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Moritz Law  /  Law Library  /  Opinio Juris  / August 2013


Opinio Juris - August 2013

Scroll down to read about the ABA's latest Legal Technology Survey, the online resource Knowledge Mosaic, the Films on Demand database, a new edition of the Ohio Supreme Court's writing manual, and Ralph Nader's plans for a tort museum.

ABA's Legal Technology Survey Report

The Moritz Law Library has a copy of the ABA's 2013 Legal Technology Survey Report, which surveys practicing attorneys' technology choices. Volumes include law office technology, litigation and courtroom technology, web and communication technology, online research, and mobile lawyers. Survey results are typically broken down by firm size, from "solo" to "500 or more." The online research section covers such topics as preferred format for specific types of research tasks, preferred paid research service, and the use of free resources. Other topics in the report include "virtual law practices" and smart phone and tablet use. According to the survey, about 90% of attorneys report using iPhones for legal tasks while away from the office, while nearly 50% report using tablets. See iPhone JD's analysis of some of the mobile lawyer data.

Knowledge Mosaic

The Moritz Law Library now offers the online resource Knowledge Mosaic, accessible anywhere on campus. The database focuses on heavily-regulated areas such as securities, communications, and energy, providing frequently updated news on legislative and administrative agency developments. The database also offers a large set of model business documents and a collection of memos from various law firms. Information on investigations and enforcement actions brought by government agencies is also available.

Films on Demand

OSU Libraries has acquired access to the database, Films on Demand, which provides access to thousands of videos and segments on a variety of topics including "criminal justice and law." Other subject areas include history, political science, psychology, communication, and business & economics. Much of the content is documentary video by producers like PBS, BBC, ABC News, National Geographic, and more. Users can conveniently share video URLs with others by email. Access Films on Demand on-campus or off-campus with OSU authentication.

Ohio Supreme Court Writing Manual

The Ohio Supreme Court recently issued a second edition of its Writing Manual: A Guide to Citations, Style, and Judicial Opinion Writing. Like the first edition, the second edition consists of three parts: the Citation Manual, the Style Guide, and a section titled the Structure of a Judicial Opinion. The first edition became effective in January 2012 and made substantial changes to the citation manual, in some ways aligning citation form with the Bluebook. Changes in the second edition are fairly minor and are well-summarized by the blog of the Ninth District Ohio Court of Appeals (see July 3, 2013 entry). The preface to the court's manual makes clear that Ohio judges and attorneys are not required to follow the manual. Its purpose is to serve as a useful guide for brief drafting and opinion writing.

Ralph Nader's Tort Museum

A recent Associated Press story reported Ralph Nader's intention to open an American Museum of Tort Law in his hometown of Winsted, Connecticut. The concept has apparently been in the works for some time, with news reports as early as a 1998 New York Times article. A museum website now exists with details of the idea, including a "concept paper" for the museum written by Georgetown law professor Joseph Page.