Monday, October 18, 2021

Latham trainee looks to challenge LexisNexis and Westlaw with free case law hub

You can read more about the background to this inquiry here. You can also read about the scope of the next phase of the inquiry here.

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Legal Cheek Latham trainee looks to challenge LexisNexis and Westlaw with free case law hubLegal Cheek: “A Latham & Watkins trainee has set up a free to use case law website with the aim of making legal judgments more accessible to students.Will Chen, 25, founded after graduating with a first in law from the University of Oxford last year. He tells Legal Cheek:

“With the spare time I had, I wanted to do something that could help law students amidst the pandemic. During university, I realised that the current modes of transmitting legal knowledge were far from accessible — textbooks were prohibitively expensive and existing online resources were either slow and clunky, or low quality and inaccurate.”

Since he set up the site some months ago Chen says he’s had several thousands of visitors and views, including from countries where pricey textbooks and websites like LexisNexis and WestLaw “might be less easily accessible”. His team members, of which there are currently 12 (and counting), have also volunteered time to translate case notes into other languages. The site so far focuses on the seven core modules that form the basis of a UK qualifying law degree, covering contract, criminal, tort, public, EU, trusts and land law. There are over 1,200 case summaries spanning the LLB syllabus and these outline the key facts of a case, judicial quotes, and commentary…”

Lifehacker: “The frustration and despair of losing your camera (or, god forbid, having one stolen) is legendary, even in era of the smartphone camera. Just think: losing both a piece of expensive gear and the priceless digital mementos of your trip to Yonkers. But after you’ve shaken your fist at the heavens and retraced your steps, is there anything else you can do? Maybe. This website provides an avenue for investigation, and offers a sliver of hope. It’s a tiny sliver of hope to be sure, but it’s better than no hope at all. It works like this: You upload a picture taken with the missing camera to, which then uses the camera’s serial number (saved in the photo’s EXIF data) to crawls the internet in search of other photos taken with that same camera. If it finds a match, you may have a lead on where your camera ended up. From there, you can try to track down and contact the “new owner” via email to request your camera’s return, file a report with the authorities, or devote your life to hunting the thief yourself, John Wick style…”

Forbes: “The U.S. government is secretly ordering Google to provide data on anyone typing in certain search terms, an accidentally unsealed court document shows. There are fears such “keyword warrants” threaten to implicate innocent Web users in serious crimes and are more common than previously thought…It’s a rare example of a so-called keyword warrant and, with the number of search terms included, the broadest on record. Before this latest case, only two keyword warrants had been made public. One revealed in 2020 asked for anyone who had searched for the address of an arson victim who was a witness in the government’s racketeering case against singer R Kelly. Another, detailed in 2017, revealed that a Minnesota judge signed off on a warrant asking Google to provide information on anyone who searched a fraud victim’s name from within the city of Edina, where the crime took place. While Google deals with thousands of such orders every year, the keyword warrant is one of the more contentious. In many cases, the government will already have a specific Google account that they want information on and have proof it’s linked to a crime. But search term orders are effectively fishing expeditions, hoping to ensnare possible suspects whose identities the government does not know. It’s not dissimilar to so-called geofence warrants, where investigators ask Google to provide information on anyone within the location of a crime scene at a given time…”

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