October 10, 2006
Cincinnati Law Alum, Alfred K. Nippert, Jr., Makes Largest Donation of Legal Resources to Robert S. Marx Law Library Collection
Alfred K. Nippert, Jr.('76) has donated 60,000 volumes to the Robert S. Marx Law Library, adding depth to its collection of 19th and early 20th century legal resources. His collection of law books includes the Nippert & Nippert law firm library which spans more than three Nippert generations, three full semi-truck loads of materials Al purchased from the Dade County (FL) Law Library Annex plus numerous other resources from his personal collection of law books.
"Being in a position to make this gift means this collection won't be dissipated. It won't end up in a dumpster or a library that has an approach toward preserving a collection that is different from mine. For a small firm to hold on to a collection of this significance when it should be available to all seems too much like hoarding. Virginia Thomas [Director, Law Library & Information Technology] is the reason the gift was made at this time: Her philosophy about retention is much the same as mine. Electronic research only goes back so far usually the 1920's or 30’s and the early treatises are virtually never available in that format.” - Alfred K. Nippert, Jr.
It is been my great pleasure to work with Al on this project. His knowledge of 19th-early 20th century legal bibliography is top-notch; I should have taken notes during our many conversations. I would like to thank our Law Library's Acquisition Librarian, Cynthia Aninao, for taking the lead in processing this donation and all law library staff members who are helping us process this very significant donation.
The Cincinnati Law press release includes additional information about Al Nippert, his family's long-term relationship with the University of Cincinnati and the College of Law, and the Nippert donation. [JH]
Professional Reading: Digital Access to Archival Works: Could 108(b) Be the Solution?
Digital Access to Archival Works: Could 108(b) Be the Solution? by Peter B. Hirtle.
Section 108(b) of the Copyright Law, which deals with unpublished works, is often described primarily has a “preservation” clause, with its primary purpose being to ensure that our manuscript heritage is not lost. A closer look at the legislative history of the section, however, reveals that Congress was primarily concerned with increasing scholarly access to unpublished materials. Limited distribution to other libraries and archives to enhance research access to the original materials, it concluded, does not compete with the copyright owner’s right to commercially exploit the work. Under the original section 108(b), there were no limits on the number of copies that could be made for deposit in other repositories. Today digital technologies could provide a means of providing access to research materials without having to distribute physical copies to other repositories (though distribution of copies for preservation purposes would still be desirable).
Who supports Internet censorship?
"Censorship is the moral or legislative process by which society “agrees” to limit what an individual can do, say, think, or see. Recent attempts to regulate, i.e., censor, what is viewed on the Internet have polarized the general population. Unfortunately, beyond the anecdotal, the characteristics of those who support Internet censorship are unknown. In this study, the support for Internet censorship is empirically analyzed using survey data. Notwithstanding the potential limitations of survey data, the results indicate the characteristics of those who tend to favor and disfavor Internet censorship. Specifically, concerns over pornography and concerns over government regulation on the Internet are the two most polarizing elements of the relative support for censorship, which suggests that the debate over this issue will not be easily resolved."
Law blogs raising prickly ethical issues
"Many states are in the process of revamping their attorneys ethics rules, and part of that process involves the prickly issue of whether blogs should be regulated as advertising.
On one hand, states want to protect consumers from unscrupulous lawyer advertising presented under the guise of an online diary. On the other, they want to preserve the free flow of ideas-and valuable legal information presented in a public forum-that the new technology has fostered."
Social Isolation and American Workers: Employee Blogging and Legal Reform
Cincinnati Law Prof Rafael Gely and Texas A&M Management Prof Leonard Bierman have posted Social Isolation and American Workers: Employee Blogging and Legal Reform on SSRN. Here's the abstract of this very interesting article:
This Article examines the increasing “social isolation” of American workers and the role the Internet, particularly employee “blogging,” can potentially play in ameliorating this situation. It builds on a path-breaking June 2006 empirical study in the American Sociological Review documenting said social isolation, and on Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam's classic theoretical work developing a similar theme. The Article argues that off-duty blogging by employees can play an important role in helping reverse this decline in social isolation, but that current legal structures impede this goal. This Article then proposes various reforms to address this situation.
We begin Part I by examining the general role employee blogging might have as an antidote for the increasing social isolation facing American workers. Part II then presents a review of blogs and the blogging phenomenon. Part III follows with a discussion of blogs in the context of the recent afore-mentioned scholarship in the American Sociological Review and Professor Putnam's classic work. Part IV more specifically analyzes the role blogs play in the employment context, and Part V examines the protections afforded employee bloggers under the National Labor Relations Act. Part VI then looks at this issue in the context of both state common and statutory law. In Parts VII and VIII we evaluate various options for legal reform in the area. Part IX concludes the article.
October 9, 2006
South Korean Nominated as UN Secretary-General
South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon was formally nominated as U.N. secretary-general today. Approval is expected. CNN has the story. [JH]
A View from the Stacks: Stina Lets Rita K Talk – As If She Could Stop Her
Stina told me (Rita K) that I could be a guest blogger and write her entry this week. Now, if you have read her blog previously, you know I work with her and enjoy her quick wit and excellent reference skills and that I don’t care whether she is a “real” librarian or not. When she gets her union card – that is, her Masters in Library and Information Sciences, she will make some library a great reference librarian. And while she can certainly sew and judge beer – I think she even knits – those things don’t define her. She is a brilliant young woman who will be a terrific librarian!
I asked her if I could guest blog because I want to do more promotion for our podcast, KCLL’s Sidebar. An ulterior motive, I know, but the more publicity we get, the more people might even listen to the podcast. My original purpose for starting a podcast was to find another way to disseminate information on how to do legal research, about how we can help those with legal questions, and to address those auditory learners out there. Of course, I also just want to learn new skills – I love learning and always have. I think we quit growing when we stop learning.
Today we received a message from a law library in New Zealand, telling us that they had listened to our podcast and had enjoyed it. And Jim Milles of “Check This Out” fame has offered to do a promo for us. Jim, I haven’t got it yet – hope you are still planning to do it! A nephew of one of our librarians listened to the podcast and said it was a snore, but I doubt if we will ever really appeal to those aficionados who expect exciting entertainment from a podcast.
We will continue to run Stina’s beer reviews, will try to include comic segments from time to time, and answer interesting reference questions we receive. We know that ultimately the appeal of our podcast will be limited to fellow librarians who teach the public, to those few public patrons who are comfortable with techy toys, Stina’s Mom, and my spouse. We expect to have our second episode posted in a couple of weeks. You can subscribe to it through iTunes, find us on Feedburner, and access us at our web site at www.kcll.org. Tune in and listen.
Rita Kaiser, Reference Services Librarian, King County Law Library
King County Law Library (Seattle)
Readers of this blog know that the King County Law Library (Seattle)(KCLL) has started a podcasting service. See this morning's column, A View from the Stacks, for the latest. Podcasting is just one of many KCLL web-based services that, taken together, can serve as a model for web-based out-reach programs. KCLL offers email and chat reference; research guides, collection & web notes; KCLL newsletters and other publications. On-site, KCLL offers training classes (calendar of classes) among its many other services. Check out the KCLL site map for more information.
Law Library Profiles. This iteration of features hardly does justice as a profile of the King County Law Library -- it fails miserably at highlighting the professionalism and dedication of KCLL's wonderful and caring staff, Marcus, Rita K, Stina, and others I have not had the pleasure to meet -- but it leads me to this solicitation: if you would like to submit a profile of your library for publication in the blog, please email one to me. The first five submissions will receive a free "I (heart) my law library" 2" x 3" rectangle magnet, a $4.99 value!
Visitors to this blog would enjoy reading about your law library. [JH]
Big Changes Coming to the SEC's EDGAR Database
From the press release:
"U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox announced today that the SEC has awarded three separate contracts totaling $54 million to transform the agency’s 1980s-vintage public company disclosure system from a form-based electronic filing cabinet to a dynamic real-time search tool with interactive capabilities.
The major investment in an “interactive data” system signals the agency’s commitment to move away from the model of its current EDGAR database. It also presages widespread adoption of interactive data filing by companies that report their financial information to the SEC — a development that until now has only been a voluntary pilot program."
309 Law Profs Now Blogging
According to GW Law Prof Dan Solove's latest survey, Law Professor Blogger Census (Version 5.1), there are now 309 law profs blogging: 80 new bloggers and 6 departed bloggers since his March 2006 census. Compiling and regularly updating this census is a herculean effort that benefits everyone interested in the legal blogosphere. Thanks Dan.
Dan blogs on Concurring Opinions, a must read blog, IMHO. [JH]
Yale Law School Invites Military to Defend "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy
From Yale Daily News:
"As of this year, Yale Law School is the only federally supported institution left in the nation that is protesting the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy toward homosexuals by withholding equal access to military Judge Advocate General recruiters - but for the first time, the school is inviting the military to campus to tell its side of the story."
Sex, Lies and Election Day: The Foley Fallout
"Congressional Republicans seem to have reeled from one crisis to the next during the past two years. But as the uproar intensified this week over the advances by former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., toward underage congressional pages -- and threatened to engulf even House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., himself -- GOP members privately acknowledged that this scandal is so serious that it could prove to be a deathblow in the November elections."
October 8, 2006
How the Foley scandal unfolded
A Comprehensive Strategy to Fight Al-Qaeda
Two military lawyers assigned to Gitmo defense seek private counsel
From the National Law Journal (sub req):
"Two military lawyers defending Guantánamo Bay detainees have sought their own private lawyers in a looming ethical fight over the right of detainees to self-representation and to refuse appointed counsel.
"This is a 'Damned if I do, damned if I don't' situation," said Major Tom Fleener, a defense lawyer in the U.S. Army Reserves Judge Advocate General's Corps and one of a dozen lawyers in the Office of Military Commissions assigned to defend detainees."