Law Library Notes

April 22, 2014

US Statutes at Large: Essential to understanding our laws and legislative history

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Butterfield @ 10:47 am

One of the benefits of the Congressional Data Coalition has been our ability to collaborate on mutual projects of interest. CDC members recognize that reusable, cleaned-up legislative information, especially the laws themselves, is essential for both the legislative data community and the public. Unfortunately, at least some information will likely not be provided by Congress or will not be provided in a timely manner.

Almost 3½ years ago, in November 2010, GPO and the Library of Congress were authorized by the Joint Committee on Printing to make the following three document sets available on the Internet: Statutes at Large, the Congressional Record (1878-1998), and the Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (CONAN). Quoting from the JCP letter: “These are key primary research sources, essential to understanding our laws and legislative history, and they should all be readily available online in electronic format.”

So far, volumes 65 through 124 (1951-2010) of the Statutes at Large and PDF files only of CONAN have been published by the Legislative Branch per the November 2010 authorization.

Read the complete article here.

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April 16, 2014

Criminal law topic ripe for a law review article

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 8:21 pm

A citizen’s legal right to get a police officer fired for illegal surreptitious recording?

Pennsylvania law makes it a felony to record people’s conversations without permission, whether by wiretapping or eavesdropping or likely even sending in someone wearing a wire. It has various exceptions for law enforcement, if the proper conditions are met. But if a police officer records conversations without qualifying for one of the exceptions, he’s committing a crime.

The author of this article ends with this line: I also couldn’t find any law review articles that discuss the issue; I think it would be ripe for a student law review note, especially if the note is framed around the remedy, and asks whether the remedy should be adopted throughout the country, rather than if the note is cast as “here is a Pennsylvania statute that I’ll discuss just in the context of this one state.”

Full article here.

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Could Obama Sue Samsung Over a ‘Selfie’?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 8:10 pm

Wall Street Journal video – Red Sox slugger David Ortiz snapped a ‘selfie’ with Barack Obama with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. When it was learned Ortiz has a deal with Samsung, it raised many questions about the new era of guerrilla advertising.

See video here.

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April 3, 2014

John Paul Stevens: By the Book

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 1:20 pm

Retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens was interviewed by the New York Times Sunday Book Review. We recommend you check out this short but interesting piece about what he reads and has read. He also mentions his new book – Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution

Read the full piece here.

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March 27, 2014

A very thin Federal Register

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 5:14 pm

fed reg shutdown

Here is a picture of several issues of the Federal Register. The issues on the bottom of the stack are the typical size of an issue. A typical day usually runs 200-300 pages. Maybe the thin issues are weekend editions? No, the Federal Register is published during the business week. The thin issues are from the days when the government shutdown was taking place.

The October 17th, 2013 issue is 5 pages long and has two entries. One is a Coast Guard, Temporary final rule, and the other is a final rule from NOAA.

These thin issues raised a thought about the nature of print and electronic publishing. In a print world you notice the size of each Federal Register issue. In a digital format a fat issue or thin issue is just a link among other links. One one level this may not be important but other times you can glean that things are happening when you notice a particularly large or small issue of the Federal Register.

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March 17, 2014

Nonlegal Citations and the Failure of Law: A Case Study of the Supreme Court 2010-2011 Term

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Butterfield @ 9:10 am

Abstract: Nonlegal citations both exist and proliferate within contemporary judicial opinions. This realization could — indeed, it should — lead the reader to ask a fundamental question: What are these nonlegal citations doing in a judicial opinion?

Download and read Bezalel Stern’s article here.

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March 5, 2014

Student ordered to pay $100,000 over Twitter defamation of teacher

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Butterfield @ 5:27 pm

Read it here.

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High School Senior Sues Parents for College Tuition

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Butterfield @ 9:45 am

Read it here.

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March 4, 2014

Girl costs father $80,000 with Facebook post

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 10:42 am

The former head of a private preparatory school in Miami, Florida is out an $80,000 discrimination settlement after his daughter boasted about it on Facebook. Story underlines the importance of your client understanding the full extent of a confidentiality agreement made as part of a settlement.

Read more: http://www.ketv.com/national/Girl-costs-father-80-000-with-Facebook-post/24769168#ixzz2v0s1XIjF

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February 25, 2014

The Business Of Frats: Shifting Liability For Trauma And Injury

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 11:26 pm

NPR had an interesting piece discussing how college fraternities are centers for shifting liability.

See the full story here.

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