Friday, January 16, 2009
Click here for information on congressional research grants. Deadline is February 1, 2009. Hat tip to the Constitutional Law Prof Blog.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Thanks to Ken Chestek (University of Indiana School of Law-Indianapolis and President-Elect of the Legal Writing Institute), who sent along these additional photos from the Golden Pen and Blackwell Awards in San Diego. Click on any of the photos to enlarge them. If you would like to play an interactive game with these photos, I invite you to play the game "FIND MARY BETH BEAZLEY" of The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law.
Ralph Brill has sent us some more photos from the legal writing events at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. Here they are. You can also click here for another post of photos from the AALS. As with that earlier post, you can just click on any of the photos to enlarge them. Additionally, we have a video (!!!) of the AALS Section Award Presentation to Richard K. Neumann Jr., taken by Karin Mika of Cleveland State University -- click here for the link to that video.
1. The Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors present an annual award in memory of Thomas Blackwell of the Appalachian School of Law. Professor Blackwell was active in both LWI and ALWD. The award this year was presented to Linda H. Edwards of Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law and a visiting professor at the University of Nevada William S. Boyd School of Law. She has taught legal writing long enough to satisfy the Rule Against Perpetuities. Her articles, books, and conference presentations are well known to the legal writing community. Not as well known are her karaoke skills and her stand-up comedy routines, so we're fortunate to have this rare photo of her performing live at the New Children's Museum in San Diego. (Linda DID tell me a very funny light bulb joke . . . a genre of humor that we enjoy at each Blackwell Award Ceremony in memory of Tom, who enjoyed such jokes tremendously.)
2. Presenting the award to Linda Edwards are (left) Judith M. Stinson, Clinical Professor of Law at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and President of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and Ruth Anne Robbins (right), Clinical Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law, Camden and President of the Legal Writing Institute. Not included in this photo are Ruth Anne's silver shoes, which she wore in honor of the Silver Anniversary of the Legal Writing Institute.
3. The second award of the evening was the Golden Pen Award presented by the Legal Writing Institute as part of its outreach efforts on behalf of the legal writing community. This year the award went to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). This was the first time that the Golden Pen was presented to an organization rather than an individual. (I think that's a great idea and want to suggest that we should start giving out TWO golden pen awards--or maybe even more--for categories such as "individual" and "organization"). Accepting the award on behalf of NAAG is Dan Schweitzer, NAAG Supreme Court Counsel, who like Linda Edwards, is rarely photographed while singing karaoke.
4. A reception followed the event (actually it also started the event) at the New Children's Museum. It was a lovely event, and I'm glad that it started a little bit after the other law school receptions that evening so that people could attend their own schools' programs and then come on over to the LWI-ALWD event. Next year the AALS will meet in New Orleans, which offers many wonderful locations where the event could be held. (If YOU have ideas on a good location for us in January 2010, please let us know!)
AALS Section Chair Louis J. Sirico Jr. of Villanova University School of Law and others at his school produced the program for the evening. (I have a couple of extra copies of it in case you would like me to mail one to you.)
The Blackwell Award Committee was chaired by Ruth Vance (Valparaiso) and included Coleen Barger (University of Arkansas and a co-blogger here on the Legal Writing Prof Blog), Mary Beth Beasley (Ohio State), Lisa Blackwell, Susan H. Duncan (Louisville - Brandeis), Terrill Pollman (UNLV - Boyd), Diana Pratt (formerly at Wayne State), and Lou Sirico (Villanova).
The Golden Pen Committee was chaired by Susan Thrower (DePaul) and included Leah Christensen (Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and who magnificently found the Children's Museum location for our event), Kirsten Davis (Stetson), Sonia Bychkov Green (The John Marshall Law School Chicago), Hether MacFarlane (University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law), Lou Sirico (Villanova), and Christopher Wren (Wisconsin Department of Justice Criminal Appeals Unit). I served as board liaison as a member of the Legal Writing Institute Board.
Next year marks the 10th anniversary of the Golden Pen Award, which was first presented in January 2000 to Arthur Levitt, then Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
For many years, Diane Penneys Edelman has been the Assistant Dean for Legal Writing at Villanova University School of Law. As of January 1, 2009, she became the Assistant Dean for International Programs at Villanova. Diane will continue to teach one section of first-year LRW each semester, including her innovative, international law focused section in the spring. Her colleague, Christine Mooney, steps up now as Assistant Dean for Legal Writing. Congratulations all around!
You know how sometimes you need to cite a source that you've never cited before? Something that makes you go hunting in the index of the ALWD Citation Manual or The Bluebook, but that you just can't find?
PMLA (the PostModern Language Association) provides a great (and hilarious) service in modeling "Alternative Source Citations." What kinds of alternative sources, you ask? How about rest-stop restroom graffiti? Magic 8-balls? tattoos? "epithets hollered out car windows"?
P.S. If you enjoy the citation page, you might also enjoy PMLA's "Textual Healing" page, which answers the "thorniest usage inquiries and conundrums."
hat tip: the (new) legal writer (citing Southern Appeal). Speaking of citation questions: Is this hatp tip + parenthetical the best way to cite (known as "hat tipping" in blog parlance) a source that hat tips another source?
We have a VIDEO of the AALS Legal Writing Reasoning and Research presentation to Professor Richard Neumann of Hoftsra University School of Law. The section's award was presented in January 2009 at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. Click here to see the video.
Hat tip to Karin Mika.
The Law Librarian Blog has information on how to register for the China-U.S. Conference on Legal Information and Law Libraries, to be held in Beijing at the end of May 2009. I heard about the conference during the AALS Annual Meeting, and it sounds like an interesting program for those able to attend. Click here for more information.
The Legal Writing Prof Blog is listed among the best 30 legal writing blogs in a new list compiled by Molly Di Bianca. Although we're obviously "all the blog you'll ever need," you might want to pay a quick visit to some of others listed there (such as the Canadian Blog, "Men with Pens"). But don't spend too much time away from us!
Hat tip to the (new) legal writer blog, which also made the list of 30 best legal writing blogs.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I received a copy of an email today sent by our local Westlaw representative that the information services giant is blocking access to certain web browsers including the once mighty, now fallen, Netscape. Here's the complete message including Westlaw's explanation for the browser embargo:
Effective today, Westlaw access will be blocked when using Web browsers that are no longer supported by the companies that created them. The lack of support can create problems during Westlaw development which may result in a security risk. Users attempting to access Westlaw using one of these browsers will receive an explanatory message that offers alternatives.
Westlaw access using the following browsers will be blocked:
· Netscape (all versions)
· Mozilla Firefox versions lower than 1.5
· Safari versions lower than 2.0
· Internet Explorer versions lower than 6
If you encounter any technical difficulty, please contact Westlaw support at 1-800-WESTLAW (937-8529).
Hat tip to Deborah McGovern, NSU librarian extraordinaire.
I am the scholarship dude.
If you're reading a blog about legal writing and the teaching thereof, you are likely at least a little bit of a wordie. So you may be interested to learn that the American Dialect Society has announced that its word of the year for 2008: bail out. Over at the New Oxford American Dictionary, however, the word of the year is: hypermiling. Hint: that first "i" is long.
Thanks to Karin Mika of Cleveland State University School of Law (who brought her trusty camera to the AALS meeting), we have some photos to share with you here from the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, which met in San Diego last week. You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them. In the photos here we have:
1. Lou Sirico of Villanova University School of Law, who was chair of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research, and the charming and lovely Grace Calabrese Tonner, formerly of the University of Michigan Law School but now of sunny California and the University of California at Irvine.
2. Richard Neumann of Hofstra University School of Law, recipient of this year's section award from the AALS Section on Legal Writing Reasoning and Research, being congratulated by Professor Ralph Brill of Chicago-Kent College of Law. Ralph gave a wonderful introduction of Richard Neumann, and Richard received a long and sustained standing ovation from the legal writing professors in appreciation of all of his work on behalf of the field. As part of his award, he received part of the field from Yankee Stadium. (Gosh, I hope I have that right.)
3. Lurene Contento of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, who was the moderator of the section's panel program just before the luncheon. It was incredibly well received, and even a technical glitch in the movie couldn't slow the program down. Click here to read more about that panel and the other panelists who appeared on the program, including Anne Enquist and smiling Cliff Zimmerman.
4. Outgoing section Chair Lou Sirico with the newly-elected Chair of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research, Rachel E. Croskery-Roberts of the University of Michigan Law School.
6. Richard Neumann, Ralph Brill, and the newly-elected Secretary of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research (who for some reason looks a lot like me).
Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago
Sunday, January 11, 2009
According to Law.com, a typo in a UCC form filed in 2007 by Bank of America on behalf of itself and as agent for Citibank may leave both banks holding the proverbial $57 million bag because of a "clerical error" that may have voided their security interest in the dissolved law firm of Heller Ehrman, LLP. On October 1, 2008, shortly after Heller filled for bankruptcy, an attorney representing the banks filed a "correction statement" seeking to rectify the "mistake" in the 2007 UCC filing that allegedly vitiated their security interest in the now defunct law firm.
Tsk, tsk! Someone at Bank of America wasn't minding his p's and q's. Hat tip to AboveTheLaw.com.
I am the scholarship dude.
The annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools just finished in San Diego. It was the first time that the AALS met there, and from all accounts I've heard it was a tremendously popular and successful location. Fantastic weather, great views, a calm and relaxed atmosphere, well-attended sessions (most especially for the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research), and a fantastic Golden Pen and Blackwell Award at the Children's Museum, where we launched the 25th anniversary (and held the first LWI pillow fight in the mattress room). (That's all I'm going to say about it now, and I'll deny in advance that it is me in any of the photos). The Mercer pre-conference seminar was also very well attended and thoroughly enjoyable. Next year? New Orleans!
A post by Mitchell Rubenstein on the Adjunct Law Prof Blog tells us about a free legal encyclopedia maintained by American Law and Legal Information. He found the site because one of his students used it (a bit too much apparently) for a paper. However, he says it might still be a useful starting out point for some researchers. And if our students are using it already, we should at least know what it is. Click here to read more
Capital University Law School and the National Center for Adoption Law and Policy are sponsoring the Child Welfare and Adoption Law Moot Court Competition. Several volunteer brief judges are needed to make the competition a success. Volunteers will be given approximately five briefs to judge. Teams must submit their briefs by Feb. 6th; volunteers will receive briefs electronically on Feb. 10th and have until Feb. 25th to score them. If you are interested in judging the briefs, please contact Fawn Gadel. Professor Janet George Blocher at Capital University Law School in Columbus Ohio tells us that the legal writing community has been an immense source of support for the competition in the past. You can also contact her for more information about the competition.