January 8, 2005
Hard to Find Administrative Documents
The Government Information Resources (GIR) Section of the University of Virginia Library is providing a valuable service by maintaining a web resource which links to information on administrative actions, not just any government information but information that is outside the scope of the CFR or the FR.
The scope note cautions that "what is available via the Internet varies from agency to agency." But one item that usually is a good source for administrative information is FOIA requests. The GIR list links to the primary E-FOIA Reading Room for each agency covered. This resource is a fine example of gov doc librarianship at its best.
Work on 18th Century English Copyright Law
Ronan Deazley's On the Origin of the Right to Copy: Charting the Movement of Copyright Law in Eighteenth Century Britain (1695 -1775) may be a worthwhile additon to the English legal history collection of larger academic law libraries. In this work Deazley challenges the view that author's copyright was raison d'être of the 18th century transformation of copyright law.
From the description:
Taking as its point of departure the lapse of the Licensing Act 1662 in 1695, this book examines the lead up to the passage of the Statute of Anne 1709 and charts the movement of copyright law throughout the eighteenth century, culminating in the House of Lords decision in Donaldson v Becket (1774). The established reading of copyright's development throughout this period, from the 1709 Act to the pronouncement in Donaldson, is that it was transformed from a publisher's right to an author's right; that is, legislation initially designed to regulate the marketplace of the bookseller and publisher evolved into an instrument that functioned to recognise the proprietary inevitability of an author's intellectual labours. The historical narrative which unfolds within this book presents a challenge to that accepted orthodoxy. The traditional analysis of the development of copyright in eighteenth-century Britain is revealed as exhibiting the character of long-standing myth, and the centrality of the modern proprietary author as the raison d'être of the copyright regime is displaced.
Published by Intl Specialized Book Service Inc
ISBN: 1841133752 (hardcover)
Availability: Difficult to find.
Chicago-Kents Helps Low-income Litigators
NewsFactor reports that low-income litigants now have a Web-based legal tool, provided by Chicago-Kent College of Law, that can be accessed at public computers at Cook County courthouses and Chicago pubic libraries.
"Using HotDocs online document assembly software donated by LexisNexis, the Chicago-Kent College of Law has teamed with the McGeorge Center for Access to the Courts Through Technology to provide Access to Justice (A2J), an aptly named Internet self-help system designed for people who cannot afford the high price of American jurisprudence. "
See Mike Martin, Internet Attorney: More Pro Than Pro Se? NewsFactor Network (January 6, 2005).
January 7, 2005
Status Rising for UK Law Librarians
In "From librarian to knowledge manager" Jitendra Valera reports:
According to recent research by Sweet & Maxwell among the top 100 UK law firms, more than 20 per cent of Senior Law Librarians (SLLs) now either report directly to the managing partner or chief executive officer, or sit on the most senior management board of their firms.
The survey found that SLLs are now at the forefront of new IT-led knowledge management, with 90 per cent of them seeing their responsibilities grow during the past five years. Also, 64 per cent believe their status has risen in their firm during that time as new technology becomes more important to the long-term strategy and competitiveness of law firms.
Here's the complete article.
Reading Old Handwriting
Before starting on your first English legal history research project, you might want to visit The National Archives (UK) website to learn how to read old handwriting. The Palaeography site offers an online tutorial that will help you learn to read the handwriting found in documents written in English between 1500 and 1800.
From the site:
"At first glance, many documents written at this time look illegible to the modern reader. By reading the practical tips and working through the documents in the Tutorial in order of difficulty, you will find that it becomes much easier to read old handwriting."
Anastaplo's On Trial
Professor George Anastaplo's (Loyola University Chicago School of Law) latest work, On Trial: From Adam & Eve to O.J. Simpson (2004), is an important exegesis on legal reason, moral judgement, political life and the events that give them meaning. Beginning with the serpent in the Garden of Eden and ending with O.J. Simpson, Professor Anastaplo offers students, scholars, and the informed reader an exploration of justice and the rule of law through well-known trials ancient and modern, real and fictional.
Has this been a work in progress since 1950? See 366 US 82 (1961).
Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc.
ISBN: 0739107798 (hardcover) List Price: $90.00
ABA Calls Meeting on Attorney-Client Privilege
On Friday, February 11, the ABA Task Force on Attorney-Client Privilege will hold public hearings to obtain comments and suggestions relating to the protection of communications between client and lawyer, as embodied in the attorney–client privilege. The Task Force invites comments on the attorney-client privilege and its exceptions, information with specific examples regarding circumstances in which challenges to the privilege are being asserted by regulatory agencies and others, and recommendations as to how to strike the appropriate balance between the purposes of the privilege and competing objectives.
Please see the attached notice as it includes complete details on the February 11 hearing as well as a registration form. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Sue Daly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 312/988-6244. To learn more about the work of the Task Force visit the web site at www.abanet.org/buslaw/attorneyclient. The deadline for hearing registration is January 31.
Law Profs Discuss Blogging at AALS
Ellen Podger (Georgia State), co-editor of White Collar Crime Blog, reports about the blogging discussion that took place at yesterday's AALS Criminal Justice luncheon. Participants included CrimProf Blog editors Jack Chin (Arizona) and Mark Godsey (Cincinnati) and Sentencing Law & Policy editor Doug Berman (OSU), all members of the Law Professor Blog Network.
See Blogs from the Academy for the complete report.
January 6, 2005
GPO Wants to Harvest Missing Web Docs
The problem: Federal agencies are publishing info only in electronic form and are failing to notify the GPO of publications that the GPO thinks should be cataloged and made part of the depository system.
The solution: According to Mary Mosquera at Government Comuting News, "The GPO wants to use Web crawler and data-mining technologies to retrieve publications from Web sites to identify those that agencies have not catalogued for its Federal Depository Library Program and the Cataloging and Indexing Program."
Why war instead of law enforcement?
For every international law collection (and the President's in-box): Roberta Arnold's The ICC as a New Instrument for Repressing Terrorism (2004).
From the blurb: "This insightful work analyzes the deficiencies of the existing counter-terrorism framework and assesses whether acts commonly referred to as "terrorism" are actually war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression, thereby falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Following a discussion of the international law definition of terrorism, in particular the anti-terrorism conventions and international humanitarian law, the author sets about constructing her own working definition of terrorism.
"Strengths and weaknesses of the principal international anti-terrorism conventions are examined in the first part of this book. The second section discusses whether so-called acts of terrorism may constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression, both under traditional international law and under the ICC Statute. The viability of resorting to the ICC as an effective instrument for a comprehensive repression of terrorism is addressed in the third section."
From Transnational Publishers.
1-57105-328-X (hardcover) at $125.00
Legal Theory Books of 2004
Professor Lawrence Solum (San Diego Law) lists the legal theory books of 2004 that sparked the interest of the Legal Theory Bookworm on his Legal Theory Blog. Academic law librarians working on collection development will find the Blog's Legal Theory Bookworm feature a helpful tool.
Court Rules, Forms & Dockets. Federal & State
Margaret Berkland has the thankless job of keeping track of a database of federal and state court rules (general and local), forms and dockets. Published on LLRX.com, Margaret's site provides links to over 1,400 sources. Pacer, Racer (Remote Access to Court Electronic Records), Electronic Court Filing Systems (ECF/CM), Findlaw, and court websites are the types of links you can expect to find. The database's access points are keyword, jurisdiction, type of resource and location.
If you know of a source that hasn't been included, email LLRX.com.
FBI Investigating Missing 75K in Library Funds
Library Journal reports a former director of the Ocmulgee Regional Library (Eastman, GA) is under investigation by the FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation for alleged financial abuses. The investigators are trying to determine what happened to $75,000 of a $100,000 grant recieved by the library to study Georgia library history. No charges have been filed yet.
More at Library Journal
FLASH: Ohio Presidential Election Process Challenged
JURIST's Paper Chase reports
"Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate have halted Congress' formal certification of the electoral college results and have instigated a two-hour debate on problems encountered in the Ohio presidential vote after a challenge. This is only the second time since 1877 that such a challenge has been brought forward. Watch the House debate live here and the Senate debate live here."
Thanks to Professor Bernard Hibberts (Pittsburgh) and his student editors.
Intelligence Reform & Terrorism Prevention Act
A free askSam searchable version of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 is now available as a free download from askSam. It can viewed with a copy of the Company's free askSam Viewer or their askSam free-form database.
The 9/11 Commission Report and the Patriot Act are two of the other 10 free downloads currently offered by the Company.
I would be very interesting in hearing from users of the Company's database product. Please email me your comments.
Bardell vs. Pickwick
|According to How Much Is That?, Mr. Pickwick's 750 pound fine in 1828 for "revolting heartlessness" and "systematic villainy" would be the equivalent of 46,203 UK pounds in 2002.|
In Bardell vs Pickwick: The Most Famous Fictional Trial in the English Language (Transnational Publishers, 2004), Edward J. Bander, Professor and Librarian Emeritus at Suffolk University Law School, presents the first complete abstracting of this trial since publication of Dickens' The Pickwick Papers in 1836. Bander's adaptation of this sublime legal farce includes the origin of the case, Pickwick's dealings with his solicitor and Mrs. Bardell's firm of Dodson and Fogg, the aftermath of the trial, debtor's prison, and the denouement.
1-57105-325-5 (pb) at $18.95 (or 98 cents in 1828 US dollars)
January 5, 2005
Order Your Calendar Today!
The 2005 Okie Librarian Calendar features "enthusiastic librarians from around the state, representing a variety of library careers."
The cost is $15. Make your check payable to the Oklahoma Library Association and mail it to Kay Boies, Oklahoma Library Association, 300 Hardy Drive, Edmond, OK 73013.
Thanks to library stories: libraries and librarians in the news for the tip.
Intro to the Criminal Justice System for Headbangers & Hip-Hop Gangsters
For high school libraries, how can I not recommend these two works:
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Criminal Investigation by Alan Axelrod & Guy Antinozzi (Alpha Books, 2002) (ISBN: 0028643461; $18.95); and
- Raw Law: A Hip-Hop Guide to Criminal Justice by Muhammad Ibn Bashir (Vandy, 2004) (ISBN: 0975274406; $14.99)
Hey dude, buyers gave the Idiot's Guide a 5-star rating! And the Hip-Hop Guide is so popular, it is currently out-of-stock at Amazon.com.
Coming soon: Chicken Soup for the Indicted Soul and Sentencing for Dummies.
Illinois Librarian Gets 6 Months, $100K Restitution Order
The Daily Southtown (Chicago) reports that the former director of the Homer Township Public Library, Regetta Meyers, was sentenced to six months in county jail and ordered to pay $100,001 in restitution.
From the article:
"In a videotaped confession to police shortly after her arrest in 1999, Meyers said she kept two sets of books at the library, enabling her to hide from the library board dozens of large checks made out to cash and drawn from library funds.
Meyers, who headed the library for 17 years, admitted that she started stealing money from the library for groceries and other personal expenses because the family's finances were tight.
Prosecutors did not name an exact figure, but library attorneys contend that Meyers embezzled about $320,000 during those years.
... Library board president Barry Levine said the district will pursue its lawsuit against Meyers for additional money now that the criminal case is over."
If you read the entire article, you may get a sense that the punishment was too light in the opinion of the community.
January 7, 2005 Update: In a separate proceeding Meyers was order to pay $337K to the library district. Here's the Daily Southtown's article.
Gerrymandering, Torture, Guantanamo, and Equality for Gays
FindLaw columnist Edward Lazarus offers us his take on The Most Important Legal Developments of 2004. Two developments, the DOJ's torture memo and the Gitmo detainee cases, will require gigs of server drive space for digital preservation. Thanks to FindLaw, access to the primary source materials for both developments was swift and comprehensive. See generally, FindLaw's Special Coverage: War on Terrorism.