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We’re at Day 2 of the Princeton Center for Information Technology and Policy Open Government Workshop.  Day 1 was interesting and highly informative, with presentations from longtime LII friends at the Sunlight Foundation, from the US GPO, the Law Library of Congress, and a variety of other presenters.  Particular treats included a keynote speech by Anil Dash, and a chance to catch up with former LII associate Ross Housewright, who now works at the Ithaka S+R higher-education consultancy and was co-author of an influential report on the Federal Depository Library System and its place in a 21st century democracy.

Today, LII Director Tom Bruce will be part of a law.gov panel with legal-information activist Carl Malamud, VoxPop author and LII friend John Joergensen, and Steve Schultze of PACER-activism and RECAP fame.  You can follow the action in Twitter at #pogw .

Those of you who don’t know the work of the CITP should take a look at the “Government Data and the Invisible Hand” paper by Robinson, Felten et al.

Google and others provide us with tools that tell us a lot about those who use and value our materials — especially bloggers.  And from time to time we salute some of those folks here.  But such net-based tools don’t find their way to some of the places that LII resources do — like college classrooms, textbooks, trade magazines, continuing legal education courses, and countless term papers every year.  For example, our LIIBULLETIN analyses of upcoming Supreme Court decisions can be found each month in the Federal Lawyer, the magazine of the Federal Bar Association, which is also distributed to all Federal judges and members of Congress.  But we are much more often found in class handouts that discuss Supreme Court cases, educational materials for lawyers who are keeping up their professional skills via continuing education, and textbooks in the US and abroad.  Our favorites over the years have included books for fledgling writers, the Investigator’s Guide for the GAO Office of Special Investigations,  and (just today) a work on aviation management — and a search of Google Books shows the LII mentioned in more than 700 works.   

Today in VoxPop Sarah Rhodes of the Georgetown Law Library talks about preservation of digital materials, and the Chesapeake Project.  The Chesapeake Project is  a cooperative effort to archive primary legal materials in Maryland and Virginia, and is part of the larger Legal Information Preservation Alliance.

VoxPopuLII also has a new editor-in-chief, Robert Richards.  Widely known for his prolific tweets as @richards1000, Rob is an avid observer of the legal informatics scene and the maintainer of the Legal Informatics Blog and the incredibly comprehensive and useful (and growing) Legal Informatics Resources List.  So far as we know, Rob reads everything, and digests all of it (in both senses of the word). Also, it appears that he never sleeps.  These, we think, are important professional qualifications, and we’re delighted to have him on board.  Judith Pratt, a professional writer, editor, and playwright,  will continue as VoxPop’s editor and prose stylist.

Jan 062010

We received a mysteriously weighty box via UPS yesterday.  In it, we found 100 copies of the 2009 IRS Tax Products DVD (First Release).  The IRS distributes this DVD to its regional offices, third partytax-assistance operations, and corporations that help out their employees by distributing tax forms and materials internally.  They distribute thousands of them — and every one contains the LII’s version of 26 USC, the Internal Revenue Code.  This is the third year that the IRS has made use of our version of the Code, and we’re very, very pleased.  Thanks, tax guys!