question of what exactly is law firm outsourcing, and how does it differ from where lawyers are located. — Published February 20, 2010

FOIA Facts: Why the Wait?

Requesters who are new to using the FOIA statute often complain that they have filed a request within the last month but haven't receive their documents yet. FOIA expert Scott A. Hodes explains that the congressional budgeting process does not specifically provide FOIA operations within an agency a set line item amount. Thus, FOIA Offices usually have limited resources from within their own agencies to fulfill requests. — Published February 20, 2010

Preserving Born-Digital Legal Materials - Where to Start?

Sarah Rhodes discusses the monumental challenge of preserving our digital heritage. She argues that law libraries specifically have a critically important role to play in this undertaking as access to legal and law-related information is a core underpinning of our democratic society. Our current digital preservation strategies and systems are imperfect but tremendous strides have been made over the past decade to stave off the dreaded digital dark age, and libraries today have a number of viable tools, services, and best practices at our disposal for the preservation of digital content. — Published February 14, 2010

Ethics of Legal Outsourcing White Paper

The practical reality for US and UK attorneys engaging in or contemplating Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is that the outsourcing of both core legal and support services across the legal profession is nothing new. What is different today with the emergence of the LPO industry is that both core legal and legal support related services are being outsourced to lawyers, law firms and corporations located offshore in countries such as India, South Africa and the Philippines. Mark Ross analyzes how the outsourcing of legal work by a law firm or legal department to a legal outsourcing company or an entity located offshore raises specific issues pertaining to the outsourcing lawyer's ethical obligations to his or her client. — Published February 14, 2010

Effective Project Management: the Art of Creating Scope Statements

Carol A. Watson's discussion of how well-defined scope statements are the key to successful project management continues with this article focused on how all written documentation should be clearly and concisely written, avoiding ambiguities at all costs. — Published February 6, 2010