Revisiting copyright claims against Westlaw and LexisNexis: Does selling access to court-filed attorney briefs violate copyright law?
Edward L. White, a Oklahoma City, Okla., lawyer, and Kenneth Elan, claim WestLaw and LexisNexis have engaged in “unabashed wholesale copying of thousands of copyright-protected works created by, and owned by, the attorneys and law firms who authored them” — namely publicly filed briefs, motions and other legal documents.
Will legal software replace lawyers?
Software won’t replace lawyers, but it will reduce the demand for certain routine legal services and raise the complexity of litigation. Those without the software will be at a disadvantage. It will also cut into the work of paralegals. But not lawyers.
Google attorney dislikes ACTA too
The still-in-draft Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, beloved of some, is hated by many–including Google, apparently.
My top free tools for law firms and other small businesses
Carolyn Elefant recently provided her list of free tools for starting a law firm. In this same spirit, I would like to present my list of top tools, all of which I’ve used at various times myself.
Uniform bar exam drawing closer to reality
It could mark one of the biggest changes for lawyers joining the profession since the first U.S. bar exam was given in Delaware in 1763 — a single bar exam aimed at standardizing attorney credentials nationwide.
Law school vs. graduate school
Last May I finished my 3L year, and am now the proud possessor of a JD. On Thursday I began my first year program as a graduate student in the history of science. The experiences, perhaps unsurprisingly, have been strikingly different: law school is, ultimately, preparatory to practicing law as an attorney, and much of its emphasis is on tracking students in that direction. Graduate school in the humanities and social sciences, meanwhile, is about training future academics.
Lawyers should leave their laptops at home when traveling abroad
There has always been an exception to search and seizure law at border crossings. In theory, this is nothing new — attorneys traveling with confidential paper files could also have them searched. But the ease of carrying vast numbers of confidential documents in electronic form raises the bar on this.
Is virtual lawyering the future?
An interesting paragraph from an article dealing with the idea of “Good Enough” — services or products that may not have all the “bells and whistles” of their more-expensive competitors, but do enough at the right price to be runaway successes:
It turns out to be a remarkably efficient way of offering what Granat calls legal transaction services — tasks that are document intensive. For everything from wills to adoptions to shareholder agreements, elawyering has numerous advantages.
Does selling access to court-filed attorney briefs violate copyright law?
California courts are turning over attorney work product to for-fee services like LexisNexis and Westlaw, which then resell them (or merely make them available?) to customers. Does this violate copyright law?