Welcome JOAL! The New Journal of Open Access to Law

A heads up to all interested open access folks that the debut issue of The Journal of Open Access to Law (JOAL) is up and ready for consumption at http://joal.law.cornell.edu/.  JOAL, a multidisciplinary journal related to research on open and online legal material, was conceived during a series of Law Via the Internet conferences. Tom Bruce gives a run down

New Best Practices for Open Government Data

Josh Tauberer recently announced the release of “Open Government Data: Best Practices Language for Making Data ‘License Free.’ That document sets forth recommendations for federal agencies issuing data, and sample Creative Commons Zero (public domain) licensing statements. In the memorandum, Mr. Tauberer and his colleagues discuss how open licensing protocols can be applied by various federal government authors—agencies in house,

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks

MaineToday Media, Inc. v. State, Maine Supreme Court (11/14/13) Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law This case involved three Enhanced 9-1-1 (E-9-1-1) calls regarding an altercation that resulted in three people being shot. MaineToday Media, Inc. sent a series of requests to inspect and copy the three transcripts to the police department, state police, attorney general, and others. The State

FDSys Opinion Coverage Increases, But Is Still Lacking

The Administrative Office of the Courts announced yesterday that FDSys will now include opinions from 64 federal courts.  The program to integrate federal court opinions into FDSys began in 2011.  In 2011, they added opinions from 12 courts. In 2012, they increased that number to 28 courts.  In February of this year, they announced that they were expanding the program.

Justia’s Weekly Writers’ Picks

Stanton v. Sims, United States Supreme Court (11/4/13) Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law Officer Stanton and his partner responded to a call about a disturbance involving a person with a baseball bat. Stanton was familiar with the LaMesa neighborhood, known for gang violence. The officers, wearing uniforms and driving a marked police vehicle, approached the location and noticed men

Sriracha Factory Emitting Noxious Fumes, Lawsuit by City Alleges

The  famously versatile hot sauce Sriracha may be in legal hot water. Its manufacturer, Huy Fong Foods, Inc., is facing a public nuisance lawsuit brought by the town in which its manufacturing facility resides. According to the complaint, odors and irritants from the facility are causing physical harm and discomfort to the residents of the town of Irwindale. The city

California To Privatize Court Docketing Systems

Courthouse News reported this week on the “land grab” in California’s local court systems. When the courts announced last year that they were killing the CCMS (California Case Management System), vendors pounced on the opportunity to provide contracted solutions in its place. CCMS was a project started by the California courts over ten years ago. It was intended to link

Missouri Supreme Court Denies Survivor Benefits to Same-Sex Partner of Deceased Highway Patrol Officer

The Missouri Supreme Court, sitting en banc, issued a decision yesterday that, on its face, seems like a defeat for proponents of same-sex marriage in that state. In Glossip v. Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol Employees’ Retirement System, the state’s highest court upheld a state statute that requires a person be married to a highway patrol employee in

Docket for Unsealed Lavabit Filings

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently unsealed the documents in the FBI action against Lavabit, Inc – Edward Snowden’s email provider. In July of 2013, the FBI sought a search warrant in the Eastern District of Virginia. Rather than turn over the encryption key that would allow the government to read the emails that Snowden sent, and risking exposure