November 19, 2005
How Long Should the Patriot Act's Extension Be?
The Patriot Act will expire December 31, 2005 if Congress does not agree on the Act's sunset provision. The House wants to extend the Act for another 10 years; the Senate for only four. The split-the-difference compromise, seven years, is unacceptable to more that a dozen senators and House members from both parties. The group, according to the Washington Post, announced that it will oppose the House-Senate compromise, employing a Senate filibuster if necessary.
Filibuster for filibuster's sake? Sometimes, I think the Senate just needs to do one to get it out of its "system." So will the compromise of the compromise be 5, 5.5 or 6 years?
William Mitchell Students Collect 8,000 Law Books to Save Nigerian Law School
The William Mitchell College of Law student chapter of the Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF) has collected, cataloged, and packed more than 8,000 legal texts to re-establish a law library at the Nigerian University of Abuja, Faculty of Law, and as a result saved the law program at the university. Read more about it.
To contribute to the MJF Nigerian Book Drive:
Caroline Riss, co-chair of MJF, William Mitchell student chapter,
firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 387-6758
Mail contributions to:
Minnesota Justice Foundation
c/o Nigerian Book Drive
229 19th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0444
Make checks payable to:
Minnesota Justice Foundation, William Mitchell student chapter
Note “Nigerian Book Drive” on the memo line.
November 18, 2005
Should the United Nations or the United States Govern the Internet?
Foreign Policy features a Q&A with Standford Law Prof Lawrence Lessig in Seven Questions: Battling for Control of the Internet.
Hello Google Book Search, Good-bye Google Print
Google renames its controversial service. Will this result in missing the early history of the project when you Google search it?
New Bibliography on Computers, Technology and the Law
See Thirty-Seventh Selected Bibliography on Computers, Technology and the Law, 31 Rutgers Computer & Tech. L.J. 459 (2005)
Labor Law Resources (Mostly from the Union Perspective)
Labor Law & Contract Negotiation
Labor Guide to Labor Law, by Bruce S. Feldacker
Prentice Hall (December 1999)
Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, Fourth Edition, by E. Edward Herman
Prentice Hall (June 1997)
Contract Administration: Grievance & Arbitration
Grievance Guide, Written by Bureau of National Affairs
BNA Books (September 2003)
How to Prepare & Present a Labor Arbitration Case: Strategy & Tactics for Advocates, by Charles S. Loughran
BNA Books (June 1996)
Discipline & Discharge in Arbitration, by Norman Brand, Patricia Thomas Bittel and Henry G. Stewart BNA Books (December 1998)
Just Cause: The Seven Tests, by Adolph M. Koven Susan N. Smith
BNA Books (February 1992)
Union Member Rights
The Union Member's Complete Guide: Everything You Want -- & Need -- To Know About Working Union, by Michael Mauer
Union Communication Services (November 2001)
The Union Steward's Complete Guide, by David Prosten
Union Communication Services (September 1997)
The Legal Rights of Union Stewards, by Robert M. Schwartz
Work Rights Pr (January 1999)
The Shop Stewards' Guide to Work Organisation: Practical Guides to Industrial Relations, by Daryll Hull
Shop stewards in action: The organization of workplace conflict & accommodation, by Eric Batstone
Standard Works (Not from the Union Perspective)
The Developing Labor Law: The Board, the Courts, & the National Labor Relations Act, by Patrick Hardin John E. Higgins, Christopher T. Hexter John T. Neighbours
BNA Books (January 2002)
Elkouri & Elkouri's How Arbitration Works, by Alan Miles Ruben Frank Elkouri Edna Asper Elkouri
Published by BNA Books (December 2003)
Fairweather's Practice and Procedure in Labor Arbitration Fourth Edition, edited Ray J. Schoonhoven
BNA Books (1999)
Researching Labor Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution In Employment by Suzanne Thorpe and Laura J. Cooper (LRRX, Oct. 24, 2004)
Labor and Employment Law Resources on the Internet 2002 by Alyssa Rosen (LRRX, July 15, 2002)
Rep. John Conyers Launches Patriot Act Resource Site
Rep. John Conyer's Patriot Act Action Center includes links to Patriot Act resources from government and advocacy sources, a chronology of Congressional action on the legislation, recent news articles, and "What the Blogs are Saying."
Thanks to beSpecific for the tip.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
November 17, 2005
Noveck on the Promise of Technology for Collective Action & Governance
Beth Simone Noveck is rapidly becoming known as one of the most innovative electronic democracy theorists. She is an Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy and the Democracy Design Workshop (http://dotank.nyls.edu) at the New York Law School and Co–Editor of the Ex Machina: Law, Technology and Society book series, published by NYU Press. Her blog, the Cairns Blog, can be found at http://cairns.typepad.com.
In A Democracy of Groups, published by First Monday, Noveck argues that small (community) groups are wielding power for themselves independently of formal structures because of emerging tools for "collective visualization." Accordingly, Novek argues "that law must ... recognize the way people are coming together, not just to create content, but also to create power." The mission therefore is to explore ways to structure the law to defer political and legal decision-making downward to decentralized group-based decision-making.
In such a decentralized environment, would not the information providers traditional role as authenticators be crucial?
Recent SSRN Reports on Internet Risk and Regulation
The Generative Internet by Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School; Oxford University
Harvard Law Review, 2006
The power and flexibility of the Internet has ignited growth and innovation in information technology and in associated creative endeavors, its "generativity" soliciting contribution from varied audiences. This very power and flexibility projected across millions of mainstream users has also become a vehicle for security threats that endanger its many desired uses. This Article describes how the intertwining of the highly generative personal computer and Internet is creating an information technology "grid" that will find itself in grave crisis with no easy fix.
The most direct responses to the crisis, both by regulators and through market forces reflecting a shift in consumer attitudes about the importance of technology reliability, will enable the sort of locked-down Internet that publishers and some regulators have so far favored but been unable to bring about.
Those who treasure the Internet's generative features must assess the prospects for sufficiently either satisfying or frustrating the forces in question so that a radically different technology configuration need not come about. I believe that a different-in-kind Internet is likely quite difficult to avoid. It is precisely while the future is uncertain that those who care about openness and the positive disruption it generates should not sacrifice the good to the perfect by seeking simply to maintain a tenuous technological status quo in the face of inexorable change. Rather, we should establish the principles that will blunt the most unappealing features of a more locked-down technological future while acknowledging that an unprecedented and, to many who work in technology, genuinely unthinkable level of enclosure is likely to be the rule from which we must negotiate and justify exceptions.
Against ISP Liability by Jim Harper, The Cato Institute
Regulation, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 30-33, Spring 2005
In "Holding Internet Service Providers Accountable" (Regulation, Winter 2004), Douglas Lichtman argues for making Internet Service Providers (ISPs) liable for the propagation of Internet pathologies like worms, viruses, and other malicious computer code. His hope is that placing liability on ISPs will give them the incentive to protect Internet users. Protecting users is a noble goal and Lichtman has given this problem a good deal of thought. But his argument for ISP liability has a fundamental flaw: it places efficiency ahead of justice. The Internet is a medium, not a thing, and the supply of access to it is peculiarly unsuited to a liability rule like Lichtman proposes.
Legal Liabilities in a Brave New Cyberworld: Making Electronic Risk Management Work by Tapen Sinha (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) - Division of Actuarial Science, Statistics and Mathematics; University of Nottingham - Nottingham University Business School (NUBS)) and Bradly J. Condon (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) - Administracion; Bond University - School of Law)
Doing business on the Internet has many opportunities along with many risks. This paper focus on a series of risks of legal liability arising from email and Internet activities that are a common part of many e-businesses. Some of the laws governing these electronic activities are new and especially designed for the electronic age, while others are more traditional laws whose application to electronic activities is the novelty. E-business not only exposes companies to new types of liability risk, but also increases the potential number of claims and the complexity of dealing with those claims. The international nature of the Internet, together with a lack of uniformity of laws governing the same activities in different countries, means that companies need to proceed with caution.
Pattern of Global Cyber War and Crime: A Conceptual Framework by Nir Kshetri, University of North Carolina at Greensboro - Bryan School of Business & Economics
Journal of International Management, Vol. 11, No. 4
The flourishing synergy arising between organized crimes and the Internet has increased the insecurity of the digital world. How hackers frame their actions? What factors encourage and energize their behavior? These are very important but highly underresearched questions. We draw upon literatures on psychology, economics, international relation and warfare to propose a framework that addresses these questions. We found that countries across the world differ in terms of regulative, normative and cognitive legitimacy to different types of web attacks. Cyber wars and crimes are also functions of the stocks of hacking skills relative to the availability of economic opportunities. An attacking unit's selection criteria for the target network include symbolic significance and criticalness, degree of digitization of values and weakness in defense mechanisms. Managerial and policy implications are discussed and directions for future research are suggested.
Posner on Posner
John Giuffo profiles Judge Richard Posner in Judging Richard for the Columbia Journalism Review. In the article, Giuffo quotes a revealing statement Posner made about himself.
I have exactly the same personality as my cat. I am cold, furtive, callous, snobbish, selfish, and playful, but with a streak of cruelty.
Anyone who has seen Judge Posner grill an attorney in open court would concur with that self-characterization.
Opening: IT Director, Mercer Law
Director of Information Technology
Walter F. George School of Law
Qualifications: JD (ABA-accredited) or MLS (ALA-accredited) degree; significant and progressively responsible experience managing and providing network administration, desktop computer support, end user training, technical documentation, database design, and file and web server operation in an educational institution or a law-related environment, preferably using Windows-based servers and PCs. Additionally the candidate must possess excellent oral and written communication skills and an ability to communicate with others effectively in settings such as presentations to faculty, students and members of bar associations.
Description: The Director of Information Technology is responsible for planning and managing the daily operations of the law school’s Information Technology department, including maintaining the law school’s computer systems and managing the delivery of media services and other instructional technologies.
Duties include: (1) coordinating the development, planning, and procurement of educational resources and technologies for the law school, including budget planning and analysis; (2) overseeing law library and law school network infrastructure, including analyzing and troubleshooting problems involving servers and related networking equipment; (3) consulting with law faculty and law librarians about the use of and training for technology applications in the classroom; (4) planning and coordinating the use of technology in the law school administrative offices; (5) overseeing the development, design, creation, and maintenance of law school web pages, including creating and installing databases and maintaining the integrity of tables; (6) designing and integrating the web into the services of the Library, Admissions and Financial Aid, and Career and Alumni Services, and into the teaching needs of the faculty and the law librarians; (7) under the general direction of the law library director, supervising a Systems Manager, a PC Network/Media Utilization Specialist, and student assistants; (8) keeping abreast of current trends in technology and planning for the implementation of new technologies useful for law faculty, librarians, staff, and students; (9) acting as liaison to the Mercer University main campus technology department.
Salary: Commensurate with experience and qualifications. Mercer offers a competitive benefits package including 22 days vacation plus University holidays.
The Director of Information Technology is a pivotal position within the law school, evidenced by the Walter F. George School of Law’s #11 ranking for its use of technology in teaching (National Jurist, January 2005). Due to the ever-increasing reliance on technology throughout the law school, including the leasing of laptops for all incoming law students, as well as the proliferation of technology resources in law school classrooms, this individual’s managerial and technical skills will be key in defining the operational environment of the institution.
The law library serves approximately 400 law students and 30 law faculty. This position is part of a library staff of seven librarians and nine support staff. The University has over 7000 students on its Macon and Atlanta campuses. The School of Law is located in a beautifully restored historic district in downtown Macon, which is a city of 150,000 known for its antebellum mansions, cottages, churches, and interesting museums. Macon's moderate climate and moderate cost of living, as well as its proximity to Atlanta, make it a desirable place to live. For more information about Mercer University Law School and the Macon community, visit us at www.law.mercer.edu.
Mercer is an EOE/AA/ADA Employer. Applications from women and minorities are encouraged. Interested candidates should complete the brief online application at www.mercerjobs.com (vacancy number P06-018), and attach a letter of application, current resume, and the names and contact information for at least three professional references
Brill Academic Publishers Acquires IDC Publishers
Brill Academic Publishers announces that it reached agreement with the shareholders of IDC Publishers, based in Leiden, the Netherlands, to acquire all of IDC's shares and business activities. The acquisition comprises all publication rights to well over 3 million pages of primary source documents stored on microfiche and microfilm, as well as a number of online databases.
With this acquisition Brill reinforces its market position as a leading information supplier to academic libraries and researchers in a number of specialized areas of scholarship, in particular Religion, History, Art History, Middle Eastern Studies, Asian Studies, Jewish Studies, International Law, Slavic Studies and Biology.
IDC's publications, which in 2005 represented total sales of approximately 2,5 million euros, offer a valuable addition to Brill’s current publication program of books, journals and online products in existing niche markets. In the past Brill has already successfully cooperated with IDC on the publication of a complete edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
IDC's thematic primary source collections contain unique materials, such as rare books and archival documents from libraries and archives around the world. The sources are essential tools for researchers in the humanities and the social sciences. For Brill this acquisition is a strategic asset of great importance in an emerging marketplace where text, context, image, sound and software become increasingly valuable elements of a scholarly information offer, particularly when integrated.
IDC's collections are produced in partnership with a wide range of leading academic and nonprofit organizations, including the British Library, Yale University, National Library of Russia, New York Public Library, World Bank, the Royal Library of the Netherlands, and Amnesty International. The millions of pages of text contained in IDC's collections are particularly suited for digitization and online publication. All new publications are being digitally captured and stored while making use of state-of-the-art technology. This makes it possible to publish this content both in digital and analog media, and through publishing-on-demand.
The acquisition will largely be paid in cash and possibly for a small amount in shares. Due diligence will take place in the coming weeks. Brill's management aims to complete the transaction by 1 January 2006, and expects that the acquisition will contribute to the profit per share already in 2006.
Source: Press Release
November 16, 2005
An Opponent's Guide to Intelligent Design Advocacy Resources
Have you heard of the strange case of Richard Sternberg? NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty says its "probably the best-documented battle in the war between the vast majority of scientists and a tiny insurgency promoting intelligent design."
Sternberg, an opponent of intelligent design (ID), published a peer-reviewed article by Stephen Meyer, a proponent of ID, in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, an obscure scientific journal loosely affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. See Stephen Meyer, Intelligent Design: The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories. Instead of applauding Sternberg for his action, The Smithsonian was "furious," so much so that Sternberg filed a complaint to protect his job with the US Office of Special Counsel.
To make a long story short, Sternberg has not lost his job (yet) but the special counsel. James McVay, wrote to Sternberg that the Smithsonian worked with the National Center for Science Education -- a group that opposes intelligent design -- and outlined "a strategy to have you investigated and discredited." See US Office of Special Counsel Letter to Richard Sternberg (contains quotes from emails criticizing Sternberg's action, personal attacks on Sternberg, etc)
Too bad the Smithsonian did not follow the example of the American Museum of Natural History. In 2002 the Museum's official journal, Natural History, published a special report, Intelligent Design? which featured three proponents of ID. Each paper followed by a response from a proponent of evolution. Sternberg may want to consider applying for a job with the Museum.
Phillip E. Johnson Bibliography
A Sternberg-Inspired Intelligent Design Resource List
From what I can tell, there appears to be four essential ID advocacy websites and one ID blog.
- Access Research Network
- Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture
- The Intelligent Design Network
- International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (ISCID)
- Blog: Evolution News & Views (News Analysis of Media Coverage of the Debate Over Evolution
Politics, Religion, Law, But Not Science
According to Barbara Forrest in The Newest Evolution of Creationism: Intelligent Design is About Politics and Religion, not Science:
Launched by Phillip E. Johnson's book Darwin on Trial (1991), the intelligent-design movement crystallized in 1996 as the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture (CRSC), sponsored by the Discovery Institute, a conservative Seattle think tank. Johnson, a [retired UC Berkeley] law professor whose religious conversion catalyzed his anti-evolution efforts, assembled a group of supporters who promote design theory through their writings, financed by CRSC fellowships. According to an early mission statement, the CRSC seeks "nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its damning cultural legacies." The CRSC calls its strategy the "Wedge," because it wants to liberate science from "atheistic naturalism."
Since ID advocates have been unable to convince scientists that their theory has scientific merit, they are relying on political methods to get ID into school curriculums. NPR's Tara Boyle surveys the ID movement's progress in Teaching Evolution: A State-by-State Debate. Anticipating legal battles over the inclusion of ID in school curriculums, the movement published its legal strategy for winning judicial sanction in David DeWolf, Stephen Meyer and Mark Edward DePorrest, Teaching the Origins Controversy: Science, Or Religion, Or Speech? 2000 Utah L. Rev. 39 (Lexis link). For the legal progeny of the Scopes decision, see NPR's Timeline of the Scopes Trial.
But "if you live by politics, you can die by politics," and that, according to the Washington Post is the lesson of last week's Dover PA school board vote. All eight of the board's Republican incumbents were defeated and all of them supported a policy that required teaching ID as an alternative to evolution in ninth-grade biology classes.
Lexis Butterworth Adopts BIALL Code of Ethics for Legal Publishers
Lexis Butterworths is the first publisher to adopt the BIALL ( British & Irish Assoc of Law Libs) new code of ethics for legal publishers. Sean Hocking has the story.
Sean Hocking, publisher of Practice Source, House Of Butter, and Law Librarian News, covers legal publishing and any other developments relating to law libraries in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. He will be posting a monthly feature about legal publishing and law libraries in commonwealth countries for Law Librarian Blog. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that a subscription to Sean's Law Librarian News is a bargain at $75 per year.
Opening: Director of the Kresge Law Library, Notre Dame
Notre Dame Law School invites applications and nominations for the position of Director of the Kresge Law Library. Notre Dame, approved by the ABA and a member of the AALS, currently has 36 tenured or tenure-track faculty and 545 JD students. It also maintains a graduate program in civil and human rights. The library’s local holdings are in excess of 620,000 volumes representing over 200,000 titles; it subscribes to 6,200 unique serial titles and provides its patrons with licenses to all the major legal information aggregators. The Library staff numbers 10 librarians and 13 support staff; the information technology department has a staff of 5.5. The Director will manage a well-supported library with a superior endowment. Additionally, the Law School is in the final fund-raising stages for a major capital expansion. The University has retained architects to design a greatly expanded law school facility with over 75,000 square feet currently allocated to the library.
Responsibilities: The Director of the Library is charged with total management of the library and law school information technology, including budget, facilities, personnel, acquisitions, and delivery of legal information in all formats. It is expected that the candidate will be prepared to maintain and enhance the well-developed panoply of library and information services provided to faculty and students. The Director reports directly to the Dean of the Law School and serves on her administrative team. While all law library operations are independent of the University’s general library, an extremely cordial, collaborative relationship exists between these library units. As the University’s unique repository for legal materials, the law library supports the study and scholarship in law-related disciplines. Additionally, the Director will represent the library nationally and internationally as appropriate for a leadership law school.
Qualifications: An MLS, or equivalent, and a JD from a law school approved by the American Bar Association are required. Significant law library experience at senior administrative levels is anticipated. The successful candidate will have demonstrated a command of all aspects of library leadership. It is expected that candidates will be recognized for outstanding library management and for contributions to the profession. Candidates seeking tenure or tenure-track faculty status must present a record of or demonstrated potential for scholarship, teaching, and service.
Salary & Benefits: Salary will be commensurate with the expected high qualifications. The University’s fringe benefits are extensive. Information about fringe benefits can be found at the University’s web site at http://hr.nd.edu/benefits/index.shtml
General Information: The University of Notre Dame was founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross. The University welcomes people of all faiths while remaining faithful to its Roman Catholic tradition. Located adjacent to South Bend, Indiana, a metropolitan area of approximately 250,000, and 90 miles east of Chicago, Illinois, it features a student body of 8,300 undergraduates and 2,500 graduate students. Its strong residential character has resulted in an alumni base with immense loyalty to one another and the school. With an outstanding student body, a renowned faculty, and superb facilities, the University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top twenty academic institutions.
Application: Nominations or letters of application with a current curriculum vitae and the names of four references should be sent to Professor John Copeland Nagle, Vice Chair, Library Search Committee, Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, IN 46556. The University of Notre Dame is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, veteran status or age in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-administered programs or in employment. The University does conduct criminal background security checks and drug screening as conditions of employment. Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
Ideas, Hofstra Law Review's "Back-to-the-Future" Feature
The Hofstra Law Review has an introduced a new feature called "Ideas." Each "Idea" is a 3-to-10 page essay. Here's a couple of snips from the Introduction:
To some degree, Internet blogs have begun to fill the need for short legal commentary. Blogs can be valuable additions to scholarly discourse, but they have their own drawbacks. They are ephemeral, they sometimes lack academic rigor, and they are easily lost in the vastness of the blogosphere. What is needed is a space for brief, but careful, treatments of legal subjects in a medium that readers can readily find and preserve.
“Ideas” will begin to fill that need. In some ways, the section represents a return to first principles. The earliest student-run law reviews, founded in the late nineteenth century, were relatively informal affairs...
In providing a vehicle for short, stimulating commentary on legal issues, “Ideas” thus has a back-to-the-future quality about it.
Alternative to Bloglet
If you like Bloglet (service that sends you a daily e-mail digest of selected blog posts) but have been disappointed with its spotty performance record lately check out FeedBliz. It performs the same function and has not crashed on me in over a week, can’t say the same for Bloglet recently. Free download is available at: www.feedblitz.com.
Lee F. Peoples, Oklahoma City University Law Library
Editor's Note: All blogs in the Law Professor Blog Network now provide FeedBliz service. Path down the the right sidebar to the News Readers & Feeds section.
November 15, 2005
Alito on Abortion (Again)
The Washington Post is reporting that SCOUTS nominee Samuel Alito to wrote, in a 1985 job application to then-Attorney General Edwin I. Meuse III, that he was "particularly proud" of his contributions to cases in which the Reagan administration had argued before the Supreme Court that "racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion." At the time of the application, Alito to was an assistant in the Office of the Solicitor General. He got the job.
Although we can expect more and more (and more again) "Alito on abortion" reports, the definitive statement was posted here on November 3.
International Legal Research Tutorial
If you are called upon to do any foreign or international legal research or want to know how you must check out the new International Legal Research Tutorial. It is a collaborative project between Duke University School of Law and University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. The individuals behind this project, Marci Hoffman at U.C. Berkeley and Katherine Topulos at Duke, are leading experts in the fields of foreign and international legal research.
For those of us who teach foreign and international legal research this tutorial is a godsend. I am planning my course for the Spring and will be incorporating this tutorial into many sections of the class. It includes a question and answer section similar to a CALI lesson that students can work through. At the end of the guide is a list of essential sources for FCIL research. Way to go Marci and Katherine!
Lee F. Peoples, Oklahoma City University Law Library
A Quick Look at Wex
Wex is a collaboratively-edited legal dictionary and encyclopedia. It is intended for the general public and law students. The site is sponsored and hosted by LII at Cornell Law School. Much of the material that appears in Wex was originally developed for the LII's "Law about..." pages. See Wex's FAQ.
At first glance one thinks "wiki" but unlike, the usual wiki, Wex requires qualified contributors. If you are interested in contributing to Wex, see editorial contributions.
Kudos to the folks at LII. This is a fantastic venture and with almost 300 pages of content online, Wex is off to a great start. Over time, I'm confident Wex will be one of the premier web destinations for general legal information. See a list of existing pages.