When is the Law THE Law?

On Friday, July 31, 2009, AALL Government Relations Office Director Mary Alice Baish participated in a CLE program during the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Chicago, “When is a Law THE Law? Why Authenticity and Quality Matter.” Catherine Sanders Reach, Director of the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center, moderated the panel, which also included Denley Chew, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s counsel, and Dr. Janice Hyde, Director of the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) at the Law Library of Congress. AALL, the ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress, and the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center were co-sponsors of the program.

Mary Alice’s presentation summarized the findings of AALL’s 2007 State-by-State Report on Authentication of Online Legal Resources and our national leadership on the authentication and preservation of online legal information. She also provided a quick update on progress made since the National Summit. For example, as we have previously reported, the Government Printing Office now digitally authenticates collections of Public and Private Laws and congressional bills.

Linda Edwards, legal affairs writer for the ABA, wrote a nice summary in the ABA Journal about the program and the difficulties of finding official, authentic primary legal resources on the Web.

Mary Alice’s slides are available on AALLNET, and a compiled version of the slides from all of the speakers is available on the ABA’s Web site.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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