Law Library News

Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Worth a read: Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight! – the Value of Libraries

Posted by Joan Bellistri on December 6, 2016

This RIPS blogpost is a good response to why a library when “everything is online.” No matter the format of the material, it is the librarian in the library that makes the difference and the case for the library.

The struggle between librarian and technology is real, but the situation is a lot more nuanced than saying that librarians and technology are at odds. We go together. (Like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong.) Yes, there can be entire libraries available on smart phones, but guess what makes them available. Libraries. And guess who makes them navigable. Yup, librarians. Even the free stuff is there because of the efforts of libraries and librarians—both academic and local. In a time where more and more students are having difficulty navigating truth from lies or bogus stories, librarians and libraries—even the ones sans books and chock full of the latest technology—are needed more than ever.Earlier this month, fellow RIPS blogger Paul Gatz wrote about the service aspect of librarianship and how librarians are “at the nexus between the system and the user, benefiting one no less than the other.” A huge part of our service is to connect patrons to information, and not just any information, but relevant and accurate information. We are the navigators, we are the beacons, we are the silent, mostly unacknowledged, partners in research. Take away the librarians, strip down the libraries, and there will be consequences. Maybe not 80 stanzas worth of them, but consequences none the less. We are in the day and age where finding information isn’t a problem—it’s the next step that matters. No matter what you type into a search box, you’re bound to find an answer. Is it the correct answer? Is it the best possible answer?

Source: Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight!

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Tech Solutions for Marylanders’ Legal Needs

Posted by Yelitza Conover on November 2, 2016

The trend of creating tech solutions for everyday problems has finally come to the legal world. These recent innovations signal a new model for providing legal services. One where saying, “There’s an app for that,” can truly change a person’s life.

One example is an expungement program developed by an attorney at Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, Matt Stubenberg., as reported in the New York Times. Even though, “as many as one in three Americans have some type of criminal record,”  many are unaware that they may qualify for expungement, the deletion of their criminal records. Some may not be able to afford a lawyer to help them expunge their records.

On MDExpungement.com, users type in a case number and the program determines if a case may qualify for expungement. The program even automates and fills out a form for filing.

Beyond making expungement available and affordable, Stubenberg also developed CLUE – Client Legal Utility Engine. Used by attorneys during client intake, this program will search for expungeable records, public utility records, and documents filed by banks to help the attorney determine whether a client is also at risk of losing their home for failure to pay water bill or foreclosure. The program is unique in that it works toward solving one of the greater problems with access to justice: a person who comes to an attorney with one legal problem is likely to have another legal problem that does not get addressed.

Technology for legal assistance is new territory, but now the Maryland Judiciary has launched the Maryland Law Help app. This app helps users find a court, access forms, locate statutes, and get connected to legal assistance in the Judiciary’s law libraries and self-help centers through their mobile devices.

Civil Justice, Inc., a Maryland non-profit legal services organization, will soon release an online referral program called JusticeReferrals. Meant for attorney’s working for Maryland pro bono, reduced-fee, and legal services organizations, it helps those seeking help get effective legal representation in one place. First, a client’s answers to intake questions gets input into the system. Next, statewide attorneys and member organizations who handle the client’s type of case will be notified and determine if and how they may be able to help the potential client. This data driven, inter-agency referral process should help find the client the best fit for their legal concerns. It is also meant to solve the frustrations many people have when interacting with legal service providers: the feeling of being bounced from one referral to the next without knowing why and without getting effective assistance.

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Do you need A/V Equipment for your trial?

Posted by Chi Song on April 15, 2016

The Circuit Court’s Information Services Department is responsible for the court’s evidence presentation equipment, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve the equipment, you can fill out an online form (available here) or call the Information Services Department at (410) 222-1484. If you are unfamiliar with the evidence presentation equipment and would like training on the equipment, contact the Information Services Department.

Are you interested in learning more about different programs and technologies available to attorneys for evidence presentation? If so, check out these articles.

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Solo Practitioner Blogs

Posted by Chi Song on March 22, 2016

Are you a solo practitioner looking for some helpful blogs? If so, check out these three.

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Tech Troubles?

Posted by Chi Song on March 14, 2016

If you are having tech troubles or you’re not sure if your firm’s technology is up to snuff, check out these articles.

Also, the ABA TECHSHOW, a conference and tech expo for lawyers, legal professionals and technology, is this week. You can learn more about the TECHSHOW, including CLE programming and education here.

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Online Databases in the Limelight – Verdict Search*

Posted by Chi Song on December 31, 2015

Online databases can be invaluable, time-saving  tools to any legal researcher as they provide organized access to a wide array of legal resources as well as sophisticated search tools.  Many online databases, including fee-based databases, are available at the Law Library, free of charge, to library patrons.  This month, the blog will feature six of the online databases available at the Law Library.

Are you looking for assistance with case valuation (i.e., what is the amount of money that you can reasonably expect in damages)?  Then look no further because the Law Library subscribes to VerdictSearch, an online database for verdict and settlement research.  VerdictSearch at the Law Library provides users with access to federal and state cases from Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. Search results may assist you with your trial research and strategy development.

How do I search on VerdictSearch? You can search by keywords (e.g., “car accident”) and then use any of the following filters:

  • Type of Injury (e.g., back, neck, head)
  • Venue (state and/or federal)
  • Case type (e.g., motor vehicle, insurance, wrongful death)
  • Award Type (e.g., verdict-plaintiff, settlement, mediated settlement)
  • Date Range (any range from 1988 to 2015)
  • Award Amount (e.g., less than $10,000, $10,000 to $100,000)

You can further refine their searches by plaintiff type (e.g., age, gender), expert name, attorney name, judge name, and insurance carrier. Once you have your results, VerdictSearch’s document delivery includes printing and email (PDF and Word).

Can I access VerdictSearch at the Library? Yes! The Law Library offers FREE, in-person access to VerdictSearch on a designated computer in our computer room. Please come to the service desk to request assistance in accessing VerdictSearch.

What to do if you need help with VerdictSearch? Please ask for help at the Law Library’s service desk. We can provide technical and research assistance.

Can I access the Law Library’s VerdictSearch subscription from home? No. The Law Library’s current subscription permits in-person use at the library only.

*This blog post is an update of a blog post previously published on December 22, 2014.

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Introducing the Maryland Courts Self-Help Center!

Posted by Chi Song on November 6, 2015

On October 30, 2015, the Maryland Judiciary launched the Maryland Courts Self-Help Center, which expands the FREE self-help services available for self-represented litigants (people representing themselves without an attorney). Phone and online services are available for CIVIL matters in District Court and Circuit Court.


HOURS: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

PHONE NUMBER: 410-260-1392

ONLINE CHAT: http://www.mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/selfhelpcenters.html

(Click on this image on the website: reponline)


Civil matters include landlord-tenant matters, claims, debt collection, peace orders, protective orders, shielding, expungement, guardianship and family law matters (divorce, custody, child support, etc.). The types of available services include assistance with understanding court documents, assistance completing court forms, information on how to file documents with the court, assistance preparing for your court appearances and assistance preparing for your mediations.
If you’re interested in sharing this information, check out their flyer.

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What’s a .law domain?

Posted by Chi Song on August 31, 2015

Untitled drawingThe Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)* granted Minds + Machines, a Santa Monica, California company, with an exclusive license to operate .law as a new top-level domain. This new domain is only available to attorneys and law firms. Anyone who applies for a .law domain must certify that he or she is an attorney and submit to a verification process. Minds + Machines started taking orders last month, and some prominent, large law firms have signed up as early adopters.

For more information, check out these sites and articles.

Stay tuned for news regarding other possible new domains in the future, such as .esq and .lawyer.

*Created in 1998, ICANN is a non-profit organization responsible for the coordination of namespaces on the Internet. For more information about ICANN, check out https://www.icann.org/.

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Posted by Chi Song on May 28, 2015

There have been a lot of recent articles about innovation in the legal field and legal profession. Innovation topics include embracing the newest technologies available to assist attorneys and non-attorneys through the legal process to innovations in the practice of law itself. Check out these articles, blogs, blog posts, and websites and let us know your thoughts!

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Posted by Chi Song on March 16, 2015

Did you know that the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County has a website? You can access the website at www.circuitcourt.org. The Circuit Court’s website provides a wealth of information and referrals.

Is the courthouse closed? How do I get to the courthouse? Where can I park? If you are wondering about these and related questions, check out the links available under the website’s “About” section. Here’s a small sample.

Which courtroom should I be in? Check the daily docket. However, parties should verify this information on the day of the court proceeding by viewing the docket monitors physically located in the courthouse.

How do I find an official court interpreter? How do I obtain a transcript? Can I appear in court by telephone? If you are wondering about these and other “How Do I” questions, check out the links available under the website’s “How do I” section.

I have jury duty. What do I do? Check out the website’s section for Jurors at http://www.circuitcourt.org/for-jurors.

I need legal help. Who can help me? Where can I find more information? Check out the website’s “Legal Help” section at http://www.circuitcourt.org/legal-help for links and information about Civil Case Management, Family Law Self Help Center, Forms, the Law Library, the Ask a Lawyer in the Library program and other legal links. The website’s “Learn About…” section also provides more information on topics such as Civil Cases, Drug Court, and Family Law.

This post provides only a quick guide to the Circuit Court’s website. For more detailed information, check out the Circuit Court’s website, or you can always contact us!

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