Friday, April 25, 2014
David Hricik (Mercer, Law) has posted to SSRN a useful paper for judges, but also for the rest of us interested in how their ethics are affected by new technologies (and how to deal with lawyer ethics of using tech). It is titled Technology and Judicial Ethics and its abstract is:
This paper was written for judges to assist them in understanding: their obligations concerning Facebook and other social networking sites, including "friending" lawyers; the confidentiality of email, texts, and other e-communications; the use of the Internet by lawyers to research jurors or potential jurors; the use of the Internet by judges to research the facts and law; and how to admonish jurors not to use the Internet to research the case before them or to discuss it prior to deliberations.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Posted by Alan Childress
The newest issue of the Harvard Law Review (number 7, May) is now available in ebook formats at Amazon Kindle (and Amazon UK), at Barnes & Noble for Nook, and on iPad using such apps or soon at iTunes bookstore. It's out of the Quid Pro Books digital project [as regular readers of this blog might guess]. My recollection is that there was a time -- before technology and budget cuts -- when many individuals, not just libraries, ordered copies of favorite law reviews (or had issues routed to them) and read each issue like a book. In a way, the ereader technology puts it back together again as a whole and makes the volume easily available to individual readers, even on the go (or especially on the go, for trains and planes), and on devices tiny and large. Having HLR available this way is in a sense "traditional," or at least could become a new tradition to non-institutional readers, I believe.
Number 7's contents:
Article, "Article III and the Scottish Judiciary," by James E. Pfander and Daniel D. Birk
Book Review, "Constitutional Alarmism," by Trevor W. Morrison
Note, "A Justification for Allowing Fragmentation in Copyright"
Note, "Taxing Partnership Profits Interests: The Carried Interest Problem"
Recent Case, "Corporate Law — Principal’s Liability for Agent’s Conduct"
Recent Case, "Administrative Law — Retroactive Rules"
Recent Case, "Federal Preemption of State Law — Implied Preemption"
Recent Case, "Labor Law — LMRA"
Recent Legislation, "Corporate Law — Securities Regulation"
UPDATE: Nice squib from Paul Caron at TaxProf.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Posted by Alan Childress
The one on-topic features NYU's Stephen Gillers' new article on the professional responsibility of lawyers who hold or come across real evidence in a case, such as guns, presidential tapes, and drugs. It is part of the current issue of Stanford Law Review, which also has studies of forensic use of DNA in criminal cases to establish familial ties, fixing unfair contracts, and amicus briefs in the Supreme Court where a party below has abandoned the case. I helped the SLR editors bring it to ebook formats in the Quid Pro project I have written on before; here are links to its Amazon Kindle or B&N Nook formats (and at iTunes and Smashwords). Steve's abstract:
A criminal defense lawyer may need to read a document, test a weapon, or analyze a substance in order to advise a client. Or there may be no such need but a client may show up at a law office with an illegal weapon, contraband, or stolen property. In either event, what should a lawyer do with the item following any evaluation? What should she do if her client reveals where a weapon, contraband, or stolen property is hidden? Some cases say that a lawyer who receives or retrieves an item of real evidence must give it to the authorities after examining it. But because the item may implicate the client in a crime, the client may instead withhold it or the lawyer may refuse to accept it, even if the lawyer needs to evaluate it. Or a lawyer may choose not to retrieve a hidden item if she must then deliver it to the authorities. Other cases say that after evaluation, a lawyer may return an item to the source if possible. But is that the right rule when the item is stolen property, a dangerous weapon, or drugs? And what if return is not possible? This Article argues that the holdings of these cases, and secondary authorities that agree with them, are wrong. They impede the need for informed legal advice. They frustrate return of stolen property. And where the item is a weapon or drugs, they endanger public safety. This Article proposes solutions that avoid these results while protecting the legal rights of clients and the interests of law enforcement and the public.
In addition, new releases this week in ebooks include an all-new book, Brothers at War (on which I will write more when the paperback is widely available in June): historian Jerold Auerbach explores the Altalena incident of 1948, where Israeli commandos destroyed an Israeli ship bringing arms to Israel, pursuant to a ceasefire agreement. The surreal event and deaths of Altalena's sailors could have led to civil war in the new country. The cover photo, the actual shelling and evacuations, is by the famed war photographer Robert Capa. Here are Kindle or Nook links.
Also, sociologist Philip Selznick's foundational study Leadership in Administration is re-released in ebook formats (Nook; Kindle). It jumpstarted executive-leadership courses and programs, and is widely used in classes today in business, public policy, and military leadership. The digital edition adds a substantive, explanatory new Foreword by Robert Rosen of the University of Miami. Proceeds benefit Dr. Selznick's scholarship at the JSP Program at Berkeley law.
Finally, my own introduced edition of O.W. Holmes' The Path of the Law, in paperback and many ebook versions. Stay tuned Thursday for pretty big news on this venture.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
This has nothing to do with the legal profession, but it's my blog, so deal with it.
After signing up for Skype so that I could work with my son at length over the last week, it occurred to me that my completely computer-illiterate 81 year old father, who lives distant from all of his children and grandchildren, should have an iPad2 so that he can video chat and get pictures. Now we are talking never-turned-on-a-computer, wouldn't-know-an-icon-from-a-mouse level unfamiliarity.
I'm interested in comments on the following. When I visit him next month, I will take him to the Apple Store near his house. I will get a sales person to show him an iPad. What are the chances that he will take to it successfully enough that we buy one and he is capable of using it on his own?
Friday, March 25, 2011
New issue is out in ebook formats, beating the print edition to the streets. Features articles on such diverse topics as “preglimony,” derivatives markets in a fiscal crisis, corporate reform in Brazil, land use and zoning, and a student Note on college endowments in an economic downturn. Formats include Kindle, Nook, or ePub and PDF at Smashwords; and in Apple iTunes bookstore. Also at Sony store. [Alan Childress]
Saturday, September 4, 2010
A good week with the project on republishing classics and publishing new work, also that my son turned 18, and the new students are so engaged and interesting. As to the project, the top ten eleven in "Jurisprudence" (Ok, top 11's a bit of a cheat, but no. 1 has not been available for a while now!--do not know why), at the Amazon Kindle Store are linked, and our books are 3, 4, 6, 11 (and all have paperbacks too). Plus Ted White's Patterns is at 26. So the number 3 is:
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Posted by Alan Childress
More about journalism ethics than legal ones, or just weekend musings of the sort we occasionally do here, but when did it become acceptable for the AP and others to pick a frame of a series of photos taken that displays someone in their worst light, or most stereotypical? I am not just talking about the fact that most neighborhoods in New Orleans during Mardi Gras parades are sedate and fully clothed, and full of families on picnic blankets. I get that the travel channel, the national news, and Girls Gone Wild are not going to show that. But btw you can bring your family to Mardi Gras and it is a very family-friendly event with just a little inside knowledge. If anyone wants to write a guide to the family friendliness of Mardi Gras, I will publish it. My point being that of course there are moments and events where you show the funniest, wildest eye-catching aspect of it, and that is cool and has been since at least 1898.
But political figures, and really all people truly in the news, are different. Why show the one frame where they look stupid or exaggerated, and not the next one where they look stately? Where Arnold looks like he is demonstrating what he would do to the neck of someone who disagrees with his view about gay marriage? Where they make him like like a terminator rather than an elected governor? By the AP? (Used without its permission but fair use since I am commenting on it as a political matter and about its presentation itself rather than just using it to illustrate my story. From this story, though they may have changed the photo since.) I would think that you could politically decide to put him into a bobblehead figure toting a gun and sell it, sure, that itself is fair use of his image, so I am not suggesting Arnold has some cause of action here against the AP (especially now--he is a public official after all not just an actor); I am just suggesting that this is not right and they need to voluntarily return to the day of picking normal and not weird photos.
To answer my question, I think it began with W. I saw increasing numbers of abnormal, silly-posed pictures of him as his administration became more disfavored. I think it became cool to make him look like a fool, in the words of Nipsey Russell (not his actual words, but again fair use of his name). I am not the hugest fan of the man or his administration, not at all, but I really do not believe he always had a smirk that looked like mommy was going to buy him ice cream, or that other smirk that looked like he was at a solemn
ceremony but sort of secretly knew, but could not hide, the fact that he and four frat boys had dumped manure next to the statue of John Harvard before he was later a Harvard student and supporter. OK, I admit I also assume they found the wrong statue and just dumped it next to some generic horserider in Cambridge, but still. Why not show the president as looking like...a president? Or a governor. I know the press can do it, since they seem to have no trouble doing it with President Obama. I am not saying that is inappropriate to Obama, just that it should be objectively offered to all who are in the public eye in serious journalism.
Would you have shown Margaret Thatcher blowing her nose? Reagan in the middle of saying eee--eewww or some such odd face that we all make thousands of time a day without freeze frame? Or Clinton pointing his finger looking like he is about to say something obfuscating? OK, I will give you that one.
Anyway, I did not like this picture,above right, of Arnold that the AP and Yahoo! News used from his press conference. The picture is ridiculous. We should not go out of our way to make people look ridiculous on pages that are not about that.
Bill Gallagher, you still owe me the bobblehead of you. I have a place for it on my shelf at school, next to a photo of Justice Scalia looking silly (but he was trying to, for me, at our summer school) and a sign from Greece that says Thank You for Smoking and shows a smoking butt. But people should know that Lawyer Bill is the only law prof with an official bobblehead of his image. Bobblehead case result here. So cool, Bill. Update: I cannot get over how similar the AP's weird pose of Arnold is to the Bobblehead pose, and facial expression.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Posted by Alan Childress
Lisa Webley is a Reader at the law school of Westminster and a research fellow at the University of London Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (where she also got her PhD); she was just now at Stanford attending the international conference on the legal profession (and I will try to horse-and-hound her into blogging on it). She has published her law-and-society dissertation on the different approaches solicitors versus mediators take toward divorce and custody matters. Their practical and conceptual styles are indeed different, as revealed
by the grounded theory study of their ideologies, training, backgrounds,
ethics, and professional messages. So finds Lisa in Adversarialism and Consensus? The Professions’ Construction of Solicitor and Family Mediator Identity and Role. Her abstract:
This study considers the messages that the Law Society of England and Wales and the UK College of Family Mediators transmit to their members about the professional approach they should adopt in divorce matters. The study employs a grounded theory method to analyse the training, accreditation, best practice statements and codes of conduct generated by the two professional bodies. It examines the extent to which the training, accreditation and codes of conduct of family solicitors and family mediators privilege adversarial or consensus based approaches to divorce for their clients, in the light of statements made around the time of the passage of the Family Law Bill, which suggested a dichotomy in professional approach by these two professional groups. It considers further the nature of professional identity for each of the professional groupings, as constructed through the messages delivered by the professional bodies.
I finally tout a book on-topic to this blog! I helped Lisa publish this as part of the new Dissertation Series of ebooks which I wrote about in Publish Your Dissertation as a Digital Book. Comparative LP expert John Flood (Westminster; U of Miami Law) read that post and commented, and then told Lisa about the series (thanks John!), and she and I worked hard to get this out fast (the tables were a coding nightmare). It is available on Amazon for Kindle and its free apps (and so iPad and BlackBerrys too); on Smashwords in nine different formats (even just PDF, though a pretty one with links, and view online); is featured on the Quid Pro website; and will soon be on Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble for Nook, and Sony ebookstore.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Posted by Alan Childress
That may be a bit of an exaggeration about the Kadish argument, since they say "rule departures" rather than "violations" or "breaking the law," but it is an intriguing argument nonetheless. Admittedly not so much a legal ethics argument as an ethics one [on the concept of law and the philosophy of law-deviations and civil disobedience], but I felt it appropriate to blog on it here because it is part of a larger project I am working on--more on that soon--that certainly does include works on legal ethics and the legal profession.
Mortimer and Sanford Kadish first published their classic study of rule departures within law in 1973, by Stanford U. Press, and I am republishing it as a digital book with permission (and I made new covers, left). Here is the Amazon site featuring it and allowing its download. It is in the form of a Kindle book but is also fully compatible with free ereader apps on PC and laptops, Mac, iPhone, BlackBerry, and iPad. (Weirdly, Kindle books read better on the iPad than iBooks do, since their own iBooks makes you strip the linking of footnotes and other necessities of law books.) It's my first follow-up after bringing back Warren & Brandeis, The Right to Privacy (both digital ebook, and in paper, right) last month, with blogging here. Discretion to Disobey is part of a series I want to do, Classics of Law & Society, so feel free to write me if you want to digitize your own classic work and believe you hold at least its digital rights (this means you, Nell Harper Lee, though Ronald Dworkin should still ask too, or for that matter anyone with a timeless book--so in fact I am working on some legal history and judicial biography works, and others that should be available for downloads.)
The Kadish book is certainly a recognized classic: people were arguing about it from when it first came out. One reviewer wrote that "the paradoxical idea that a citizen or official may lawfully break the law" surely "will raise the hackles" of a positivist. (I'd also gladly publish Hart's rejoinder, The Concept of Law 2: Positive Vibes.) Both citizens and government actors, the book argues, have the power and the right to deviate from law in certain contexts and yet not act illegally in a sense, because law itself contains strands of adaptations to its own departures that the authors weave into a sustained jurisprudential whole. Mortimer Kadish (1916-2010) was a much-published philosophy professor at Case Western, while his brother Sanford became dean at Berkeley's law school and remains an accomplished professor and scholar there. This book is truly a joint product of the fields of philosophy and law. I hope it's of interest to some of our readers (I bet Patrick S. O'Donnell has read it, and may have even assigned it to his classes). If you have a similar classic that needs to be easily read again, or a new manuscript (including Patrick), let me know....
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
I don't ever do solicited product endorsements but my son-in-law Simon, IT guru and Mac aficionado, referred me some time ago to a writer's program called Scrivener, which I now use to organize notes and sources on my writing projects. Simon passed along this link that discusses how Scrivener might be helpful to lawyers.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Posted by Alan Childress
Like cloning and karaoke. And now the invention of the Laptop Steering Wheel Desk. Amazon has it on sale at a great price, though one that may not internalize all the societal costs of the product. No worries!... It warns you: "For safety reasons, never use this product while driving." Most of the reviews are positive, like:
I loved my Laptop Steering Wheel Desk so much I got one for my 90yr old mother. She is an avid crossword puzzle fan and now she can work on them while she is driving back and forth from bingo at the senior center. One cautionary note be careful of those jerks that stop at yellow lights, my poor mother rear ended one and the airbag drove the desk back into her stomach which ruptured her spleen, well after a short down time I'm glad to say she is back on the road and cranking out those NY Times crosswords once again. Thanks Laptop Steering Wheel Desk you have made my mothers life more complete.
A commenter did not like the review above, saying, "Your mother should be paying attention to the road instead of her crossword puzzles. Those puzzles can wait, not her life or someone else's on the road." Maybe the commenter is right, but really tomato, tomahto. It's all just a normative opinion.
But one reviewer gave it five stars: "This has been a total lifesaver. It allows me to prop my sheet music against the wheel, allowing me to play the guitar with both hands while driving." To which a different commenter replies: "I think you and your guitar are a threat to the safety of others on the road."
My son hates it when I say that a certain intersection or product is an accident waiting to happen. (Hey I teach torts.) And so I now say that it is a mishap anticipating its own occurrence, just to annoy him.
Just in time for Christmas! Maybe I will get that for everyone instead of the GR8 TaT2 Maker. That's a "home tattoo parlor" for those of you who do not speak fluent license plate yet. For ages 6-12 (somehow outgrown by, and inapt for, the teens).
Hat Tip to discourse.net.