Tuesday, February 05, 2002

court records online

Online Journalism Review probes the question, "Should Court Records go online?" While asking this question, they point towards a web site that posts commentary about five or six appellate court decisions daily, including the awards in the cases. Morelaw.com is the product of a Tulsa civil rights attorney, and provides the type of information that only larger law firms were able to afford in the past.

There is debate over different types of data from court cases being placed on the internet. A great amount of information is collected during civil suits for witnesses, defendants, and plaintiffs. While most of it doesn't get reported in a judicial opinion, it is possible that some states will include more about cases online than just the official opinions of the courts.

Some say that releasing the addresses of jurors and witnesses could lead to intimidation. Somehow, I don't see that type of information being made public on a web site.

Certain jurisdictions in California have placed abstracted information online; avoiding giving all details of a civil or criminal case. Other states, like Oklahoma, are working towards publishing considerably more of the facts and circumstances online.

Should all the information that would be available to you if you visited the courthouse in person also be obtainable from the Court's home page?

christmas lights

If you haven't taken down your christmas lights yet, it might be time.

space budget

The President's recommendations to Congress over a budget have been released, for fiscal year 2003. I've always been entranced by our space program, and the thought of people going into space on a rocket, and having their lives sustained while in a hostile environment amazes me everytime I think about it.

One back door means to information about what an agency is planning for the coming year is to sneak a glimpse at its budget request. The NASA budget request includes a pretty good status report of their many programs. Though, the Planetary Society has some words about some of the proposed cutbacks in NASA's budget.

- William Slawski