Law Library News

Posts Tagged ‘technology’


Posted by Joan Bellistri on June 20, 2017

wifiThe law library along with other public spaces in the court like the Jury Office now has WIFI.  After waiting for years, it is exciting that we can now answer the question – “do you have WIFI?” – with a “YES.”

Many thanks to our Court Administration, JIS and the Court’s IT Department.

Registration is required as is a Username and Password:

  • Select the “Judiciary Public” WIFI network.
  • Click on the “Don’t have an account?” option.
  • Create an account by entering information in the form.
    • Fields marked with a * must be filled in.
    • Be sure to choose your cell phone provider in order to get a text message.
  • Once registered, a Username and Password will be sent via text message or email.
    • Username and Password will work for 60 days.
  • Enter your Username and Password.
  • Finally, “Accept,” the “Acceptable Use Policy” and you should be connected.

I had trouble accessing the registration form using Chrome.  Edge worked fine as might Firefox.  There are instructions at the information desk and we will be happy to help you connect in any way that we can.

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Maryland Judiciary Data Dashboard

Posted by Joan Bellistri on May 18, 2017

Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera and Pam Harris, State Court Administrator,  announced the launch of the Maryland Judiciary Data Dashboard on May 16, 2017.

The Dashboard “is an interactive compilation of trial and appellate courts caseload and performance data.  The Data Dashboard is a user-friendly site from which to access data about total incoming and outgoing cases, clearance rates, active caseload volumes, and case processing performance measures.  Data is available county-by-county and statewide.” 

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Maryland Judiciary Launches Comprehensive Attorney Information Database

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 24, 2017

Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera and Pam Harris, State Court Administrator,  announced the launch of the Attorney Information System (AIS):

AIS is a comprehensive database that brings together information about Maryland attorneys maintained by the court-related agencies that support the Court of Appeals in its role regulating the legal profession in Maryland.  AIS represents a significant investment by the Judiciary to improve the internal management of attorney records.  Beginning this month, each Maryland attorney will receive a letter from the Maryland Judiciary with information about AIS and how to activate his or her account.

More information about AIS be found in this press release dated March 23, 2017: http://www.mdcourts.gov/media/news/2017/pr20170323.html

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Virtual Reality Attorney Training

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 17, 2017

The MSBA Young Lawyers Section has a posted a number of virtual reality trainings for attorneys on YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpNB33ElBfOsECWfYdilf3PRr7Pa1Zav4.

The trainings were created for new attorneys but could be helpful for self-represented litigants as well.  They were shot with a 360 degree camera and should be viewed with virtual reality headset. According to a blog post at Technical.ly Baltimore the trainings are the work of Matthew Stubenberg of MVLS and William Buschur.

The videos available include:VR cardboard

Guardianship Hearing

Consumer Protection – Intention to Defend Debt Collection

Expungement – Determination of Marijuana Weight Hearing

Expungement – Good Cause Hearing

Business Record

Photo Evidence

Family Law Divorce Settlement

The videos can be viewed without a VR headset but then the viewer will not get the full courtroom experience.  There are many models for virtual reality headsets but the least expensive recommended was Google Cardboard.  (I once got one as part of the New York Times – I will bring it to the law library in case anyone would like to try out VR attorney training.)

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Anne Arundel County 311 APP Announced

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 7, 2017

Anne Arundel County has announced the release of  an app and 311 voice services:

“This 311app allows Anne Arundel County citizens to report non-emergency incidents or problem requests digitally through their mobile devices. The 311 app has geo functions and is tied to both the AA County web and Facebook pages. The app allows citizens to track their reported incidents via the web or their mobile devices until such time as the incidents are closed. The app has a clean interface and is easy to navigate. Currently, the app enables Anne Arundel County users to report service requests such as:

• Lost and found pets
• Recycling cart requests
• Broken recycling carts
• Missed curbside collection
• Bulk pickup scheduling
• Potholes
• Drainage complaints
• Recreation and Park concerns
• Unregistered vehicles”

The App can be found in the iPhone App Store (search “AACounty 311″and at Google Play for Android:


Citizens can still just call 3-1-1 and get the help they need if they aren’t comfortable with using an APP or don’t have a smart phone.


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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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