Saturday, January 31, 2004

The Importance of Access

A article titled Approaching the Court talks about the difficulties that litigants and attorneys with disabilities have had at some courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Crossing the expert at 4:30?

So, in this trial the Defense expert finishes his direct testimony at 4:30pm and I know I have at least an hour and a half of cross examination for him. Do I start now and get in my first half hour before the break or break right now and start my cross fresh on the next day?

Don't be silly.

What do you dream about?

This morning I read an article in the News Journal about how studies show that sleep and dreaming can aid in creativity. It is said that our brain is working on our complex problems while we sleep, so that we have a shot at the answer when we wake. OK, I'll buy that.

Monday night I dreamed in detail about a trial that started on Tuesday morning. In the dream, we went through the entire trial, only the judge in my dream was Fred Gwynne from "My Cousin Vinny".

The trial's not over yet, but I think the dream helped me sort things out. Maybe if I sleep on it tonight, I can find the News Journal article I that I can link it to this post.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Interstate commissions

Multistate agencies are strange creatures. They often serve at the pleasure of the governors of the states involved, and the federal government through agencies such as the Department of the Interior. Their effectiveness is also often tied to federal and state purse strings.

So, what happens when one source of revenue dries up? The Delaware River Basin Commission is running out of money. What will that mean? A public meeting tonight may determine that.

senators with RSS

We really like syndicated content here at the Delaware Law Office, and if you don't have a news aggregator to read RSS feeds, then you can use a page like the Daily Whirl to subscribe to a large number of sites that use RSS (including the Law Office).

I'm excited to see more places adopting RSS, and I came across a post at Research Buzz which describes RSS in Government. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of states on the list of places that are using RSS. Hopefully that will grow in the future.

Delaware is one of the states not on the list, but there's a reason for hope. One of our Delaware Senators was the first to have RSS added to his web site. Backtracking through the RSS in Government page, I came across an entry titled Senate Begins RSS Rollout. According to that, Senator Joseph Biden is the first to have his press releases on his official site connected to an RSS feed.

I've got my fingers crossed in the hope that someone in Delaware State government might ask someone from the State's IT department what that little orange button, from Senator Biden's web site, with the "xml" written on it means.

It would be fun to have new legislation, and regulations, and proclaimations from the Governor streamed out across the web to my desktop, and without any spam accompanying it. I'd subscribe to those channels, if they would make them available.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Accessibility Toolbar

If you build web sites, and you would like to add accessibility to the pages you design, there's a handy tool from the National Information and Library Service (NILS) of Australia - an Accessibility Toolbar.

It's in beta right now, so if you want to help test it, and offer suggestions to the builders, here's your opportunity.

Friday, January 09, 2004

sealed criminal dockets in Florida

A Florida reporter came across some paperwork in a criminal case that didn't seem to exist, when a clerk's mistake made it public for a few hours. It's not the only one. The Sun-Sentinal is reporting that a Miami federal court has a 'secret docket' to keep some cases hidden from public.

Where else might this be happening?

(Thanks again to DianeV, who brought this story to my attention.)

Looks like a good place for spammers to harvest email addresses

When an internet site promises that if you send them a message, they will not publish your phone number, address or email address on the web, you expect to be able to hold them to that standard. But what if it's too hard? What if it's part of the Department of Treasury?
The unusually large number of comments received on Notice No. 4 has made it difficult to remove all street addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses from the comments for posting on our Internet Web site in a timely manner.

Well, the agency passes a federal regulation stating that anyone who submitted their contact information has a limited amount of time to communicate that they don't want it published, and if they don't respond, then it will be. Problem solved.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Seen this plot before?

I can think of at least one movie where a prisoner is being escorted by a law enforcement officer, and the two go off on a last road trip. As a plot goes, it's hard to believe that something like that could actually happen.

And, when it does, it's hard to believe that it actually happened.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Delaware River and Bay Watch

OK, the title for this post has been something I've threatened for a while - a blog that mixes the political intrigues and antics of the federal Delaware River and Bay Authority with the marketing sensibilities of the old Baywatch televison series.

The most recent set of questions surrounding the agency is whether the money earned from tolls on Delaware River Bridges should be used to spur the economic development of the City of Wilmington. An editorial in the local paper notes that New building projects in Wilmington don't include level playing field.

Maybe I will start that blog. I'll have to check and see if Pam Anderson is available to help work on it.

pardon me

An interesting piece of commentary from Findlaw titled Do Symbolic Pardons Do More Harm than Good?, which looks at the pardoning of Lenny Bruce from obscenity charges in the early 60s and the pardoning of some Swiss Citizens who broke Swiss neutrality to help people escape from Nazi forces.

I find myself agreeing with the conclusion: "If Lenny Bruce were alive today, I'm sure he'd have a few choice words to say about what such a pardon is worth."

Monday, January 05, 2004

googling IPO

The world wide web's largest search engine will be trying out the IPO waters, likely sometime this spring with the assistance of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs.

Will Google change much as a result of this public sale? There are a few people who have been stating that the search engine has already altered it's ranking system in anticipation of a public offering. If nothing else, this should be interesting. (Thanks, DianeV for pointing this out.)

Planning Roadways and the digital divide?

The Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization is conducting a first for the State of Delaware. They are holding an Internet survey to help participants determine how federal funding might be spent on the roads of Kent County.

While it doesn't state on the organization's web site that they will or will not hold a specific public hearing on this subject, it appears that this survey is an attempt to provide an opportunity for people who might not be able to attend actual public workshops on the issue. I hope so. At least, I hope that they are holding a public hearing for those without online access who wish to participate.