More Free Case Law, A La Google

You may remember a while back a post here in the Studio about legal reporter and article results in Google Book Search. You can also pull case law results from Google Scholar Advanced Scholar Search. As can be seen from the search page, results cull legal opinions from federal and state courts and legal journals.

Maybe you don’t know what Google Scholar is? From the site:

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Google Scholar helps you identify the most relevant research across the world of scholarly research.

Features of Google Scholar

  • Search diverse sources from one convenient place
  • Find papers, abstracts and citations
  • Locate the complete paper through your library or on the web
  • Learn about key papers in any area of research

There are date restrictions on the case law. While the Supreme Court material goes back to the 1700’s, federal and state case law begins in the 20th century.

More free and legal here in the Studio.

Hat tip to BeSpacific.

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Oxford's Word Of The Year

I’ve heard of Nobels, Pulitzers, Oscars, Grammies, Emmies and Tonys. But what’ s this? An Oxie?

The New Oxford American Dictionary has just announced its Word of the Year. Who knew? And guess what? The new word has to do with technology and social networking! Apparently, social media is on the minds of staid old dictionary publishers too.

The “Oxie” is presented to the 2009 WotY winner  — “unfriend.”

“Unfriend” is a verb. It means to remove someone as a friend on a social networking site. This is to be distinguished from “unfollow” which means to stop subscribing to someone’ s posts on a blog, microblog or aggregation site. “Unfriend” is deeper-rooted. It suggests the severing of a more meaningful connection, such as can be found in places like Facebook and MySpace.

Senior Lexicographer at Oxford U.S. Christine Lindberg explains the choice:

“It has both currency and potential longevity…. In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most “un-” prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar “un-” verbs (uncap, unpack), but “unfriend” is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of “friend” that is really not used (at least not since maybe the 17th century!). Unfriend has real lex-appeal.”

“Lex-appeal?” Now why didn’t that word make the cut?

You might be interested in some of the runners-up. Here they are, by category:

Technology

hashtag – a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets

intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle

netbook – a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory

paywall – a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribers

sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone

Economy

freemium – a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content

funemployed – taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests

zombie bank – a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support

Politics and Current Affairs

Ardi(Ardipithecus ramidus) oldest known hominid, discovered in Ethiopia during the 1990s and announced to the public in 2009

birther – a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate

choice mom – a person who chooses to be a single mother

death panel – a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed

teabagger -a person, who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “Tea Party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773)

Environment

brown state – a US state that does not have strict environmental regulations

green state – a US state that has strict environmental regulations

ecotown – a town built and run on eco-friendly principles

Novelty Words

deleb – a dead celebrity

tramp stamp – a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman

Check out the Oxford post here. And Hat Tip to Resource Shelf.

Oxford’s Word Of The Year

I’ve heard of Nobels, Pulitzers, Oscars, Grammies, Emmies and Tonys. But what’ s this? An Oxie?

The New Oxford American Dictionary has just announced its Word of the Year. Who knew? And guess what? The new word has to do with technology and social networking! Apparently, social media is on the minds of staid old dictionary publishers too.

The “Oxie” is presented to the 2009 WotY winner  — “unfriend.”

“Unfriend” is a verb. It means to remove someone as a friend on a social networking site. This is to be distinguished from “unfollow” which means to stop subscribing to someone’ s posts on a blog, microblog or aggregation site. “Unfriend” is deeper-rooted. It suggests the severing of a more meaningful connection, such as can be found in places like Facebook and MySpace.

Senior Lexicographer at Oxford U.S. Christine Lindberg explains the choice:

“It has both currency and potential longevity…. In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most “un-” prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar “un-” verbs (uncap, unpack), but “unfriend” is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of “friend” that is really not used (at least not since maybe the 17th century!). Unfriend has real lex-appeal.”

“Lex-appeal?” Now why didn’t that word make the cut?

You might be interested in some of the runners-up. Here they are, by category:

Technology

hashtag – a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets

intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle

netbook – a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory

paywall – a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribers

sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone

Economy

freemium – a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content

funemployed – taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests

zombie bank – a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support

Politics and Current Affairs

Ardi(Ardipithecus ramidus) oldest known hominid, discovered in Ethiopia during the 1990s and announced to the public in 2009

birther – a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate

choice mom – a person who chooses to be a single mother

death panel – a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed

teabagger -a person, who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “Tea Party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773)

Environment

brown state – a US state that does not have strict environmental regulations

green state – a US state that has strict environmental regulations

ecotown – a town built and run on eco-friendly principles

Novelty Words

deleb – a dead celebrity

tramp stamp – a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman

Check out the Oxford post here. And Hat Tip to Resource Shelf.

That's Your Argument? Really.

C’mon. Admit it. You have wanted to reply to that Summary Judgment brief with your very best Bill Maher on. Maybe you even did write that first draft with the sort of tone your mother-in-law might use.

If you let that first draft be your final draft, though, beware of Illinois Judge Diane Cannon, who had nothing nice to say to two Sidley & Austin attorneys regarding the tone of their arguments. The National Law Journal reports on the doings at the November 10, 2009 hearing here. At what sounded like a fairly contentious hearing on a Motion to Quash a subpoena against Sidley’s clients, two Northwestern University journalism students, Judge Canon made a heated point of castigating Sidley partner Richard O’Brien and his associate Linda Friedlieb about their brief:

Cannon, who was a state prosecutor before being elected a judge in 1996, turned on O’Brien, saying the case was “no laughing matter” and castigating him for submitting a brief that, she said, didn’t include attorney names and was “dripping with sarcasm.” “It is reprehensible,” a steaming Cannon said, calling the Oct. 5 brief an editorial not fit for court.

The judge said an imprisoned pro se litigant had submitted a more appropriate brief in another case earlier that day and added that Karen Daniel, a Northwestern University School of Law professor who represents McKinney, had never submitted such a brief. O’Brien had difficulty interrupting her to call attention to the attorney names on the last page with Friedlieb’s signature.

I KNOW I have quelled the urge to “write it as I see it” in pleadings, letters and other legal communications. The comedienne in me runs deep but the professional in me knows better. Still, though, there are times …..

You can get your copy of the offending pleading here. Let me know what you think. Did these Sidley attorneys overstep their professional bounds or were they merely acting as zealous advocates?

Hat tip to Legal Writing Prof Blog.

That’s Your Argument? Really.

C’mon. Admit it. You have wanted to reply to that Summary Judgment brief with your very best Bill Maher on. Maybe you even did write that first draft with the sort of tone your mother-in-law might use.

If you let that first draft be your final draft, though, beware of Illinois Judge Diane Cannon, who had nothing nice to say to two Sidley & Austin attorneys regarding the tone of their arguments. The National Law Journal reports on the doings at the November 10, 2009 hearing here. At what sounded like a fairly contentious hearing on a Motion to Quash a subpoena against Sidley’s clients, two Northwestern University journalism students, Judge Canon made a heated point of castigating Sidley partner Richard O’Brien and his associate Linda Friedlieb about their brief:

Cannon, who was a state prosecutor before being elected a judge in 1996, turned on O’Brien, saying the case was “no laughing matter” and castigating him for submitting a brief that, she said, didn’t include attorney names and was “dripping with sarcasm.” “It is reprehensible,” a steaming Cannon said, calling the Oct. 5 brief an editorial not fit for court.

The judge said an imprisoned pro se litigant had submitted a more appropriate brief in another case earlier that day and added that Karen Daniel, a Northwestern University School of Law professor who represents McKinney, had never submitted such a brief. O’Brien had difficulty interrupting her to call attention to the attorney names on the last page with Friedlieb’s signature.

I KNOW I have quelled the urge to “write it as I see it” in pleadings, letters and other legal communications. The comedienne in me runs deep but the professional in me knows better. Still, though, there are times …..

You can get your copy of the offending pleading here. Let me know what you think. Did these Sidley attorneys overstep their professional bounds or were they merely acting as zealous advocates?

Hat tip to Legal Writing Prof Blog.