Cool Conference Alert: LII’s Law Via The Internet 2012

Got tipped by one of my favorite sources for online legal information, the Legal Information Institute (“LII”) at Cornell Law School about what promises to be a very interesting conference scheduled for October 7-9. 2012 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. It’s titled Law Via The Internet 2012 and it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Free Access to Law Institute (can I get an Amen?). If you are unfamiliar with LII, it was the first legal website on the Internet, and it’s quite popular too – serving over 14 million unique visitors each year. It’s mission is to provide free and open access to the laws that govern us. Laudable goal.

To celebrate, the conference will be held here in the U.S. for the first time, with a star-studded line-up, including legal technology innovator Richard Susskind and social media visionary Clay Shirky. Headline speakers also include GovLoop.com founder Steve Ressler, legal information analyst David Curle, head of the United Nations project on Information Technology in Legislatures Gherardo Casini, GovTrack.us founder Joshua Tauberer, and Google Scholar founding engineer Anurag Acharya. More than 75 speakers from 25 countries are slated to speak, covering a broad range of topics within the realm of  legal information technology and the free-access-to-law movement. There will be social networking opportunities and galas – all in all a legal-geeky-good time.

If you are interested, and who wouldn’t be, you can register at this link here.

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Adding Statute Links Where There Were None

Great tip from RIPS Law Librarian blog  on a tool for pulling the text of statutes from a web page that fails to include the hypertext link (link here). The tool is called LII Citer (link here) and it is offered by the Cornell Legal Information Institute. The tool works by adding the Citer to your favorites (in any browser). Simply highlight the law on the web page, then go to the Citer link in your Favorites and you will see the text of the highlighted statute. It currently accesses federal law only, see the list below:

  • U.S. Code, e.g. 12 U.S.C. 1749bbb-10c, or 7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(3), which links to the paragraph level, using the LII internal USC resolver.
  • United States Supreme Court, e.g. 457 U.S. 800, using the LII resolver that tries to find an LII-local copy, and failing that, gives the user the option of choosing another source.
  • Federal Circuit Court System, e.g. 875 F.2d 1059, “resolved” by constructing a direct link to the resource.org data set as hosted by lawlibrary.rutgers.edu
  • Code of Federal Regulations, e.g. 40 C.F.R. Part 164 Subpart D, tries to resolve section references with the get-cfr.cgi file at frwebgate.access.gpo.gov; if no section number is cited, then a resolver at ecfr.gpoaccess.gov is used.
  • US Statutes at Large, e.g. 118 Stat. 919, resolution currently very speculative, using get-cfr.cgi at frwebgate.access.gpo.gov
  • US Public Law, e.g. Pub. L. 110-116, fairly stable, using get-cfr.cgi at frwebgate.access.gpo.gov
  • Federal Register, e.g. 72 Fed. Reg. 37771, uses the getpage.cgi at frwebgate.access.gpo.gov

Even without state statutes, it is still a handy tool for speeding up your web-based research process. Thanks Cornell and RIPS!

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