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Moritz Law  /  Law Library  /  Opinio Juris  / March 2013

 

Opinio Juris - March 2013

Scroll down to read about ebook options in the OSU library catalog, the Sunlight Foundation's Open States project, the iWriteLegal app., the apparent end of Google Reader, and a newly acquired documentary on police interrogation tactics.

Ebooks in the OSU library catalog

E-books are included along with print books in the OSU library catalog, allowing users to link directly to the full-text. The Moritz Law Library has created a brief guide to current e-book options. E-book access models for academic libraries are evolving. Current options include some publisher restrictions on downloading e-book content. Nevertheless, a large number of e-books are available for reading in a web browser with the ability to download individual chapters in PDF format. For some titles, downloading a PDF file of an entire ebook for a short period of time is also a possibility. See the guide for more details.

OpenStates project

The Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit organization advocating greater government transparency, has launched OpenStates, a website providing extensive legislative data for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The project, initially announced in 2009, allows users to conveniently track activities of specific legislators or find the status of particular bills. The site parallels the Sunlight Foundation's OpenCongress site dealing with federal legislation. See also the free OpenStates app. and a brief video introduction to the project.

iWriteLegal app.

Kathleen Vinson, a legal writing professor at Suffolk University Law School, has created iWriteLegal, a free iPhone app. designed to improve legal writing skills. The app. contains three sections: Legal Writing Tips, Legal Writing Checklists, and Additional Resources, a section that provides links to the videos, podcasts, and twitter feed of Suffolk's Legal Practice Skills Program. See a review of the app. by lawyer and media consultant, Robert Ambrogi.

End of Google Reader?

Google has announced that its RSS feed reader, Google Reader, will no longer be available after July 1, 2013. Google indicated that halting the service is due to declining use and a desire to devote more resources to fewer products. Launched in 2005, Google Reader has a devoted following of users who enjoy conveniently receiving the latest news updates in one place. Over 145,000 people have signed a petition for Google to keep the service. CNET and The Verge suggest worthy alternatives.

"Scenes of a Crime" documentary

The Moritz Law Library recently acquired a documentary film titled, "Scenes of a Crime." According to the official website, the film explores a lengthy police interrogation that led to a disputed confession in a high-profile child murder case. The case takes place in New York state. The film earned an "honorable mention" at the 2012 ABA Silver Gavel Awards, which recognizes outstanding work in the media and arts that fosters the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system.

 


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