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VaLawyer_June/July 2013

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Noteworthy > ET AL. Hi-Tech continued from page 47 including photos, maps, and satellite images — during the hearing and share them with any other commissioner. The commissioners could also see each other on large screens in the courtrooms, and the entire proceeding, including audio, video, documentation, and text transcription was available to anyone online. Testimony established what happened, where it happened and when. A Coast Guard officer testified to what she and the crew of her vessel found when they boarded the ship that was dumping the solution. Scientists at William & Mary talked about the value of iron fertilization of the ocean for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and its potential harm to marine life. A lawyer at the Montreal Cyberjustice Laboratory spoke to its legality in the United States and Canada and whether it violated United Nations conventions or the Law of the Sea. In her opinion, it did. In the end the commissioners reached no conclusion, offered no report. But that wasn't the point. Instead, the exercise demonstrated how this array of technology could be used to further legislative needs. Hi-tech courtrooms are becoming more prevalent throughout the world and in Virginia. The Fairfax County Courthouse, for example, has eighteen hi-tech courtrooms and the Fairfax Bar Association offers CLE courses to interested lawyers. "There are federal courts that are almost entirely hi-tech these days," Lederer said. In fact, his center at William & Mary designed the first such courtroom in Fairfax and has designed similar courtrooms all over the world. The motto of the McGlothlin Courtroom at William & Mary is "where the past combines with the present to produce the future." The center's primary mission is "to improve the world's legal systems through the appropriate use of technology." The exercise in March may lead to an expansion of that mission to include improving the legislative process. 48 VIRGINIA LAWYER | June/July 2013 | Vol. 62 Fastcase Now Flags Reversed or Overruled Cases Fastcase has added a new component to its Authority Check feature to show where courts have noted that a case has been reversed or overruled on any grounds. The Bluebook requires that courts indicate negative history of cases cited within opinions. The new Fastcase feature, "Bad Law Bot," uses algorithms to find negative citation history. Bad Law Bot then flags those cases that have negative citation history and provides links to the cases. Bad Law Bot finds negative citation history by taking all the cases that have cited to a specific case — in this instance, let's say Roberts v. Ohio — and examining how they've cited to Roberts. If a court has negatively cited to Roberts, Bad Law Bot will link that case. Bad Law Bot determines negative case history by using algorithms, and is not intended to be a complete replacement for a full editorial citator or for reading all later-citing cases. A red flag means that there's likely negative treatment, since a court has said as much by its use of a negative citation, but no red flag does not necessarily mean that a case is still good law. If a case has been overturned but no court opinion has cited to it yet, Bad Law Bot won't be able to find any citation signal information. Bad Law Bot is a part of Authority Check, so it's already included in subscriptions. For more information on Bad Law Bot, visit: /badlawbot. A short video explaining Bad Law Bot is available at http://youtube/ZsKu7FoO2Ns. Have You Moved? Got an Ethics Question? To check or change your address of record with the Virginia State Bar, go to the VSB Member Login at Go to "Membership Information," where your current address of record is listed. To change, go to "Edit Official Address of Record," click the appropriate box, then click "next." You can type your new address, phone numbers, and email address on the form. Contact the VSB Membership Department ( or (804) 775-0530) with questions. The VSB Ethics Hotline is a confidential consultation service for members of the Virginia State Bar. Nonlawyers may submit only unauthorized practice of law questions. Questions can be submitted to the hotline by calling (804) 775-0564 or by clicking on the blue "E-mail Your Ethics Question" box on the Ethics Questions and Opinions web page at /regulation/ethics/.

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