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Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Smart Stuff: Tech Briefs It's getting easier to find the text of court decisions free and online, but finding the briefs filed in a particular case can still be a challenge. The Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy clinic, and U.C. Berkeley's School of Information Management & Systems, appear to have a rescue strategy in mind. These folks have put up a searchable BriefBank for "law, technology and public policy" cases. The site appears to be in draft form (there are several "prototypes"), but is a great idea. The plan seems to be to become a central repository for briefs you might otherwise find spread around at other sources, and possibly only at fee-based ones. As the "about" page presently puts it, "The growing legal field of techlaw now contains a vast array of legal documents. Researchers are faced with wide-ranging searches. Our field is largely ignored by large information services, except in the instance that a decision goes to the U.S. Supreme Court. Current competing systems lack relevance to techlaw and are expensive, too large, disparate, and require a lot of support."

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