[The following column originally appeared in print in January 2007. I am republishing it as part of my continuing effort to maintain an archive of my published columns. Important note: I have not updated this since its original publication. While most of the sites remain as described, some may have changed. All information was current as of the date of original publication.]
We delve into our browser’s bookmarks this month, to review recently launched Web sites of interest to the legal profession.
The site includes a directory of blawgs arranged by categories and locations, as well as a directory of other blawg directories. The site’s front page lists the most popular blawgs, highlights recent blawg posts and highlights a “featured blawger.” Clouds display tags and search terms.
The front page lists all cases on the court’s docket. Each case is linked to its own omnibus page. The page includes a plain-English summary of the case, the questions presented, and links to blog commentary, the lower-court opinions, the oral argument transcript, all briefs, the decision when issued, counsel for each party, and outside resources.
As if all that is enough, the site’s editor, Ross Runkel, says he will also add links to “whatever else we can think of.” In short, a supreme site for the Supreme Court.
To use the service, a lawyer submits a written statement of each side’s case. Alternatively, the lawyer may submit an audio or video argument. Exhibits may also be added. Then the lawyer submits up to five verdict and five feedback questions using an automated “form builder” and sends the case to the jury. Mock jurors review the submissions and answer the questions. When their review is done, the lawyer receives their verdict and can review their comments and feedback.
A demo is available at the site. The cost to submit a case is $1,500. With audio, the cost is $2,000, and with video, $2,500. The service is the creation of two lawyers, Lee Glickenhaus, a former litigator and founder of the litigation extranet company T Lex, and Jack E. (Bobby) Truitt, founder of the Louisiana defense firm The Truitt Law Firm.
Access to reports requires an annual subscription. For a firm of 50 or more lawyers, $4,800 buys 12 reports plus The Blue Book of New York City Judges, a digest of the site’s research focused on trial judges in the city. For firms of 25 to 49 lawyers, the price is $3,600, and below 25 it is $3,000.
The site’s free front page features an assortment of magazine-style articles and regular columns relating to the administration of justice in New York and elsewhere. The site is operated by the Institute for Judicial Studies, a company directed by Dirk Olin, former national editor of The American Lawyer.
The site features a series of interactive census maps using U.S. census data back to 1940. These maps provide visual displays of census data for the entire country or any location within it for dozens of categories and subcategories. Use it, for example, to see how racial groups are concentrated within the U.S., to compare income levels, or to find where particular industries are concentrated. You can also create slideshows showing movement of data across locations or time periods.
Special time-series maps show the changing racial compositions of New York City from 1910 to 2000 and of Los Angeles County from 1940 to 2000. Users can create custom demographic reports drawing on a range of historical and current data.
Use of the site’s basic functions is free. Libraries and educational institutions may subscribe to obtain access to a broader range of data and interactive maps.
Companion to the new Web site is a blog, LawBeat, written by Mark Obbie, director of the program and former executive editor of The American Lawyer. The blog, Obbie says, “watches the journalists who watch the law. It is meant to start a conversation — here and in the classroom — about the quality of journalism focusing on the justice system, lawyers and the law.”
Call it “law review on steroids.” The site provides the traditional, full-text articles from the print edition of the law review, then adds brief scholarly responses to the articles and online debates between legal scholars on topics of current interest. Visi
tors can participate by posting their own comments to the site. The UPenn Law Review was founded in 1852 as the American Law Register.