March 14, 2009
C-Span's 2009 Presidential Leadership Survey
According to historians surveyed by C-Span, the top 5 presidents are Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. Other notables, Ronald Reagan and Lyndon Johnson came in 10th and 11th respectively. George W. Bush beat Millard Fillmore for 36th place with Andrew Johnson coming in 41st place and James Buchanan ranking last. [JH]
March 13, 2009
Bernard Madoff's Guilty Plea Allocution
Friday Fun: Time to Sell Bar Prep Packages
With the budget situation looking bleak, shouldn't academic law libraries take over the bar prep concession? Here's "Barbri Girl," a great skit from the 2008 NYU Law Revue.
Did "Barbri Girl" just pull that pink cocktail dress out of her closet? [JH]
New Globalex Articles (February 2009)
- Research Guide to the Somaliland Legal System by Mohamed Farah Hersi
- Global Warming: A Comparative Guide to the E.U. and the U.S. and Their Approaches to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol by Deborah Paulus-Jagrič
- Comparative Law by Paul Norman
- Japanese Law via the Internet by Makoto Ibusuki; Revised by Takako Okada
- Introduction to Researching South Pacific Law by Peter Murgatroyd
More articles on international, comparative, and foreign law research at: http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/index.html [RJ]
Deadline for AALL Research Grant Applications Is March 27
The AALL Research and Publications Committee is accepting applications through Friday, March 27, 2009 for research grants from the AALL Research Fund, totaling up to $1,425. The will be awarded and announced in May 2009.
The committee will award one or more grants to library professionals who wish to conduct research that supports the research/scholarly agenda of the profession of librarianship. Theannual grants fund small or large research projects that create, disseminate or use legal and law-related information. The AALL Research Agenda offers suggestions for possible research projects. However, projects are not limited to those described in the agenda, and the committee will consider all applications and research projects.
Removing Books from School Libraries
Eugene Volokh discusses the implications of the Supreme Court's 4-4 decision on Board of Education v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982) in his blog post, What Do Supreme Court Precedents Tell Us About Removal of Books from School Libraries. [JH]
Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice Annual Report 2008
"The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ) has published its 2008 Annual Report to the President and Congress (Will be available soon). Established under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act, FACJJ advises the President, Congress, and OJJDP on matters related to juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. The report addresses significant issues facing our nation’s juvenile justice system. Primary among its concerns, FACJJ urges reauthorization of the JJDP Act."
March 12, 2009
Life of a Swing Justice: Video of Jon Stewart Interviewing Justice O'Conner
Volokh's Laptop Ban Experiment
Eugene Volokh (UCLA) has published the results of a student survey about banning laptops in one of his classes. Findings on the effects of the ban include:
- student concentration: 40% slightly positive, 31% strongly positive
- usefulness of students' notes for studying: 19% strongly negative, 33% slightly negative
Check out Volokh's post and download his memo for details. [JH]
New on LLRX.com
- Guide to International Refugee Law Resources on the Web
This updated research guide by Elisa Mason directs readers to some of the key texts and resources available on the Web that can help shed light on, and provide a context for, many of the issues currently being deliberated in the refugee law arena. The guide covers international and regional instruments, human rights and humanitarian law, international bodies (especially the UNHCR), national legislation, case law, and periodicals.
- Criminal Law Resources: Social Networking Online and Criminal Justice
The activities of users and the information being posted on social networking sites are having wide ranging effects on the administration of justice, law enforcement investigation, prosecution and defense. Ken Strutin's guide provides a snapshot of many of the novel and varied uses of social networking evidence in the field of criminal justice.
- Knowledge Discovery Resources 2009: An Internet MiniGuide Annotated Link Compilation
Marcus P. Zillman's compilation is dedicated to the latest and most reliable resources for knowledge discovery available through the Internet. This wide ranging selection of resources provides specialized tools, applications and sources relevant to researchers from many disciplines
ABA Launches Immigration Fraud Website
The ABA Commission on Immigration has just launched a new website dedicated to the immigration fraud issue. The website includes a resources page and a listserv. Hat tip to Dean Johnson, ImmigrationProf Blog. [JH]
The Online Digital Library of West Coast Ocean Law
CCLME.org has produced a digital library that allows users to search for national and state level laws that apply to the ocean and coast within the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem.A Customizable search engine is also available. Hat tip Legal Research Plus. [RJ]
March 11, 2009
Ten Major Newspapers That May Fold or Go Digital Only
Time has published a distrubing story about the current state of the US newspaper industry. In it, the article lists 24/7 Wall Street's prediction of the ten major daily papers that will most likely to fold or shut their print operations and only publish online. The properties were chosen based on the financial strength of their parent companies, the amount of direct competition that they face in their markets, and industry information on how much money they are losing. Based on this analysis, it is possible that eight of the fifty largest daily newspapers in the United States could cease publication in the next eighteen months.
1. Philadelphia Daily News
2. The Minneapolis Star Tribune
3. The Miami Herald
4. The Detroit News
5. The Boston Globe
6. The San Francisco Chronicle.
7. The Chicago Sun Times
8. NY Daily News
9. The Fort Worth Star Telegram
10. The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Legal Education Analysis & Reform Network Outlines Initial Projects
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's report entitled Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law has generated enough interest in the legal academy that the Foundation working with Stanford Law School has assembled a group of legal educators to engage in further efforts to reform legal education. The project has been named LEARN, which stands for Legal Education Analysis and Reform Network and ten law schools are represented at this phase of LEARN's development: CUNY, Dayton, Georgetown, Harvard, Indiana-Bloomington, New Mexico, NYU, Southwestern, Stanford, and Vanderbilt. Recently LEARN released an outline of the initial projects it plans to launch.
Hat tip to Douglas Berman (OSU), Law School Innovation. [JH]
The OpenCongress Wiki
The beta version of the OpenCongress Wiki is now online. Check out the project's description. I don't know if it will ever be a very useful resource for legislative research by law librarians but I do think it could become a great teaching resource for collaborative assignments in ALR courses. Just a thought. [JH]
New Bankruptcy Filings Database
The Bankruptcy Data Project is working on a statistical Bankruptcy Filings Database by types of petitions. Still in beta but already useful. Hat tip to Jon Hayes (Univ. of West Los Angeles School of Law), BankruptcyProf Blog. [JH]
AALL Archived Webinars Available Online
AALL has made available four archived Webinars presented October 2008 - January 2009 in the Members Only Section of AALLNET:
- Twenty Essentials for the Effective Speaker ($25)
- How to Train Without Showing Up ($25)
- Law Firm Library Budgeting for Hard Economic Times ($25)
- Take the Lead: Journey to Authentic Leadership (free)
The links above are available for AALL members only. Nonmembers can access the Webinars for $60. [RJ]
Opening: Head of Reference Services, University of Alabama Law Library
The University of Alabama School of Law invites applications for the position of Head of Reference Services in the Bounds Law Library. This position offers the opportunity to work in an intellectually exciting and professionally rewarding environment. The School of Law, consistently ranked in the top tier of American law schools, features a faculty of over 45 scholars with diverse, innovative and multi-disciplinary research interests. The Head of Reference plays a critical role in the School’s research and teaching missions by managing law library reference services, including supervision of two professional librarians, participating in the development of online resources, conducting staff training in reference resources and teaching legal research in the first year research and writing program. Librarians at Alabama receive generous support for professional development activities such as travel to AALL Annual Meetings and other professional conferences.
Requirements: A law degree (J.D. or LL.B.) from an A.B.A.-approved law school and a master’s degree (M.L.S., M.S. in L.S., etc.) from an A.L.A.-approved library and information science program plus three years of experience in a position involving legal reference services or research. Candidates must present evidence of a strong service orientation and legal reference skills. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are essential. Supervisory and teaching experience is preferred.
To Apply: Interested applicants should apply for this position through the University’s online job application service at www.jobs.ua.edu. Applicants should attach (upload) a cover letter and resume with the names and contact information for three references to their application. Questions regarding the application procedure can be directed to Robert Marshall, Associate Director of the Law Library, at email@example.com.
March 10, 2009
Obama on Presidential Signing Statements
From the memorandum:
I shall adhere to the following principles:
- The executive branch will take appropriate and timely steps, whenever practicable, to inform the Congress of its constitutional concerns about pending legislation. Such communication should facilitate the efforts of the executive branch and the Congress to work together to address these concerns during the legislative process, thus minimizing the number of occasions on which I am presented with an enrolled bill that may require a signing statement.
- Because legislation enacted by the Congress comes with a presumption of constitutionality, I will strive to avoid the conclusion that any part of an enrolled bill is unconstitutional. In exercising my responsibility to determine whether a provision of an enrolled bill is unconstitutional, I will act with caution and restraint, based only on interpretations of the Constitution that are well-founded.
- To promote transparency and accountability, I will ensure that signing statements identify my constitutional concerns about a statutory provision with sufficient specificity to make clear the nature and basis of the constitutional objection.
- I will announce in signing statements that I will construe a statutory provision in a manner that avoids a constitutional problem only if that construction is a legitimate one.
For more, see Steven Schwinn's (John Marshall Law School, Chicago) post on Constitutional Law Prof Blog. [JH]
Researching U.S. Bankruptcy Law
Rob Richards, LLB contributing editor, has published "Cost-Effective Research in U.S. Bankruptcy Law" in the Spring issue of PLL Perspectives at 7. (updated web version (March 7, 2009)). The article provides suggestions for quick and inexpensive ways to locate relevant U.S. bankruptcy law and facts. [JH]