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Don Cruse
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I've released my "StatPack" about the Texas Supreme Court.  

If you're still reading after a headline like that, this could be for you. Please let me know what you think and if there are other topics you'd like covered in future issues.

http://www.scotxblog.com/practice-notes/texas-supreme-court-2012-2013-stat-pack/

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A big loss for the Texas judiciary, but most likely a big gain for the Texas appellate bar.

http://www.scotxblog.com/news-and-links/chief-justice-jefferson-to-step-down-october-1st/

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Hyperlinks within statutes?  A Texas bill would require the online version of state laws to present cross-references as hyperlinks.

http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/html/HB01271I.htm

Although that sounds like a nice enhancement, I hope that it is implemented with an eye to bulk access.

Actually, as I re-read the bill, it would seem to prohibit plain text bulk versions (requiring hyperlinks in "any electronic version ... made available to the public").  That language needs to be cleaned up.

What say the folks who have developed State Decoded or similar statute-scraping tools?

Hat tip: http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2013/02/gimme-links-lege-council.html

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I'm curious:  Do any community members have examples of these publishing contracts from other states?

This looks like a form, and it has some interesting language.  I was struck that it acknowledges the "slip opinions" are not copyrightable by West, but that it leaves unclear the status of the lightly edited opinion body ultimately published.  (It does say that the courts retain final editorial control over the opinion body.)

A big improvement to future contracts would be a direct statement about the non-copyrightability of the final opinion text would be fantastic.  So, too, would be a requirement that the publisher give that final text back to the courts in a form that can be republished and reused.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/119930213/NY-Official-Reports-Publishing-Contract-With-West

(Via a retweet from +Waldo Jaquith of this tweet:  http://twitter.com/twneale/status/289756499562078210)

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The headline repeats the (expected) theme that LA public school students hate healthy food. But that hides a more interesting story --- one that actually could be solved --- about an institutional failure by the school kitchens:


> But some students said they still are not eating — including those who liked the food at the taste tests.

> Andre Jahchan, a 16-year-old sophomore at Esteban Torres High School, said the food was "super good" at the summer tasting at L.A. Unified's central kitchen. But on campus, he said, the chicken pozole was watery, the vegetable tamale was burned and hard, and noodles were soggy.

> "It's nasty, nasty," said Andre, a member of InnerCity Struggle, an East L.A. nonprofit working to improve school lunch aeccess and quality. "No matter how healthy it is, if it's not appetizing, people won't eat it."

> ... Among other complaints, ... salads dated Oct. 7 were served Oct. 17. (Binkle said the dates indicate when the food is at its highest quality, not when it goes bad. They have been removed to avoid misinterpretation.)

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-food-lausd-20111218,0,2593733.story

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I set up a Google+ page for this project of mine. If you're a Supreme Court junkie (or want to be), please stop by.

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The "public streets" argument is shockingly broad. The government could (legally) tell AT&T: "Give us GPS data on every single cell phone user on your network at all times that fits within the geocode areas we specify as being for streets, sidewalks, and public spaces."
Report from the biggest privacy law case of the year. Justice Breyer summed it up well in these remarks to the government's attorney: "If you win this case, there is nothing to prevent you from monitoring 24 hours a day every citizen in the United States," said Justice Breyer. "If you win, you suddenly produce what sounds like 1984."

(Despite veering away from legal journalism and into technology reporting, I'm still such a huge Supreme Court groupie.)

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I've been waiting for this day for years. And, no, the storm's name isn't "Donald," either.
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