Ethical Hot Water for Social Media-Using Attorneys

The New York Times has a great article today about lawyers who have been subjected to ethics investigations due to material that they posted on blogs and Facebook. After attorney Sean Conway called a Florida judge an “Evil, Unfair Witch” on a blog, the Florida bar reprimanded him and levied a $1,200 fine. California attorney Frank R. Wilson blogged about a trial while serving as a juror; he ended up with a 45-day suspension and a $14,000 fine. This story comes on the heels of news reports that the Florida bar is examining Facebook and other social media profiles as part of its moral character investigations for bar applicants. The moral of the story? If you’re a law student or a licensed attorney, watch what you say online!

New FDsys Collections Include Retrospective Resources and Tools for Legislative Research

The GPO has added eight new collections into the Federal Digital System (FDsys).
Legislative Resources:
History of Bills (1983 to present)
Congressional Record Index (1993 to present)
Congressional Record (Bound) (1999 to 2001)(Authenticated digital signature)
United States Statutes at Large (2003 to 2006)(Authenticated digital signature)
Congressional Directory (105th Congress to present)(Authenticated digital signature)
United States Government Manual (1995/1996 to present)(Authenticated digital signature)
Economic Report of the President (1996 to present)
GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions (1994 to 2008)


On August 24, Words & Phrases became available as a separate searchable database. The database identifier is WORDS-PHRASES.
Prior to August 24, 2009, customers could only view Words & Phrases content by running a WP field search in caselaw or statutes databases. Also, Words & Phrases entries were only available from published cases with Westlaw headnotes.
Searching the WORDS-PHRASES database more closely matches the experience of practitioners who are used to consulting the print publication. Plus, the new WORDS-PHRASES database adds over 70,000 new entries which include entries from unpublished cases and from cases without headnotes. Cases are analyzed back to 1658 and the earliest definition is from a case dated 1781.
Field searching using the WP field in statutes or caselaw databases will still be available.