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Showing posts from February, 2016

Apple Responds to DOJ

Yesterday Apple Inc. (Apple) filed its response to the Department of Justice (DOJ)'s demand that it decrypt an accused terrorist's iPhone.  For those not following the details of this case, here is a brief summary of the legal dispute:

The government's case for compelling Apple to decrypt the phone is the All Writs Act, a law that allows judges to issue writs necessary to enforce the law.  This Act was interpreted by the1977 Supreme Court case US v. New York Telephone, in which the Court ruled that the All Writs Act allowed a judge to order the phone company to comply with a special kind of wiretap even though Congress had not passed a law authorizing that particular wiretap.  The DOJ is invoking this argument given that the Federal government has so far declined to pursue legislation requiring companies to provide the government with backdoor access to consumer electronics.

The public now has a preview of the other side of the caset: Apple's motion lays out an argume…

Kickstarter Project to Make Declassified CIA Documents Available Online

Yesterday the CIA announced the release of approximately 750,000 pages of declassified documents in accordance with Executive Order 13526, which was issued by President Obama in 2009 and prescribes procedures for “classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information.” Declassified documents are accessible through the CIA’s Records Search Tool (CREST) at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. With the release of this latest batch, the total collection available on CREST comes to nearly 13 million pages.

While some of these documents have been published online, most of them can be accessed only through one of four computers at the National Archives building, presenting a formidable obstacle to researchers and journalists. But a Pennsylvania man named Michael Best is determined to change all that. He recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to make the complete contents of the CREST database available online. Because users are not allowed to save documents…

LexisNexis Dropping Lexis.com for Law School Customers

Today LexisNexis announced that it will end access to Lexis.com (classic LexisNexis) for law school users December 31, 2016. In 2017 law school users (students, faculty, and staff) will have access only to LexisAdvance, initially launched by LexisNexis in 2012. 
The letter announcing this change from Paul Speca, Vice President for Law Schools, notes that all content from Lexis.com will have migrated to the LexisAdvance platform before this end date. 
Though it is a great disappointment to see a wonderful research system begin its retirement so soon, this transition was likely inevitable due to the substantial costs of supporting two separate online research systems. Former Nota Bene blogger Dan Baker forecasted this event in a 2012 post, noting passionately that:
 “once Lexis Advance has been shoved down everyone's throats, with its predatory pricing structure, its confusing search syntax, and its "but I thought you wanted millions of documents to sift through when you asked for…

Can Casemaker Stop Fastcase from Publishing Georgia Regulations?

One of the key benefits state bar associations provide their members is complimentary access to online research services. Fastcase and Casemaker are the leading service providers in the field, each with a nearly equal share of the state bar association membership market. You can see the breakdown as of 2014 at this blog post from the Duke Law Library. Texas is unique (of course!) offering its members complimentary access to both Casemaker and Fastcase. Both the Casemaker and Fastcase products are solid legal research platforms, providing excellent coverage of primary law (and some secondary sources) with good search functionality.

Over the last few years, some state bar associations have chosen to move to one service after years with another. The Pennsylvania bar now offers Casemaker instead of InSite, and the Georgia bar partnered with Fastcase in 2011, choosing to no longer offer  Casemaker as a member benefit.

Last week, Fastcase sued Lawriter (Casemaker’s parent company), seekin…