May 9, 2007
Professional Reading: Recurring Dilemmas: The Law's Race to Keep Up With Technological Change
University of New South Wales Law Prof Lyria Bennett Moses has deposited Recurring Dilemmas: The Law's Race to Keep Up With Technological Change in SSRN. Here's the abstract:
Although not every technology generates litigation and legal scholarship, technological change is often the occasion for legal problems. Metaphors of law's struggle to keep up with technology reflect the law's failure to cope with technological change. These metaphors have been used in contexts as diverse as railroads, in vitro fertilization, computers, and the Internet. This article seeks to understand why technological change poses such difficulties for the law. It describes four common types of legal problems that arise from technological change: (1) the potential need for laws to ban, restrict or, alternatively, encourage a new technology; (2) uncertainty in the application of existing legal rules to new practices; (3) the possible over-inclusiveness or under-inclusiveness of existing legal rules as applied to new practices; and (4) alleged obsolescence of existing legal rules.
Using this classification, the Article considers the problem of designing a legal system able to cope in a rapidly changing technological environment. It analyzes the idea of "technological neutrality" as a technique of statutory drafting designed to ensure that statutes are able to operate fairly and effectively in diverse technological contexts. It demonstrates that, while such techniques might ensure proper treatment of existing technologies, they are ineffective in a changing technological environment. Instead of focusing on drafting techniques, a broader institutional context is required. The goal should not be technology-neutral legislation, but rather a legal system that continues to treat different technologies fairly and effectively as technology evolves.
Chamber Study Ranks Best, Worst Lawsuit Climates
From the press release: "The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) released a study today showing that Delaware has the best legal climate in the country, and West Virginia has the worst. Those are among the findings of Lawsuit Climate 2007: Ranking the States, an annual assessment of state liability systems conducted by the nonpartisan polling firm Harris Interactive."
- Executive Summary
- Overall Ratings & Impacts
- State Ratings
- Most Important Issues
- Worst Local Jurisdictions
- Rankings by Key Elements
- 2006 Results
Pew Survey Finds 36% of Online American Adults Consult Wikipedia
"More than a third of American adult internet users (36%) consult the citizen-generated online encyclopedia Wikipedia, according to a new nationwide survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. And on a typical day in the winter of 2007, 8% of online Americans consulted Wikipedia. There has been ongoing controversy about the reliability of articles on Wikipedia. Still, the Pew Internet Project survey shows that Wikipedia is far more popular among the well-educated than it is among those with lower levels of education. For instance, 50% of those with at least a college degree consult the site, compared with 22% of those with a high school diploma. And 46% of those age 18 and older who are current full- or part-time students have used Wikipedia, compared with 36% of the overall internet population." [RJ]
Check out LibSite.org, a recommendation Service for Library-related Websites. [RJ]
Legal troubles mount for YouTube
"The widespread legal challenges that some experts have long predicted would dog Google's YouTube appear to have arrived.
On Friday, the Football Association Premier League, England's most prestigious soccer organization, filed suit in New York against the massively popular video-sharing site, accusing it of enabling users to violate copyright law. On the same day, in California, NBC Universal and Viacom filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of journalist Bob Tur, who in a lawsuit filed last summer accused YouTube of infringing on his copyrighted material by posting without his permission video he shot during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
And reports out of Thailand indicate that the government there is considering suing YouTube for displaying a video that it claims is offensive to the nation's monarch." [RJ]
Traits for the 21st Century Librarian
Check out what Michael Stephans has to say about the ideal 21st century librarian on Tame The Web: Libraries and Technology. His list is the product of a LIS class discussion. [JH]
CRS Report On Limiting Military Operations in Iraq
CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY TO LIMIT U.S. MILITARY OPERATIONS IN IRAQ
CRS Publication Date: 04/24/2007
Document No.: RL33837
Author(s): Jennifer K. Elsea, Michael John Garcia, and Thomas J. Nicola, American Law Division
Abstract: This report begins by providing background and discusses constitutional provisions allocating war powers between Congress and the President, and presents a historical overview of relevant court cases. Next, it discusses Congress's power to rescind prior military authorization and the consequences of such a repeal. Evaluating relevant jurisprudence and the pertinent provisions of the War Powers Resolution, it concludes that the repeal of the AUMF, absent the further denial of appropriations or the establishment of a specific deadline for troop withdrawal, would likely have little, if any, legal effect on the continuation of combat operations. Finally, the report discusses Congress's ability to limit funding for military operations in Iraq. It examines relevant court cases and prior measures taken by Congress to restrict military operations, as well as possible alternative avenues to fund operations in the event Congress were to restrict appropriations for the war. There follows a summary of measures passed by both Houses in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 2007, H.R. 1591, related to the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq. The report concludes by providing an analysis of arguments that might be brought to bear on the question of Congress's authority to limit the availability of troops to serve in Iraq. Although not beyond debate, such a restriction appears to be within Congress's authority to allocate resources for military operations.
May 8, 2007
Law Category Winners of 11th Annual Webby Awards
Check out the 11th Annual Webby Awards Winners. In the law category:
Metacrap: An Interview with Cory Doctorow
This is the first of a series of David Weinberger interviews cosponsored by Wired News and the Harvard Berkman Center for the Internet and Society.
Weinberger's first interview features novelist, BoingBoing co-editor, digital rights activist and entrepreneur Cory Doctorow. For Doctorow, piling up information without strict organizational rules can be workable provided that we have sufficiently reliable metadata. The problem is that people don't all use metadata the same way or use tags consistently, and that can be a real obstacle to making coherent sense of piles of information.
Professional Reading: First Generation E-Rulemaking: An Assessment of Regulatory Agency Websites
First Generation E-Rulemaking: An Assessment of Regulatory Agency Websites
Stuart Shapiro, Rutgers University
Cary Coglianese, Univ of Penn Law School
Abstract: We examine 89 websites from federal regulatory agencies in order to evaluate their ease of use for those interested in commenting on or learning about their proposed regulations. We find that while there has been a lot of attention given to second and third generation “e-rulemaking” efforts, agency websites, a first generation innovation, still have considerable room for improvement. Notwithstanding legislative and executive branch efforts to enhance the accessibility of regulatory information on the Internet, our coding of regulatory agency websites reveals considerable variation in the quality of agency websites, with many websites still failing to provide relatively basic features.
Threat to Tenure at Law Schools
"The American Bar Association — at the urging of some law deans and to the dismay of many law professors — is considering an end to having tenure systems be one requirement for law school accreditation. A special task force of the ABA has been working on a set of recommendations about accreditation and will not submit its findings until next month. But reports about what the group may recommend, and what law deans have urged it to recommend, have been circulating in recent weeks — and e-mail has been flying among law professors." [RJ]
The Economic Logic of Illegal Immigration
The Economic Logic of Illegal Immigration
Gordon H. Hanson, Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego
56 pages | $10.00
ISBN 978-0-87609-401-3 (0-87609-401-9)
Council on Foreign Relations, April 2007
Council Special Report No. 26
Description: This report examines the economics of illegal immigration and finds that the fiscal benefits of illegal immigration offset its costs. Further, the report finds that the flexibility provided by the illegal immigration system that benefits the U.S. economy cannot be provided by the legal immigration system.
Law Professor Blogs Network Launches Five New Blogs
Paul Caron and I are delighted to announce that the Law Professor Blogs Network has added five new blogs:
- Administrative Law Prof Blog, edited by Drury Stevenson (South Texas) & Cynthia Quinn (Hawaii)http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/adminlaw
- Civil Procedure Prof Blog, edited by Jeremy Counseller (Baylor) & Rory Ryan (Baylor)
- International Environmental Law Prof Blog, edited by William Burns (Santa Clara) & Richard Caddell (Wales)
- M&A Law Prof Blog, edited by Steven Davidoff (Wayne State)
- Poverty Law Prof Blog, edited by Ezra Rosser (American) & Lowell Hull (Notre Dame)
You can check out these and all of the other blogs of the Law Professor Blogs Network at our Network RSS feed display. If you are interested in starting a law blog for the Law Professor Blogs Network please contact Cincinnati Law Prof Paul Caron or me. [JH]
Up to 80 Percent of Blogs Host "Offensive Content"
ScanSafe, the pioneer and leading provider of Web Security-as-a-Service, issued its latest monthly Global Threat Report. Among the report's key findings, up to 80 percent of blogs contain potentially offensive content, which can range from adult language to pornographic images, and about 6 percent of blogs host malware. The most requested blog-related site during the month was blogger.com. [RJ]
Judges Head Back to School
The three-day Southeast Regional Science and Technology Boot Camp was attended by about 60 judges. The conference aim was to prepare them for some of the most politically charged issues of the day: gene therapy, genetic discrimination, genetically modified foods, human cloning and stem cell research. See Judges Head Back to School for Crash Course in Sciences, New York Lawyer (subscription required). [JH]
Opening: Reference Librarian, San Diego County Public Law Library
San Diego County Public Law Library wants to hire a reference librarian to assist patrons at its Main Library in downtown San Diego. As a member of the public services team, the Reference Librarian is responsible for providing all public services functions and performs any professional or paraprofessional duty essential to the achievement of effective library operations in order to provide quality service to those seeking legal information.
Requirements: Masters Degree in Library Science or Library Information Science from ALA-accredited Library School or Juris Doctorate. Some law library work experience preferred. Extensive knowledge of legal materials in all formats, government documents especially valuable. Strong commitment to public service. Ability to provide quality reference and outreach services to a diverse community of users. Professional level aptitude and practical experience using legal databases and standard software applications, including working with integrated library systems. Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Demonstrated innovative thinking and commitment to work towards the Library vision and mission and demonstrated commitment to personal development
This is an exempt, 40 hr./wk. position with a very competitive salary and excellent benefits package, including health insurance, 3 weeks vacation, sick leave, CalPERS retirement plan, and assistance with parking or public transportation costs, and AALL membership. Starting salary: $55,000.
Send resume with cover letter and 3 professional references to email@example.com. Faxes accepted 619/239-1563. Open until filled.
SDCPLL is an Equal Opportunity Employer
May 7, 2007
Marquette Law Receives $51 Million Gift for New Facility
Marquette Law alum Ray Eckstein ('49) and his wife, Kathryn (Liberal Arts '49), have given the Law School $51 million toward construction of a new facility. The donation, the largest gift ever made by individuals to a Wisconsin college or university, and one of the largest ever to a US law school, puts things in motion for the Law School to break ground next spring.
From the press release:
We are honored and thrilled to be able to provide the Law School with the foundation for a new building, so that students in the future can have the opportunity to benefit from the education we did,” said Ray Eckstein. Eckstein said he hoped his gift would encourage others to step forward to make the new building a reality. The initial cost estimate for the project is $80 million.
Kay Eckstein said their granddaughter's recent experience as a graduate of the Law School reinforced their sense of gratitude for the values of a Marquette education. "We saw once again the caring, challenging environment that Marquette continues to offer its students," she said.
In the press release, Joseph D. Kearney, dean of the Law School, called attention to the law school's need for a new facility by noting that over the past 25 years, Marquette's Law School faculty has doubled in size, the student body has increased 50 percent, and the law library collection is two and one-half times larger.
I wonder how many law school deans are thinking that maybe, as the development officer says, it really is a good idea to treat students well. File under "Good things happen to good law schools." [JH]
Professional Reading: Bray on Virtual Worlds
Emory University's David Bray has deposited two studies in virtual worlds on SSRN:
Virtual worlds are now a reality. Virtual worlds such as the growing Second Life and Entropia Universe, allow everyone to create a digital character representing themselves and interact with other computer-generated individuals, landscapes, and even virtually-run global businesses in real-time. Fascinatingly, both endogenously produced economies and social orders are emerging in these virtual worlds.
Discussion of how virtual, web-based interactions provide (1) a malformed context for human emotions, (2) a forum for publicizing of traditionally private workplace discussions, and (3) a source of information overload - potentially addressable through an evolutionary view. Subsequent discussion details examples of virtual worlds from 1991 to the present. This discussion is intended as a working paper.
American Presidency Project
Check out this excellent resource from the University of California: The American Presidency Project is the only online resource that has consolidated, coded, and organized into a single searchable database:
- The Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Washington - Taft (1789-1913)
- The Public Papers of the Presidents: Hoover to Bush (1929-1993)
- The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents: Clinton - G.W. Bush (1993-2007)
Most States Fail to Protect the Legal Rights of Children in Foster Care, New Study Finds
"Nearly half of U.S. states fail to provide legal representation for abused and neglected foster children, leaving them without a voice during judicial proceedings that profoundly impact their futures, a new study found. The peer-reviewed study - A Child's Right to Counsel. First Star's National Report Card on Legal Representation for Children - was released by First Star, a leading national child advocacy organization.
The first-of-its-kind study, released at a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, found "glaring anomalies" in how states protect the legal rights of foster children, leading to substandard levels of service and unacceptable outcomes in most states. Fifteen states received failing grades and six more received D's in the "National Report Card on Legal Representation of Children." Only five states received A's." [RJ]