Westlaw editorial process

Kate MacEachern, a senior principal attorney editor at West, talks about the value of the Westlaw editorial process – of headnotes, KeyCite, and more – to le…

Second Chance for Nonviolent Offenders

Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (PRWEB) March 31, 2009

A recent study of the records of 14,000 people who used a 2003 law to have their criminal records sealed offered several surprises to criminal justice experts, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Approximately 10 percent of the Texas offenders were charged with new crimes, according to the Department of Public Safety data the Morning News obtained.

Austin defense attorney Keith Hampton called the 2003 seal law an enormous success. He said it enables offenders to get a second chance.

“In the age of the Internet, where accusations cling on people the same way the scarlet letter did 300 years ago, these nondisclosures are really, really significant,” said Hampton, chair of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s legislative committee.

The law allows certain offenders to ask a court to order law enforcement agencies to keep criminal offenses under wraps. Those convicted of violent or dangerous offenses are not eligible.

Sen. Royce West, the law’s author, said in the past background checks scared potential employers and landlords away from an offender “even if he’s kept his nose clean.”

Under the seal law, “law enforcement still has the right to look under that seal,” said West, who is a former prosecutor.

According to the Morning News, West believes the law helps nonviolent offenders get jobs and housing without endangering the public. “It’s sound public policy to give people a second chance,” he said.

Not everyone is pleased, however. Told of the 10 percent rate of repeat offenders, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley said, “Wow, that’s a pretty high level of recidivism.”


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UK South West Law Firm Rolls Out nFlow Digital Dictation Software

(PRWEB) November 26, 2005

WBW Solicitors has begun rolling out nFlow DDS to 60 users across its five offices. WBW’s Steve Harris said, There are a number of competing products in the market but after meeting with nFlow I decided this was the product I was after. nFlow have a much better reputation for working with people on things like integration and their support structure for clients is second to none.

Mr Harris, who was involved in the early development of speech recognition software added, I have been around the voice software industry for a long time and can lend my weight to the argument that the nFlow system is one of the best on the market. As with all software there is room for improvement but I think nFlow have got the balance about right. Simple to use with the functionality I need at a competitive price! In addition I already know from the user group meetings that they are listening to me and will give me the technologies that are important to me. I am pretty sure I would not have got that from some of their competitors’.

The rollout is the first phase of a project that will eventually see the software used throughout the firm. A later phase will introduce further options to enable the software to be used by mobile users and home/office users.

About WBW Solicitors

WBW Solicitors has been part of Devon’s legal landscape for nearly two centuries. They are one of the largest and most comprehensive law firms in the South West, with expertise in all aspects of the law.

About nFlow

nFlow is one of the top 3 suppliers of advanced digital dictation software in the UK, with a strong reputation for being easy to buy. Their software delivers the best balance of simplicity and functionality in a product with a well proven and resilient reputation across many UK law firms. Its is purposely not wrapped up in expensive consultancy costs and is delivered by an innovative UK based digital dictation supplier with a pedigree of performance and service excellence, all in a competitively priced package guaranteed from day one.

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Williams Authors Article Concluding North Carolina’s Diversity Scholarships Are Unconstitutional

(PRWEB) August 6, 2004

CHESS President Mark Williams authored “Skin Formulas Belong in a Bottle: North Carolina’s Diversity Scholarships are Unconstitutional Under Grutter and Gratz.” The article appeared in the Summer 2004 edition of the Campbell Law Review. The Campbell Law Review is published by the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.

The article notes that financial aid is the new affirmative action battleground. It explores whether North Carolina’s diversity scholarships are constitutional in light of two recent United States Supreme Court decisions involving the University of Michigan. It highlights the history of the North Carolina Minority Presence Grant Program and other state funded race-based scholarships. In 2002, the North Carolina State Legislature ended a 24 year old scholarship program that had assisted African-American students and other racial minorities. Lawmakers used these funds to create a new program which sets aside funds for Native Americans and requires other funds be used to promote student diversity at the sixteen four-year public universities.

The study explores how four UNC institutions have implemented the legislative requirements. The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Appalachian State University, the University of North Carolina at Asheville and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are discussed in detail. Many of these schools have expanded their definition of diversity to include students’ sexual orientation and religious beliefs.

Williams questions whether these new diversity factors will be genuinely considered since he could not find evidence that the schools were actually collecting this information. The study ultimately concludes that North Carolina’s new law and the approach implemented by the University of North Carolina System is unconstitutional.

The article is available from LexisNexis® or WestLaw® using the citation “26 Campbell L. Rev. 135”. LexisNexis® and Westlaw® are online legal research services and their marks are owned by the LexisNexis Group of companies and by West, respectively.

More Information About Center for Higher Education Support Services, Inc.

The Center for Higher Education Support Services, Inc. (CHESS, Inc.) provides high-quality financial aid management consulting services to colleges, universities, and student financial aid industry participants. CHESS’s areas of expertise include financial aid management, policy, systems, training and support and people services. For additional information, visit http://www.chessconsulting.org.

Mark Williams is currently in his final year of law school at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law in Buies Creek, North Carolina. He is also an instructor in the College Counseling Program at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Williams previously served as the Director of Financial Aid & Veterans Services at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and as the Associate Director of Financial Aid at Appalachian State University.

DISCLAIMER: Mr. Williams is not licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction. Neither CHESS, Inc. nor Mark Williams provide legal advice. Contact an attorney licensed to practice law in your state if you have questions concerning this research article.

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