What is Link Rot and is it Really an Issue? What about in Texas?

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In an earlier post, Ms. Baker artfully noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has taken steps to address link rot. Link rot refers to the removal of or changes to the cited online materials, rendering the court’s citations unusable or unreliable, thereby minimizing the opinion’s precedential value. According to a recent study, 29% of the Internet citations in U.S. Supreme Court opinions between 1996 and 2011 were broken or no longer valid. A similar study of the Supreme Court of Texas found that about 40% of the Court’s Internet citations used during 1998 to 2011 no longer worked.

The U.S. Supreme Court has created a webpage with links to PDF images that capture the cited reference as it appeared at the time of citation. This is an acceptable method of addressing the link rot issue. Unfortunately, at this time, the Supreme Court of Texas has not taken equivalent measures to safeguard against link rot in its opinions.

New Database: Tax Notes!!

tax notes

Tax Notes is the Law Library’s newest database.  It is a current awareness and tax research database.  This product will help you stay on top of current tax news.  It is easy and quick to sign-up.  Here are the instructions*:

Please go to http://www.taxnotes.com to sign on to the new site.  For the initial sign-in, you need to be within your company’s/university’s IP range.

Please follow these steps:

  • Please go to http://www.taxnotes.com, and click SIGN IN at the top right.
  • In the username field, please enter your Texas Tech University e-mail address.  Click Next.
  • On the next screen, please click on the blue “Register Here” link.
  • You’ll be taken to a Profile page.  Enter your name and Texas Tech University e-mail address.
  • Choose a password and enter it.
  • When you’ve finished the Profile, click SAVE CHANGES.
  • You’ll go to the Tax Notes webpage, where you can sign in with your username Texas Tech University  and the password you chose.

If you have any problems signing up or setting preferences, please contact Marin Dell (marin.dell@ttu.edu) for assistance.

*[NOTE: The user must be a Texas Tech University faculty, student or staff to access.]

Throwback Thursday

law library oldThe Law Library has been an integral part of the Law School since 1967.  This particular picture from before the Law Library is opened, is of law librarian U.V. Jones showing Dean Richard B. Amandes some of the new books that are going to be added to the collection.

Even today, the Law Library continues to be a valuable resource helping our faculty, students,  practitioners and public patrons with the help of our vast collection of legal resources and of course, our librarians!

(original post from Texas Tech tumblr page http://longlivethematadors.tumblr.com/post/131950176873/new-law-library)

New Book – Lawyer, Activist, Judge: Fighting for Civil and Voting Rights in Mississippi and Illinois

lawyer activist judge Lawyer, Activist, Judge: Fighting for Civil and Voting Rights in Mississippi and Illinois by The Hon. Martha A. Mills (Ret.) is the autobiography of Martha Mills, an attorney in the turbulent 1960’s era who spent time working to further justice in Mississippi and Illinois for those that were not treated equally under the law.

In the forward to this new book, Justice Michael B. Hyman notes, “In 1967, Martha Mills left the sedate offices of a Wall Street law firm, where she made history as its first woman attorney, and joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  She was sent to Mississippi and made history again by confronting the injustices of racism in hundreds of cases involving civil and voting rights, social and economic rights, and constitutional rights.  In these pages, she shares her compelling and fascinating story of those years and the years that followed in Cairo, Illinois.”

Check this new book out at the Texas Tech Law Library’s Collaborative Commons’ “New Book Display” (KF373 .M5318 A3 2015)

SCOTUS Addresses Opinion Editing & Link Rot

banner_h120In May 2014, the NYTimes wrote about the Supreme Court continuing to edit opinions after release. Earlier this month, an NYTimes article noted that SCOTUS is now disclosing after-the-fact changes to its opinions.

The move on editing is a major development. Though changes in the court’s opinions after they are issued are common, the court has only very seldom acknowledged them. Many of the changes fix spelling or factual errors. Others are more substantial, amending or withdrawing legal conclusions.

Starting this term, a court statement said, “post-release edits to slip opinions on the court’s website will be highlighted and the date they occur will be noted.” The court’s website includes sample opinions to show how all of this will work. “The location of a revision will be highlighted in the opinion,” the statement said. “When a cursor is placed over a highlighted section, a dialogue box will open to show both old and new text.”

And in other wonderful news, SCOTUS is also addressing the problem of link rot in opinions.

The Court said it would also address what it called “the problem of ‘link rot,’ where Internet material cited in court opinions may change or cease to exist.” The Court will now collect and post the materials it links to on a dedicated page on its site.