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South Florida Association of Law Libraries


May 1999

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wpe1.jpg (1370 bytes)President’s Message

Mary Barmmer

SFALL members have been honing their skills in the last several months with help from the various suppliers of information technology. Appropriately enough, AALL’s annual meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. from July 17 to 22. The theme is: "At the Crossroads: Information Management, Technology and Policy." Does this sound like something we have been discussing throughout the year? If you are a AALL member you have probably received the preliminary program. A glance through its pages reveals a wealth of program topics to be offered; many of them focus on how technology continues to change our work lives. If you are not a AALL member, I would urge you to consider joining.

As you may remember, at the Holiday Party in December we filled out ballots for our choices for a Thompson University program. The program chosen by the majority of ballots is on "Setting Priorities". More details will follow in a separate mailing in the near future.

Finally, you will also soon be receiving the SFALL ballots for next year’s slate of officers. Please return them shortly after you receive them. And for those of you who haven’t yet paid your annual dues, please remit them ($20.00) to Diane Altimari at Nova University Law Library.


SFALL Annual Luncheon

WHEN: June 4, 1999 12:00 Noon
WHERE: Banker’s Club1 Biscayne Tower2 South Biscayne Blvd.Miami, FL
COST: $35.00 per person
R.S.V.P.: By May 28, 1999 toMonica WilsonMay 28, 1999
SPEAKER: Nancy Johnson

  SFALL welcomes Nancy Johnson to its 1999 Annual Luncheon. Nancy is on AALL’s Executive Board and is the Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. She is the author of numerous articles and several books, including Winning Research Skills and Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories

Programs to Address Millennium Issues

Timothy Coggins, Chair, Annual Meeting Program Selection Committee
Hazel Johnson, Member, Annual Meeting Advisory Task Force

Reflecting the theme, "At the Crossroads: Information Management, Technology, and Policy, the programs at the 1999 Annual Meeting will confront the issues facing law librarians as the 21st Century approaches. We are at an important crossroads. We must position ourselves not only to survive but also to thrive in the technology based world that continues to evolve around us. Within each of the five tracks at the Annual Meeting, - Management; Technology; Information Access & Policy; Foreign,Comparative & International; and Technical Services - there is a plethora of programming designed to help law librarians address important millennium issues.

The Technology track includes exciting ideas and dynamic speakers. It’s All in the Books, Right?: The Ethical Perils of Ignoring Electronic Legal Resources in the Information Age features Judge Robert E. Payne (E.D. Va.) who wrote one of the first opinions acknowledging that attorneys have a duty to stay "abreast of developments in the law" and that there are numerous resources, including online services, serving this purpose. Encryption at the Crossroads features Marc Rotenberg, compiler of The Privacy Law Sourcebook, Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and one of the organizers of the grassroots campaign against Lotus Marketplace. The program will feature a discussion of PGP, the current industry standard for email encryption, and current and proposed legislation regulating the use and export of strong encryption products. The proliferation of electronic products, the Hyperlaw decision and the burgeoning number of legal documents found on the Internet has escalated the need for a uniform citation system. The principal drafters of AALL’s new Universal Citation Guide will "state their case" for adoption of the guide during the program, AALL’s Universal Citation Guide on Trial. A panel of judges representing various segments of the legal system will cross-examine the drafters about the potential problems and impact of such a system on the way judges, lawyers, scholars and others work.

Among the Information Access & Policy track programs, Unauthorized Practice of Law 1999 will feature representatives from Nolo Press, which is currently under investigation by a subcommittee of the Supreme Court of Texas for producing materials which assist individuals to do their own legal work. The preservation of the digital records created by federal agencies is one of the greatest challenges of the upcoming millennium. Lawyers, scholars, judges, reporters all should have an interest in how the federal government and the National Archives and Records Administration plans to meet this challenge. Federal Information Policy and Agency Recordkeeping at the Crossroads will feature Scott Armstrong, a noted author and journalist, and Dr. Lewis Belardo of NARA debating the issue. The consolidation in the legal publishing industry affects law librarians every day. The two-part program, Meeting of the Minds at the Crossroads of Legal Information, offers a panel of law book publishers participating in a roundtable discussion on the state of legal publishing today. Part Two will feature a panel of law librarians reacting to the points made by the publishers.

The Technical Services and Foreign, Comparative & International tracks feature programs of value to everyone, not just the librarians who specialize in those two fields. Crosswalks to Information Management: Metadata focuses on one of the cutting edge issues of searching the Internet. What is metadata? How can it make storage and retrieval of information more accurate? How will it affect search engines? The emergence of electronic publications has caused librarians to rethink the definition of a serial. The program Loose-leafs at the Crossroads: Redefining Seriality will focus on the ongoing discussions of proposals to re-define seriality and the impact that may have on cataloging and processing traditional materials and their new electronic counterparts. The globalization of the world’s economy makes the quest for the law of other countries a daily challenge. From Russia With Law, Cuban Legal and Political System and Our Neighbors to the North and South will provide insights in understanding and researching the law of some of the most important of the U.S.’s many trading partners.

A facet of a law firm librarian’s life is laboring on research projects and wondering how much of that time will actually make it to a client’s bill. The program, Getting the Client to Value Legal Research, in the Management track will offer a number of suggestions about ways to present librarian research time and tools to be used in the client-retention process. The ubiquitousness of technology in today’s law libraries often requires that technology professionals be employed in the law library. Ensuring that all employees understand each other’s work and that upper level management (and library staff) understand the need for well-compensated technology staff is the focus of How to Hire the Right Computer People -- and Keep Them From Crossing the Road.

This is just a sampling of the more than 70 programs scheduled for the 1999 Annual Meeting. As a special incentive to participate in the Annual Meeting, a $50 discount on registration fees is available for chapter members who are not currently AALL members. Each chapter president will be receiving information and flyers from AALL with more details about this money-saving offer. This could be your chance to take advantage of the programming, networking, and vendor opportunities of an AALL Annual Meeting. Want to know more? Check out the AALL web site ( and watch for "Crossroads Spotlights" postings on the dcedprog and law-lib listservs.

Online Products

Lisa Smith-Butler, Associate Law Librarian

As information increasing becomes available in electronic format, new products are constantly emerging. Listed below are some products reviewed and purchased by the Law Library & Technology Center at Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center.

Congressional Universe is produced by CIS, Congressional Information Services. It provides the full text of the Congressional Record, the C.F.R., and the Federal Register. You can search these publications via keyword. The service also allows you to search for recently enacted federal legislation and pending bills by number, sponsor, or keyword. Full text of these documents is also provided. Information about Congresspersons is also available at this site. Help with federal legislative histories can be obtained here as well.

Shepard’s Online simplifies your Shepardizing process. You have access to every Shepard’s (federal, state, regional, and specialized) published and can shepardize with either a citation or party name.

Matthew Bender’s Authority on Demand provides the full text of 278 Matthew Bender treatises, including Florida Civil Practice. With this subscription, you can browse by title or do a keyword search. Once you’ve located the appropriate treatise, view the Table of Contents, double click on it, and you can then enjoy the full text of the treatise.

United Nations (Readex) Index is an electronic index to United Nations materials. It permits either keyword or field (date, agency, or session) searching or a combination. You can also use the index to limit by date. Once your search is completed, the index then retrieves citations to U.N. documents.

GDCS-Autographics is an electronic index to U.S. government documents. With this index, you can search by author, title, or keyword. GDCS then retrieves the citation to the document as well as providing hyper-text links to any appropriate government resource on the Internet. It indicates if a library holds the item; if not, it lists local area libraries that do have the item.

Florida Law Weekly provides the full text of cases published by the Florida Supreme Court and the five Florida District Courts of Appeal. In addition, it contains the headnotes and summaries of the Florida Supreme Court. Keyword searching, using boolean connectors, allows retrieval of the full text of documents.

Chronicle of Higher Education provides you with daily and weekly information about higher education, including job information. Searching is done via a Table of Contents which then has hyper-text links to the full text of articles.

Best of the Web for Lawyers 1998

Check out the Best of the Web for Lawyers at This site provides links to legal web sites, including legal research sites, law firms, law schools, law reviews, bar organizations, CLE, and company organizations.

Information for the Newsletter

If you have news or an article that you would like to submit to the newsletter, contact Lisa Smith-Butler of Nova Southeastern University. Her telephone is (954) 262-6215 or send her an e-mail.

Lisa will be the newsletter editor for 1999-2000.


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