Author Archives: B. Keller

About B. Keller

Inscrutable, disputatious lawyer-type living in the city the good Doctor first visited in “The Impossible Astronaut.”

AltLaw Beta: Free Boolean-searches of SCOTUS/Federal Courts of Appeal Decisions

AltLaw

AltLaw, the newest and one of the more promising internet legal resources to hit the scene, is now up and running and available for free public advanced searches of case law.

It’s a sort of Google for Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal decisions, and clearly holds promise to democratize the availability of relevant and useful case law in the States. LEXIS and Westlaw, of course, have long monopolized the availability of such information in any searchable or useful form, and have charged a pretty penny to those that want to easily search case or other resources (via “Natural Language” or the far more powerful, but underused, advanced/Boolean search engines). AltLaw now makes Boolean searching entirely free.

The catch: at startup, AltLaw’s coverage of SCOTUS case law extends fully only back to May 1991, and the Federal Courts of Appeals in a more irregular spread–the 7th Circuit back only to October 1999, and at best, the 1st Circuit back to 1992. Complete details about AltLaw’s initial coverage are posted HERE.

AltLaw is a joint project of Columbia Law School and the University of Colorado Law School. The site touts, amazingly, advanced searching options akin to LEXIS and Westlaw, including proximity searching, Boolean searches, concentration searches, wildcard searches (my fave), among others. The site also intimates that West Reporter Citations will be added.

Yet another step in making U.S. case law readily available to the citizenry, along the lines of what Cornell’s indispensible Legal Information Institute has done, for example, in making the U.S. Code and Code of Federal Regulations, among LII’s many other items, very quickly searchible and accessible for free.

Thanks to fellow appellate litigator Greg May at The California Blog of Appeal, and Harvard’s Info/Law for the story.

Lime

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Filed under Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Education, International, Law, Supreme Court, Tech

The HD Molehill/Spitwad battle; and, Paramount and DreamWorks choose HD-DVD

HD DVD Viacom Inc’s Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG–including, inter alia, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies, and MTV Films–announced today (Monday Aug 20th 07) that they will release their next-gen DVD titles exclusively on HD-DVD, dropping the Blu-Ray format. Want to watch Transformers, Shrek the Third, and Blades of Glory? Gotta do it in HD-DVD, if you’re looking for that 1080p picture on your flatscreen. (And as we all know, the new Battlestar Galactica is HD-DVD only.)

Paramount described HD-DVD as superior due to “market-ready technology” and the “affordable high quality choice for consumers.” Paramount found that HD-DVD offered better quality, lower-priced players, and lower manufacturing Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Entertainment, Gaming, HD-DVD, PS3, Tech, Television, Xbox 360

President Bush Speaks on the Zombie Threat

This has got to be one of the funniest things I’ve seen in my life. Yojoe, perhaps your reading can give our team some tactical pointers for the upcoming zombie war.

Lime out

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Filed under Humor, Politics

NMCCA: US v. Ledbetter (Aug 07)

The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals released U.S. v. Ledbetter, No. 200500009, unpublished op. (N.M.Ct.Crim.App. 14 Aug 2007). SPCM, military judge alone, guilty pleas, Arts 80, 81, 91, 95, 108, and 134. Sentence: 5 months, E-1, forfeiture of $500 pay per month for 6 months, and BCD. Appellant claimed (1) improvident plea to resisting apprehension, (2) he was deprived of right to counsel because trial defense counsel never contacted him regarding submission of clemency matters after NMCCA’s remand, (3) ineffective assistance of counsel prior to first CAX, and (4) post-trial delay.

The Court held: assignments of error 1 and 3 were without merit, and withheld ruling on 4. NMCCA resolved AOE 2 by setting aside the convening authority’s action (the 2nd one) and returned the case to the JAG for “proper post-trial processing.” On remand, the trial defense counsel, LT W, received the second SJAR and indicated by Continue reading

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Filed under Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Law, Military Justice, Military Law

BioShock demo now on XBL

The BioShock demo popped up on XBL today, August 12th. It’s had some very positive reviews by those who’ve seen the pre-release product, so many of us are holding out high hopes. It’s, in short, a sci-fi game set in an underwater, Ayn Rand-inspired Utopia called “Rapture,” which is riven by civil war and rampant genetic modifications and experiments. The theme appears to be very 30′s and 40′s retro sci-fi, and it’s a first-person shooter. Available for download now.

BioShock Screenpic

Lime

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Filed under Entertainment, Gaming, Xbox 360

Catherine Tate teaches David Tennant a Spot o’ Shakespeare

And here’s the last one. British comedian Catherine Tate as Lauren, the annoying British schoolgirl. Here, she disses Scot David Tennant for not being English. Here we have it again: some very British humor, start to finish. Lovely.

Enjoy (with a wee bit of haggis, aye?):

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Filed under Dr. Who, Entertainment, Humor, Science Fiction

43 years of Doctor Who (fantastic vid)

And then there’s this nostalgic take… Love it. I grew up with Dr. Who, and remember clearly the first Dr. Who I saw–Leela walking over a pit filled with grub-like monsters. I must have been 3 or 4 years old–and I think that I did indeed hide behind the couch, as it were.

Of course I realize that being a fan qualifies me to hang with the geekier elements (fringes?) of society, but I’m an unapologic and inveterate fan. He’s the biggest humanist of all, has had some very fetching companions (lots of crushes on these gals as I grew up, Romana, Nyssa, Sarah Jane), is a true Brit (and now Scot) and a true gentleman…

Enjoy:

Granted, the show historically suffered low budgets and special effects, but the writing now, despite the untraditionally very believable and modern effects, is as faithful as ever to the ethos that developed from 1963 through the early 80′s–corny, humanist, British, and apolitical. Few Americans really understand just how much of a British national institution Dr. Who is, such is the fondness over there. With Chris Eccleston’s Doctor and now David Tennant’s, the show’s writing is fantastic, and I think fans have high hopes that we’ll make it through all 12 lives, despite the three or so sadly squandered ones thus far.

Lime

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Filed under Culture, Dr. Who, Entertainment, Personal, Science Fiction

Doctor Who visits the Cyber Family

I’ve always been a huge Doctor Who fan, but the last few days–thanks to my new Verizon FiOS service–I’m finally back in the high life and can enjoy the 3rd season of the brilliant UK revival.

I’ve been trolling YouTube and found quite a few gems. In this one, the 4th Doctor spends a little quality time with the Cyber Family…

Lime

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Filed under Dr. Who, Humor, Science Fiction

Confirmed: Xbox 360 Price Drop / Rumor: HDMI to all SKUs?

Xbox’s Major Nelson confirmed Monday that there will be price drops come August 8th–the 360 “Premium,” as we’ve known it (20 gig) will drop $50 to $349. The Core (without hard drive) will drop $20 to $279, and the Elite will drop $30 to $449.

Official MS Press Release HERE.

Also, ArsTechnica reports that a “source” at E3 told their reporter that, across the SKUs, “HDMI will probably be the standard moving forward.” Microsoft officially states that HDMI will appear only on the Halo 3 special edition ($399), and the Elite “for now.” However, the same Microsoft official also declined to comment on what new electronics would appear in any of the consoles coming this fall, leading one to speculate…

Lime out

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Filed under Business, Entertainment, Gaming, Tech, Xbox 360

Lawyering Tip: RSS Legal Feeds

If any of you use RSS readers or depend on the internet for news related to your profession (or simply for enjoyment), you should be familiar with Netvibes. Netvibes is perhaps one of the more elegant and streamlined RSS readers out there. It’s been my intention to post a full review of the site in a future posting.

Until then, I’m publishing my law-related feeds in the shared section of Netvibes. The feeds, almost 50 sites in all, are a compilation of several dozen of the best legal sites and blogs out there, and via Netvibes, makes reading the content quite easy.

Simply float your mouse over a given headline, and you’ll get a bubble with a paragraph selection of the news item or blog post. Click on the headline, and you’ll be given a mini-RSS reader within Netvibes, without actually having to exit to another website. I’ve played around with software-based and web-based readers, including Windows Live, Google, and others, but I’ve continued to return to Netvibes as my main reader. The interface is very fast, and makes quickly locating the articles of interest a breeze.

Harry Lime’s Legal Feeds via Netvibes. Enjoy! And please send any good sites my way, I’d be glad to add to the pot.
HL

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Filed under Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Law, Military Justice, Military Law, Supreme Court, Tech, Windows Vista

Ex-Military Smackdown: Court of Federal Claims Cracks the Whip Against “Razor’s Edge of Frivolity” Claims

In five recent cases last week, two of which are by ex-military members , the Court of Federal Claims has dismissed the cases because “Plaintiff’s counsel has submitted filings which contain numerous errors and exhibit a fundamental misunderstanding of this Court’s jurisdiction.” (emphasis added).  The court referred the matters, along with three other cases, to the Chief Judge under Rule 83.2(d), the rule governing diciplinary proceedings for “misconduct or allegations of misconduct” by the attorney.

The two cases involving ex-military plaintiffs are Janaskie v. United States, No. 06-602C (Fed. Cl. July 31, 2007) and Pope v. United States, No. 06-446C (July 31, 2007).  The other three cases were Locke v. United States, No. 06-629T (Fed. Cl. July 10, 2007), Leshin v. United States, No. 06-637T (Fed. Cl. Jan. 11, 2006), and Cherbanaeff v. United States, No. 06-640T (Fed. Cl. July 12, 2007).  Four, and I would presume all five of the cases have the same plaintiffs’ counsel (though I cannot locate the fifth, Leshin). 

In the two miltary cases, involving a retired U.S. Air Force senior master sergeant and a discharged member of the California National Guard, the plaintiffs both claimed that the Government was required to compensate them for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Continue reading

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Filed under Appellate Law, Health, Law, Military Justice, Military Law, Political Commentary

Halo 3: 4-Player Online Co-op (CONFIRMED)

Sweetness and light.

That’s how I respond to Bungie’s press release today.

The 4 online-playable co-op characters.

All the hubbub about whether or not Bungie would have online co-op at all was wasted energy–online co-op was never in question. Bungie today released that it was, in fact, whether 4-player online co-op would work out was the only question.

It will.

According to today’s press release, 4-player co-op will work in Continue reading

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Filed under Gaming, Science Fiction, Xbox 360

NMCCA: US v. Bossheart (Jul 07)

26 July 2007, Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals released U.S. v. Bossheart, No. 200602420, unpublished op. (N.M.Ct.Crim.App. 26 Jul 2007). GCM, military judge alone, guilty pleas to Arts 80 and 8 specs of 112a drug offenses. Sentence: 3 years, E-1, BCD. CAX approved but per PTA suspended all confinement in excess of 2 years 6 months from 12 months from date of CAX. Appellant claimed MJ’s failure to announce findings to one of the 8 specifications of 112a drug offenses prejudiced him. Appellant cited US v. Diaz, 40 MJ 335 (CMA 1994), where CMA reversed and dismissed NMCCA’s opinion in part where CA had approved findings per the SJAR, (1) where the SJAR had omitted findings of 2 of the charges, and (2) there was no evidence the CA considered the record of trial when taking action.

Court held: Statutory right of announcement of findings indeed is a statutory right of an accused, but not all errors are prejudicial. NMCCA said it followed the Army in US Continue reading

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Filed under Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Law, Military Justice, Military Law

CONFIRMED: XBLA Marathon 1 Aug 07

Xbox Live’s Major Nelson spilled the beans today. Marathon: Durandal is confirmed as one of the two XBLA games this Wednesday, 1 Aug 07, at 800 points ($10). The other game is Spyglass Board Games (400 points) which includes Chess, Checkers, Mancala, and Reversi, online and webcam enabled. The clear winner between the two of these is Marathon–720p and online multiplayer, it’s been eagerly awaited by many Bungie/Marathon/Halo fans.

Two interesting tidbits from the interview with Freeverse’s Bruce Morrison over at IGN. He says:

  1. “We are fans of content packs, and our game is compatible with levels built with Forge (the official Marathon 2/Infinity map editor). Maybe something will happen in the future.” And he says
  2. “Our achievements directly reflect the cult-like devotion and community behind Marathon. We hate grind achievements here in the office. So we chose not to use any. . . . And in keeping with Marathon tradition, several of our achievements are cryptic and contain hidden messages instead of a clear ‘Kill 50 guys’ message some games use. We have one ultimate achievement for true Marathon fans; it awards a gamer pic and really feels like an achievement when you get it.”

So, the possibility of mods on the 360 (?!) and a special gamer pic–any thoughts about who/what it might be?
HL

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Filed under Gaming, Xbox 360

“MasterChief Went Into Seclusion . . . Drinking Heavily”

That’s a direct quote from the above movie. Check out this EXCLUSIVE and very funny interview with MasterChief.

HL

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Filed under Gaming, Humor, Windows Vista, Xbox 360