|A Quarterly publication of the South Florida Association of Law
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St. Thomas University
As televised on New Years Eve, the Eiffel Tower electrified the
skyline of Paris with 2 million dollars worth of pyrotechnics, a 1,000 pound Waterford
crystal ball descended at Times Square, and 39 tons of fireworks exploded from London
While SFALL doesnt have anywhere near this level of resources to
bring in the New Year, it IS entering the millennium with renewed strength and energy.
Much of this is due to the creative talents displayed by our members this term. As the old
adage goes "many hands make for light work." With sustained cooperation and
participation by our members, SFALL can continue to grow as a vital organization for South
Floridas law library community.
In the latter half of 1999, our Association has seen the following initiatives
- A new dynamic and interactive Chapter website with internet links to legal
resources and digital photographs of SFALLs activities. (Visit the website at: www.aallnet.org/chapter/sfall/
- A new Chapter Listserv: www.onelist.com/communiity/sfall
- The creation of a SFALL logo using an innovative and colorful sunburst design.
- An extensive update of the Membership Directory, including linked e-mail
- A redesigned Membership Application and Renewal Form available for download from
the Chapters website.
- A quarterly newsletter with informative and substantive articles important to the
law library profession, replete with hypertext links published on the Chapters
website and in print.
- SFALLs updated Bylaws now accessible on the web.
- A SFALL e-mail list soon to be developed.
- An excellent and timely program on Internet subscriptions and their impact on
collection development held this past fall.
- A healthier Chapter treasury (even without tossing any member into debtors
As you can see from the above, 1999 was the year in which the Association began a
drive to help tighten the "nuts and bolts" of its internal operations. Since
this is an ongoing process, there will bound to be some growing pains, so we ask for your
AND NOW IN THE YEAR 2000....
SFALL is instituting a hands on training course to be held on an annual basis
for the express purpose of upgrading our members technological skills. This year, we are
arranging for a professional instructor to provide an all day workshop in website
design and development. SFALL is very committed to targeting those members who
currently lack the opportunity to either learn or participate in web publishing at their
respective institutions. Hopefully, this organization can also become a vehicle in which
our members can exercise a formal role in applying their new found technical skills
in the emerging technologies.
As part of our drive for community outreach, SFALL Vice-President Terry Seale is
spearheading a series of legal research seminars for paralegals. Conducted by
several of our members, including Monica Wilson and Clare Membiela, these seminars will
not only improve the educational level of our paralegal community, but they will also
generate additional revenue for SFALL.
With the final arrival of the year 2000, this is a perfect time to look back at
where SFALL has been and where it is going. In the works is a project to develop a written
and oral history of SFALL to be archived on its website.
Enclosed with the newsletter mailed to all members is a laminated card with
AALLs website address and a chart guide for tipping (especially handy for a furtive
glance when treating at executive business lunches - bon appetit!)
On Behalf of SFALL, a Hearty Welcome to the 21st Century!
What To Do When The Lights Go Out?
Billie Jo Kaufman
Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center
"Where were you when the lights went out?" was a phrase
coined as a result of the New York blackout in 1965.
At Nova Southeastern University, the #1 Wired Law School, technology,
integration and implementation has been central to NSUs vision and mission. LSV
(Lawyering Skills & Values) programs and other required and elective course offerings
have a technology component. This could be reviewing a students draft, e-mailing,
newsgroup components, "legal replay"or the use of power point software for
All students and faculty have laptops. Even if there is no direct
teaching which requires power and data, students note taking has moved from legal
pad/pen to their notebook computers. NSU Law has required laptop computers since 1997. The
program is exciting. But recently a stark realization hit at 4:55 pm on a Tuesday night.
No power! No lights! No back-up generator! The system was down!!
So, what do you do when the lights go out? Remember to:
- Have a back-up plan - just as you would if a guest lecturer failed to show.
- Be prepared - have hard copies of power point slides.
- See if power is available elsewhere in the building or on campus.
- Have portable projection equipment that will allow you to move to another
"powered" location easily.
- Have a flashlight or battery operated power source for safety.
- Install "air" or house phones so the instructor can call to report problems
without leaving the classroom.
- Be patient - often the problems are not long term - 5 minutes may solve the problem.
- Make arrangements to post your lecture, lecture notes or power point on your faculty
- When you prepare your syllabus - build in a little "down-time".
- Maintain your sense of humor.
From time to time even without technology, there is a down-time in classes.
Either the students were ill-prepared or the instructor just had a root-canal. The world
will not end: be prepared and have a plan.
1. Most Wired Law Schools, Nat. Jurist, Nov./Dec. 1998, at p. 18.
2. Legal Replay is a service offered to NSU Law faculty and students. With this service,
faculty lectures are taped and digitized. The digitized lectures are then posted to our
Internet site so that students can access them.
Westlaw Product News & Information
Provided by Rebecca Kauten & Molly Ready
1. "Westlaw researchers can now jump from footnotes references in the text of law
reviews to the full text of the footnote and back again. West Group announced today a new
footnote linking enhancement to Westlaw, giving subscribers unprecedented access to cases
and analysis contained in the 650 law reviews and bar journals on Westlaw at one
2. On November 2, 1999, Westgroup released Siegels New York Practice, 3d with
"thorough and insightful coverage of the latest developments in New York civil
procedure and jurisprudence."
Amicus Attorney: Case Management Software
Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center
of the goals at Nova Southeastern University Law Center is to ensure that every student is
educated in practice oriented skills. To help achieve this goal, NSU purchased and is
ready to support Amicus Attorney. Amicus is a practice management software
for lawyers. Amicus helps attorneys maintain client files, an office Rolodex, to-do
lists, an appointment calendar and time sheets electronically.
Amicus manages all of the information, people, schedules and
communications for your client files. It increases productivity and reduces practice
management concerns because it is designed to integrate your calendar, contacts, time
entries, telephone and timer. Three Management functions, Case, Contact and
Telephone, help attorneys organize their law offices and prioritize their
The Case Management function :
- organizes all events on each case, including critical dates;
- saves and reuses transaction precedents;
- manages documents, including listing and opening documents from each file;
- cross references to your calendar, contacts, and time sheets automatically; and
- uses advanced Document Automation with HotDocs, Word, or WordPerfect templates.
The most popular feature of Case Management is the way that it handles
time entries for billing and time management. Time spent on client files, telephone calls,
or meetings is automatically recorded and can be viewed at any time.
Amicus also arranges information about the people you deal with in your
practice via the Contact Management function. The Contact Management function:
- traces events, calls, files, notes, groups and attorneys;
- stores three business cards for every individual;
- sends Internet e-mail directly from a contacts business card;
- checks for conflicts of interest; and
- stores World Wide Web bookmarks for each contact card.
With Amicus, you can track every telephone call that you make or receive.
Incoming and outgoing calls are timed. The Telephone Management function:
- logs the details of all calls;
- stores notes about each call;
- auto-dials via a modem; and
- prepares time entries for calls.
Amicus streamlines your practice by integrating the key elements of your
practice. Time entries are automatically created. Time sheets are automatically sent to
your accounting system. It provides a common address book for your entire practice,
whether youre making a phone call, sending letters, or sending e-mails. It also
accumulates the steps for any type of transaction by saving them as a precedent which you
can then reuse on similar files.
SFALL extends a hearty welcome to the following new members:
- Frank Novak, NSU
- Robin Shard, Miami
Where Can I Find It?
Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center
Many of the traditional print sources such as dictionaries, directories, maps, and
encyclopedias are now available electronically via the Internet. Sites with information
about biographical data, consumer information, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias,
travel information, statistics, libraries and museums will be examined. At present, these
sites are available at no charge.
Biographical Dictionary @ http://www.s9.com/biography/
includes more than 27,000 "notable men and women who have shaped our world from
ancient times to the present day." Searching is via name, birth year, death year,
position, profession, literary and/or artistic works, and keyword.
Consumer Information Center @ http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/
is still distributing publications to consumers on a variety of topics. You can check out
consumer information on a variety of topics (cars, food, money, small businesses, travel)
in electronic format. You can search by subject or keyword.
Kelly Blue Book of Car Prices @ http:// www.kbb.com/index.html
provides consumers with new car prices as well as trade and retail value of used cars.
Searching begins with the vehicle year and moves down to make and model.
Merriam-Websters Dictionary @ http://www.m-w.com/
provides keyword searching. In addition to definitions, you can find pronunciations,
function, usage and etymology of words at this site.
WWWAcronym & Abbreviation Server @ http://www.ucc.ie/info/net/acronyms/
provides a list of acronyms and abbreviations. Searching is via keyword.
City/Zip Code Directory @ http://www.usps.gov/ncsc/
is produced by the U.S. Postal Service and provides both U.S. city and zip code directory
Directory of Scholarly and Professional E-Conferences @ http://www.n2h2.com/KOVACS/ "screens,
evaluates and organizes discussion lists, newsgroups...mailing lists...on topics of
interest to scholars and professionals for use in their scholarly, pedagological and
professional activities." Searching is via keyword; you can also browse the directory
by either subject or alphabetical listings.
Encyclopaedia Britannica recently launched its "free" site, Britannica.Com
@ http://www.britannica.com/. The site was
overwhelmed shortly after it opened and is temporarily closed for construction. It should
be back up and running soon. It is an excellent beginning point for brief articles on a
wide range of subjects and includes cross references and appropriate links.
Encyclopedia.com @ http://www.encyclopedia.com/
provides more than 14,000 articles from the Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia,
Third Edition. Searching is via keyword; you can also browse an alphabetical listing
of subjects. Entries are short but are also cross referenced and linked to appropriate
Information Please Almanac @ http://www.infoplease.com/
provides links to a variety of subjects, including world statistics, geography, current
events, sports, movies, music, computers, art, U.S. statistics, social security, personal
finance, holidays, and weather.
Searching is via keyword. For trivia buffs, this is a fun site.
The County and City Data Book @ http://www.census.gov/statab/www/ccdb.html
provides information about U.S. cities, examining median incomes, population size,
unemployment, public transportation, and other items. Cities are compared to each
other and ranked.
Fodors Travel Online @ http://www.fodors.com/
provides the same type of information that it always has. You can search by location as
well as search the hotel and restaurant indexes.
Current exchange rates can be found at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York site
@ http://www.ny.frb.org/ while the Universal
Currency Converter @ http://www.xe.net/ucc allows
you to "perform interactive foreign exchange rate conversion on the Internet."
Libraries & Museums
The Library of Congress can be accessed at http://www.loc.gov
You can obtain information about the Librarys collection, its research services, and
exhibitions at this site.
New Yorks Metropolitan Museum of Art is @ http://www.metmuseum.org/Index.html; the Museum
of Fine Arts, Boston can be found @ http://www.mfa.org/.
The British Library can be accessed at http://www.bl.uk/
while Oxfords Bodleian Library is at http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/.
The British Museum is located @ http://www.british-museum.ac.uk/.
Frances Bibliotheque Nationale de France can be found at http://www.bnf.fr while the du Musee du Louvre is @ http://www.louvre.fr/. Russias Hermitage is @ http://www.hermitage.ru/.
There are some marvelous sites on the Internet. Despite this, remember that Internet
search engines retrieve only 16% (See Steve Lawrence and C. Lee Giles, Inquirus: The NECI
Meta Search, http://www-sor.inria.fr/) of all
content on the Internet. Despite this caveat, there are many search engines available that
are helpful and easy to use. I like Dogpile @ http://www.dogpile.com.
Like Lycos and others, this search engine provides you with stock quotes, maps,
weather and white page information; however, the site does not overwhelm you.
Board Meeting Minutes
South Florida Association of Law Libraries
Executive Board Meeting
January 10, 2000
The meeting was called to order at 1:00 pm by President Denise Gibson. In attendance
were Denise Gibson (President), Terry Seale (Vice-President/President-Elect), Diane
Altimari (Treasurer) , Janet Reinke (Secretary).
Denise Gibson asked the Board to consider criteria in awarding achievement awards for
SFALL members. The Board considered two awards: the Service to SFALL Award and the
Certificate of Achievement. The Board may need to vote on candidates this year. In the
future, we will probably have a committee to determine the recipients of the awards: SFALL
members will send letters to the committee to make nominations. Possible requirements for
the Service to SFALL Award might be that the candidate (1) has given special service to
the Chapter, (2) has a sustained record of service to the Chapter and (3) must have been a
Chapter member for at least three years. The Certificate of Achievement would be awarded
for a specific contribution to the Chapter. The Board voted unanimously to have the
The Board members discussed SFALL dues. It was noted that September 30th is
the date that dues must be paid as outlined in the Chapter's By-laws. The Board members
discussed informing members well in advance that membership dues need to be paid. If an
individual does not pay by the due date, then he/she will not be included in the
The Web Page Committee was unanimously voted to become a standing committee, to be
incorporated into the bylaws. When people order books through amazon.com on our web site,
SFALL receives a commission on the sale.
Diane Altimari reported that the treasury is in good shape, with about $4, 068. in our
Terry Seale discussed the legal research seminars which SFALL will be offering this
term. They will meet six times at the University of Miami Law School, possibly on
Saturdays. A number of SFALL members have volunteered to teach the classes. The seminar
will include instruction in LEXIS, WESTLAW and the Internet. Books will probably be
distributed to the students, and the course will include homework and exams. Legal
secretaries, legal assistants and library assistants will take the course.
Denise discussed the plans for instituting technology skills workshops to assist in the
professional development of SFALL members. The first workshop will be on web page
development and design. Janet Reinke will also be assisting in planning for future
Denise made the motion to adjourn at 2:00 pm. Janet seconded the motion.
Janet Reinke, Secretary
January 11, 2000
Information for the Newsletter
If you are interested in writing an article or have information for the SFALL
Newsletter, contact Lisa Smith-Butler at Nova Southeastern University, Shepard
Broad Law Center. She can be reached at (954) 262-6215 or email@example.com