Archive for the ‘New LawReader Features’ Category

Supreme Court tackles wetland protection

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – After fighting the federal government for more than 18 years, Keith Carabell is resigned to more uncertainty after the U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Supreme Court ordered another look at his plan to build condominiums in a wetland area.

The 5-4 decision sends Carabell and another Michigan developer‘s cases back to a federal appeals court — with no end to the spat in sight.

In his first major environmental case, Chief Justice John Roberts came up one vote short of dramatically limiting the scope of the landmark Clean Water Act. But at the same time, property rights advocates won a new test for when wetlands can be regulated. Moderate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said there must be a “significant nexus” between the wetland and a navigable waterway.

“It muddied already muddy waters on this issue,” said Jim Murphy, wetlands counsel with the National Wildlife Federation.

Roberts and the court‘s other three conservatives complained in an opinion that virtually any land in America would be covered under the government‘s interpretation of the law.

“It‘s really a bizarre situation,” said Richard Lazarus, a Georgetown University law professor.

Roberts, Justice Antonin Scalia , Justice Clarence Thomas and new Justice Samuel Alito were in the conservative bloc. Siding with liberal Justice John Paul Stevens were Justices David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer .

The justices themselves appeared troubled by their inability to agree on a clear standard for wetland protection. Roberts said the result was confusing and that “lower courts and regulated entities will now have to feel their way on a case-by-case basis.”

Several justices urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that determines whether to allow development of federally regulated wetlands, to clarify its regulations.

Congress also may get involved. Bills pending in the House and Senate favor an expansive view of federal authority over wetlands.

Rapanos, 70, of Midland, ran afoul of regulators by attempting to develop three parcels they said contained wetlands.

He filled in a portion of one property with sand to build a shopping center, defying cease-and-desist orders and insisting it had no wetlands. The nearest navigable waterway is a Lake Huron tributary river about 20 miles away, but state and federal officials said adjacent ditches provided a direct surface link.

Carabell wanted to build condominiums on a 19-acre parcel in Macomb County, north of Detroit. He obtained a state permit but the Army Corps balked, saying the property had wetlands within the Lake St. Clair drainage system even though they were separated from a tributary ditch by a man-made earthen berm.

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Associated Press Writer Gina Holland in Washington contributed to this report.

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On the Net:

Supreme Court rulings: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/05slipopinion.html

By JOHN FLESHER, Associated Press

Useful links for finding answers to your legal questions

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

We have posted links to some very useful legal resources available on the Internet.  One site sponsored by LawGuru offers answers to over 100,000 legal questions asked and answered by lawyers and then posted on their site. This might be a method for you to find an answer when nothing else seems to work.  They also allow you to submit questions for other lawyers to comment on and hopefully answer.  We suggest you check out LawGuru and other sites by going to the LawReader page: INTERNET LAW – INTERNET LEGAL RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
 
       INTERNET LEGAL RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
 
Home Page   LawGuru.com – This valuable resource offers many free services.  They charge for their legal forms however.    We recommend that you check out LawReader’s Forms Library before you buy a form.  We probably have it for free. Go to: LAWREADER FORMS
 

Search Q&A Database
Over 100,000 answers to legal questions  – This is an interesting resource.
 

Ask A Question
The BBS and LawGuru Legal Forums are free services provided by LawGuru.com. There is no cost to submit questions or posts, to respond to questions or posts or to look up past questions and answers.
 

Join Attorney Network
Expand your law practice while becoming a part of the world’s biggest online community for lawyers. Join the LawGuru.com Attorney Network. Our Network is already home to roughly 5,000 law firms and sole practitioners in the U.S. and around the world. As a member you will receive legal questions submitted by our users that are specific to your practice area and geographic location. Respond only to those questions you like, there are no obligations. Members also enjoy placement in our Attorney Directory. Registration is fast and easy — join today! (Registration is contingent upon your agreeing to all terms and conditions of use.)
Internet Law library  The site provided links to a large number of legal resources
relating to American (federal and state) and foreign laws.
 
LEGAL NEWS
 

US Legal News
UK Legal News
News Archives
JusticeDaily.com
 
 Multiple Search Tool  Our Multi Resource Legal Research pages allow you to search various legal resources from one easy search window and interface. This feature allows you to search more than one Federal Circuit at a time (as does our FastCase data base.  But this has an interesting combination of data bases that may save you some time.
Currently you can search:
Multiple State Codes and Statutes
This tool allow you to search multiple codes from different states from the same search box one at a time.  New States Added
Multiple State Codes and Statutes (Java)
Search multiple codes from different states all at the same time. You will need a Java enabled browser.  New States Added
Multiple State Court Opinions
This tool allow you to search multiple state Court opinions from the same search box one at a time.
Multiple State Court Opinions (Java)
Search multiple state Court opinions (from different states) all at the same time. You will need a Java enabled browser.
Multiple Federal Court Opinions
This tool allow you to search Federal Court Opinions, including U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Circuit Court Opinions from the same search box one at a time.
Multiple U.S. Federal Courts and Codes Search (Java)
Search multiple U.S. Federal Court opinions and codes all at the same time. This tool allows you to search US Supreme and Circuit Court Opinions, as well as US Codes. You will need a Java enabled browser. 
Simply go to one of the above resource, select the state or resource, enter your query in the window next to it and start your search.
Please understand that due to the programming involved and the different ways the search engines and databases work, we can only offer a limited number of searches per category. A much bigger collection of search forms for numerous legal resources can be found in our extensive Legal Research Section which contains all of the individual search forms available here plus hundreds more.
Article Library  Interesting articles on many legal topics

Rominger Legal Services legal link page provides legal research links, case law, statutes, regulations, and other law related information.
http://www.romingerlegal.com/

 

 

LawReader has annotated the KRS – Beats West and Lexis in speed of search -cites FastCase as their secret weapon

Monday, April 17th, 2006

LawReader announces completion of a year long project to annotate the entire Kentucky Revised Statutes. The project is called of course: KRS Annotated.  The project involved the work of  our Senior Editor Stan Billingsley, formatter/coders  Shelly Chappel and Dana Deatherage, one para-legal and five contract attorneys.
We counted the statutes we worked on and discovered that there are 27,738 statutes listed in the KRS.  Our new data base contains over 40,000 pages and over 75,000 annotations.Judge Billingsley credited their use of the FastCase case law data base with allowing the project to be completed so quickly, “FastCase has a number of features that remembers your preferences and cuts out seveal steps on repetitive searchs. When you multiply the elimination of 2 or 3 entires for each search times some 28,000 search, you can see why our researchers loved FastCase. It was our secret weapon.”
The result of this project is that researchers can now find a Kentucky statute on LawReader faster than on any other online source. We have tested West and Lexis and the tests reveal that statute searches are much faster with LawReader.  The marriage of a traditional index along with a search engine is the best way to allow a researcher to focus their search and avoid irrelevant hits.
Billingsley explained, “We designed our project to provide a detailed index describing at the first level the general content of each of the 51 titles of the KRS, then at the next level to describe the general content of each statute.   This allows the user to have a general understanding of each Title, Chapter and Statute before opening them.  This provides a very real shortcut to the information you are seeking.
We also configured a search engine (found at the top of KRS Annotated) that allows you to enter a statute number or legal topic wording to direct you to the Chapter in which that statute or topic is located.   Other online services only provide you with a search engine…and this requires that you have a lot of missed searches as you search for the “magic words? that describe the topic you are searching.”
At the top of the KRS Annotated page, you will find links to new laws adopted by the 2006 legislature and those new laws will be added to the data base as soon as they officially become effective and are codified by the LRC Reviser of Statutes…this usually occurs about 60 days after the end of the session.
We have added to this search engine the Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rules of Evidence.  New indexes have been created for the Rules to permit easier navigation.  At the top of the KRS Annotated page, you will find links to new laws adopted by the 2006 legislature and those new laws will be added to the data base as soon as they officially become effective and are codified by the LRC Reviser of Statutes…this usually occurs about 60 days after the end of the session.We have added to this search engine the Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rules of Evidence.  New indexes have been created for the Rules to permit easier navigation.
We have also added a new Quick Index to the Ky. Administrative Regulations (KAR). The end result is one that we are proud of at LawReader.  Please give us your feedback.
You may view the Main Index of KRS Annotated at KRS ANNOTATED w/ Search Engine.  To actually search a statute or rule, you must be a subscriber to LawReader.   To sign up please go to www.lawreader.com.