CALI::The Free Law Reporter

The Free Law Reporter™ is where free law meets accessibility. It’s an electronic case reporter that freely publishes nearly every recent appellate and supreme court opinion, from state to federal US courts.

FLR uses the RECOP project as a starting point, making its opinions searchable online and available as ebook collections, with more features in development.

The Free Law Reporter™ (FLR) is an experiment that builds onCarl Malamud’s Report of Current Opinions (RECOP).(more info about RECOP fromJustia,Robert Ambrogi and Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase). The RECOP bulk feed can be found at http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/recop/.

The goal of FLR is to develop a freely available, unencumbered law reporter that is capable of serving as a resource for education, research, and practice. The first step is to use FLR to provide greater access through enhanced and alternate formats of the weekly feeds coming from RECOP.

The weekly feeds provided by RECOP are a new source of court opinions from across the country with each weekly feed containing all slip and final opinions primarily from the appellate courts of the 50 states and the federal government released under a Creative Commons Zero License packaged as XML files in a single weekly archive.

Each weekly feed contains 2 groupings of opinions: slip opinions and paginated cases. The slip opinions are individual documents that come directly from the court, are paginated by the court, and contain little or no citation information. The paginated cases are individual documents that have been added to the West reporter system, contain West pagination and full West citations.

CALI’s FLR project is processing the slip opinion portion of the archives to create a body of court opinions that is accessible to anyone including educators, librarians, students, lawyers and the public. The raw XML of the archives is processed into valid XHTML and some meta data is added to facilitate the indexing and classification of the documents. The XHTML files are saved into a web folder structure organized by weekly RECOP volume and jurisdiction for viewing with a web browser. The XHTML files are fed into a search engine powered by Apache Solr allowing for sophisticated searching and analysis of the documents. Finally the weekly volumes are gathered by state and federal jurisdiction into ebooks in the .epub format viewable on virtually any desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone and e-reader device. All of this available now at www.freelawreporter.org. The FLR website is updated weekly as new RECOP archives are released.

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 Some judges are skeptical of claims by lenders that they have substantially improved their foreclosure procedures since controversy over the practices exploded last fall. F. Dana Winslow, a N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice in Long Island’s Nassau County, said there has been only “a marginal improvement in what is being submitted to the court.” For example, financial institutions are “showing a better chain of title” about who owns the debt, he said. “But I’m not seeing any additional clarity on who has control over the actual mortgage note signed by the borrower and lender and where the note is.”
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NYLJ: Family Court Struggles With Budget Reductions

Andrew Keshner 

New York Law Journal

April 29, 2011

Budget cuts have made this “the saddest and most professionally challenging season of my career,” New York City Family Court Administrative Judge Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson (See Profile) said Wednesday evening.

The judge made her remarks during a panel discussion sponsored by the New York County Lawyers’ Association on “Doing More With Less: The Effect of Budget Cuts on the Family Court.”

But Judge Richardson-Mendelson said she had to “respectfully but strongly disagree” with the event’s title. “We will not be doing more with less,” she said. “We cannot do more with less. We will focus our efforts to do the very best we can in this difficult season but it will not be more, it will be less.”

The judge noted that Family Court night sessions are being eliminated in all five boroughs, and employees are being “re-deployed” so the courts can “get through the business of the day.”

And the day has gotten shorter. All but emergency court proceedings are being cut off at 4:30 p.m.

Read entire article (requires free registration).

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