February 11, 2012
"Unique" (Meaning Non-Legal) Career Advice for Law School Grads from US News
The US News Law Admissions LowDown blog identifies five alternative careers for law school grads:
- Real estate
- Nonprofit management
- The Arts
I'm thinking not one of the listed career paths at the entry level will contribute much income for paying off law school tuition indebtedness. [JH]
February 10, 2012
Penguin Takes Its Ball And Goes Home
Penguin’s feud with Amazon reached another level recently when it announced no new e-books for Overdrive library lending. Overdrive would send some requests directly to Amazon who would zip the title over wireless to the Kindle user affiliated with an Overdrive library. The process would look just like buying the book, except it would disappear at the end of the loan period. This is the statement from Penguin (via Moconews.net):
Starting tomorrow (February 10, 2012), Penguin will no longer offer additional copies of e-books and download audiobooks for library purchase. Additionally, Penguin eBooks loaned for reading on Kindle devices will need to be downloaded to a computer then transferred to the device over USB. For library patrons, this means Penguin eBooks will no longer be available for over-the-air delivery to Kindle devices or to Kindle apps.
Physical copies of books are not affected by this. I think that Penguin’s decision is a bit paranoid, but hey, I’m not the one hawking content. I would think that someone who wants to market books might find a way to leverage libraries as a way to sell more of them rather than keeping them out of the hands of people who may someday buy them, electronically or physical. Limiting the market generates demand for pirated copies. It takes one person to know how to scan, and lots of people to know how to click on a link. Isn't that easier than the hoops that Penguin is demanding of consumers? Aren’t there better alternatives than “no?” I'll have more sympathy for publishers when they discover making their product convenient to buy or use.
Naming Rights for Law School Bathrooms
Just one question, can female alums buy naming rights to men's room? Male alums for women's bathrooms? OK, I know, that was two questions. Check out Elie Mystal's True Story: Harvard Law Sells Naming Rights to Its New Bathrooms, and a Berkeley Law Professor Couldn’t Be Happier on ATL. Do note the donor's reference to a former HLS dean who is now a SCOTUS justice. I'm thinking she couldn't be happier to get out of the business of selling bathrooms.
What's next? "This drinking fountain proved by... ." [JH]
Friday Fun: The Anonymous Librarian has a bad day.
And takes it via "Xtranormal [which] allows me to express my frustration and make some of my coworkers laugh since they are experiencing the same type of student issues." Quoting from Xtranormal keeps me happy on RIPS Law Librarian Blog. [JH]
Opening: Director of the Law Library, UDC
The University of the District of Columbia Office of Human Resources has posted the position of Director of the Law Library, David A. Clarke School of Law, Charles N. & Hilda H. M. Mason law Library. The position is open until filled. To view the complete posting, including how to apply, visit http://udc.applicantstack.com/x/detail/a2hbyxhbfe86
Excerpts from the announcement:
Brief Description of Duties:
- Serves on the School of Law's Management Committee.
- Supervises day-to-day operations of the Law Library.
- Develops, implements and maintains the acquisitions policy for the Law Library, including the Clinical Law Library, in keeping with American Bar Association Standards.
- Prepares and submits procurement requests for library materials and technology.
- Develops short and long-term library budget and personnel needs assessments for the dean annually.
- Develops grant proposals to support Law Library enhancements.
- Plans and implements facilities and technology enhancements to accommodate library services and collection development.
- Implements personnel policies as required in conformance with University and School of Law mandates including the Personnel Management System.
- Supervises subordinate staff.
- Develops and implements strategies for staff development.
- Prepares reports and other materials for the Schoold of Law, the University, the American Bar Association, the D.C. Council, and other entities as needed.
- Ensures spending is in conformance with budget limitations.
- Serves on School of Law and University committees and task forces and as appointed.
- Provides reference and research support to faculty, students, and other library users.
- Develops and implements faculty liaison programs and other services to library users.
- MLS and a J.D. Degrees from an accredited institution.
- Must be a member of the bar with five years of experience in Law Library administration.
- Knowledge of the research, teaching, educational, and technological needs of the Law School faculty and its student body is highly desired.
The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
February 9, 2012
Jury Overturns Patents Claiming Web Interactivity
Good news out of Texas today. A Texas jury has ruled that patents owned by Eolas that claim invention for interactivity on the Internet are invalid. Eolas claimed that Michael Doyle invented and patented the interactive web when he created a program at the University of California that allowed doctors to view embryos over the World Wide Web. The jury heard from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the acknowledged father of the Internet, and Pei-Yuan Wei, creator of a very early browser called Viola. The stakes were high, as the Internet as we know it is by its very nature interactive. Defendants included Google, Yahoo, and a number of other deep-pocket corporate entities.
An article in Wired on the verdict notes that even if Eolas appeals it cannot go after any other targets until the verdict is overturned. Eolas is also known for its suit against Microsoft for certain features the company included in Internet Explorer. That case was settled after the initial verdict in favor of Eolas was overturned on appeal. The University of California was part of that suit as the technology in question was developed at the time Doyle was employed there. All I can say is good riddance to this suit. Earlier coverage by Wired is here. The winners are the defendants, anyone who uses the web, and most of all, the lawyers who got paid the big bucks to handle the litigation. [MG]
Hospital PA System: "Lithium is no longer available on credit" or Thomson Reuters reports 2011 year-end earnings this morning
Having no functional short-term memory, this truly is an FYI-to-me post (well, some readers might also be interested, too). Thomson Reuters' full-year and Q4 2011 earnings announcement, conference call and webcast will commence at 8:30 AM this morning. Jump-to live webcast link here. Usually, I get around to downloading the ppt stack and financial reports but rarely listen to the live webcast because, (1) well, it is at 8:30 AM (Eastern) and I don't want to start my day with a dose of TRI and (2) past financial events have left me with one question -- how can I get the same delusional-inducing meds the presenting TRI execs appear to be on when the talk about how "great" the future looks to them?
Today's event may be different. It will be Jim Smith's first go-around as TRI's CEO. (And perhaps the Company has replaced its staff economist, assuming it had one, with one whose forecasts are a tad more realistic. Guess we will just have to wait and see. Do note, TRI does not provide a transcript of their financial events but they are available. Just a heads-up, in case your functional short-term memory is as bad as mine, as in "did that TRI exec really say that."
After TRI, here's the financial reporting schedule for those major legal service vendors that are publicly held companies:
- Feb. 16, 2012: Reed Elsevier
- Feb. 22, 2012: Wolters Kluwer
Alas Bloomberg is not a publicly traded company. That frustrates the hell out of the investment house community because they have no data to crunch. Except for those on delusional meds, it is a bit of a concern, albeit longer rather than shorter term, because no one really knows how deep Bloomberg's pockets are.
One the delusional meds front, remember when TRI said something to the effect that BLaw's strategy was murky. That's not the word TRI used but that was the gist. TRI was implying that Bloomberg had no clear strategy as far as TRI could see. That's right, Bloomberg just decided to get into the online legal vendor services business for the hell of it. It had absolutely nothing to do with competitive intelligence assessments about TRI's Market division's mid-term prospects back then as proven to be true over the last two years that provided BLaw the opportunity to high-end legal power users in the law-and-business market.
"It's not my goddamn planet. Understand, monkeyboy?" I selected the work "murky" for its "dark and gloomy, esp. due to thick mist" definition. BLaw is still not a competitor in the generalist legal resources and services, TR Legal plays in. But ... well, perhaps some investment house will churn up the stock market by suggesting TRI dump Markets.
Unknown: There is a term sometimes used at the Banzai Institute: The Three Bs, meaning the Bus, the Bath, and the Bed. That is where the greatest discoveries are made in science. When one is at his most relaxed, her most receptive... that is when a foreign consciousness, a "stray bullet" as B. Banzai calls it, may pop into one's head.
Opening: Director of Library Services and Training, Lionel Sawyer & Collins, Las Vegas
The Director of Library Services and Training provides overall management of the Library in Las Vegas and Reno. The Director provides research and reference services to attorneys and staff in legal and non-legal fields using Westlaw, Lexis, PACER, Dun & Bradstreet, Accurint and other databases. The Director provides Library training to attorneys and staff and, in consultation with the IT Manager, plans and directs the Firm training program. Regular travel to Reno is required.
Required Qualifications: ALA accredited Master of Library Science or equivalent degree, excellent oral and written communication skills, experience with Westlaw, Lexis, PACER, Dun & Bradstreet and Accurint, training experience, ability to prioritize multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment.
Preferred Qualifications: Law firm experience, familiarity with electronic court filing, familiarity with electronic discovery and records management.
To apply, send resume, cover letter and names of three references to:
Lionel Sawyer & Collins
300 S. 4th Street, Suite 1700
Las Vegas, NV 89101
February 8, 2012
The Web Owns You, And Not The Other Way Around
I want to recommend an article from The Atlantic web site, an excerpt from a book on digital advertising by Joseph Turow. He is a professor at the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. Here are the first two paragraphs:
At the start of the 21st century, the advertising industry is guiding one of history's most massive stealth efforts in social profiling. At this point you may hardly notice the results of this trend. You may find you're getting better or worse discounts on products than your friends. You may notice that some ads seem to follow you around the internet. Every once in a while a website may ask you if you like a particular ad you just received. Or perhaps your cell phone has told you that you will be rewarded if you eat in a nearby restaurant where, by the way, two of your friends are hanging out this very minute.
You may actually like some of these intrusions. You may feel that they pale before the digital power you now have. After all, your ability to create blogs, collaborate with others to distribute videos online, and say what you want on Facebook (carefully using its privacy settings) seems only to confirm what marketers and even many academics are telling us: that consumers are captains of their own new-media ships.
As Professor Turow goes on to say, we are hardly the captains of that ship. More like the cargo. This is not news. There are plenty of privacy activists out there saying the same thing for some time now. What makes this article different is that Turow goes deeper into the practices of the advertising industry and documents some of its practices. They are not all in this excerpt, meant as an introduction, though he identifies practices which are documented in more detail in later chapters. These are thought provoking even in their limited statement.
One is that web browsing habits shape what ads are offered. That would be something obvious, but the detail of how that process works is a bit unsettling. It’s not broad matching based on merely clicking ads. It’s the content of the page one visits, combined with real world information such as credit ratings, address, physical purchases, and other traceable information. While cookies and login information help this process, they are not essential to it. Advertisers apparently have the ability to track individuals across unique devices to help develop a profile for individuals. Erasing cookies regularly doesn't impede tracking.
The more insidious result of this is how it can shape an individual’s web experience. As Turow notes, unrelated news sites may tailor the stories presented to an individual based on prior interest. This isn’t merely represented in the changing stories that appear in links at the bottom of the page. It extends to the clustering of topical stories that populate a page. This is irrespective of any ads that are served as how we use information becomes part of the complete profile.
The other effect Turow notes is the social implication of this practice. We may see news and ads based on a social status gleaned from detailed information advertisers collect about our habits, and these may become self-reinforcing. This can be true in circumstances where individuals might start comparing their web experiences with others. We would find that some people get better offers than others, and that news and opportunities may be better for some than others. The examples in the excerpt are striking. Turow suggests that this is another form of discrimination. This is a form of net neutrality no one has discussed in any great length.
A lot of this is usually presented in the nebulous but somewhat positive term of “personalization.” The real problem is not whether personalization is desirable but rather how that comes about. It’s easy to enjoy the benefits of the online experience and the prospect of personalization provided we don’t know the details of exactly how that works. As such, we can’t make the decision as to whether personalization is worth the cost. We might also have a different view of personalization if we knew the degree to which our online and real life habits were combined. I’d like to think that my credit history is secure. The operative term here is “like.” The excerpt is provocative as it is scary. Even non-paranoid types would find this information useful. The book is called The Daily You. [MG]
Thomson Reuters' OnePass-YourAss Scheme, Part Two: "There are times when verbal ingenuity is not enough."
Just because some OnePass account holder gets a pop up in WestMart's eCommerce online purchasing system which says in effect "I am authorized to make this purchase" doesn't cut it when Thomson Reuters has made absolutely no attempt to verify that statement. That OnePass account holder may think he or she is authorized to buy because he or she has this nifty OnePass user account but will learn that is not the case after racking up an institutional charge that results in an in-house "Banzai" meeting with this buckaroo.
"Hey, hey, hey — don't be mean. We don't have to be mean. 'Cause, remember: no matter where you go... there you are." Hell, even Amazon has a better system. I can buy something on Amazon, charge it to my personal credit card or established institutional line-of-credit account depending on well, you know, I am buying something for me or my library. I can also instruct Amazon where I want the stuff shipped as in to home or office and that ship-to is not tied to my billing selection. Of course, there is another solution. It is a bit extreme but in this Shed West Era of print cancellations and there being no sacred cows requiring both WEXIS search services, just kill off TR Legal search but remember you will also have to kill off all OnePass-ed "solutions" services, too.
So here we are. Once upon a time, West reps were selling CDs to individual attorneys that showed up on their institution's billing account without prior approval from whomever actually had the authority to spend the institution's $$. Then billing to West institutional accounts was restricted. Now TR Legal is stealing a sales tactic from the bad old days and applying it again.
"Treat us good, we'll treat you better. Treat us bad, we’ll treat you worse." I'm thinking TR Legal believes most institutional buyers just won't be won't be paying much attention to their OnePass-YourAss system. Bull. In these times of close monitoring of spending, even a $12 charge to a library account gets spotted. Of course, not all institutional buyers pay that much attention or are as knowledgeable in how Thomson Reuters tries to conduct business until the Company gets caught.
Today's TR ProView eBooks will end up being just like yesterday's CD-ROMs. When we invoice-playing institutional buyers see statements that include the $$$ charges for unauthorized purchases (plus their multi-years commitments to and good 'til cancelled licensing terms) by way of OnePass-YourAss all hell will break out again.
"In my experience, nothing is ever what it seems to be, but everything is exactly what it is." Hello TR Legal, we know you really meant it when you told lawyers in a nutshell that they needed their heads examined if they know their law librarian's name a couple of years ago. We know the marketing objective to increase sales is to sell directly to the attorney (pBooks, eBooks, even, god hell us, perhaps someday personalized WLN plans in institutional settings) by way of WestMart. Hell, I've got no problem if any attorney foolishly wants to spend his or her money to buy one of your products or services but I seriously doubt any institutional buyer wants that personal purchase to become an institutionalized expense.
I offer three off-the-top of this aging and decrepit Boomer-Gen law library director reasons:
- There is no verification mechanism in place;
- Institutional buyers just might want to make volume purchases at a discounted price; and
- You know damn well, no institutional buyer representative wants to start his or her week off with the following to-do list.
OnePass Account Holder Jim Smith's license for X is set to expire. Does he want to keep it? What is the price inflation rate?
OnePass Account Holder Bob Daleo's licenses for X and Y are set to expire. Does he want to cancel one or both of them? If not, what is the price inflation rate?
One Pass Account Holder Mike Suchsland's license for A is set to expire. Does he want to keep it? What is the price inflation rate?
Remember to check with OnePass Account Holder Peter Warwick to see if he still wants us to shell out for SuperLawyer or has simply forgotten about that.
Check to confirm that Friday's request that former OnePass Account Holder Tom Glocer's account and all things tied to his account has been vaporized.
One Pass Account Holder Mike Suchsland's license for B and Z is set to expire. Does he want to cancel one or both of them? If not, what is the price inflation rate?
One Pass Account Holder Deirdre Stanley's licenses for C, D, X, Y are set to expire. Before checking with her, log into her account to see if her license for A was vaporized because Jim Smith thinks it is too expense although Mike Suchsland "loves" it. (Note to self: did we get a credit?)
OnePass Account Holder Jim Smith's license for C and E are set to expire. Does he want to keep them? What is the price inflation rate?
Check (again) to see if the glitch to Jim Powell's OnePass account has been fixed yet.
"A battle won is a battle which [Thomson Reuters] will not acknowledge being lost." TRI's year-end financial report and webcast about that starts at 8:30 AM (Eastern) tomorrow. I doubt any of the execs will be highlighting this OnePass-YourAss scheme to guarantee a revenue stream for its cash cow, TR Legal.
Of course, I could be wrong. They just might be that arrogant to still think TR Legal's US legal customer base really, really needs what TR sells so their customer base will swallow OnePass-YourAss. Hell, someone may even follow the well-scripted response that "we've surveyed our customers and they think this is great!"
"Know that, as in life, there is much that many have looked upon but few have seen because, as my father told me and his father told him, you will come to learn a great deal if you study the insignificant in depth." The investment community knows that. Remember folks, what really matters to the investment community isn't one-off revenue. It's all about organic growth of recurring revenues (read subscriptions and licenses). TR Legal paid the price for maintaining its historical rate of print supplement price inflation during what is known as the work-in-progress Shed West Era.
TRI's OnePass-YourAss scheme with its tie-up to institutional accounts, its multi-year commitments to its coming line of ProView eBooks designed to be sold to individual attorneys with that later-on standing order component and the automatic eBook price inflation rates we will see in a couple of years, is designed for one and only one reason. That reason is not "consumer surplus," an economic term of art for consumers happy to get more than what they expected. Nope, the strategic objective here is increasing its lost revenue stream for recurring revenues. However...
"Those in a hurry show only that the thing they are about is too big for them."
Reminder: CALI's Free Topics in Digital Law Practice Online Course Starts Feb. 10
Topics in Digital Law Practice is "designed to provide an overview of the changes that are occurring in the practice of law today, especially with respect to technology. It will introduce law students for real-world situations that they will encounter in the job market and point law professors to new avenues to cover in their courses." While intended primarily to law students and faculty, anyone interested can participate in the course. If unable to attend some of the live classes, the presentations will be archived for later viewing. To plan ahead, here is the schedule and topics covered by each class:
Friday, February 10, 2012 2pm-3pm EST
The Virtual Law Office
Attorney and Technology Consultant
Friday, February 17, 2012 2pm-3pm EST
Attorney and Document Automation Expert
Friday, February 24, 2012 2pm-3pm EST
Technology in the Courts
Guest Speaker TBD
Friday, March 2, 2012 2pm-3pm EST
Unbundling Legal Service Delivery
President of SmartLegalForms, Inc. and DirectLaw, Inc.
Friday, March 9, 2012 2pm-3pm EST
Online Legal Forms in Legal Aid
Ronald W. Staudt
Professor of Law
Chicago-Kent College of Law
Friday, March 16, 2012 2pm-3pm EDT
President, kiiac.com, www.contractstandards.com/
Friday, March 23, 2012 2pm-3pm EDT
Free Legal Research Tools
Director of Content Development / Law Librarian
Friday, March 30, 2012 2pm-3pm EDT
Unauthorized Practice of Law in the 21st Century
Staff Counsel at American Bar Association
Friday, April 6, 2012 2pm-3pm EDT
Social Media for Lawyers
Attorney at Law
Topics in Digital Law Practice is free for all registered attendees. Details here. [JH]
Opening: Reference/Special Collections Librarian, Fordham Law
• Provides extensive general reference assistance to law students, faculty and administrators at the reference desk
• Identifies needs, sets priorities, and provides direction regarding the preservation, conservation, and digitization of the special collections as a member of the Archives/Institutional Repository Committee
• Facilitates access to the law library archive and special collection for Law School departments, faculty and outside users
• Serves as library liaison to faculty members and administrators, including those with an interest in law school history and alumni
• Creates research guides and finding aids for law school archives and special collections materials
• Participates in collection development activities as a member of the Acquisitions Committee
• Prepares and executes informational displays and educational exhibits
• Contributes to the development, implementation and evaluation of reference and public services policies, procedures and publications
• Participates, as an Associate Adjunct Professor of Law, in introductory and advanced legal research instruction programs
• Reports to the Head of Reference who may assign additional functions as necessary
• M.L.S. or equivalent from an A.L.A. accredited library school
• J.D. from an A.B.A. accredited law school or equivalent non-U.S. law degree
• Specialized training in, experience with or strong interest in the special collections and archives
• Knowledge of or strong interest in learning archival management, conservation and digitization
• Substantial knowledge of print-based and online legal research systems and resources
• Strong service orientation
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment
• Ability to work evening, weekend and holiday hours
• Internship or practicum in legal research in academic setting preferred
• Demonstrated commitment to forward-looking library practices and technologies preferred
SALARY: Commensurate with experience
STARTING DATE: ASAP
SEND LETTER & RESUME: Robert Nissenbaum, rnissenbaum(at)fordham.edu
Fordham University is an EOE/AA employer
February 7, 2012
Ninth Circuit Rules In Proposition 8 Case
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today affirming the District Court’s decision to strike down the amendment to the California Constitution that took away the right to marry from same-sex partners. Stating the decision that way is in line with the rationale that the Court used in coming to its decision. The Court relied on similar precedent in Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996) where the Supreme Court struck down a Colorado amendment that invalidated anti-discrimination laws that protected homosexuals. The Ninth Circuit said there was no legitimate right to take away the right to marry from same-sex partners which previously existed until Proposition 8 amended the California Constitution.
When directly enacted legislation “singl[es] out a certain class of citizens for disfavored legal status,” we must “insist on knowing the relation between the classification adopted and the object to be attained,” so that we may enure that the law exists “to further a proper legislative end” rather than “to make the [class] unequal to everyone else.” Romer, 517 U.S. and 632-33, 635. Proposition 8 fails this test. It’s sole purpose and effect is “to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California”—to dishonor a disfavored group by taking away the official designation of approval of their committed relationships and the accompanying social status, and nothing more. Voter Information Guide at 54. “It is at once too narrow and too broad,” for it changes the law far too little to have any of the effects it purportedly was intended to yield, yet it dramatically reduces the societal standing of gays and lesbians and diminishes their dignity. Romer, 517 U.S. at 633. Proposition 8 did not result from a legitimate “Kulturkampf” concerning the structure of families in California, because it had no effect on family structure, but in order to strike it down, we need not go so far as to find that it was enacted in “a fit of spite,” Id. At 636 (Scalia, J., dissenting). It is enough to say that Proposition 8 operates with no apparent purpose but to impose on gays and lesbians, through the public law, a majority’s private disapproval of them and their relationships, by taking away from them the official designation of ‘marriage,’ with its societally recognized status. Proposition 8 therefore violates the Equal Protection Clause. (Slip Op. at 76-77)
The Ninth Circuit considered the issue of former Chief Judge Walker’s disclosure upon retirement that he was gay and was in a committed relationship with another man for the preceding 10 years. The matter was referred to Chief Judge Ware at that point in the lower court’s proceedings in consideration of a motion to vacate the judgment. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision not to vacate as not violating abuse of discretion.
Judge N.R. Smith concurred in the ruling to the extent that he agreed that the Proponents of Proposition 8 had standing to appeal and that the issue on the motion to vacate the judgment was correctly decided. He dissented, however, on the validity of Proposition 8 in that the California Supreme Court had upheld it prior to the action in this case.
The case is Perry v. Brown and it is likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Get ready to Constitutionally rumble. [MG]
Thomson Reuters' OnePass-YourAss Scheme, Part One: The sign on the wall says "Progress over [Software] Protocol"
Back on Dec. 15, 2011, a law firm librarian posted a warning on law-lib about how anyone who has a credit card or knows the firm's Land of 10,000 Invoices account number can execute a transaction that will be billed to the firm's West account. Hell, one doesn't even have to know the institution's West billing account number(s). There is plenty of tie-ins. Ship-to addresses are tied to bill-to West accounts. Even easier, order online via WestMart requires an OnePass user account which is, of course, automatically associated with the institutional buyer's West billing account. Ah ... having an individual OnePass account permits the account holder to use resources licensed by the institution. It does not mean every damn OnePass account holder has a "license" to buy something. Do note well, even personal, meaning not firm, credit card purchases can get sucked into TR's OnePass-YourAss system.
A comment to the Dec. 15, 2011 law-lib post identified just how far and wide TR's OnePass-YourAss practice reaches. By that I mean we aren't just talking about an attorney buying a $15 dollar Rutter Group pamphlet for office use without prior authorization (damn good catch!), a SuperLawyers transaction involving a firm's market director (who presumable has the authority to use a firm credit for this transaction) also appeared in the firm's West account managed by the law library! (Obviously, Thomson Reuters wants folks to replace in-house budgeting and expenditure systems that identify library spend for legal resources with a standalone budget line item that informs the MBA-types "this is how much you are paying to Thomson Reuters," but I digress... .)
After a series of email exchanges, West's response as published on law-lib was:
Thank you for contacting Thomson Reuters ... Support regarding the online order. I am happy to assist you.
1. The system brought up the [X] shipping address but the person placing the order changed it to [Y] address.
2. It does show as paid by [attorney's] credit card.
Our system won't require them to use a credit card if they are using the firm's account number when placing the order. We don't have any way to block someone from placing an order if they are using the firm's account number.
"Today's impossible is tomorrow's reality." Apparently the Company's programming gurus are too incompetent to program a block for this stunt. Well, here's how to do it: He or she who authorizes payment to the Land of 10,000 Licenses, is the person who determines which OnePass account holders can or cannot buy something. Remember folks, any member of your institution might have more than one OnePass account. We are not just talking about folks accessing Westlaw.
How really how hard is it to tie each OnePass account's registration key to a set of permissions? X can buy stuff, Y cannot. Is that really impossible? Of course not, OnePass OneAss accounts are database-driven to gain access. Permission settings in the form of verified authorizations are not bleeding edge programming. It is not just possible, it is pretty damn easy. TR Legal just doesn't want to do it.
"The man who has ceased to fear has ceased to care." There is no doubt in my mind, that if TR Legal sent every law library director a link to a secure web destination to check off one-by-one which OnePass account is authorized to make buy-not-buy decisions, it would get our immediate attention. And you know why!
There's been no publicized follow up from AALL since the December 15, law-lib message that I have seen. There has also been no "Dear Colleagues" posting on law-lib (unless I missed it). Why? Well, perhaps because one of law-lib messages included West's "solutions" to this matter:
Send an email to the Firm highlighting no personal orders should be placed with Thomson Reuters on the firm account
Utilize “My Account” to check new orders
Periodically review Print Subscription List with Customer Service Key Account Team to ensure the correct print subscriptions are on the account.
"May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined," Customer Service person. My response:
Right, an email is going to "work." Plus, law librarians across this great land of ours are going to have to establish separate OnePass user accounts that better be tied to an non-institutional email account and hope that user populations remembers to use that account for personal purchases.
Really, hourly check, daily check, weekly check for non-order "orders"?
Well, first, your institution has to be a "Key Account" (read really big spender) to be able to contact someone other than 1-800-Nameless unless you know your Westlaw rep's pBook support team member's name and have his or her contact inform. Of course that assumes (1) the pBook person is still on the job and (2) you still have a Westlaw rep.
Oh, BTW, will my "Print Subscription List" include eBooks any of my OnePass account holders have licensed without prior authorization?
(You do know, you can ask for your "Print Subscription List," right? Just call or email a request to John Shaughnessy, Vice President, Corporate Communications - Legal to obain a 2012 Pro Forma price list. Oh, my bad, "corporate communications" means outside, not inside the Land of 10,000 Invoices. Well, it is obtainable if you know who to contact. But I digress... .)
"Asking is a polite way of demanding." So to hell with it. Here's another solution. Just tell TR to go take a hike. Need language? To avoid deniability it would be prudent to send some sort of notice like the below via certified, return receipt snail mail.
Chairman, Thomson Reuters
3 Times Square
New York, NY 10036
Re: "There is little time. You better come quickly if your planet is still important to you."
This is to inform Thomson Reuters, all of the Company's business units now and future ones, that only the undersigned representative of the institution identified in this communication's signature line is authorized to purchase any and all of the Company's products and services now or in the future. Under no circumstance will this institution pay for any purchases not authorized by the undersigned without prior advance approval by the undersigned. Unless otherwised informed, the undersigned representative of [insert name of institutional entity] is the only person authorized to place orders for any and all of the Company's products and services charged to our Thomson Reuters accounts.
This is also to inform Thomson Reuter that all prior purchases will not be paid for because the Company failed to verify that the "purchaser" was authorized to execute a commitment expend this institution's funds unless that person is a signatory to this letter.
[Optional: In the attachment(s), matters highlighted in red have not been nor will be paid because the Company failed to verify authorization in advance. Matters highlighted in green have been paid but also were not authorized by this institution. Payment does not imply after-the-fact authorization. It only means that we did not want to have to deal with the collections people in Mumbai. Kindly see to it that we receive a refund check promptly. Credit to our account is unacceptable. Of course, if your Company's something like $12 billion credit line is not renewed this summer on favorable terms, we may be willing to loan you the money at a nominal 11.3% per year interest rate.]
If you have any questions regarding this matter, you may want to check with your employees.
cc: James C. Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Thomson Reuters
If charges still appear on your institution's monthly statement, just refuse to pay. Hell, you could even forget about notifying the Company in advance and just not pay all such YourAss charges. TR will understand because we are all "partners," right? Oh, my bad, perhaps only officials at AALL and Thomson Reuters are "partners."
"We have no special constitutional powers, unless you consider the extraordinary rights accorded every U.S. citizen by law, in which case we are amply empowered to go about our business." If enough (and I doubt it would take too many) BigLaw (toss in BigGov) buyers "boycott" TRI's OnePass-YourAss scheme by picking up the phone or putting TRI on notice in writing, David Thomson just might grab Jim Smith by the collar to say
"Let's go back up to my office and talk about this like two reasonable beings."
ABA House of Delegates Vote in Favor of Supporting the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act
Resolution 102B, supporting UELMA, was approved by a voice vote, "though a significant number of delegates voted nay," reported Debra Cassens Weiss in the ABAJ News. Did the youngsters shout down the oldsters? Well at least it passed. As the ABA report that accompanied the resolution stated:
UELMA addresses the critical need to manage electronic legal information in a manner that guarantees the trustworthiness of and continuing access to important state legal material.
Opening: Executive Law Librarian, Univ. of Iowa
Executive Law Librarian, Associate Director (PLA5)
University of Iowa Law Library
Position begins on July 1, 2012 or before if successful candidate is available earlier.
Employer Information: The University of Iowa Law Library is part of the University of Iowa Law School and is independent of the University Libraries system. The University of Iowa Law School, founded in 1865, is the oldest law school west of the Mississippi River and is located in Iowa City, Iowa. The Law School has a student population of about 600 students in its JD program and about 15 in its LLM program and has a faculty of about 45. According to the most recent ABA figures, the Law Library collection of information resources contains the second largest number of separately cataloged on-site accessible different titles in all formats, and the second largest collection of volumes and microform volume equivalents, among all academic law libraries. The collection is very strong both in American Law and Foreign, Comparative, and International Law. The Law Library has a staff of 32 FTE including 8 librarians with both library and law degrees.
For more information about the law library – http://www.law.uiowa.edu/library
For more information about the law school – http://www.law.uiowa.edu
For more information about the University of Iowa – http://www.uiowa.edu
Responsibilities: The Executive Law Librarian is the chief operating officer of the Law Library. This position has overall responsibility for and oversees, supervises, and coordinates all day-to-day operations, processes, and administration of the library. Both the Head of the Collection Services Division and the Head of the Public Services Division report to the Executive Law Librarian. The Executive Law Librarian reports to and advises the chief executive officer of the Law Library—the Associate Dean for Research, a faculty member at the Law School who spends half-time on matters relating to the Law Library and half-time on duties as a faculty member. The Executive Law Librarian may also participate in providing reference services and in the teaching of legal research methods.
Qualifications and Experience: A candidate should have JD and MLS degrees, or the equivalent; 7-10 years of experience working in an academic law library; significant and successful academic law library administrative experience; a broad knowledge of all law library processes, functions, and operations including electronic library functions; demonstrated leadership, communication, organizational, fiscal, and project management skills; excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to interact successfully with people; an ability to manage a large staff effectively; a capacity to participate in the generation of new ideas for the improvement of the library’s administration and programs; and demonstrated experience in working effectively in a diverse environment.
Salary: $112,000 to commensurate dependent on qualifications and experience.
Please apply online via JOBS@UIOWA (http://jobs.uiowa.edu) One must register on the site before beginning the application process. Once registered, click on “Search for Jobs” and check the box next to “Librarians/Library Science” then “Enter.” This position is Requisition #60533.
The University of Iowa is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
February 6, 2012
Consumer Advocacy by a Library Association: ALA asserts at Midwinter and in meetings with publishers "you need to deal with libraries and you need to do it as soon as possible"
Recently several elected ALA officers plus an association official and a task force chair met face-to-face with senior executives of Penguin, Macmillan, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Perseus in New York City. At issue was publisher policies and practices with respect to library acquisition of eBooks.
Two of these publishers (Random House and Perseus) currently do offer their ebooks to libraries; these two publishers approached us to meet when they learned we would be in New York.The three others either do not sell ebooks to libraries (Macmillan and Simon & Schuster) or sell only their backlist (Penguin).
(Emphasis added.) Quoting from Beverly Goldberg's Ebook Talks: First Report on ALA's E-Content blog. Unless otherwise indicated all following quotations come from this post, which is an official ALA web publication.
The meetings between the ALA group and each publisher were conducted separately. ALA President Molly Raphael explained
Our purpose was not only to express our dismay about those restricting sales to libraries but also to understand the concerns that publishers have in general in this new digital environment, including those who do sell to libraries.
Whoa, Call the US AG, the FTC! Is it lawful for a group that represents institutional buyers to advocate directly with five different publishers in five separate meetings? Didn't those ALA-ers get our professional association's rejected but implemented policy memo?
Whoa, Part Two. Keep an eye out for more radical violations of "antitrustism." An ALA report about last week's meeting is expected to be released early this week. ALA President Molly Raphael reports
[It] will provide more detail about issues discussed and what we (ALA) will be doing to reach our goal of opening access to all ebooks in libraries.
Whoa, Part Three. It gets worse -- at least for AALL -- consumer advocacy for institutional buyers was openly discussed at ALA Midwinter before the publisher meetings. LJ's Annoyed Librarian reported on Jan. 30, 2012:
There’s some tough talk from the ALA Executive Director, who said, “I want to assure you that the dialog will begin with us saying ‘you need to deal with libraries and you need to do this as soon as possible,’ then we can have a dialog starting from there.”
The Annoyed Librarian (an AALL plant?) added "I’ve attended a lot of meetings in my time and I’ve never seen one that began so belligerently accomplish anything." Loop back up to how two publishers asked to meet the ALA group when they heard ALA was going to be in town.
Whoa, Part Four. "The Annoyed Librarian seems to have been a bit annoyed by ALA’s use of assertive language" wrote Christopher Harris on Feb. 2, 2012 in his ALA E-content post, ALA Goes to New York, Things Don’t Get Violent. Harris responded with the following comment:
[A]ssertiveness is what many librarians want from their organization.
Damn right. Time and duty to one's employer is "of the essence" in vendor relations; much less so for AALL.
Whoa, Part Five. Now that's just going too damn far. You mean members who represent their institutions can tell their library association what they want done and how they want what they want done, and that actually registers with the library association in words and deeds in a timely manner! Doesn't ALA have a vendor liaison to tell its members, its sections, its chapters, etc., "whoa, hold on, wait a minute or a year or a decade until I get back to you after I find out exactly what the E-Board wants to 'assert'. AALL might have to create a task force and wait for the results of its work, you know."
(Note well, the co-chair of ALA's Digital Content and Libraries Working Group participated in the publisher meetings and that task force has only just begun its work. But I digress... .)
Perhaps our association's executive director better talk to ALA's executive director about how library associations are supposed to behave before this gets out of hand. [JH]
The Value of Law Libraries and the Wise Latina
Last week I had the great honor and pleasure of meeting a big law librarian fan, Justice Sotomayor. I also had the great pleasure of hearing her wax poetically to my deans and faculty about how important the library is to the study of law and how pleased she was to know Richardson's librarians are teaching in the formal curriculum. Did I mention how much I adore Justice Sotomayor? :)
In our profession, we are often praised in private circles with phrases such as "I could never have found this without you" or "I don't know what I would have done without your help." Sometimes, we even get mentioned in a footnote! Sometimes we get a bottle of wine, or a bunch of flowers, but it is rare to receive the satisfaction of public acolades or, to be more direct, monetary renumeration. Because it is, afterall, our job to perform these services.
Nevertheless, despite all our good work, it is the library that frequently ends up on the short end of the budget planning. We don't produce revenue, we take up a lot of space, and we spend a big chunk of money. How do we justify our value?
Here enters the Lib-Value project - Phase III of an international project to develop ROI measures that demonstrate the value of academic and research libraries in concrete terms that administrators and the public could appreciate, i.e., monetary terms. A brief review of the work produced by this project follows:
- Phase I sought to develop a quantitative measure of the library’s return on investment (ROI) by tying faculty’s use of library materials to the generation of grant income. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the evil publisher de jour, Elsevier, developed a formula using data on the library’s budget, faculty grant income, and faculty surveys. The 2006 result recorded a return of $4.38 in grant income for every dollar invested in the library.
- Phase II investigated the amount of competitive grant funding universities receive when faculty submit grant proposals that include citations acquired from library electronic collections. Result: For every monetary unit invested in the library, the respective institutions receive an ROI of between 15.54:1 and 0.64:1 in research grant income alone.
- The most recent report, UK Scholarly Reading and the Value of Library Resources, was released by JISC this month as part of Phase III of the project. According to JISC:
University libraries are saving academics time by helping them find quality material more quickly, says a new report.
Academics are choosing the library as their first choice for getting hold of scholarly material because access is quick, it helps them make new connections to related information and the library may be the only place they can access that material.
The report also considered how academics might fare without the benefit of libraries. It did not look good for our intrepid scholar. The researchers predicted that without the benefit of a library, scholars would find fewer relevant articles and it would take them much longer to find those fewer articles.
Now, I know you are all saying: Yes, we already know that and obviously the wise Latina on the U.S. Supreme Court knows that too. But now you can point to a funded study to support that idea and present it to the bean counters. With the budget planning season soon upon us, why not pass along this study to your dean? Or your senior faculty? Or your fund raising office? You might want to throw Phases I and II in there for good measure because I have a feeling the budget cuts are not yet over. (VS)
An Idiot Proof Guide to Creating eBooks
Wait, well, I shouldn't really call it idiot-proofed because this idiot ran out of time last weekend to confirm that. However, thanks to CALI Director of Content Development Sarah Glassmeyer's eBook Publishing for Dummies post, I can reality check that characterization. OK, that really isn't the title of Sarah's post. Now, I know there are plenty of how-to books "out there" but because I wasn't all that interested in creating eBooks until reading Sarah's post, I haven't bought any of them. I'm thinking I may not have to now.
With a know-how hat tip to CALI's Elmer Masters, Sarah explains step-by-step how to create an eBook from a MS Word source document into EPUB and MOBI formats using open-source text conversion tools. If I'm not mistaken, Sarah's Making eBooks for Fun and No Profit post details the basic process CALI uses. I can say that in terms of reading comprehension, the guide is idiot proof by my personal criterion. If I can understand this, no doubt you can too. Thanks Sarah. [JH]
Reminder: Contributions to the 20th Annual RIPS-SIS Teach-In Kit Due Friday, Feb.10th
Want to help promote law libraries and enhance legal research instruction? AALL's Research Instruction and Patron Services-SIS publishes its popular Teach-In Resource Kit online in conjunction with National Library Week each April. The deadline for submiting contributions for this year's edition in Friday, Feb. 20, 2012. So there is still plenty of time to send in your contributions as email attachments to RIPS-SIS Teach-In Kit co-chair, Laura Ax-Fultz, Access Services Librarian, Dickinson School of Law, Penn State Univ., lja10(at)psu.edu.
Teach-In Kit instructional materials can include:
- course syllabi
- research guides
- lecture notes
- lesson plans
- PowerPoint shows
- basic instructional guides
- examinations and guided quizzes
- crossword puzzles and trivia quizzes
For examples of past submissions, see last year's Teach-In Kit.
The Teach-In Kit producers welcomes ideas and suggestions and encourages you to contact them to discuss your contributions. Contact information here. [JH]