November 12, 2005
AALL Education Summit Report
Some 70 representatives of chapters and SISs convened in September to explore how AALL could facilitate its members' continuing professional education beyond the Annual Meeting. Here's their report: AALL Education Summit Final Report
November 11, 2005
Senate Approves Plan to Limit Detainee Access to Courts; Expand Congressional Oversight
The Washingtonn Post is reporting that in an amendment to the 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill, the Senate endorsed (49-42) a measure that would nullify Rasul v. Bush, a June 2004 Supreme Court opinion that detainees at Guantánamo Bay had a right to challenge their detentions in court. At the same time, the proposal would give Congress some oversight of the military process set up to review whether Guantanamo Bay detainees are terrorists and should continue to be held.
Making More Everyday, Honoring Our Veterans, 2005
The waring nations participating in "the war to end all wars" proclaimed a truce, effective November 11, 1918. One year later President Wilson proclaimed November 11 Armistice Day to mark the one year anniversary of the end of hostilities and to honor the veterans who served and sacrificed for their country.
Armistice Day officially became a holiday in the United States in 1926 and, 12 years later, on May 13, 1938, Congress enacted a new law that made Armistice Day a national holiday. On June 1, 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.
In 1968, new legislation changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.
Historic Significance? There are approximately 24,387,000 vets, 75 percent of them served in wartime. We are making more vets everyday, but apparently none of this holds sufficient significance for some law schools (e.g., mine) to close in observance of the sacrifices made by our veterans.
Senate Resolution 155 (encouraging all Americans to observe the week of November 6 through November 12, 2005, as National Veterans Awareness Week)
ABA Issues New Editions for PowerPoint and Acrobat
The Lawyer's Guide to Creating Persuasive Computer Presentations, Second Edition
Authors: Ann E. Brenden, John H. Goodhue
Publication Date: 2005
Page Count: 252
Product Code: 5110530
Pricing: $79.95 USD (Regular)
Bonus CD-ROM Includes 12 Tutorials and a Sample Closing Argument
Book Description: This revised second edition has been updated to include new chapters on hardware and software that is currently being used for digital displays, and all new sections that walk the reader through beginning skills, and some advanced techniques, in using Microsoft® PowerPoint®. Also included is a CD-ROM containing on-screen tutorials illustrating techniques such as animating text, creating zoomed call-out images, insertion and configuration of text and images, and much more. In addition, the CD-ROM contains a full sample PowerPoint final argument complete with audio, checklists, and help files for using trial presentation software, as well as several sample PowerPoint presentations, including one entitled "Top Five Mistakes Using PowerPoint."
The Lawyer's Guide to Adobe Acrobat, Second Edition
Author: David L. Masters
Publication Date: 2005
Page Count: 192
Product Code: 5110529
Pricing: $59.95 USD (Regular)
Book Description: Written by a practicing lawyer for lawyers, this manual will help you master Adobe Acrobat by providing you with concise information on how to get the most from all aspects of the program. You’ll get hands-on examples of how the software provides unique solutions for law firms, along with useful tips and shortcuts. The book is filled with step-by-step explanations of the various techniques needed for opening and publishing all types of documents using Adobe Acrobat, including advice on:
- Creating PDF Files using five separate techniques
- Creating and using navigation aids, including bookmarks and links
- Using comments, text boxes, notes and stamps
- Creating and managing digital signatures
- Extracting content, searching and indexing PDF documents
- Managing basic and advanced (certificate) document security
- Planning, creating, and organizing E-briefs
- Adding and using plug-ins
- Using Acrobat in the paperless office
In addition, the book examinations the new features of Acrobat 7.0, including the improved menu commands, the new “find” function, automatic optical character recognition, and the new call-out tool that speeds up the processing of graphic based documents. There are dozens of screen shot images to help guide you through the processes outlined in the book. The Lawyer’s Guide to Adobe® Acrobat® is the perfect guide for everyone in your law office. If you want to maximize Acrobat, break the digital-filing technology barrier, and learn nearly everything you need to know about this powerful publishing tool, then you need this book!
Opening: Research/State Documents Librarian, Maryland State Law Library
The Maryland State Law Library has an opening for a contractual Research/State Documents Librarian. For details and application instructions, please see the Maryland Judiciary website: http://www.courts.state.md.us/jobs/999909.html
November 10, 2005
Law Professor Blogger Census (Version 3.0)
Dan Solove has posted the third edition ("version 3.0") of his census of blogging law profs. He reports that since his June 16, 2005 edition the number of law prof bloggers has increased 40 percent, from 130 to 182.
Schools with the most bloggers include:
San Diego (7)
George Mason (5)
Ohio State (4)
U.C. Davis (4)
Clearly Solove's census is not comprehensive. For example, it has missed four Law Professor Blog Network blogs (Family Law Prof Blog, Tech Law Prof Blog, Legal Writing Prof Blog, and Clinical Law Prof Blog) and does not list any tenured or tenure-track law librarian blogs. If you spot omissions, please email the details to Dan Solove.
New Appointment at University of Idaho Law Library
Jean Mattimoe was appointed to a tenure-track position as the Collection Development/Reference Librarian in the Law Library. In that capacity, she is responsible for choosing materials in American law to add to the collection. She succeeds Robert Pikowsky, who resigned to take a position at Georgia State University College of Law. Jean received her B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Wyoming; served four years as the Managing Staff Attorney for Wyoming Legal Services in Cheyenne; and then earned her M.A. degree in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona.
Source: Press Release
Today's Teen Content Creators Are Tomorrow's Law Students
Fully half of all teens and 57 percent of teens who use the Internet could be considered Content Creators. ... The results highlight that this is a generation comfortable with content-creating technology.
Some Key findings:
- 33 percent of online teens share their own creative content online, such as artwork, photos, stories or videos.
- 32 percent say that they have created or worked on webpages or blogs for others, including groups they belong to, friends or school assignments.
- 22 percent report keeping their own personal webpage.
- 19 percent of online teens keep a blog, and 38 percent of online teens read blogs. 1
- 9 percent of Internet-using teens say they remix content they find online into their own artistic creations.
And About Blogs:
Teens are often much more enthusiastic authors and readers of blogs than their adult counterparts. Teen bloggers, led by older girls, are a major part of this tech-savvy cohort. Teen bloggers are more fervent Internet users than non-bloggers and have more experience with almost every online activity in the survey.
Law profs, law-related instructional designers (read today's legal publishers transformed) and IT planners take note. The survey participants are 5-10 years away from entering law school. Courseware such as TWEN may have to replace its current teacher-driven format with a more personalized student-driven format, a "My Con Law" course model rather than the current "Professor Bland's Con Law" course model.
Tax Foundation Publishes Putting a Face On America's Tax Returns
The Tax Foundation has published Putting a Face On America's Tax Returns:
This 20-page collection summarizes our recent work in the Putting a Face On America's Tax Returns project, collecting each installment from our recent Countdown to Tax Reform series [blogged here] into a single volume. The book includes chapters on life cycle and inequality, tax burdens and cost of living, the changing demographics of America's middle class, the rising number of Americans outside the federal tax system, and more.
Hat tip to TaxProf Blog
Opening: Reference Librarian, Barry
Barry University School of Law Library is advertising for a Reference Librarian. We are a provisionally ABA-accredited law school in Orlando, Florida. The librarian would join a talented staff of fifteen at an exciting time of growth and development for the library and law school. Please let others know of this opportunity or send Nancy Strohmeyer your applications. We expect to interview early in the spring semester, after hurricane season.
Nancy L. Strohmeyer
Associate Director & Head of Public Services
Dwayne Andreas School of Law
6441 East Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32807-3650
Phone: (321) 206-5703
Fax: (321) 206-5713
November 9, 2005
Alito on Roe v Wade
The Washington Post is reporting that, in private meetings with senators, SCOTUS nominee Samuel Alito has indicated his reluctance to overturn long-standing precedents like Roe. However, AP is reporting that Senator Lieberman is less certain about Alito's stand on Roe. Shall we start counting the number of "Alito says" stories about Roe between now and the confirmation hearings?
Photographic Artifacts from the Civil Rights Movement
The basement storage room in the Montgomery, Alabama sheriff's office has yielded remarkable photographic artifacts from the civil rights movement. The Smoking Gun has published all 100 of these historic images, mostly mug shots taken of individuals arrested during the 1956 bus boycotts and the 1961 Freedom Rider protests.
The photos, once thought lost to history, can now be found on the Smoking Gun website. While most of the images are mug shots, the one displayed here is a handwritten arrest ledger.
Down near the bottom of the ledger page is Prisoner Number 7053, Rosa Parks.
Reminder: AALL Online Voting Underway
Don't forget to vote!
AALL Online Elections allows members to easily access and submit election ballots from anywhere in the world via the web. Polls are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week beginning on November 1, 2005. The deadline to submit ballots is 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time, Thursday, December 1, 2005.
The AALL Online Elections can be accessed at https://secure.aallnet.org/vote/index.asp.
SCOTUS Nominee Alito's Financial Disclosure Reports
Here's the latest two financial reports:
Teaching Research in Private Law Libraries (TRIPLL) Conference
The Teaching Research in Private Law Libraries (TRIPLL) Conference, sponsored by the LexisNexis Librarian Relations Group, will be held April 21- 23, 2006 in Dallas, TX.
The mission of the 2006 Conference is to: "Prepare for training challenges of the 21st Century." Through a variety of interactive, participatory and problem solving sessions, attendees will enhance their teaching skills.
Additional information, and the application to attend, can be found at <http://www.lexisnexis.com/tripllapp>. The deadline for application submissions is December 9, 2005.
Opening: Head of Acquisitions and Serials Control, American Univ
American University, Pence Law Library at the Washington College of Law, is seeking a tenure-track Head of Acquisitions and Serials Control; to begin as early as February, 2006.
The position reports to the Associate Dean for Library and Information Resources. The successful candidate will manage all aspects of the library’s ordering, receipt, payment, and binding operations, including the supervision of 6 full time employees. The Pence Law Library houses over 525,000 volumes and volume equivalents and uses the Millennium Integrated Library System. The position is expected to provide reference assistance to students and faculty as part of the regular Reference Desk rotation and to participate in various collegial law library faculty programs, including collection development and the faculty liaison program.
MLS from an ALA-accredited institution, and at least three years professional experience in related library work. Must have excellent written and oral communication skills, knowledge of the U.S. and foreign publishing industry and the ability to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse groups. Significant budgetary experience and demonstrated experience supervising employees is also required, as is the ability to handle complex, analytical work and balance priorities and meet deadlines. As this is a tenure track position, the ability to produce scholarly work suitable for publication is essential.
Experience using Innovative Interfaces’ Millennium integrated library system is preferred, as is familiarity with foreign and international vendors. Working knowledge of Western European languages is also preferred.
Applications will be reviewed beginning December 1 and continue until the position is filled. American University is an EEO/AA employer committed to a diverse faculty, staff, and student body. Minority and female candidates are encouraged to apply.
Send applications Adeen Postar, Deputy Director, American University, Pence Law Library, Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20016 or via email to email@example.com
November 8, 2005
Spotlight on Law Librarians: Don Blair
University of Cincinnati Law Library
Thomas More College, 1966
Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky Univ., 1975
At the University of Cincinnati Law Library, we like to joke that Don Blair is the oldest tenure track law librarian in the country. But it is no joke that when Don is at the reference desk he is as energetic as anyone one-third his age.
Don was awarded the College of Law's employee of the year award in 2001 and just last month he was awarded the President's Quality Service award, a first for the College of Law, and a "second" for university faculty librarians. The only other librarian to be so honored was the Dean and Director of University Libraries.
The following captures Don in his "Don-ness." It is the university's profile of Don based on the letters of recommendation he received for the 2005 President's Quality Service award.
2005 Presidents QSA Winner: Don Blair
The kind of service provided by Don Blair in the Marx Law Library of the UC College of Law can be accurately determined by the number of times per day the question is asked, "Where's Don?"
By: Carey Hoffman
Photo By: Dottie Stover
The most frequent question asked around UC's Marx Law Library?
The focus of the question is Don Blair, and the frequency with which it is asked is an indicator of the ubiquitous nature of his commitment to the students and faculty in the UC College of Law community.
"Don's commitment to public service is unconditional... ," praises Joe Hodnicki, associate director of the Marx Law Library. "Don is always available to help a student, faculty member, member of the bench or bar or member of the public at large even when he is not scheduled to work the reference desk. This commitment to service is so consistently displayed that we joke about it: "Where's Don?" is the most frequently asked question in the Law Library!"
Countless UC law students have come to recognize Blair as one of their greatest allies in pursuit of their legal education. For instance, a annual dinner at Skyline Chili with Blair is among the most hotly-sought items available at the college's auction in support of its Hooding Ceremony.
Kristin Woeste, a 2005 graduate and editor of the UC Law Review, has been among a group of four who have made sure they came away with the winning bid in the auction the last three years. Famous for his sound advice and advocacy for students, she marvels about Blair that "at a time when I barely knew the faces of many faculty, administrators and staff, the four of us were paying big bucks just to eat chili with him!"
Volunteer Professor of Law James O'Reilly considers Blair to be the epitome of "the self-sacrificing pursuit of excellent service to our students."
"The central core of Don's service is the student -- the nervous, shy and overwhelmed novice whom the law, as a discipline, tends to intimidate... ," says O'Reilly. "(Blair) has literally sat on the floor surrounded by new students helping them to understand how it all comes together, building their research skills while he makes them want to be professionals, counseling clients and listening well to others' needs. Don Blair's leadership and his humility combine to give the rare, special gift of true student-centered service."
Just as noteworthy has been the depths of his commitment to the faculty.
Marx Law Library Director Virginia Thomas calls Blair "one of the most service-oriented law librarians I have had the pleasure to work with in my 27 years in this profession."
Professor of Law Ronna Greff Schneider has relied on Blair for a number of years as her principal library liaison, and finds him gifted in locating all sorts of rare and unusual sources in her research pursuits.
"Not only did Mr. Blair always manage to locate these materials, no matter how obscure or difficult to find, he was always willing to find them for me regardless of whether he was actually schedule to be at work when I needed such materials or not... I have not seen any person work harder, without ever saying 'No' to any request made of him," Schneider says.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Law Marjorie Aaron relates similar experiences in requesting research help from Blair. "No matter what, Don is on the trail for the information and right resources for me," she says. "Too often, I learn later that my voice mail was left when he was not scheduled to be in, but he has come in over the weekend to make sure I have what was requested by Monday morning. I would never have asked for that level of service, but he provides it without the special request."
Adds Woeste, the UC law grad: "He is an insightful resource into the local law community and has invaluable experience to share with how to make it in the legal world. He has contacts at other libraries that he is happy to call upon when something is missing from our own collection... In short, Don Blair embodies the idea of community in the UC College of Law, combining an amiable personality that has endeared him with students with an expert knowledge of the law and the library. Each department at the university would be lucky to have such a dedicated person among their ranks."
- Joe Hodnicki, pinch-hitting for Lee Peoples who has been a wee bit busy preparing for an ABA/AALL visit.
The Spotlight on Law Librarians feature is edited by Lee Peoples, Law Librarian Blog Contributing Editor and Associate Director for Faculty, Research and Instructional Services, Oklahoma City University Law Library. Please feel free to recommend a colleague for this feature to Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent CRS Reports on Congressional Issues
SPEAKER HASTERT'S PLAN TO OFFSET SPENDING: A PROCEDURAL PERSPECTIVE
CRS Publication Date: 10/26/2005
Document No.: RL33127
Author(s): Robert Keith, Government and Finance Division
Abstract: This report provides background on the "Hastert Plan" to enact legislation offsetting the increased budget costs stemming from relief and reconstruction efforts associated with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Following a background section and a brief tally of potential costs to be offset, the report examines the various procedures that could be used to formalize and implement the plan. Other offset plans that have been offered are not addressed specifically in this report, but they likely would involve some or all of the same procedures discussed here.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE: APPOINTMENT AND TENURE OF THE DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR
CRS Publication Date: 10/18/2005
Document No.: RL31880
Author(s): Robert Keith, Government and Finance Division; and Mary Frances Bley, Information Research Division
Abstract: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was established by Title II of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-344; July 12, 1974; 2 U.S.C. 601-603). The organization officially came into existence on February 24, 1975, upon the appointment of the first director, Alice Rivlin. CBO's mission is to support the House and Senate in the federal budget process by providing budgetary analysis and information in an objective and nonpartisan manner. Specific duties are placed on CBO by various provisions in law, particularly Titles II, III, and IV of the 1974 Congressional Budget Act, as amended. In addition to preparing annual reports on the economic and budget outlook and on the President's budget proposals, CBO provides cost estimates of legislation, scorekeeping reports, assessments of unfunded mandates, and products and testimony relating to other budgetary matters. The Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-55), enacted into law on August 2, 2005, provided an appropriation of $35,459,000 to CBO for the fiscal year, an amount expected to support a staff of about 235 full-timeequivalent (FTE) positions. Six persons so far have served as CBO director - Alice Rivlin, Rudolph Penner, Robert Reischauer, June O'Neill, Dan Crippen, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Three different deputy directors, Edward Gramlich, James Blum, and Barry Anderson, served as acting director for periods amounting in total to about two years. The current CBO director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, was appointed on February 5, 2003, to the four-year term that began on January 3 of that year. The current deputy director, Donald B. Marron, was appointed in October 2005.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACTIONS IN 2005
CRS Publication Date: 10/17/2005
Document No.: RL32791
Author(s): Bill Heniff, Jr., Government and Finance Division
Abstract: During the week of September 12, 2005, the chairmen of the Senate and House Budget Committees announced a delay in the reconciliation process so that authorizing committees could devote their attention to Hurricane Katrina-related legislation. It is expected that the Senate and House Budget Committee will markup a spending reconciliation bill the week of October 24 and 31, respectively. When FY2006 began on October 1, the House had passed 11, and the Senate had passed eight, of the regular appropriations acts for FY2006. Only two of these had been signed into law. Consequently, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law a continuing resolution (H.J.Res. 68, P.L. 109-77) to provide temporary appropriations through November 18, 2005, for agencies and programs funded in the remaining regular appropriations acts not yet enacted. Since the start of the fiscal year, Congress has cleared another regular appropriations act for the President, and the Senate has passed another one.
SPEED OF PRESIDENTIAL AND SENATE ACTIONS ON SUPREME COURT NOMINATIONS, 1900-2005
CRS Publication Date: 10/18/2005
Document No.: RL33118
Author(s): R. Sam Garrett and Denis Steven Rutkus, Government and Finance Division
Abstract: This report provides information on the amount of time taken to act on all Supreme Court nominations occurring between 1900 and the present. It focuses on the actual amounts of time that Presidents and the Senate have taken to act (as opposed to the elapsed time between official points in the process). For example, rather than starting the nomination clock with the official notification of the President of a forthcoming vacancy (e.g., via receipt of a formal retirement letter), this report focuses on when the President first learned of a Justice's intention to leave the Court (e.g., via a private conversation with the outgoing Justice), or received word that a sitting Justice had died. Likewise, rather than starting the confirmation clock with the transmission of the official nomination to the Senate, this report focuses on when the Senate became aware of the President's selection (e.g., via a public announcement by the President).
MEMBERSHIP OF THE 109TH CONGRESS: A PROFILE
CRS Publication Date: 09/28/2005
Document No.: RS22007
Author(s): Mildred L. Amer, Government and Finance Division
Abstract: This report presents a profile of the membership of the 109th Congress. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members. This includes data on party affiliation; average age and length of service; occupation; religious affiliation; female and minority Members; foreign-born Members; and military service.
All reports available from GalleryWatch.com
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
Chinese Blog Nominated for Freedom of Expression Award Censored by Chinese Government
Upon learning that a pro-democracy blog was nominated for a freedom of expression award by German radio station Deutsche Welle, the Chinese govenment shut it down. Wang Yi's Microphone was blocked by the authorities for discussing "sensitive subjects." No word of what, if any, action the Chinese government directed at the blogger, a teacher from the Sichuan province. Read more about it.
NBER Report on the Benefits of The Prescription Drug User Fee Acts
Assessing the Safety and Efficacy of the FDA: The Case of the Prescription Drug User Fee Acts by Tomas J. Philipson, Ernst R. Berndt, Adrian H. B. Gottschalk, Matthew W. Strobeck - #11724 (HE PR)
The US Food and drug Administration (FDA) is estimated to regulate markets accounting for about 20% of consumer spending in the US. This paper proposes a general methodology to evaluate FDA policies, in general, and the central speed-safety tradeoff it faces, in particular. We apply this methodology to estimate the welfare effects of a major piece of legislation affecting this tradeoff, the Prescription Drug User Fee Acts (PDUFA). We find that PDUFA raised the private surplus of producers, and thus innovative returns, by about $11 to $13 billion. Dependent on the market power assumed of producers while having patent protection, we find that PDUFA raised consumer welfare between $5 to$19 billion; thus the combined social surplus was raised between $18 to $31 billions. Converting these economic gains into equivalent health benefits, we find that the more rapid access of drugs on the market enabled by PDUFA saved the equivalent of 180 to 310 thousand life-years. Additionally, we estimate an upper bound on the adverse effects of PDUFA based on drugs submitted during PDUFA I/II and subsequently withdrawn for safety reasons, and find that an extreme upper bound of about 56 thousand life-years were lost. We discuss how our general methodology could be used to perform a quantitative and evidence-based evaluation of the desirability of other FDA policies in the future, particularly those affecting the speed-safety tradeoff.