Thursday, April 28, 2016

DALL Formally Endorses UELMA's Enactment in Texas

DALL's executive board formally adopted a resolution to support UELMA's adoption in Texas on March 8, 2016.

What is UELMA?
The Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act ("UELMA") seeks to ensure that online official state legal material -- namely constitutions, session laws, codified laws, and regulations are unaltered, preserved, and permanently available to the public. UELMA offers an outcomes-based approach leaving it to the individual state enacting UELMA to decide how best to ensure the requirements of the statute are met.

This concept may already be familiar to some as the federal government has taken steps to ensure that federal government documents are authenticated. When accessing documents provided by the GPO, such as those available on FDsys, the words "Authenticated U.S. Government Information" appear on the first page and the certification provided by the Superintendent of Documents can be examined.

UELMA was drafted by the Uniform Law Commission and has wide support from the law community, including support by the American Association of Law Libraries, the American Bar Association, and many other regional and local law library associations. Specifically in Texas, the Houston Area Law Librarians and the Texas Library Association have also adopted resolutions in support of UELMA.

For more information concerning UELMA visit AALL's website:
http://www.aallnet.org/documents/government-relations/uelma

You may also wish to visit the Uniform Law Commission's website concerning UELMA. It also features a helpful enactment status map so you can identify where other states are in their process of having UELMA enacted:
http://www.uniformlaws.org/Act.aspx?title=Electronic+Legal+Material+Act

To assist UELMA's passage contact your Texas State Senator and State Representative and urge their support of UELMA in the next legislative session visit (or if you live in another state get in touch with your senator and representative):
http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Address.aspx

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Visit the Texas State Law Library's New Resource Site!

Checkout the Texas State Law Library's Web Portal: http://www.sll.texas.gov/

Here are just a few of the many resources available:

  • Historical Texas Statutes (1879-1960) -- not available electronically elsewhere
  • HeinOnline*
  • Nutshell e-books* 
  • Texas Court Rules

*Texas residents who are not currently registered patrons can register to become library patrons and access these resources. For more information see the TSLL Library Use Policy.

Registered Texas users can also ask questions of the reference librarians!

For more detailed information on this great resource, read the article in the April issue of the Texas Bar Journal, available here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Join us for the DALL Institute on Thursday, April 14th

Join us for the DALL Institute at UNT Dallas College of Law, prior to the SEAALL / SWALL Joint Annual Meeting.

We have pulled together a remarkable program about competency of legal technology and the practice of law. While not directly related to the duties most of us perform in our institutions, this is an evolving area that has ethical implications. Everyone connected to legal practice should be aware of these issues, especially in how we support our users in the most technologically sound and proficient way!

To register or for additional information visit http://libguides.lawschool.untsystem.edu/c.php?g=221407&p=2334624


Thursday, February 11, 2016

AALL Members Vote Down the Proposed Name Change

Members of the American Association of Law Libraries voted overwhelmingly to keep its name; a name that goes back to its formation in 1906. 80.11% of those voting, voted to keep the name, while 19.89% were in favor of the name change to the Association for Legal Information. 59.51% of AALL's membership voted in this election that has fueled much ongoing discussion.

For more information on the vote including a breakdown statistically of many of those voting, see http://www.aallnet.org/hc/NewsCallout/AALL-ebriefing-feb11.html

Information on the rebranding itself can be found here: http://www.aallnet.org/rebrand. This includes access to member discussions in the My Communities Discussion page (accessible to AALL members).

Monday, January 11, 2016

NYPL Labs Remix Residency

New York Public Library offers its first Virtual $2,000 residency to do transformative things with its digital collection!

http://www.nypl.org/help/about-nypl/fellowships-institutes/remix

Timeline: February 19, 2016 -> March 11, 2016 -> June 30, 2016

Complete the the application form by 11:59 pm February 19, 2016.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1PfXtiXQJVTSlVaAHjGz8DDdkCHhHxGISUsj13mGafI4/viewform?c=0&w=1 


March 11, 2016
A panel of experts will review submissions and two winners will be chosen by Friday, March 11, 2016. 

June 30, 2016
The project will be due at the end of June 2016.
Individuals or teams may submit proposals.

Recipients will receive:
  • A $2,000 stipend
  • An opportunity to meet and consult with NYPL curators and NYPL Labs staff
  • A work space in one of our research study rooms at NYPL's historic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building for the duration of the residency
  • Promotion of finished work by NYPL Labs
The NYPL is seeking submissions for projects that provide new ways of looking at or presenting public domain materials—or allow access to the information or beauty currently locked within the static images it has digitized. Submissions may include:
  • Mappings
  • Visualizations
  • Generative Art
  • Games
  • Bots
  • Interactives

Evaluation of your proposal:
  • Creativity and engagement: Is the project re-using NYPL public domain materials in an engaging way that we haven't seen before?
  • New perspective and usability: Will this project help users see the collections in new ways, by recontextualizing, remixing, or recombining the collection?
  • Feasibility: Is the project scaled and scoped so that it can be completed during the duration of the residency?
More about the NYPL Labs
http://www.nypl.org/collections/labs

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Access to Court Opinions Expands - UELMA is Model

Richard Leiter, Director of the Library, at University of Nebraska College of Law commented that the change adopted by the Nebraska Supreme Court was rolled out after two years of planning with the goal of being UELMA compliant.  


In February, our chapter program will be by Barbara Bintliff to provide us her guidance of needs to be done to move forward with UELMA legislation here in Texas in 2017.

For an update on the progress of UELMA being enacted check out this link to see AALL's progress chart.


Below is the original post about Nebraska's change:


Access to Court Opinions Expands

Text-searchable opinions dating back to 1871 will be available for the Nebraska Supreme Court. The full collection of opinions of the Nebraska Court of Appeals, beginning with its establishment in 1992, will also be offered.

Previously, appellate court opinions were printed or were available online through various for-profit subscription services. All published opinions will be provided via the Nebraska Appellate Courts Online Library at ne.gov/go/opinions. Once printing of judicial opinions in the Nebraska Advance Sheets and the Decisions of the Nebraska Court of Appeals ceases in June 2016, opinions will be available exclusively online.

Newly released opinions of both courts will continue to be available for 90 days on the Nebraska Judicial Branch Web site at https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/ and from the Clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals upon request, and from any electronic provider of legal information choosing to provide them.

Official opinions in the online library will be accessible 24/7 using smart phones, tablets or computers from anywhere with Internet access. Access via the online library allows the appellate courts to make their judicial opinions more easily available to the public.
Monday, December 14, 2015


Free online access to the official published judicial opinions of the Nebraska Supreme Court and Nebraska Court of Appeals will be available to the public beginning January 1, 2016.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The 37 Java API Packages Claimed by Oracle against Google

Have you ever wondered what the 37 Java API packages (application programming interface) are in the dispute between Oracle and Google?

They can be found in the footnotes in pages 7 and 8 of the decision in May 9, 2014.
http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/13-1021.Opinion.5-7-2014.1.PDF

More importantly, what does a package look like? Try this link to see the sql package.
http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/java/sql/package-summary.html

Stay tuned. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on June 29, 2015. http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/062915zor_4g25.pdf

Friday, September 11, 2015

2015 Lawsuit Fairness Survey

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform released a report recently that surveyed over 1,203 in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives who knowledgeable about litigation matters at companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues, and have litigation experience in each state within the last four years.


The survey focuses on perceptions of the state liability system by asking respondents to grade the following elements:
  1. Overall treatment of tort and contract litigation
  2. Venue requirements
  3. Class action suits and mass consolidation suits
  4. Damages
  5. Summary judgment or dismissal
  6. Discovery
  7. Scientific or technical evidence
  8. Judges’ impartiality, competence, and fairness

The report is significant in that it provides current perceptions of general counsel about the fairness of state-level litigation in the United States and will likely be discussed in forum selection meetings.

For a copy of this report, go to:
http://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/resource/2015-lawsuit-climate-survey-ranking-the-states/

Monday, August 24, 2015

Innovation Tournaments: what are they and what can it mean for your library or organization as a whole?

by Corrine Vogel

I’m so grateful to DALL to have been able to attend this year’s Annual Meeting with the financial assistance of a DALL grant. As part of that experience, I had the opportunity to go to the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals Summit on Saturday before the official start of the conference.

Karl Ulrich, the Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Wharton University of Pennsylvania led our innovation tournament. By innovation tournament Ulrich explains, you are trying to create a new match between a solution and a need you have, with that need being broadly defined. It is helpful to illustrate this need by envisioning the knowledge of need on a Y-axis with values ranging from an existing need to a new need, and the knowledge of solution on a X-axis with its values ranging from existing solutions to new solutions. Closer to the origin you pair existing solutions with existing needs in a new way, and as you travel further from the origin you pair new solutions with new needs. Ultimately all of these are considered “innovation” -- it just depends on what innovation you need.

At the Summit, we ran through our own innovation tournament, seeking innovation as it pertains to the question “What deliverables can librarians provide to strengthen their firm’s relationship with current or prospective clients?” We took the following steps:
(1) Gather ideas;
(2) Discuss these ideas with others;
(3) Screen what is valuable and what is not (this should be a low bar at first); and
(4) Continue to make new assessments about those ideas over time -- essentially filtering down to the best ideas.

While we only completed part of an innovation tournament, there was a theme among many of the ideas as well as more unique ideas that stood out. Many of the ideas focused on conducting research for clients and informing them of those opportunities, or having a standard checklist of research conducted for prospective clients or new matters. One unique idea included debriefing attorneys that have returned from  working in-house with clients -- to keep that knowledge preserved and use it to generate new ideas/initiatives within the firm. Creating a social responsibility partnership portal to serve as a connecting point for projects important to the firm as well as clients to assist the community was also proposed.

Ulrich offered suggestions on how to make innovation tournaments more successful:
(1) More ideas lead to better ideas, so make sure to include a lot of people.
(2) The specific people involved in the innovation tournament matter! Ulrich shared an example of one individual contributing six out of ten final ideas that rose to the top of the Wharton School of Business’s Branding Tournament. This means you should solicit participation from proven high performers and those with intuitive understanding. This is inherently hard to identify, so being more inclusive than exclusive with the people you involve is critically important.
(3) Variance is optimal. You want to get diverse ideas -- while law firms typically tend to limit variance, you can miss one amazing idea. Ulrich posits that it’s better to have 99 bad ideas and one amazing idea than 100 good ideas.

To implement this in your library, consider if you want to keep the innovation “closed” to professionals in the library, or if you would like to open it more broadly -- an “open tournament”. In a law firm this could mean including attorneys and other staff members; in academia perhaps including law students and faculty. Finally, in court libraries this might mean including judges, interns, staff, etc. while public law libraries could consider involving public patrons who frequent the law library.