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Today is the first day of the new Supreme Court term.  This week the Court hears cases on topics ranging from affirmative Action, immigration, and habeas corpus and competence  Here’s the calendar; you can read our LII Supreme Court Bulletin case analyses by clicking on the name of the case:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Title 17 eBook CoverWe’re happy to announce that we’ve just released our first title in eBook form: United States Code -Title 17 – Copyrights. It is now available for download from the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook stores for $5.99.

The LII plans to offer the most full-featured primary legal materials available in two popular eBook formats. All LII titles feature live cross-references with fully-functional navigation between references within each title. Out-of-title cross-references and references to supporting notes and documents link directly to the LII web site. Each eBook title is updated annually, but links to the LII web site put the most recent official version and an array of updating and research tools at your disposal. The text of LII eBook editions is beautifully formatted and indented, making it far easier to read than other e-book editions.

One of the great advantages of eBooks over apps or websites is that regular users can bookmark frequent passages, highlight important text, and even annotate sections of the text with their own notes…just like scribbling or using sticky notes in the bulky desk copy! Depending on the e-reader you choose, relevant passages can also be sent to colleagues or shared online. The Amazon version will work on all Kindle devices and within the Kindle application on your PC, smartphone, or tablet. The Barnes & Noble version will work on all Nook devices and within the Nook application on your PC, smartphone, or tablet. Plus, the Barnes & Noble version will also work on all e-readers that support the open epub format, including Apple products. (We’re still working on placing our eBooks in Apple’s iBookstore.)

Other publishers have already made available free eBook versions of several titles of the U.S. Code and Code of Federal Regulations. We hope you’ll find that ours are the best and well worth the modest cost, the royalties from which will help support free, online access to law for over 13 million people each year. If you enjoy our versions, please leave a positive review on the site where you purchased your copy

Title 17 was selected as the first eBook to be published for a number of practical reasons, not least of which was that Title 17 was the first piece of legal information published on the World Wide Web, 20 years ago, by the LII. We’re selecting the next title by a popular vote. Visit the LII Facebook page to cast your vote for Title 5, 11, 18 or 51.

We are pleased to announce the full slate of speakers and presentations for the 2012 Law via the Internet Conference, to be held October 7-9, 2012, at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, New York. The quality of the proposals we received was very high, and our Track Chairs had a difficult time narrowing down the limited number of presentations we were able to accept. We think you’ll agree that this year’s program is among the most comprehensive we have ever assembled and reflects the true diversity of disciplines and subjects that keeps the open access movement thriving after 20 years.

This year, we’ve invited several special guests, who have inspired us with their work in this new age of information and interaction. We’re excited to welcome legal technology innovator Richard Susskind and social media visionary Clay Shirky as our keynote speakers. We’ve also announced our featured headiners for each Conference Track, including founder Steve Ressler, legal information analyst David Curle, head of the United Nations DESA in Rome Gherardo Casini, founder Joshua Tauberer, and Google Scholar founding engineer Anurag Acharya.

We remember when social networking meant more than just Facebook, so we’ve created several special opportunities to mingle and celebrate our 20th Anniversary, including opening and closing receptions and our spectacular 20th Anniversary Gala. We also hope you’ll consider extending your trip to discover all that the beautiful Finger Lakes region has to offer. If you’re bringing guests who will not be attending the conference sessions, we’ve arranged special day trips for them and a reduced conference fee so that they can join you at the receptions and gala.

Now is the time to make your plans! Reserve your space before June 15 to enjoy significant savings on the conference registration fees. We also suggest you make travel and lodging reservations as soon as you can; flights to Ithaca and hotel rooms for this event will fill up quickly.

Follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest news and information, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to us as We look forward to seeing you in October.


The nation’s most comprehensive set of laws, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), contains rules that impact nearly all areas of American business, and the LII”s new electronic edition offers users an easier path to finding and understanding the regulations with which they need to comply.

This new online edition of the CFR is the result of an unprecedented two-year collaboration between the Government Printing Office (GPO), the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School (LII), and the Cornell Law Library.

The project implemented features that have been often requested by government regulators, corporate counsel, and law librarians. “The LII’s edition of the CFR has the same search and navigation features that have made its edition of the United States Code the leading free, online source for Federal statutes for over a decade,” said Thomas R. Bruce, Director of the LII. “We’ve added linked cross-references both within the CFR and to relevant parts of the United States Code, something no other freely-available collection has. This will help users find other government regulations that impact them that they may not have found before.”

The CFR is extremely complex, and yet citizens are expected to adhere to all of its regulations. The results of this partnership ensure that the latest information is always available, easier to use and understand, and entirely free of charge.

“This open-government project demonstrates that partnerships between government and nonprofit groups can do more for the American public than either could accomplish on their own,” Bruce said.

Cornell Law Librarian Femi Cadmus agrees. “Partnerships such as these are important because they expand and enrich the level of research support that innovative libraries such as the Cornell Law Library can provide to an extensive network of users both nationally and globally.”

In addition to its improved navigation, the LII CFR also contains links to relevant statutory authority and to rulemaking dockets for pending regulations that may affect the section the user is viewing. The LII edition is updated concurrently with updates to the GPO’s Federal Digital System data on which it is based, with links from each page to the Office of the Federal Register’s e-CFR edition for more recent updates.

The LII is actively experimenting with new features based on the capabilities of the Semantic Web. For example, users can now search Title 21 using brand names for drugs (such as Tylenol), and receive the generic name for the drug (acetaminophen) as a suggested term. Other near-term enhancements will include searches by United Nations product code, the identification and linking of relevant agency guidance information for each Part and Section, and a wide variety of Linked Data offerings.


The LII’s U.S. Code collection received a major upgrade last week with the addition of USC-prelim. Thanks to our friends at the U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Law Revision Counsel (OLRC), the LII now includes all newly codified legislation for each title on a separate tab within each page of the LII U.S. Code Collection, right alongside the most recent official version.

The official version of the U.S. Code as released by the U.S. Government Printing Office can be as many as 15-18 months out of sync with current legislation. The OLRC has long realized that professional users of the code would benefit from access to the most current information available, and now the OLRC has agreed to release this information in bulk, as soon as practical, so we can offer it without fee to LII users. USC-prelim has been available on the OLRC government site for some time, but now you can find it in navigable form at the LII.

Bear in mind that while USC-prelim is far more current than the official release, these updates may be subject to further revision. Users should verify the text against the printed slip laws available from the Government Printing Office, the laws as shown on THOMAS (a legislative service of the Library of Congress), and the final version of the Code when it becomes available.

Law Via the Internet 2012, the international conference on open access to law, is now accepting proposals for papers and presentations. This year’s conference will be held in the United States for the first time, October 7-9, 2012, at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, New York. Cornell is the home of the Legal Information Institute, the birthplace of the open access, free law movement, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

We expect to welcome nearly 500 attendees to this year’s conference, which will feature two special keynote speakers (to be announced soon), five cross-disciplinary tracks, and a 20th Anniversary Gala. Tracks to be explored include:
  • The Promise and Reality of e-Participation
  • The Business of (Open) Legal Publishing
  • Free Law and Government Policy
  • Application Development for Open Access and Engagement
  • Data Organization and Legal Informatics
To register for the conference, submit a proposal, or learn more about the program, schedule, and special events, visit the site at Follow @lvi2012 on Twitter to stay updated on conference news and information. Proposals are due by March 15, 2012; decisions will be made by May 1, 2012.

And if your company, firm, or organization can help by sponsoring part of the conference to celebrate LII@20, please visit our sponsorship page. We look forward to seeing you in October!

supreme-ct.jpegToday the Supreme Court begins its November argument session. As it did in October, the high court will hear arguments in fourteen cases. Once again, the LII Supreme Court Bulletin has prepared oral argument previews for all of the month’s cases. A few topics on the Court’s agenda: obscenity on the airwaves, criteria a government may use to select which donated monuments to display, immunity for prosecutorial misconduct, and asylum for refugees who have been compelled to collaborate with their persecutors. (To receive these previews two weeks in advance, please subscribe to the LIIBULLETIN email service.)

supreme-ct.jpegToday the Supreme Court begins its new term. Its first month will be busy this year: the Court will be hearing arguments in fourteen cases (more than half again as many as it heard last October). Fortunately, the intrepid LII Supreme Court Bulletin crew has prepared oral argument previews for all of the October cases. Read all about the cases — and don’t forget to subscribe to the LIIBULLETIN email, which will bring you the previews approximately two weeks before the cases are argued. We hope you’ll join us.