May 11, 2005
Temporary Law Librarian Position : Washington DC
Library Associates seeks a LAW LIBRARIAN for a 4 - 5 month temporary position. Law Librarian will perform legal and business research for our client in the Washington, D.C. area.
Must be highly proficient with LexisNexis, Westlaw, D&B, Dow Jones, Hoover's, and other online legal and business research databases.
MLS or equivalent professional experience mandatory. This position will be 24 - 40 hours per week, starting soon and lasting most likely into September 2005.
Compensation is commensurate with experience. EOE
EEOC to Reduce Number of District Directors to Save Money
The Washington Post is reporting that the EEOC Chair, Cari M. Dominguez, plans to overhaul the agency's field structure by reducing from 25 to 16 the number of district directors reporting to headquarters. Additional details in Steve Barr's Federal Diary column.
Congress Passes Real ID Act; Bush Expected to Sign
The Senate passed the Real ID Act yesterday as it was attached to an 82 billion dollar emergency war funding measure. The Act sets requirements for an identity card which would be used to enter airports, train stations, federal buildings, and it would also set standards for verification of identity when getting drivers licenses. Citizens will now have to use authentic copies of birth certificates, utility bills, and other identity-confirming documentation to establish who they are to get this card or a drivers license. The Secretary for Homeland Security will also have discretion in setting standards for the cards, whether in obtaining or using them.
c|net report of the bill | A FAQ on the Act prepared by CNET commentator Declan McCullagh | Washington Post (subscription required) analysis of the Act
No mention whether the identity card in question will be required to check out library books.
Mark Giangrande, DePaul Law Library
Opening: Associate Director, Texas Tech Law
Texas Tech University School of Law Library (Lubbock, Texas) is seeking an Associate Director who will assist the Director in the daily administration, coordination, planning, and development of the Law Library and IT units. The Associate Director will be in charge of the Law Library in the absence of the Director. Although the Associate Director does not hold faculty rank, he or she will participate fully in all aspects of the Law Library and IT activities. To find more information about the position, our law school, the library and Lubbock community, please visit our Website at http://www.law.ttu.edu/
Responsibilities: Assist the Director in annual and long-range planning for facilities, personnel, and services. Coordinate the daily functions of the library. Directly supervise all daily activities of the Law Library and IT units, consisting of 17 FTE library and 8 FTE IT staff. Assume other responsibilities as assigned by the Director. A full job description is posted at the following site: http://www.law.ttu.edu/lawsite/library/EmploymentOpportunities.asp
Rank: This is a 12-month, non-tenure track position at the level of Librarian rank. Librarians are expected to meet annual professional performance, professional development, and service standards.
Required Qualifications: Applicants must hold both J.D. and Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) degrees from accredited schools. Minimum five years of professional experience in academic law libraries with a history of increasing responsibilities. Strong supervisory and managerial skills, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and a solid record of teamwork and service.
Preferred Qualifications: Substantial knowledge of traditional legal bibliography as well as legal e-resources; experience in teaching, and managing electronic resources; sound knowledge of online resources and technologies; ability to work well independently and with others.
Starting Date and Salary: The start date will be June 1, 2005 or ASAP. Competitive benefits and salary.
How to Apply: Applications are being accepted and considered immediately. The position will remain open until filled. Apply online at http://jobs.texastech.edu (click on Search Postings and enter Requisition No.05638). For application assistance, call Texas Tech University Personnel Department at (806) 742-3851, or e-mail email@example.com. For questions regarding the position, contact Arturo Torres, Associate Dean and Law Library Director (Tel: 806-742-3990, x284). Texas Tech University is an EEO/AA/ADA employer.
About Us: Texas Tech University (http://www.texastech.edu/) is a public institution of higher education with a comprehensive program in teaching, research and development in sciences, technology, social sciences and humanities. The University consists of both undergraduate and graduate colleges, a medical school and the health sciences center, and a law school. The School of Law, established in 1967, is one of the younger law schools in the nation with a student body of nearly 700. The Law Library boasts a collection of over 290,000 volumes (or equivalent) and is the largest legal information center in western Texas and the region covering eastern New Mexico and southern Oklahoma. The Library employs a diverse staff of over 26 people with eight professional librarian positions. A selective government document depository, the Library serves the law school and University users, legal professionals and the public at large. The Library is also responsible for computing and instructional media technology for the entire law school, with an IT department of 8 positions. The Library seeks to enhance its collection and integrate technology in all segments of legal education while striving for excellence in user services. The Library promotes diversity, encourages personal growth and makes an effort to create a harmonious work environment.
Lubbock, located in the Texas panhandle, is a hub city known for its musical legend Buddy Holly and western Texas friendliness. With a population of 200,000, the city is very movable without traffic congestion found in many larger cities. It offers all the amenities in housing, dining, golfing, sports, and entertainment typically associated with a large city. Family-friendly, the city has good health care and transportation systems. The cost of living is below the national average and home-ownership is extremely affordable. The city has an excellent public school system.
Reckonability & Legal Research
A Jurisprudential Approach to Teaching Legal Research
by Charles J. Ten Brink
Professor of Law and Director of Library & Technology Services
Michigan State University College of Law
39 New Eng. L. Rev. 307 (2005)
In this essay Professor Ten Brink urges advanced legal research (ALR) instructors to include jurisprudence when teaching:
Effective teaching of ALR requires an integration of basic jurisprudence with the practical “how to” list of research nuts and bolts. The theoretical structures underlying legal research are as much a branch of jurisprudence as they are of information science. Only by understanding the philosophy underlying a research tool — not just how it works, but why it works — can students exploit its strengths and work around its weaknesses. Critical examination of the power and limitations of the variety of research tools available equips students not only to deploy a greater variety of sources to the research tasks at hand, but also to become critical judges of new sources as they are encountered for the first time. 
Absent exposure to the “why” behind the “how,” students will continue to approach legal research as automata, trained to press particular buttons in a particular order without any understanding of the reasons why this often produces suboptimal research. 
Following Karl Llewellyn, Professor Ten Brink concludes his thought provoking article with "It is on [the] core of shared understanding — the concept of reckonability — that the process of legal research depends." 
Interested? If ever there was a worthwhile article on legal research in theory and practice, this is it.
It Works for Students, Why Not for Senators
The May 11th issue of The Onion reports that Senators were lured back to an emergency session by a promise of free pizza.
On Stopping Spam
One of the best articles I've read about spam can be found on the Scientific American site. See Stopping Spam: What can be done to stanch the flood of junk e-mail messages? By Joshua Goodman, David Heckerman and Robert Rounthwaite
Homeland Security Whistleblowers Need Protection
The Project on Government Oversight calls for legal protection of homeland security whistleblowers. See Homeland and National Security Whistleblower Protections: The Unfinished Agenda (April 28, 2005)
Executive Summary of the Report: Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, whistleblowers have felt compelled to come forward in greater numbers to address our nation’s security weaknesses – in fact almost 50% more have sought protection annually.1 Since 9/11, whistleblower-support organizations have heard a common theme from whistleblowers, many of whom have observed security weaknesses for years: That they could no longer stand by knowing that people’s lives were at risk.
However, patriotic truth-tellers across a variety of agencies have no protection against retaliation from the agencies they seek to reform. Today, the federal government’s policies support and reinforce wrongdoers who would seek to silence whistleblowers.
Whistleblowers at key government agencies tasked with protecting the U.S. (including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Transportation Security Administration, and National Security Agency) have been excluded from the meager protections afforded the rest of the federal workforce. Employees at other agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security must seek protection under the defunct Whistleblower Protection Act, a law rendered useless by a crippling series of judicial interpretations from a court with a monopoly on reviewing whistleblower cases.
The agenda for protecting homeland security whistleblowers is unfinished. Congress must act to implement laws that will provide meaningful protections for whistleblowers including reasonable standards for qualifying for protection, the right to seek remedies in the courts, prompt resolution of their cases, and an end to retaliation when it occurs.
Thanks to Behind the Front Lines for the tip.
Markey to Introduce Legislation. The Washington Post reports that Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) would introduce legislation to extend to federal employees and contractors whistle-blower protections given to private-sector workers by the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
May 10, 2005
New Papers in Law and Technology Scholarship (Selected by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, bepress)
Announcing new papers in Law and Technology Scholarship (Selected by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology), part of the bepress Legal Repository found at http://law.bepress.com/repository .
PUBLISHER: The Berkeley Electronic Press
Peter S. Menell - Professor of Law, UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and Director, BCLT Robert P. Merges - Wilson Sonsini Professor of Law, UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and Director, BCLT Pamela Samuelson - Professor of Information Management & Law, UC Berkeley SIMS & Boalt Hall School of Law and Director, BCLT Howard A. Shelanski - Professor of Law, UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and Director, BCLT
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Robert P. Merges "A Transactional View of Property Rights".
Pam Samuelson, Deirdre K. Mulligan, and Jack Lerner "Brief of 60 Technology Law Professors and USACM".
Robert P. Merges, "A Transactional View of Property Rights" (April 19, 2005). Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Law and Technology Scholarship (Selected by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology). Working Paper 8.
Property rights and contract law are two of our most basic legal categories Many legal scholars describe what makes them different; this Essay describes how they work together to promote economic exchange. Incorporating the insights of both "transaction cost" and "new property rights" economics, it identifies two crucial contributions that property rights make to real-world contracting: (1) precontractual liability, or protection for disclosure of sensitive information in the period leading up to contract formation; and (2) enforcement flexibility after a contract is executed, in the form of many subtle but important advantages that accrue to a contracting party who also holds a property right. This Essay argues that property's "transactional" role is growing in importance, as the "new economy" ushers in a more transaction-intensive industrial structure featuring greater numbers of smaller, more specialized firms.
Pam Samuelson, Deirdre K. Mulligan, and Jack Lerner, "Brief of 60 Technology Law Professors and USACM" (March 29, 2005). Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Law and Technology Scholarship (Selected by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology). Working Paper 7.
On March 1, 2005, the Samuelson Clinic filed a brief amicus curiae in the US. Supreme Court in MGM v. Grokster on behalf of 60 law professors and the U.S. Public Policy Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery. USACM is the world's oldest and largest international scientific and educational organization composed of 78,000 computing professionals dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of information technology.
The brief argues that this case is fundamentally about technology policy, not about file sharing or copyright infringement. Each of the alternative secondary liability standards for which the petitioners and others argue would dramatically change the balance of power between the entertainment and the technology industries (despite the absence of a statutory basis in copyright law for this change), and would disrupt settled expectations in the information technology industry. For more than 20 years, both the technology and entertainment industries have experienced unprecedented technological innovation and economic prosperity under the fundamental framework created by the Sony rule that developers are not secondarily liable when the technologies they create are capable of substantial non-infringing uses. The alternative tests for secondary liability proposed by the petitioners and various amici would upset settled expectations and mire the courts in subjective reviews of new technologiesa recipe for instability and confusion that would severely impair innovation and technological development. The brief further argues that the Sony rule has prevented the very confusion and instability in copyright that, in the patent context, led to Congress's enactment of the staple article of commerce rule. Prior to the enactment of 35 U.S.C. § 271, secondary liability in patent law was decided on a case-by-case basis, and various courts imposed different liability standards, creating instability and uncertainty in patent law. Section 271 was added to the patent statute to clarify and stabilize secondary liability rules, and it has been largely successful in doing so - just as Sony has been in the copyright context. Finally, the brief argues that only Congress has the institutional competence to craft rules that address new technological developments such as the peer-to-peer file-sharing phenomenon.
Peter S. Menell, "Indirect Copyright Liability: A Re-examination of Sony’s Staple Article of Commerce Doctrine" (March 10, 2005). Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Law and Technology Scholarship (Selected by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology). Working Paper 6.
This article is based on an amicus brief filed in METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC., et al., v. GROKSTER, LTD., a case before the U.S. Supreme Court addressing indirect copyright liability for distribution of software that facilitates file sharing on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. This case turns on whether the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984), effectively immunizes the software distributors in this case from contributory or vicarious liability on the grounds that such software is capable of substantial non-infringing use. The article re-examines Sony's jurisprudential foundation. In that case, the Court transplanted an express categorical limitation on indirect liability from the Patent Act into the Copyright Act, notwithstanding that Congress had only recently reformed the Copyright Act without including any such limitation on liability among the many express exemptions, limitations, and immunities contained in the statute. Furthermore, Congress reaffirmed the continued applicability and evolution of infringement standards through case-by-case adjudication. The Sony decision failed to examine the important differences between patent and copyright protection. Whereas patent law seeks to promote technological innovation and evolved a staple article of commerce doctrine primarily out of concern for unduly expanding patent scope, copyright law seeks to promote cultural and social progress, manifesting a more cautious stance toward technological dissemination, particularly where a technology threatens widespread piracy of expressive works. Products that encourage patent infringement do not threaten harm beyond a single patent or cluster of patents, whereas the technology at issue in the Grokster case threatens systemic harm to the copyright system by promoting rampant unauthorized distribution of all manner of works of authorship. Therefore, the uncritical transplantation of Patent Act's immunity for dual-use technologies into the Copyright Act poses grave dangers that were beyond the Supreme Court's view when it decided the Sony case in 1984, before the digital revolution took hold. Furthermore, amendments to the Copyright Act since the Sony decision demonstrate that Congress does not believe that dual-use technology i.e., technology that is capable of both infringing and substantial non-infringing uses should be treated as inviolate under copyright law. Rather, Congress has shown that it sees a need to balance the efficacy of the copyright system for promoting creative expression against social interests in technological innovation and consumer autonomy.
Giuseppe Mazziotti, "Did Apple’s refusal to license proprietary information enabling interoperability with its iPod music player constitute an abuse under Article 82 of the EC Treaty?" (March 8, 2005). Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Law and Technology Scholarship (Selected by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology). Working Paper 5.
This article concerns the decision taken in November 2004 by the French Competition Authority on Apple's refusal to license its digital rights management (DRM) technology to a competitor in the downstream market for music downloads. The analysis herein finds that neither the indispensability test spelled out in the Magill/IMS doctrine nor the new, controversial test advocated by the EU Commission for compulsory licensing of interoperability information in the 2004 Microsoft decision was applicable to the leveraging by Apple of its proprietary DRM technology into the music downloads market. The article draws on this analysis of the case to show that property rights and trade secrets in respect of DRM technologies have the potential to establish a "bottleneck" between content providers and media player manufacturers in the near future. To avoid such a bottleneck, the conclusions of the article suggest that interoperability and competition may be structurally supported and pursued either by more permissive "reverse-engineering" exceptions in the field of DRM software protection or, more effectively, by the collective establishment of an open DRM standard. In the absence of these structural remedies, compulsory licensing of proprietary DRM technology should remain subject to the "exceptional circumstances" doctrine made famous in the Magill judgment. Forthcoming in: World Competition, Kluwer Law International, June 2005.
Dartmouth Library's Simple Repair Manual Now Online
While academic law libraries have preservation technologists readily available to repair books, etc., many corporate, firm and county law libraries do not. The web version of Dartmouth Library's Simple Book Repair Manual is a very good resource for law libraries that do not have trained staff on hand.
Job Posting - Research Librarian Position, Washington, DC
Large DC- based international law firm seeks a full-time experienced research librarian to perform legal, corporate and other non-legal research. Knowledge of legal bibliography is essential and expertise with print and online sources (e.g., Lexis, Westlaw and web-based services) is required. The ideal candidate will have the ability to perform both basic and complex research assignments, an outstanding service orientation, excellent communication skills ( oral and written), and the ability to work well with a team in a fast-paced environment. This position may also be involved with intranet development, training, and long-range library projects. A MLS and previous experience in a law library is required. A J.D. is preferred.
Submit resume and cover letter to:
Human Resources Manager
Steptoe & Johnson, LLP
1330 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
or by fax to
SSRN and bepress
In case you missed it last week, Margie Axtmann (Univ of St. Thomas, MN) authored a very good brief comparison of SSRN and Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress) is the May issue of The CRIV Sheet.
Appeals Court sides with Vice-President on Energy Meetings
The Washington Post (subscription required) is reporting that the District of Columbia Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the Vice-President in a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch to reveal details of the energy policy task force which he headed. The Court said that the plaintiffs failed to prove that the government had a duty to turn over notes and other documents developed at the meetings. The case has been sent back to District Judge Emmet Sullivan with orders to dismiss the case.
Read or download the opinion.
Mark Giangrande, DePaul Law Library
University at Buffalo Law Library Reopens in Time for Exams
Yesterday, James Milles, Associate Dean for Legal Information Services & Director of the Law Library, announced that the University at Buffalo Law Library has recovered from the fire of March 19.
We fully reopened this morning, just in time for the exam period. If you would like to see how far we have come, see the "ublaw phoenix" blog (formerly known as "UB Law Library in Exile") at http://ublawlib.blogspot.com.
Social Security Issue Guide
The Economic Policy Institute has updated its online Issue Guide on Social Security to reflect information about the recent debate over Social Security privatization.
May 9, 2005
Current Awareness Made Easy
From Law Dawg Blawg:
Current Awareness Made Easy
By Diane Murley
A friend asked for my recommendation of an RSS feed reader or aggregator. After I compiled links to some sources I thought would be helpful, I decided to share them with all of you. Now that the semester is almost over, you might be looking for an aggregator with which to monitor your news and blog feeds.
I agree with Matt Homann's recommendation of Bloglines as a good first aggregator for "anyone new to the world of Blogs and RSS." He also wrote about a new aggregator, Onfolio, about which he was very enthusiastic. See his post, Some Technology Remainders.
We previously posted instructions for Using Bloglines to Manage Your Blogs and News Feeds.
Rob Truman of BoleyBlogs! recently reviewed an Internet Week article on Getting Started with RSS, which includes step-by-step instructions for Bloglines.
About.com has Getting News Faster and Better: RSS News Feeds; pages on how to "Get the Most Out of Your RSS Feed Reader" for Bloglines, FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, NewsGator, and SharpReader; and Bloglines Tips, Tricks and Secrets.
For those of you who would like more information on RSS, we have added a couple of new links to What Is a Site or RSS Feed?
Ron Jones, Univ of Cincinnati Law Library
Summary of State Bad Check Laws
Prepared by the Commercial Collection Agency Association, Summary of State Bad Check Laws compares each state on legal aspects of bad checks: number of days to resolve the bank shortage, misdemeanor v. felony, service fees, and criminal penalties.
Ron Jones, Univ of Cincinnati Law Library
UC Berkeley Faculty Endorse "Statement of Principles" on Scholarly Publishing
From the May 4, 2005 press release:
The Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate endorsed a statement of principles designed to open research findings to a broader public. Acknowledging the need to reshape and regain control of scholarly publishing, the faculty acted after determining that the subscription price of a single journal may be higher that the price of an automobile and that researchers here and globally are being priced out of the discoveries in many fields.
In the statement Berkeley faculty resolve to retain control of their scholarly output by retaining intellectual property rights and submitting their work with publishers who maintain reasonable business practices. The Academic Senate statement not only encourages Berkeley scholars to publish or serve as editors in alternative outlets but pledges to provide tools and incentives for them to change their behavior.
At a March 31 faculty conference on scholarly publishing sponsored by the Berkeley Academic Senate and the Office of the Chancellor <www.lib.berkeley.edu/scholarlypublishing/ archived webcast not online as of May 7th>, Alice Agogino, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Vice Chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate, called on her colleagues to take immediate action. "[We must] support new forms of scholarly communication, working with faculty and making strategic investments in approaches that are sustainable and reduce costs to the university in the long run."
CRIV Subcommittee to Visit WS Hein, Questions for the Company Being Solicited
The following CRIVGram was posted to several listservs. I'm reposting it to ensure wider distribution.
CRIVGram - 5/05/05
Are you using products from William S. Hein & Co. and have some questions, comments, and/or concerns to raise? Or, perhaps you're interested in Hein's offerings and would like more information. If so, this message is just for you! I am pleased to announce that CRIV is heading back on the road this spring with a site visit to Hein's headquarters office in Buffalo, NY.
CRIV's Site Visits Subcommittee, chaired by Larry Meyer, Director of the Law Library for San Bernardino County, CA, will be on site at Hein on June 14 - 15 to meet with high-ranking company officials and others about a number of topics including: 1) Hein's process of producing Hein-OnLine and next steps for this product; 2) Hein's continuations department; and, 3) Hein's process to select Government Document items for printing or reprinting, etc. Please let us know your thoughts on these and/or other topics. - - Forward questions, comments and/or concerns to Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than Tuesday, May 24. A summary report on the meeting will be made available following the visit.
Ellen Strbak, Chair
AALL Committee on Relations with Information Vendors
Introduction to the US Federal Court System
For public librarians and anyone else who has to start answering a legal reference question by explaining the US Federal Court system, the Administrative Office of the US Courts has published on the web, A Journalist's Guide to the Federal Courts. Yes, the guide is intended to assist reporters assigned to court coverage but it also can be used as a primer to the US federal court system by anyone, including those patrons with deer-in-the-headlight stares.
The Guide explains the Federal District Courts, Bankruptcy Courts, and the Federal Appellate Courts. The Guide provides links to sources of court information and including a guide to bankruptcy law that quite good.