Articles Posted in Law

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We at the Justia team have been working hard on improving the already fantastic service by adding in some great new features. We have already made it easy to browse through the case filings and find cases filed by court, but now we have added in a new feature, once you are on a court page, you can get a list of Judges and browse down a level further to get all of the cases seen by that particular judge. Like the court pages you can subscribe to an RSS feed of all of the cases with that judge, or filter the results more by picking a type of lawsuit and showing only particular types of cases.

The bigger upgrade however is that we have now taken the cases back further and instead of just showing cases filed since 2006, we have gone all the way back to the beginning of 2004. The reason we have added 2 additional years of cases into our system is so that we can also add in even more information about cases then ever before. We have retrieved from the Federal courts, thousands of written opinions, orders, and decisions by Judges and made them available for downloading. Cases that have written opinions are signified on Justia Federal Court filings and Dockets with a Gavel Icon (Gavel), while featured cases where we have retrieved all documents filed in the case are signified with a Star icon (Star).
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The time has come once again for an announcement of something I’ve been working on at Justia. Actually this is a double announcement of not one but two new services that I can finally mention today.

The first is a whole new way to Search Justia’s massive amounts of free legal information, and it’s thanks to a brand new service by Google (which is a commercial version of a service that has been available for free for some time) called Google Custom Search Business Edition. At it’s core, this is the same as the Google Coop: Custom Search Engine that has been available for some months. Some time ago I created hundreds of these custom search engines on Justia to search a variety of legal topics and sites, and you can find these custom search engines scattered around justia.com and it’s various subdomains. From search engines that search all law school web sites in California (or any other state) to search engines that search all of the blogs in Justia BlawgSearch, these cses have been a fantastic way to use the power of Justia’s free Legal information to search the web for legal information.
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Brain Surgery
Often when someone wants to indicate that a task doesn’t take a genious, they relate the task to one of two professions, and so two common phrases you will hear on a regular basis are “Hey, it’s not Rocket Science” and similarly “Hey, it’s not Brain Surgery.” This seems a strange way to start a blog post, but trust me, you’ll understand in a moment.
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I’ve long been disillusioned with Viacom and it’s child companies, especially after CBS/UPN canceled such great shows as Enterprise and Joan of Arcadia, despite massive Fan support. Today, Viacom proves yet again that it doesn’t care about the interest of it’s viewers, Viacom has filed a lawsuit against Google for $1 billion dollars. The story goes, that according to Viacom, over a hundred thousand Viacom copyrighted materials have been viewed on Google owned YouTube over a million and a half times. The problem with Viacom’s claim though is that they believe it is Google’s fault for allowing the clips to be uploaded in the first place. YouTube wouldn’t work if it weren’t for allowing clips to be uploaded, and YouTube has long had a mechanism in place where if a copyright owner complains, they will pull down the copyrighted content quickly.
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Perhaps the most controversial aspect of this year’s MacWorld Conference and Expo, which my wife and I got to attend, was not the announcement of the iPhone, but the lack of the phrase “And now, one more thing” which has been Steve Jobs’ catch phrase at his keynotes for quite some time now. Since Jobs didn’t use it this year, I’m going to shamelessly steal the phrase for the day and say “And Now, one more thing from Justia”. I mentioned previously, that I was already working on the next project after Dockets and that Justia would be announcing it soon. My boss announced it today on a legal mailing list, so now I can finally talk about Justia Regulation Tracker at RegulationTracker.com!

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I’m really excited about a new project I have been working on for my job. Justia Federal District Court Filings and Dockets is a new project I have had the pleasure of working on for Justia (the company I work for). This project is a database of all of the civil cases filed in federal district courts since the beginning of 2006, updated daily, and what’s truly great about it is that you can get RSS feeds of various methods of filtering the database. You can filter it by category, state, individual court, party name, or any combination of those filters, and then subscribe to an RSS feed for your filtered results.

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I previously mentioned a project I’ve had the opportunity to work on at my new job known as BlawgSearch, a search engine for legal blogs. Today BusinessWire contains a press release Officially announcing BlawgSearch to the world. BlawgSearch is by far one of the most advanced bits of coding I’ve ever had the privilege of working on and I’m very pleased to have been a part of it.

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I previously mentioned that I was sitting on something very cool with my new job, Justia. I did not want to mention it in my blog before they had a chance to release a press release on this announcement. Google has named Justia an Enterprise Search Superstar for it’s use of the Google mini to index Supreme Court decisions and other legal content.

“Google customers continue to demonstrate in new and innovative ways how search can improve a business,” said Matthew Glotzbach, head of products for Google Enterprise. “Google is happy to honor Justia as a Google Search Superstar, and a terrific example of excellence in search.”

To find out more about Justia’s win of the Google Enterprise Search Superstar award, check out Google’s Search Superstar page for Justia where you can find a video of how Justia uses the Google mini, a podcast with my boss, Tim Stanley, and information about the award itself. Also be sure to check out the official press release on Business Wire.

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As most of you who know me well know, I’ve had a great deal of difficulty lately with the fact that some checks from a long time closed checking account have gotten into the hands of some vagrants who have decided to go on a several month shopping spree in my name. Last thursday I received a letter from the Tarrant County DA(District Attorney) office stating that if I didn’t pay off the balance of 6 of those checks within 10 days a warrant would be put out for my arrest.

What follows is the events of Thursday through today in regards to what has happened thusfar in this case.

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Ben posted in his blog today (2011 Editorial note, over the years Ben eventually Abandoned his blog and the original post is gone, you can see a copy of Ben’s original article on the Wayback machine on the Internet Archive here.)about a plan on how to “fix” the United States Legislative Branch by getting rid of the Senate. In his view the Senate makes representation unfair because since each state gets 2 senators, in some states, like Alaska, the senator represents a lot less people then a senator from other states, like California. I must say I disagree with his assesment on the health of our checks and balances system, and here’s why.

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