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Showing posts from 2014

The Grand Jury

The United States grand jury system is receiving national attention in the wake of two controversial grand juries’ decisions that have prompted popular protests following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown and the chokehold death of Eric Garner. For persons interested in learning about grand juries in order to better follow the national debate, the following resource links may be of use:
The grand jury was established in the United States by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and Title III, Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure governs its operations in federal court.A grand jury practitioner’s resource guide is offered by the Department of Justice.
The Fifth Amendment does not apply to state courts; the states themselves have the authority to chose whether or not to employ grand juries.The following links lead to the relevant constitutional provisions, statutes or criminal code sections empowering grand juries in the various states and the District of Columbia: Alabam…

Crowdfunding Lawsuits

Has the popularity of crowdfunding reached the litigation realm? With the appearance of companies like LexShares, it appears so. Crowdfunding, or funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet, has grown tremendously in popularity over the last five years. In a typical crowdfunding endeavor, the person with the idea or project seeks funding from individuals who are interested in benefiting from, or being related to a funded project, through a third-party platform that brings the groups together. Kickstarter and GoFundMe are among the popular crowdfunding platforms that have been used successfully to fund filmmaking, video games, technology products, and even Super PACs for political campaigns.
Just as it is expensive to finance the making of a film or the development of new technology, funding litigation can be equally costly. Though, for example, a small business may have a claim that is likely to lead to a l…

HeinOnline Law Reviews & Journals Access for Texas Bar Members

This summer, members of the Texas bar were introduced to Fastcase, a legal research database that allows users to search case law, statutes, administrative materials, and other aspects of law at no additional cost. Fastcase is now available in addition to Casemaker, making Texas the first and only state to offer free access to both popular systems.  
In 2013, Fastcase partnered with HeinOnline to share their many resources. Under the agreement, Hein will provide federal and state case law to HeinOnline subscribers via inline hyperlinks powered by Fastcase. In addition, Fastcase now completely integrates HeinOnline’s extensive law review collection in search results. For many years, one of the biggest disadvantages to using these low-cost legal research systems has been the lack of reliable secondary sources. With this partnership, when a case law search is performed in Fastcase, suggested results from HeinOnline journals appear in a sidebar. The journals may also be searched individu…