December 31, 2005
Happy New Year!
Sing along from this link.
Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne
Just in case you really had a need to know, this is the final year the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball will be lit with traditional bulbs. Next year will mark the debut of LED lighing provided by Royal Philips Electronics.
December 30, 2005
2005 White Collar Crime Awards
In the finest end-of-the-year tradition of various media outlets, Ellen Podgor and Peter Henning, editors of our sister blog, White Collar Crime Prof Blog, have decided to "honor individuals and organizations for their work this year in the white collar crime arena by bestowing 'The Collar' on those who deserve our praise, scorn, acknowledgment, blessing, curse, or whatever else you can think of that would be appropriate." Read all about it!
Yahoo! Answers (beta) is a web space where people ask each other questions on any topic, and get answers by sharing facts, opinions, and personal experiences. In other words, it's one really big bulletin board. See also Yahoo Answers Blog
Hum ... why not.
What Do Librarians and Crystal Meth Users Have in Common?
The Patriot Act, of course.
In the Hanover Eagle, voices of reason, public librarians, speak about requiring a subpoena before releasing patron information. Sensible but out of step with the times.
Meanwhile, one opportunistic law enforcer, the Saline County (Arkansas) Sheriff Phil Mask, favors making the Patriot Act permanent because it's a useful tool to bust meth. If not, Sheriff Mask is quoted as saying "I think its gonna hinder us from doing the things we need to do…not only from terrorism, but for fighting this war on methamphetamine." Overreaching but in step with the times.
2005 Press Plagiarist of the Year
Several UK bloggers created the Press Plagiarist of the Year award after seeing their posts lifted from their blogs and republished without credit. And the winner is...
December 29, 2005
Before Monitoring Everyone Using Data-Mining Technology File Report with Congress
In The Curious Section 126 of the Patriot Act, William Arkin, blogging for the Washington Post, calls attention to the data mining notice requirements of Section 126 of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act Of 2005. Section 126 requires the DOJ to report to Congress "on any initiative of the Department of Justice that uses or is intended to develop pattern-based data-mining technology."
New Legal Scholarship Network Journals on SSRN
Here are two recent additions to the Legal Scholarship Network on SSRN:
1. Law & Positive Political Theory Abstracts
Law & Positive Political Theory Abstracts is edited by Emerson H. Tiller, Professor of Law at Northwestern University, and Barry R. Weingast, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University.
Law & Positive Political Theory Abstracts provides a forum for the distribution of both completed works and works in progress on theoretical and empirical analyses of law and political institutions. The journal's scope is twofold. First, it covers areas of public decision making as they pertain to law: the production of legislation by Congress and the president, the interaction of the branches as it pertains to the courts, law and regulation.
Second, it encompasses the design of legal and regulatory institutions, how these institutions compete with each other for policy, and how individual actors within these institutions (e.g.,
judges, legislators, regulators) manipulate, or are constrained by, legal-institutional rules in their pursuit of legal and policy outcomes. Contributions from legal scholars, political scientists, and political economists are invited.
Subscriptions to this journal are available at no additional charge to anyone who is covered by a site license or has an individual subscription to the LSN journals, and are free to anyone during the initial period of publication. You can subscribe to the journal by clicking on the following link: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=law-positive-political-theory
This URL will let you browse all abstracts and papers in this journal: http://www.ssrn.com/link/law-positive-political-theory.html
2. Indigenous Nations & Peoples Law
Indigenous Nations and Peoples Law is sponsored by the Center for Indigenous Law, Governance & Citizenship at Syracuse University College of Law. It is edited by Carrie E. Garrow, Executive Director, Center for Indigenous Law, Governance & Citizenship, Syracuse University College of Law, Professor Robert Odawi Porter, Syracuse University College of Law & Kevin Maillard, Assistant Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law.
Subscriptions to this journal are free. You can subscribe to the journal by clicking on the following link: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=indigenous-nations-peoples
This URL will let you browse all abstracts and papers in this journal: http://www.ssrn.com/link/indigenous-nations-peoples.html
About the Journal: The Indigenous Nations and Peoples Journal is an interdisciplinary journal that examines legal and policy issues associated with Indigenous nations and peoples throughout the world.
The Journal focuses on four primary areas:
1. The internal law and governance of Indigenous nations and tribal societies;
2. The law and policy of colonizing nation-states towards Indigenous peoples within their borders;
3. International law affecting the rights of Indigenous peoples; and
4. The sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous nations and peoples.
CBO's Cost Analysis for the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act (S. 852)
December 28, 2005
"One L" is Fiction, "Why Law" Is Not
Why Law is a chronicle of one law student's journey... Here are a couple of excerpts, starting with the blog's first post:
June 15, 2004: It Begins
Technically, "it" began a couple of years ago when I decided that this law school thing may just be the "right thing" for me. I read the books (Law School Confidential, One L, etc.) and still I thought that yes, this is good. This is a Good Decision.
August 31, 2005: Now a 1L
I had this crazy fever for about 12 days, and it continued through orientation, the intense weekend of reading and the first day or so of class. I was frustrated, exhausted and just not wanting to "do this." I was seriously questioning my decision to go to law school, my ability to balance my health and law school, and my desire to be at law school at all.
November 1, 2005:
I have almost quit law school 1,715 times in the last 2 months. Each time I decided to stay I told myself if I could just make it to November everything would be okay. Well, here it is November 1 and I'm still here, so I guess everything is going to be okay.
November 23, 2005: That's It
So, I've left law school
Ag and Food Law CRS Reports Now Readily Available
The National Agricultural Law Center is making available Congressional Research Service reports involving current agricultural and food law and policy issues. Check out the well organized resource page.
Pentagon's Nationbuilding 101
Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations (Published November 28, 2005)(pdf). This Department of Defense Directive instructs the US military, in military missions, to give as much attention to post-conflict stability issues as to combat. It is the outcome of criticism that the US military was ill-prepared to provide the needed security, resources, and people to start the process of rebuilding political, judicial, and economic institutions in Iraq.
See also the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force Report: In the Wake of War: Improving U.S. Post-Conflict Capabilities (Chair: Samuel R. Berger, The Honorable Brent Scowcroft)(pdf)
December 27, 2005
New GlobaLex Articles
Articles published in December 2005:
Researching International Marine Environmental Law by Arundhati Ashok Satkalmi
A Guide to Legal Research in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Mirela Rožajac
Swedish Law on the Internet by Ingrid Kabir
Alito and Wiretapping of American Citizens
From documents released by the National Archives comes the revealation that while serving as an assistant to the solicitor general, SCOTUS nominee Samuel Alito wrote a memo defending the right of government officials to order domestic wiretaps for national security.
The story made the front page of the Dec. 23rd issue Washington Post see Alito Urged Wiretap Immunity (law enforcement official deserves blanket protection from lawsuits when acting in the name of national security, even when those actions involve the illegal wiretapping of American citizens). See also the Washington Post article titled Alito Defended Ordering Domestic Wiretaps
OCLC's Survey on the Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources
OCLC's Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005) summarizes findings of an international study on information-seeking habits and preferences. The findings indicate that information consumers view libraries as places to borrow print books, but they are unaware of the rich electronic content they can access through libraries. Even though information consumers make limited use of these resources, they continue to trust libraries as reliable sources of information.
Job Opening: Reference and Education Services Librarian, Tennessee
The Joel A. Katz Law Library at the University of Tennessee is seeking a Reference and Education Services Librarian. Under the general direction of the Head of Public Services, the Reference and Education Services Librarian provides in-depth reference services; develops, oversees, and teaches the first year Legal Research program; teaches topical legal research workshops; assists with the supervision and training of student reference workers; creates legal bibliographic materials; participates in library orientation and liaison programs and in library planning and governance; manages the Public Services Department in the absence of the Department Head; and performs other duties that enhance the mission of the Law Library and the College of Law. Some weekend and evening hours may be required.
This is a 12-month, tenure track faculty appointment. Scholarly research, publication, and service to the library, College of Law, university, and profession are required for promotion and tenure.
A Juris Doctor degree from an ABA-accredited law school, a Master of Library Science degree from an ALA-accredited library school, and significant experience in academic law library reference and legal research teaching are required prior to appointment. The successful candidate will demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills, interest in professional and scholarly development, and a high level of self-motivation.
Salary range starts at $48,000 with an excellent benefits package. This position is available immediately. Applications should be submitted by February 1, 2006.
Send letter of application with résumé to: William J. Beintema, Director of the Law Library and Associate Professor of Law, Joel A. Katz Law Library, University of Tennessee, 1505 West Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1800 or via email attachment to: William J. Beintema.
The University of Tennessee does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or veteran status in provision of educational programs and services or employment opportunities and benefits. This policy extends to both employment by and admission to the University.
The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex or disability in its education programs and activities pursuant to the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Inquiries and charges of violation concerning Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, ADA or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) or any of the other above referenced policies should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996-3560, telephone (865) 974-2498 (V/TTY available) or 974-2440. Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the UTK Office of Human Resources, 600 Henley Street, Knoxville, TN 37996-4125.
December 26, 2005
Review of Course Management Systems
Caught in (or on) the Web: A Review of Course Management Systems for Legal Education
Joan MacLeod Heminway
University of Tennessee, Knoxville - College of Law
Like other teaching innovations, course management software has been somewhat slow to take hold in legal education. Yet, as law teachers, we cannot deny that our current students are children of a technological age that centers on electronic communication. Although there is a lack of empirical evidence strongly supporting the pedagogic case for the use of technology in law teaching, some of us in the law academy have ventured forth with the use of teaching technologies on the theory that the current demographics of the law student population demand our interaction with students on this basis.
Course management systems are an easy way to bridge the technological gap between law teachers and law students without forcing law teachers to irrevocably alter the material they teach and the way in which they teach it. In that spirit, this article describes the way in which I have implemented Web-based course management in my law school course offerings and sets forth my perspectives on that experience. The article adds to existing literature by offering primary experiential observations that should be useful to others in law teaching - especially those who may not be familiar with course management systems are.
Who Does John Call?
Two interesting snips from an interview with John Batelle,Wired magazine co-founder and author of "The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture"(2005).
Search is one of the hardest computer science problems in the world, because basically we are trying to create artificial intelligence so that we can speak with our computer, they can understand us and deliver what we are looking for. That is equivalent to turning your computer into a very intelligent research librarian, which of course is the holy grail of computer science, to create artificial intelligence.
There's lots of things I haven't found on the Web that I've been looking for, so when that that happens is I pick up the phone and call a person and then they just tell me one thing and I go back and do the search and there it is. Whether it's just you know the name of an obscure regulation, or whatever it is, or perhaps I just don't know how to ask the right question. I think the hardest thing in the world is how to ask the right question, it is not how to find the answer it is how to ask the right question.
Several Noteworthy New Articles from SSRN
Yale University - Law School
Yale Law Journal, Vol. 115, pp. 628-79, 2005
The first work to explore the "mosaic theory" in detail, this Note documents the theory's evolution in FOIA national security law and highlights its centrality in the post-9/11 landscape of information control. After years of doctrinal stasis and practical anonymity, federal agencies began asserting the theory more aggressively after 9/11, thereby testing the limits of executive secrecy and of judicial deference. Though essentially valid, the mosaic theory has been applied in ways that are unfalsifiable, in tension with the text and purpose of FOIA, and susceptible to abuse and overbreadth. This Note therefore argues, against precedent, for greater judicial scrutiny of mosaic claims.
Oxford University; Harvard Law School
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.
Harvard University - Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2005-08
The men who framed the U.S. Constitution had inherited from the past several ways of thinking about cultural creations. The dominant metaphor in England for many years had compared creative work to the harvest of a landed estate. (“His Brain, which was his Estate, had as regular and different Produce as other Men's Land,” wrote Joseph Addison of an author friend.) The estate metaphor was bounded by two others, however: commonwealth and monopoly. For some, the fruits of creativity should be “common stock,” as free and general as air or water, and therefore the estate in question should not be a private holding but more like the old agricultural commons. For others, private estates were fine, but no one should monopolize their fruits. Copyright and patent were understood to be monopolies, and unchecked monopolies were understood as social evils.
Such was the discursive field available to men like Madison, Jefferson, and Adams. The latter part of the essay argues that the Founders resolved the tension between commonwealth and monopoly though a civic republican model that allowed for private ownership so long as intellectual property was not held in perpetuity but given, after a short time, to the public. The Constitutional proposition, therefore, is that intellectual property should ultimately be a republican estate, an intangible equivalent of tangible res publicae (roads, bridge, harbors), or of the Republic itself.
The Measure of a Justice: Justice Scalia and the Faltering of the Property Rights Movement within the U.S. Supreme Court
RICHARD JAMES LAZARUS
Georgetown University Law Center
Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 57, No. 4, Winter 2006
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 847666
This article takes the measure of Justice Scalia's ability to produce significant opinions for the Court, by focusing on the Court's property rights cases during the past several decades. Much of the analysis relies on the Official Papers of Justice Harry Blackmun, which provide a virtual treasure trove of information revealing the Court's deliberative process when Blackmun was on the Court from 1971 to 1994. The article concludes that Justice Scalia may have appeared an effective champion of pro-property rights rhetoric to those outside the Court, but he has been much less effective within the Court in furthering that agenda. He not only repeatedly failed in his efforts to build a workable majority coalition on the Court, but he instead pushed away potential allies. The upshot was, in the first instance, precedent heavy on strong rhetoric yet light on staying power. In combination with other causes, the ultimate result was a splintering of those Justices, which included more than a simple majority, intuitively sympathetic to property rights claims and the reconstruction of a new majority more often led by Justice John Paul Stevens that returned the law to where it had been prior to Justice Scalia's joining the Court.
December 25, 2005
Merry Christmas from the Andrews Sisters
Listen to "Jing-A-Ling, Jing-A-Ling" in RealAudio.