Thursday, November 29, 2018

A New Context for Legal Analytics

Today, Lexis Advance launched its new Context product for legal analytics, currently featuring analysis for judges and expert witnesses. Lexis users at Duke Law can access this new tool from the grid in the top left corner of any Lexis Advance screen. (Be sure to choose "Context" and not "Litigation Profile Suite" – although the latter tool also includes profiles of judges and expert witnesses, these are separate products and do not appear to cross-link.) [Update: currently, Context access is available only to Law School faculty; student accounts will see the new product on January 2.]

If the Context report interface looks a bit familiar, you may have seen a similar version for judges on Ravel Law, the legal research start-up which Lexis acquired last year. Profiles for Judges include biographical information as well as "Analysis" data about motion outcomes, most-cited opinions and judges, and even the specific passages upon which the judge relies most heavily.

The Expert Witness portion of Context was not a feature previously offered in Ravel. Reports include biographical background as well as data on type of parties represented, amount of cases per year, and a "scorecard" for Daubert challenges. Currently available for federal courts, an expansion to state court expert witness data is planned for next year.

For more information on Context's release, and its availability for law firm customers, check out Bob Ambrogi's LawSites blog post. For help with using Lexis Advance or other legal analytics tools, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Legal Holiday Gift Guide

It's that time of year again! Since 2009, the Goodson Blogson has compiled a list of holiday gift suggestions for lawyers, law students, and anyone else with an interest in legal themes. (See past gift idea lists here.). The Goodson Blogson does not receive these items for review, or any payment for listing items in the annual gift guide.

Is your legally-minded loved one always on the go? Some travel-related gift ideas to consider include the Trtl Travel Pillow, a wrap-around scarf with built-in neck support designed to let wearers sleep comfortably on planes, trains, or anywhere else. After one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time, Baubax has just released version 2.0 of its popular travel jackets, which feature numerous hidden pockets and built-in features like an eye mask, corded eyeglass cleaning cloth, and a telescopic pen/stylus. Earlier this year, CNet reviewed The Best Travel Gadgets and Gear, offering practical suggestions for international outlet adapters, power banks, and headphones designed to make travel easier.

Gift box subscription services continue their explosive growth of the last five years, and can be a nice way to extend a gift well beyond a single holiday. We've previously written about Try the World's subscription service for international gourmet foods and snacks, but these days it seems like there is a gift box service for almost any interest. Some additional gift subscription services to consider include a membership to Flaviar's mail-order whiskey-tasting club, Birchbox for beauty products, and Craft Coffee samplers.

Any "Notorious RBG" fans on your gift list? Besides a DVD or Blu-Ray copy of the summer’s breakout documentary hit RBG, you might also consider a gift inspired by one of the film's most memorable sequences: octogenarian U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg working out with her longtime personal trainer, Bryant Johnson. Johnson has authored the 2017 book The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong...and You Can Too! (which you can review for yourself on level 1 of the library), and also sells replicas of the justice's "Super Diva!" workout sweatshirt, with proceeds from certain styles benefiting a cancer charity.

For someone who's never caught without a notebook to jot down ideas, try one of the lovely leather etched map notebooks from The Grommet, with maps available for nearly two dozen U.S. cities or three international cities. For a variation on this theme at a lower price point, Kaufmann Mercantile offers simple leather notebooks in two sizes and five colors. If your recipient isn't a fan of animal products, attractive personalized "vegan leather" journals are also available on Etsy.

For the foodie and/or entertainer on your list, Grant Achatz of Chicago's acclaimed Alinea restaurant has just released The Aviary Cocktail Book, available in both an $85 hardcover and a $135 boxed "reserve edition." Cocktail enthusiasts may also enjoy a sampling of Raleigh's own Crude Bitters, available in a small set of 6 or large set of 4. Another thoughtful gift for the entertainer are drink chillers that won't water down beverages: there are a number of varieties out there, but Uncommon Goods's On The Rocks Set is both affordable and stylish.

Finally, an annual reminder to also consider your locally-owned businesses, in addition to the online shopping options listed here. Saturday, November 24 is Small Business Saturday, an alternative to Black Friday online deals that supports your area merchants. We hope that you (and the lawyers and law students on your gift list) have a very happy holiday season!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

All About Faculty Authors

Last week, Duke Today published the fall installment of its Guide to Duke Author Books Series. The roundup of recent faculty book publications features several new titles by Duke Law faculty, including:
  • Joseph Blocher and Darrell A.H. Miller: The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller (watch video introduction)
  • Allen Buchanan: Institutionalizing the Just War
  • Charles T. Clotfelter: Big-Time Sports in American Universities, 2d ed.
  • Brandon L. Garrett, co-author: The Death Penalty
  • Laurence R. Helfer, co-editor: International Court Authority
  • Jack Knight, editor: Immigration, Emigration, and Migration

The Goodson Law Library has print or online access to these and hundreds of other publications by Duke Law faculty. The display case at the library entrance features book publications and article offprints from roughly the last two years; additional print copies of faculty books can be found in the library stacks. To locate call numbers and availability, search the Duke Libraries Catalog for authors or titles. Note that Faculty Collection copies have more limited circulation (and require staff assistance to retrieved from a locked area), while Stacks copies follow Standard Loan periods.

Want to read even more faculty publications? You can find more than 3,400 faculty-authored articles and book chapters in the Law School's open access Scholarship Repository. The repository can be browsed by date, author, or subject tag, and can also be keyword searched.

The Law Library and Office of the Dean also co-sponsor Faculty Author Celebrations throughout the academic year, highlighting selected book publications. You can watch video of past celebrations on the Duke Law YouTube playlist for Faculty Authors. Be on the lookout for more great celebrations in the spring 2019 semester.

For help with locating publications by Duke Law faculty members, be sure to Ask a Librarian.