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LPBA Winter 1997 Meeting

Las Vegas , NV

At the Winter 1997, meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mark Kolber, Esq. made a multi-media presentation entitled Legal Research Sources on the Internet. This presentation was made using his computer to demonstrate the uses of the internet and the content of the web pages discussed.

 

LPBA member Mark Kolber, Esq., made the following very well received presentation at the recent Las Vegas meeting. Mr. Kolber's presentation was made using the following "home page" which he created for the presentatiom and included going on line to use the links referred to below to demonstrate the nature of the information available to lawyers and pilots on the world wide web. Mr. Kolber's home page was gratiously provided to LPBA for use on our page. Mr. Kolber's page has been slightly edited for presentation here.

Legal Research Sources on the Internet

Cases, Statutes, Regulations, News,

and other information on the Internet

Primer of Internet Terms Searching the InternetFor Lawyers

For Aviation Lawyers Other Aviation Stuff

 


A Primer of Internet Terms

An ISP (Internet Service Provider), such as NetCom, Sprynet, or GNN, is a company through which you connect to the Internet. ISPs may provide you with nothing more than a local telephone connection, although most will provide a variety of services and the software necessary for accessing the Internet.

On-line Services, such as CompuServe and America Online, are not technically part of the Internet. They are commercial services which provide access software and content directly or through special arrangements with third parties. At one time, on-line services were self-contained universes. Due to customer demand, on-line services began to provide bits and pieces of the Internet. Today, the major on-line services all provide full Internet access.

The World Wide Web (WWW or simply, the Web) is the portion of the Internet which has led to the Internet's growing popularity. The Web is a multi-media, hypertext-based information service in which collections of information, even those residing on different computers, are only a mouse click away.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the language used to write World Wide Web pages. HTML documents contain text, or tags, which give instructions to the browser software. While these tags can be used to instruct the browser to display graphics, sound, and even video, the most important tags are those which make it possible to move among documents within a site or travel from the United States to Australia with a single click of the mouse.

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) may be thought of simply as an Internet address. A simple URL for a Web document may look like:

http://www.aopa.org/welcome.html

The first part of the URL, http: tells your browser what type of location it is, the protocol or access method it uses. For example, HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) means it is a Web document written in the HTML format. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) tells you that you are accessing another computer's directory structure much in the same way as you would when entering a DOS "dir" command on your own computer, and is used for transferring files from the remote computer to yours.

The second part of the URL, aopa.org, is the domain, which identifies the site. Many times the domain name will be similar to the owner of the site, but this is not always the case. The letters following the period are used to classify the site. For example, org signifies a non-profit organization, gov a government site, and com a commercial enterprise.

The final part of the URL, welcome.html, identifies the particular document or file that is being accessed. At most sites, there is a default page, so that typing in the protocol and domain name alone is usually enough to get you where you want to go.

Usenet Newsgroups are public forums for the exchange of information on the Internet. The methods and software used are very similar to e-mail; you can think of Newsgroups as group e-mail based public discussions.

A Browser is software, such as Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer, which permits you to browse and view the contents of various Internet services. Although the term is usually used in the context of a "web browser," the major browsers have the ability to access e-mail, Usenet Newsgroups, and other Internet services.

A Search Engine is an Internet-based method of locating information on the Internet by entering words and phrases.

To download means to transfer files from a location on the Internet to your computer. Although technically applicable to the process of looking at anything on the Internet, it more commonly applies to software, pictures or information which you save onto your hard drive.

Freeware and Shareware are two methods of non-commercial software distribution. Freeware is software which is publicly distributed at no charge. Shareware is software you are expected to purchase after a brief try-out period. In both cases, the software is usually downloaded rather than distributed on a computer disk or CD-ROM. Some highly successful commercial programs, such as the Procomm communications software, began as shareware.

Finally a geek is "a pleasant-but-perhaps-overly-focused individual whose knowledge of technology exceeds the limits of what one should expect from a person who otherwise has a life." G. Burgess Allison, The Lawyers Guide to the Internet, American Bar Association, 1995.

Searching the Internet

Searching Web Sites and Newsgroups
AltaVista
Infoseek
Excite
Yahoo!
Deja News

Searching for People and Companies
Four11 E-Mail Search
Switchboard Home Page
Big Yellow

Searching for Company Information
Infoseek Company Profiles and CompanyLink

Legal-Specific Search Engines
LawCrawler and FindLaw

Resources and Services for Lawyers

Cornell Legal Information Institute - A great starting point for everything

Lawyer's Home Page - Links for Lawyers - news, entertainment, law, etc.

US Case Law
US Supreme Court Decisions - The official opinions available the day they are issued.
FindLaw's US Supreme Court - Search by citation, case name, or text for cases beginning in 1937 (300 US Reports)
US Circuit Court of Appeals Opinions - Current cases from most of the circuits.
U.S. Federal Courts Finder interactive map of the United States leading to the correct federal circuit.
The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation - Just in case you forget!
US Statutes
United States Code - Searchable UC Code from the Legal Information Institute
GPO Access - Not only searchable US Code, but most publications produced by the Government Printing Office.
THOMAS: Legislative Information on the Internet - Produced by the US Congress, probably the best way to track the status of pending legislation.
Uniform Law Commission at Chicago-Kent College of Law - The ULC's site contains drafts of proposed revisions to the UCC and other uniform laws. It is one of many sites geared to specific areas of the law.
Federal Regulations
GPO Access - Among the material available from the Government Printing Office's site are the Federal Register and portions of the Code of Federal Regulations (still under construction).
Code of Federal Regulations - Until the GPO gets is all together, this older copy, which will need to be updated via the Federal Register, will have to do.
State Law Sampler
State Constitutions, Statutes, and Codes - Many states have or are in the process of adding their state statutes and cases to the Internet. This listing from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell is kept up-to-date pretty well.
California
Slip Opinions
Statutes
Colorado
Colorado Supreme Court and Colorado Court of Appeals slip opinions
Colorado Revised Statutes - Capitol Connection - One of two sets of Colorado statutes available
Indiana Code - Created and updated annually by the University of Indiana School of Law (Bloomington).
Nevada Revised Statutes - As you look for this stuff, you'll come across some such as these, which are still in the "demo" stage.
Newspapers, Newsletters, and Periodicals
FindLaw's searchable Law Review Database
List of Law Reviews Available on the Web
Lawyers Weekly is a long-standing publication with a national edition and local editions in six states.
The New York Times on the Web and The Washington Post are just two of the many newspapers on the Internet.
Mercury Mail and NewsPage are among the services which will produce individualized news, and will even deliver it directly to your e-mail address.
Legal Organizations
American Bar Association
State Bar of California
Nevada Bar Association
Legal Newsgroups
Unfortunately, most of these Newsgroups are not discussions among lawyers. Rather they tend to be filled with people looking for free legal advice.
General Legal Newsgroup (unmoderated)
Moderated Legal Newsgroup
Computer Law Newsgroup concentrates on Internet-related intellectual property issues.

Resources for Aviation Lawyers

Regulatory Information

Some of these come directly from sites maintained by government agencies. Others are maintained by private groups using data generated bvy the FAA and other agencies
FAA Homepage
Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) - This site is part of the FAA's homepage
Airman's Information Manual
The NTSB Site has an aviation page which includes
Aviation Accident Synopses arranged by Month from 1983 to date
The FAA's monthly General Aviation Airworthiness Alerts publication is available in PDF format.
The National Weather Service maintains the METAR/TAF Homepage, providing continuously-updated information on the new weather format.

Pilot, Aircraft, and other Information Databases

A number of aviation sites maintain databases in which you can look up pilot certificates, ownership of aircraft by "N" number, and other information
Airworthiness Directives, Aircraft, Pilot and other datyabases from Landings.com
AvWeb's Aviation Databases include Airmen, Aircradt, AME and NTSB Report searches
AOPA member-only databases include aircraft registration numbers andAviation Medical Examiners and Aviation Schools.

Aviation Periodicals

AOPA Online includes frequesntly-requested articles and other doaucments.
AvWeb is an on-line aviation magazine which also includes access to aiviation databases, discussion forums, safety quizzes, and product sales. Free registration includes a weekly newsletter which is delivered by e-mail.

Aviation Organizations

Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association

Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)

National Air Traffic Controllers Association

Aviation Newsgroups

Aviation Newsgroups proliferate. Although there are exceptions, these tend to be populated by plots, CFIs and others who are interested in serious discussion of aviation issues. They include discussions on piloting techniques, ifr procedures and aviation products. There are fourums specific to aircraft catagories, like the rotorcraft newsgroup and a general miscellaneous newsgroup. For those interested, there's even a newsgroup where all sorts of people put add their 2-worth in discussions of aviation disasters.

 

Other Aviation Stuff

Flight Planning and Weather

Airport and Navaid Information lets you look up airports and navaids. It contains runway length, Fixed Based Operators, and other data from the current (usually) Airport/Facility Directory and other sources. In some cases, airport diagrams are shown. Also has a fuel stop planner.
GTE DUATS has its own homepage from which you can download the latest Cirrus® software.
Both The Weather Channel and USA Today have aviation weather information, including graphics.
The NOAA METAR/TAF home page has information, some of it highlt technical, about the new weather codes
And, if you are planning a trip and want to know about on-field and nearby restaurants, check out The One Hundred Dollar Hamburger and add your own reviews.

General

AvWeb on-line aviation magazine. Lots of information and links to other services.
Aviation@Landings is probably the best starting point for almost anything you want to know.
Aircraft companies such as Jeppesen, Mooney, and Cessna have web sites.
You can even but and sell aircraft online with sites like AirShow and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's classifieds.
You can even take a refresher course on aerodynamics with See How It Flies, an online text on aerodynamics.

Finally, If you think you're in real trouble, Download the Aviation Safety and Reporting System (ASRS) pilot reporting form in PDF fomat!

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