March 21, 2007
United Nations Counter-Terrorism Online Handbook
From the site: "This site has been created to provide Member States with current and relevant information on the United Nations' and its entities' work and resources contributing to countering terrorism." [RJ]
Astronomical Supreme Court Clerkship Bonuses Topic of Slate Article
"OK, my friends who are struggling to pay your mortgage, put away money for your kids' college fund, wondering why the day-care lady earns more per hour than you do, and hoping duct tape and copper wire will hold the boiler together until spring, consider this (calmly, please): Later this spring, elite law firms will again be offering Supreme Court law clerks signing bonuses of $200,000 (last year's rate) or even more for their first jobs as practicing lawyers.
That will be $200,000 on top of a starting salary of $145,000 to $160,000. Which adds up to an awful lot of Pottery Barn sectional furniture for someone who is, on average, 26 years old and just two years out of school." [RJ]
CRS Report Surveys US Attorneys' Tenure
U.S. ATTORNEYS WHO HAVE SERVED LESS THAN FULL FOUR-YEAR TERMS, 1981-2006
CRS Publication Date: 02/22/2007
Document No.: RL33889
Author(s): Kevin M. Scott, Government and Finance Division
Abstract: This report provides data on U.S. attorneys who did not complete their full fouryear term after confirmation by the Senate and whose terms did not carry over a change in presidential administration. The data collected employ records of presidential appointment and Senate confirmation of U.S. attorneys, and rely on secondary sources to provide information on reasons U.S. attorneys left office before completion of their four-year terms.
CRS Reports can be obtained from GalleryWatch.com. Individual reports are available from www.pennyhill.com. [RJ]
Database of Librarians Protrayed in Films
Film Librarian is an online database of films featuring librarians. Check it out. [JH]
March 20, 2007
Freedom to Read Canadian Style
The Toronto Star reported on February 28, 2007 that a Burlington, Ontario Fifth Grade student has become the first child to receive the Writers' Union of Canada's Freedom to Read Award. Evie Freedman, 10, is being honored for her spirited defense last year of the controversial book, Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak by Deborah Ellis.
According to Ron Brown, Chair of the Union,
"Ms Freedman has richly deserved this award for her impassioned defense of the book Three Wishes when it was banned last year by the Toronto Distinct School Board. Although many notable individuals defended the retention of the book in the schools, Ms Freedman was best able to reflect the concerns of those most affected, the students themselves. She did so most ably in front of a large press conference as well as in a number of media interviews."
This book is for Grades 5 -12 (Booklist). It is a collection of accounts from young people between the ages of 8 and 18 portrays the sapping toll of war on their lives.
From Blog of a Bookslut, March 1, 2007.
Karen R. Schneiderman, Research and Instructional Services Librarian, Drexel University College of Law Library.
The Rise and Rise of Citation Analysis
In The Rise and Rise of Citation Analysis, Lokman I. Meho describes how the Web is allowing scientists and information providers to measure more accurately the impact of scholarly works and their authors because the vast majority of scientific papers are now available online. The paper provides a historical background of citation analysis, impact factor, new citation data sources (e.g., Google Scholar, Scopus, NASA's Astrophysics Data System Abstract Service, MathSciNet, ScienceDirect, SciFinder Scholar, Scitation/SPIN, and SPIRES-HEP), as well as h-index, g-index, and a-index.
This paper may be of interest to individuals who want to measure more accurately the impact of legal scholarship because the popularity of digital depositories has expanded the online availablity of legal scholarship and created new citation data sources. [JH]
Recent Council on Foreign Relations Reports
The follow CFR reports can be purchased in paper or downloaded in PDF format for free from the provided links:
- Darfur and Beyond: What is Needed to Prevent Mass Atrocities
- After the Surge: The Case for U.S. Military Disengagement from Iraq
- Reforming U.S. Patent Policy: Getting the Incentives Right
Council on Foreign Relations Press, January 2007
54 pages | $10.00
ISBN 978-0-87609-372-6 (0-87609-372-1)
Free Download (pdf)
Book Description: A lot has been said about the need to take action to stop and prevent mass atrocities. But less has been done. States continue to engage in mass atrocities, in part because they believe it will be tolerated by the rest of the world. Other states tend to acquiesce because they do not perceive their national interests are at stake. Finding a workable way out of this cycle is not simply a matter of scruples; it is also a matter of security. State failure and genocide can lead to destabilizing refugee flows and create openings for terrorism to take root.
Recent history is, in fact, somewhat mixed. NATO’s intervention in Kosovo was an example where a number of governments chose to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide. By contrast, the mass killing in Rwanda a decade ago and now in Darfur, Sudan, demonstrate the high price of judging sovereignty to be supreme and thus doing little to prevent the slaughter of innocents.
Senior Fellow Lee Feinstein points to the UN’s acceptance of the notion that sovereignty may need to be compromised when a government is unable or unwilling to provide for the basic needs of those within its state borders. The challenge for the United States and the international community is to translate this principle into practice. To that end, this report recommends that the new UN secretary-general take genocide prevention as a mission statement and mandate, and place it at the center of his and his organization’s agenda. The report also makes a number of recommendations for the United States and others to build a sustainable capacity for genocide prevention that is substantial enough to deal with inevitable crises, but sustainable given other national security demands. Feinstein makes a strong case that this is doable—that is, if the international community is prepared to do it.
Council on Foreign Relations Press, February 2007
64 pages | $10.00
ISBN 978-0-87609-373-3 (0-87609-373-X)
Free Download (pdf)
Book Description: Iraq has come to dominate U.S. foreign policy—and the controversy over Iraq has come to dominate the debate over U.S. foreign policy. This report by Steven N. Simon, the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, makes a major contribution to that debate.
After the Surge: The Case for U.S. Military Disengagement from Iraq is premised on the judgment that the United States is not succeeding in Iraq and that Iraq itself is more divided and violent than ever. It concludes that the administration’s decision to increase U.S. force levels will fail to prevent further deterioration in the situation—and that there is no alternative policy with the potential to turn things around.
As a result, Simon urges the United States to disengage militarily from Iraq, a disengagement that in his view should involve a negotiated accord with Iraq’s government, a dialogue with Iraq’s neighbors, and new diplomatic initiatives throughout the region. Simon argues that if the United States does all this, it can minimize the strategic costs of its failure in Iraq and even offset these losses in whole or in part.
Reforming U.S. Patent Policy
Getting the Incentives Right
Keith E. Maskus
Council on Foreign Relations Press, November 2006
54 pages | $10.00
Free Download (pdf)
Book Description: The conversation on American competitiveness is often intertwined with the conversation on innovation. The liberalization of trade and the increasing influence of emerging markets such as China and India have meant that U.S. innovation is now competing globally. This global competition has raised awareness and concerns not only that our trading partners are lax on patent enforcement, but also that our patent system may not be optimally suited to compete on the global economic stage.
In this Council Special Report, Keith E. Maskus offers a fair, thoughtful, and at times counterintuitive account of this issue. He recognizes the importance of patent protection for innovation but also warns against blind adherence to the mantra that more protection will necessarily produce more innovation. He highlights the numerous friction points in the patent system and recommends policy options to smooth them out and to keep our patent system competitive. While acknowledging concerns about patent infringement in emerging markets, he expresses deep skepticism of U.S. efforts to harmonize patent standards through trade negotiations. In its place, he proposes a grand bargain in which the developed world requires emerging markets to enforce patents in exchange for agreeing to relax efforts to tighten global patent standards.
Interpreting the Qur'an and the Constitution: Similarities in the Use of Text, Tradition, and Reason
Wisconsin Law Prof Asifa Qurraishi has posted Interpreting the Qur'an and the Constitution: Similarities in the Use of Text, Tradition, and Reason in Islamic and American Jurisprudence on SSRN. Here's the abstract of this very interesting work:
Abstract: This article identifies parallels in interpretive theories within Islamic and American jurisprudence. It explains how, although they operate against very different cultures and legal institutions, jurists of both Islamic and American law have adopted a similar range of approaches to interpreting their founding texts, the Qur'an and the Constitution, respectively. This article traces these methodological threads by studying, side by side, Muslim and American advocates of: (1) plain meaning literalism, (2) historical understanding originalism, and (3) reference to underlying purpose and spirit. Seen in this comparative context, it becomes clear that jurists of these different legal cultures often have more in common with each other than with their fellow jurists adhering to opposing methodologies within their own system. These similarities stand as a counterpoint to the stark polarities often drawn between “Islam” and the “West.” This article thus fills an empty space in the comparative law literature by identifying phenomena that have been unrecognized so far, largely because the greater Muslim and American legal communities have themselves been talking past each other for so long.
ADF Attorneys to Appeal California Equal Access Library Case to U.S. Supreme Court
Press release from Alliance Defense Fund: Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case involving a ministry denied access to community meeting rooms that are open to other groups at a California library. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit declined to rehear the case Friday after ADF attorneys appealed an earlier decision from a three-judge panel that ruled in favor of the library.
“Library officials should not be allowed to discriminate against Christian community groups by treating them differently than they treat other community groups,” said ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull. “Once a library opens up a community room to the public, it is then unconstitutional for librarians to discriminate against patrons.” [RJ]
Report from the Commission on No Child Left Behind
From the press release: "This report is the product of our information gathering and outlines specific and actionable recommendations for establishing a high-achieving education system. We are confident that, taken as a whole, our recommendations will close achievement gaps and raise expectations for all, so that we can fulfill the promise of high achievement and success for every student, in every school." [RJ]
March 19, 2007
The Many Hats of a Law Librarian: Part Two
On Law.com, Hofstra University School of Law librarian Tricia Kasting follows up on her earlier discussion of law librarianship, explaining how basic librarian hats are evolving into new ones that extend the reach and scope of traditional activities through technology. Tricia's articles are excellent examples of promoting our profession. Read her second installment and pass both articles to anyone who doubts that law librarians are needed. Great job! [JH]
Professional Reading: The Use of Rhetorical Sources by the U.S. Supreme Court
Robert J. Hume's The Use of Rhetorical Sources by the U.S. Supreme Court, 40 Law & Soc'y Rev. 817-843 (2006) [Westlaw], considers whether U.S. Supreme Court justices use opinion content strategically, to enhance the legitimacy of case outcomes. Hume explains:
This hypothesis is tested by examining the Court's use of rhetorical sources, which are references to esteemed figures and texts that corroborate the justices' views. The data are consistent with the position that justices use rhetorical sources strategically, citing them when the legitimacy of their actions is lowest, such as when they are overturning precedent, invalidating state or federal law, or issuing directives from a divided bench. The study also tests several other explanations for the use of these sources, such as legal considerations, the justices' ideologies, and efficiency concerns.
Denver Law Faculty and Students to Blog the Nacchio Trial
Denver Law Prof Jay Brown is taking collaborative faculty-student blogging to new heights by providing daily coverage of the criminal trial of Joe Nacchio, the former CEO of Qwest Communications International at Race to the Bottom. Professor Brown writes that the Nacchio trial is "really the end of an era, the last big trial from the Enron days."
The trial is scheduled to begin today and is expected to last approximately 8 weeks. Students and faculty will rotate through each day of the trial with the expectation that there will be at least two posts a day. Take the RSS feed! [JH]
How Many Other Times Has Congress Tried to Limit Presidential Power in Foreign Affairs?
From the History News Network: "As popular support for the current Iraq War continues to plummet, Congress has become increasing vocal in its opposition. The recent attempt to censure the troop "surge" in Baghdad and talk of withholding funds for the war are illustrations of this new sentiment. This is not the first time that Congress has attempted to thwart presidential war planning. There are a number of examples from the 20th century." [RJ]
Chicago PD's Checkerboard Chat
Checkerboard Chat, the official blog of Chicago Police Department, is online and ready to help the men and women in blue "serve and protect." You could add the verbs "inform and engage" to that familiar law-enforcement slogan and you'd be reflecting what many police departments, large and small, already understand -- that talking with the communities they serve is a key to affecting change and reacting to challenges.
Chicago's force has been blogging since the beginning of this year and you can already see the breadth of information that they're willing to share -- from crime statistics to technology initiatives to a prayer for a fallen officer. It's clear that this resource will not only benefit the citizens of Chicago, but also the officers of the department that protect its neighborhoods.
Opening: Thomson West Librarian Relations Manager, Los Angeles
West has a long history of supporting law librarians with training and constructive interchanges. In this role, you will manage a Librarian Relations program in a designated territory for law firm librarians. Main duties will include building excellent relationships, training on West products and services, and supporting law firm library management needs. You will also be responsible for driving librarian usage and preference for Westlaw and West print products in large law firm accounts through in-firm consultations, education and customer service activities.
Primary responsibilities include:
Teaching and Training
- Participate in the development and teaching of Westlaw and West print curriculum especially designed for legal professionals at large law firms within assigned territory.
- Participate in the development and teaching of continuing education seminars for law librarians within assigned territory.
- Support non-law firm organizations such as law schools, library schools and government entities, through teaching and training of Westlaw and West print products
- Foster and maintain strong customer relationships within assigned territory.
- Respond to customer inquires in a timely manner.
- Support law librarians through direct interaction with West customer service, product developers and reference attorneys.
- Attend local and regional librarian association meetings and annual national AALL conference.
- Respond to sponsorship requests from local and regional associations.
- Speak at association events on behalf of West and the Librarian Relations program when appropriate.
Sales and Account Management Relations
- Support West Sales and Account Management activities within assigned division by supporting divisional goals.
- Masters in Library Science (M.L.S.) and/or J.D.
- 5+ years of law library experience
- Self directed and capable of driving multiple initiatives simultaneously
- Strong leadership and management skills
- Teaching experience and presentation skills
- Broad based knowledge and experience with legal information resources and legal technology applications.
- Effective verbal and written communication skills
- Strong organizational and prioritization skills
- Law library association leadership experience
- Ability to maintain confidentiality
- Strong customer service attitude
- Displayed project management skills
- High energy and an ability to interact positively and effectively with librarians and West teams
How to Apply: If you are interested, please visit http://west.thomson.com/careers. Click on "Search All Opportunities" and scroll down the list OR use "librarian" in the keyword search term box to bring the listing to the top. All applications must be submitted online and are automatically routed to the hiring manager.
Our employees embrace a number of commonly shared values - collaboration, accountability, customer focus, a bias toward action and results, appreciation and respect for diversity, entrepreneurial spirit and, at all times, the highest ethical standards. These values represent the behavior each employee is expected to exhibit in their role. In our view, fostering a culture that embodies these values will lead to success and growth for our employees and our business.
The Thomson Corporation is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
March 18, 2007
The Military's Gitmo Script
Sports Illustrated Withholds Swimsuit Issue from Libraries, Schools
Interesting article from Library Journal: "In an unannounced policy change that already has librarians fuming, Sports Illustrated (SI) decided this year to withhold copies of its risque annual swimsuit issue from classrooms and libraries. SI spokesman Rick McCabe acknowledged to LJ that publisher TIME, Inc., neither offered to let libraries opt out of receiving the issue nor announced it beforehand." [RJ]
The Federalist Papers
Available @ federali.st. Check it out. [RJ]