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Jun 182008

getlegalhome.png The LII has agreed to partner with GetLegal.com on a series of projects that will provide legal information to the public and also offer free legal research materials for both the public and legal professionals. The partnership allows content to flow both ways between LII and GetLegal.com. GetLegal.com and the LII will share each other’s currently existing content and develop new content in both English and Spanish. We will also provide Spanish translations of selected portions of the U.S. Code and other important primary source materials.

GetLegal.com will provide online interactive resources for the public and the legal community when it launches this summer. Other GetLegal sites will include GetLegalTV.com, an online video site with legal news, information and entertainment; GetLegalCafe.com, a social networking site with a legal twist; TheAttorneyStore.com, a one-stop shop for the legal community; and USALegalOpinion.com, a gateway for the public to connect with attorneys about legal issues. We're looking forward to the collaboration.

vaclavhavel.jpegThe law is only one of several imperfect and more or less external ways of defending what is better in life against what is worse. By itself, the law can never create anything better.... Establishing respect for the law does not automatically ensure a better life for that, after all, is a job for people and not for laws and institutions.

Václav Havel (b. 1936), Czechoslovakian playwright, president. “The Power of the Powerless,” pt. 1, sect. 17, Living in Truth (1986).

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Jun 162008

cello.jpegFifteen years ago this month LII's director and co-founder Tom Bruce released the first web browser for Windows. June 8, 1993 is the anniversary of the 0.1 release, with a succession of follow-up releases soon after: Cello 0.2 on June 14th, 0.3 on June 16th, 0.4 on June 18th, 0.5 on June 24th, and 0.6 on June 30th. For good or ill, the web browser didn't catch on -- though it did incorporate some features that have only recently been incorporated into mainstream browsers, and it went on to live a brief existence as the underpinning of a couple of commercial products.

Asked to comment on the fifteenth anniversary of Cello, Tom said something about it being a long time ago and his head still hurts. We aren't worried. He's invented a lot more fun toys to play with in the mean time, all to the benefit of open-access information technology -- and for those who comprise the LII's 10 million hits a week.

Jun 142008

remand.jpeg'Send back', usually in the context of reversal of an appellate decision or the custody of a prisoner. When an appellate court reverses the decision of a lower court, the written decision often contains an instruction to remand the case to the lower court to be reconsidered in light of the appellate court's ruling. Cases are also remanded to Federal agencies for reconsideration in disputes over regulation or administrative decisions. See INS v. Ventura. A prisoner is said to be remanded when he or she is sent back into custody to await trial.

rutherfordbhayes.jpegLaw without education is a dead letter. With education the needed law follows without effort and, of course, with power to execute itself; indeed, it seems to execute itself.

Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893), U.S. president: Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. IV, p. 103, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (January 23, 1883).

lovings.jpegJune 12th marks the anniversary of the US Supreme Court's 1967 decision in the civil rights case Loving v. Virginia. The case involved Virginia's so-called Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which banned inter-racial marriages. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that distinctions drawn according to race were generally "odious to a free people" and were subject to "the most rigid scrutiny" under the Equal Protection Clause. The Court rejected the state's argument that the statute was legitimate because it applied equally to both blacks and whites and found that racial classifications were not subject to a "rational purpose" test under the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.

TVCLogo Genie Tyburski, who has been around the Internet legal-information scene as long as anybody, has put us on The Virtual Chase's list of "top ten sites for litigators". She's particularly fond of our US Code and Federal Rules collections. Thanks, Genie!

This isn't the first time we've appeared in The Virtual Chase -- the LII is listed over 30 times in their research guides.

ip.jpeg Intellectual Property is a broad class of property, similar to 'real estate' (land), and 'chattels' (movable physical goods). It generally includes four very different kinds of rights: Patent, Copyright, Trademark, and trade secrets (which is traditionally found within the unfair competition heading).

Patents and copyrights are regulated by Congress, through the Patent and Trademark Office. Trademarks are regulated both by the US Congress and by State laws. Trade secrets are primarily regulated at the State level.

stthomas.jpegLaw is nothing other than a certain ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the person who has the care of the community.

Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225–1274): Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 90, art. 4 (c. 1077-1078).

privacy.jpegMost Americans consider privacy one of their most prized rights, yet the word isn't even mentioned in the United States Constitution. It wasn't until June 7, 1965 that the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. The case involved a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of contraceptives. By a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law, reasoning that certain guarantees within the Bill of Rights create penumbras, or zones, that establish a right to privacy. According to the Court, the First, Third, Fourth, and Ninth Amendments together create a new constitutional right, the right to privacy in marital relations. The case remains one of the Court’s most hotly debated rulings and led directly to an even more controversial decision in Roe v. Wade (1973).