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It’s a mystery how we do this

For reasons that are a mystery to us, our news aggregator periodically kicks out a blog post from very far back in time.  Yesterday it resurrected a post from the “Keep Me In Suspense” blog, a resource site for writers of mystery fiction.  Turns out they just love the LII.  And we love people who find unusual uses for us.  Here’s what they said:

The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University ( is an EXCELLENT source of background material on legal issues. This page: leads to overview articles on a host of legal issues. Have questions about child support? Start there. How about probate and wills? You guessed it – go there first. Many of the initial questions I’m asked could be answered if the person searched for an article here first. The general page breaks the law into federal and state issues and gives a helpful overview. I STRONGLY encourage you to start your legal research here.

How cool is that? We know that we’ve received mentions in at least one published mystery novel, and now we’re looking forward to others. Thanks, guys.

Around here, the biggest mystery is how we manage to keep this operation funded. If you haven’t yet made a tax-deductible contribution to the LII this year, we’d ask that you do so now. Your C-note would be greatly appreciated.

[NB: the observant among you will find our Mystery Reason for selecting the particular Hardy Boys illustration we did. If you were producing an audio book, it’s very odd that you would select as the reader a man whose reputation (and MacArthur genius grant) was based on his work as a silent clown….]

Vallbe on Organizational Memory

Over in VoxPopuLII, our Catalonian collaborator Joan-Josep Vallbe (known to one and all as “Pep”) talks about the role of organizational management and KM systems in judicial administration.  He argues for the use of techniques that capture and model knowledge from non-documentary sources as helpful to judicial process, and we’d agree — in fact, we’d extend the idea to processes such as the drafting of regulations and the preparation of guidance and compliance documents.

The StandDown Texas Project : we salute our users

From time to time, we like to give some recognition to projects that make use of our materials.  This month, we salute the StandDown Texas Project and its director, Steve Hall.  In its own words:

The StandDown Texas Project was organized in 2000 to advocate a moratorium on executions and a state-sponsored review of Texas’ application of the death penalty. To stand down is to go off duty temporarily, especially to review safety procedures.

The site advocates a moratorium on capital punishment in Texas, and provides news and commentary about capital cases throughout the US.  Good work, Steve — and thanks for the links.

Law via the Internet, Day 2

Somehow, there was a two-week gap between our postings on Law via the Internet Day 1, and this posting about Day 2.  But we lacked time to post about Day 2 before leaving Durban for a week and a half in places (including the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve) that lack reliable access to the Internet.

Details of the second day are reported in great detail by Christine Kirchberger in her excellent blog.  Highlights included a talk by Graham Greenleaf of AustLII on sustainability strategies for LIIs, a presentation by Justice O’Regan of the SA Constitutional Court, and a dinner speech by the LII’s co-founder and co-director emeritus Peter Martin about the 40-year history of important developments in online access to law.  We were most taken with Justice O’Regan’s remark that the privacy of public records is the responsibility of courts that must act with full knowledge that judicial opinions will be indexed by Google.

All in all a most successful conference, with much to offer on policy and technology.  It should be a great source of pride to its hosts at SAFLII.