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:
LLRXBuzz Archives: April 3, 2000 – Present
The Latest on Legal Research
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The directory, which is available at http://directory.findlaw.com/, is searchable in a few ways. First of all, you can specify your search for an individual lawyer or a firm. Beyond that, you may narrow your search by city/zip code, state, or practice area. (A separate tab allows you to search by a combination of name, state, city, and practice area. In that search, name and state are both required.)
Searching by zip code did not seem to work. I did a city search, found a laywer listing with a zip code, then searched within that zip code for a lawyer. I got no results. Searching for zip code and state didn’t work either. Searching for zip code, state, and practice area DID work.
Search results include lawyer name, firm name, address, phone number, and fax and e-mail if available. Listings also include a list of practice areas. For interested consumers, this directory also includes articles on interviewing a lawyer, information on fees and costs, and pointers for avoiding consumer fraud. Worth a look.
New Coverage Of the US Supreme Court
Law.com has announced the launch of a new information service covering news, oral arguments, orders, and other events at the US Supreme Court. It’s called the Supreme Court Monitor and it’s available at http://www.law.com/us_supreme_ct/ . It’s is divided into three sections, news, decisions, and cert. granted. The news section contains information on the current court term, organizes the stories by date, provides an abstract and a link to the full story. The decisions section gives a short summary of cases decided by the Court during the last term and from the current term as they are issued. And the cert. granted section gives information on pending cases by argument date and subject. Read the press release about the new site at: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/001017/ca_law_com.html .
Find Libraries at LibDex
Looking for libraries? LibDex ( http://www.libdex.com/ ) provides information on over 12,000 of them — searchable by keyword. Judicious choice of keywords is advised; “legal” only brought five results while “law” brought 338! Search results are somewhat limited; results include library name, state, country, library type, Web page, and catalog page. Having both the Web page and the catalog page is nice, but it would be great if a little more information was included just on this results page, like an address or phone number. (Though that might be outside the scope of what this index intends.)
Lexfocus Offers Anonymous Ratings of Arbitrators and Mediators
Lexfous ( http://www.lexfocus.com ) offers anonymous ratings of arbitrators and mediators, but it’s a little early to get much use out of it .
The site offers you two options — summaries of opinions of arbitrators and mediators, or detailed survey results. For summaries, you’re asked to chose a state, and then choose an arbitrator from a generated list. Some states, like Oregon, have no arbitrators listed at all. The detailed reports offer you many more options. You still have to specify a state and an arbitrator, but you can choose from several different reports to view, including whether the arbitrator’s personal style suited the dispute, whether they were a sympathetic listener, and whether they pushed both sides equally.
The problem with this site at the moment is that it needs populating. Casual searching found no arbitrators with reports on them, and while there was plenty of information on the arbitrators themselves available, there was very little feedback from people who had interacted with that arbitrator. This site is new; I expect the information will be added over time.
CNN Interactive Goes German
On Friday, October 20, CNN Interactive launched CNN.de, their new German-language Web site. The site is being launched in conjunction with n-tv, a German all-news TV channel partially owned by Time Warner/CNN and Handelsblatt investment magazine Die Teleboerse. This is the first German news site to be edited 24 hours a day and the first time CNN’s news will be available online in German.
If you’ve ever used CNN before, you’ll be able to find your way around this site easily enough. The left side of the page is a navigation bar (including gesundheit!) while the right side of the screen contained stock information and weather. The middle, of course, was the regular content. This site’s all in German, but if you know enough to muddle through it’s definitely worth a look.
Bloomberg.com Creates Archive of Bloomberg News
Bloomberg.com announced yesterday that they’ve created a online archive of “millions” of news stories. Searching is free; however, retrieving articles (and having access to them for 30 days) will cost $2.50 per article. The archive is available at http://quote.bloomberg.com/newsarchive/ .
First you have to set an earliest search date (the archive goes back to the beginning of 1995) and after that search by stock ticker, category of news, or both. There does not appear to be a way to search by keyword. Results include headline, a one-sentence summary, date (and time!) of the news story, and word count.
Find Similar Pages at FindSame
Backup Brain pointed me to an interesting new search engine called FindSame ( http://www.findsame.com ). FindSame allows you to enter either a URL or a chunk of text, and get back a list of URLs that have similar chunks of text within their Web pages.
The URL check brought kind of weird results, but the text check was very interesting. I threw in a few chunks of the first chapter of Little Women. I found a lot of places that carry Little Women, true enough, but I also found the entire screenplay from the 1933 version of Little Women – I can’t imagine finding that anywhere else very easily.
Currenly FindSame is in REALLY early beta (version 0.5). Be sure to read the FAQ ( http://www.findsame.com/faq.html ) to get an idea of how it works, what it’s good for, and whatfiles you can upload for comparison. http://ope.ed.gov/security/ .