August 19, 2006
Flirting with Disaster: The Inherent Problems with FEMA
"Effective disaster relief efforts have to overcome the problems of bureaucracy, coordination, and adverse incentives. Nonfederal relief suppliers— particularly those in the private sector—are able to overcome those problems. FEMA—a top-heavy bureaucracy that cannot effectively allocate relief resources and subjects its decision makers to all the wrong sorts of incentives—suffers an inherent and unique inability to solve those problems.”
Emory To Bring Slave Trade Database to the Web
Emory University scholars have been awarded grants to make accessible and free on the Internet a database of the voyages of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Read more about this important project. [JH]
August 18, 2006
Class Action Claims St. Thomas Univ School of Law, Miami, Expelled Students with Low GPAs to Boost Bar Passage Rates
The National Law Journal reports that the complaint specifically alleges that Franklyn Casale, who is the university's president, Robert Butterworth, the law school's dean, and other administrators violated federal anti-racketeering laws by devising a scheme to intentionally dismiss students who were in the bottom 25% of their class in order to improve the law school's bar exam pass rate. Also named as a defendant in the lawsuit is the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. The action asserts that the ABA failed to adequately oversee the school by not detecting the alleged scheme and by not taking the steps necessary to make sure the school was meeting its standards.
According to the NLJ report the associate dean for student and alumni services at St. Thomas law school called the lawsuit "illogical."
From the Princeton Review's 2006 edition of the Best 159 Law Schools: "the admissions statistics are pretty forgiving at St. Thomas... Admitted students at the 25th percentile have an LSAT score of 148 and a GPA of 2.6. Admitted students at the 75th percentile have an LSAT of 153 and a GPA of 3.3." [JH]
Bush Signs Pension Bill
President Bush signed HR 4 yesterday afternoon. See TaxProf Blog for links to the text of the Act and congressional reports. [JH]
The Race to Build the Internet is On (Again)!
Check out Fortune's Behold the Server Farm article in it's special feature The Future of Computing. And take a peek at what the Internet looks like ... "something straight out of the Industrial Revolution" according to a nameless Fortune editor. [JH]
World Drug Report
From United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):
"A publication about worldwide illegal drug production, trafficking, and use. Find data and analysis on opium, heroin, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants, and other drugs. The 2006 report features a special section on cannabis, "by far the most widely produced, trafficked and used drug in the world." Includes archived reports from past years. Some material available in additional languages."
Check it out. [RJ]
U.S. Government Manual
Growth in the Foreign-Born Workforce and Employment of the Native Born
"Rapid increases in the foreign-born population at the state level are not associated with negative effects on the employment of native-born workers. An analysis of the relationship between growth in the foreign-born population and the employment outcomes of native-born workers revealed wide variations but no consistent pattern across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. "
New GAO Report on Judicial Pay
From the abstract
Critical to the success of the federal government's transformation are its people--human capital. Yet, the government has not transformed, in many cases, how it classifies, compensates, develops, and motivates its employees to achieve maximum results within available resources and existing authorities. GAO has reported that the federal government as a whole may face challenges in offering competitive compensation to its senior leaders who have reached a statutory pay cap.
Opening: Lawyer/Faculty Services Librarian, CUNY School of Law
Duties: Law School Library Associate Professor/Librarian (Tenure Track) is responsible for faculty services. Such faculty services may include developing research profiles of faculty members, providing research assistance to faculty, coordinating library research assistants, assisting faculty research assistants, and coordinating with other librarians to support and promote current awareness services and the faculty liaison program. The faculty liaison program includes developing new initiatives for supporting faculty research and pairing librarians with members of the faculty.
Participate in the law school’s legal research instruction program (both print and computed-assisted legal research), primarily for all first year students. Participate in providing legal research instruction in specific subject areas. Develop and provide class research modules, and create documentation such as handouts, bibliographies, pathfinders, etc., especially in new subject areas.
Qualifications: MLS and JD are required. Teaching experience is a plus, preferably in legal research. Applicant must have the ability to meet the responsibilities of this tenure-track appointment, which includes publication. Academic law library experience, including reference instruction in traditional and computer-assisted legal research methods, collection development, and experience in the training and instruction of groups is strongly preferred. Good interpersonal and oral/written communications skills essential, as are a strong service orientation and ability to work well with others in a team atmosphere.
Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. [Law School Library Associate Professor: $49,521 - $79,220] Excellent fringe benefit package.
Full job description has been posted on the City University website at: http://portal.cuny.edu/cms/id/cuny/documents/jobposting/016812.htm#P-11_0
Send a letter of application, including a detailed description of education and work experience, curriculum vitae and three letters of reference to:
Ms. Maureen McCafferty
Assistant to the Library Faculty Search Committee
CUNY Law School at Queens College
65-21 Main St.
Flushing, NY 11367
The City University of New York
An Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action/Immigration Reform and Control Act / Americans with Disabilities Act Employer
August 17, 2006
NSA Eavesdropping Program Ruled Unconstitutional
A slam dunk for free speech, privacy, and separation of powers. Text of opinion (pdf) [JH]
Recent CRS Reports on Intelligence Activities
Recent CRS Reports on Intelligence Activities include:
- INTELLIGENCE REFORM AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: POLICY ISSUES AND ORGANIZATIONAL ALTERNATIVES
- AMENDMENTS TO THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE ACT (FISA)
- INTELLIGENCE ISSUES FOR CONGRESS
- PROTECTION OF NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION
- SECURITY CLASSIFIED AND CONTROLLED INFORMATION: HISTORY, STATUS, AND EMERGING MANAGEMENT ISSUES
INTELLIGENCE REFORM AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: POLICY ISSUES AND ORGANIZATIONAL ALTERNATIVES
CRS Publication Date: 07/19/2006
Document No.: RL33355
Author(s): Alfred Cumming, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: Concerned by reported security and counterintelligence (CI) lapses at the Department of Energy (DOE), Congress in 1999 established a semi-autonomous agency - the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) - to oversee DOE's national security-related programs. Within NNSA, Congress established the Office of Defense Nuclear Counterintelligence to implement NNSA's counterintelligence program. Although DOE's existing Office of Counterintelligence develops CI policy for both agencies, it implements policy only at non-NNSA facilities. Some studies have questioned the effectiveness of a dual office structure in combating foreign espionage and have urged the adoption of an alternative structure. Several alternative organizational approaches have been discussed.
AMENDMENTS TO THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE ACT (FISA)
CRS Publication Date: 07/19/2006
Document No.: M-071906
Author(s): Congressional Research Service
Abstract: This report provides a list of the amendments to FISA since its passage 28 years ago. In table form, it provides the Public Law number, date enacted, title of statute, and summary of pertinent provisions.
INTELLIGENCE ISSUES FOR CONGRESS
CRS Publication Date: 07/12/2006
Document No.: RL33539
Author(s): Richard A. Best, Jr., Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: To address the challenges facing the U.S. Intelligence Community in the 21st century, congressional and executive branch initiatives have sought to improve coordination among the different agencies and to encourage better analysis. In December 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (P.L. 108- 458) was signed, providing for a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with substantial authorities to manage the national intelligence effort. The legislation also established a separate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
PROTECTION OF NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION
CRS Publication Date: 06/30/2006
Document No.: RL33502
Author(s): Jennifer K. Elsea, American Law Division
Abstract: This report provides background with respect to previous legislative efforts to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information; describes the current state of the laws that potentially apply, including criminal and civil penalties that can be imposed on violators; and some of the disciplinary actions and administrative procedures available to the agencies of federal government that have been addressed by federal courts. Finally, the report considers the possible First Amendment implications of applying the Espionage Act to prosecute newspapers for publishing classified national defense information.
SECURITY CLASSIFIED AND CONTROLLED INFORMATION: HISTORY, STATUS, AND EMERGING MANAGEMENT ISSUES
CRS Publication Date: 06/26/2006
Document No.: RL33494
Author(s): Harold C. Relyea, Government and Finance Division
Abstract: The security classification regime in use within the federal executive branch traces its origins to armed forces information protection practices of the World War I era. The classification system - designating information, according to prescribed criteria and procedures, protected in accordance with one of three levels of sensitivity, based on the amount of harm to the national security that would result from its disclosure - attained a presidential character in 1940 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the initial executive order prescribing these information security arrangements. Refinements in the creation, management, and declassification of national security information followed over the succeeding decades, and continue today. In many regards, these developments represent attempts to narrow the bases and discretion for assigning official secrecy to executive branch documents and materials. Limiting the quantity of security classified information has been thought to be desirable for a variety of important reasons: (1) promoting an informed citizenry, (2) effectuating accountability for government policies and practices, (3) realizing oversight of government operations, and (4) achieving efficiency and economy in government management.
Calculating Loss For Sentencing
From the National Law Journal:
"Around the country, federal judges are struggling with ways to calculate reasonable sentences under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for corporate criminals caught when news of potential skullduggery sends the stock market into gyrations that cost investors millions. Such huge losses can send potential white-collar sentences into the stratosphere.
Check out the rest of the story (sub. req.). [RJ]
APA Reports on Ethics and Interrogations
Two reports from the American Psychological Association on ethics and interrogations:
- Comparing and contrasting the American Psychological, American Medical and American Psychiatric Association positions.
- Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on psychological ethics and national security.
US Court of Appeals Cites Blog at Length
From the California Appellate Report Blog: "Pretty interesting when a fairly substantial portion of your dissent entails a block quote from a blawg. As Judge O'Scannlain — joined by four others — does here."
Here's the quote:
A respected First Amendment scholar notes that the panel majority’s decision constitutes
a dangerous retreat from our tradition that the First Amendment is viewpoint-neutral. It’s an opening to a First Amendment limited by rights to be free from offensive viewpoints. It’s a tool for suppression of one side of public debates (about same-sex marriage, about Islam, quite likely about illegal immigration, and more) while the other side remains constitutionally protected and even encouraged by the government.
Eugene Volokh, Sorry, Your Viewpoint Is Excluded from First Amendment Protection, April 20, 2006, http://volokh.com/posts/1145577196.shtml.
Late Night Thoughts on Blogging While Reading Duncan Kennedy's Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy in an Arkansas Motel Room
Texas Wesleyan Law Prof and editor of our sister blog, ContractsProf Blog, Frank Snyder has posted Late Night Thoughts on Blogging While Reading Duncan Kennedy's <em>Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy</em> in an Arkansas Motel Room on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
It has been more than twenty years since Duncan Kennedy published his seminal <em>Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy.</em> In it he called for a radical assault on the hierarchies embedded in American law schools. But that assault failed. Over the past two decades, the hierarchies of legal education have, if anything, become even more fixed, insular, and status-driven, even while the elites of the practicing bar have changed dramatically and become more open to outsiders. It is vastly easier for the graduate of a fourth-tier law school to become a partner at an elite law firm than it is to be hired as a tenure-track assistant professor at even a non-elite American law school.
But law school hierarchies may be changing. Not as the result of a critical assault, but because vast changes in communications technologies have seriously eroded the control of information that is necessary for the survival of any non-functional hierarchy. In this paper, written for a symposium on blogging by lawyers and law professors, I revisit the insider world of Kennedy’s 'LERH' and contrast it with the outsider-dominated changes being wrought by the Internet.
Quote it! On Knowledge
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." -- Samuel Johnson, in James Boswell 1 Life of Johnson 527 (Ingpen ed, George Bayntun, 1925).
Openings: Reference/Electronic Services Librarian & Access Services Librarian, American Univ.
Reference and Electronic Services Librarian
The Pence Law Library with a collection of over 525,000 volumes and volume equivalents and access to hundreds of legal and non-legal databases is seeking a Reference and Electronic Services Librarian to begin as early as October, 2006. This new position will enhance the existing comprehensive reference and instructional programs of the Pence Law Library by focusing on our primary patron constituency, the faculty and students of the Law School. This is a tenure track position reporting to the Associate Dean for Library and Information Resources.
Duties include providing reference assistance to students and faculty as part of the regular Reference Desk rotation; managing the Law School’s Lexis and Westlaw programs; preparing library related publications in all formats; creating and organizing legal research training opportunities for upper-class students, law review members and other student groups. Also identifies, evaluates and assists in the selection and marketing of new electronic products, and under the direction of the Associate Law Librarian for Public Services, coordinates library participation in the Legal Rhetoric program. This position is expected to participate in various collegial law library faculty programs, including collection development and the faculty liaison program. Weekend and evening hours may be required.
Required qualifications include: MLS from an ALA-accredited institution and a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school. Must have advanced in-depth knowledge of legal research and information technologies in all formats. Must have demonstrated excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse groups. Also required is the ability to handle complex, analytical work, balance priorities and meet deadlines; excellent organizational and teaching skills; strong service philosophy. As this is a tenure track position, the ability to produce scholarly work eligible for publication is essential.
Preferred qualifications: Relevant work experience in an academic law library environment.
Access Services Librarian
The Pence Law Library at the Washington College houses over 525,000 volumes and volume equivalents is seeking a tenure-track Access Services Librarian to begin as early as October, 2006. The Access Services Librarian is a new position which will manage all aspects of the Access Services department, including Circulation, Course Reserves and Interlibrary loan and will supervise at least 3 full-time employees and up to 30 student assistants. This is a tenure track position reporting to the Associate Dean for Library and Information Resources.
In addition to managing the Access Services Department responsibilities include coordinating equipment and facilities maintenance and may include stack and collection maintenance. This 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. Weekend and evening hours may be required.
Required qualifications include: An MLS from an ALA-accredited institution, and at least one year experience an academic library. Supervisory experience is also required. Must have excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse groups. Must have advanced knowledge and experience with all modules of Microsoft Office. Also required is the ability to handle complex, analytical work, balance priorities and meet deadlines. As this is a tenure track position, the ability to produce scholarly work eligible for publication is essential.
Preferred qualifications include: A J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school. Also preferred is experience with Millennium Integrated Library System Circulation module, and the ILLiad software system for interlibrary loan.
To apply for either position:
Send a letter of application, resume and three references to: 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 .
Applications for both positions will be reviewed beginning September 5, 2006 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.
August 16, 2006
Cooley Law School v. ABA
From the 6th Circuit Opinion:
"The dispute centers on Cooley’s attempts to begin two satellite programs – one at Oakland University in Rochester (“Oakland campus”) and one in Grand Rapids (“Grand Rapids campus”). Cooley claims that the ABA denied Cooley due process in failing to accredit the two proposed satellites and in imposing sanctions on Cooley for operating the satellites without ABA prior acquiescence. The district court denied these claims and granted judgment to the defendants. As we find that the ABA afforded Cooley all due process in making its rulings, we affirm."
ABA Seeks Law Library Legal Specialist to Evaluate Collections at 3 Jordanian Law Schools
Job Opportunities: Amman, Jordan
Position: Law Library Legal Specialist
Location: American Bar Association, Amman, Jordan
Start Date: Fall 2006
The ABA seeks a law library legal specialist to evaluate existing law library collections and processes at 3 Jordanian law schools. The law library legal specialist will assess current library collections, processes and research resources. They will also be asked to make recommendations on ways to introduce new research resources, to better utilize online sources and to enhance existing collections and systems with the end goal of enhancing student performance.
A law degree is not necessary, but helpful. Candidates must have a minimum of 5 years experience with law libraries. Arabic speakers preferred but not required.
This legal specialist position is for a short-term 10 day assignment and is on a pro-bono basis. A generous support package is provided which covers all living costs and business expenses. Please see the instructions below to apply.
- Go to www.abaceeli.org and visit the “Opportunities” section of the CEELI website accessible from the left-side menu. Click on “Liaison and Legal Specialist Positions Available” and scroll down to review current openings and position requirements.
- To apply, visit the ABA’s International Legal Reform website at www.abanet.org/intlegalreform and fill out the Online International Volunteer Application. You may access the form directly at http://portal.abaceeli.org/ilrp/registration.asp.
- Once you submit the online application, you will be requested to e-mail an electronic version of your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that your registration will not be processed if you do not complete this step of the application procedure.
- You should receive notification of our receipt of your application within 2 weeks. If you do not, please contact email@example.com.
- All registered participants remain active unless we are notified that you no longer wish to be considered for positions, or until several attempts to contact you have failed. Please contact us if any of your information changes.
Posted by request of the American Bar Association. [JH]