June 10, 2006
DoD Report on Military Power of the People's Republic of China
From the Department of Defense:
"This report, submitted in response to the FY2000 National Defense Authorization Act, addresses (1) China’s grand strategy, security strategy, and military strategy; (2) developments in China’s military doctrine and force structure, to include developments in advanced technologies which would enhance China’s military capabilities; and, (3) the security situation in the Taiwan Strait."
SSRN's International Law & Trade Splits into Two Abstracting Journals
SSRN's Legal Scholarship Network is expanding its email abstracting journal, International Law & Trade, by creating two separate child journals: International Economic Law and Public International Law. SSRN explains that this expansion responds to the growing number of abstracts that being received in this subject area. If you are currently a subscriber to International Law & Trade, you will automatically receive all journals without additional charge for the period of your current subscription.
International Economic Law will publish abstracts on the general subjects of international trade, investment, monetary affairs, international business transactions, and related subjects. Subtopics will include WTO law, regional economic arrangements, investment,dispute resolution, and other issues in international economic law.
- To subscribe: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=international-economic-law
- To view papers: http://www.ssrn.com/link/international-economic-law.html
Public International Law will publish abstracts on all aspects of public international law, except those that fall clearly within the purview of its companion journal, International Economic Law. Subtopics will include treaties and other sources of international law, international courts and adjudication, international organizations, and other issues in public international law.
- To subscribe: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=public-international-law
- To view papers: http://www.ssrn.com/link/public-international-law.html
Both International Economic Law and Public International Law are edited by Alan Sykes, Professor of Law, University of Chicago School of Law.
June 9, 2006
A Quick Look at Congresspedia
From the About Page:
Congresspedia is a collaboratively written "citizens' encyclopedia on Congress," designed to shine more light on the workings of the U.S. Congress. Congresspedia is part of SourceWatch, a similarly collaborative, wiki-based website documenting the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda. Congresspedia is a wiki, meaning that anyone, including you, can edit any article right now by clicking on the edit this page link that appears in every article in Congresspedia. As more and more people contribute to Congresspedia, the articles improve in quality and quantity.
If you're new to Congresspedia, a good place to start may be looking up your own members of Congress and reading up on them. You can also check out the Editor's Blog (http://prwatch.org/blog/2307) to find out what's new or, once you're comfortable with the format, begin contributing. You can also click on Congresspedia Help at any time on the navigation bar to your left or use the handy Congresspedia Help box on the right to explore deeper.
Hat tip to Robert Ambrogi. [JH]
Georgia K. Briscoe (Colorado) Receives the Renee D. Chapman Memorial Award
From the AALL press release:
The Awards Committee of the Technical Services SIS is pleased to announce that this year’s winner of the Renee D. Chapman Award for Outstanding Contributions in Technical Services Law Librarianship is Georgia Briscoe.
Georgia is Associate Director and Head of Technical Services at the University of Colorado’s Boulder Law Library. She has also taken an active role in AALL and the Technical Services SIS.
The award will be presented at the 5:30 p.m. Technical Services SIS business meeting at the AALL annual meeting, July 9, 2006. Please join with the SIS in honoring Georgia Briscoe for her leadership and commitment to technical services librarianship.
Steve Hinckley Chosen to Lead Penn State University's Dickinson Law Library
Steven D. Hinckley has accepted a position as Associate Dean for Library and Information Services and Director of the Law Library at Penn State University's Dickinson School of Law. According to the announcment Steve will be developing and managing the library’s organizational framework as the Law School moves forward with the University's $110 million investment in new, pervasively interconnected facilities in Carlisle and University Park, PA.
Steve joins Penn State Dickinson from the University of South Carolina School of Law where he was the Associate Dean for Library and Information Technology and Professor of Law. Before serving at the University of South Carolina, Steve directed the library and technology programs at the George Mason University School of Law and the University of Richmond School of Law, and served as Associate Librarian for Public Services at the Georgetown University Law Center, an Assistant Reference Librarian at the Library of Congress Law Library, and the Evening Head of Circulation at the University of Toledo College of Law.
Dean Hinckley has been actively involved in law librarianship on both national and regional levels, having served on numerous committees and having been elected as President of two American Association of Law Libraries Chapters (the Virginia Association of Law Libraries in 1988-89 and the Southeastern Association of Law Libraries in 1999-00).
AI's Annual Report on Human Rights
Amnesty International has released its Annual Report on Global Status of Human Rights: Report 2006: World's poor and disadvantaged pay price of war on terror [RJ]
60 Sites in 60 Minutes
Here is the list of the 60 websites from the 60 Sites in 60 Minutes presentation given at this year's ABA Techshow by Robert Ambrogi, Jim Calloway and Natalie Kelly. [JH]
New Study Finds Low Gasoline Inventories Unreasonably Driving Up Pump Prices
"A new report points to deliberately low refinery inventories as the chief reason for the longer, higher gasoline price spikes in the West, leaving the region vulnerable to disaster-level shortages in the event of refinery outages."
Read the rest of the report.
June 8, 2006
American Lawyer's Top Law Blogs
In the June 1 edition of the American Lawyer, The Law Professor as Public Intellectual, our Law Professor Blogs Network and our sister blog, Sentencing Law & Policy by Douglas Berman (OSU), were listed as popular legal blog destinations. Kudos to all.
See also Blawgs on a Roll Legal reporting is sometimes decried as boring and inaccurate. But a band of savvy law professors have changed all that, American Lawyer (June 1, 2006). [JH]
Protesting BSL Legislation: This Video Will Break Your Heart
Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is spreading like a cancer from one community to the next. Denver, Miami and the Canadian province of Ontario are forcing residents to hand over their beloved and innocent family members for unjustified euthanasia, else they must move from their homes...or stay to become criminals to protect the ones they love. Oklahoma, California, and other locales are currently considering similar breed specific bans and/or discrimination. In response, guardians of Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Chows, and more, have posted their feelings to the website, www.sorryagain.com, in protest of the slaughter of innocent dogs and the unconstitutional laws destroying their families. [JH]
Professional Reading: A Default-Logic Paradigm for Legal Reasoning and Factfinding
Vern R. Walker, A Default-Logic Paradigm for Legal Reasoning and Factfinding (June 2, 2006) (bepress Legal Repository)
Abstract: Unlike research in linguistics and artificial intelligence, legal research has not used advances in logical theory very effectively. This article uses default logic to develop a paradigm for analyzing all aspects of legal reasoning, including factfinding. The article provides a formal model that integrates legal rules and policies with the evaluation of both expert and non-expert evidence – whether the reasoning occurs in courts or administrative agencies, and whether in domestic, foreign, or international legal systems. This paradigm can standardize the representation of legal reasoning, guide empirical research into the dynamics of such reasoning, and put the representations and research results to immediate use through artificial intelligence software. This new model therefore has the potential to transform legal practice and legal education, as well as legal theory.
Unlike research in linguistics and artificial intelligence, legal research has not used advances in logical theory very effectively. This article uses default logic to develop a paradigm for analyzing all aspects of legal reasoning, including factfinding. The article provides a formal model that integrates legal rules and policies with the evaluation of both expert and non-expert evidence – whether the reasoning occurs in courts or administrative agencies, and whether in domestic, foreign, or international legal systems. This paradigm can standardize the representation of legal reasoning, guide empirical research into the dynamics of such reasoning, and put the representations and research results to immediate use through artificial intelligence software. This new model therefore has the potential to transform legal practice and legal education, as well as legal theory.
U.S. - Israeli Foreign Policy Studies
The Saban Center for Middle East Policy has released several reports examining many aspects of the U.S.-Israeli relationship:
- Dual Dilemmas: U.S. Policy Options for the Israeli-Palestinian Predicament
- Devising A New Strategy For Resolving The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
- Israel After the Elections
- Seeing Hamas Through Different Lenses
- Democracy Means Difficult Choices
- Palestinian Elections
Opening: Catalog Librarian (South Carolina)
The Coleman Karesh Law Library of the University of South Carolina School of Law is seeking friendly, detail-oriented, and customer service-focused individual for the position of Catalog Librarian.
Job Duties: The Catalog Librarian will manage all aspects of the library’s cataloging operations, including supervision of one full-time paraprofessional. S/he will manage all original and copy cataloging. Specific duties will include: original and copy cataloging, including creation and revision of bibliographic records, authority work as necessary, and management of recataloging and reclassification projects. The successful candidate will lead and facilitate continuous improvement of cataloging functions; develop and update procedures, workflow, and policies; ensure data integrity of catalog and other integrated library system modules; other duties and special projects as assigned. Reports to the Associate Dean for Libraries and Information Technology.
Qualifications - Required: M.L.S. from an ALA-accredited institution with 3-4 years of cataloging/technical services professional experience; experience with OCLC; knowledge of MARC, AACR2R, LCSH, LC classification system and standard authority control procedures; significant experience with integrated library systems; excellent project management skills; strong organization skills with meticulous attention to detail; excellent communication and interpersonal skills; creativity and an ability to think outside the box; demonstrated ability to work cooperatively with all library users and staff, in a friendly, courteous, and professional fashion.
Preferred: familiarity with legal materials; experience with Millennium; demonstrated proficiency in standard PC applications and ability to quickly learn new technologies; reading knowledge of a Western European language.
Compensation: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. The University of South Carolina offers a competitive benefits package. This is a tenure track position.
Available: July 1, 2006. Consideration of applicants will begin immediately.
To apply, submit a current resume and three references via the USC Human Resources website: http://hr.sc.edu/employ.html .
The University of South Carolina is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
June 7, 2006
"How's My Driving?" for Everyone (and Everything?)
Lior Strahilevitz (Chicago) has posted 'How's My Driving?' for Everyone (and Everything?) on SSRN. Here's the abstract for this interesting (and scary) article:
This is a paper about using reputation tracking technologies to displace criminal law enforcement and improve the tort system. The paper contains an extended application of this idea to the regulation of motorist behavior in the United States and examines the broader case for using technologies that aggregate dispersed information in various settings where reputational concerns do not adequately deter antisocial behavior.
The paper begins by exploring the existing data on “How’s My Driving?” programs for commercial fleets. Although more rigorous study is warranted, the initial data is quite promising, suggesting that the use of “How’s My Driving?” placards in commercial trucks is associated with fleet accident reductions ranging from 20% to 53%. The paper then proposes that all vehicles on American roadways be fitted with “How’s My Driving?” placards so as to collect some of the millions of daily stranger-on-stranger driving observations that presently go to waste. By delegating traffic regulation to the motorists themselves, the state might free up substantial law enforcement resources, police more effectively dangerous and annoying forms of driver misconduct that are rarely punished, reduce information asymmetries in the insurance market, improve the tort system, and alleviate road rage and driver frustration by providing drivers with opportunities to engage in measured expressions of displeasure.
The paper addresses obvious objections to the displacement of criminal traffic enforcement with a system of “How’s My Driving?”-based civil fines. Namely, it suggests that by using the sorts of feedback algorithms that eBay and other reputation tracking systems have employed, the problems associated with false and malicious feedback can be ameliorated. Indeed, the false feedback problem presently appears more soluble in the driving context than it is on eBay. Driver distraction is another potential pitfall, but available technologies can address this problem, and the implementation of a “How’s My Driving?” for Everyone system likely would reduce the substantial driver distraction that already results from driver frustration and rubbernecking. The paper also addresses the privacy and due process implications of the proposed regime. It concludes by examining various non-driving applications of feedback technologies to help regulate the conduct of soldiers, police officers, hotel guests, and participants in virtual worlds, among others.
Website Reviews Published in Cornell Law Library's InSITE
The June 5, 2006 issue of InSITE reviewed the following websites:
- Global Legal Monitor
- IRCT: International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims
- Justice and Reconciliation Project
- NASAA: North American Securities Administrators Association
Text of reviews
Eldis is an information service of the Institute of Development Studies, a research and teaching organization devoted to international development. Founded in 1966, the Institute offers research programs, postgraduate courses, and various web-based knowledge services, including Eldis. Designed for researchers, development practitioners, and policy-makers, Eldis aims to “support the documentation, exchange and use of evidence-based development knowledge” and to communicate this knowledge via the Internet. The Eldis database includes more than 18,000 documents, which are available for download without charge. Documents cover a broad range of topics including biodiversity, health systems, and poverty. The database is keyword searchable; as well, material may be accessed by topic or country. The Eldis Resource Guides allow users to access documents by topic while cross-referencing to non-Eldis materials including journals, databases, and websites. The Eldis Country Profiles arrange documents by country and provide links to relevant key web sources. Users may subscribe to e-mail newsletters; in addition, an RSS feed is offered. [MM]
Global Legal Monitor
The Global Legal Monitor, launched in May 2006, is a PDF-based publication of the Law Library of Congress, intended for those who have an interest in maintaining awareness of global legal developments. The Monitor pulls data from the Library of Congress' Global Legal Information Network database, as well as official national legal publications and reliable press sources. Topics covered in this newsletter include, among others, "Election/Campaign Law," "Environmental Law," "Foreign Trade and Trade Regulation," "Health Law and Regulation," "Immigration and Nationality Law," and "Terrorism." Over 60 countries and international organizations are represented in the Monitor. The Table of Contents is easy to browse and navigate, and is arranged by topic then country(ies) of origin. Each individual annotation and news item, which runs from one to three paragraphs, is credited with an original author and source. [BWK]
IRCT: International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims
The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), based in Denmark, “is an independent, international health professional organisation that promotes and supports the rehabilitation of torture victims and works for the prevention of torture worldwide.” The website provides general information about their network of rehabilitation centers, projects, and events. Of particular note to researchers is the RCT Documentation Centre (DC), a collection of over 40,000 items covering all aspects of torture, torture prevention, and rehabilitation of torture victims. The DC is searchable online and the DC staff will freely assist anyone, including governments, lawyers, and students, in finding and obtaining desired material. Also available from the IRCT website is the TORTURE Journal, a multidisciplinary forum discussing biomedical, psychological, and social aspects of torture. Finally, a document of potential interest for attorneys representing torture victims is the “Legal Investigations of Torture Allegations: A Practical Guide to the Istanbul Protocol For Lawyers,” available in both English and Spanish. The entire site is keyword searchable. [JJ]
Justice and Reconciliation Project
Founded in California in 2001, the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the lives of those harmed by crime by promoting forgiveness and reconciliation between crime victims and offenders, and by supporting restorative justice policies in the legal system. The Project’s “Activities” section details the organization’s projects and campaigns, such as the “Victims' Voices Project,” “In-Prison Projects,” “Violence Prevention,” “Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases,” and “Rwanda 1994 Genocide.” The organization also offers an online magazine, JRP Online Magazine, available in HTML. Visitors to the site can also read about the organization’s media buzz in the “Media Coverage” section. The site is searchable. [BWK]
NASAA: North American Securities Administrators Association
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), founded in 1919, “is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection.” NASAA membership includes securities administrators from the 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Canada. Member administrators are involved in licensing firms, investigating violations and enforcing state law, and educating the public about fraud. Website content, much of which is devoted to investor education, is organized into several components. The Issues & Answers section explains NASAA’s legislative, regulatory, and enforcement activity and includes links to letters, testimony, and full-text reports. Of particular interest to legal researchers is the Industry & Regulatory Resources section. Various sub-sections covering broker-dealers, corporation finance, and investment advisers include links to model rules. There is a very helpful directory of securities laws and regulations organized by American state and Canadian province, which links to relevant state and provincial web pages. For sample forms, users should consult the Uniform Forms section, which provides the Uniform Application to Register Securities and a Uniform Surety Bond, among others. [MM]
InSITE contributors: Julie Jones, Research Attorney, Brandy Kreisler, J.D., M.L.S., Matt Morrison, Research Attorney, Jean Pajerek (editor), Head of Technical Services & Information Management, all current or former members of the professional staff at Cornell Law Library.
About InSITE: InSITE highlights selected law-related Web sites in two ways: as an annotated publication issued electronically and in print; and, as a keyword-searchable database. The law librarians at Cornell evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them.
Digital versions of this information can be accessed via:
1. Searchable database or by browsing current and archived issues on the web: Click InSITE at www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
2. E-mail subscription. Send the following request: SUBSCRIBE InSITE-L <YourFirstName> <YourLastName> to: email@example.com
3. Readers can subscribe to the new InSITE RSS feed at http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/RESOURCES/insite.htm
The contents of InSITE and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University. InSITE is copyright protected by Cornell Law Library, © 2006 Cornell Law Library. Permission to republish InSITE issues on Law Librarian Blog has been granted. For permissions, contact Jean M. Pajerek [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Cornell Law Library URL: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
In Pursuit of Happiness (Again and Again)
Stumbling on Happiness
by Daniel Gilbert
List Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Knopf (May 2, 2006)
From Malcolm Gladwell's review: Stumbling on Happiness is a book about a very simple but powerful idea. What distinguishes us as human beings from other animals is our ability to predict the future--or rather, our interest in predicting the future. We spend a great deal of our waking life imagining what it would be like to be this way or that way, or to do this or that, or taste or buy or experience some state or feeling or thing. We do that for good reasons: it is what allows us to shape our life. And it is by trying to exert some control over our futures that we attempt to be happy. But by any objective measure, we are really bad at that predictive function. We're terrible at knowing how we will feel a day or a month or year from now, and even worse at knowing what will and will not bring us that cherished happiness. [Harvard professor] Gilbert sets out to figure what that's so: why we are so terrible at something that would seem to be so extraordinarily important?
File under "Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." [JH]
Steinman's The Irrepressible Myth of Celotex: Reconsidering Summary Judgment Burdens Twenty Years after the Trilogy
Cincinnati Law Prof Adam Steinman has posted The Irrepressible Myth of Celotex: Reconsidering Summary Judgment Burdens Twenty Years after the Trilogy on SSRN Here is the abstract:
Twenty years ago, the Supreme Court decided a trilogy of cases on summary judgment. These cases have had a profound impact on federal litigation. Empirical data presented in this article demonstrate that federal courts have cited these three cases more than any Supreme Court decisions in history. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett is widely recognized as the most significant decision of the trilogy, both because it expanded the availability of summary judgment and because it remains the Court's most current instructions on how burdens are allocated between the party seeking and the party opposing summary judgment. However, Celotex failed to clarify many important aspects of summary judgment procedure, leading to competing myths within both the academy and the judiciary.
The prevailing myths of Celotex are based principally on scholars' and judges' own views about how summary judgment procedure ought to operate in the federal system. This article takes a more traditional approach that is long overdue in this area: treating Celotex as an object of interpretation rather than an empty vessel for achieving policy preferences. Using basic interpretive values - consistency with prior decisions, consistency with governing textual sources, and internal coherence - this article challenges the current myths and offers a fresh interpretation of Celotex that cogently resolves that case's many ambiguities. The resulting approach to summary judgment would provide a sensible middle ground between the two dominant views of Celotex.
A Beginner's Guide to Podcasting
- A Beginner's Guide to Podcasting: Part 1 - A Consumer's Guide
- A Beginner's Guide to Podcasting: Part 2 - A Creator's Guide
The Institute seeks to remove "some of the mystery surrounding podcasting and demonstrate the importance of this new media distribution model to libraries and librarians in meeting the information needs of your patrons."
See also the Institute's archive of library-related seminars. [RJ]
Opening: Reference Librarian, UCLA
The Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library, UCLA School of Law, is seeking candidates for the Reference Librarian position.
Under the general direction of the Director, Reference and Research Services, Law Library Reference Librarians provide a very high level of in-depth reference and research assistance to the UCLA Law faculty. This level of commitment offers the librarian an opportunity to work closely with a number of different faculty members. Reference Librarians also participate as supervisors in the library's faculty research assistant program to help monitor faculty projects and provide guidance and expertise to students.
In addition to supporting law faculty in their research, Reference Librarians also participate directly in the delivery of services to other law library users. This includes providing reference desk services, actively participating in the teaching of legal research classes, including Advanced Legal Research, periodic teaching of Legal Information Resources for the Information Studies graduate students as well as online training and other workshops and classes given throughout the year. Reference Librarians are also expected to contribute to preparing instructional materials and exercises for these classes and other written materials to help facilitate the use of the Library and encourage the utilization of available resources, conducting library orientation programs, and preparing and editing research guides. Reference Librarians normally staff the reference desk one evening per week and on occasional Saturdays. Reference Librarians may be assigned an area of concentration that varies according to library needs and the Librarian's individual talents and interests.
Members of the public services staff, professional and paraprofessional, work in a team setting to provide this high level of service. Support offered to the librarian in meeting these high expectations includes on-demand photocopying and document delivery services, technical support (i.e., computer and online), generous funding for professional development, and, most important, very supportive colleagues.
ALA-accredited master's degree in library and information science and J.D. required. Relevant work experience in an academic law library OR professional legal experience required. Other substantial, related experience, degrees, or skills will be considered. Demonstrated competence in delivering legal research services and knowledge of legal bibliography and scholarly research.
Firm commitment to law librarianship and to a high level of service for faculty and students in a demanding academic environment. Demonstrated ability to contribute to making the library hospitable and responsive to the needs of the Law School community, including excellent interpersonal, communication, problem-solving and mediation skills and the ability to work effectively with library colleagues, faculty, students and library patrons. Ability to lecture effectively, teach in large and small group settings, provide individualized instruction, participate in curriculum development, and use a wide range of educational technologies inside and outside of the classroom. Ability to quickly teach oneself new technologies, to create necessary documentation and other training tools, and then teach the technologies to a wide range of constituents. Demonstrated interest and proficiency in computer applications for legal research and ability to contribute to the development of web pages, online tutorials, and other digital learning mechanisms that educate students about library resources and services and support faculty who are increasingly incorporating electronic methods and aids in their teaching and research.
Ability to respond effectively to changing needs and priorities. Interest in and willingness to meet the criteria of and to participate in UCLA's peer review processes for the advancement of those appointed to the Librarian series at UC.
Candidates applying by June 30, 2006 will be given first consideration. Anyone wishing to be considered for this position should apply to Cynthia Lewis, Acting Law Librarian, UCLA, Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library, 1106 Law Building, Box 951458, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1458. Email applications encouraged - send to email@example.com.
For full information on required qualifications, for the full posting, or for application procedures, please see: http://www2.library.ucla.edu/about/2188.cfm
June 6, 2006
Income Tax Provisions in Senate's Immigration Reform Package Hits Constitutional Roadblock
The Constitution gives the House sole authority to originate bills that include revenue measures and it allows any House member to object if a Senate bill does so. According to published reports the House Ways and Means Committee plans to use its constitutional power to block further consideration of the Senate bill.
Hat tip to Bill Hing at our sister blog, ImmigrationProf Blog.