Supreme Court Audio, D&B Database and Court Webcasts Highlight Research Tips from the Moritz Law Library
Ohio Supreme Court Pro Se and Indigent Litigant Report
The Supreme Court Task Force on Pro Se and Indigent Litigants has recently released its report and recommendations. The task force studied the general experience of defendants who are proceeding pro se, pro bono representation and how to better fund organizations that assist indigent clients, such as legal aid societies and public defenders' offices. Some key recommendations of the report include:
- A recommendation that a rule be adopted that requires Ohio attorneys to report their participation in pro bono activities
- A recommendation that rules be adopted allowing for limited representation by Ohio attorneys
- A recommendation that standardized forms be developed for pro se litigants
- A recommendation that the Ohio Public Defender Commission, which is currently part of the executive branch, be an independent entity within the judicial branch
- Several recommendations for alternative funding sources for both public defense and civil legal aid
The task force's recommendations will now be considered for adoption by the Supreme Court. The Court's decision will be released later this year. Download a copy of the report
D&B Million Dollar Database
Dun & Bradstreet's ("D&B") Million Dollar Database provides access to over 14 million records for U.S. and Canadian businesses, both private and public. The site allows for searching by business name, SIC code, city, state or telephone number; an advanced search option allows you to further narrow your search criteria to obtain more accurate results.
Once a search is performed, you can sort your results by various fields (such as sales, location or SIC code), and selecting a company will provide you with information such as: contact information; size; year established; executive biographies; and, the company's line of business.
The database can be used off-campus with proper authentication.
Oyez - Supreme Court Multimedia web site
Oyez is a multimedia web site developed by individuals at Northwestern University and other institutions. It contains over 2000 hours of Supreme Court audio, from cases dating back to 1995. You'll find information on the cases being argued before the Court as well as links to other authoritative Supreme Court web sites.
Office of Immigration Statistics
The Office of Immigration Statistics is an office within the Department of Homeland Security that is charged with "developing, analyzing, and disseminating statistical information needed to assess the effects of immigration in the United States." New information from the office includes:
- Naturalized Citizen Maps
- Mapping Trends in Naturalization
- 2004 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics
- Legal Permanent Resident Population Estimates
- Fact Sheet on Diversity Legal Permanent Residents
State Immigration Laws
The debate over immigration policies is not limited to the federal government. The National Conference of State Legislatures has created an Overview of State Legislation Related to Immigrants. As of February 28, 2006, state legislators in 42 states had introduced 368 bills related to immigration or immigrants.
Global Legal Monitor
The Law Library of Congress has recently launched the first issue of its Global Legal Monitor. This pdf publication is intended for researchers who wish to stay current on world wide legal developments. This interactive publication is arranged by legal topics such as Employment Law, Human Rights and Terrorism. Beneath each topic, a summary of developments is arranged by country. Information on over 60 countries and international organizations can be found in the Monitor.
2005 Ohio Courts Summary
The annual Ohio Courts Summary has been released by the Ohio Supreme Court. According to the Court's press release:
Ohio's courts saw 3.1 million new cases filed in 2005, representing a 2 percent increase over the number of cases filed statewide in 2004, according to the 2005 Ohio Courts Summary recently issued by the Supreme Court of Ohio.
The Ohio Courts Summary is released each spring and provides a retrospective overview of the activity in Ohio's courts - from municipal and county courts to the Supreme Court of Ohio - including statistics about caseloads, case terminations and clearance rates. The entire Ohio Courts Summary can be viewed here.
This blog keeps track of courts that webcasts proceedings (look along the right hand side of the page). Why should legal researchers watch these webcasts?
- Determine whether the court is "hot" (asks many questions) or "cold" (asks few questions) to prepare for oral argument
- Find similar cases (from your state or another state) to determine what issues concerned the judges
- Learn about the etiquette and procedures for a court before appearing there
List of U.S. Supreme Court Law Clerks
A complete list of U.S. Supreme Court law clerks, including clerks for current and past Justices, has been compiled on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a collaborative work, and the list may contain some errors. Disclaimers aside, however, it looks like an interesting resource.
The Lobbying Database (part of the opensecrets.org web site) tracks spending by lobbyists since 1998. The Database if funded by a grant from the Sunlight Foundation and is a product of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit organization. The database can be searched by name, industry, issue, bill number, federal agency, or foreign entity. Data is compiled from required semi-annual public disclosure statements filed by lobbyists, and presented in charts and graphs.
Excerpted from the May and June/July issues of Opinio Juris, the Moritz Law Library's newsletter for faculty