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Author Archives: BEVERLY BUTULA

Online options for researching attorneys

There are occasions when researching another attorney makes sense. Evaluating potential co-counsel is a common situation. However, it may also be necessary when conducting a lateral hire search or educating yourself on opposing counsel. This article outlines a few online options when conducting this type of background research. First Stops The obvious first step when researching an attorney is their ...

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Do you use Adobe Acrobat?

I can’t imagine too many of us go a day without using Adobe Acrobat. I wanted to mention a blog that you may find useful – Acrobat for Legal Professionals. Rick Borstein, a Business Development Manager at Adobe, is the author. The blog discusses new releases, redaction, e-discovery issues, metadata, and much more. It is the simple hints and reminders ...

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National Conference of State Legislatures

The National Conference of State Legislatures is a “bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories.” Their website also provides researchers with a tremendous amount of information on state and federal issues. I recommend making a stop at this site when looking for legislative summaries, reports, 50 state surveys, etc. The ...

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Searchme.com

So many search engines, so little time. I realize I just posted on Sputtr last week, but I couldn’t pass up sharing information on another interesting search engine. Mary Ellen Bates of Bates Information Services has a terrific review of Searchme.com. If you are a visual person, you might really enjoy this engine. Others, however, might find the navigation a ...

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Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center

Questions on fair use? Need guidance regarding the permission process? Interested in monitoring cases and legislation dealing with copyright and fair use? Well, the Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources, along with their sponsors, maintain a site that can assist with your questions. The collection of resources found at the Copyright & Fair Use Center is tremendous. Links to ...

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Sputtr

I have often emphasized the importance of using more than one search engine when conducting research. Well, how about the ability to pick from a variety of engines from a single location? Check out Sputtr. First off, I have to say that the design is pretty cool. The page contains a search box and icons of numerous popular engines (e.g. ...

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Nursing Home Information

The Medicare website provides an interesting tool entitled “Nursing Home Compare.” The purpose is to “provide detailed information about the past performance of every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country.” The site allows the researcher to query by geographical location, proximity or by specific nursing home. A significant amount of data is available from this site. The ...

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Martindale Hubbell Law Digest Online

The Martindale Law Digest is an extremely useful tool for obtaining information for various jurisdictions. For years, the Digest consisted of hardbound volumes within your Martindale set. As time progressed, they moved to a CD version. Well, now it is even easier to use the Digests, because they have been incorporated into the Martindale.com site. Users are required to register, ...

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MetaGlossary

I am always looking for new websites that can help me be more efficient and effective at work. Over at Alt Search Engines, there is a review of a new online dictionary called MetaGlossary. So, I had to test it out. I put in the term “declaratory judgment.” First thing I noticed was a listing of related terms. The terms ...

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Books within a series

I am currently on vacation in Idaho, so this post is going to be about something I enjoy — reading. (Big surprise for a librarian) My husband is an avid fly fisherman and I, well, sit at the campsite and read. I can easily go through 6 or 7 books during one vacation. Often I will begin a book and ...

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Executive Office

Don’t forget to check the White House website for news and documentation from the Executive Office. The “Current News” section not only includes relevant stories, but can also provide audio, video, and supporting documents. Remember to look for related “Press Briefings.” Executive Orders and Proclamations issued during the presidency are listed chronologically on the site. The “In Focus” section of ...

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Two stops for drug information

Looking for drug information? There are several good sites out there. One you might want to check is PDRHealth. PDRHealth describes itself as a “consumer Web portal of the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR®), which has provided trusted and authoritative drug and clinical information to physicians for over 60 years. The PDRhealth site offers consumer-friendly explanations of disease states and conditions ...

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Don’t forget to evaluate

We spend time investigating many things in our lives, but often times we do not investigate the source of our online information. The Web is comprised of thousands of quality sites, providing invaluable data, research and guidance. Unfortunately, it also contains inaccurate, unverified and fabricated information. If we are researching something for work or personal use, shouldn’t we investigate the ...

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50 State Surveys

Over at the Law Librarian Blog and the Adjunct Law Prof Blog, are two great posts about the Open Government Guide. The guide is described as “a complete compendium of information on every state’s open records and open meetings laws.” I used it a couple times already in some recent research. The website reminded me of how much I value ...

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Banking Dictionaries

UBS, the financial entity, has a nice banking dictionary on their website. It is currently in the 2007 edition. It contains over 2400 terms and is a very simple interface. It is one of the most comprehensive that I have seen online. Just choose a letter from the navigation list on the left side of the page. Another option is ...

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Create maps, tables, charts

The Reinvestment Fund has developed a new site called PolicyMap.com. This mapping website defines itself as “an innovative geographic information system which allows you to easily create custom maps, tables, and charts.” They offer “over 4,000 indicators related to demographics, real estate, crime, health, schools, housing affordability, employment, energy, and public investments.” Most functionality and data is available free, but ...

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Legal Citation

There are some noteworthy online resources for free legal citation information. The first is the Introduction to Basic Legal Citation part of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute. According to the summary page, “it was most recently revised in May 2007 to reflect changes appearing in the third edition of the ALWD Citation Manual, published in 2006. It is also keyed to ...

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Tracking down wildlife disease information

Environmental attorneys and those interested in wildlife might benefit from this news. Earlier this month, the Wildlife Disease Information Node (WDIN), released the Global Wildlife Disease News Map. WDIN (a collaboration of UW-Madison, the National Wildlife Health Center, and the National Biological Information Infrastructure) is a network of online resources and services, which provide data and links to information on ...

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Findlaw Provides Legal Technology Center

Many attorneys utilize Findlaw for case or statutory research, but did you know they maintain a Legal Technology Center? The focus of the site appears to be electronic discovery issues; however the researcher can find news on software, hardware, communications and networking. They have a neat E-Discovery Rule Wizard that supplies the text of the rule, a useful checklist, and ...

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Insurance Resources

The University Of Connecticut School Of Law offers an insurance law program. As a result, they have a great research website that might be worth checking out. A collection of links to online resources is available in several categories including insurance organizations, social insurance links, and an extensive listing of insurance publications. They have also organized a terrific collection of ...

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Gas Guide

While not exactly law related, I had to do some research on gas prices. I thought I would share some of the data I found. The government offers some helpful information on FuelEconomy.gov. The EPA and Department of Energy maintain the site. It allows you to research gas prices, as well as, conduct a car comparison. Data includes “gas mileage ...

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Safer Cars

Consumer information on vehicle safety and recalls can be found at SaferCar.gov. The site is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and offers several databases. Search for vehicle recalls/defects or child restraint recalls. A relatively new feature is the RSS option to receive notification of new recalls. Obtain crash test and rollover information from the homepage of SaferCar.gov. ...

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Google Government – State Search

When searching for government related information, many people rely on Google Government to help narrow their results. This is a great method to eliminate commercial sites. However, a query from this search engine can produce both Federal and State sites. This can be frustrating, however, if the objective is to locate information from just one State. One way to alleviate ...

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Another option for searching state case law

Washburn University School of Law Library offers a State Court Opinion Search. It is a very clean interface based on Google Custom Searches. Currently they list 24 states and the U.S. Supreme Court. A “scope” link for each state is available, clearly identifying coverage. For example, Kansas searches both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals from 1996 to present. ...

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Library of Congress offers wonderful resources

It is National Library Week. It is a time to celebrate the library, the various resources, and the great people who make it all work. What better time to highlight a wonderful resource – the Library of Congress website. There are so many features available that I cannot discuss them all in just one post. I hope you take time ...

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Tap the Power

The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau’s Library offers a variety of services and resources to make a researcher’s job easier. The “Tap the Power” series is a personal favorite. Tap the Power guides are annotated bibliographies of in-house and quality online resources on various topics. The librarians who compile these guides clearly put in a lot of work. Each one thoroughly ...

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Try another search engine

We all know that different search engines produce different search results. Unfortunately, it seems we don’t always remember that when conducting research. Most people I talk to utilize Google as their primary search engine, others use Live Search. I would like to suggest another search engine to include when online – Exalead. It has a clean uncluttered home page. Tabs ...

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The IRS on Tax Exempt Organizations

The IRS has great resources on tax-exempt organizations. Many researchers visit the site regularly for the searchable Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations. Another feature worth noting is the “collection of links to State government web sites.” From here, searchers can easily locate State specific information regulations and filings. Copies of the EO Update (the periodic newsletter for organizations and ...

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Humor from the legal perspective

April Fool’s Day is always great for a joke or two and we have all heard our share of lawyer jokes. There is a Web site however, that provides some humor from the legal perspective. Stu’s Views offers fun legal cartoons by Stu Rees, an entertainment lawyer located in California. Need a little break – you can subscribe to have ...

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Who acquired whom in the banking world?

The National Information Center “provides comprehensive information on banks and other institutions for which the Federal Reserve has a supervisory, regulatory, or research interest including both domestic and foreign banking organizations operating in the U.S.” This website contains a database to help locate general and historical information on financial institutions. Choose the “institution search” to query the database. Several field ...

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