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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

The Avalon Project at Yale

Posted by pbsweeney on June 6, 2007

File this under research and general coolness.

The Avalon Project will mount digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government. We do not intend to mount only static text but rather to add value to the text by linking to supporting documents expressly referred to in the body of the text.”

There are digitalized documents available for FREE from the pre- 18th to the 21st century including, charters, treaties, summit documents, trade agreements, executive orders, legislation – you name it and you’ll find it. The full 9/11 commission report in pdf is there too. It’s a remarkable archive with amazing linkage within the text. The oldest document I checked out (now there’s a precedent!) was from 123 B.C.!

Posted in Ethics, Law, Law Lit, Practice Management, Research, work | Leave a Comment »

Informant v Defendant

Posted by pbsweeney on May 22, 2007

Say you’re a criminal defense lawyer with a client facing charges as a result of information provided by an informant who has agreed to work with law enforcement as part of his own plea arrangement in a criminal case. Naturally, you want to know something about this informant in preparing a defense for your client. Armed with the informant’s name and criminal record, you start researching the disposition of his previous arrests. With the ready availability of court records online, wading through files is made somewhat easier. But imagine for a minute, if details of the informant’s plea arrangements were sealed or unavailable – where does that leave you?

The New York Times reports today that “…the Justice Department has begun urging the federal courts to make fundamental changes in public access to electronic court files by removing all plea agreements from them — whether involving cooperating witnesses or not.

“We are witnessing the rise of a new cottage industry engaged in republishing court filings about cooperators on Web sites such as www.whosarat.com for the clear purpose of witness intimidation, retaliation and harassment,” a Justice Department official wrote in a December letter to the Judicial Conference of the United States, the administrative and policy-making body of the federal court system.”

Could we please solve this problem in a manner that does not trample the civil rights of the entire citizenry by denying access to public record? And by the way, we really wish the Justice Department was as interested in protecting the privacy of the rest of us.

Posted in Ethics, Federal Spotlight, Law, News, Practice Management, Research | Leave a Comment »

Who’s Really a Lawyer & Where

Posted by pbsweeney on May 18, 2007

About 40 states maintain online databases regarding attorney bar status, primarily for consumers who want to find out if an individual they are dealing with is really a lawyer.  But often times, as attorneys, it’s worth a look to see if your opposing counsel is really licensed to practice in a particular court venue. Is He Really a Lawyer is a simple page consolidating links to all the 40 state databases currently available, and it is consistently updated. (While you are there, check that your own status and info is correct!) It saves a great deal of hunting.

Posted in Business, Ethics, internet, Law, Practice Management, Research, work | Leave a Comment »

NYS County Clerks List

Posted by pbsweeney on February 1, 2007

So we came across this handy list of all of the county clerks in the state, with full contact info. Certainly beats tracking down by individual county. Print it out, or please note that we’ve added the list to our permanent links at left under real estate & research. It’s current as of January 2007. NYS County Clerks

Posted in Law, Practice Management, Research | Leave a Comment »

Best New Year Tip Contest – Win a $20.00 Starbucks Gift Certificate

Posted by pbsweeney on January 8, 2007

Some of us relish the turning of the year; the end of holiday and associated obligations and the end of “wait till after the holidays” laments and delays. Some of us dread returning to the problems that are still sitting around from last year.

So what’s the best way to start the year off? Take a running jump into the work and let everything sort itself out? What about a little review and revise? With the end of the old year fresh in our minds, why don’t we address some of our old or chronic complaints and see if this year might find us in a different place when the year runs out again.

Hamptons Legal says, what’s your best tip on starting off the work year fresh? What have you instituted in your practice that has solved a chronic problem or annoyance? Or what are you trying right now to make the year better? Win a $20.00 Starbucks gift certificate for sharing your tip with the rest of us! Post your tip in the comment section and Hamptons Legal Staff will select one winner to receive a $20.00 Starbucks gift certificate and three winners who will receive a $5.00 certificate for honorable mention. Be sure to provide an email address so we can get the prize to you! Contest closes January 18th, so enter now folks.

Posted in blogging, Business, Humor, Immigration, internet, Law, Life, News, Politics, Practice Management, Real Estate, Research, work | 3 Comments »

forms.gov

Posted by pbsweeney on December 18, 2006

Forms.gov, where have you been all my life? Wading through US government agency websites to find a specific form has been one of my personal pet peeves, as the design and usability is often perplexing, to be polite about it. Enter forms.gov, which is a sweet portal that allows one to enter any US government form number or a logical keyword or two, and generate a search that spans the vast reservoir of extent federal forms. There are options to search by category, agency or most frequently requested. The results are very clear and simple in thier presentation with a nice clean look. A welcome change from the results one is used to wading through on, say, the IRS website. Forms.gov, my only regret is that it’s taken us this long to meet!

Posted in Business, Law, Practice Management, Research | Leave a Comment »

New Google Patent Search

Posted by pbsweeney on December 16, 2006

The recent slaying in Chicago last week of a patent attorney and 2 colleagues by a client who thought his idea was being stolen, only makes the beta premier of Google’s new patent search engine even more welcome. Now instead of trying to mastermind a patent search on the US goverment site, (good luck with that), regular folks can find some clue as to whether their idea is a winner by using the new Google Patent Search. It won’t replace an attorney’s work, but so far there are 7 million patents online and counting. Hamptons Legal sees one of the big benefits to attorneys will perhaps be the reduction of clients who walk into their offices with unrealistic expectations for an idea and have taken their passion around the bend of normal. Maybe some of this will be nipped in the bud with a simple search in a very accessible data base.

Posted in Business, Law, News, Practice Management, Research | Leave a Comment »