Posts Tagged ‘Michael Lissner’
Professor Dr. Brian Carver of the University of California, Berkeley, and Michael Lissner, have announced the availability of Free Law Virtual Machine, a new set of tools from Free Law Project.
Here are excerpts of the announcement:
A goal of the Free Law Project is to make development of legal tools as easy as possible. In that vein, we’re excited to share that as of today we’re officially taking the wraps off what we’re calling the Free Law Virtual Machine.
For those not familiar with this, a virtual machine is a snapshot of a computer that can be run by anybody, anywhere. With this release, we’ve created a computer running Ubuntu Linux that our developers or academics can download, and which has all of the Free Law Project’s efforts pre-loaded and ready to go.
In addition to a number of minor improvements, the following are installed and configured:
- Development tools such as Intellij, Meld, vim, and Kiki
- Bookmarks of all American courts
In addition to providing a simple virtual machine that you can install, we’re also releasing sample data that can easily be imported into the CourtListener platform. This data is available in groups of 50, 500, 5,000 or 50,000 records so that anybody can easily begin working or experimenting with our platform.
If you’re interested in using the Free Law Virtual Machine, feel free to download and use it, and please get in touch in our developer forum. [...]
For more details, please see the complete announcement.
The project is on Twitter at @FreeLawProject
Here is the description:
Free Law Project is a California non-profit public benefit corporation whose specific purposes are primarily:
- to provide free, public, and permanent access to primary legal materials on the Internet for educational, charitable, and scientific purposes to the benefit of the general public and the public interest;
- to develop, implement, and provide public access to technologies useful for legal research;
- to create an open ecosystem for legal research and materials;
- to support academic research on related technologies, corpora, and legal systems; and
- to carry on other charitable activities associated with these purposes, including, but not limited to, publications, meetings, conferences, trainings, educational seminars, and the issuance of grants and other financial support to educational institutions, foundations, and other organizations exclusively for educational, charitable, and scientific purposes as allowed by law.
Free Law Project is pursuing recognition as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Current activities of Free Law Project are as follows:
We seek to collect and freely distribute online all United States court opinions, both state and federal, both historical and current. Our collection of current opinions is accomplished through our Juriscraper project. Online distribution of the opinions occurs through our CourtListener project.
We develop technologies for use in legal research, such as a daily alerting service, advanced search capabilities, and a citator. These tools are deployed at CourtListener.
We collaborate with others with similar goals and license all the software we develop under free software licenses. Source code is available for both Juriscraper and CourtListener.
We support academic research on search technologies and provide free bulk downloads of our entire corpus for use in academic research or for any other purpose.
We lead workshops, present at conferences, and hold other events to educate others about our work, how to get involved, and the underlying challenges facing the free acces to law movement.
The Co-Founders of Free Law Project:
Michael Lissner is a co-founder of Free Law Project and lead developer of its software projects, CourtListener and Juriscraper. He graduated from UC Berkeley’s School of Information and is passionate about bringing greater access to primary legal materials, about how technology can replace old legal models, and about open source, community-driven approaches to legal research.
Brian W. Carver is a co-founder of Free Law Project and Assistant Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information where he does research on and teaches about intellectual property law and cyberlaw. He is also passionate about the public’s access to the law. In 2009 and 2010 he advised Michael Lissner on the creation of CourtListener. After Michael’s graduation he and Brian continued working on the site and have grown the database of opinions to include over 900,000 documents. In 2011 and 2012, Brian advised I School Masters students Rowyn McDonald and Karen Rustad on the creation of a legal citator built on the CourtListener database. During 2012 and 2013 he collaborated with computer scientists at UC Santa Cruz on the enhancement of the search capabilities of CourtListener. [...]
CourtListener is a recently developed current awareness service for decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and Circuit Courts of Appeals. The service provides current awareness via RSS (scroll down) or email alerts.
CourtListener was developed by Michael Lissner as a Master’s thesis project at the University of California Berkeley School of Information.
According to Mr. Lissner’s thesis:
CourtListener.com [...] aims to [...] provid[e] a free and open source platform for the aggregation, organization, search and retrieval of legal documents. The aggregation of new court documents is completed by a daemon on a rolling basis, building a huge corpus, and providing the latest cases from the Federal Courts of Appeal within — on average — about fifteen minutes from the moment they are published on the court website. From there, the documents are quickly indexed, and RSS feeds and document listings are updated. Finally, at the close of each day and beginning of each week and month, alerts are emailed to registered users informing them about topics that they have identied as relevant.
CourtListener is an example of the kind of innovative legal information systems that the Law.gov legal open government data project seeks to enable.