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Legal Research and Writing

An Angry Brief Won’t Win You Anything But A Sanction

December 3, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Debra Koven’s ranting appellate brief (see excerpts at 5-8) isn’t something that as a lawyer, I’d ever write and as a judge I’d ever want to read.  Among other things, Koven accused opposing counsel of suborning perjury and claimed in her brief that “the fix was in.”  As a result, the court ordered a $2000 […]

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Can You Recognize When A Court Opines, Asserts or Declares?

October 7, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

This article, Curb Your Editorial Urges When Describing a Court’s Actions, Kenneth Oettle (NJLJ) (10/5/050)  finally clarified for me the subtle differences in verbs like recognized, observed, ruled, held and others that describe how a court acted.  As a general rule of thumb, here’s how the author feels about some of these verbs:     […]

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Legal Writing Resources

September 10, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Via Tom Mighell at Inter-alia comes a link to weblog that’s been published since March 2005 but is new to me: Wayne Schiess’ Legal Writing.  Wayne’s site offers examples of poor legal drafting, tips on legal writing and a list of articles that he’s written.  What was most interesting to me though was that Wayne’s […]

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Cincinnati Law Library Adds New Benefits

August 31, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

This article, Law Library Offers Virtual Services (Cincinnati Business Journal 8/29/05) reports on some of the new, free computerized research services offered by the Cincinnati Law Library Association.  The services include computerized legal research by Fastcase.com and a journal service, HeinOnline.  (as an aside, I’ve used Hein Online at the American University Pence Law Library […]

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Don’t Overlook the Lowly Law School Library

August 21, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

With so many legal research tools available on line, most lawyers neglect the lowly law school library as a resource.  But in my view, there’s nothing as valuable for research as a good law library.  In the jurisdiction where I practice, American University Washington College of Law Pence Law Library tops my list as an […]

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Free Legal Research Hits Florida

July 26, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Add Florida to the list of jurisdictions with free legal research services, as reported in this  article.  Florida is using Fast Case for its service which provides access to US Supreme Court Cases, Florida Supreme Court cases and Florida statutes and regulations.  I’ve always thought that free legal research is one of the most valuable […]

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Free Legal Research For Louisiana

July 8, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Ernie the Attorney reports that the Louisiana Bar is offering Fastcase, a legal research service, free to its members.  Louisiana thus joins the twenty other bar associations that offer Casemaker, another free research service.  What I noticed about Fastcase is that it includes access to district court decisions dating back to the 1950’s.  This impressed […]

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Security Breach At LEXIS

March 10, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

This article, Personal Data Bared in LexisNexis breach,  Oregonlive.com (3/10/05) reports that intruders managed to steal customer passwords and access personal information from LexisNexis’ Accurint database.  Lexis acquired Seisent, parent company of Accurint, (a darling of solo practitioners given its low cost capability of tracking people and assets), in August 2004 – and at that […]

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Westlaw is Free in Some Places – But Why Not Everywhere?

January 19, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

AJ Levy of http://www.outoftheboxlawyering.com lists a bunch of libraries in several states (AK, MN, NV, NJ, NY, OH, TX and WA) where you can access Westlaw for free.  I was happy to learn about this resource though clearly, it’s cheaper for me to sign up for Westlaw on a per-search basis than to travel to […]

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