October 8, 2008
New on LLRX.com
- LLRX Book Review by Heather A. Phillips - We're All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age
- The Government Domain: Political Fact-Checking Websites, by Peggy Garvin
- Researching Medical Literature on the Internet - 2008, by Gloria Miccioli
- Commentary: New FBI Anti-Terror Guidelines, by Beth Wellington
- Criminal Law Resources: DNA Post-Conviction Resources, by Ken Strutin
- E-Discovery Update: Producing Spreadsheets in Discovery – 2008, by Conrad J. Jacoby
- Why and What Lawyers Should Consider Outsourcing, by Ron Friedmann
- The Art of Written Persuasion: The Problem with the Case Method and the Case for the Problem Method, by Troy Simpson
- LLRX Court Rules, Forms and Dockets, continually updated by law librarian Margaret Berkland
AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers
The AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers Committee is soliciting articles in three categories:
Open Division: For active and retired AALL members and law librarians with five or more years of professional experience. Papers are due by March 2, 2009;
New Members Division: For recent graduates and AALL members who have been in the profession for less than five years. Papers are due by March 2, 2009
Student Division: For students in library, information management or law school. Participants in this division need not be members of AALL. To submit in this category, you must have been enrolled in law school, or in a library school, information management, or an equivalent program, either in the Fall 2008 or Spring 2009 semester. Papers in the Student Division are due by April 15, 2009.
The winner in each division receives $750 donated by LexisNexis, plus the opportunity to present the winning paper at a program at the 2009 AALL Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Winning papers are also considered for publication in Law Library Journal.
For more information, a list of previous winners, an application and instructions on how to submit your article, visit the AALL website.
Opening: Cataloging Librarian, George Washington University Law Library
The Jacob Burns Law Library is reopening its search for a cataloging librarian with foreign language skills to perform original descriptive and subject cataloging, and to edit shared cataloging copy for older legal materials in a variety of foreign languages. Other responsibilities include providing authority control for headings, solving cataloging conflicts between catalog records and the collection, and participating in the library’s cooperative programs. This is a new cataloging position designed to address the increasing number of foreign language print materials in the library’s research collection.
QUALIFICATIONS: MLS (or equivalent) from an ALA-accredited institution; two to three years of current experience in cataloging, to include original cataloging for materials in French and one additional romance language; working knowledge of AACR2R, LC classification schedules, LCSH, LCRI’s, CSB, MARC formats, and OCLC Connexion; experience with an automated integrated library system; and excellent communication skills. PREFERRED: Cataloging experience in an academic, law, or national library; experience creating authority records; strong service orientation; ability to exercise initiative; and demonstrated ability to work well independently and collegially.
Review of applications will begin November 1, 2008, and will continue until the position is filled. To be considered for this position, please send a cover letter, resume, and the names of three professional references via postal mail to Leslie A. Lee, Assistant Director for Administration; The George Washington University, Jacob Burns Law Library; 716 20th Street, NW; Washington, DC 20052; or email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or fax to 202-994-1430 (fax). Only complete applications will be considered.
The George Washington University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
October 7, 2008
Who is Downloading Podcasts?
A recent Pew Internet Project Data memo reports that 19% of all Internet users say they have downloaded a podcast so they could listen to it or view it later. This most recent percentage is up from 12% in Pew Internet's August 2006 survey and 7% in their February-April 2006 survey. Here's the Report's findings on podcast downloading demographics:
Men continue to be more likely than women to download podcasts; 22% of online men compared with just 16% of online women report ever having downloaded a podcast. However, men and women are equally likely (3%) to download podcasts on a typical day. Age differences are more defined with regard to podcast downloading than they were in 2006 when all age groups, except for those 65 and older, were almost equally likely to download podcasts. Now, the dividing line is around the age of 50, with Internet users under 50 years old significantly more likely than older users to download podcasts. Fully 23% of those under 50 say they have ever downloaded a podcast and 4% downloaded one yesterday, compared with 13% and 1% of their older counterparts. Since 2006, younger generations have more fully embraced the technology, their percentages nearly doubling in 2006.
SCOTUS Retirement Watch and Likely Picks By President Obama or President McCain
Playoffs & Prizes
It's early October. And that can mean only one thing: the start of the baseball playoffs? True, but I'm actually referring to something else: the announcement of this year's Nobel Prizes. Yesterday, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three European scientists who discovered the viruses that cause AIDS and cervical cancer. Earlier today, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to one American and two Japanese scientists for their work exploring the hidden symmetries between elementary particles that are the deepest constituents of nature. Prizes in chemistry, literature, peace, and economics will be announced later this week and next Monday. You can hear about them first on Nobelprize.org, the official website of the Nobel Foundation. It has comprehensive, first-hand information about Nobel Laureates (past and present) and makes available interviews, Nobel Lectures, speeches, articles, and more. [RLS]
Law School Ranking Nonsense from The Princeton Review, 2009 Edition
In the publishing industry, no law school ranking title trumps The Princeton Review in publishing nonsense. The 2009 edition of The Best 174 Law Schools is now available. The publisher has "surveyed more than 18,000 students at 174 law schools, in additon to collecting data from school administrators, to create 11 ranking lists." Note well, the publisher usually updates the descriptive school entries based on some of the survey data only once every two or three years, so ... here's a sample:
Best Professors: Boston
Best Career Prospects: Michigan
Best Classroom Experience: Texas
Toughest to Get Into (the only ranking based solely on school-reported data): Yale
- Best Career Prospects
- Best Classroom Experience
- Best Environment for Minority Students
- Best Quality of Life
- Candidates for Center for American Progress Fellowships? (Or, Students Lean to the Left)
- Candidates for Heritage Foundation Fellowships? (Or, Students Lean to the Right)
- Most Competitive Students
- Most Diverse Faculty
- Most Welcoming of Older Students
- Professors Rock (Legally Speaking)
- Toughest to Get Into
SCOTUS as Public Policy Battleground
Interest groups pursue their goals in a variety of venues, including the courts. At the US Supreme Court, the predominant method of interest group participation is the amicus curiae brief. Since the 1960s interest groups participating as amici curiae have increased remarkably, with briefs now present in over eighty percent of cases given full treatment by the Court. In Friends of the Supreme Court: Interest Groups and Judicial Decision (Oxford UP, 2008), Paul M. Collins explores how organized interests influence the justices' decision making, including how the justices vote and whether they choose to author concurrences and dissents.
Based on his statistical analysis, Collins finds that amicus briefs are efficacious because they provide the justices with information that helps them locate their policy preferences. All justices respond to the presence of amicus briefs, even those briefs that are not congruent with their ideological predispositions; Liberal briefs are more influential for liberal justices than conservative briefs, while conservative briefs are much more influential for conservative justices than liberal briefs. [JH]
ASIL Launches i.lex
i.lex: The Legal Research System for International Law in U.S. Courts, is an online database of select U.S. court cases and related materials produced by the American Society of International Law to serve as a resource for identifing and understanding how international law is interpreted and applied by U.S. courts at both the federal and state level. Hat tip to Legal Research Plus. [JH]
AALL Creates New Annual Meeting/Workshop Grant Category
The AALL Grants Committee has created a new Annual Meeting/Workshop Granting category, beginning with the 2009 award year. The category applies to "experienced members (5 or more years) who have a proven record of professional accomplishment and service to AALL." Like the grant for Students/New Members with less than 5 years of professional experience this one covers the Annual Meeting registration fee or the registration fee for workshops presented at the Annual Meeting. For more information, visit the AALL Grant Committee’s website. [JH]
U.S. Government Manual, 2008-2009
The 2008-2009 edition of the United States Government Manual is now available on GPO Access. As the official handbook of the Federal Government, the United States Government Manual provides comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. It also includes information on quasi-official agencies; international organizations in which the United States participates; and boards, commissions, and committees.
A typical agency description includes:
- A list of officials heading major operating units.
- A summary statement of the agency's purpose and role in the Federal Government.
- A brief history of the agency, including its legislative or executive authority.
- A description of its programs and activities.
- Information, addresses, and phone numbers to help users locate detailed information on consumer activities, contracts and grants, employment, publications, and other matters of public interest.
Opening: Circuit Librarian, Fifth Circuit, New Orleans
The Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit invite applications from qualified persons for the position of Circuit Librarian. The Fifth Circuit Library supports 225 federal circuit, district, bankruptcy, and magistrate judges throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The Library currently employees 23 staff members in nine branch libraries throughout the Circuit. This position is duty stationed at the Court’s headquarters in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Circuit Librarian is responsible for long-range strategic planning, policy development and implementation, budget oversight, human resource management, library automation, acquisition of legal subscriptions and publications, development and delivery of electronic tools and resources, planning and managing of library space and facilities, and overseeing the provision of legal research in all information formats and the training of library users in all research sources.
An applicant must have an M.L.S./M.L.I.S. from an ALA-accredited program. A J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school is desirable but not required. The position requires a minimum of ten years of legal library experience, with demonstrated management and supervisory skills in public service or business which provided a thorough understanding of organizational, procedural, and human aspects in managing a complex organization. A comprehensive understanding of library operations and management concepts is essential, including experience with the SIRSI Unicorn Integrated Library System or other ILS, Westlaw, and Lexis. Additional desirable qualifications include specialized education in public or judicial administration, training in court management, knowledge of automated systems, strong analytical skills, polished oral and written communication skills, creativity, and initiative. Application may be made by sending 6 copies of a résumé and salary history to: Mr. Gregory A. Nussel Circuit Executive United States Courts, Fifth Circuit 600 Camp Street, Room 300 New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
The starting salary range for this position is $126,618 - $157,999 annually, plus full federal benefits. Pay will be set based on experience and current salary, pursuant to regulations. The deadline for receipt of résumés is October 31, 2008. The selected applicant must undergo a background check and provide educational transcripts. The Fifth Circuit is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The person selected will serve at the pleasure of the Court. For additional information, please visit www.ca5.uscourts.gov
October 6, 2008
OJ Simpson Jury Press Conference Video
In an unusual move to get back to their regular lives, jurors in the OJ Simpson kidnapping trial held a press conference. Here's a snippet. [JH]
SCOTUS Back in Business
This week's agenda thanks to SCOTUSBlog. According to the National Law Journal's 2008-2009 U.S. Supreme Court Preview, "following a blockbuster term involving guns, Guantánamo Bay and the death penalty, the U.S. Supreme Court opens its doors to a new term with less drama, more cases initially and many challenges having potentially major implications for business, the environment, injured consumers, job bias victims and law enforcement." [RJ]
Editor's Note: Check out the Law Professor Blogs Network's new Constitutional Law Prof Blog. Edited by Steven Schwinn (John Marshall-Chicago,) Ruthann Robson (CUNY) and Nareissa L. Smith (Florida Coastal), the blog is launching as SCOTUS gets down to the business of it's 2008-2009 term. [JH]
Where Are the Strong Female Voices in the Legal Blogosphere?
C.C. Holland assesses the apparent disparity in law blogger demographics and raises important issues in so far as the majority of high-profile legal blogs in academia or the practice of law are written by men. Yes, I was quoted in the Law.com article but that's not why I am linking to Where Are All the Female Law Bloggers? [JH]
U.S. Courts RSS Feeds
RSS feeds now available from the U.S. Courts website include:
- Video News Archive
- The Third Branch: Newsletter of the Federal Courts
- Federal Rulemaking
- Hurricane Season 2008: Court Status Updates
Hat tip to AbsTracked. [RJ]
Tulane Law Review's Flawed Empirical Study
A flawed empirical study published in the Tulane Law Review has draw the ire of the blogging community as well as the Louisiana Supreme Court Justices. In, The Louisiana Supreme Court in Question: An Empirical and Statistical Study of the Effects of Campaign Money on the Judicial Function, authors Vernon Valentine Palmer and John Levendis argue their "empirical and statistical study of the Louisiana Supreme Court demonstrates that the court has been significantly influenced—wittingly or unwittingly—by the campaign contributions from litigants and lawyers appearing before it." One (BIG) problem, the article "was based on empirical data coded by the authors, but the data contained numerous coding errors." According to Tulane's Dean Ponoroff "because of the miscalculation in the underlying data, the reliability of some or all of the authors' conclusions in the study as published has been called into question." The Tulane Law Review has posted an erratum on its website apologizing for the mistake. [RJ]
Final Report in DOJ Firing Scandal
The Office of the Inspector General has released its final report on the removal of nine U.S. attorneys from the Department of Justice. No charges are expected in the dismissal of attorneys, according to the NY Times. However, the investigation found significant evidence that political partisan considerations were an important factor in the removal of several of the U.S. Attorneys. The report concluded that the process the Department used to select the U.S.Attorneys for removal was fundamentally flawed, and the oversight and implementation of the removal process by the Department’s most senior leaders was seriously lacking.
Opening: Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Director of the Law Library, Louisiana State University Law Center
The LSU Law Center invites applications for candidates for its Law Library and Information Services Director. The directorship is a tenured or tenure-track position with a rank and salary commensurate with the successful applicant's experience and competitive with those available at the nation's other outstanding law schools. An active role in teaching legal research, including advanced legal research, is possible if the director is interested in such a role. An ABA accredited law degree and an ALA accredited library degree are required, along with significant experience in an academic law library.
The LSU System is composed of ten institutions spanning Louisiana, one of which is the LSU Law Center, an independent campus in the system. The law library director reports to the Chancellor and the Faculty of the Law Center. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, is a Research I University, with an enrollment of over 30,000 students. The campus is located on 2,000 acres in the southern part of Baton Rouge, and is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River. Baton Rouge, with a metropolitan area population of more than 756,000, is the capital of Louisiana.
In the last seven years, the Law Center has increased its operating budget by over 50%; reduced the size of its student body by 10% to approximately 576 J.D. students; increased the LSAT entering credentials of its first year class from 149 (25th percentile), 153 (median), and 156 (75th percentile) to 154, 156, 159; completed an extensive renovation in excess of $17 million dollars of its physical plant; and hired ten new faculty members;
The LSU Law Center is the only United States law school that offers a common law, federal law, and international law curriculum comparable to other outstanding American law schools and an extensive civil law curriculum reflecting Louisiana's unique French and Spanish legal heritage. Every graduate is trained in both the common law and the civil law, and receives both the traditional American Juris Doctor degree and a Graduate Diploma in Civil Law. LSU Law also offers a LL.M. and a Master of Civil Law degree to U.S. and foreign law graduates. On the international front, the Law Center offers a Comparative United States/European curriculum in its well-established Lyon, France, Summer Program. Distinguished judges, practitioners and academicians drawn from the United States, Europe, and other nations teach annually in a cycle of three-week courses enriching our students' appreciation of the civil law tradition and of comparative modes of legal analysis. The Law Center is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.
In 2008, the LSU Law Center received substantial funding to support the expansion of its Clinical Legal Education program. The clinical program offers students the opportunity to represent live clients, as well as externship opportunities with courts, other governmental agencies, and community organizations.
The Law Library and Information Technology Services departments have and must continue to play a central role in supporting these and other developments and trends. Indeed, in direct response to the Law Center's Operational Plan, both groups have been among the principal beneficiaries of the Law Center's unprecedented state, federal, and private financial support.
We are looking for an individual who will maintain the tradition of excellence in the Library's collection and acquisitions programs (including the Civil and Comparative Law fields in which the Library has been among the preeminent law libraries since the 1960's), and who will bring superb management skills to the direction of a customer service oriented team.
Candidates should submit a resume and at least three references. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The LSU Law Center is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity. Applications or inquiries should be sent to:
Professor Wendell Holmes
Chair, Search Committee
LSU Law Center
E. Campus Road
Baton Rouge, La. 70803
The Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Employer.
October 5, 2008
New Report Identifies Most Capitalist-Friendly US States
The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) has released the U.S. Economic Freedom Index: 2008 Report, a ranking of economic freedom in the 50 states. Published in association with Forbes, the Index scores states based on 143 variables, including regulatory and fiscal obstacles imposed on businesses and residents. "People are moving to the freest states and fleeing the least free states as our market-based migration metric of economic freedom predicts," said Lawrence J. McQuillan, Ph.D., director of Business and Economic Studies at PRI and director of the project. "By measuring economic freedom and studying its effects, people will gain a fuller appreciation of the important imprint it makes on the economic and political fabric of America and will encourage new state legislation that advances economic liberty."
According to the results:
- South Dakota is # 1
- Great Plains and Rocky Mountain States Most Free
- Northeast States Most Economically Oppressed
- Most Improved States in the Upper Midwest
- States with Biggest Drops include Texas which fell 14 spots; Alaska, Delaware, and North Carolina each dropping 12 spots; and Arizona falling by 10 places.