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Moritz Law  /  Law Library  /  Opinio Juris  / January 2012


Opinio Juris - January 2012

Scroll down to read about the Library of Congress' Congressional Record App, Google Scholar Citation Tracking, Stanford Law School's China Guiding Cases Project, a New Circuit Splits Blog, and NY Times and Economist Election Apps. For information about other topics, see the Moritz Legal Information Blog and the Moritz Law Library Facebook page.

Library of Congress' Congressional Record App

The Library of Congress has released a Congressional Record application for iPad use. In creating the app, the LOC combined data from several agencies including the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, and the Government Printing Office. Users can browse the Congressional Record by date from January 4, 1995 (104th Congress) to the present. Other options include identifying the latest bills considered in the House and Senate, keyword searching within documents, and sharing documents via email. See screenshots of the app at the iTunes store.

Google Scholar Citation Tracking

We wrote in August about the limited release of Google Scholar Citations, a service for academic authors that tracks citations in Google Scholar. The service is now open to all. Once authors identify their articles, Google collects the articles, graphs them over time, and computes citation metrics. Metrics update automatically as additional citations appear. Users can create and view public profiles showing authored articles and citation metrics. Google provides an extensive question and answer page on the service. See a sampling of law-related authors currently with profiles.

China Guiding Cases Project

Stanford Law School recently launched its China Guiding Cases Project, a website translating and providing commentary on "guiding cases" issued by China's People's Supreme Court. The project "aims to advance knowledge and understanding of Chinese law and to enable judges and legal experts both inside and outside of China to contribute to the evolution of Chinese case law through ongoing dialogue[.]” The site provides quotes from Chinese judges and legal experts on the significance of "guiding cases" in the Chinese legal system. Additional expert commentary will follow. The four translated cases provided so far include two contract disputes, a bribe-accepting case, and an intentional homicide case.

New Circuit Splits Blog

Houston attorney Nicholas Wagoner has created Circuit Splits, a new blog that provides "timely reporting and analysis" of circuit splits in the federal system. Included in the blog's "masthead" are a firm colleague and South Texas College of Law Professor Dru Stevenson. Entries are searchable by topic and circuit. Recent posts discuss splits on whether the FMLA provides a cause of action against individual public employees as "employers," and on the application of the "first sale doctrine" in copyright law. There is at least one other circuit splits blog -- the similarly-named Split Circuits maintained by Washington & Lee law professor A. Benjamin Spencer.

NY Times and Economist Election Apps

The New York Times recently released an election application for iPhone designed for the 2012 election season. The app will provide election-related news coverage from the Times and other sources across the web. In addition, the app will feature editorials and op-ed pieces, multimedia coverage from reporters on the campaign trail, and an "election guide" including candidate pages, poll numbers, and live results. See more details from the Times and the iTunes store. The app is free to download but does require a subscription to NYTimes.com for access to all features.

Also, The Economist recently released Electionism, a free web app for tablets. The app includes analysis from The Economist and news updates from CQ Roll Call. It is currently compatible with iPad, Samsung Galaxy, and Kindle Fire. Users of these tablets can access the app by directing their web browsers to http://www.electionism.com. Desktop users can preview content by accessing the same web address.