February 9, 2008
How the World Rates Women as Leaders
New report from the Pew Global Attitudes Project: "On Dec.10, 2007 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will become Argentina's first female president, joining 11 other female prime ministers and presidents. But a Pew Global Attitudes survey finds world publics hold mixed opinions about women political leaders." [RJ]
How Well Are American Students Learning?
From the Brown Center on Education Policy, The Brookings Institution: "This is the seventh edition of the Brown Center Report on American Education. As in the past, the report consists of three sections. The first section examines the latest test score data on math and reading achievement.This year the analysis focuses primarily on results of the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), including a discussion of NAEP achievement levels.
The second section investigates a general theme or trend in education. This year the second section scrutinizes enrollment patterns in private and public schools. Section three looks at an issue of policy relevance. International test data are examined to see whether a relationship exists between national math scores and the amount of time students spend learning mathematics in different countries." [RJ]
February 8, 2008
Friday Fun: How Not To Conduct a Reference Interview
Six MLIS students created this puppet show to illustrate what not to do at a reference interview. [JH]
The Leading Public Policy Research Organizations in the World, 2007
From the Foreign Policy Research Institute: "Gone are the days when a think tank could operate with the motto “research it, write it and they will find it”. Today, think tanks must be lean, mean, policy machines. The report that follows summarizes the findings of a pilot project to identify some of the leading think tanks in the world, and provides lists of what might be called the “go to think tanks” in every region." [RJ]
Maloy's America's Supreme Court: An Unfinished Symphony
America's Supreme Court: An Unfinished Symphony
by Richard, H.W. Maloy
List Price: $39.95
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Vandeplas Publishing; 1st edition (2007)
Product Description: In Professor Maloy s latest book, America s Supreme Court: An Unfinished Symphony, by reviewing 182 cases decided by the Supreme Court he envisions the Court s 216 year history, from 1789 through 2005, as being divided, like most symphonic works, into four distinct compartments, or movements. The first movement, composed of the Court led by three Chief Justices, made a hesitant start, during which it was not even given a suitable place in which to hold court. This tentative beginning was followed by the second movement under the leadership of two dynamic and forceful leaders John Marshall and Roger Taney. The Court s third period, it longest in term of years, had eight Chief Justices. Some, such as Charles Evans Hughes, were brilliant leaders, others, though competent judges, did not possess the leadership abilities one might expect of Chief Justices of the nation s highest court. Nonetheless the third movement helped form a nation beyond its developing stage, but not quite at the peak of its progress. The final movement under Chief Justices Earl Warren, Warren Earl Burger, and William Rehnquist. continued the Supreme Court s symphony with a crescendo of decisions emanating from a background of lightening-like changes and incongruous social patterns. The Court s fourth movement, dramatic as it is, does not conclude its history; hence the Court s work, at this point, is unfinished. The author does not attempt to predict what the present Court, under Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will do. Like all other interested observers, Prof. Maloy waits to see whether the present Court s members add to its fourth movement, or construct a completely new one out of the cases it will decide that arise in the ever-changing and unpredictable time in which the world exists.
About the Author: Professor Richard H.W. Maloy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College, a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School, and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Miami. During his 34 years of law practice in Miami, Florida he was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami and the author of books on appellate practice, pleadings and bankruptcy. He has been on the faculty of St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami since 1991, and is currently a Visiting Professor of Law at that school, where he teaches Conflict of Laws and Remedies.
Investor and Industry Perspectives on Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers
New report from the RAND Corporation: "In theory, financial professionals are relatively distinct: A broker conducts transactions in securities on behalf of others; a dealer buys and sells securities for his or her own accounts; and an investment adviser provides advice to others regarding securities. Broker-dealers and investment advisers are subject to different regulatory structures. But trends in the financial services market since the early 1990s have blurred the boundaries between them. Regulatory reform requires a clearer understanding of the industry’s complexities. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked RAND to conduct this study to examine the professionals’ current business practices and whether investors understand differences between and relationships among them. The report describes a heterogeneous industry, with firms taking many different forms and offering a multitude of services and products and with investors failing to distinguish broker-dealers and investment advisers along regulatory lines. Despite this, investors express high levels of satisfaction with the services they receive from their own financial service providers. This satisfaction was much more frequently reported to arise from the personal attention the investor receives than from the actual financial returns arising from this relationship." [RJ]
My Friend Flickr: A Match Made in Photo Heaven
"If you’re reading this, then chances are you already know about Web 2.0. Even if you don’t know the term itself, you’re one of millions worldwide who are actively creating, sharing or benefiting from user-generated content that characterizes Web 2.0 phenomena.
As a communicator, I want to expand the reach of the Library and access to our magnificent collections as far and wide as possible. Of course, there are only so many hours in the day, so many staff in Library offices and so many dollars in the budget. Priorities have to be chosen that will most effectively advance our mission.
That’s why it is so exciting to let people know about the launch of a brand-new pilot project the Library of Congress is undertaking with Flickr, the enormously popular photo-sharing site that has been a Web 2.0 innovator. If all goes according to plan, the project will help address at least two major challenges: how to ensure better and better access to our collections, and how to ensure that we have the best possible information about those collections for the benefit of researchers and posterity. In many senses, we are looking to enhance our metadata (one of those Web 2.0 buzzwords that 90 percent of our readers could probably explain better than me)."
Check out Flickr's take: Many hands make light work. [RJ]
February 7, 2008
Professional Reading: The Next Frontier for Network Neutrality
Paul Weiser's (Colorado) The Next Frontier for Network Neutrality, 60 Administrative Law Review __ (2008)(forthcoming) is available from SSRN. Here's the abstract:
The challenge for policymakers evaluating calls to institute some form of network neutrality regulation is to bring reasoned analysis to bear on a topic that continues to generate more heat than light and that many telecommunications companies appear to believe will just fade away. Over the fall of 2007, the hopes of broadband providers that broadband networks could escape any form of regulatory oversight were dealt a blow when it was revealed that Comcast had degraded the experience of some users of Bittorent (a peer-to-peer application) and engaged in an undisclosed form of network management. This incident, as well as the polarized debate that followed it, underscores the need to reframe the policy and academic debate over broadband regulation and begin evaluating a blueprint for a next generation regulatory strategy that will focus on promoting innovation in the network itself and by applications developers. This Article seeks to do just that.
This Article begins by explaining how the debate over network neutrality has all-too-often presented polarized perspectives and slogans where more nuanced analysis is called for. As Internet pioneer David Clark commented on the network neutrality debate, [m]ost of what we have seen so far (in my opinion) either greatly overreaches, or is so vague as to be nothing but a lawyer's employment act. As the Article explains, any effort by Congress to develop a well-specified response to network neutrality concerns would be premature, as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should first be afforded an opportunity to develop an effective consumer protection and competition policy strategy.
As the Article explains, the FTC has an important opportunity - and indeed a responsibility - to develop and implement a consumer protection strategy in this area, calling for effective disclosure of broadband terms of service and the enforcement of the commitments made in those policies. Moreover, as to the relevant competition policy issues, the Article calls on either the FTC or the FCC (or both) to develop and implement an effective institutional strategy to guard against anticompetitive refusals to provide access to quality of service assurances. In short, the appropriate response to network neutrality concerns is not to ban such quality of service assurances altogether - as that would stifle the Internet's development - but to ensure that the offering of such assurances is not used to injure competition and harm consumers.
AALL Scholarship Applications Due April 1
Visit the AALL Scholarships page on AALLNET for complete information, instructions, and applications.
General Educational Scholarships, supported by AALL and the LexisNexis John R. Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund:
- Graduate Library School Scholarships, for students with JD degrees or for students without JD degrees
- Law School Scholarships, for students with MLS/MILS degrees or for those seeking a dual JD/MLS degree
- Scholarships for Library School Graduates Seeking a Non-Law Degree
- Scholarships for Continuing Education Classes
Additional Scholarships include:
- AALL and Thomson West George A. Strait Minority Scholarship
- James F. Connolly LexisNexis Academic and Library Solutions Scholarship
Cornell Law Library's InSITE Website Reviews
Reviews published in the January 28, 2008 issue of InSITE:
- Blawg Search
- ELS Bibliography
- IRC: International Rescue Committee
- RJ&L Religious Liberty Archive
Black Box Voting is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit elections watchdog group that “investigates election problems, communicates the problems to the citizenry, and teaches citizens how to manage their own government -- which means teaching citizens how to identify elections problems and providing citizens with the tools to oversee elections.” The group was founded in 2004 by Bev Harris, author of Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century. The book is available for free downloading from various pages of the site. The top link on the home page is to the Citizen Tool Kit, a compilation of 20 modules on how to become involved through becoming a poll worker, auditing the election, monitoring the counting, and so forth. There are specific tool kit modules for candidates, celebrities, and affluent citizens. The Press Kit answers basic questions about the organization and provides story angles, interview questions, contacts, and resources for reporters. The strength of the site is public participation via Forums where citizens post information about such matters as investigations, relevant news, the election industry, voting technology, and election processes by jurisdiction. A Tree View of all the topics is helpful in locating and selecting forums. There is a sophisticated search function for all the posts, and archives are available. The threaded conversations are easy to follow and all post authors are required to post their names. The latest resource is Black Box Videos with posts of investigative work and interviews. The videos are accessed via links to video.google.com. This is a site that reflects the members’ crusade for fair voting. It is neither slick nor fancy but succeeds in getting key information across and allows for citizen interaction. [JC]
To complement their other offerings, Justia provides BlawgSearch. BlawgSearch allows users to find law-related blogs—blawgs—in multiple ways. BlawgSearch offers a search engine, a directory, and a "most popular" section. The search function is a basic keyword search on the postings of legal blogs. On the main page of the site, Justia provides a list of recent search terms that are hyperlinked and can be clicked to run as search terms. The blawg directory is very useful. For topical access, users will find over 2300 blawgs categorized into 60 topics. For geographic access, there are state and country listings. In addition, 234 law school blawgs are categorized by 112 school names. The most popular feature ranks blawgs by the number of visits originating from BlawgSearch. Rankings are by current day, current week, current month, and all time. Monthly rankings for all of 2007 are available, too. If you do not see a blawg of interest on BlawgSearch, you may suggest it for inclusion. [MM]
A joint project between UCLA and Cornell, the ELS (i.e., Empirical Legal Studies) Bibliography provides bibliographic access to recent empirical legal scholarship. Coverage of the database begins in July 2005, and it is current through July 2007. Articles were culled from roughly eighty journals, including flagship law reviews from the top forty law schools, law school-based major specialty journals, relevant non-law school journals, and top journals in economics, psychology, sociology, political science, and anthropology. Articles selected for inclusion in the database were subject to a set of protocols to ensure that they contained significant empirical research. Each record in the database contains several pieces of metadata, including the author(s) and author affiliation, article title, journal, year of publication, and one or more assigned subject terms. The database may be searched by one or more of these parameters. In addition to regular updating of the database, there is a plan to extend coverage back to 2000. [MM]
IRC: International Rescue Committee
Since its founding in 1933, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has provided hope and humanitarian aid to refugees and other victims of oppression and violent conflict around the world. It is currently active in 25 countries assisting in the aftermath of natural disasters and armed conflict. “Who We Are” identifies directors and officers, gives contact information, and posts complete financial statements for the past two years. Indeed, every page of the website highlights IRC’s high charity rankings for efficient use of funds and requests donations. “What We Do” describes assisting in areas such as Anti-trafficking, Children, Economic Recovery and Development, Health, and Immigration Assistance. Each area of assistance includes several specific programs. For example, “Children” includes youth programs, separated children, child soldiers, and education. “How You Can Help” emphasizes advocacy to Congress on IRC target issues. Some programs have a Research Library link to websites and documents (project descriptions, lectures, briefings, and papers). The “News from the Field” section is of use to researchers looking for information on current events, with articles from around the world, staff blogs, a list of issues in focus, a “crisis watch,” and “hot zones.” A multimedia section offers podcasts, photo essays, videos, RSS feeds, and an e-newsletter to keep current on humanitarian efforts. The IRC site is complex and requires drilling down to find specifics. The site does a very good job in educating the world about its role and in highlighting important global issues. [JC]
RJ&L Religious Liberty Archive
Sponsored by Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP, the Religious Liberty Archive is an extensive repository of resources for anyone seeking information about state and federal laws pertaining to religious freedom in the United States. Here visitors may view Supreme Court cases and commentaries, state statutes, and important historical documents and speeches relevant to religious issues in the United States. Cases are browseable by topics such as “Abortion” or “Censorship,” or viewable by date or case name. Some of these cases have commentary by the Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons law firm. Statutes are browseable by act name. The Archive also provides law review articles and treatise excerpts. A wonderful resource of the Archive is the “Historical Documents Outline” section, which contains the full text of early colony charters, state constitutions dating back to 1776, Congressional debates, Presidential proclamations, ands statements regarding religion and religious liberty. [BWK]
InSITE contributors: J. Callihan, B. Kreisler, M. Morrison, J. Pajerek (editor)
InSITE highlights selected law-related Web sites in two ways: as an annotated publication issued electronically and in print; and, as a keyword-searchable database. The law librarians at Cornell
evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them. This information can be accessed via:
1. Searchable database or by browsing current and archived
issues on the web:
Click InSITE at http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
3. Via e-mail subscription: send the following request to: email@example.com:
join INSITE-L "your name"
where your name (include the quotation marks) is the name you want to be available to the list's administrator. You must send this message from the e-mail address where you want to receive the e-list's messages.
4. Print format for the Cornell Law School community.
The contents of this publication and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University.
Cornell Law Library URL: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
© 2008 Cornell Law Library
Universal Affordable Broadband for All Americans
Report from the Benton Foundation: "Benton Foundation releases Universal Affordable Broadband for All Americans, a report and roadmap for making broadband access as universal as telephones are today. The report calls for an aggressive new approach, a national broadband strategy, and efforts to modernize federal universal telephone service policies to help meet the challenges of connecting all Americans to broadband." [RJ]
What if the Machine Stopped
Recently a major undersea cable failure in the Mediterranean brought down Internet services in much of Asia, the Middle East and northern Africa. What if the failure was permanent? Would civilization as we know it come to a grinding halt if the Internet stopped working? Check out Lynn Greiner's Networkworld article, What if the Internet went down...and didn't come back up? Civilization, no. But "the business world would come to an end until they completely rebuilt their business model." So would law school student legal research! [JH]
February 6, 2008
USLaw Launches Blog Directory and Search Engine
The Google Generation and Emerging Web Behavior
"Internet technology develops at a dizzying speed. Insight into new and emerging Web behavior is crucial in order to make sense of the latest developments and contribute to the development of the Web of the future. What are the habits and skills of the so digital natives, the Millennials, the Google generation?"
Check out our earlier post: Is the Google Generation a Myth? [RJ]
A Pocket Guide to the Classified Information Procedures Act
Keeping Government Secrets: A Pocket Guide for Judges on the State-Secrets Privilege, the Classified Information Procedures Act, and Court Security Officers is available from the Federal Judicial Center:
"Most federal judges come into contact with classified information infrequently, if at all, but when they do, they are faced with the dilemma of how to protect government secrets in the context of an otherwise public proceeding. This pocket guide is designed to familiarize federal judges with statutes and procedures established to help public courts protect government secrets when courts are called upon to do so. The guide provides information about the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), information security officers, and secure storage facilities."
New Cambridge UP Press Titles in Law
Regulating Vice provides a new, interdisciplinary lens for examining vice policy.
Common Law Theory
Douglas E. Edlin
Experts analyze the common law through three of its classic themes: rules, reasoning, and constitutionalism.
International Criminal Law Practitioner Library
Volume 1: Forms of Responsibility in International Criminal Law
Gideon Boas, James L. Bischoff, Natalie L. Reid
An examination of the criminal responsibility of individuals for the commission of war crimes etc.
Capital Markets Law and Compliance
A practical guide to, and an analysis and critique of, the regulation of capital markets.
Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care
"Racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive lower-quality health care than whites do, even when insurance status, income, age, and severity of conditions are comparable, says a new report from the National Academies' Institute of Medicine. The committee that wrote the report also emphasized that differences in treating heart disease, cancer, and HIV infection partly contribute to higher death rates for minorities.
"Disparities in the health care delivered to racial and ethnic minorities are real and are associated with worse outcomes in many cases, which is unacceptable," said committee chair Alan Nelson, a retired physician, former president of the American Medical Association, and current special adviser to the chief executive officer of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, Washington, D.C. "The real challenge lies not in debating whether disparities exist, because the evidence is overwhelming, but in developing and implementing strategies to reduce and eliminate them."
The congressionally mandated report says a large body of research underscores the existence of disparities. For example, minorities are less likely to be given appropriate cardiac medications or to undergo bypass surgery, and are less likely to receive kidney dialysis or transplants. In addition, several studies show significant racial differences in who receives appropriate cancer diagnostic tests and treatments. Minorities also are less likely to receive the most sophisticated treatments for HIV infection, which could forestall the onset of AIDS. By contrast, they are more likely to receive certain less-desirable procedures, such as lower limb amputations for diabetes and other conditions.
The committee's first recommendation for reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health care is to increase awareness about them among the general public, health care providers, insurance companies, and policy-makers. Consistency and equity of care also should be promoted through the use of "evidence-based" guidelines to help providers and health plans make decisions about which procedures to order or pay for based on the best available science. Other specific steps to reduce and eliminate disparities are presented in the report." [RJ]
President's Budget of the U. S. Government, FY 2009
"Issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Budget of the United States Government is a collection of documents that contains the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications that have been issued throughout the fiscal year."
February 5, 2008
Beware Kentucky Librarians
Kentucky librarians save the day with quick thinking and aggressive confrontations in this entertaining sentencing case from the Sixth Circuit. While the opinion's author seems to be quite taken with the fact that the bed sheet used by the would-be rare book robbers to carry out their nefarious plan was pink, the story is riveting (by judicial opinion standards). Here's an excerpt:
[A librarian] caught up to them in a stairwell where they were attempting to open the emergency exit and, surprised by her arrival and aggressive confrontation, they dropped several objects — specifically, the two remaining volumes of the Birds of North America four-volume set (they had left two volumes atop the pink bed sheet in the Special Collections Department) and the two volumes of the Quadrupeds three-volume set (one of the three volumes had been left behind, tuck in its drawer in the Special Collections Department). Lipka and Borsuk fled through the emergency door carrying five objects (Hortus Sanitatis, the 20 pencil drawings, Synopsis of the Birds of North America, Origin of Species, and Illuminated Manuscript), with Ms. Brown and other librarians in hot pursuit. Lipka and Borsuk scrambled into the waiting van and Allen sped away, though not before Ms. Brown had scratched the van with a key in an attempt to mark it for later identification. Once the robbers had escaped, the police were called, but before the police could document the crime scene, some librarians collected the discarded objects and returned them to their proper places.
Bully for them! For future reference, the value of books never removed from their primary home (in this case, the rare book room) are not "taken" and so are not to be considered in sentencing calculations, whereas the value of books removed from the rare book room but later abandoned (even within the same building) are "taken" and should be be considered. Indeed.
Bringing Trials to your Desktop
Here's something not typically seen in most library budgets today, but may become the line-item of the future. CourtroomLive is a new product that provides live and on-demand video coverage of noteworthy trails, directly to your computer. From the homepage:
Viewers can simultaneously view video of the proceedings while examining digital snapshots of evidence presented in court. Video is used for trial preparation, research, and educational purposes by a range of legal and business professionals, from litigators to in-house counsel to financial analysts to educational institutions.
A joint product of ALM and CVN, it could be a great teaching tool, or used to scope out the style of opposing counsel, conduct jury research, and many other applications.