Conferences CTC2011 lawlibrary Legal Technology UELMA

CTC2011 – Day 1, A Law Librarian’s Summary

If you were in Portland for AALL in 2008, you have an idea of how entertaining the keynote speaker, David Pogue, technology columnist for the New York Times, was this morning.  His speech, “Disruptive Tech: What’s Coming and How It will Change Everything,” will soon be available at the NCSC website’s CTC2011 page  and I recommend it, if only for the songs about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates he performed at the end.  Pogue spoke of cultural shifts resulting from technology in terms of apps/smart phones, web2.0 and the huge generational changes we see now.  He demonstrated some augmented reality apps: one that can produce information such as the location of a subway station based on your location and a view of where you are standing through your phone and an app, word lens, that translates English and Spanish with the  phone’s camera.   He described web2.0 as audience as creators.  He also cited the surprising, to me, results of a study in Nature that found Wikipedia to more accurate than the Encyclopedia Britannica.  Through technology we now have a generation who expect everything in real-time and on demand and have little regard for privacy.  These are just some of the concepts discussed.

I couldn’t resist David Pogue’s session that followed his keynote, “The Best Mobile Apps.”  We saw apps that were fun and useful.  Songify will convert plain speech to song.  There are travel apps such as JetLagRX  that helps you adapt to a new time zone and Flight Track Pro that can tell the status of your flight. There is a speech recognition app (Dragon Dictation) that works great and is free and an app that can be used as a remote presentation slide changer (Keynote Remote).  I have always been reluctant to download apps to my phone but when asked about security issues David Pogue said he doesn’t really worry.  I just might try some of the apps he recommended.

“Abandoning Law Reports For Official Digital Case Law” described Arkansas’ decision to make the digital court opinions the official in 2009.  Professor Peter Martin of Cornell and co-founder of the Cornell’s LII was reassuring when he said that if UELMA were to be enacted in Arkansas the provisions for authentication, preservation and access would already be met.  Arkansas has also done away with the idea of published and unpublished decisions.  All are “published” now.  Arkansas has also adopted its own vendor neutral citation system based on the clerk’s numbering system.  Professor Martin discussed the  benefits of digital opinions in terms of cost savings, timeliness and access.  There were some interesting questions and discussion afterwards.  Why is authentication important and can’t we just trust that whatever is available on Westlaw or Lexis is authentic?  I think Professor Martin made a good case for authentication, even if it was just to assure the public.  There were a number of comments on the difficulty of coming up with a vendor neutral citation system. Another asked, ” Won’t this mean the end of physical space for law libraries?”  I was sitting next to him and must have looked horrified.  Professor Martin pointed out there are other materials  of value such as treatises in a law library other than case law that might still be preferable in print.  I was able to mention that AALL had developed a Universal Citation System that might be helpful and that law libraries might have changed the formats of legal information they provide, how they provide it and the space that they need but still provide an essential service in the court.

“Innovations in Serving Self-Help Court Users: Montana and California”  consisted of an introduction by  Claudia Johnson of LawHelp Interactive, Pro Bono Net, on the development of interactive forms using interviews for document creation with HotDocs and descriptions of different models used for serving self represented litigants.  In California, Los Angeles is able to serve  large numbers of family self represented litigants through work shops and interactive interview forms and San Bernardino County uses are more of  a one-on-one method.  However, by partnering with the San Bernardino County Law Library they have been able to have remote broadcasts using library space and technology.  Montana,  a large state with limited IT resources, has developed kiosks with options of live help or online resources for the user.  This program is in partnership with the Montana State Law Library,  Montana courthouses and public libraries. It was good to hear that law libraries are considered as important elements in providing court services.

I am afraid that the  program, “E-Filing and Web Services in a Nutshell,” was more technical than I expected.  However, the need for standardization was stressed as it can reduce costs and streamline sharing among court entities.

The day ended with a reception for the opening of the exhibit hall.  I visited just a few vendors this evening.  One that  provides systems for the video recording of court proceedings and a court management system vendor. is exhibiting this year, too.  I didn’t see the familiar West and Lexis until the reception was over and that was because they have a much smaller booth at this conference compared to AALL.

The conference is going well but I have to say I am disappointed in the weather.  I  expected sunny weather but it looks like clouds and rain for the rest of the week.

Conferences CTC2011 lawlibrary Legal Technology

CTC2011 – A Law Librarian’s Report

As the AALL Representative to the National Center for State Courts, I am attending the Court Technology Conference (CTC2011) in Long Beach, California.  The conference begins tomorrow and I will again report on my experiences here.

To start the conference I am looking forward to keynote Speaker, David Pogue, New York Times technology reviewer.  Programs that I am interested in are one on “Best Mobile Apps” with David Pogue right after he speaks or one at the same time on the use of open source software used by Arizona’s Judicial Branch to revamp their website.  Later I will attend  “Abandoning Law Reports for Official Digital Case Law”  and wonder whether they will talk about authentication, preservation and permanent public access. “Innovations in Serving Self-Help Court Users” is always a topic of concern for court librarians and of interest.  Maryland courts are on the way to implementing e-filing so it makes sense to end the day with “E-Filing and Web Services in a Nutshell.”  The Exhibit Hall will open in the evening with a reception.  It will be interesting to see the different types of vendors though I will see the familiar Lexis and Westlaw, too.

lawlibrary Legal Technology

Free Federal Rules Ebooks by LII

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI)  and the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII) have published three federal rules ebooks:  Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,  Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and  Federal Rules of Evidence.  The ebooks are compatible with many different devices  such as Kindles, Nooks, iPads or just your pc with the right app.

They are available for download at the CALI elangdell site and are based on the LII Federal Rules Collection.

LUNO Law Library Blog (Loyola New Orleans College of Law)  reported on and reviewed these  just released ebooks.  They compared the ebooks with the West Pamphlet editions of the federal rules and found that the CALI ebooks were seven months more current.

lawlibrary Legal Technology

E-filing and the Self Represented Litigant

As the Maryland judiciary moves to institute e-filing, the question of how it might affect the self-represented litigant (SRL) is being considered.  The following references could help in that discussion:

Eight Rules of E-Filing: Rule #6 – E-Filing Must Support the Self Represented

E-Filing Assistance for the Self-Represented: Seattle Law Library Shows the Way
Posted on July 21, 2011 by richardzorza

National Center for State Courts – Self Representation Resource Guide has a “Technology” section

Older but could still provide appropriate analysis:

The Future of Self-Represented Litigation: Report From the March 2005 Summit (The Role of Technology in the Access Solution, p.81)

Self-Represented Litigants and Electronic Filing by Ronald W. Staudt (from the 2003 CTC conference)

Washington State Access to Justice Technology Principles

lawlibrary Legal Technology

“Watson” and legal research

I watched the IBM computer “Watson” compete on Jeopardy last night against the two all time Jeopardy champions.  I have to admit that I was relieved when the evening ended with Watson in a tie with one of the humans.  Still, I couldn’t help but think how this technology could change the way we find information in the future on the Internet and the legal databases we use now for legal research.

Robert C. Weber is an IBM and senior vice president and among other things general counsel for IBM.  His article,  Why ‘Watson’ Matters to Lawyers, published in the Law Technology News today describes the technology, known as Deep QA, behind Watson and how it could  improve the ability to retrieve and evaluate information.  Weber, however, does not see Watson or Deep QA as a replacement for an attorney but as technology that “can unquestionably extend our capabilities …”

Tonight we will see how Watson does in double Jeopardy.

Legal Technology

Web 3.0?

An article in the online publication, Government Technology, discussed WEB 3.0 and how it might relate to government: Web 3.0 Could Lead to E-Government That Anticipates Citizens’ Needs.

WEB 3.0 was described as machine-to-machine technology whereas WEB 2.0 is collaboration and the sharing of information by people.  This difference was illustrated by showing how music preferences might be shared.  With WEB 2.0 you might see your friends musical preferences on Facebook.  With WEB 3.0 an online service such as Pandora might find your friends preferences on Facebook and suggest them to you.

WEB 3.0 is also called the “Semantic Web” which was described here as the web technologies and methods that allow applications to understand scanned data. “Microformatting” is seen as a solution.

The discussion of how government might use 3.0 seemed to be centered on government providing data for use by third parties.  Government data that is  plentiful and machine-readable would be a requirement.  Some current 3.0 uses were described such as a service in Utah.  The Utah state portal can read a users IP address and provide information relevant to the user’s location.

This is not the first time I have a read about WEB 3.o and this article made it a bit more clear.

AALL Conferences lawlibrary Legal Technology

AALL Annual Meeting Roundup: WEB 2.0 and Pro Bono

I was able to highlight the library’s wiki as a co-presenter at the LISP sponsored program, “A Web 2.0 Collaboration: Mapping a Path for Pro Bono Partnerships.”  I created the AACPLL wiki in order to more easily share information on Pro Bono opportunities and referrals with the Anne Arundel Pro Bono Committee.  The wiki became a great place for providing links to information resources for attorney volunteers in the “Ask a Lawyer” program.  The wiki is also used in the administration of the “Ask a Lawyer” program.  Schedules, PR materials and a chart of pro bono statistics can be found there.  It has been used by the Pro Bono Committee to collaborate on press releases and committee goal statements.

My portion of the program concentrated on explaining just what a wiki is  (a collaborative, easy to use website) and how a wiki works.  The presentation slides and program handouts are available at this Google site:

Two private law librarians from Minnesota, Jennifer Doyle and Trudi Busch, demonstrated the Volunteer Librarians Coalition wiki.  This wiki was created to “to facilitate the access to information needed by the Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) attorneys in representing economically disadvantaged people with legal problems.”  It is truly a collaborative project with a group of law librarians managing the content for use by pro bono attorneys.  Librarians are able to provide research services and Westlaw access is also available for certain volunteer attorneys through the wiki.

lawlibrary Legal Technology

Google Scholar adds new feature: “search within citing articles”

In the beginning of this month the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog reported that Google Scholar has added a new feature that allows searching within the citing articles.    Their review states that this new feature “takes its “cited by” function up a notch by allowing you to limit the search to cases or secondary resources that have all cited the same document.”  The post provides a good description of how it works.  You can also read about it in the Google Scholar Blog.

Legal Technology

Social Media Use by Government and Courts

This is just a short and selective list of articles, resources and sites that I have found helpful in explaining the use of social media by courts.

Background Information:

Newcombe, Tod.  “Social Networking Use Increases, But Has Yet to Transform Government.”  Public CIO 29 December 2009: n. pag. Web. 03/10/2010  Article discusses the increasing use of social media by government entities and policy issues involved.

“Twitter, Facebook Use Allowed on Military Non-classified Computer Network.” Washington Post 27 February 2010: n. pag. Web. 03/10/2010 Brief article describes how the pentagon is allowing the use of social media.

Shapiro, Ari “The Verdict on New Technologies.” Keynote Address at the NCSC Court Technology Conference 22 September 2009 Web. 03/10/2010 Video (registration required to view) This video provides a good discussion of the use of social media by the courts and how social media can affect the courts. Possible responses and guidelines are presented.

O”Clock, Christine and Olsen, Travis “Social Networking Tools for Courts.” Power point presentation, NCSC Court Technology Conference 22 September 2009. Web. 03/10/2010  Explains why social media should be important to the courts with descriptions of blogs, Twitter and Facebook and their use. The discussion includes pitfalls and navigation techniques. More information sources list of sources. “Social Media and Web2.0 in Government.” Web. 03/10/2010  An Official Website of the U.S. Government managed by the Federal Web Managers Council sponsored by the GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Guidelines for use of social media by the federal government with good descriptions and how-tos for blogs, social networking, and other social media tools.

Bourdeaux, Chris. Social Media Governance. “Research Database.” Web. 03/10/2010  Additional background information includes 110 reports.

 Examples of actual policies:

Bourdeaux, Chris. Social Media Governance “Policy Database.” Web. 03/10/2010 Listing of policies for 118 different organizations.

Department of Technology Services. Utah Technical Wiki. “State of Utah Social Media Guidelines.” 12 October 2009 Web. 03/10/2010

South Carolina Department of Recreation Parks and Tourism has created an “Acceptable Use of SCPRT Social Media” Policy.

Links to actual examples of court and law library social media applications: 
Fulton County Georgia Superior Court Blog

Fulton County Georgia Superior Court on Facebook

Clark County Courts Nevada

American Association of Law Libraries Computing Services Special Interest Section Wiki. “Law Library Blogs.” 24 February 2010 Web. 03/10/2010 Links to 110 law library blogs.

King County Law Library Blog

Oregon Legal Research (Blog)

Sacramento County Public Law Library on Facebook

Sacramento County Public Law Library on Twitter

LA Law Library on Twitter

Anne Arundel County Public Law Library Wiki

Cornell University Law School Wex