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Social Media for Legal Research and Investigation


"Web 2.0" tools abound - blogs, social networks, wikis, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, RSS feeds, and much more. Many of these tools are free. This session will show you how to use these tools to keep …

"Web 2.0" tools abound - blogs, social networks, wikis, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, RSS feeds, and much more. Many of these tools are free. This session will show you how to use these tools to keep up-to-date, enhance your research and collaborative work, network with others, and even gather information related to cases.

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  • Social network:Facebook, DeviantArt, Classmates.com, MyspaceTwitterYouTubeBookmarks – Delicious, DiggPhotos: flickrShopping: zappos, Ikea’s Anna, amazon, netflix (recommendations, reviews)Mashup: Monopoly CityStreets (http://mashable.com/2009/09/07/monopoly-google-maps/)RSS feeds, including blogsCollaboration: bubbl.us, writeboard, pbworks, Wikipedia, slideshare, jdSupra
  • mapping mash ups, search functionality, calendars, RSS/Atom feeds, social bookmarking, online storage systems, open document formats, and more--http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2008/07/yees-pro-web-20.htmlI would be mashing up their data with internal data, with everything I could think of. Just think of all the information they have… Cases, treaties, people information geographic data. How about mashing up Martindale biographies with Google Maps, with cases available, with treaties and journal articles written… How about instead of just shepardizing or keyciting to see cases and journal articles that cite to a case, mashing up with google or technorati or del.icio.us to see every mention of that case on the internet.mmmm legal mashup, tastes good. --http://www.jasoneiseman.com/blog/?p=79http://www.legalsearchmarketing.com/2009/01/google-maps-100-best-tools-and-mashups.htmlhttp://www.jackbe.com/enterprise-mashup/mashup-demoshttp://www.programmableweb.com/


  • 1. Kate FitzSacramento Co. Public Law Library
    March 14, 2010
    web 2.0 for law librarians:Exploring the practical side of social media
  • 2. What is web 2.0?
    Amorphous buzzword attached to any new Internet phenomenon
    “A service that is being offered on-line that is instantaneous and connective in some way”
    Core concept: Software and services that enable easy publishing, reader/user participation, and the re-use of data in many formats
    “Participatory Internet” – social media
  • 3. Index of Web 2.0 sites
    Examples of 2.0 services
  • 4. Why should we care?
  • 5. Agenda
    Investigation and discovery
    What kinds of info can you find? Social networks, status and location updates, photos/videos, reviews, shopping…
    How can you use it? Background, informal investigation, discovery, evidence
    Ethical and practical issues: pretexting, discovery, authentication
    Current awareness and research
    RSS feeds, including blogs
    Mashups: Unfluence, Sacramento CrimeTracker
    Bookmarks – Delicious.com, iCyte.com
    Overview of Wikis, document editing, project management, more
  • 6. Investigation and discovery
  • 7. Investigation and discovery
    “As social networking websites continue to take the world by storm, there is a plethora of helpful (and hurtful) information for the savvy attorney.”*
    Information from the social web can play a role in criminal, torts, workers comp, IP and trade secret cases, defamation, family law…
    *Social Networking and its Effects on eDiscovery
    EDD Update, A joint project of Law Technology News and Law.com Legal Technology
  • 8. Social Networks
    Social Networking in Plain English(Common Craft Store) 1:47 min
    MySpace – high school
    Facebook – college, young adults
    LinkedIn – professional networking
    Ning – private networks anyone can create
    Martindale –networking site aimed just at lawyers
    Social Networking: For Lawyers Only? By Robert J. Ambrogihttp://tinyurl.com/d362py
  • 9. LinkedIn: Connections, groups, more
  • 10. Making connections
  • 11. Facebook - casual
    Brief updates, shared (tagged) photos, little games and quizzes, direct messages (replacing email), miniblogs, live chat, calendars, more
  • 12. Facebook instead of email?
  • 13. MySpace – very casual
  • 14. Special-purpose social networks
  • 15. Networks just for lawyers
    Social Networking for Lawyers (two parts) 05/2008 & 06/2008
    Robert Ambrogi’sLawSites (http://www.legaline.com/lawsites.html )
  • 16. Social Networks for investigation
    “firm partner Joan Malbrough said she helped secure shared custody for a client after finding his wife had posted sexually explicit comments on her boyfriend's MySpace page.”
    “Finding Treasures for Cases on Facebook”National LJ, 10/15/2007
    MySpace And Facebook Becoming Evidence In Court
    Feb 3, 2009 http://cbs11tv.com/local/MySpace.Facebook.Evidence.2.926231.html
  • 17. Facebook Privacy Policy
    “Certain categories of information such as your name, profile photo, list of friends and pages you are a fan of, gender, geographic region, and networks you belong to are considered publicly available to everyone…”
    “You understand that information might be re-shared or copied by other users.
    “Certain types of communications that you send to other users cannot be removed, such as messages.”
    http://www.facebook.com/policy.phpRevised 12/09/2009
  • 18. Video and photo sharing
    YouTube (and Blip.tv and Truveo and YahooVideo and Vimeoand…)
    Flickr.com (and Photobucket.com and Picasa.google.com and…)
    Allow tagging, comments, responses
    What has your opponent (or your client) posted?
  • 19. Twitter
  • 20. What can twitter tell you?
    • What have I said? “Tweets”
    • 21. Who follows what I say? “Followers”
    • 22. Who am I following and what have THEY said?
  • Searching Twitter…
    “enough people are hooked on it that Twitter has reached critical mass. If something big is going on in the world, you can get information about it from Twitter.” *
    … perhaps not the best subject for a tweet?
  • 23. Other Web 2.0 sites?
    Meetup: Find out what groups people join by following them on Meetup, a social site that helps groups organize meetings in real life
    Geni: Use this social network for organizing family trees and genealogy records to confirm family ties.
    Retail: Amazon.com and eBay and Zappos and…
    Music: Pandora.com, Last.fm and…
    Professional: Slideshare and jdSupra.com and…
    Travel planning sites…
    More: http://web24lawyers.pbworks.com/socialmediasites
  • 24. Investigation and discovery
    Fact investigation. Spokeo.com (!)
    “These sites create a virtual gold mine of discoverable information that may have a devastating impact on a business' reputation or the outcome of litigation.”
  • 25. Spokeo search
    This is a sample (free) search – paid account would link to publicly available info from all these sites
    Services used by katerfitz@yahoo.com
    (that’s me!)
  • 26. Formal discovery
    Locating, requesting litigation hold, subpoena
    Facebookwill accept service by fax or mail Attn: Security Department 1601 South California Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94304 fax: 650.644.3229Facebook requires a subpoena from California.
    MySpace requires personal service on its registered agent: 2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 700 Los Angeles, CA 90067MySpace requires subpoena originating in CA or properly domesticated through a CA court.
  • 27. “Normally, when handed a civil subpoena, such as in a divorce, infidelity or child custody investigation, a service provider like Facebook (or Hotmail or Google) will resist disclosing the content of a user’s communications unless and until the user consents.”
    Subpoena Facebook: Locating Social Network Legal Evidence (Electronic Data Records Law | How to Win E-Discovery)
    Consent can be required via discovery
  • 28. Counsel: warnyour clients
    “Given the pervasive use of Facebook and the large volume of photographs typically posted on Facebook sites, it is now incumbent on a party’s counsel to explain to the client, in appropriate cases, that documents posted on the party’s Facebook profile may be relevant to allegations made in the pleadings.”
    Leduc v. Roman, 2009 CanLII 6838 (Superior Court of Justice, Ontario [Canada])http://tinyurl.com/avq9e2
  • 29. Limits on 3rd Party discovery
    Subpoena can be used to establish ownership of account, dates of creation and access, and other background info
    Unfettered access would include access to info which is not subject to discovery; instead use request for production to plaintiff to obtain relevant, non-privileged records from the account. Mackelprang v Fidelity, 2007 WL 119149 (D.Nev) (D may not compel P to grant full access to MySpace account)
  • 30. evidentiary issues
    “…evidentiary issues involving privacy and authenticity that could keep the information out of a courtroom. For example, it is possible that one could create a Facebook profile in another person's name and use that account to send incriminating messages. There also is the issue of whether content that has been modified or removed from a profile during the course of litigation constitutes spoliation of evidence.”
    Social Networking Sites Look Like Plunder to AttorneysEthan J. WallDaily Business Review, February 20, 2009 http://tinyurl.com/b52gcu
    “…the authenticity requirement is perhaps the most difficult obstacle for admissibility … a proponent must present testimony about where the [social networking website] data came from and who authored it.”
  • 31. Questions?
  • 32. Research tools and resources
    Current awareness
    Researching facts or law
    Tools to streamline online research and retrieval
  • 33. Keeping Current
    News, commentary, case updates, regulation tracking, dockets…
  • 34. Blogs
    Many are free to create
    Easy to create and post
    Readers can subscribe for automatic updates
    Readers can comment– popular posts may spark a dialog
    Personal interests
    Free blog sites
    News and commentary
  • 35. Law blogs or “blawgs”
    Written by practitioners or scholars
    Regularly updated news, case reports, and commentary on specialized topics
    Some offer regularly updated audio (“podcasts”) that you can download to your computer or iPod
    RSS feeds can deliver the news to you
  • 36. Subscribing to blogs
    Bloglines – http://www.bloglines.com/
    Google Reader – http://reader.google.com
    Microsoft Outlook 2007 (ex: http://tinyurl.com/azqv58)
    Somewhere on the blog will be a link to subscribe
    Blogs in Plain English (2:58 min)
  • 37. Most, if not all, blogs have a feed link somewhere
  • 38. You can even subscribe to a blog that lets you know about new law blogs
  • 39. Podcasts and videos
    Audio and video recordings delivered by an RSS subscription to feed reader
  • 40. Getting your RSS Updates
    List of subscribed blogs
    Click either arrow to visit original blog
    List of unread items – view by headline or brief summary
  • 41. Finding blawgs
    ABA’s top 100 blawgs: http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/aba_journal_blawg_100
    There are also lists of blogs by category from:
    ABA: http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/
    Blawg.com: http://www.blawg.com/
    Justia: http://blawgsearch.justia.com/category.aspx
    Law X.0 Taxonomy of Legal Blogs: http://3lepiphany.typepad.com/3l_epiphany/2006/03/a_taxonomy_of_l.html
  • 42. Evaluating blogs
    Consider update frequency – too often may indicate shallow coverage, too infrequently may indicate lack of commitment
    Check “about this blog” for info on author(s)
    Do they archive, tag, and/or categorize posts to make it easy to find past info?
  • 43. RSS – not just for blogs any more!
    Many websites offer to notify you of updates via RSS
    Many news outlets offer RSS feeds for breaking news
    RSS feeds have been created for particular purposes – Cal. Supreme Court, Federal Register, etc.
    Useful feeds: http://www.virtualchase.com/topics/law_rss_feeds.shtml
  • 44. News sources
    “channels” let you subscribe by topic
  • 45. Court decisions
    Public Library of Lawhttp://www.plol.org/Pages/RecentDecisions.aspx
  • 46. Justia Federal docket search
  • 47. Subscribe to updates of your search
    Automatically learn when a person or company is sued in Federal court
  • 48. New Patents and Applications
  • 49. Federal Legislation
  • 50. Federal Regulations
    “On this site you can:
    …Subscribe to RSS feeds by agency of newly posted FR notices”
  • 51. Federal Register via RSS
    RSS feed of new regs from your agency or on your topic
  • 52. Current Law Journal Content
    Table of Contents service
  • 54. Check out Sacbee.com:
    Not just legal news…
  • 55. Create your own news feeds
    Yahoo! News feeds – articles from many sources on your topics of choice
  • 56. Researching facts and law
    Blogs and news for historical research
    Online databases
  • 57. Primary Sources on the Internet
    CA Case Law
    California Courts: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/
    Findlaw : http://findlaw.com/cacases/
    CA Statutes http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html  
    CA Code of Regulations: http://www.calregs.com/ 
    Fed/Other Case Law
    Altlaw: http://altlaw.org/.
    PreCyDent: http://www.precydent.com
    Justia: http://law.justia.com/
    Fed/Other Statutes, Regs, etc
    Code of Federal Regulations: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html
    Findlaw: http://lp.findlaw.com/
    Public Library of Law (by Fastcase): http://www.plol.org/Pages/Search.aspx.
  • 58. Secondary sources on the Internet
    Washburn Legal Research on the Web: law reviews – www.washlaw.edu/lawjournal/
    Google Scholar – http://scholar.google.com/
    Cornell LII “Wex” – http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/
    Law blogs (“blawgs”) – http://blawgsearch.justia.com/
    Findlaw Legal Subjects – public.findlaw.com
    Nolo’s “Nolopedia” – http://www.nolo.com
    California Courts –www.courtinfo.ca.gov
  • 59. Searching blogs
    General purpose search engines
    http://blogsearch.google.com/“The goal of Blog Search is to include every blog that publishes a site feed”
  • 60. Searching blawgs - Justia
  • 61. Community-contributed resources
    Free access to research papers, sample documents, more
    SSRN (www.ssrn.com)
    Legal Scholarship Network (www.ssrn.com/lsn/index.html)
    Scribd.com, JD Supra.com – store and research documents
  • 62. Mashups
    Remixing Data and Web Services
    Sacramento CrimeTracker: http://www.kcra.com/crime/index.html
    Unfluence: http://unfluence.primate.net
    Votetocracy: http://www.votetocracy.com/
    Apps for Democracy (Washington, DC):http://www.appsfordemocracy.org/application-directory/
    Monopoly City Streets: http://www.monopolycitystreets.com/
  • 63. CrimeMapping™
    Combines Google Map with crime reports from many agencies
    Click pin for details on specific crime
  • 64. Streamline online research and retrieval
    Social bookmarking: Delicious.com, iCite.com
  • 65. Social bookmarks
    Instead of adding a site to your browser’s “favorites” or “bookmarks,” add it to a personal online archive
    Access: from any computer since it’s not stored online instead of in your browser
    Retrieval: Search your own archive by tag, keyword or category to re-locate sites of interest
    Social: Search others’ archives to discover new sites already chosen as worthy of a bookmark
    Social Bookmarking in Plain English (Common Craft Store) 3:25 min.
  • 66. 65
    Click “tag”
  • 67. search bookmarks – yours and others
    Search by tag or keyword
    Find a user's picks interesting? Consider subscribing to their new bookmarks!
  • 68. Re-Use bookmarks as CONTENT
    Latest news – automatically updated whenever I bookmark a site
  • 69. Bookmarking, plus!
    Mark, copy, save and share any web-based content
  • 70. Archive of pages and your annotations
    “projects” – categories of bookmarks – can be private or public – you can invite others to share “private” projects
    Highlight, make notes, comment, save for later
  • 71. Icyte saves the current version
    Live view
    Later, return to see your annotations, highlights, etc – even if the page is no longer on the Web
  • 72. Searching your icyte archive
    Search by the tags you assign
    Search the full text of the saved pages!
  • 73. Using icyte bookmarks elsewhere
    News feed (RSS) of new Cytes
    Embed project in another website
  • 74. Embedded project
    Class wiki: http://web24lawyers.pbworks.com/iCyte
  • 75. Export and sharing options
    Exported into Word
  • 76. collaboration
  • 77. collaborative tools using web 2.0
    Wikis: knowledge management tool for groups
    Collaborative documents: Writeboard, Google Docs, Zoho
    Concept mapping: bubbl.us
    Online calendaring: Google Calendar, Yahoo calendar
    Project and knowledge management: Basecamp, Sharepoint
    Screensharing and online meetings: Adobe Acrobat Connect, GoToMeeting.com
  • 78. Wikis
    Wikis in Plain English (Common Craft Store) 3:52 min.
    Wikis: not just Wikipedia! (knowledge management tool)
    Create your own (public or private) and invite editors to collaborate with you.
    Use for collecting case info among several people; easily-updated procedures manual; project planning; more
    PBWorks legal package
  • 79. Web 2.0 for Lawyers wiki
    Just for this class!http://web24lawyers.pbworks.com/
  • 80. Collaborative Tools in depth
    The Lawyer's Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together (ABA, 2008) KF320 .A9 K46
    Companion page: http://www.lawyersguidetocollaboration.com/
    “The Case for Collaborative Tools,” by Lucie Olejnikova and Jessica de PerioWittmanhttp://www.aallnet.org/products/pub_sp0812/pub_sp0812_PLL.pdf
  • 81. Thank you for attending!
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