Posted On: August 31, 2007

Internet Society: Second Annual OneWebDay Global Event

The Second Annual OneWebDay Global event of The Internet Society (ISOC) is being held this year in Israel. Here are some details:

The second annual OneWebDay global event will be celebrated in Israel on Monday, October 22, 2007, and during the following week. Internet organizations from around the world and association members of ISOC Chapters have begun the preparations for the celebrations of OneWebDay event which is celebrated September 22, 2007 (Unfortunately
in Israel it is Saturday and Yom Kippur).

The purpose of OneWebDay is to celebrate the human collaborations and connections the Internet makes possible, and to express the positive aspects of the web.

How will OneWebDay be celebrated in Israel?

The ISOC-IL and the "Lehava" National project (14 Community Technology Centers around Israel) have initiated collaborated activities. The local community members are invited to "Lehava"’s instruction centers, to take part in One Web Day events through activities that advance the internet, such as: Workshops in which children and youth teach grandparents or parents to surf the web, open e-mail accounts, use instant messaging, start blogs; Information
Quest contest – for the fast and efficient retrieval of information from the web; Participation in a pilot project of building a shared photo database for the occasion of “60 Years of Israel” in a shared online WIKI album – a joint initiative of the Israel Wikimedia Foundation and the Israel Internet Association, Instructing people in the use of technology and peripheral equipment (such as digital camera, scanner etc.), and raising awareness of copyright issues; "Lehava" computer trustees volunteering for building web sites for NGO’s, communities and municipal services; Workshop for teachers and teaching trainees on the collaborative web, Web 2.0, by the Israel Association for Information Technologies in Education. Further collaborations are possible through the OneWebDay Wiki global web site.

The events in Israel will be listed on the ISOC Israel web site at:

Posted On: August 30, 2007

Legal Scholarship: It should be relevant again

The following is a brief description of an article by Aaron Tiberski that is scheduled for publication as an opinion column in the September 3, 2007 National Law Journal.

"The legal academy has played a vital role in its interaction with both the bench and bar by providing lucid analysis of case law, and setting forth a theoretical framework for new and yet uncharted causes of action. For those of us in academia, it is our responsibility to continue to contribute to the discourse with the legal profession."

Posted On: August 30, 2007

History and Future of Mass Media: An Integrated Perspective

Global Media Will Grow But Become Less Powerful, New Book Predicts
WSU Professor Argues that Mainstream Mass Media Are Losing Power to Specialized Media and Internet

"Many global mass media corporations will continue to grow in the 21st century but will become less powerful in relative terms than their predecessors, an American media sociologist predicts in a new book.

"Although global media corporations will grow and reach more people, paradoxically their ability to control the information and entertainment marketplaces will decline," David Demers, associate professor of communication at Washington State University, writes in the History and Future of Mass Media, which was published by Hampton Press Inc. this week. "In metaphorical terms, the pie and its slices are getting larger, but each slice is proportionately smaller than the slice in the previous pie ... In comparative terms, no single company or program will be able to dominate the global market to the degree that the state-run or private television broadcast networks did in Western countries during the 1950s and 1960s."

"Demers' predictions are based on his sociological theory of media growth which posits that increasing demand for specialized information will fuel the growth of specialized media and constrain the growth of any single mass media outlet. To back up his theory, Demers cites historical and empirical research which shows that market shares of most major print and broadcast media decline as social systems become more economically and socially complex. He also cites the historical research of British media scholar Jeremy Tunstall, whose most recent book, The Media Were American, provides evidence that Western global media are losing their impact because of the growth of indigenous and national mass media outlets in many non-Western countries."

"Demers concedes that global media will continue to be powerful and will continue to rake in the lion's share of advertising revenues. 'However,' he writes, 'specialized media services will continue to grow and expand because they will provide services that cannot be easily or profitably offered by global media organizations. Larger companies prefer large, undifferentiated audiences that offer the highest level of profit. But convergence of technologies will make it more difficult for them to control the market.' "

"An overarching thesis of the book is that increasing economic and social complexity leads to a breakdown in centralized power and authority and stimulates growth of representative democracies. The printing press and, later, mass media news organizations played a key role in facilitating the decentralization of political power (i.e., diluting the power of monarchs and aristocrats). But now, Demers argues, the mass media themselves are losing some of their power to mediate information and knowledge in society."

" 'Contrary to the predictions of the neo-Marxists, the Internet and the World Wide Web (or whatever we call those technologies in the future) will continue to help decentralize control over information," Demers writes. "[A] great deal of evidence is piling up showing that the news media are losing some of their power to the Internet, which enables individuals to circumvent the media in the search for news, information and knowledge. Some of the mass media's power also will be checked by bloggers, who, serving as a self-anointed Fifth Estate, will continue to watch over abuse of power in the media themselves.' "

"In the 380-page book, Demers doesn't predict that mass media are doomed. Rather, he argues that some of their power is being diluted by the increasing number of choices that people have for news, information and entertainment. Mainstream mass media will continue to play a powerful role in people's lives for many decades to come, and they will continue to support powerful elites, institutions and values."

"But contrary to the views of many critics, Demers argues that mass media often produce content that helps the poor and disadvantaged groups. He predicts that diversity in the marketplace of ideas -- especially ideas critical of powerful people and institutions -- will continue to grow and serve as a catalyst for social change as mass media systems become more complex. In fact, he argues that large-scale corporate media played the lead role in facilitating many social changes during the 20th century and will continue to do so into the 21st".

" 'Critics of corporate and global media organizations have made many predictions and claims that growth in size of the media organizations is leading to less diversity and greater homogeneity in the news, information and entertainment programming people consume," he writes. "Although case studies of certain media organizations and media industries (e.g., newspaper industry) may support such claims, when national or global media systems are examined, their predictions do not hold up very well. The trend clearly has been toward an increase in the number and variety of media outlets, as well as an increase in the diversity of content and programming they produce'."

"Douglas Underwood, an associate professor of communication at the University of Washington who reviewed the book, says Demers "offers here a refreshing counterpoint to the tide of scholarly opinion that blames the growth and power of media corporations for all that is wrong with mass media content today. Although Demers takes issue with the conclusions of many media scholars — including some of my own — I find his arguments to be important in the way they challenge the 'group think' that often dominates scholarly discussion of the ... way the news is covered and portrayed. Demers has been waging for many years a nearly one-man campaign against the ... neo-Marxist tilt of much media scholarship and backing it up with his own research that finds ... corporate media development to be positive in facilitating social change.' "


"David Demers is associate professor of communication at Washington State University, where he teaches courses in media history, theory and research. His research on corporate media structure has won five national awards. He is author of 13 books and more than 125 scholarly and professional articles. He can be reached at

History and Future of Mass Media: An Integrated Perspective / By David Demers / 380 pages / 6 x 9 format / Copyright 2007 / Includes CIP Data, Illustrations, References and Index / ISBN: 978-1-57273-807-2 (paper) $36.95 / ISBN: 978-1-57273-806-5 (cloth) $85.00

Published by Hampton Press Inc., Cresskill, New Jersey

Posted On: August 21, 2007

New Jersey Jail Inmates Given Laptops For Their Computer Assisted Legal Research

"Bergen County, NJ, jail inmates who want to brush up on their legal defense online can do so now from their cells, a move that officials say is a first nationwide, says The Record of Hackensack, NJ. Jail officials have begun rolling out the first batch of 80 laptops - each about the size and heft of a large hardcover novel - to some of the 1,000 inmates who occupy the near-capacity lockup. About $100,000 has been spent so far from an account funded by profits from items purchased from inmates, such as toothpaste and candy bars, to buy the $1,200 notebooks and install wireless connections".

"The primary reason for the move is safety. "There's a risk each time you open a cell door," said Bergen Sheriff Leo McGuire, "and our library was getting too busy.' Before, inmates who wanted to use the Westlaw research service had to file into the jail's law library, where 12 computers are crammed into the same space as guards and stacks of legal texts. 'We should remember that in most cases, the individuals [in jails] aren't guilty, so they're still on trial,' said Edward Barocas of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. 'They should be afforded their research time, no matter how they get it.' Fred Wilson of the National Sheriffs Association said it was the first he had ever heard of such a move. 'Knowing the sheriff, he's completely investigated any dangers in giving prisoners those pieces of equipment,' Wilson said. ' think it's interesting. It's an innovative idea.' "

The Record of Hackensack (NJ)

Posted On: August 17, 2007

New York Law Journal Decisions of Interest August 17, 2007

If you are already an online subscriber to this service you should be able to click on any of the links provided below, sign in, and access any of the decisions listed which interest you.

Criminal Practice
Murder Conviction Reduced to Manslaughter; Despite Recklessness Depraved Indifference Not Shown
People, respondent v. Raymond C. George, appellant

Civil Practice
New York Does Not Have Substantial Nexus to Viagra Action; Dismissal for Forum Non Conveniens Granted

Jordan v. Pfizer Inc.
Subscription RequiredNEW YORK COUNTY
Criminal Practice
Dismissal of Child Endangerment Charges Denied; Statute Imposes Sanctions for Likelihood of Harm

People v. Brenda Ambers
Subscription RequiredKINGS COUNTY
Criminal Practice
Officer's Pedigree Question Exception to 'Miranda'; Defendant Denied Suppression of Statements

People v. Jakes Willis
Subscription RequiredKINGS COUNTY
Civil Practice
Guardian's Civil Contempt Motion Granted For Failure to Turn Over Subpoenaed Documents

Matter of Chaimovitz
Subscription RequiredNASSAU COUNTY
Civil Practice
Letter to Clerk by Defendant Ruled Not Appearance Or Answer; Partial Judgment Entered on Liability

Westbury Fence 7 Guide Rail Co. Inc. v. Adler
Subscription RequiredSUFFOLK COUNTY
Court Finds Investors' Breach of Contract, Fraud Claims State Causes of Action and Not Time Barred

Drain v. Paragon Capital Management Corp.
Civil Practice
Unwritten In-Court Settlement Is Binding; No Express Request for Writing Shown

Powell v. Omnicom
Subscription RequiredU.S. DISTRICT COURT
Criminal Practice
'Fast Track' Argument Is Sufficiently Preserved For Appellate Review; Habeas Relief Is Denied

Urena v. United States
Subscription RequiredU.S. DISTRICT COURT
Court Rules Advisory Fees Are Owed for Completed Transactions Post Contract Termination

Mercury Partners LLC v. Pacific Medical Buildings LP
Subscription RequiredU.S. DISTRICT COURT
Criminal Practice
Defendant's Flight Tolls Statute of Limitations; NYPD Knowledge Not Imputed to Federal Officials

United States v. Pedro Francisco
Subscription RequiredU.S. DISTRICT COURT
Government Wins Injunctive Relief to Stop Illegal Tax Shelter, Prevent Recurrence


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Posted On: August 17, 2007

LAW.COM Newswire Highlights August 17, 2007

If newsfeeds are shown on the left side of your screen, the News articles listed below can be viewed in full text by first clicking on the Law.Com Newsfeed and then scrolling down to the appropriate article. If newsfeeds are not displayed on the screen try going to and searching for the items of interest.

Qualcomm Cites Client Confidentiality in Discovery Mess
The Recorder

In a case marred by discovery errors, Qualcomm's trial counsel are in a place no lawyers want to be. The Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder and Heller Ehrman lawyers face the prospect of individual sanctions and possible State Bar discipline for their mistakes in a San Diego patent case. But they have yet to explain to the judge how those discovery blunders came to pass. That's because Qualcomm has told the magistrate judge in the case that such an explanation would violate attorney-client privilege.

2nd Circuit's ERISA Ruling Revives Benefits Claim by Firm 'Partner'
New York Law Journal

A lawyer who rose from secretary to "partner" at a New York firm will get a second chance to show she is due benefits under the firm's profit-sharing and cash-balance pension plans. Attorney Karen Strom said she was denied the benefits when she left the firm because she was not considered a "profit-sharing partner" or "shareholder." The 2nd Circuit has revived her claim by reversing a partial summary judgment in favor of the firm. Strom's attorney said he will pursue damages that could exceed $1 million.

Reading the Roberts Court
Legal Times

The first full term of the Roberts Supreme Court was a blockbuster, viewed by many as a historic turning point. Legal Times held a panel discussion, moderated by Supreme Court correspondent Tony Mauro, to analyze the arguments and opinions. Four leading high court advocates offered candid views on a variety of topics, including how it feels to have Justice Scalia all over you "like a cheap suit," why it's Justice Kennedy's world and we all just live in it -- and which cases to watch for next term.
Visit U.S. Supreme Court Monitor

Federal Indictment Looms Over Pa. Superior Court Judge's Retention Race
The Legal Intelligencer

Judge Michael T. Joyce could be suspended until mail fraud and money laundering charges filed against him Wednesday are resolved, judicial experts say. According to the indictment, Joyce received $440,000 in settlements for injuries he claimed "affected his professional and personal life in a very significant way" after an SUV rear-ended his car. During the same period Joyce claimed to be suffering from pain and impaired mobility, he played several rounds of golf and went scuba diving, prosecutors said.

7th Circuit Breaks With Six Circuits Over Waiver of Appeal
The National Law Journal

The 7th Circuit has broken with six other circuits to chart its own course on when criminal lawyers may forgo appeals. Six circuits have held that a waiver of appeal in plea bargain cases does not relieve counsel of a duty to file a notice of appeal at the client's request. But 7th Circuit Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook confesses "[s]ome doubt about the constitutional reasoning of the circuits that have located in the Sixth Amendment a rule that a lawyer is the client's puppet."

'Excruciatingly Slow' Testimony Results in Added Discovery
New York Law Journal

A state appeals court in Manhattan has ruled that plaintiffs seeking to enforce a $116 million terrorism verdict are entitled to further deposition of the Palestinian Authority's New York lawyer, whose "excruciatingly slow" testimony apparently caused plaintiffs to run afoul of a previous discovery deadline. The majority in the 4-1 decision wrote that it accepted as fact that the lawyer spoke unusually slowly because the plaintiffs lawyer's assertion had gone "uncontradicted."

Multiple Lawsuits Allege Laxative Causes Kidney Failure
The Associated Press

A popular over-the-counter laxative used to flush out patients' bowels before procedures such as colonoscopies has caused serious kidney damage and even death, a series of lawsuits filed across the country alleges. The lawsuits target Fleet Phospho-soda, made by C.B. Fleet Co. Inc. of Lynchburg, Va. More than 50 have already been filed in at least 20 states, Stephen Foley, one of the lawyers involved in the litigation, said Thursday. Nine of them were filed this week in federal court in Minnesota.

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Posted On: August 16, 2007

San Jose Worries About Losing "Safest City" Distinction

Source: Crime and Justice News, August 16, 2006.

San Jose may lose its claim to be the "Safest Big City in America," says the San Jose Mercury News. An analysis of preliminary 2006 FBI crime data - the same data analyzed by the private Morgan Quitno firm - shows San Jose lagging compared with its rankings in previous years in some of the six key crime categories used by some to proclaim the safest and most dangerous cities in the country. San Jose officials are worried about losing a distinction that ends up on brochures touting San Jose as a good place to live and work, and is the subject of bragging at police chiefs' conferences.

Mayor Chuck Reed called the title "at risk." Police Chief Rob Davis admitted that his department is "concerned" it might lose the honor it has enjoyed for six years. "Honolulu may edge you out as the least life-threatening city," said University of California- Berkeley criminologist Frank Zimring. FBI data shows San Jose has the fourth lowest murder rate in the country. The primary reason behind San Jose's apparent slide is the city's spike in property crimes, including a 25 percent jump in auto thefts last year. Zimring noted an award from a private company with its own motives could be considered suspect. "It's a little like the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval that advertisers used to pay for," he said.

San Jose Mercury News

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Posted On: August 16, 2007

New York Law Journal Highlights - Lead Articles August 16, 2007

If you are already an online subscriber to New York Law Journal you should be able to click on any of the links provided below, sign in, and access the full text of articles listed

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Judge Finds Gun Dealers Tap Market; City's Suit Proceeds

Parties Debate Security Letter Secrecy Rule

Data Shows Increase In Violent Offenders Winning Parole Bids

Circuit Upholds Fine for 'Human Shield'


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Posted On: August 16, 2007

Harper Collins to Launch Digital Book Content for iPhone

Source:, Wireless and Mobile Update, August 16, 2007.

HarperCollins Publishers says it will make digital book content available for Apple's iPhone.

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Posted On: August 15, 2007

Real Property
Court Finds RPAPL §713(5) Inapplicable to Evict As Premises Never Acquired Through Foreclosure
Datta v. Dasrath-Mark

Real Property
Court Finds Credence to Homeowner's Arguments; Vacates Judgment of Foreclosure, Sale of Property
Hamlet Golf & Country Club Homeowners Assoc. Inc. v. Prager

Real Property
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 Violated by Unearned, Undivided Post-Closing Fee
Cohen, plaintiff-appellant v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., defendants-appellees

Landlord/Tenant Law
Tenant's Human Rights Law Violation Assertions Not Barred by Prior Appellate Division Decision
Hispanic AIDS Forum v. Estate of Joseph Bruno

Land Use and Planning
Reversal, Annulment of Rezoning Amendment Denied; Rezoning Rational, Not Illegal Spot Zoning
Fetman v. Burden

Real Property
Guarantee Waiving Defenses Beyond ‘Actual Payment’ Bars Mortgagee’s Counterclaims Except ‘Champerty’
Red Tulip LLC, plaintiff v. Neiva, defendants

Landlord/Tenant Law
Tenant Granted Dismissal of Holdover Proceeding; Landlord's Appointed Attorney-In-Fact Invalidated
Bruno v. Sickler

Landlord/Tenant Law
Profiteering Element of Illusory Tenancy Satisfied Creating Tenancy Rights in Current Tenant
333 East 49th Partners LP v. Siebert

Landlord/Tenant Law
Landlord Granted Striking of Tenant's Demand For Jury Trial; Tenant Waived Right in Lease
Empire State Building Co. LLC v. EAI Consulting & Trading Inc.

Real Property
Homeowners Declared Owners of Subject Property Establishing Good Title by Adverse Possession
Ammirati v. Van Wicklen

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Posted On: August 15, 2007

SF Housing Official Says Cameras Don't Solve Crimes

Kevin Williams, resident of a San Francisco public housing development, cited the case of a surveillance camera that caught a shooter on tape, but police said the footage was blurry and unsuccessful in helping detectives solve the case. "The police can't solve a crime. How are the cameras gonna do it?" asked Williams, 50. "It's a waste of taxpayers' money." Most residents interviewed said they are happy to have any sort of crime-fighting device in their neighborhoods, but agreed the cameras are not the way to fix a spike in violent crime.

The news from a Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee meeting that the cameras have been ineffective in helping solve homicides was far from new to some residents who live in developments owned by the federal San Francisco Housing Authority. Housing Authority Director Gregg Fortner argues the cameras were never put on the sites to solve homicides, but rather to deter people from committing all types of crimes. "People are missing the point," Fortner said. "Safety cameras are there for crime prevention which is something you can't measure. The more hearings we have, the more attention that is brought to them and the more people find ways to get around them." There are 178 cameras on 26 of the 53 public housing sites.