February 12, 2011
Real Time Texting OKed by UK Supreme Court
Hat tip to Slaw for calling attention to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom's policy statement on The Use of Live Text-Based Communications from Court.
Subject to the exemptions which are outlined below, any member of a legal team or member of the public is free to use text-based communications from court, providing (i) these are silent; and (ii) there is no disruption to the proceedings in court. No one present in a courtroom is permitted to use a mobile device to make a telephone call, or to receive such a call. If any telephone or other device rings in court the person may be asked to leave by a security guard.
The exceptions are:
1. Where reporting restrictions have been put in place by the court, those must be observed by everyone present in the court. Under these circumstances, the use of live text-based communications which makes information about proceedings public will not be permitted.
2. In a case involving a child, where anonymity is of the essence, text-based communications will be permitted, but any breach of the anonymity will be treated as a contempt of court.
3. In rare cases, the UKSC may order that a judgment should not be reported in order not to influence other proceedings taking place in the lower court. In such instances, no live text-based communication about the outcome will be permitted.
February 11, 2011
GM Cites Wikipedia in Admin Law Case, Wins Anyway
Picked this one up from the Legal Satyricon. There was a case before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board where General Motors LLC opposed the registration of the mark CORVOLTTE which describes an electric vehicle. The issue, naturally, was confusion between GMs own CORVETTE mark. One would think that this would be a no-brainer for the TTAB. It was, sort of, but GM didn't make it as easy as it could for the Board and itself.
GM owns the trademark to the word CORVETTE in relation to automobiles, and it was granted in 1952 in Number 1495033 and noted by the Board. So what evidence did it plead in opposition? Several pleaded registrations issued by the PTO showing the current status of and current title to those registrations, but not Registration No. 1495033; an excerpt from Corvette Illustrated Encyclopedia; an excerpt from Corvette America's Sports Car; and the Wikipedia entry for Corvette. The Board was not amused:
There is no evidence of sales, advertising or the extent of the mark’s renown. To the extent that opposer has relied on the Wikipedia evidence to establish the fame of the CORVETTE mark, an Internet entry is admissible for the limited purpose of demonstrating what has been printed, not for the truth of what has been printed. Safer Inc. v. OMS Investments Inc., 94 USPQ2d 1031, 1040 (TTAB 2010). Suffice it to say, opposer’s evidence falls far short of establishing the fame or renown of its CORVETTE mark.
The Board then went on to deny the registration for CORVOLTTE by analyzing how similar the words are for the applicable class of items. So let me get this straight. I'm guessing that GM has lawyers they pay, what, $500 an hour? Something like that, anyway. And the best they can come up with is Wikipedia when they defend a trademark as famous as Corvette? I've known paralegals who could do better than that, and at the far less expensive $100 an hour rate. The lawyers at the GM Renaissance Center should reconsider their research techniques. [MG]
New Submissions Due Date for AALL/Lexis Call for Student Division Papers
There is a new due date for submissions in the Student Division of the AALL LexisNexis Call for Papers competition. Articles in the Student Division must be received by May 15, 2011. Submissions in the Open and New Members Divisions must be submitted by March 1, 2011. For full information on the AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers please visit this web page. [JH]
Friday Fun: Congress Forgets How To Pass A Bill and Send It to the President After Years of Gridlock
Democrats and Republicans realize no one remembers how to actually enact legislation. From the Onion News Network, of course! [JH]
Is the Writing on the Wall to Change the Monopolistic Model of Practicing Law in the US?
In Redesigning the American Law School [SSRN], David Barnhizer (Cleveland State) writes
Dramatic change is on the way for law schools and it is coming faster than they might imagine. The economic forces in play are coming from every direction and will prove irresistible. The writing is on the wall for law schools if they bother to read. Law schools are likely to find they share the need with other industries for a combination of actions that include downsizing of staff and reduced student enrollment, and development of alternative educational offerings other than the traditional law degree.
Why? Barnhizer explains:
Implications for the immediate future for law schools include the fact that there is no discernible “magic” to the existing structure of legal education in the US. While the schools have been largely insulated from public scrutiny by their connection to the ABA and status as parts of the university institution, this protective “covering” is likely to be removed over the next five to ten years. The result for many law schools is that unless they learn to adapt intelligently to the changed conditions and still declining demand for lawyers as that job is traditionally conceived, some law schools will shrink dramatically. Others will disappear in the face of hardened and unforgiving competitive conditions.
Nor are US law schools well-positioned to prove their quality or necessity in the face of knowledgeable critics. There has been no comparative “value-added” analysis of the relative benefits gained by the American model in which law graduates are required to complete a university degree and then take a three or four year graduate program in law school prior to sitting for admission to the bar. There is also no empirical basis that establishes the quality of services provided Americans by lawyers as a body in exclusive control of the provision of legal services. Pressures for dramatic changes are therefore likely to come at law schools from both the public and private sector.
Barnhizer's article is best economic analysis of the legal academy under the 21st century "new normal" I have ever read. He observes that
'Law schools are having rapidly increasing problems 'selling' their 'products' to potential employers/purchasers" while requiring "more than 40,000 new students each year to 'feed their habit'”.
That “habit” is the preservation of an archaic form of graduate level education whose structure, development and monopoly as the means to gain entry into the lawyers’ guild was a convenient accommodation to universities in need of money. Law schools attached to universities offered a cheap form of instruction from which universities were able to profit. This was a marriage with the organized legal profession whose members were happy to accept the prestige associated with the university degree.
In the face of budget cutbacks, some law schools are feeding their "habit" by increasing their enrollment of students above their historical levels to generate additional tuition revenue while employment opportunities for their "products" are declining. Case in point, the University of Cincinnati College of Law. The irony here is that Barnhizer's article leads off with an economic analysis of Ohio to illustrate the thesis of his article. He warns "Some hard decisions are necessary in Ohio and the surrounding states and it would be far better to engage in intelligent strategic planning that “gets ahead of the curve” than to be the blind and rudderless victims of the economic, accreditation and competitive trends."
What does "getting ahead of the curve" mean? First according to Barnhizer:
Among the most important effects that we are already beginning to see is changes in the level of tolerance that has allowed law schools, the ABA and state-by-state Supreme Court monopolies over legal education. The ABA’s role in accreditation has been questioned. Whatever its historical justification in a legal environment where law practice was essentially local and small scale, and access to practice information often limited and esoteric, the simple fact is that law practice in an Information Age has far transcended localized boundaries.
Second, educational specialization at the law school level. Although Barnhizer does not point to medical education as an example, law schools can get "ahead of the curve" by competing with each other for survival like medical schools do. If you want to be a heart surgeon, X, Y, and Z medical schools are where an aspiring heart surgeon hopes to attend. If you want to practice intellectual property law, A, B or C law schools is where you want to attend because the curicumulum meets the aspiring IP attorney's educational requirements.
It remains to be seen if the legal academy reads the "writing on the wall." My hunch is the entrenched tenured faculty will do everything possible to maintain the status quo as long as possible. As Barnhizer writes:
[L]aw schools are not structured or managed in ways that allow easy adaptation or downsizing.
Reminder: Today's LawLibCom to Discuss Mobile Technology for Libraries
Today "The Mobile Show" will start at 3:00 EST/2:00 CST. The LawLibCom crew be talking about mobile technology for libraries - from apps to devices. Register here. [JH]
Opening: Library & Information Technology Assistant, National Indian Law Library/Native American Rights Fund
The National Indian Law Library/Native American Rights Fund (NARF) located in Boulder, CO is seeking to fill an opening for a Library & Information Technology Assistant. The application deadline is March 7, 2011. Job announcement and description is available here.
NARF is a non-profit national Indian law firm that provides legal representation to American Indian tribes throughout the United States. For the many and complex Native American legal issues, check out our network's, Native American Law Blog
NARF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
February 10, 2011
ABA's Website Gets a Makeover
Check it out here. [JH]
Correcting Serious Flaws in Shepard's Acts and Cases by Popular Name, 6th ed., in Response to One Law Librarian's Heads-Up on law-lib
Some may recall Scott Burgh's (Chief Law Librarian, City of Chicago Department of Law Library) law-lib message of Nov. 30, 2010 entitled "new edition / errrors / flawed Shepard's Acts and Cases by Popular Name" which was a very serious critique of the editorial quality of Shepard's Act and Case by Popular Name upon the release of the new 6th edition in no small part because the 6th edition carry forwarded Illinois code errors that previous Shepard's editors had been alerted to but ignored. In a nutshell, Burgh wrote in his list message, "like the last edition, when it comes to Illinois law, [the new 6th edition of Shepard's Act and Case by Popular Name} is unfortunately riddled with errors"
It took something like 24-48 hours to get Scott's message to the right people at LexisNexis but that was accomplished without any involvement of our so-called AALL Vendor Liaison. Perhaps mentioning something like "we expect poor editorial quality from West but not LN" caught someone's attention.
Lexis Nexis is fixing the problem. In response to concerns expressed by Scott about the Illinois statutory references in the recently revised 6th edition of Shepard’s Acts & Cases by Popular Names, LexisNexis is performing an editorial review to include cross-references between the Acts and code sections from the Illinois Revised Statutes and the renamed/renumbered Acts and code sections in the Illinois Compiled Statutes. In addition, the revised publication will include an appendix at the end of each volume containing a conversion table for the Illinois Acts and statutes from that particular volume. The replacement volumes are expected to begin shipping by April 30, 2011. All customers that received the original set of revised volumes will receive the updated volumes at no cost. There is no need to return to original volumes.
A couple of morals to this story:
- Each and every law librarian should speak up like Scott did when one discovers questionable editorial content being producted by our vendors by way of law-lib until some more public web communications vehicle (ah, like a CRIV-Unleashed Blog) is published. This gives everyone a "heads-up." Everyone includes our vendors who monitor AALL lists daily.
- Vendor employees tasked with monitoring AALL lists may not necessarily know who to send FYIs to because their bureaucracy has more VPs than the banking industry does. So skip several rungs of the chain of command by finding a way to contact the vendor's senior executives. Their communications will be acted upon by the editorial staff. Meaning, of course, skip vendor "librarian relations" staff completely.
- State in no uncertain terms that the flawed publication is unacceptable and explain in sufficent specificity what is wrong so the right people at the vendor can check the matter and can contact you for follow-up.
- Do not depend on our professional association doing any of this in something that even resembles taking prompt action because there is no established track record that they will.
Now, here's the flaw in this procedure. Scott called attention to a local issue -- Illinois code citations -- and LN is addressing it. But are their similar non-Illinois flaws in the current edition of Shepard’s Acts & Cases by Popular Names? The publisher won't necessarily know unless other law librarians check and speak out. To its credit LN is correcting the problem Scott identified at no cost to subscribers but it is up to law librarians in the other 49 state jurisdictions to perform quality control checks. [JH]
"A grim capitalist logic thus drives the malignant growth of The Bluebook:" Posner has the Bluebook Blues Again
Anyone who has been around awhile knows that Posner has an opinion on just about everything. And why the hell not. He's a brainiac and what he has to say is usually worth the time it takes to read (and understand). He is after all, the founder of the law and economic movement, the only branch of legal scholarship that has had any substantial impact in the real world during the last 30-some years.
Much law blogging fodder has been generated recently because Judge Posner doesn't like the Bluebook. In the Yale Law Review, he writes
The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation exemplifies hypertrophy in the anthropological sense. It is a monstrous growth, remote from the functional need for legal citation forms, that serves obscure needs of the legal culture and its student subculture.
OK, so I had to turn to a dictionary to find out what "hypertrophy in the anthropological sense" meant but I've grown accustomed to keeping a dictionary within arm's reach whenever I "read Posner." He adds
I have put my money where my mouth is, metaphorically speaking. I don’t use The Bluebook or any other form book in either my judicial opinions or my academic writings. Journals, and not only law journals, do sometimes impose citation forms on me. But the Federal Reporter does not; nor do the publishers of most of my books. My judicial and academic writings receive their share of criticism, but no one to my knowledge has criticized them for citation form. The reason is that readers are not interested in citation form. Unless the form is outlandish, it is invisible.
So "no one to my knowledge has criticized them for citation form." Well, here's one criticism. No where does this scholar in law and economics makes the argument for vendor-neutral citation formatting. So much for "grim capitalist logic." [JH]
Opening: Director of Government Relations, AALL
From the announcement:
The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), a non-profit 501 (c) 3, seeks a highly collaborative individual to serve as its Director of Government Relations. The successful candidate must have experience working with Congress and Federal agencies. This position manages the day-to-day operations of the Government Relations Office in Washington, D.C. This includes carrying out the mission of the office in accordance with AALL policies and representing the Association with members of Congress and their staff and with top federal agency officials. This position will also work with other national library and law-related associations and with a large group of formal and informal coalitions in which AALL actively participates. The position also serves as staff liaison to AALL public policy committees and as AALL representative to a number of outside organizations. The position also oversees AALL’s robust grassroots advocacy program.
The Director of Government Relations works in a fast paced environment and should be both task-oriented and flexible. Candidates should have at least three years of experience on Capitol Hill and/or in government affairs. Strong writing and verbal communication skills are required. Candidates should also have a Masters in Library and Information Studies and/or JD.
E-mail cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: khagan(@)aall.org. AALL, 105 W. Adams, Suite 3300, Chicago, IL 60603
February 9, 2011
More on NARA
Gary Price at The Resource Shelf was kind enough to send some links and other information that amplified some of the issues raised by GAO's report on NARA and its Electronic Records Archive system. One is an article from Federal News Radio from last December noting that the Office of Budget and Management has told NARA to suspend development of the ERA when fiscal year 2011 ends. Apparently when the GAO speaks, someone is listening. The story quotes federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra essentially saying that ERA is a high risk project that is not meeting expectations. He says his office reduced the budget for the project by $215.5 million, increased the usage of the system, streamlined the timetable for adding functionality, and require agencies to add documents to ERA by the end of this year.
The second item is a NARA report from the Transformation Launch Team released in January that describes NARA's efforts to reinvent itself. The report is called A Charter for Change: Charting the Course and it describes the agency's plan to change its organization and work patterns to achieve six transformational outcomes. These outcomes are not in this report but in a related document released in October of 2010 which is also called A Charter for Change. One needs to read both, in order, to get a sense of where the agency is headed. The October report is here, and the January report is here. Both brim with strong recommendations on accomplishing the proposed changes.
The short version of the six goals are:
- One NARA - Work as one NARA and not just as component parts.
- Out in Front - Embrace the primacy of electronic information in all facets of our work and position NARA to lead accordingly.
- An Agency of Leaders - Foster a culture of leadership, not just as a position but as the way we all conduct our work.
- A Great Place to Work - Transform NARA into a great place to work through trust and empowerment of all of our people, the agency’s most vital resource.
- A Customer-Driven Organization - Create structures and processes to allow our staff to more effectively meet the needs of our customers.
- An Open NARA - Open our organizational boundaries to learn from others.
The January report lists new organizational charts, improvements to services, and outreach to the public. I had no idea, for example, that NARA implemented smartphone apps to get to online content, for example. While there are quality items that show a really smart approach to managing the Archives (with timetables and status), there is not one statement about ERA in either report, which is unfortunate. The GAO report released last Friday does have a short response from NARA about GAO's characterizations of the project where it agrees with some statements but not others. Specifically, NARA disagrees with how cost were characterized. Take out the accounting for project management, research and development, concept exploration, planning activities, and the operation of the system, and the real system development is only $282 million they say. These kinds of statements sound defensive and really do not inspire confidence in how the Archives handled bringing ERA online. I hope the new organizational plan brings a greater skill in managing the system as its pieces roll out.
I'll mention as a side note that both reports appear to have been prepared in PowerPoint and saved as a PDF. I think using that program as a faux desktop publishing/page layout program is a rather imaginative use of that program, whether or not Microsoft intended that use. I think this is the first time I've ever encountered anyone using the program in this way. It's worth looking at both reports, if for no other reason, than to get ideas as to whether PowerPoint would be suitable for similar kinds of uses in other circumstances. Whoever put the pages together, my hat is off to you. [MG]
Stanford Law Review Goes eBook
In Kindle, Nook, and iPad Editions with some tech advice from Alan Childress, Tulane's Conrad Meyer III Professor of Law and publisher of Ouid Pro Books. Details at Childress' Legal Profession Blog post which includes an update of his latest Quid Pro Books offerings. Childress and his Quid Pro Books publishing venture were featured in a two-part LLB interview. See Law Prof as Independent Law Book Publisher, Part One and Part Two. [JH}
Hey Bunker Mates in Eagan, Your Boss Can "Hand Simulate" Code: TRI CEO Tom Glocer on the Endless Loop
|The Libra Connection:
Tom Glocer, DOB 10/8/1959
Joe Hodnicki, DOB 10/11/1952
|According to folks who supposedly know this stuff: "Libra is the only inanimate sign of the zodiac, all the others representing either humans or animals. Many modern astrologers regard it as the most desirable of zodiacal types because it represents the zenith of the year, the high point of the seasons, when the harvest of all the hard work of the spring is reaped. There is a mellowness and sense of relaxation in the air as mankind enjoys the last of the summer sun and the fruits of his toil. Librans too are among the most civilized of the twelve zodiacal characters and are often good looking. They have elegance, charm and good taste, are naturally kind, very gentle, and lovers of beauty, harmony (both in music and social living) and the pleasures that these bring. They have good critical faculty and are able to stand back and look impartially at matters which call for an impartial judgment to be made on them. But they do not tolerate argument from anyone who challenges their opinions, for once they have reached a conclusion, its truth seems to them self-evident; and among their faults is an impatience of criticism and a greed for approval. But their characters are on the whole balanced, diplomatic and even tempered. Librans are sensitive to the needs of others and have the gift, sometimes to an almost psychic extent, of understanding the emotional needs of their companions and meeting them with their own innate optimism - they are the kind of people of whom it is said, "They always make you feel better for having been with them." They are very social human beings. They loathe cruelty, viciousness and vulgarity and detest conflict between people, so they do their best to cooperate and compromise with everyone around them, and their ideal for their own circle and for society as a whole is unity. Their cast of mind is artistic rather than intellectual, though they are usually too moderate and well balanced to be avant garde in any artistic endeavor. They have good perception and observation and their critical ability, with which they are able to view their own efforts as well as those of others, gives their work integrity." (Citation omitted because I think this is a load of crap.)|
While my absolutely most - favorite - media - empire - CEO - whom - I have - never - met - in - person has some very interesting comments on Davos 2011, I was distracted by something else he wrote in his recent blog post:
we were taught to "hand simulate" code when I was learning to program. Back in what now seems like the days of ENIAC, we learned to simulate the computer and attempt to interpret or compile each instruction by hand to determine if our program worked as intended or would hang in some endless loop.
Tom and I have so little in common besides both being born under the sign of Libra (see sidebar right) -- he a mover and shaker on the global legal professional services vendor stage and me just a little county law librarian in the extreme southwestern corner of the Buckeye State -- I almost pee-ed in my pants at the dinner table like Ruprecht did in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels when I read that Tom learned how to program like I also did way back in the Dark Ages of the very late 1970s in library school.
I'm not quite sure what the hell "hand simulate" coding is. Was Tom coding in assembly language? Was there one large table marked off with registers for moving bytes around like on a monopoly board? Did writing spaghetti string code inspire Tom to appreciate the revenue generation that an endless loop can create? Hell, if I know. But Bunker mates in Eagan, note well just in case Tom wants you to simulate your coding by hand.
Note to Tom's second or third assistant. External links on his Wikipedia page for his bio and "Thomson Reuters Leadership: Tom Glocer" pages yield
404 Error: Page Not Found: We are sorry, but the page you are trying to reach does not exist on thomsonreuters.com.
Someone in TRI Corporate might want to hand code some new links before Tom does because he most definitely does exist. Well, at least I think he does.
In the meantime, if Tom and I ever do meet, I promise to keep the cork on the fork. Time to clue up the video clip. [JH]
Reinvigorating Public Responsibility for Publication of Official Court Opinions in the 21st Century
In Abandoning Law Reports for Official Digital Case Law [SSRN], Peter W. Martin, Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law, Emeritus, Cornell Law School and cofounder of the Legal Information Institute, reviews how Arkansas replaced official print publication of state court opinions in 2009 with a database of electronic documents “created, authenticated, secured, and maintained by the Reporter of Decisions.” The article also reviews the abdication of public responsibility for publication of official court opinions by some states (not Arkansas) to West's regional reporters because state reports simply could not compete. Martin writes
This article examines what distinguishes this Arkansas reform from the widespread cessation of public law report publication that occurred during the twentieth century and its reporter’s official database from the opinion archives hosted at the judicial websites of most U.S. appellate courts (including that of the Arkansas judicial branch between 1996 and 2009). The article next explores the distinctive alignment of factors that both led and enabled the Arkansas judiciary to take a step that courts in other jurisdictions, state and federal, have so far resisted. That requires focusing on the importance of the reporter’s role in this shift from print to digital case law publication and leads to speculation about which other states have the capability and incentive to follow Arkansas’s lead. That, in turn, necessitates a comparison of the full set of measures the Arkansas Supreme Court and its reporter of decisions have implemented with similar, less comprehensive, initiatives that have taken place elsewhere. Finally, the article considers important issues that have confronted those responsible for building Arkansas’s new system of case law dissemination and the degree to which principal components of this one state’s reform can provide a useful template for other jurisdictions.
Martin's article documents Arkansas' reform as a landmark event and rightly so. It is a turning point facitated in part because the State never abdicated public responsibility for publishing official court opinions to West. The administrative publishing infrastructure was in place. Martin observes
While Arkansas’s reform in case law publication remains a work in progress, it is one that should command respect and close attention from other jurisdictions. In implementing this bold initiative in electronic case law dissemination and storage that state’s judicial branch is constructing a model that should inform the plans of all judiciaries that will, sooner or later, be persuaded or forced to venture down this same path.
Arkansas was the first jurisdiction in the nation to switch from print publication to official, authenticated, comprehensive electronic publication of court opinions. Quoting again from Martin, "[i]t will not be the last."
Hat tip to Paul Lomio for calling attention to Martin's article on Legal Research Plus. It made for a very interesting enlightening read last weekend. Hopefully, some ALR instructors will assign the article to their students. [JH]
Opening: Research Librarian, McKenna Long & Aldridge, Washington DC Office
The Washington, DC office of McKenna Long & Aldridge is seeking a Research Librarian to provide legal, business and general research services to attorneys and staff of the firm.
- Respond to requests for legal and business information by researching and accessing library materials, database services and external resources as needed.
- Assists with library projects, including maintenance of integrated library system.
- Assists with training attorneys on legal and business information products and about research best practices.
Requirements: MLS degree or equivalent law firm research experience, minimum five years experience in a law firm library, proficient in use of online legal research databases and business information databases. Must be service oriented, possess excellent communication skills and the ability to work in a collaborative environment with other departments.
To apply for this open position, you must utilize the career page of the firm's website at www.mckennalong.com. To be considered for an opening, you must apply through the firm's online career section by following the 5 steps listed below:
1. Access website at: www.mckennalong.com and select "Careers" from the tool bar
2. Select "Staff" from the list below "Careers"
3. Locate the office in which you would like to apply and then select a position listed or "Click to view available positions"
4. Select "Search" to view all openings in the office selected
5. Create a New Candidate Profile and then apply for the position of interest
If you are selected for an interview, the firm will be in contact with you. If you are still unable to submit your resume through the website, please email mfannon(at)mckennalong.com for further assistance.
February 8, 2011
Hacking the PACER Walled Garden During It's Free Trial Program and Being Investigated by the FBI for Doing So
Check out the VoxPopuLII post, PACER, RECAP, and the Movement to Free American Case Law, by Steve Schultze, Associate Director of Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, for the story. [JH]
Damned if you do, damned if you don't: Increasing very expensive online legal search costs in the Shed West (Print) Era
In the context of new Title 51 of the US Code, plus the revision of USC Title 41 along with new USC Titles 52-55 being in the works, Betsy McKenzie writes
the unintended consequence of adding new titles to the Code is that many libraries will be making deaccession decisions based on this new development. The cost will not be trivial. Libraries will be expected not only to purchase new volumes with the additional titles, but every re-organized title will require new volumes to be purchased as well. I don't know how many libraries still retain print copies of the annotated U.S. Code, much less how many still have it in both U.S. Code Annotated and U.S. Code Service. But of those libraries, many will agonize (as will mine) over whether they will retain a copy of both services, or even one, in print, in the face of this new expense.
With no free or low cost annotated code available, one's cost-savings choices appear to be keeping USCA or USCS in print or substituting online access by way of Westlaw or Lexis for them. But, not really. Betsy hits the nail on the head in a comment to her post, Title 51 US Code and beyond: Unintended Consequences:
The vendors are making up anything we save in print by raising subscription prices for electronic versions.
Disclosure of State Secrets Earns Noble Peace Prize Nomination: Wikileaks as Transforming Publishing into a Transnational Enterprise Promoting a Universal Freedom of Access to Information
In Freedom of the Press as a Universal Value? Clinton, Carter, Canada, and WikiLeaks, Ruthann Robson, Professor of Law & University Distinguished Professor, CUNY School of Law, writes that "the continuing controversy surrounding Wikileaks tests commitment to freedom of the press in many nations," Professor Robson calls attention to two recently published eBooks about newspapers dealing with Wikileaks: (1) The Guardian's Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy and the New York Times' Open Secrets: Wikileaks, War, and American Diplomacy. See also the NYT Magazine adapted introduction to Open Secrets by journalist Bill Keller.
Clay Shirky, a Berkman Center for Internet and Society fellow, explains how Wikileaks as a media outlet is transformative by being outside the national enforcement of state secret disclosures, unlike the traditional press. In his Guardian article, WikiLeaks has created a new media landscape, Shirky writes:
Because this tension [of state secrets v citizen oversight] between governments and leakers is so important, and because WikiLeaks so dramatically helps leakers, it isn't just a new entrant in the existing media landscape. Its arrival creates a new landscape. ... WikiLeaks allows leakers transnational escape from national controls. Now, and from now on, a leaker with domestic secrets has no need of the domestic press, and indeed will avoid leaking directly to them if possible, to escape national pressure on national publishers to keep national secrets.
And soon there will be OpenLeaks, founded by some members of the Wikileaks team with the objective of expanding coverage beyond WikiLeaks' tendancy to focus of US disclosures. From OpenLeaks news page:
The alpha phase began in January 2011, when we started testing with a small group of media organizations and NGOs. Our partners for this phase have already been selected and we shall describe our progression with them in the coming months. We plan to start the beta phase in the second half of 2011, when we shall open the door for more initiatives (ranging from media, to NGOs and unions; anyone who requires the service) chosen both by ourselves, and the public.
One has to wonder if national self-interest in the protection of state secrets will lead to some sort of UN convention on the international enforcement of their disclosure sometime in the future. And if so, how any such convention can be reconciled with Articles 19 and 28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
Noble Peace Prize Nomination for WikiLeaks. On First Amendment Law Prof Blog, Josie F. Brown (Univ. of South Carolina School of Law) reports that WikiLeaks has been nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Quoting from the Reuters report cited by Professor Brown:
Norwegian parliamentarian Snorre Valen said WikiLeaks was "one of the most important contributors to freedom of speech and transparency" in the 21st century.
"By disclosing information about corruption, human rights abuses and war crimes, WikiLeaks is a natural contender for the Nobel Peace Prize," Valen said.
Opening: Electronic Services Librarian, Univ. of Kentucky College of Law Library
Description and Responsibilities: The Electronic Services Librarian (Reference Faculty) will contribute to the University of Kentucky Law Library as a member of the reference faculty. Reference faculty members provide proactive reference and research support to the college of law faculty, students, members of the practicing bar and other patrons of the Library. They also play an integral part in the first year legal research and writing curriculum. In particular, reference librarians are expected to participate actively as instructors for the Introduction to Legal Research course.
In addition to participating in the reference program, the Electronic Services Librarian will serve as the Library’s liaison with vendors of electronic sources as well as with Law School IT and University Libraries system personnel. The person selected for the position will troubleshoot (in conjunction with IT personnel) any technical issues that arise in the Library’s electronic holdings, and will manage the Law School’s Westlaw and Lexis subscriptions, participate in Library digitization projects, provide particular expertise in the development of electronic collections, and maintain the Library’s Web 2.0 presence.
Required: A J.D. degree from an ABA approved law school and an M.L.S. or the equivalent from an ALA accredited institution are required. Also required: experience with an integrated library system, knowledge of web design and apps, a basic understanding of link resolvers and/or IP authentication or a capacity and willingness to learn the same.
Successful candidates will be able to show evidence of an ability to meet University of Kentucky requirements for promotion and tenure in the librarian title faculty series as delineated in university and college rules, including excellence in performing primary job responsibilities as well as evidence of self-motivation, initiative, professionalism, scholarly productivity, and a commitment to professional and university service.
Desired: Reference experience in an academic or law library, familiarity with Ex-Libris Voyager, and experience with or knowledge of digital library software, digital repositories (especially Digital Commons), or databases.
Salary and Benefits: Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. Librarian title series tenure-track, 12-month appointment, 22 days annual leave, TIAA/CREF and Fidelity retirement plans.
To Apply: Interested applicants should submit a cover letter addressing qualifications for the position, resume or vita, and contact information for three professional references to Beau Steenken, Instructional Services Librarian, University of Kentucky, College of Law Library, 620 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40506-0048. Applications may also be submitted electronically to beau.steenken(at)uky.edu.
Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin February 20th, 2011, and continue until position is filled. Upon offer of employment, successful applicants must undergo a national background check as required by University of Kentucky Human Resources.
The University of Kentucky is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.