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Cornell Saves the Oyez Project

logoThat was the headline of a recent post at Southern California Appellate News reacting to an article earlier that day by Tony Mauro in the online National Law Journal detailing an arrangement between the LII and Justia Inc. to assume operations of Oyez, the online home of Supreme Court oral argument transcripts and audio files.

Since we’ve never been very good at talking about ourselves, we thought we’d let the others do it for us this time.  When he broke the story in a May 25th article titled “‘Oyez Project’ New Home Will Keep Supreme Court Audio Free to Public,” Mr. Mauro aptly noted that the United States Supreme Court “has taped oral arguments for the last 60 years and deposited them with the National Archives. Oyez makes the audio available on its website with additional information, including searchable transcripts that are synchronized to the audio.”

Several other bloggers picked up the National Law Journal story, such as Friend of the LII Paul Caron in his popular TaxProf Blog, and Jamie Baker blogging as The Ginger (Law) Librarian.  James R. Jacobs at Free Government Info ( called the NLJ story “great news.”  Mr. Jacobs wrote he was “afraid that some for-profit publisher like Westlaw or LexisNexis was going to scoop it up.”  He concluded, “Public domain crisis averted!”

In addition to the NLJ story, LII Director Tom Bruce along with Justia CEO Tim Stanley and Oyez founder Jerry Goldman also sat for an interview with Legal Tech blogger and LII friend Bob Ambrogi.  Bob’s story succinctly describes the new arrangement as such: “Oyez will move to the LII as its new home, with infrastructure and technical support from Justia, which had already been quietly supporting the Oyez site for several years.”

        Bob’s story goes on to quote both of LII’s partners in this project:

“I couldn’t be more pleased to know that Tom and his folks at LII will be the stewards and curators of Oyez,” Goldman told me yesterday during a phone call that also included LII Director Thomas R. Bruce and Justia cofounder Tim Stanley. Both Goldman and Bruce gave Stanley credit for his role in orchestrating the move.

“I think this will be good for Oyez,” said Stanley. “The LII has lots of good tech and editorial people. I also personally like that it’s going over to an academic nonprofit group. I think that to keep it open and available is really important.”

But, as usual, the last word belongs to LII Director Tom Bruce.  As he told Bob Ambrogi, “Are there a million things that we can do? Yes. Are there ways that we can use it to up our game in terms of our own Supreme Court resources? Absolutely.”

We look forward to “upping our game” with Oyez; and, when we do, you’ll read about it here.