Federal District Court and Bankruptcy Court Transcripts to be Available Online via PACER.

The Judicial Conference of the United States has voted to make transcripts of federal district and bankruptcy court proceedings available online through the PACER system.  Transcripts will be available for the same $0.08/page rate as other documents, but there’s a catch: they won’t be available on PACER until 90 days after they have been delivered to the clerk.  Until then, you’ll have to view the transcript at the clerk’s office or order a copy from the reporter. 

The press release doesn’t say when this policy goes into effect.  Nor does it say whether the transcripts will be in scanned PDF format like other documents or will instead be text-searchable files.  In my mind, there’s really no excuse for not offering text-searchable downloads.

Thanks to Tami Cowden of Appealing in Nevada for the link.

A Plug for “Old School” Research

Thanks to the Second Opinions blog, I found Law Dawg Blawg today, which has this post summarizing an article at Legal Times by a Big Law partner about his concern that young associates rely too much on online legal research tools, and what his firm did to encourage young associates to get into the library and utilize print resources.  This should be of particular interest to “old school” attorneys.

I suspected that some lawyers were moving away from print because this blog gets hits from law firms running searches in Google.  I don’t expect to replace Westlaw anytime soon, but I find it interesting that the searchers at these firms (some of them Big Law firms) are actually clicking through to the blog while doing research.

 I love online research, especially using the Key Number system on Westlaw.  But for initial research in secondary materials, or to actually read materials, it is far more satisfying for me to be in the library.

I suggest you read the summary post at Law Dawg Blawg first before going on to the Legal Times article.

Bloggers Beware

Kevin O’Keefe at Lexblog posts a link to an article on twelve laws every blogger should know.  According to the bullet points, the article covers such issues as a blogger’s duty to monitor comments, the applicability of journalism shield laws, ownership of user-developed content, and more.  The article itself begins:

Internet activity, and particular [sic] blogging, is being shaped and governed by state and federal laws. For US bloggers in particular, blogging has become a veritable land mine of potential legal issues, and the situation isn’t helped by the fact that the law in this area is constantly in flux. In this article we highlight twelve of the most important US laws when it comes to blogging and provide some simple and straightforward tips for safely navigating them.

If you’re blogging, you owe it to yourself to check it out.  And it probably wouldn’t hurt to keep Tuesday’s Roommates.com decision in mind, too.

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