Saturday, February 3, 2007
There may be hope for legal writing students who never mastered grammar in grade school and aren't enamored of the topic:
hat tip: Prof. Jan Levine
Professor Diane Murley at Southern Illinois University School of Law has written a chapter on Innovative Instructional Methods, which will be published in vol. 26 of Legal Reference Services Quarterly.
You can access the full text by clicking on: http://ssrn.com/abstract=957706.
This chapter is full of ideas for teaching legal research in interactive ways that reach the whole class and make productive use of today's classroom technology. Even the most cutting-edge legal research professor is likely to find a new idea or two here.
This announcement arrived from Albany Law School:
"Albany Law School seeks candidates for a one-year visitorship to teach Introduction to Lawyering for the 2007 - 2008 academic year. Applicants should be teaching or have recently taught lawyering skills, legal writing, or similar courses. Introduction to Lawyering is a required, five-credit, two semester, first-year course. The course integrates legal research, legal analysis, legal writing, professionalism, and practice skills and is part of a coordinated program with experienced colleagues. Our deadline is very short. Applications including resume and references should be sent by February 9, 2007 to Barbara Jordan-Smith, Executive Assistant to the Dean, Albany Law School, 80 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208. Phone: (518) 445-2311. Email: BJord@albanylaw.edu. Electronic submissions are encouraged."
"The position advertised:
___a. is a tenure track appointment.
___b. may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
___c. may lead to successive e presumptively renewable short-term contracts of one to four years that can be terminated only for cause.
___d. has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.
___e. is a part of a fellowship program for one or two years
___f. is a part-time appointment or a year-to-year adjunct appointment
_X_ g. is a one year visitorship
2. The professor hired:
____a. will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
_X_ b. will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked below.
____ a. $90,000 or more
____ b. $80,000 to $89,000
____ c. $70,000 to $79,000
__X_ d. $60,000 to $69,000 ($65,000 - $70,000)
____ e. $50,000 to $59,000
____ f. $ 40,000 to $49,000
____ g. $40,000 to $39,000
____ h. this is a part-time appointment paying less than $30,000
____ i. this is an adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000
4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the lawyering professor will be:
___ a. 30 or fewer
___ b. 31– 35
_X_c. 36 – 40 (professors teach two sections of approximately 18 students each)
___ d. 41 – 45
___ e. 46 – 50
____ f. 51 – 55
____ g. 56 – 60
____h. more than 60
Friday, February 2, 2007
The Language of Law School, a linguistic/anthropological study by Wisconsin law professor Elizabeth Mertz, has just been published by Oxford University Press. The book examines the transformation in thinking and expression that occurs in law students, which Mertz based on her study of tape recordings of first-year contracts classes in several law schools. The publisher says, “[Professor Mertz] shows how all these schools employ the Socratic method between teacher and student, forcing the student to shift away from moral and emotional terms in thinking about conflict, toward frameworks of legal authority instead.”
Hat tip: Law Librarian Blog
Thursday, February 1, 2007
In a concurrence to an opinion released January 31, 2007, Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen calls for that state to modernize appellate practice by instituting electronic appeal procedures. The case's record and brief consumed 25,399 pieces of paper, says the judge, who calculated that the paper consumed was the product of three trees. The judge also noted the costs of transporting the paper records and briefs from the attorneys' home counties to the state capital, estimating gasoline totals of $100 for the 960 miles of travel necessitated by this one case.
Judge Griffen quoted an observation by Judge George Nicholson of California's Third District Court of Appeal that judges have "one foot in the nineteenth century and the other in the twenty-first," because although a judge can easily access foreign case law by a few keystrokes, when he then "slides the chair over to the other side of the desk where lies the record on appeal, a collection of bound pages of trial court transcripts and filings," he crosses the threshold of time into an earlier era. See George Nicholson, A Vision of the Future of Appellate Practice and Process, 2 J. App. Prac. & Process 229 (2000).
The judge also cited with approval an article by former legal writing professor Deborah Parker (Wake Forest), Electronic Filing in North Carolina: Using the Internet instead of the Interstate, 2 J. App. Prac. & Process 351 (2000).
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
On msnbc.com last week was the report of a Chinese case in which the court ruled that the screaming of a little boy who was startled by a barking dog led to the deaths of a few hundred chickens, who in turn panicked and trampled each other to death in the henhouse.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Sure, your client can decide it's not economically worthwhile to pay you to research and write an appellate brief. And then the court can issue an opinion like this one:
hat tip: Chris Wren
The January 29, 2007 online edition of the New York Times reports on the appearance of Wikipedia citations in judicial opinions, noting that "[m]ore than 100 judicial rulings have relied" on the online reader-edited reference. The article mentions a Tennessee Court of Appeals case that used its definition of "beverage" in a tax case (that would be English Mtn. Spring Water Co. v. Chumley, 196 S.W.3d 144 (Tenn. App. 2005)) and a recent case from an unnamed Florida federal district court, who used it as a source explaining the term "booty music." The article also quotes Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner, who has himself cited a Wikipedia entry. Judge P acknowledges, however, that "[i]t wouldn't be right to use it in a critical issue. If the safety of a product is at issue, you wouldn't look it up in Wikipedia."
Monday, January 29, 2007
from Fred Shapiro:
"My book, The Yale Book of Quotations, has recently been published by Yale University Press. The YBQ is intended to supplant Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations as the most authoritative quotation dictionary. It is the first major quotation book to emphasize modern and American sources, including popular culture, sports, computers and politics, and the first quotation book of any sort to use state-of-the-art computer-assisted research methods to comprehensively collect famous quotations and to trace quotations to their accurate origins."
"Many legal scholars over the years have asked me when I would publish a second edition of The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations (1993). The Yale Book of Quotations may be viewed as a kind of second edition of the ODALQ, since it includes extensive coverage of legal quotations and in this respect brings the ODALQ up to date (as well as covering British legal quotations not in the ODALQ)."
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Co-chairs Ben Templin, at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and Sarah Ricks, at Rutgers-Camden School of Law, have announced:
"The Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors are pleased to announce that, for 2007, LWI will be teaming up with ALWD to jointly offer the 2007 ALWD-LWI Summer Research Grants.
"At their January meeting, the LWI Board set aside $10,000 for 2007 summer grants. The ALWD Board determines the amount of scholarship money based on the ALWD Citation Manual revenues.
"Because this (happily) increases the pool of available money for 2007 summer research grants, legal writing teachers are encouraged to apply for a grant.
"Since ALWD has a well developed system of choosing award recipients, this year the LWI and ALWD Scholarship Committees will join forces to jointly award summer research grants. Ben Templin, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Chair of the LWI Scholarship Committee, and Sarah Ricks, Rutgers-Camden School of Law, Chair of the ALWD Scholarship Committee, will jointly administer the awards.
"As previously announced, applications are due by February 1, 2007, 5 pm EST, via e-mail."