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Full text legal opinions on Google Scholar

The Official Google Blog reported today that “we’re enabling people everywhere to find and read full text legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts using Google Scholar.”

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/finding-laws-that-govern-us.html

The Common Scold reported that “The Google database includes more than 80 years of federal case law, and 50+ years of state case law. Users can search full-text of the state and fed opinions, which are hyperlinked, so you can navigate from one opinion to the next.”   This blawg post includes the reactions of LexisNexis and West (Thomson Reuters) to the news.

A quick search revealed an easy to search result list with a brief synopsis of each case that included the official citations. There is even a “How Cited” citator service.

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National Pro Bono Week in the AACPLL

This week, October 25 through October 31, 2009 is the  first annual National Pro Bono Celebration.  The  ABA Press Release of July 8, 2009 states that this Pro Bono Celebration will recognize the legal work done on behalf of the poor and underserved.   ProBono.net’s “Celebrate Pro Bono” page describes this event, “sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service,”  as “a coordinated national effort to showcase the great difference pro bono lawyers make… The week is also dedicated to the quest for more pro bono volunteers to meet the ever-growing legal needs of this country’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The Anne Arundel County Public Law Library with the Anne Arundel Bar Association Pro Bono Committee will celebrate with the establishment of the “Ask a Lawyer in the Law Library” program.  On Wednesday, October 28, from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m., two attorneys will be in the library for two-hour shifts to answer legal questions.   The program will continue on every third Wednesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

In January the program will expand into the Anne Arundel County Public libraries for evening hours, beginning with the Maryland City Russet branch.  With more volunteers, the hours and dates can be increased at both locations.

There will be drop-in information sessions  on pro bono opportunities for Anne Arundel County attorneys everyday between 11:00 and 1:00 for Pro Bono week.  Cookies and coffee will be served   The AACPLL wiki, created to provide information on pro bono opportunities as well as resources to which attorneys can make referrals, will be highlighted during these sessions.  It is hoped that with this information, attorneys will find it easier to provide the pro bono service that is so needed.

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Maryland Rule 9-206 amended

The Maryland Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure released a new rules order dated October 5, 2009 stating:

“This Court’s Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure having submitted to the Court a Letter Report dated September 23, 2009 recommending adoption on an emergency basis of proposed amendments to Rule 9-206”

The rule concerning child support guidelines was amended in order to add provisions concerning “cash medical support” to the worksheets.

The full text of the report can be found at the Rules Committee website.

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Maryland Code receives updates

Most new Maryland laws go into effect October 1 so it is important that the 2009 pocket parts and supplements are received in time.  Both of the library’s sets, published by Thomson/West or LexisNexis/Michie have been received and filed.

For a review of what has gone into effect the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2009 Legislative Session, published by the Department of Legislative Services, provides a comprehensive discussion of  the new laws.  The report is  broken into 12 subject areas.  Each section contains a discussion of the majority of related bills passed.  It includes a table of major issues and an index of new bills.

There have also been some news reports on the new laws with the no texting while driving law getting a lot of press.  Here are just two links.

From WJZ: New Laws in Maryland Focus on Road Safety and in the Baltimore Sun: New Laws take effect Thursday: Drivers, gun owners among those affected

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A place to start

This begins the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library blog. The place to find library announcements and news, descriptions of services and what’s new in the library.  Look for reviews of new additions to the library as well as the old library standards you may have forgotten.  You will find legal research tips and learn about new legal research sites on the Internet.