August 20, 2005
IALL's Annual Int'l Law Librarianship Course Set for Sept. 4-8
The International Association of Law Libraries will offer its 24th Annual Course on International Law Librarianship September 4-8, 2005 at the European University Institute, Badia Fiesolana, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy.
This year's course, The European Union in the 21st Century: New Challenges in Law and Legal Information," has three main themes:
* Legal implications of the enlarged EU
* EU legal developments relevant to libraries
* Italian legal information resources
Topics that will be discussed are: the European Constitution and its ratification, its impact on the functioning of the European Court of Justice, and the Ius Commune Europaeum. Of particular relevance to librarians is the EU copyright directive which will be addressed. Time will be dedicated to the rapid development of electronic Italian legal information resources.
Opening: Director of Records Management, NH Firm
We seek a credentialed and experienced individual to oversee management and control of the firm's client and administrative records. The qualified candidate must have four plus years background in records management in either a corporate or legal environment, to include advanced technical skills in database management, prior supervisory/management experience, excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, and demonstrated ability to interact well with all levels of user community. Preferred candidate will hold a bachelor's degree, Certified Records Manager (CRM) designation, and ARMA membership. Will report to Executive Director. This is a full-time opportunity in an organization offering competitive compensation and benefits. Visit our web site at www.mclane.com for additional information. Inquiries may be directed to:
Director of Human Resources
McLane Law Firm
P.O. Box 326
Manchester, NH 03105-0326
August 19, 2005
Is Your Site Being Cached?
From the always helpful ResearchBuzz:
Handy tool for finding out if your site is being cached by Google at http://www.webuildpages.com/cache/cachetoolpublic.pl . Enter a URL and it'll scan it for a list of internal links. Then it'll run a test on those links to see if those pages have been cached by Google. You'll get a list of pages, whether they've been cached, and if they have the cache date and time.
Confused? See C-SPAN's Congressional Glossary.
Swedish Library Launches 'Borrow a Person' Program
USA Today is reporting that you can borrow a real live person from the Malmoe Library in southern Sweden. Why? Because ...
"If you're one of those people who thinks all lesbians are sexually frustrated or all animal rights activists aggressive, then a Swedish library project that allows you to "borrow" a real live human being rather than a book may provide some useful insight."
Are all the nymphomaniacs checked out?
Thundering Horde Descends on National Archives
In today's Washington Post, columnist Dana Milbank describes the horde of journalist tearing through boxes of Roberts documents made available by the National Archives yesterday. His description reminds me of mobs of consumers gabbing everything in sight after a dollar store has opened its door for a post-Christmas sale.
2004-2005 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report
The 2004-2005 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report has been released. This bi-annual survey is divided into 5 parts: Law Office Technology, Litigation and Courtroom Technology, Web and Communication Technology, Online Research and Mobile Lawyers. The entire survey costs a whopping $2,000 but ABA members can download trend reports for each of the 5 sections for free.
Some interesting, and fairly predictable, data from the online research portion of the survey includes the following:
- 45% start online research with fee-based online resource
- 73% use free online resources for legal research
- 68% reported using print materials more often than any other format
- Only 50% of attorneys younger than 40 used print regularly
- Use of CD-ROMs continued to decline with only 18% using them regularly
Lee Peoples, Oklahoma City University Law Library
August 18, 2005
Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance
Fellow Law Professor Blogs Network blogger, Paul Caron (Cincinnati, TaxProf Blog) and Professor Bernard S. Black (Texas) have released for distribution on SSRN Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance
Abstract: There are several methods for ranking the scholarly performance of law faculties, including reputation surveys (U.S. News, Leiter); publication counts (Lindgren & Seltzer, Leiter); and citation counts (Eisenberg & Wells, Leiter). Each offers a useful but partial picture of faculty performance. We explore here whether the new “beta” SSRN-based measures (number of downloads and number of posted papers) can offer a different, also useful, albeit also partial, picture. Our modest claim is that SSRN-based measures can address some of the deficiencies in these other measures and thus play a valuable role in the rankings tapestry. For example, SSRN offers real-time data covering most American law schools and many foreign law schools, while citation and publication counts appear sporadically and cover a limited number of U.S. schools. The SSRN measures favor work with audiences across disciplines and across countries, while other measures are more law-centric and U.S.-centric. SSRN is relatively new and thus favors younger scholars and improving schools, while other measures favor more established scholars and schools. At the same time, the SSRN measures have important field and other biases, as well as gaming risks. We assess the correlations among the different measures, both on an aggregate and on a per faculty member basis. We find that all measures are strongly correlated; that total and per faculty measures are highly correlated; and that SSRN measures based on number of papers are highly correlated with measures based on number of downloads. Among major schools, all measures also correlate with school size.
Winners of EFF's Blog-a-thon Announced
To mark EFF's 15th anniversary and celebrate freedom of expression on the Internet, EFF launched the "EFF15 Blog-a-thon." Bloggers were invited to write about their personal experiences fighting for freedom online. All entries can be viewed at Technorati and PubSub .
Here are the winners:
Most Inspirational: IO Error, "In Defense of Freedom"
Most Humorous: Memoirs of a Guardian Vampire, "Fair Use ... What Use Is It? (Harry Potter Woke Up Goth)"; and
Best Overall: The Ramblings of Laura Crossett, "The Medium Is Not the Message"
Site Chronicles the Development of the UN Charter
The UN website has unveiled a new section that chronicles the development of the UN Charter.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
Blackboard has launched a new website featuring more information about its academic course management products and its Commerce Suite.
Federal Tort Litigation Declines Over 80% in 18 Years
JURIST is reporting that a recent DOJ report shows a substantial decline in federal tort lawsuits.
Leiter on Blogging for Two Years
Law Prof Brian Leiter (Texas), certainly one of the most thoughtful bloggers, recently posted his reflections on blogging after two years. He concludes "all the historical arguments for and against democracy win support from what goes on in the blogosphere every day."
To which I say "here, here" and point to one of my favorite Leiter posts: Your Handy Guide to Right-Wing Lawyers Who Hate Brian Leiter...or the Company that Eugene Volokh Keeps.
Don't forget to catch Leiter's Law School Reports, a member of the Law Professor Blogs Network. His Sextonism Watch is one of my favorite features. Sextonism is "a disease familiar to law faculty, in which a good school suddenly lapses in to uncontrolled and utterly laughable hyperbole in describing its faculty and accomplishments to its professional peers."
Arkfeld's Electronic Discovery and Evidence
The literature in this area is populated by a lot of junk. This title isn't one of them.
Electronic Discovery and Evidence (2005-2006 ed.)
Michael R. Arkfeld, Esq.
Law Partner Publishing, LLC
looseleaf updated annually, last updated August 2005
$149.99 and $8.00 S&H
Description: A detailed legal treatise for lawyers and other legal professionals, Electronic Discovery and Evidence explores nearly every legal dilemma that may confront the discovery and admissibility of electronic evidence. It covers electronic storage devices and locations, data types, as well as legal issues regarding preservation and discovery with a special focus on admissibility of electronic evidence. All this is accomplished with clear explanations of technology and legal concepts; authoritative discussion of court rules and case law; evidentiary analysis and forms, checklists and practical pointers.
Recommendation: Good all-in-one resource for any collection.
August 17, 2005
Calling VIPs for St. Louis Annual Meeting
Pioneering Change - This message impels us to step beyond our traditional boundaries as we usher in the new centennial of the American Association of Law Libraries. To extend our sphere of influence, we, as an Association, are looking to invite VIPS from the legal community and the institutions we serve. Judges, law school deans, legal/court administrators, law firm partners, trustees and journalists are professionals with whom we must collaborate to promote the profession of law librarianship in the present and into the future.
The Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) is compiling an extended list of names to assist members in identifying a potential VIP. I invite you to consider a VIP as a speaker for your AMPC program or as your SIS or Chapter VIP. A broad mix of legal and law-related professionals will strengthen and enrich the value of the VIP experience for all participants. A Master List of VIP names will be maintained on the AMPC website
Please send to Jean M. Wenger (firstname.lastname@example.org) suggestions for additional names of legal professionals that could serve as VIPs.
Jean M. Wenger
2006 Annual Meeting Program Committee, Chair
July Issue of Law & Politics Book Review
Buchanan, Allen. Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination: Moral Foundations for International Law
Grossfeld, Bernhard. Core Questions of Comparative Law
Hajjar, Lisa. Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza
Romero, Victor C. Alienated: Immigrant Rights, The Constitution, and Equality in America
Fletcher, George P. and Steve Sheppard. American Law in a Global Context
Oh No, Librarygate!
The Washington Post is reporting that "a file folder containing papers from Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.'s work on affirmative action more than 20 years ago disappeared from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library after its review by two lawyers from the White House and the Justice Department in July, according to officials at the library and the National Archives and Records Administration."
Quest for the Ultimate Search Tool
C|NET is reporting that The University of California at Berkeley is creating an interdisciplinary center for advanced search technologies and is in talks with search giants including Google to join the project.
August 16, 2005
Recent Publications on Retirement Security Policy
From the Brookings Institution:
Saving Social Security
A Balanced Approach, Revised Edition
Peter A. Diamond and Peter R. Orszag
Brookings Institution Press 2005
Trade Paper, 0-8157-1837-3, $22.95
Peter A. Diamond and Peter R. Orszag, two of the nation's foremost economists, propose a reform plan that would rescue the program both from its projected financial problems and from those who would destroy the program in order to save it.
Since the publication of the first edition of this book in 2004, the Social Security debate has moved to the center of the domestic policy agenda. In this updated edition of Saving Social Security, the authors analyze the Bush Administration's proposal for individual accounts and discuss the so-called "price indexing" proposal to restore long-term solvency through changing how initial benefits would be calculated.
The Evolving Pension System
Trends, Effects, and Proposals for Reform
William G. Gale, John B. Shoven, and Mark J. Warshawsky
Brookings Institution Press 2005
Cloth Text, 0-8157-3118-3, $59.95
Paper Text, 0-8157-3117-5, $26.95
The Evolving Pension System examines the foundations and the future of the private pension system. It provides a broad overview of the underlying assumptions, characteristics, and effects of existing pension policy, as well as alternative views on how public policy toward pensions should evolve in the future.
From the National Academy of Social Insurance:
Paying Benefits From Individual Accounts in Federal Retirement Policy
Kenneth S. Apfel and Michael J. Graetz, co-chairs
National Academy of Social Insurance 2005
Paper Text, 1-884902-42-1, $29.95
In Uncharted Waters, a panel of recognized experts created a framework for determining how benefits might be paid if private accounts become a new part of the Social Security system or are created separate from Social Security. This important volume analyzes the potential implications of different policy choices. It considers the ramifications of payout rules for families at different stages of life, particularly for economically disadvantaged groups. The contributors also address how any new individual account program would fit with traditional Social Security, employer-based pensions, and tax-advantaged individual retirement savings (401(k)s and IRAs).
In Search of Retirement Security
The Changing Mix of Social Insurance, Employee Benefits, and Individual Responsibility
Teresa Ghilarducci, Van Doorn Ooms, John L. Palmer, and Catherine Hill, eds.
The Century Foundation Press and the National Academy of Social Insurance 2005
Paper Text, 0-87078-490-0, $15.95
Since World War II, Social Security and employer-based pension plans have become the foundations of an economic security that enables older Americans to retire with dignity and financial independence. Social insurance and tax advantaged retirement benefits currently face a number of challenges, however. The upcoming retirement of the baby boomers will swell the ranks of the retired, which are estimated to double by 2020, straining the Social Security and Medicare programs. Employers are struggling to keep their pension funds afloat, while fewer and fewer companies are offering traditional pension plans. Americans are living longer than ever before, which means they draw benefits longer, taxing the system.
In Search of Retirement Security considers these challenges and provides fresh perspectives on the changing responsibilities of individuals, employers, and government in ensuring the continued dignity and independence of retirees.
State-by-State List of Terrorism Actions
The National Conference of State Legislatures has published an on-line summary of actions state legislatures and state executives have taken since September 11, 2001 to address terrorism.
Source: Behind the Homefront