When A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

The Advocate has been doing a little long overdue housecleaning over on the Advantage Advocates’ website. In the course of the late winter, early spring cleaning frenzy, I noted an cartoon that I illustrated for the "interesting links of legal interest" page. I thought I might put it up here for purposes of general amusement and I apologize in advance if you have already viewed it over at the site and have no further interest in being bothered with it. Kind of sums up the whole Advocate’s Studio experience …..

From The Reference Desk:

Research Illustration


Did Someone Say ….. Coffee?

coffeeThose who follow me on Twitter might have seen my post earlier today about the plethora of items on my to-do list and my frustrating lack of coffee. America runs on it, but members of the legal profession seem to be particularly fond of the stuff. Hat tip to the Ross-Blakely Law Library blog for the link to this Q & A on AmLaw Daily about our high-octane addiction. According to the post, “caffeine has reached this point for largely one reason: it works.” There are explanations for the mechanics behind the magic, as well as its limits, including the admonition against relying on a Vente double shot “to bolster your brilliance when arguing before the Supreme Court.” The article also offers tips on how to maximize the effect while minimizing your intake (who would want to do that?)

Technology of the chemical variety? You bet! And while there are as many ways to get the quick fix as there are fixer-ups in need, I myself prefer a steaming extra large cup, preferably of the hazelnut variety, with extra cream, fall, winter, spring and summer.

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Legal Blogging Is Everywhere

Image by luc legay via Flickr

Robert Ambrogi at his LawSites blog has two interesting entries today and both involve legal blogging. Mr. Ambrogi reports on a new blog by the American Bankruptcy Institute and St. John’s University School of Law called ABI Bankruptcy Case Blog. This blog’s contributors intend to provide in-depth analsis on “cutting-edge bankruptcy issues.” The second blog, which is a bit closer to home for me, is being launched by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley called At Issue & In Focus. The blog offers a forum for Massachusetts residents to connect with the work of the AG’s office in an effort to foster citizen understanding and participation. A lofty goal, indeed. Apparently, the AG’s office also has a Twitter feed and a YouTube channel to expand communication to the denizens of the Web.

When bankruptcy practitioners and state’s attorney generals start dabbling in social media and Governor Deval Patrick is included in my FaceBook friend list, you KNOW social media has hit the mainstream in a big way.

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Music to My Ears

Image via Wikipedia

Perhaps not music, per se, but a harmonious, smart use of simple tech, no doubt. I thoroughly enjoyed this article posted by The Connecticut Law Tribune on Law.com about the availability of audio recordings of court proceedings by download. An experimental program that includes five federal courts was launched in 2007 by high leverl court administrators. Digital recordings of trials and hearings are made available for download through PACER, at the whopping cost of 8 cents per download. Only one of the five participating courts is in New England – Brunswick, Maine.

The Tribune interviewed the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee in Brunswick to get his impressions of the system, which are all positive. The Trustee uses the recordings to decide whether he really needs the $5 per page transcript. He can get the audio recordings faster than the transcripts and save money in the process.

What a great idea! Unfortunately, there are only five courts currently using the tech. But it appears the intent is to roll this out nationwide.

If you really can’t wait, there may be another option available in your particular court. There currently are 37 district court judges employing their own digital recording technology. They have made the recordings available on compact discs for $26. While not quite the bargain of the PACER downloads and not file-able in court, the recordings still offer a more efficient recall of the events of a hearing, motion or trial than the written transcript. 

I just love to see intelligent new uses for existing technology!

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