casetextDeveloped by law school graduates from  Stanford, UC Hastings College, and Yale in conjunction with engineers and mathematicians, CaseText provides its users with legal research materials, legal knowledge, current awareness, and connections.  According to its creators, CaseText was designed to achieve three goals:  “The law should be free to access and understandable to all.  Lawyers, academics, and policy professionals should benefit from the collective knowledge of the legal community.  The way lawyers currently conduct legal research is far less effective, collaborative, and reliable than it could and should be.”

Primary sources available to be searched, via a google type tool bar, include all decisions from the United States Supreme Court, decisions from federal circuit courts from 1920 onwards, decisions from federal district courts between 1950-2012, the United States Code, the Code of Federal Regulations and selected supreme court decisions from the states of California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Texas.  Search results can be ranked by date, relevance or citation count.  Results can be filtered by jurisdiction or topic.  Focusing via additional keywords is also available.  Quick facts are located on the right hand side of the screen.  Attorneys can also annotated the cases or codes with blog postings.

Forty-two communities, ranging from Tax Law to Legal Research, have been created that researchers can follow.  Updates and analysis by attorneys can be found in these communities.  Researchers can add their own comments via blog posts.

Lastly content from the communities is pushed directly into researchers’ mailboxes.

Check it out here.

Hat Tip:  Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites

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clearviewsocialClearViewSocial, an app designed by attorney Adrian Dayton, to get lawyers sharing online, was unveiled last Thursday at the Legal Marketing Technology Conference  West.  According to the ClearViewSocial site, the app is designed to allow law firm marketers to email firm attorneys with content that can then be shared with the click of a button on attorneys’ social network sites, such as LinkedIn.  A brief video describes the app as a tool to engage clients and start conversations.  Dayton’s theory is that law firms produce massive amounts of content that attorneys do not share with their social networking sites because of time.  This app allows marketers to push content to attorneys who can then share the content on their LinkedIn sites.  Previously Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites was very critical of the app but a recent review “softened” Ambrogi’s objections.  Check out ClearViewSocial here.

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Congratulations to Deborah McGovern & Allison Jones

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McGovern_Deborah (2)Congratulations to librarians Allison Jones and Deborah McGovern.  Both recently had articles published in South Carolina Libraries.  Deborah’s article, Engaging Your Library Patrons with Facebook, can be found here.    Allison’s article, Plan, Practice, Participate:  Tips for Libraries Considering Implementation of EBSCO Discovery Service, is here.  Please stop by the Reference Desk to congratulate them.

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Professor Derfner & Emergency Application to the United States Supreme Court

DE3504313texasThis morning Charleston School of Law Professor Armand Derfner, along with other colleagues, submitted an Emergency Application to Justice Scalia, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and Circuit Justice for the 5th Circuit, on behalf of Veasey-Lulac.  The Application asks the Court to vacate the October 14th order of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that stayed the District Court’s permanent injunction of the Texas voter ID law.  The application can be found here.

Hat Tip:  Professor Armand Derfner


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South Carolina Court of Appeals Decision, 10/15/2014

scctappealsThe South Carolina Court of Appeals issued a decision today in Mitul Enterprises v. Beaufort County Assessor regarding a tax dispute.   Mitual began building a Holiday Inn on Beaufort County property in 2007.  Construction was completed in 2008 and occupancy began in 2009.  Because of property improvements, the property was to be reassessed a new taxable value in 2009.

However a software glitch by the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office in 2009 resulted in the imposition of a property tax in the amount of $14,209.10, the pre-improvement value assigned to the property.  Once the Assessor’s Office discovered the error, they issued a corrected tax bill for $105,282.48.

Mitual objected to the additional tax, arguing that it constituted an unwarranted reassessment.  Mitual appealed the Assessor’s decision to the Administrative Law Courts and lost.  He then appealed that decision to the South Carolina Court of Appeals, arguing that S.C. Code of Laws Section 12-39-220 prevented a public official from ordering a collection of an otherwise properly assessed tax.   Mitual urged the Court to adopt a strict construction of the code provision.

The Court had a different perspective, noting that “[t]he purpose of the statute is to collect taxes that inadvertently escaped taxation.”  The Court upheld the ALC decision, stating “…we give deference to an agency’s construction of a statute regarding its operation and because this construction is reasonable and furthers the legislative intent of collecting duly owed taxes, we affirm the ALC’s determination that the County Assessor had authority to act as it did in this case.”

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South Carolina Supreme Court Order, 10/15/2014

scsctIn the Matter of William Thomas Moody is an order disbarring Moody from the practice of law in South Carolina.  Moody admitted to violating the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR, specifically sub rules 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.7(a)(2), 1.15(a), 1.15(g), 1.16, 3.3, 5.5(a), 8.4(b), 8.4(d).  He is subject to Rule 30(d) of the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement.  Before reapplying for admission, Moody must make monetary restitution to former clients, a former partner, and the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection.  He must also complete the “…Legal Ethics and Practice Program Ethics School, Trust Account School, and Law Office Management Program prior to applying for readmission.”

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