1998 Annual Report
During the last year, the committee wrote and published a series of articles on legal research in the Michigan Bar Journal. Articles focused on the best research resources for particular practice areas, corresponding to theme issues of the Bar Journal. Articles published included "Best-Kept Research Secrets: Michigan Supreme Court Records and Briefs" (September 1997), "Resources for Appellate Practice in Michigan" by Barbara H. Goldman (January 1998) and articles on Internet resources and labor and employment resources, published in the July and August 1998 issues respectively. Other articles in the works will cover family law and probate and estate planning resources. These articles will also be posted in the committee's area of the State Bar website.
In addition, the committee is working on a technology session, to be part of the technology series presented on September 16, 1998, at the State Bar's Annual Meeting. The topic will be "A Look Ahead: How New Web Resources will Change Law Practice in Michigan." The focus will be on information useful to law practice that is available on the Web, and how Internet-based developments such as electronic filing will change law practice over the next several years. Speakers will include Hon. John N. Kirkendall, Washtenaw County Trial Court; G. Ann Baker, Corporation, Securities and Land Development Bureau; Roger W. Peters, Legislative Service Bureau; and Georgia A. Clark, Wayne State University Arthur Neef Law Library. The committee presented a similar and very successful program at the 1996 Annual Meeting, so we look forward to another good session.
The committee also continued its efforts in regard to the dissemination and preservation of the Michigan Supreme Court records and briefs. These materials are currently collected in a number of law libraries in the state, but the completeness of each collection varies, and the materials are beginning to deteriorate. The library at Wayne State University Law School has now begun to scan the current briefs and is also working backwards as time and funds permit. Several of the state's law libraries are discussing possible methods for preserving the historical collection.
The committee also continues to encourage providers of legal information in the state to make those materials available on the Internet, and welcomes the efforts of Michigan government in making the Michigan Administrative Code available on the Web.
1997 Annual Report
During the last year, the committee planned and presented a very successful session on "New Online Resources for Michigan Lawyers" at the 1996 Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Michigan. This session was part of a larger series of technology sessions offered at the Bar meeting. Our speakers were excellent and attendance was good. We also prepared and distributed a course material with useful background information.
We are very grateful to the following people who spoke at the session or contributed to the course materials: Benson J. Barr, Gourwitz and Barr, P.C.; Joan Byerly; Sixth Circuit Library for the United States Courts; Charlotte Bynum, Detroit College of Law Library at Michigan State University; Georgia A. Clark, Wayne State University Arthur Neef Law Library; the Honorable Phillip E. Harter, Calhoun County Probate Court; Mary I. Hiniker, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education; Shirley A. Kaigler, Esq.; Gary A. Kendra, Wise and Marsac, P.C.; Carolyn Lauer, Michigan Information Center, Michigan Department of Management and Budget; Roger Peters, Legislative Service Bureau; and Jeffrey Smith, the State Bar of Michigan.
The committee also continued its preservation efforts in regard to the Michigan Supreme Court records and briefs. These materials are currently collected in a number of law libraries in the state, but the completeness of each collection varies, and the materials are beginning to deteriorate. With the help of a State Bar law student intern, we continued work on an index of the materials. Now that substantial progress has been made on this index, the committee is exploring possible funding sources for preserving these materials.
The committee was also active in encouraging information providers to make materials available on the Internet; for example, the Committee encouraged the Legislative Service Bureau in its plans to make legislative materials available on the Internet and suggested that ethics opinions be made available through the State Bar of Michigan website.
Finally, the committee has begun planning a series of articles on legal research to be published in various issues of the Michigan Bar Journal. Articles will focus on the best research resources for particular practice areas (corresponding to the themes of the particular issues of the Bar Journal). We look forward to providing this information to the Bar.