Monthly Archives: June 2010

Basic Legal Research on the Internet

This great article was just posted by Ken Strutin on LLRX. I particularly appreciate his list of Secondary Sources, which is usually overlooked, since there isn’t much out there.

The only two sites (off the top of my head) that I would add are:

  1.  The US Supreme Court site, which has cases, forms, briefs, the Court calendar and more.
  2. The Municode library, which offers fully searchable municipal codes from across the country.

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Friday Fun: Three Day Conference in 19 Tweets

What a great way to summarize a conference. Geri L. Dreiling at Legal Media Matters, summarized the recent Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference into 19 tweets:

1. Use Acrobat Typewriter Tool to fill in “nonfillable” forms.

2. Need to send a large attachment? YouSendIt or Megaupload.

3. If you want to follow a site that doesn’t have RSS, use Page2rss.

4. Avoid eye strain when trying to read websites by using Readability.

5. Check out the iPhone J.D. blog.

6. Want to avoid endless e-mails to set up meetings? MeetingWizard.com.

7. Why not save client money by having motion docket via video conference?

8. Speaker asks: Why aren’t lawyers lobbying courts about antiquated time-wasting processes?

9. Hourly billing can operate as a disincentive for law firms to modernize.

10. 2009 was a big year for alternative fee arrangements between Big Law and corporations.

11. Want to see your phone on desk top? Sparus EveryWAN.

12. TrueCrypt is an open-source free program to encrypt hard drive.

13. Need to meet with out-of-state property expert? Combine GoToMeeting, Skype and Google Earth.

14. YouSendIt is a good way to share docs and video, plus it provides a record of who opened it.

15. Freeconferencecall.com: A free tool that saved one lawyer’s ski trip.

16. Giveawayoftheday.com: Free license to one shareware program each day.

17. For real estate lawyers, Google Earth is a good research tool and has been used at trial.

18. Mozilla Firefox is a great browser that also has fantastic add-ons.

19. More solo lawyers are moving to virtual practices. It cuts overhead, and more clients are embracing meetings via Skype.

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Paul asks “Why?”

I’m a big fan of the Legal Research Plus blog from Stanford. Paul Lomio’s post this morning caught my eye, and it really hit the mark. Paul compares pricing he just received from a legal information vendor with a recent article in Businessweek.  Paul quotes from the article:

Bargains are everywhere in America these days. Men’s shirts and sweaters were 3.4 percent cheaper this April than a year earlier. Prices also fell for eggs, peanut butter, bananas, potatoes, hotel and motel rooms, cosmetics, curtains, rugs, tools, and lawn care. Excluding gasoline and other energy items, the consumer price index rose just 0.9 percent for the year. . . .

But the pricing he just received for a multi-year legal information contract includes a “below average” increase of only 3%.

I can literally feel his frustration through my computer screen, and why shouldn’t he be? Why do some legal information vendors believe that they can continue “business as usual” ? Everyone’s costs have gone up, so that is no excuse. The big difference is that everyone else is fighting for your dollar, and using the standard technique to get it: lower prices.

Bottom line…it happens in this industry because they believe that they can.You can’t live without their service, so you are forced to acquiesce to their demands.

But guess what? They can’t live without you either…

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