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Moritz Law  /  Law Library  /  Opinio Juris  / October 2011


Opinio Juris - October 2011

Scroll down to read about Mobile PACER, HeinOnline's One Box Search, federal court opinions on FDsys, CQ Press' Electronic Library, and Password Manager Apps. For information on other topics, see the Moritz Legal Information Blog and the Moritz Law Library Facebook page.

Mobile PACER

PACER, the federal government service providing online access to U.S. appellate, district, and bankruptcy court filings, is now offering a mobile version of its "case locator" tool. The mobile version is accessible with Android devices versions 2.2 or higher and Apple devices including iPads. Downloading an app. is not necessary. PACER will automatically redirect mobile devices to the mobile version when users access the case locator tool at pcl.uscourts.gov. A tip for iPad users: scroll case document lists with two fingers rather than one. Viewing documents on PACER requires registering for an account and costs 8 cents per page until April when the cost increases to 10 cents per page. Contact a reference librarian for username and password information, or for alternative means of access.

HeinOnline One Box Search; iPhone App

HeinOnline recently added a "One Box Search" option for its databases. This feature allows users to search across all Hein collections, which include extensive historical materials. Notice the search box at the top left of the HeinOnline main page. Boolean operators are usable in the search box. Consult Hein's syntax guidelines for more details on advanced searching, such as capitalizing the AND, OR, and NOT operators. HeinOnline also recently announced the release of an iPhone/iPad app. downloadable here.

Some Federal Court Opinions Now on GPO's FDsys site

A limited number of federal court opinions are now available on the Government Printing Office's FDsys (Federal Digital System) platform. As part of a pilot program with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, GPO is providing access to Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals opinions since 2001 in addition to opinions from the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island and a Florida bankruptcy court. Opinions are browsable by court and year, and searchable by keyword and a variety of fields. Here is a sample pdf opinion, digitally certified as authenticated U.S. Government information by the GPO. The sample is a recent Eighth Circuit opinion dealing with Warner Bros.' rights to publicity material from the movies, The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind.

CQ Press' Electronic Library

Moritz Law Library provides online access to CQ Press' Electronic Library, which includes a variety of databases and publications including CQ Weekly, a periodical covering government, commerce, and politics. Users can search CQ Weekly by date, topic, keyword, bill number, Congressional committee, or a combination of these fields. Online access to CQ Weekly is available for issues from October 1983 to the present. Moritz Law Library has print versions from the mid-1950s.

CQ's Electronic Library also includes a Voting and Elections Collection, a Congressional Collection, and a Supreme Court Collection. The Supreme Court Collection offers a variety of advanced search options. Users can search for all opinions authored by a certain justice within a particular topic or constitutional area. Searching for opinions by voting bloc is also possible. CQ's Electronic Library is accessible on-campus or off-campus with OSU authentication.

Password Manager Apps

With numerous passwords to remember and emerging requirements of frequent password changes, the usefulness of a secure password manager app. for smart phones and other portable computing devices is apparent. Here are links to some of the better-reviewed password manager apps: 1Password, DataVault, mSecure, and Strip ("Secure Tool for Recalling Important Passwords"). These tools offer password-protected storage and organization for your various passwords.