Intermission

Fireworks #1
Image by Camera Slayer via Flickr

Now is the time to go get your popcorn, a drink, a trip to the loo, maybe even a cigarette if you are doing the 1950’s thing.  Intermission time!

The Advocate is quitting the Studio for a few days and heading to Connecticut to a friend’s lake house. At said lake house, said “friend” (and I do mean the quotes in the context of this sentence) is vowing to get the Advocate up on water skis. It is a feat that has been attempted unsuccessfully many times before. Some attempts even caused great pain. Nonetheless, in the spirit of our Nation’s birth holiday and my “never-say-die” (gulp) attitude, the Advocate is game for another try.

Needless to say, the Advocate will not be writing about law and technology over the upcoming Fourth of July Holiday, anticipating that her fingers are to become quite sore over the next 24 – 48 hours. But I promise you, the Advocate will be thinking, and thinking hard, about law and technology, particularly as she attempts to get vertical while being pulled at scary speeds behind a motor boat. Wishing, in fact, that she was still in front of her cozy laptop seated on her comfy stool.

In all earnestness, however, I do wish everyone a very happy and safe and sunny Fourth of July. Remember why we are all doing this – we have a nation to honor! See you on the flip side, and hopefully I will not be in traction!

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You Want Dockets? I Got Yer Dockets Right Here

Washington DC: United States Supreme Court
Image by wallyg via Flickr

Thanks entirely to Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites, a perpetual wealth of legal information of the free and on-line variety, I learned today of a new site called FreeCourtDockets. This site offers federal civil, criminal and bankruptcy court dockets, and material from the Supreme Court, Court of Claims and Court of International Trade.

Remembering fondly, here, those frantic calls to Iowa looking for a court docket on a dusty old case, then writing a check, then sending the check, and then patiently waiting for the pound of paper to return via U.S. Postal Service. Ain’t technology grand?

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Searching Twice The Area In Half The Time

Research is all about efficiencies – you want to cover as much ground as you can in an effective manner so that you can provide the best answer. In law, the best answer should be delivered in a timely fashion, often by overwhelmingly-short deadlines.

How about splitting yourself in two and searching in two places at once? How is this possible? –  you ask, knowing full well the ethical implications of human cloning? Erica Wayne at Legal Resarch Plus has the answer: two different search functions that offer simultaneous searching!

Browsys offers the two tools: Twoogle and Twofind. Twoogle allows simultaneous searching of Google and Twitter (hence the clever name mash-up). From the site:

Twoogle provides an easy way to search Twitter and Google simultaneously, from the same site, displaying its results side by side.

Twoogle aims to make easier for people to get the best of two worlds: The realtimeness of Twitter and the relevancy of Google search results; it also provides a “Tweet these results” functionality, making it easy to share on Twitter with just one click.

Twofind allows the searcher to search two search engines simultaneously. The drop down menu on the search page shows:  Google / Bing; Google / Yahoo; Google / Twitter; Bing / Yahoo; Bing / Twitter; and, Video. The results display in two side-by-side windows within the main window, each with their own scrolling.  Since I am finding myself searching both Bing and Google these days more often than not, I love the fact you can hit one search query and get both sets of results at the same time!

Browsys offers other free features on their site as well. Their search function has a search box over tabs marked: Google; Bing; YouTube; Twitter; News; Blogs; Wikipedia; Facebook; Flickr; W/A; Ask Q&A; and, OneRiot.

Advanced Finder expands the engines accessed, including some of my semantic favs and visual search engine Searchme, with category breakdowns such as: general; images; video; news; social; files; reference; and, academic.

There is a tool called SidePad that collects all the big and little search sites one could ever imagine in the left column, and a window display area showing the selected site on the right.

Quiclip offers a notepad for drafting text and urls which then can be shared, tweeted, IM’d or bookmarked with a single click.

Browsys also offers virtual file space or folders for collecting and sharing information en masse.

I am always grateful to companies like Browsys developing innovative ways to access information on the Web and offering their resources for free! Happy searching!

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