Monday, September 25, 2006

Professional Licenses Followup

Following up on my post about researching whether someone is licensed to work in a particular profession in Maryland, I've located a few more professions that were not listed in the original post. For taxi cab drivers, check out this site from the Maryland Public Service Commission. For professional solicitors see this page from the Office of the Secretary of State. For respiratory therapists and physician assistants use the same site used to search for physicians. Finally, for optometrists, use this site.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Maryland Lobbying Disclosure Reports Now Online

(The following is another guest posting from Andy Zimmerman, Director of Library Services at Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander, LLC).

Earlier this year the Maryland State Ethics Commission began posting PDFs of the disclosure reports filed by professional lobbyists. Three kinds of reports are available: Lobbying Registrations, Activity Reports and Event Reports. The Lobbying Registrations tell you who signed up to lobby in Maryland, who they intended to work for, and on what matters. The Activity Reports tell you who actually lobbied, who they worked for, on what matters and how much they were paid. The Event Reports (Forms 13E and 13F) tell you who hosted lunches, dinners and other receptions, who was invited and how much they spent. All of the reports are searchable by the lobbyist’s name and employer – so you can tally up how much a particular lobbyist earned, as well as how much a company spent to influence Maryland legislation. The Registrations and Activity Reports are also searchable by subject matter, and the Event Reports are searchable by date. Altogether, the Lobbying Reporting System is an easy-to-use system that makes it easier to see where the money flows in Annapolis.

Monday, September 18, 2006

4th Circuit Update Tools

There are two services on the net (that I know about) which alert you via email when new 4th Circuit opinions are published. Both services are free. One option is on the 4th Circuit's own site. From this page, you can register to receive summaries of newly published 4th Circuit cases. Findlaw provides a similar service. You can sign up on this page by checking the appropriate box. If anyone knows anything about the differences between these two services please feel free to comment.