Pilot Program to Put Court Transcripts in the Cloud

A pilot program in Fresno, California to create and distribute court transcripts in The Cloud offers hope on the legal transcript front — please see:

Sean Doherty, Law Technology News

See also here for YesLAW Online.

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

Legal Affairs Committee of Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly States that Mass Surveillance Practices “Endanger Fundamental Human Rights”

A new report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Council of Europe states that the mass surveillance practices disclosed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden “endanger fundamental human rights.”

The report is here.

Please see the accompanying press release here.

“PubAg,” User-Friendly Search Engine, Debuts at the U.S. National Agricultural Library

The U.S. National Agricultural Library (NAL) has debuted PubAg, a user-friendly search engine, which provides “enhanced access” to the public to search for and obtain research published by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The NAL is part of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Please see here for the USDA’s press release about PubAg.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Posts New, 3-Year [2015-2017] Strategic Plan

Please see the January 7, 2015 post:

What’s Ahead for DPLA: Our New Strategic Plan

The full plan is:

DPLA: Digital Public Library of America: Strategic Plan: 2015 through 2017

For more information about the DPLA, which launched officially on April 18, 2013, please see — among other things — here and here.

New Pew Research Center Report concerning Technology’s Impact on Workers

The Pew Research Center has a new (December 20, 2014) report concerning technology’s impact on workers.

Please see:

Digital Life in 2025: Technology’s Impact on Workers by Kristen Purcell & Lee Rainie

From the report’s Summary of Findings:

  1. Email and the internet are deemed the most important communications and information tools among online workers.
  2. While commentators worry that digital tools can be a distraction in the workplace, many online workers say that is not the case when it comes to their productivity.
  3. Bosses are adapting, too (i.e., employers are likewise changing practices regarding employees’ use of the internet).

EU “Right To Be Forgotten” Guidelines

Europe’s Article 29 Working Party, made up of data protection (or data privacy or information privacy) representatives from individual Member States of the European Union (EU), recently published guidelines for implementing the so-called “right to be forgotten” ruling, which was earlier handed down by Europe’s top court in May of this year.

IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] “Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report”

The IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] has recently released its Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report.

From the first 2 paragraphs of the press release accompanying the report:

Human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents. If left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. However, options are available to adapt to climate change and implementing stringent mitigations activities can ensure that the impacts of climate change remain within a manageable range, creating a brighter and more sustainable future.

These are among the key findings of the Synthesis Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Sunday. The Synthesis Report distils and integrates the findings of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report produced by over 800 scientists and released over the past 13 months – the most comprehensive assessment of climate change ever undertaken.

A policymaker-targeted summary is here.

For a previous IPCC-related item on this blog please see here.

Final Incorporation by Reference Rule Implements Recommendation 2011-5

From the ACUS:

Final Incorporation by Reference Rule Implements Recommendation 2011-5:

“Today, the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) published its final rule on incorporation by reference.  See Incorporation by Reference, 79 Fed. Reg. 66,267 (Nov. 7, 2014).  The Freedom of Information Act allows agencies to incorporate by reference into federal regulations extrinsic materials that are “reasonably available to the class of persons affected.”  5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(1). . . .

OFR’s final rule is a significant step towards the implementation of Recommendation 2011-5, Incorporation by Reference.  The rule emphasizes that promulgating agencies have the primary obligation to ensure that incorporated materials are reasonably available to the public. . . .

The final rule also sensibly retains the requirement that material incorporated by reference be technical in nature.  This is consistent with paragraph 15 of Recommendation 2011-5, which provides that agencies should clearly establish regulatory requirements in the text of their proposed and final rules, and use incorporation by reference only to provide technical detail.”

Let’s Hear it for BNA Law Reports

An extra hour of sleep from the end of DST prompts a bounty of mirth…as do BNA Law Reports! We recently were asked for electronic copies of filings from an L.A. County Superior Court civil matter. Ah, the oft-elusive electronic state court records…Various e-access options exist for L.A. County civil court records. For instance, they can be searched electronically for a fee through the court’s website. Finding them on Westlaw or Lexis’ Courtlink can be hit-or-miss, though Bloomberg Law is a great resource because BLAW uploads and make available those filings previously requested by other interested customers. In this particular instance, while the memoranda of points of authorities from a motion to strike were already uploaded within the BLAW system, a quite recent court order was not. Before leaving the BLAW interface to search blogs and news more broadly, I quickly checked BNA Law Reports. Hooray! Though only a superior court case, it was newsworthy enough to have been covered by BNA’s Patent Trademark & Copyright Journal, which also provided a copy of the court’s order. We heart BNA Law Reports! (Now, if only the filing content from the BNA law reports could be linked directly to BLAW dockets!)

Kudos for SCOTUSblog updates

SCOTUSblog’s e-mail updates have been pretty helpful this October Term! We just started using them to track a few merits cases for which the filings have been fairly slow to appear on Bloomberg Law & WestlawNext. By contrast, the SCOTUSblog updates appear pretty timely in the trial runs we’ve done. The format is terrific, too, providing links both to the PDFs of the filed brief, and a link back to the docket, itself. Next up: subscription to and comparison with alerts from ABA preview briefs.

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