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Free Law Resources

Joel Howell

Article by Joel Howell Newsletter Editorial Board

Email: jwh3@mindspring.com
Posted December 6, 2016

Courtesy of Mississippi College School of Law, a mobile/pc application is now available as a free fundamental resource. It is accessible at www.law.mc.edu/mlr.

This new application provides easy access to the Federal Rules (Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Bankruptcy Procedure); Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals opinions; and Uniform Local Civil Rules, Uniform Local Criminal Rules, and opinions for the Northern and Southern District Courts of Mississippi. For Mississippi state resources, it provides links to the Rules of Civil Procedure, Evidence, Appellate Procedure, and Professional Conduct, as well as to the Mississippi Code of 1972, Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions. Also linked are the Mississippi Constitutions of 1817, 1832, 1868, and 1890 (with amendments from the Mississippi Secretary of State). Finally, it has links to the MC Law Library Online Catalog, the Legislative History Project (videos of floor debates from the 2012 and 2013 legislative sessions), and the Judicial Data Project (videos of oral arguments at the Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, briefs filed, and statistical information).

At the time I first saw it, its rules updating was ahead of the official Mississippi sites. This promises to be a very useful addition to any practitioner’s applications, particularly so with its mobile access features.

Over the years Robert Ambrogi and his articles in Law Technology News have provided many helpful hints. A salute as he retires from writing that column, with some comments in his penultimate column about judicial blogging.

Interestingly enough, judges of all kinds have started blogging about judicial challenges and responsibilities. Even though blogging has exploded in the legal profession in recent years, judicial blogging remains rare. Even more so are blogs from federal judges. Most judges probably refrain from blogging because of the potential consequences and constraints they face such as ethical rules and practical considerations. The U.K. has gone as far as threatening disciplinary action for inappropriate blogging.

However, a few judges have remained defiant and have pioneered a judicial blogging trail that spans any and all aspects of the law, from family law issues to personal preferences inside the courtroom. These judges typically write on a wide range of topics of interests giving insight on the judicial processes, as well as track notable cases and articles on judicial issues. Other judges blog about social issues such as bullying, discrimination, and abuse in the workplace

Examples of current judicial bloggers include Milwaukee County Circuit Judge John DiMotto (johndimotto.blogspot.com), Minnesota District Court Judge Tom McCarthy (countryjudge.blogspot.com), and Texas District Court Judge Bonnie Suddereth (judgebonniesudderth.wordpress.com).

Another judicial blogger close to home is Chancery Judge Larry Primeaux of the 12th Chancery Court District of Mississippi (http://chancery12.wordpress.com). Chancellor Primeaux typically provides news and information about practice in Lauderdale and Clarke counties. He offers insight into some of his preferences and predilections regarding his Chancery Court practice so as to better develop the learning process. Other judges around the country have performed similar services such as aiding teens in understanding their rights and the consequences of cyberbullying.

Questions or comments? Drop me an email: jwh3@mindspring.com