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Month: June 2011

20,000 Librarians Descend on New Orleans

20,000 Librarians Descend on New Orleans

We had a great time exhibiting ALA’s annual conference in New Orleans this year! Of course, we wanted to set up Cafe Du Nolo and serve extra sugary beignets but it turns our new books The Legal Answer Family Book and The Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising brought an equally satisfying number of librarians to seek us out. We love collecting a wish list from librarians because it always includes “We need more, more, more!” and it helps to determine how…

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The Case for Abolishing Probate

The Case for Abolishing Probate

Probate, the court supervised process to distribute assets after a person’s death, is a legal relic — a holdover that traces its roots to feudal law. No other country still has an expensive, time-consuming probate system like ours. Even England, the source of our probate law, eliminated its probate court system in the 1920’s. But in this country, unless you make arrangements during your life to transfer your property by means other than a will, or have a very small…

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Make the Courthouse User-Friendly

Make the Courthouse User-Friendly

It’s obvious, from the moment you walk in, that courthouses do not welcome the public. Unlike most government facilities, there’s rarely a central information desk or consumer-focused window. Although more information is available than a decade ago, in most states the kind of informative pamphlets typically found in a Social Security, motor vehicle registration or IRS office are largely absent. Sometimes there are special lounges, work areas and phones for lawyers, but benches in the hall for everyone else. Court…

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40 Years of Copyright Law Changes

40 Years of Copyright Law Changes

Ah, 1971, the good old days when nobody, except for a small group of attorneys and judges, even knew that “intellectual property”(IP) referred to copyrights, patents and trademarks. More importantly, back in 1971, consumers had no means of infringing intellectual property unless they owned a record pressing plant, a printing press, a film processing machine, or some other manufacturing device. Flash forward to 2011 and anyone with a smart phone can copy Nolo books, podcasts and Nolo videos. Intellectual property…

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