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

Information on the rebranding itself can be found here: 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!

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

Complete the the application form by 11:59 pm February 19, 2016. 

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

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 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 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.

More importantly, what does a package look like? Try this link to see the sql package.

Stay tuned. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on June 29, 2015.

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:

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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The USPTO Updates Patent Eligibility Guide

Things are changing in the patent world. The USPTO has issued new guidelines for patent eligibility to address public comments about the following six major themes: 

  1. requests for additional examples, particularly for claims directed to abstract ideas and laws of nature; 
  2. further explanation of the markedly different characteristics analysis; 
  3. further information regarding how examiners identify abstract ideas; 
  4. discussion of the prima facie case and the role of evidence with respect to eligibility rejections; 
  5. information regarding application of the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance in the Patent Examining Corps; and 
  6. explanation of the role of preemption in the eligibility analysis, including a discussion of the streamlined analysis. 
The information includes:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Open Access Policy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

On January 1, 2015, the Open Access Policy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be effective for all new agreements. A two-year embargo will be in effect until January 1, 2017. This applies to Foundation funded research.

The five points of this agreement include the following:

  1. Publications are discoverable and accessible online.
  2. Publication will be on "Open Access: Terms.
  3. Foundation will pay necessary fees.
  4. Publications will be accessible and open immediately.
  5. Data underlying published research results will be accessible and open immediately.
This is transformative, and should affect many information models.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Webinar - 5 Critical Attributes for Special Librarians to Evolve and Stay Relevant

Between Google circumventing in-depth research, dealing with budget constraints, understanding the changes driving customer behavior, and other challenges, librarians are facing a new world in which they must be adaptive.
Join us Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET, for a webinar featuring guest speaker Kate Arnold, 2014 SLA President.

This special webinar is titled “5 Critical Attributes for Special Librarians to Evolve and Stay Relevant.” It will feature findings from a study co-authored by the Financial Times and SLA (Special Libraries Association), of which Kate Arnold was a chief participant. Drawing from discoveries of this study, her experience as SLA President in 2014, and many years as a professional in special libraries, the event will focus on 5 essential attributes responsive special librarians are making in an ever-changing landscape.

This is a unique opportunity to get the nuts and bolts of the changes and adaptability needed to stay relevant—from industry thought-leader and knowledge professional, Kate Arnold. Sign up today!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fastcase Hospitality Suite @ AALL14

Fastcase is happy again to sponsor and operate the PLL Hospitality Suite at AALL, for PLL members and friends at the annual meeting.  This year the location will be at The Ambassador Suite in Room 2032 of the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  Although the Grand Hyatt is not the AALL headquarters hotel, it is adjacent to the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center and across the street from the Marriott Rivercenter and Marriott Riverwalk hotels..  
Come for coffee and breakfast in the morning, snacks during the day, a beer or glass of wine as the day winds down.  The suite will be open from 7:00 P.M to 12:00 midnight on Saturday, and from 7:00 A.M. to 12:00 midnight Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  
There are a couple special notes. Sunday, July 13, the World Cup final is in the afternoon, and 7:30 P.M. until 10:00 P.M.,  will be BBQ NIGHT at the suite.  On Tuesday night is the MLB All-Star Game.  Want to schedule a meeting?  Need to get your panel together for a coffee-fueled rehearsal?  It's your suite, so come on over!  No dress code!