Posted On: October 31, 2007

Library Journal Talks to the Author Don Bochert

Source: LJExpress,, October 30, 2007.

By Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 11/1/2007
Don Borchert, a library assistant 1 and 12-year employee of the Torrance Public Library, CA, has written a memoir of his library life, Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library, coming November 13 from Virgin Books. LJ’s Norman Oder asked how it came about.

DB: I’ve been writing since I was 16. I started out writing bad science fiction. I’ve written a couple of other books that didn’t get close to being published. [I thought] ‘I know the library.’ I’m not a professional, but I had all these anecdotes that I thought were kind of neat. Every night before I went to bed I’d sit and write a chapter. Some are anecdotes about people that come into the library, some are the events that occur, and other chapters are the bureaucratic goings on. I figured that wouldn’t see the light of day either but at least it was fun to write.

LJ: So how did you get published?

DB: I was about three-quarters of the way through and I started looking for an agent. You have to send in sample chapters and a book proposal—I should’ve gotten a master’s just for that. I sent it to hundreds. [Agent Randi Murray ultimately embraced it.]

LJ: How’d you come up with the title?

DB: I was originally was going to call it Ten Years, Good Behavior, because that’s how you get along in civil service. The publisher said that sounds like a minimum security prison. My daughter, who graduated from UCLA in library science, thought up, A Librarian Raises His Voice. The publisher recommended some ideas, but my daughter came up with the title, which has a double meaning.

LJ: In the UK, it’s called Library Confidential.

DB: If you see the cover in the UK, it’s a cool noir-ish thing. I think both are great. I’m living out a fantasy I’ve had since I was 16.

LJ: Your title is Library Assistant 1. Is that how you describe yourself?

DB: I just say, “I work in the library.” When they say, “Are you a librarian,” I say, “Not really.”

LJ: What do you do?

DB: My job has changed so much over the past dozen years. I’ve done all the jobs in the library, I’ve had temporary move-ups: I’ve reviewed books, processed books, mended books, worked at the circulation desk, done reference.

LJ: The next step up is Library Assistant 2. Have you tried for a promotion?

DB: I’ve taken several promotional exams. They’ll sometimes offer me a job and I’ll say no, and I’m off the list. Presently, I’m number one on the list, and I have declined all the positions I’ve been offered, because the library I’m at is where I started, and it’s like home. It’s the craziest because it’s down the street from a junior high and down the street from a high school. A lot of librarians in my branch and system don’t have kids, and I do. When the after-school rush comes in, we’ll have over a hundred kids, I never try to relate to them as peers.

LJ: You’re the authority figure.

DB: I’m not the senior [librarian], or below that person, but because I have kids, I don’t ask, “Please be quiet.” I say, “If you want to be crazy, take it outside.”

LJ: In April you wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about dealing with latchkey children, prompted by a crisis at the Maplewood Memorial Library in New Jersey.

DB: About six months ago, my agent got a call from the Times, wanting to know if I’d write an article. I said, “What makes you think I’m an expert?” They said, “You’re writing a book.”

LJ: What do your co-workers and bosses think of the book?

DB: Teresa, or Terri in the book, is one of my biggest supporters. The administration and my supervisors were at first a little on edge. They weren’t sure: How many ways can this turn out well? Three or four weeks ago, I gave out several copies of the galleys. They realize I haven’t burned down my career.

LJ: Have you read “Dispatches from a Public Librarian,” Scott Douglas’s pieces on McSweeneys that also will become a book?

DB: I’m not familiar with him. I’ve gone into several library blogs and they seem awfully dry. You will never convince someone to go to library school by reading these blogs.

LJ: But you say in the book you’re done with higher education and wouldn’t go to library school, even though your colleagues encouraged you.

DB: I went to Ohio State long ago. I started out as journalism major and, during the late 1960s, I was thrown out of the school of journalism for, I guess, revolution. I was a double English major. I just wanted to do something with writing and reading.
[Borchert worked in publications for a number of firms and also had a more knockaround career as short-order cook, door-to-door saleman and telemarketer.]

LJ: How come your daughter went to library school?

DB: I’d like to say it was because of me, but she hasn’t said that. She graduated from UC Irvine in Fine Arts. She just let us know she wanted to be a librarian. I’m flattered but I can’t imagine it was because of me.

LJ: Are you a member of the American Library Association?

DB: No.

LJ: So what’s your advice for prospective librarians and library workers?

DB: The library is not going to be the library it is five years ago. Young people with enthusiasm should be encouraged—they have more ideas, they’re more apt to try crazy things than older librarians. If you’re enthusiastic at all, it’s a wonderful thing to get into.

Posting Submitted by Philip Y. Blue, Senior Law Librarian, New York Supreme Court Criminal Term Library.

Posted On: October 31, 2007

OCLC and European OCLC PICA Division Merge

Source: LJXpress, October 30, 2007.

by Michael Rogers -- Library Journal, 10/30/2007 6:52:00 AM

OCLC October 22 announced that it and the European OCLC PICA division have merged into a single “global organization” under the OCLC brand. OCLC said that by “bringing together all offices under one name and identity, libraries worldwide can benefit from OCLC membership, research, and an expanded portfolio around a comprehensive set of products and services.” The announcement immediately raised questions among other vendors regarding how OCLC can maintain its nonprofit status, since OCLC PICA is directly competing with for-profit vendors.

Cathy De Rosa, OCLC’s VP of the Americas and Global Marketing, however, confirmed for LJ that the operation indeed is “still a nonprofit,” but said she didn’t possess the legal background to provide specifics and would ask OCLC’s lawyers to provide that information to LJ. De Rosa said that the relationship with PICA goes back several years, so “the decision to work together to meet the mission of being a global organization is something that OCLC has been working on with its partners for many years; this is just a nice evolution to that. It’s not a new strategy, but really the continuation of strategy.”

Posted On: October 31, 2007

Lawtunes Live at Blackacre: A Humerous Lawyer created Law Related Album

I just received the following news item from Lawrence Savell which I am delighted to post. It adds a dimension to the blog which we can all appreciate. If any of you would like to send me either news items or longer articles I will be happy to consider them for posting. to the featured item!

Dear Mr. Badertscher: First, thank you for your excellent law blog. Second, I thought your readers might enjoy a lighter news item, and I am therefore also writing to request that you please consider mentioning the release of my indie music label LawTunes' (www.LawTunes.com latest humorous lawyer-created, law-related album, "The Lawtunes: Live At Blackacre."

Compared to our three prior efforts, "Merry Lexmas From The Lawtunes," "Legal Holidaze," and "The Lawyer's Holiday Humor Album," the new CD, "The Lawtunes: Live At Blackacre," is a broader take on the law, lawyers, and legal practice through ten original rock-and-roll tunes in an album not limited by content or style to any particular season. It even includes a few "love songs," although expressed in the language of an attorney. Premised as a "live" concert at "Blackacre," the legendary parcel of land so often referenced in eternally-painful law school examination questions and scholarly legal treatises/articles, the new album includes:

1. "(She's An) Electronic Discovery": There's probably no "hotter" topic in the law today than the review and production in litigation of e-mail and other electronic documents. But that context and its developing terminology (including data accessibility, preservation, spoliation, retention policies, metadata, embedded images, the recent Federal Rules of Civil Procedure amendments, and the leading Zubulake line of cases) are appropriated with gusto to tell the tale of a lawyer falling in virtual love.

2. "Lawyers' Blood Is Typo": A lawyer is called upon after-hours (assuming there is such a thing anymore) to provide guidance to a "client" seeking a reliable life partner, and explains why he is qualified to do so.

3. "Della Street": A tribute to the most famous of legal secretaries, in a style appropriate to when "Perry Mason" first aired.

4. "LawMan": A hard-pounding and blunt explanation of exactly what it is that lawyers do.

5. "Orderin' In": The pleasures of working late and eating at your desk. To the extent there are any, this song extols them.

6. "Cadillac Cab": The big-city law firm/corporate perk with double-edges, as detailed herein.

7. "Little Bluebook": A lawyer frustrated in love desperately seeks guidance from the legal citation style manual, invoking a generous helping of the jargon of that treatise.

8. "Livin' Life In Six Minutes": A new acoustic version of a popular Lawtunes song lamenting the reduction of legal practice (and life) to billing increments of tenths of an hour.

9. "Everywhere There Is A Client": As close to an anthem for lawyers as there is, explaining some of why lawyers do what they do.

10. "Santa's G.C.": Well, old habits die hard. The album concludes with this whimsical tale about a lawyer who goes in-house to become General Counsel at Santa, Inc.

As composed, recorded, and produced by this practicing litigation attorney, the songs incorporate a broad spectrum of popular/classic rock-and-roll styles. Like its predecessors, the CD is available at, either solo or all four in partnership as the "LawTunes Jury Boxed Set."

LawTunes' efforts are dedicated to the proposition that lawyers' zealous representation of clients and furtherance of the public good can be only enhanced by a healthy willingness of lawyers to poke fun at themselves appropriately on occasion. They contribute to the effort to make people think a little differently about lawyers, and show that attorneys are not necessarily humorless, boring, or incapable of self-deprecation (success on at least the last item is guaranteed).

Further information, cover scans, and song clips are available at I very much appreciate your consideration. Thank you.

Lawrence Savell
(212) 408-5343

Posted On: October 25, 2007

GalleryWatch Weekly Update

BY Basil Tilmon, Account Manager GalleryWatch Inc.

This Week – Thursday afternoon, October 25

The week featured an interesting cyclical pattern - after a turbulent week of an attempted veto over-ride and floor ranting, this week was relatively conciliatory. Veto threats however loom over much of what Congress is doing, however. (Note: when you see the word veto…the link will take you to the appropriate veto statement.)

Republicans pushed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – HR 3773- back last week, the majority Democrats were hoping to bring it to the House floor but Rep. Dingell’s new SCHIP bill got priority. A veto is on the horizon for this bill anyway.

The SCHIP bill – old bill -HR 976 - was re-written to accommodate some of the President’s veto objections. Here is the new bill text and a summary of changes – HR 3963. It is due for House floor action this afternoon. The President has said he will veto the new bill as it now stands.

The Labor HHS Appropriations bill – HR 3043 - passed on Tuesday night, with plenty of votes to over-ride an expected veto. It will be interesting to see if the votes hold however. Here is a review of the amendments and the text of the bill as it passed the Senate. Our USBudget and Appropriations Service noted that the Senate will take a break from Appropriations bills for a couple of weeks.

The Lieberman–Warner Climate Change bill got a bit of reprieve this week as EPW Chairperson Boxer agreed to give the Republicans more time to review it.

Republicans agreed to let the Energy Bill – originally-HR 6 and HR 3221 - move to the conference committee. Be careful, the bill vehicles for this issue may get confusing. The President has threatened to veto HR 3221 and another veto for HR 6.

The Farm Bill was marked up this Wednesday and Thursday. The bill cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday. Check GalleryWatch Hot Docs on Tuesday and Wednesday for the drafts and chairman’s marks of all the titles. Also the committee amendments from Thursday are posted online – under SGW 148. Senator Lugar introduced another version. The House version - HR 2419 has been threatened with a veto.

Immigration seems to come up in this Congress every 3 months, like clockwork Senator Durbin’s DREAM Act – S 2205 - failed to achieve cloture in the Senate, a common fate for immigration bills this year.

Ways and Means Chairman Rangel’s Omnibus Tax bill came out on Thursday but it appears like it will be broken into pieces next week to get the more urgent elements to a vote. Here is a summary. Way and Means did pass out Trade and Globalization Assistance – HR 3920 - legislation on Wednesday.

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on Tuesday on the Human Health Impacts of Global Warming. The Washington Post reported that the White House significantly edited Julie Gerberding’s (Director of the CDC) prepared testimony. I have the full Q&A transcript; let me know if you would like a copy.

Finally, OMB submitted its updated Supplemental War Funding request on Monday.

Posted On: October 25, 2007

Selected U.S. Federal Documents - Blackwater

The following are some recent letters, memoranda and other correspondence in regard to the contractor, Blackwater:

Letter to Blackwater CEO Erik Prince from House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (PDF 360 KB)
Letter Requests Further Information on Blackwater's No-Bid Contracts, Additional Incidents Involving Their Personnel in Iraq, and Payments Made to the Families of Iraqis Killed by Blackwater

Download file

Letter to Blackwater CEO Erik Prince from House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (PDF 852 KB)
Letter Provides Information Suggesting that Blackwater May Have Engaged in Significant Tax Evasion

Download file

Statement from Blackwater USA in Response to a Letter by House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Harry Waxman (PDF 40 KB)
Statement Refutes Allegations Made by Waxman Regarding Tax Evasion

Download file

Cable to the Secretary of State from the Embassy in Baghdad Dated May 18, 2005 (PDF 556 KB)
Cable Describes an Incident in Which Blackwater USA Used Deadly Force, as Released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

Download file

Letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates from House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (PDF 292 KB)
Letter Requests Information on an Incident Where Blackwater Personnel Killed a Security Guard for the Vice President of Iraq

Download file

Memorandum to Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from Chairman Henry Waxman (PDF 52 KB)
Memorandum Informs Members of a Letter Sent to Blackwater USA Owner Erik Prince

Download file

Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (PDF 280 KB)
Letter Requests Further Information on Blackwater's No-Bid Contracts, Additional Incidents Involving Their Personnel in Iraq, and Payments Made to the Families of Iraqis Killed by

Download file

Letter to Blackwater CEO Erik Prince from the Internal Revenue Service (PDF 408 KB)
Letter Provides Information on the Difference Between a Contractor and an Employee

Download file

Agreement for Blackwater Contractor (PDF 784 KB)
Settlement and Mutual Release Agreement for Blackwater Contractors

Download file

Posted On: October 25, 2007

Law and Policy: Call for Papers

Special Issue: Global Warming, Governance, and the Law

Fiona Haines, Nancy Reichman, and Colin Scott, as editors of Law & Policy, are bringing together a series of papers on the legal and policy issues around global warming. We are interested in papers in all areas of law and policy related to climate change from any relevant academic discipline including:

Global warming and redress through the civil law

Measures for redress for vulnerable island nations: Is there a role for naming, shaming and blaming?

Reducing emissions: the role of non-governmental actors and the private sector

The politics of the name: global warming vs. climate change

Comparative analyses of policy measures both within the industrialized world, but also within the industrializing regions of Central and South America and Asia

Moral persuasion and the global warming debate: Is there traction beyond economic interest?

Playing the politics of uncertainty: Do policy arena and place make a difference?

Global environmental governance/leadership and global warming: Is the call for global governance the likely way forward?

Dealing in reality: policies and challenges in responding to climate change and its affect on local populations

The list above is not exhaustive and we welcome papers and ideas from other areas of relevance. Our goal is to disseminate scholarship of the highest academic standard that can shed light on the multiple legal and policy challenges and opportunities posed by both the human impact on climate change and the growing need to respond to changes in climate being felt across the globe. Our aim is to showcase work that sheds critical insight on policy approaches that can bring together disparate actors at a range of levels (international, national, and local) while also providing the possibility for significant and swift improvements at the local level. We welcome scholarship from both specialists and non-specialists in the area of climate change.

Email us:
Nancy Reichman
Fiona Haines
Colin Scott

January 31, 2008
Law & Policy journal information:

Posted On: October 22, 2007

Information Retrieval and Records Management: The 2007 Sedona Conference

Best Practices in Information Retrieval and Records Management: Analysis and Recommendations from the 2007 Sedona Conference

By Steven Essig

The Sedona Conference Journal, Volume 8, Fall 2007, includes much relevant commentary on possible best practices and other important concerns on effective information retrieval of legal documents. Issues raised range from effective precision and recall searching, appropriate sorts of indexing strategies, word choice, email retention policies for courts and other legal organizations among other major concerns. Of particular interest to librarians should be the section of the issue entitled “ESI Symposium”, which contains a report from “The Sedona Conference ® Working Group on Best Practices for Document Retention and Production (WG1), Search & Retrieval Sciences Special Project Team” (the August 2007 Public Comment Version).

Based on the premise that the explosion in the volume of electronic information makes traditional search approaches “no longer practical or financially feasible”, this report confronts the inability of human “natural language” approaches, of manual review or simple keyword searching to fully access the wealth of possible legal information available. The authors posit that information science, linguistics and other disciplines have much to teach us in developing more effective and comprehensive information retrieval processes. Among the search tools that could usefully supplement Boolean logic and other forms of traditional “keyword searching” are “fuzzy logic” which more effectively captures “variations on words”, “conceptual searching” based on taxonomies and ontologies as well as other tools “that employ mathematical probabilities”. In addition, information science metrics such as “precision” and “recall”used to measure the effectiveness of various forms of information retrieval are also judged worthy of future study.

After exploring the strengths and weaknesses of these various methods, the report’s authors go on to present 8 “Practice Points” that might usefully inform the evaluation of various search and retrieval methods. Among the major conclusions are these:

1. It is “infeasible or unwarranted” to rely solely on a manual review to obtain “responsive documents.” Automated search methods are also vital.

2. Before employing any of these automated methods, substantial “human input” is necessary. For one thing, the applicable “universe” of relevant documents must be carefully defined.

3. Before choosing a specific search and retrieval method, the specific legal context must also be
clearly understood. For instance, is “precision” or “recall” more important? Is the goal to find the highest possible number of responsive documents or is “efficiency” more crucial?

4. Legal research practitioners must ask careful and well-considered questions of product vendors concerning the possibilities of the tool, administrative and licensing issues etc.

5. There are no “perfect searches”; differing search methods will produce differing results.

6. Various parties involved in a case should seek to collaborate “on the use of particular information search and retrieval methods, tools and protocols”.

7. The various counsels on the case should be prepared to explain their search methods in “subsequent legal contexts” (e.g depositions, evidentiary proceedings, and trials).

8. Each of the parties, as well as the courts, need to stay alert to newer information search tools and technologies.

The article concludes with 2 major recommendations:

1. “The legal community should support collaborative research with the scientific and academic sectors aimed at establishing the efficacy of a range of automated search and information retrieval methods” and

2. “The legal community should encourage the establishment of objective benchmarking criteria, for use in assisting lawyers in evaluating the competitive legal and regulatory search and retrieval services market.”

There then follows an Appendix demonstrating and describing in more detail specific types of search models, such as Boolean searching, “probabilistic” Bayesian classifiers, “fuzzy searching”, statistical “clustering”, semantic representation, categorization tools such as t thesauri, ontologies, and taxonomies, and various presentation and visualization tools.

The next article in this section: “Search and Information Retrieval Science” by Herbert L. Roitblat, further focuses on the issues of precision and recall. Roitblat presents a fairly detailed examination of various forms of text analysis, such as the “vector space model”, weighting of terms, “query expansion”, Syntactic techniques, the setup of user interfaces, and others. The article concludes with a very brief discussion of alternatives to precision and recall methods.

The next Sedona Conference commentary provides “Guidelines For the Selection of Retention Policy”. There are 4 guidelines on email policy development, followed by a framework disclosing retention considerations, mailbox and storage options, and the need to be careful with “litigation holds”. There is then a brief discussion of the issues, followed by a concluding commentary.

Posted On: October 22, 2007

News from Self Help Support October 2007

" is an award winning membership site that serves as a Network for Practitioners of Self-Help Programs as well as an online Clearinghouse of information relating to self-representation."

"...Members include courts, legal aid programs, bar associations, educational institutions, researchers, and other governmental and non-profit programs working to increase access to justice. Usage of the site and of materials accessed is for non-commercial purposes only."

You can go directly to Selfhelpsupport at


Positions Available. The Montana State Court Administrator's Office is seeking a Self Help Law Program Administrator--closing date is October 30, 2007.

NEW in the Library:

Procedural Fairness: A Key Ingredient in Public Satisfaction--A September 27, 2007 American Judges Association white paper by Minnesota Judges Kevin Burke and Steve Leben.

Statement of Principles on Self Represented and Accused Persons--adopted by the Canadian Judicial Council in September 2006. Includes promoting the rights of the accused, promoting equal justice, and outlines the responsibilities of the participants in the justice system to serve the self represented.

Clearing a Path to Justice: A Report of the Maryland Judiciary Work Group on Self Representation in the Maryland Courts--an August 2007 report on current efforts, initiatives, and recommendations on programs for the self represented in Maryland.

"Spreading and Adopting Best Practices for Court-Based Programs for the Self Represented"--a just released 2007 NCSC Future Trends in State Courts article by R. Zorza.

Are you and your case right for self representation?--three interactive quizzes for litigants thinking about representing themselves in court. Developed by the People's Law Library of Maryland.

Formal Opinion 07-446: Undisclosed Legal Assistance to Pro Se Litigants--This May 5, 2007 formal ABA opinion states "A lawyer may provide legal assistance to litigants appearing before tribunals "pro se" and help them prepare written submissions without disclosing or ensuring the disclosure of the nature or extent of such assistance."

"Increasing Access to Justice for Self Represented Litigants through Web Technologies"—a just posted NCSC 2007 Future Trends in State Courts article by M. Herman. Examples of innovations are provided.

"Trends in Library Collaborations to Provide Access to Legal Information"—this recently posted NCSC 2007 Future Trends in State Courts article by B. Fritschel provides examples of library collaborations with courts, public libraries, non-library groups, and other jurisdictions.

NEW In the News:

Appellate Judge Honored for Access Efforts--Orange County CA Judge Kathleen O'Leary receives an award for her efforts to increase access to justice.

Going it alone in the courtroom--this October 17, 2007 Star Ledger article discusses the increase in self representation in New Jersey.

WI Librarians trained to help lawyerless litigants find legal resources--an October 9, 2007 Library Journal article by Jennifer Pinkowski.

New way to practice wins support--an October 2007 California Bar Journal article on limited scope legal assistance in Santa Clara County.

Legal Self Help Centers Open--2 new self help legal centers opened on October 8, 2007 in Pinellas County Florida according to the Pinellas Co. News.

Public library initiative to help serve needs of self-represented litigants--read this September 21, 2007 Wisconsin Court System announcement.

CA Equal Access Newsletter, vol. 1 (September 19, 2007)--read about the latest news on self help services from California.

Computer program helps the poor get their day in court--a Sept. 24, 2007 Chicago Tribune article on the A2J (Access to Justice) tool developed by the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Probate court pilot expands to Norfolk--a September 24, 2007 MA Lawyers Weekly article regarding their new limited scope representation pilot.

Self help desk for non-lawyers under way--an August 7, 2007 Lincoln NE Journal Star article on their first self help center.

Posted On: October 22, 2007

Recent and Forthcoming Books and E-Books: Criminal Procedure

The following is a list of new and forthcoming hardbound books and e-books with a publication date range from 2007 - 2009. This subject search was run on Bowker Books in Print Professional on October 22, 2007:

Arkansas and Missouri DWI Defense: The Law and Practice

Author: Abele, Jon R. et al. Publisher: Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Incorporated ISBN or UPC: 1-933264-19-5(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Jul 2007 Price N/A
LC Class #: KF2231.Z95A24 2007 Dewey #: 345.767/0247 ISBN 13: 978-1-933264-19-6

American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Mass Imprisonment

Author: Abramsky, Sasha Publisher: Beacon Press ISBN or UPC: 0-8070-4222-6(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: May 2007 Price $25.95
Availability: Readily Available
LC Class #: HV9950.A334 2007 Dewey #: 364.973 ISBN 13: 978-0-8070-4222-9

Legal Reform and Administrative Detention Powers in China

Author: Biddulph, Sarah Publisher: Cambridge University Press ISBN or UPC: 0-521-86940-4(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Dec 2007 Price $120.00
Availability: Available for Order
LC Class #: KNQ3000 Dewey #: 342.510418 ISBN 13: 978-0-521-86940-9

International Criminal Justice: A Critical Analysis of Institutions and Procedures

Author: Bohlander, Michael Publisher: Cameron May, Limited ISBN or UPC: 1-905017-44-8(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Mar 2007 Price $170.00
Availability: Available for Order
LC Class #: KZ6310.I582 2007 ISBN 13: 978-1-905017-44-7

Criminal Law and Procedure

Author: Boyce, Ronald N. et al. Publisher: Foundation Press ISBN or UPC: 1-59941-248-9(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Jun 2007 Price $129.00
Availability: Available for Order
Dewey #: 345.73 ISBN 13: 978-1-59941-248-1

Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice 2007

Author: Brewer, David Publisher: Jordans Publishing Limited ISBN or UPC: 1-84661-068-0(Active Record)
Format: CD-ROM; Trade Cloth Date: Apr 2007 Price $290.00
LC Class #: KD8309 Dewey #: 345.420105 ISBN 13: 978-1-84661-068-4

Snitch: Informants, Cooperators, and the Corruption of Justice

Author: Brown, Ethan Publisher: PublicAffairs ISBN or UPC: 1-58648-492-3(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Nov 2007 Price $25.95
Availability: Available for Order
ISBN 13: 978-1-58648-492-7

Legal Ease: A Guide to Criminal Law, Evidence, and Procedure (2nd Ed. )

Author: Campbell, Andrea et al. Publisher: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Limited ISBN or UPC: 0-398-07731-2(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Jun 2007 Price N/A
LC Class #: KF9219.C36 2007 Dewey #: 345.73 ISBN 13: 978-0-398-07731-0

American Criminal Procedure, Cases and Commentary

Author: Capra, Daniel J. et al. Publisher: Thomson West ISBN or UPC: 0-314-17625-X(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Apr 2007 Price $114.00
Availability: Available for Order
ISBN 13: 978-0-314-17625-7

Sentencing: A Reference Handbook

Author: Champion, Dean J. Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated ISBN or UPC: 1-59884-087-8(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Nov 2007 Price N/A
Availability: Readily Available
LC Class #: KF9685.C48 2007 Dewey #: 345.73/0772 ISBN 13: 978-1-59884-087-2

Sentencing: A Reference Handbook

Author: Champion, Dean J. Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated ISBN or UPC: 1-59884-088-6(Active Record)
Format: E-Book Date: Nov 2007 Price $70.00
Availability: Available for Order
LC Class #: KF9685.C48 2008 Dewey #: 345.73/0772 ISBN 13: 978-1-59884-088-9

Supreme Court Case Brief in Crcb

Author: Cretacci, Michael A. Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Incorporated ISBN or UPC: 0-7425-5860-6(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Aug 2007 Price $95.00
Availability: Readily Available
LC Class #: KF9618.C668 2007 Dewey #: 345.73/05 ISBN 13: 978-0-7425-5860-1

Defending the Damned: Inside Chicago's Cook County Public Defender's Office

Author: Davis, Kevin Publisher: Simon & Schuster ISBN or UPC: 7-80743-270-5(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Apr 2007 Price N/A
LC Class #: KF224.O45D38 2007 Dewey #: 45.773/101 ISBN 13: 978-7-80743-270-8

Attorney General Guidelines Quizzer: A Question and Answer Study Guide

Author: Del Bagno, Daniel R. et al. Publisher: Looseleaf Law Publications, Incorporated ISBN or UPC: 1-889031-61-5(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Jan 2007 Price $29.95
LC Class #: KFN2376.Z9D45 2002 Dewey #: 345.749/052/076 ISBN 13: 978-1-889031-61-3

The Trial on Trial

Author: Farmer, Lindsay et al. Publisher: Hart Publishing Limited ISBN or UPC: 1-84113-698-0(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Oct 2007 Price $80.00
Availability: Available for Order
LC Class #: K5401 Dewey #: 345.07 ISBN 13: 978-1-84113-698-1

Criminal Procedure F/Crj Professional

Author: Ferdico Publisher: Thomson Wadsworth ISBN or UPC: 0-495-09547-8(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Mar 2008 Price $130.95
Availability: Available for Order
ISBN 13: 978-0-495-09547-7

Penal Populism: Sentencing Councils and Sentencing Policy

Author: Freiberg, Arie et al. Publisher: Willan Publishing ISBN or UPC: 1-84392-278-9(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Oct 2007 Price $79.95
ISBN 13: 978-1-84392-278-0

Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense

Author: Friedman Ramirez, Linda Publisher: Juris Publishing, Incorporated ISBN or UPC: 1-57823-224-4(Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Jul 2007 Price $150.00
Availability: Readily Available
ISBN 13: 978-1-57823-224-6

Constitutional Law and the Criminal Justice System

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On the Scales of Righteousness: Neo-Babylonian Trial Law and the Book of Job

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The Law of Policing in America

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Criminal Procedures: Cases, Statutes, and Executive Materials

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Criminal Procedures--The Police: Cases, Statutes, and Executive Materials

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Criminal Procedures: Cases, Statutes, and Executive Materials

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Principled Discretion: Developing a Coherent Sentencing Policy

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Constitutional Police Procedure: An Instructional Dialogue Written Expressly for the Law Enforcement Officer

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Punishing Persistent Offenders: Previous Convictions and the Sentencing Process

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Penal Practice and Penal Policy in Ancient Rome

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Criminal Procedure

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Criminal Law and Procedure

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The Crime Junkie's Guide to Criminal Law: from Law and Order to Laci Peterson

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Fair Trials: The European Criminal Procedural Tradition and the European Court of Human Rights

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Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case

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Courts and Criminal Justice in Ccb

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Judisprudence and Detection in Ancient China: The Tang-Yin-Pi-Shih

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Criminal Procedure: Cases, Problems and Exercises

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Criminal Procedure: Constitution and Society

Author: Zalman, Marvin Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR ISBN or UPC: 0-13-157535-X(Active Record)
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Posted On: October 18, 2007

Lessons Learned: New York Leads in the Number of Wrongful Convictions But Lags in Policy Reforms That Can Prevent Them

A Report of the Innocence Project. Benjamin Cordozo Law School of Yeshiva University, October 18, 2007:

"New York State Not Doing Enough to Prevent Wrongful Convictions, Report Says
...exonerated through DNA evidence. The report...director of the Innocence Project, a legal clinic...frequently used for DNA analysis. But in...evidence stored in DNA and fingerprint...not comment on the Innocence Project report until it..." New York Times October 18, 2007

See Innocence Project Report Here

Posted On: October 17, 2007

California Law Bans Forced RFID Tagging

From:, October 15, 2007

October 15, 2007

By Renee Boucher Ferguson

It's illegal now for California employers to force anyone to have an RFID device implanted under his or her skin as a condition of receiving something—such as a paycheck or government benefits. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 362 on Oct. 15, prohibiting the forced implantation of RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips. The bill, authored by state Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2008.

The anti-tagging bill, now a law, is not the first piece of privacy-based RFID legislation authored by Simitian to pass the governor's desk. A little more than a year ago Gov. Schwarzenegger quietly vetoed SB 768, also known as the Identity Information and Protection Act of 2006, which would regulate the use of RFID in state and local documents.

At the time, the bill was thought by many to be a call for other states to enact similar legislation. But when that effort failed, so did the hopes that California's actions would spur additional state legislatures to address RFID-related privacy concerns.

In the wake of the 2006 veto, Simitian took the next feasible step. He broke the Identity Information and Protection Act into smaller bits and shipped them off to the legislature as five separate bills. SB 362 is the first of those smaller bills to see the light of day, and it could have positive implications for the remaining four RFID bills trundling through California's legislative process.

"With the signing of SB 362, California has taken an important first step in crafting legislation to properly balance the potential benefits of RFID technology while safeguarding privacy and security," said Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties policy director at ACLU of Northern California, in San Francisco. "We are pleased that the governor has stood up for the privacy and security rights of Californians and not allowed these rights to be 'chipped' away by inappropriate uses of RFID technology."

"When there are 2,800 bills that move through the system in a year, the governor has hundreds and hundreds of bills come at the end of the session. Sometimes it's helpful to narrow the issue a bit; that helps to force the question," Simitian said. "We were at a bit of a disadvantage last year with a broader, more comprehensive package, with a technology that the administration is largely unfamiliar with and not the time to give it careful consideration. When in doubt, the veto falls."

Simitian said that taking the issues and breaking them into more manageable, bite-sized pieces makes it easier to focus on the fundamental privacy implications of RFID.

The additional four bills—SB 28, 29, 30 and 31—address different aspects of RFID implementation and use. SB 28 calls for a three-year moratorium on the use of RFID in state driver's licenses.

SB 29 would put a similar three-year moratorium on the use of RFID in K-12 student identification cards. SB 30—really the meat in Simitian's efforts—looks to mandate security and privacy provisions in RFID-chipped ID documentation required by state and local governments. The bill would do two things: require that people be informed when the technology is present and spell out what citizens can do to protect their privacy.

The bill also imposes technological requirements that amount to password protection and, in cases where personal information—such as HIV-positive status or a telephone number—is present on the chip, encryption and mutual authentication technologies have to be utilized. SB 31 imposes criminal charges for skimming and unauthorized access to tags and the disclosure of codes that are in the encryption process.

The remaining bills are awaiting action when the legislature reconvenes in January, according to Simitian.

Not everyone supported SB 362. Simitian said he was not able to garner any industry support for the bill; manufacturers and technology trade associations balked at backing it.

"I really did think it was both unfortunate and regrettable that we couldn't get any industry support on this bill," Simitian said. "While we did not have any formal opposition, we did have behind-the-scenes efforts to derail the bill by one manufacturer."

Click here to read about why RFID is only slowly catching on for industrial use.

While several industry consortiums, such as the AEA (American Electronics Association), HID Global and ITAA (Information Technology Association of America), oppose Simitian's 2006 bill, a group that's organized itself under the rubric of AEA seems the most vociferous—or at least the most well-appointed.

The High-Tech Trust Coalition is made up of some of the biggest players—technology companies, manufacturers, standard-setting bodies—in the RFID industry, including AIM Global, EDS, EPCGlobal, ITAA, Kimberly-Clark, National Semiconductor, Oracle, Texas Instruments, Symbol Technologies and Phillips Technologies.

Roxanne Gould, senior vice president for California Government and Public Affairs with AEA, said that while the AEA is not opposed to California's new law preventing forced tagging of individuals, the group is opposed to Simitian's remaining bills. "We had no position on 362. But we don't agree with any effort that unfairly demonizes technology," said Gould, in Sacramento.

"Technology is not inherently good or evil; it is how it's used. We don't agree that anyone should be forced to use a chip. But at the same time there are uses where subcutaneous chips are highly useful—with Alzheimer patients or diabetes. Just because someone is chipped, we don't agree that it's bad; we don't have a problem with the forced part. But we are opposed to the other bills that are still in play."

While Simitian began looking into the use of RFID in government-issued documentation after an elementary school in Sutter, Calif., required its students to wear identification badges that contained RFID tags, it was really video surveillance company that spurred the current anti-implementation law.

In 2006 required employees working in its secure data center to be implanted with RFID chips. Simitian said he figured it would only be a matter of time before others followed, particularly with state and local governments moving toward RFID-embedded identification documents.

"The issue that kept cropping up with people we spoke with was that while RFID is wonderful for identifying a particular document, they can be easily exchanged or passed from one person to another," Simitian said. "The concern I've had is I think there is an underlying pressure to go to implantation given the shortcomings and limitations of [RFID] documentation. The public wants us to get out in front of these potential privacy problems."

In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration approved a human-implantable RFID chip that is manufactured by VeriChip. So far, VeriChip has chipped about 2,000 individuals.

Posted On: October 16, 2007

U.S. Federal Selected Documents 10-16-2007

Annual Report to Congress on the Information Sharing Environment (PDF 588 KB)
Report Submitted by the Department of Homeland Security's Information Sharing Environment

See Annual Report Here

Committee Report to Accompany the RESTORE Act, H.R. 3773 -- Part I (PDF 400 KB)
Report (H. Rept 110-373 Part 1) filed by the House Judiciary Committee on October 12, 2007

See Committee Report Restore Act Part 1 Here

Committee Report to Accompany the RESTORE Act, H.R. 3773 -- Part II (PDF 368 KB)
Report (H. Rept 110-373, Part 2) filed by the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee on October 12, 2007

See Committee Report Restore Act Part 2 Here

Legislative Text of the RESTORE Act, H.R. 3773 (PDF 104 KB)
Compromise Text as Ordered Reported by the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, to be Considered by the House Rules Committee on October 16, 2007

See Compromise Text of Restore Act Here

Posted On: October 16, 2007

Torture's Paper Trail

Source: FindLaw Legal News and Commentary.

By JOANNE MARINER, Terrorism and Counterrorism Director at Human Rights Watch.
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2007

Last week, the New York Times published a front-page article describing two legal memoranda issued secretly by the Bush Administration in 2005 that purported to provide guidance regarding the legality of CIA interrogation methods. What the memos said, specifically, was that certain CIA practices did not violate the law.

I emphasize the "purported" purpose of the memos because I think their true purpose was quite different. Rather than giving objective guidance that would assist CIA officials in conforming their conduct to legal standards, the memos were actually meant to provide legal cover for conduct that violated fundamental legal norms.

The real purpose of the memos was, in short, to immunize US officials from prosecution for abusive conduct. They were meant to facilitate abuses, not to prevent them.

These two memos are part of a larger picture that includes earlier legal memos, a classified presidential directive, and last year's Military Commissions Act. Taken together, they're a paper trail for torture.

The OLC Paper Trail

According to the New York Times, a still-secret legal opinion issued by the Department of Justice in early 2005 provided explicit authorization to the CIA to subject detained terrorist suspects to a combination of abusive interrogation methods, including simulated drowning (known as "waterboarding"), head-slapping, and frigid temperatures. A subsequent legal opinion, issued just before congressional legislation was passed barring the cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees, reportedly declared that none of the interrogation methods used by the CIA violated that standard.

The two newly-revealed memos were reportedly drafted by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), the office charged with providing authoritative legal guidance to other executive branch officials. They were said to have been approved by then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

A previous opinion issued by the OLC in 2002, when John Ashcroft was Attorney General, concluded that the president was not bound by federal laws prohibiting torture, and that the Department of Justice lacked authority to enforce anti-torture laws against officials who acted with the president's authorization. It also provided a narrow and inaccurate interpretation of what techniques constitute torture under U.S. and international law.

Although the memos did not mention this fact, "waterboarding," one of the interrogation methods they reportedly defended, has been prosecuted as torture by U.S. military courts since the Spanish-American War. Indeed, after World War II, U.S. military commissions prosecuted and severely punished enemy soldiers for having subjected American prisoners to waterboarding, as well as other techniques used by the CIA in recent years such as sleep deprivation, forced standing, and removal of clothing.

Continue reading " Torture's Paper Trail " »

Posted On: October 15, 2007

Internet Inventor Says It Works Like a Charm

Recently a number of articles devoted to the history of technology and the internet have been published. Given the significant developments in these areas over the past 20+ years and the societal demands which continue to drive further research and development it is certainly appropriate to take some time to reflect on both the history and possible future directions of information technology--including the internet.

The following is a question, answer interview with Robert Kahn one of the pioneers in the creation and development of the internet and who continues to actively work on techniques related to information technology. The interview was published in the October 7, 2007 issue of The Star Ledger and is being reproduced here for the benefit of our readers:

Sunday, October 07, 2007
Move over, Al Gore. If anyone deserves credit -- or blame -- for the Internet, Robert Kahn will do nicely. An alumnus of Princeton University and Bell Labs, he teamed with Vinton Cerf in 1973 to invent a crucial technical standard.
Star-Ledger staff writer Kevin Coughlin recently talked with Kahn about where the Internet came from -- and where it's going

.Q What exactly is TCP/IP? Why is it important?

TCP/IP is the protocol that Vint Cerf and I developed back in the early 1970s, the sort of glue that makes the computers work together. It's a combination of protocols (Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol). The protocol basically deals with the messages you send, and put ting them back together again.

Q There's a popular notion that the Internet was designed this way to keep information flowing around any Soviet nuclear at tack. Is this true?

Because it was done in a Defense context, many people looked at how it would apply to military situations. But I would say it was never done with the specific intention of dealing with a nuclear situation.

Q So what did you envision when you were inventing the Internet?

There were multiple networks being developed by DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Our task was how do we get them to work together? That was the problem we were addressing right there.

Q How do you feel about the way the Internet has turned out?

It seems to work like a charm. For some things, it probably works too well. Some people have complained about a lot of viruses on the Net. That's not a problem of the network -- it's a problem of attacks on the operating systems on the network. I think the Internet has been a major success. It's taken for granted as part of the infrastructure of the world

Q. What are you proudest of?

That we were able to demonstrate it was possible and work to make it happen.

Q What has surprised you the most?

I was very surprised at how much junk mail there is, all the spam. The biggest surprise early on was how many networks we had. ... We felt 256 networks would be more than we would ever have to encounter. You have to remember, there were no personal computers back then.

Q Why is it so hard to make technical changes to the Internet?

It's very hard to change a system that encompasses so many pieces. ... It's really become a standards problem in recent years.

Q If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?

That's like saying to the guys who invented radio in the 1910s, what would they have done differently if they had access to today's technology and semi-conductors? I don't think you can go back and relive that experience.

Q Why is security so porous on the Net?

I think that problem's as much a policy issue as a technical issue. There is constant tension between the desire of industry to have really tight security and the need of law enforcement and national security to have access to communications. ... Industry, if left to its own devices, would have gone one way, and government probably would have gone another.

Q But don't viruses and spam exploit the Internet's open technical standards?

I don't know that it's a net work problem as much as an ap plication problem. If you're talking to a Web site, you would like to know that Web site is who it purports to be. It looks like a perfectly viable site, from a well- known institution, but it turns out not to be. How would you know? That's in the Web applica tion -- a layer above (the basic Internet standards).

Q What special circumstances allowed the Internet to happen?

We had a clear playing field. You have to remember, the Internet started as a research project. Eventually people started to use it and depend on it, and industry was able to find a big enough market that made sense for them to get into that field.

Q When did you realize the Internet was bigger than a research project?

It kind of dawned on me gradually, hey, look what these guys are doing. There was a series of events along the way that altered the possibilities. One was the creation of the personal computer industry. Suddenly, a lot more people had access to machines capable of dealing with the Internet.

Q Is it time to replace the Net?

I don't know who's suggesting that. Who would scrap it? It's a big part of industry.

Q What about future-Internet projects, like GENI? (Global Environment for Network Innovation, an experiment that has roots at Princeton and Rutgers.)

I'm open to all kinds of suggestions people might have. We should take a look at all of them.

Q What do you love about the Net?

The fact that the uptake is so great. It really changed the economic landscape, changed the way government works, made the information more accessible.

Q What Internet applications do you use?

I'm pretty much a bread-and- butter kind of guy when it comes to the Net. I do my own e-mail, and my secretary, Alice, does a lot of it for me. I use it for presentations, for dealing with textual materials, and for spreadsheets. I'm not one who keeps his nose to the screen 24 hours a day looking for the next new thing.

Q Do you carry a BlackBerry or iPhone?

I do carry a cell phone with pretty advanced features.

Q Which model?

I'd rather not say.

QYou're often introduced as "father of the Internet" or "in ventor of the Internet." How does that feel?

I don't like it ... It probably grates on lots of people who've made lots of serious contributions

Q. What are you up to now at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives?

We're working on techniques for managing information on the Net, via something called Digital Object Architecture. It's about how you find things on the Net. You can go to Google right now, but it won't find your medical records or your bank records or your personal accounts. It's just not out there. How do you iden tify data sites, and archive stuff, and so forth? I just think there are better ways to do it.

Q What will the Internet look like in 10 years?

Come back in 10 years, and maybe I'll have a better notion! I'd like to be able to use gravity waves to communicate securely, and teleportation over the Internet! But you can't do that too easily. If you talk to Vint (Cerf), he'd like to communicate to outer space, do interplanetary stuff. Basically, my hope is we have really good ways of managing information.

Posted On: October 15, 2007

Internet Evolution: Don't Fight the New Wave of Digital Content

Does access to social networking, video sharing, and other new media online capabilities mean wasted time, lost productivity, and possibly security concerns or are there legitimate business reasons to include them on organization web sites? Many of us are encountering these and related issues in our own organizations. Stacey Peterson, the editor of Information Week Daily Newsletter, raises these questions in the following excerpt to the October 15, 2007 issue. Also included is a link to a related but more extensive article by Aditya Kishre;


"The U.S. Department of Defense earlier this year banned access to YouTube, MySpace, Photobucket, StupidVideos, MTV, and a bunch of other Web sites by soldiers stationed abroad. It makes sense. We're at war, and soldiers shouldn't be playing around on the Internet, sucking up bandwidth, and opening up the military network to security compromises."

"But what about your employees? Does access to social networking, video-sharing, and other new media online capabilities mean wasted time and lost productivity or are there legitimate business reasons they might be on those sites? Site blocking is the Defense Department's quick and easy answer to the proliferation of rich media applications. But it's not the only solution and may not be the best one for companies trying to take advantage of all the creative energy surging around online communities and digital content sites. With the right infrastructure and controls, it's possible to keep access open to the many new applications that already are making people more connected and productive."

"This is the topic of the first story in our Internet Evolution series. Aditya Kishore, a senior analyst at InformationWeek's sister organization Heavy Reading, examines the forces driving the new online ecosystem and ways that companies can capitalize on it. This series is being done in conjunction with, our new Web site devoted to investigating the future of the Internet...."

To see Aditya Kishore's article click here.

Posted On: October 12, 2007

State of New York: Bench and Bar Respond to Judicial Pay Deadlock

The following was received from the New York Law Journal. We appreciate their efforts in compiling this material:

October 12, 2007

Editor's Note: As the Law Journal receives commentary from sitting judges and members of the bar on the fallout from the lack of compromise in the state's budget on judicial salaries, we will publish those remarks in this space.


October 12, 2007

To the Editor,

Just as we rely on judges to be fair, it is time for Albany to be fair to our judges. Our judges have not received a pay raise for eight years. Their salaries rank 49th of 50 states when adjusted for inflation. That's not only an injustice, it's a disgrace. New York is blessed with perhaps the strongest state judiciary in the nation. But our court system is being jeopardized by Albany's gridlock. How can we expect to attract and retain the best and brightest legal minds when a newly minted lawyer fresh out of law school can earn more than our most senior jurists? We owe a debt of gratitude to the judges who have continued to serve us well without being paid well. The state is long overdue in rewarding their commitment, dedication and sacrifice.
Jeff S. Korek
The author is president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.


October 9, 2007

To the Editor,

With the Senate and Assembly apparently returning to Albany the week of Oct. 22, 2007, it gives the Legislature the opportunity to finally do the right thing and pass judicial compensation retroactive to 2005 without the entanglement of other issues.

The Legislature's argument that judicial salaries must be tied to those of the legislators is like a tall tale, it is only true in the telling. Using the judicial pay raise as cover for a legislative one, given the fact that our raise will, at a minimum, be effective two years prior to that of the Legislature, is a gap in time that far exceeds the institutional memory of the voting electorate.

Secondly, there is no need to hold the judicial pay raise hostage in the hopes that a legislative pay raise will be negotiated along with it. As evidenced by Senator Joseph Bruno's news statement recalling the Senate into session Oct. 22, there are multiple unresolved issues that can be negotiated along with a legislative pay raise without reliance upon a judicial one.

What this salary imbroglio essentially comes down to is pettiness and small mindedness by some members of the Legislature. In other words, they cannot constitutionally receive a pay raise until Jan. 1, 2009, so why should we get a raise before them. But to accuse all legislators as possessed of this attitude would be wrong. There are presently four separate bills, two in the Assembly, two in the Senate, two Democratic, two Republican, which provide for stand alone pay raises for judges without reference to legislative raises. Indeed, three of the four provide for retroactivity to April 1, 2005. ( S6372, S5885, A9370 and A8088).

Reading the memos in support of these bills they collectively accept the fact that New York " . . . has one of the finest and most respected Judiciaries in the country. In order to maintain this level of excellence, the State must provide adequate salaries and support to its judges." The memos concur " . . . that for too long the State has been neglecting their obligation by allowing the Judiciary's continuing requests for reasonable pay increases to go unanswered."

It is clear there is bipartisan support in both Houses for a stand alone, fully retroactive judicial pay raise. There is significant opposition, but that opposition is based on a venal response to the Legislature's own salary quandary.

It is unbecoming for elected officials to avoid their constitutional obligation (see New York Constitution, Article 6, sec. 25), to a co-equal branch of government for petty and personal reasons. The ball of judicial salaries is in the legislative "court." It is hoped that they won't takes that ball and go home without first approving appropriate judicial compensation.
Jeffrey D. Lebowitz
The author is a Queens County Supreme Court justice.


OCA Not Proper Party In Judges' Pay Suit
September 14, 2007

To the Editor,

In the Law Journal on Sept. 11, page 2 (see below), the attorney for the judges who are petitioners in Maron v. Silver, one of the lawsuits against the Legislature, governor and Office of Court Administration, writes that OCA has "aligned itself" with the Legislature and the governor by allowing the New York Attorney General to argue its position. The papers submitted by the attorney general are addressed solely to the causes of action against the Legislature and the governor.

To the extent that the attorney general's brief addressed the point on changes in health insurance for judges, it did so because the petitioner judges addressed that cause of action against all respondents, including the Legislature and the governor. In fact, as was set forth in the OCA's answer to the petition, the health insurance cause of action must be dismissed for failure to join a necessary party because the real party in interest is the president of the Civil Service Commission, who negotiates health insurance packages on behalf of the Judiciary.

OCA is not a proper party to this litigation. We note that the petitioner judges have stipulated to drop OCA as a party and to continue the lawsuit solely against the officials of the legislative and executive branches.
Michael Colodner
The author is counsel to the Office of Court Administration.


OCA's Opposition To Judges' Lawsuit
September 11, 2007

To the Editor,

As the lawyer for the judges who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the Legislature, the governor and the Office of Court Administration, I have wondered about the reason for OCA's opposition to the lawsuit which seeks to achieve for the judges what OCA has been unable to accomplish.

The answer to that question started to crystallize when we agreed to sever the claim against OCA for the unconstitutional increases in medical co-payments and a decrease in medical/dental/optical benefits. (I do not understand why OCA would oppose this branch of relief regarding benefits for the judges).

I always thought that OCA was responsible for supporting the judges. Yet, it seems to have done the opposite.

The Law Journal published a story in the News in Brief section on Aug. 15 (" Judges in Pay Suit Claim Lawmakers Should Forfeit Salaries"), suggesting that the attorney general was representing OCA in the latest application before the Supreme Court in Albany County. Yet on Aug. 20, a correction appeared stating that the attorney general does not represent OCA and that OCA has taken "no position" on the substantive issues the plaintiffs have raised.

First, OCA has not taken "no position" on the issues. It has aligned itself with the Legislature and governor by allowing the attorney general to argue its position.

Second, the attorney general's brief, published on the Law Journal's Web site, contains as its third point, "Changes in Insurance Offered by Judiciary Do Not Violate Article VI, Section 25(a) . . . " That is OCA's argument against its judges. If the attorney general is not representing OCA, what is the argument doing in the attorney general's brief?

The OCA promises support for the judges on the one hand, and actively opposes them on the other.
Steven Cohn
Carle Place, N.Y.


Surreal State of Legal Salaries in New York
August 14, 2007

To the Editor,

Without getting into the question of whether we have all fallen down the rabbit hole with respect to summer associate salaries, there can be no question that we have with regard to judicial compensation. As observed by columnist Gail Cutter in the Aug. 13, 2007, NYLJ article " Career Coach: Escape From Fantasy Island" (p. 8, col. 1) : "And with recent salary increases, law firm life has turned Manhattan into Fantasy Island. Summer associates are now paid $3,000 a week to endure three-hour lunches at five-star restaurants and nod sagely as a senior partner holds forth on the subtle variations of Cabernets at wine tasting events. Salaries and bonuses are so high they seem to be paid in Monopoly money. More than the case of past salary wars, the legal industry seems to have reached a surreal tipping point. Have we all fallen down the Rabbit Hole?"

Despite increasing caseloads, New York state judges have not received a salary increase (not even a cost of living adjustment), in almost nine years. As starting salaries for beginning associates (who have not been admitted to the bar and therefore unable to practice before the courts by themselves) have long surpassed the salary of a Supreme Court justice, the judges of this state have indeed fallen down the Rabbit Hole. Indeed, no employee serving the court system goes without a salary adjustment, or gets less vacation time, other than a judge.

While the Legislature is by some accounts "considering" a long awaited salary adjustment for judges, perhaps this fall, it will not include any retroactive adjustment for the last nine years. Even if Albany finally passes a salary adjustment, without passage of a meaningful retroactive adjustment, many judges will still be in the rabbit hole, having accumulated debt from rising rents, mortgages and college tuition.

A young associate recently asked a colleague at a bar luncheon, when learning of the judges' predicament, "So why do you stay?"

The truth is that many of us chose public service as an opportunity to contribute to the good of society. While none of us expect to become rich, we certainly did not expect that a judge's important work - delivering justice every day - would be so devalued that a summer associate, while partaking of three-hour lunches at five-star restaurants, would make more per week than a judge.
Doris Ling-Cohan
The author is a Manhattan State Supreme Court justice.


Criticism on Pay Bill Is Misdirected
August 3, 2007

To the Editor,

I read with great interest the letter written by retired Judge Joseph Bellacosa which appeared in the Law Journal on June 29, 2007.

Judge Bellacosa devoted a considerable amount of his letter to the Legislature's irresponsible actions, the devaluation of the worth of the state Judiciary and the damage wrought on the judicial process itself by the failure of the Legislature to enact a judicial salary package which would represent a substantial raise for the long suffering members of the Judiciary.

I would have thought that someone of the stature of Judge Bellacosa (former Court of Appeals Judge and former chief administrative judge of the Unified Court System) would have known that S.5313, which provided for increased compensation to judges, passed the Senate on April 30, substantially in the form proposed by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye. He should also have known that the Assembly was poised to pass this legislation and it was only after receiving calls from the governor that they lost their resolve and the legislation never came to the Assembly floor.

It is easy to paint everyone with the same broad brush and to claim that an entire system is dysfunctional. By doing so you can avoid pinpointing those who truly are to blame. It would be more productive to direct the criticism towards those who truly have obstructed the passage of Judge Kaye's judicial pay bill.
John A. DeFrancisco
The author is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


The Consequences of Judicial Pay Impasse
June 29, 2007

To the Editor,

The 2007 regular legislative session recessed without passage of a long-debated judicial salary package. This unfortunate result, in the flurry of the legislative end-game, rests squarely on the executive and legislative leaders who intentionally chose to fail in their responsibility to agree on this issue. While much has been said on the subject, nothing has been done - for the ninth year. Thus, it might be said that little has changed since Day 1, 2007.

I would like to bring focus to an insufficiently recognized consequence and critical aspect of this dismaying impasse. Responsible people ought to be deeply disturbed by the spiraling devaluation of the intrinsic worth of the indispensable services rendered by dedicated judicial officers. This inescapable diminution, in fact and perception, engenders a fundamental loss of respect for the work that judges do.

The leaders of both the executive and legislative branches must face the realization that their slap in the face of the judges is also, more seriously, a blow to the heart of the judicial process itself. Their disregard for the damaging consequences works against the public interest. Indeed, when the judicial process is devalued and disrespected by such indifference, the public and media notice and even emulate its perniciously devaluing attitude. To borrow a judicial phrase, that is a very bad precedent.

It comes as no surprise considering my career paths that I am appalled, and even angry, to witness the executive-legislative "leaders" continuing to proffer only patronizing posturings on this subject to the chief judge and to the public at large.

Consider this paraphrased, yet all too true summary: "The three of us 'leaders' are thoroughly persuaded that a judicial salary package is overdue, deserving, and the right thing to do. On the other finger-pointing hand and notwithstanding the conceded rightness of this cause, we will not enact this good and right thing unless we get our log-rolling linkages and poison pill attachments, as part and parcel of the deal!"

This leveraging is crass, unseemly and unacceptable. It is at once a blunt insult and a grave injury, in process and in substance, directed against the judicial branch process.

And if all that were not disappointing enough, it is necessary to be reminded that the still-essentially secretive executive-legislative process of three men in a room, with no effective accountability, excludes the rhetorically co-equal judicial branch from the room. Its voice is treated as having no real potency, and its efforts to protect and maintain the value and respect for its work gets crushed in the vise of the other branches' opaque process. I find it a bit cheeky for the "leaders" to remonstrate that the judicial branch's necessary and responsible consideration of a last-resort option is deemed "frivolous," or self-serving, or other such shibboleths. Perhaps they are looking in mirrors.

The time has come for something to be done. Responsible executive-legislative action is now required, not more hollow words and delays. The Legislature should have the courage to pass an appropriate, clean, stand-alone bill; the executive should show leadership, and sign the bill into law.

Otherwise, what responsible options remain? The Judiciary would be left with no other choice but to resort to the well-established "Rule of Necessity." Left with only empty assurances, the judicial branch would be, frankly and reluctantly, obligated to invoke its own process. As distasteful as that route is, it would, at least and at long last, subject the dysfunctional legislative process to the transparent light of the still-trusted judicial process, aided by its truth-seeking accountability methods of depositions and discovery. If that is what it ultimately takes to unmask and test the legitimacy of the legislative process, supposedly operating within constitutional principles and legal standards, then so be it.

In sum, the public interest necessitates that the Judiciary might have to exercise its ultimate responsibility, to be sure borne in part from self-interest, to protect the judicial process from devaluation to junk bond status.
Joseph W. Bellacosa
The author has been a judge on the State Court of Appeals, a chief administrative judge
of the unified court system, and dean of St. John's University School of Law.


Judges Expected Sacrifice, Not Abuse
June 18, 2007

To the Editor,

The judicial compensation issue impacts not just the judges, their spouses and their children, but every individual, business or other organization in New York which may need judicial intervention to right a wrong, prevent an injustice or vindicate a right. The "implied judgeship understanding" is that lawyers who have advanced in their careers at least 10 years forego the opportunity to make more money and enjoy more "perks" in private practice or the business world in order to reap the psychic benefits of rendering important service to the public.

Judicial aspirants knew that public service means economic sacrifice. They did not sign on for what could only be described as abuse. It is abuse when, a) judges have received no raises since 1999, when far less skilled workers received raises during every one of the past eight years, b) unlike legislators, judges may not supplement their income from outside employment, c) case loads have skyrocketed, and d) judges have mortgage, college and medical bills like many others who receive at least annual cost of living increases.

The actual numbers should trouble any reasonable and fair minded person. The current salary for State Supreme Court judges is $136,700. According to the National Center for State Courts, the present salary, when adjusted for the cost of living, as of July 2006, would be $110,048. This salary is the same whether a judge lives in a relatively low cost hamlet far from a major urban center or in the extremely high-cost areas of New York City, Westchester, Nassau, etc. New York judges make less, after cost of living adjustment, than judges located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, etc.

The numbers explain why so many talented attorneys who would make excellent judges conclude that they cannot meet their responsibilities to their families and consider a judicial career. The numbers explain why so many dedicated and talented judges are distracted from their work by personal economic pressures and doubts about their career choice. Some of our most capable state judges have already left for private practice or the federal bench. Others are actively considering leaving the bench.

How will we attract and maintain a quality judiciary when the economic reality discourages all but those who are independently wealthy, who are supported by wealthy spouses or other family members, or those who are willing, after their large investment, often facilitated by substantial student loans, in a law school education to live with their families as an ascetic?

The judges' present plight adversely impacts the respect, dignity and independence of the judicial system. We have witnessed what societies look like where they lack a talented and independent judiciary. The New York judicial system should be held in the highest regard, not viewed as an employer of low cost labor.

Let any individual or entity become a plaintiff or a defendant, and they will understand that this is an embarrassment and an issue that affects all New York citizens who need the court system. New York citizens are entitled to appear before a judiciary that comprises the best and the brightest, not a judiciary comprised of only the wealthy or those willing to be economically abused. Since judges have a limited ability to "lobby" legislators, we all, as "interested parties," should speak out to rectify this unfairness.

Moreover, since the record demonstrates that political considerations have intruded upon a fair and common sense treatment of judicial salaries by the legislative and executive branches, New York should, in addition to providing a fair salary increase immediately, implement a system whereby an impartial commission would periodically review cost of living adjustments. If necessary, the Legislature would have a veto power. This way, the Legislature would not hold the judicial salaries hostage but could monitor the work of such an independent commission.

The subject problem impacts all socio-economic segments of our society. The business community, the non-profit world, the rich and the poor, are all reliant upon an effective judicial system. They should all speak up now. They should not wait until their well-being is in the hands of one unhappy and frustrated judge.
Scott E. Mollen
New York, N.Y.


Trial Lawyers Support Judicial Pay Hike
April 25, 2007

To the Editor,

The New York State Trial Lawyers Association continues to campaign to resolve the crisis created by the failure to enact a pay raise for our judges, who have taken the equivalent of a 17 percent or $23,700 cut in pay, based on what their current salary is worth today compared to when they first received it in 1999. In light of the fact that New York's 60 percent budget increase - from $73 billion in 1999 to $120 billion in 2007 - it is easy to understand why the best and brightest attorneys would be discouraged from pursuing the formidable responsibilities of a judgeship.

On May 1, our 4,000 consumer advocate attorneys will join in solidarity with our judiciary, protesting the failure of New York state government to treat our judges decently in this regard, across the state in 62 counties where we practice.

To date, the trial lawyers association has, in support of the judicial pay raise:

• conducted hundreds of legislative district office visits statewide;

• coordinated hundreds of legislative capital office visits in Albany;

• authorized my New York State Trial Lawyers Association presidential testimony advocating the clear public interest in achieving judicial pay raises when I appeared before the State Senate on Dec. 4, 2006, the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Dec. 15, 2006, and the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 8, 2007;

• directed its lobbyist teams, including Malkin & Ross, David Dudley & Associates and Ken Riddett, to continue to press this issue as a state trial lawyers priority;

• run full-page ads in the Legislative Gazette publishing an open letter to Governor Eliot Spitzer, the Senate and the Assembly, which first appeared in the Jan. 8, 2007 edition; and

• utilized our bar association's past presidents to lobby the leaders of the Legislature, and the office of the governor.

Failing to increase the judges' pay not only does an injustice to the judges and their families, it does an injustice to every citizen of New York state. As an organization that serves to protect consumers, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association will continue its efforts until our judges are properly compensated, preserving for our citizens the quality of a judiciary that, over the course of modern history, has created a body of jurisprudence that is second to none in the nation.

On May 14th, we will once again discuss the judicial pay raises as part of our association's annual Lobby Day in Albany. Copies of our ads, of my presidential testimony, and our memorandum in support can be found on our Web site or by contacting our bar association's offices.
Joseph P. Awad
The author is president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.


Asian Bar Cares About Judicial Pay
April 18, 2007

To the Editor,

If you were the hiring partner of a law firm and you were asked to hire only experienced lawyers of the highest caliber, but were also told that you could pay them less than the starting salaries of first year associates on Wall Street, you would likely scoff at such an assignment. And if you were such a hiring partner and you were told that candidates for these jobs could expect to work long hours with minimal staff, under public scrutiny, with draconian constraints on the ability to earn outside income, you, as a hiring partner, would probably regard such a recruiting assignment as hopeless. And if you were told that you needed to recruit candidates willing to accept such conditions and salary for life, or at least for periods longer than a decade, any sensible hiring partner would probably throw up his or her hands in despair.

Yet the above description is precisely the dynamic that prospective judges face. The pay scales for both state and federal judges lag far behind those of Wall Street starting associates. As inflation continues to erode judicial salaries, the goal of hiring and retaining the best and the brightest for these positions - among the most critical to the rule of law in our society - becomes increasingly difficult to fulfill.

With respect to federal judges, the salary scale has not changed since 1989. Since 1969, federal judicial pay in real terms has declined 23.9 percent when the salaries of other workers have increased by 17.8 percent over that period. Federal judges now earn far less than not only first year associates on Wall Street, but less than many other federal employees, whose compensation may top $200,000 per year. As a result during the past six years, 38 judges have left the federal bench. And the composition of the judiciary has changed: during the Eisenhower Administration, 65 percent of all judges came from the practicing bar; today, only 40 percent come from the private sector. As Chief Judge John Roberts observed, "it changes the nature of the federal judiciary when judges are no longer drawn principally from among the best lawyers in the practicing bar."

The situation at the state level is even more dire. The New York state Legislature has recently refused to include a judicial salary increase in its budget even though some state judges make as little as $115,000 per year in one of the regions of the country with the highest cost of living. Even some senior law clerks in New York State can earn more than this $115,000 figure and other state employees earn in excess of $200,000. New York state judges have not had a raise (or any salary adjustment such as a cost of living increase) in over eight years even though the cost of living has increased 26 percent during that time. No other group of judges in the United States has gone longer without a pay raise. In fact, it is hard to think of any group of workers in the entire economy that has suffered for so long with no increase in compensation. Since 1978, New York state judicial salaries have declined 40 percent in real terms. Remarkably, as the salaries of judges have declined, their caseload has increased. For the eight year period from 1997 to 2005 (the most recent available) the filings in the trial courts went up 34 percent. During this time the number of judges increased only 2.6 percent.

Why should the Asian American Bar Association care about substandard judicial pay? Isn't this an issue for the American Bar Association and the New York City Bar? The answer is no. The Asian American bar passed resolutions supporting higher judicial pay at the state and federal level because minority groups, which do not typically possess inter-generational wealth such as trust funds, are disproportionately affected by low judicial pay. It is qualified minority group candidates who often cannot make the financial sacrifice necessary to become a judge.

More significantly, the Asian American bar, like other bar associations, is deeply concerned about the corrosive effect on the quality of the candidates for judicial office if salaries are not maintained at a high level. If the judicial pay crisis is not soon resolved, qualified candidates will think twice about judicial service and sitting judges will flee the bench. In short, unless steps are taken to provide judges with reasonable financial security, the very judicial independence that is the foundation of our rule of law in America and in New York is at risk.
Vincent Chang
The author is president of the Asian American Bar Association of New York
and a partner in Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch.


Appellate Law Sets Guidelines for Recusals
April 17, 2007

To the Editor,

When the Law Journal ran an editorial on April 11, it left itself open to honest criticism of its "editorial" and its reporting on the judges' predicament. As a plaintiff in the pending lawsuit to compel a raise, repeatedly reported by the Law Journal and traditional media, I have been interviewed and quoted by Law Journal reporters. On a number of occasions, I have emphasized that on the issue of recusal, there is appellate law which sets the parameters for judges.

As recently as April 2, 2007, in the pages of the Law Journal, the recusal rule was re-emphasized by the Appellate Division, Second Department in Kupersmith v. Winged Foot Golf Club, page 39, column 6. The rule was set forth in detail in Matter of Independence Party State Committee of the State of New York, 20 AD3d 422.

Despite this emphasis, the Law Journal has not alluded on this issue to anything but the advisory opinion ( 07-25) which did not consider the suit or applicable state law.

This issue is all the more important in light of Judge Judith S. Kaye's strong language on April 9, 2007: "No Judiciary can maintain public confidence in its independence if the public can question whether decisions are influenced by efforts to encourage pay raises or retaliate for their denial."

The editorial also believed the following words relevant: "Disgraceful, Shabby, Infuriating."

The issue of recusal is a serious consideration for every judge.

The Law Journal's reports in the past have left out an important piece of the picture. As the court in Independence Party said: With respect to recusal, "[a]bsent legal disqualification under Judiciary Law §14, a trial judge is the sole arbiter of recusal." (People v. Moreno, 70 NY2d 403, 405-406 [1987]). The decision is a discretionary one and is within the personal conscience of the court (see Moreno; Saferstein v. Klein, 288 AD2d 206 [2001]) Yet, "it may be the better practice in some situations for a court to disqualify itself in a special effort to maintain the appearance of impartiality," ( Moreno).

If a trial judge is as moved as Chief Judge Kaye, I suggest such a jurist may find it difficult to be impartial.

I further suggest that in every relevant case, the effected litigant has a right to weigh in on the issue. I suggest, again, that if the Law Journal is going to report on a subject, its reports should be complete. I am not asking for your support, all I ask is an honest count.
Joseph A. DeMaro
The author is a State Supreme Court justice in Mineola.


Not All Lawyers Agree on Judicial Pay Hike
April 17, 2007

To the Editor,

With respect to the Law Journal editorial encouraging the bar "to mobilize for judicial salary hikes" (April 11, page 1), I write to say that I do not believe that every litigation attorney in New York would agree with some of your comments.

The editorial says: "To be sure, lawyers understand more than any other citizens the importance of attracting and retaining the most intelligent, dynamic and independent lawyers to the bench."

It has been my experience and observation that the most intelligent, dynamic, independent lawyers are not on the bench, but, rather, are practicing attorneys, usually from small firms. These are advocates who have to deal with the demands of clients, the idiosyncrasies of judges, and the tactics of their adversaries on a daily basis. Different kinds of skills are required for each, in addition to scholarly ability and business acumen.

As far as recognizing "that a reasonable salary is essential to achieving [those qualities on the bench]"; the question may be what is a "reasonable salary"? For instance, the salary of Supreme Court judges is more than 2.6 times the average employee salary in New York state, and higher than the average lawyer's salary. (Source, "Occupational Employment Statistics, New York State Department of Labor").

I do not know how many lawyers will "exert their influence to give the judiciary the political capital it needs." However, if the judiciary does not obtain "the political capital it needs," it will be interesting to see how many judges resign their positions and obtain employment in the private sector.

Be that as it may, certainly these paragons of virtue deserve a cost of living adjustment.
Michael Mantell
New York, N.Y.


Bar Groups Urge Support for Judge Pay Hike
April 16, 2007

To the Editor,

In response to the editorial ("Bar Should Mobilize for Judicial Salary Hikes," April 11, 2007), the New York State Bar Association has been a vocal leader in the fight for judicial pay raises and will continue to play the important role that it should in pressing for a remedy to this deplorable situation.

For years, we have strongly endorsed Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye's call for fair judicial compensation, and we have championed her most recent, innovative proposal for a salary commission. These proposals are on our very short list of legislative priorities for 2007. Earlier this year, on behalf of the bar association, I testified before Senate and Assembly committees in support of this position. Together with President-Elect Kathryn Grant Madigan and the bar association's top staff, I personally lobbied key legislators and their aides, as well as the governor's staff, in support of the pay raise and the commission. I strongly endorsed the governor's budget, which embraces both proposals; and the association has advocated these proposals in our priority brochure, which we circulate widely through the offices of government.

In recent weeks, I authored op-ed articles vigorously urging the pay increase and the commission. These articles were published both upstate and in New York City, and many more are in the works. I have emphasized our support for increasing judicial compensation and for enacting the commission in countless print and broadcast interviews, and I have spoken in support of these positions from numerous platforms and in multiple venues throughout the state.

In late March at the height of the budget negotiations, I urged our members, en masse, to communicate the bar association's stand to their legislators. Our members responded overwhelmingly by sending 2,100 emergency e-mails to the Capitol echoing our position.

In short, the New York State Bar Association has been and will continue to be a vigorous advocate of fair compensation for our judges. I am proud of the correspondence I have received from judges and members thanking us for our efforts. I am gratified that the Law Journal has now added its prestigious voice to this effort.

In all of this, we have followed the great leadership of Chief Judge Kaye and Chief Administrative Judge Lippman, and we will continue to do so in the future.
Mark H. Alcott
The author is president of the New York State Bar Association.


April 16, 2007

To the Editor,

I applaud the Law Journal's editorial (April 11) seeking to inspire attorneys to demonstrate with words and action support for judicial raises.

While many bar groups have voiced support, I would like to note that the New York State Bar Association (of which I was the immediate past Chair of the Trusts & Estate Section) has made judicial raises a legislative priority for the past two years. Under the leadership of the president, Mark Alcott, the association has ceaselessly vocalized support for pay raises and has taken action by reaching out to its membership and urging them to affirmatively show support.

Recently, on the eve of learning that the impeding budget was unlikely to include raises, the state bar acted immediately to compose an e-blast to its members. The e-blast provided each member with a proposed letter to be sent to Governor Eliot Spitzer and the Senator and Assemblyperson identified by the member's home zip code. By simply pressing a few buttons on one's computer, each member could send a letter in which he or she strongly urges the governor and legislators to act.

I was grateful to the state bar for facilitating a means by which I could express my support for judicial pay raises. The state bar's e-blast could be a model for other bar groups to get their members to send a message that we support our judiciary. While pushing a button may seem a passive act, the result is that each of us becomes an advocate for our profession.
Colleen F. Carew
Yonkers, N.Y.


April 16, 2007

To the Editor,

The officers, board of managers, and members of the Queens County Bar Association, commend the New York Law Journal for its recent editorial. The fact that the NYLJ has only, on rare occasions, shared its opinions with the legal community underscores the two salient points made by the editors: A judicial salary hike is overdue, and that bar associations must do even more to show the governor and Legislature that the independence of the judiciary is at stake.

The Queens County Bar Association, even before the editorial, had decided to continue its efforts on a county level. The Queens bar will be providing opportunities for all of its members to express their support for a salary increase to the Queens legislative delegation, and will be contacting other bar associations, within and without Queens, in an effort to create new initiatives in support of Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and the salary increase.
John R. Dietz
The author is president of the Queens County Bar Association.


Facts to Support Hike In State Judge Pay
April 5, 2007

To the Editor,

Regarding judge's salaries, a few additional facts should illuminate the obvious need for a substantial increase. Effective Jan. 1, 2007, California judges were paid $171,648 at the trial court level and $196,428 at the intermediate appellate court level. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, New York ranked sixth during the last two years in per capita personal income growth, ranking fifth in the nation overall. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average worker's wages have increased by about one-third since 1999, the last time New York State court judges received a salary increase.

Again, using the BLS wage calculator, to keep up with inflation since 1999, judges would have to earn $168,185 today, approximately the same as Governor Eliot Spitzer's proposed increase. While noted elsewhere, it cannot be stressed enough that judges salaries cannot be held hostage by the Legislature's failure to increase its own members' pay for fear of the political consequences. Surely, the budget can be revised to find this relatively paltry sum to increase the salaries of the judges who serve this state.
Thomas Lancia
New York, N.Y.


Pay Issue Leaves Judges Despondent
April 2, 2007

To the Editor,

I am a Family Court Judge in Albany and belong to a group of 1,200 judges employed by the state of New York. We have not had a raise in over eight years. I want to make the case for why we deserve a raise. First I should say that I love my job. It is a great job. I have worked hard to try to be good at it. I have been a lawyer for over 30 years and 13 of those have been spent as a judge. I make $119,800 per year. I have a good retirement plan and good health benefits. I make about $50 per hour. I am typical of my 1,200 colleagues.

1. New York State judges have not had a raise in over eight years. No other group of judges in the United States have gone longer without a pay raise.

2. During this time, the cost of living has gone up about 26 percent and the minimum wage has gone up four times for a total of 68 percent. Our salaries have gone up 0 percent.

3. The state took over paying judges in 1978. Since that time, the cost of living has gone up over 200 percent. Judges salaries, by comparison, have lagged 40 percent behind inflation.

4. The state's judges have had three raises in the last 28 years.

5. As a result of inflation, a judge who has dedicated the last 30 years of his or her professional life to the judiciary has lost almost $500,000 in current dollars.

6. I have lost about $110,000 to inflation. My salary is now $25,000 less in current dollars than it was in 1998. It is as if I have worked an entire year for free.

7. The entire operating budget of the state judiciary is 1.35 percent of the total state budget.

8. The raises proposed by the chief judge and the governor will bring us back up to an inflation adjusted level.

9. Those raises will cost about $111 million to fund back to April 1, 2005. The Legislature funded raises to that date in last year's budget, but never released the money.

10. The cost to fund the retro-active raise is essentially zero because it was raised by last year's tax levy and was unspent. However, if you are keeping score it represents 56/1000ths of one percent of the entire state budget.

11. The cost to fund the raise for this budget year is 34/1000ths of one percent of the state budget. The total cost of the chief judge's and governor's judicial pay package is 9/100ths of 1 percent of the budget.

There has been no objection raised from any quarter that judges do not deserve a raise or that the state can not afford one. Every bar group and virtually every editorial board has supported a judicial pay raise.

What the judges are asking for is this; let us work at our jobs without the fear of becoming poorer each year. We are asking for a salary that brings us up to the increase in the cost of living. For most of us who have been at it for a dozen or more years, we have seen our case loads double during that time.

During the budget negotiations, we heard from many quarters that the judges' pay increase was being held hostage to legislative pay raises. As a judge, I don't care how much legislators pay themselves. There is no factual or logical relationship between the pay of a part time legislator and a full time judge. We also heard the legislators complain that they too have not had a raise in eight years. The difference is that they can give themselves a raise any time, in any amount. I hear the blame being cast on the governor. But that is nothing that a 2/3 vote and a little courage couldn't fix.

It is worth mentioning that the most dysfunctional Legislature in America has saddled our judges with the most dysfunctional court system in America. Our chief judge has dedicated her judicial career to court reform only to be met by complete disregard by the Legislature. Despite this disability, I can say, because I have served on the boards of three national judicial organizations and on the faculty of the National Judicial College, that New York's judiciary has a reputation for excellence across America.

My experience is that each of us has a great deal of regard for our individual legislators, but their performance as a collective body is pathetic. Truth, transparency and merit are virtues long absent from New York's legislative process. When is the last time you remember an important public policy matter being openly, honestly and respectfully debated on the floor of our Senate or Assembly? Everything is wheeled and dealed and horse traded and spun by each side to the point where George Orwell merges with Alice in Wonderland. It is a cruel irony, indeed, that our Constitution sets April 1 for the budget deadline.

As a co-equal branch of government, to say that the state's judges are angry and disgusted beyond measure is an understatement. It is fair to ask what kind of employer would let his workers go for more than eight years without a raise? Who would treat their employees with such disregard? Words are the currency of the judiciary and they now fail us when trying to describe the magnitude of our despondency over the way we have been treated by another co-equal branch of government. The words of attorney Joseph Welch, uttered over 50 years ago during another crisis in governance, do come to mind: "So, Mr. Bruno and Mr. Silver, have you no sense of decency, at long last sirs, have you no sense of decency?"
W. Dennis Duggan
The author is past president of the New York State Family Court Judges Association.

Posted On: October 12, 2007

Selected U.S. Federal Documents Received 10-12-07

10/11/2007" Remarks of Federal Reserve Board Governor Randall Kroszner at the National Bankers Association 80th Annual Convention"
Remarks of Federal Reserve Board Governor Kroszner

10/11/2007 Final Monthly Treasury Statement (PDF 519 KB)
"Final Monthly Treasury Statement of Receipts and Outlays of the United States Government as Released by the Department of the Treasury for Fiscal Year 2007"
U.S. Final Monthly Treasury Statement 2007

Posted On: October 11, 2007

Researchers: Hackers Could Affect Presidential Election

Source: Washkuch, Frank Jr., "Researchers: Hackers Could Affect Presidential Election", SC Magazine Newswire. October 9, 2007.

BY Frank Washkuch Jr.

Hackers could affect next year's presidential election by using keyloggers, phishing messages or hacking, researchers said this week.

Attackers could also usher in a high-tech version of voter harassment, using keyloggers installed on the PCs of campaign staff members and their families, researcher Oliver Friedrichs said Monday on Symantec's Security Response blog.

“Crimeware can collect personal, potentially sensitive or legally questionable information about individuals that malicious actors can use either to intimidate voters or hold for ransom to sway votes. A carefully placed, targeted keylogger has the potential to cause material damage to a candidate in the process of an election,” he said. “Such code may also be targeted toward campaign staff, family members or others who may be deemed material to the candidate's efforts.”

Friedrichs noted that any political contest could suffer from cyberattacks.

The campaign of Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani fixed a vulnerability on the candidate's website in March that could have allowed attackers to perform SQL injection attacks to expose volunteers' private information. had contained a flaw that prevented the blocking of command instructions to display unauthorized information. Campaign workers fixed the flaw within hours of being notified by the Associated Press.

Last August, the campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., accused supporters of Democratic rival Ned Lamont of hacking the incumbent's website and disabling email distribution.

Lieberman was, at the time, in the throws of a hotly disputed primary battle against Lamont. He lost, but retained his Senate seat by besting Lamont in the general election.

Lamont's campaign denied the charges and demanded Lieberman's camp apologize.

Other attack methods could focus on candidates' cash-collecting operations, according to Friedrichs. Attackers may use phishing attacks that impersonate official websites to scam money from prospective donors.

“Candidates have flocked to the internet in order to communicate with constituents, as well as to raise campaign contributions online. We performed an analysis of campaign websites in order to determine to what degree they allow contributions to be made online,” he said. “The attack of most concern may involve the diversion of online campaign donations intended for one candidate, to another, entirely different candidate, entirely undermining voter confidence in online donations.”

Christopher Soghoian and Markus Jakobsson, researchers at Indiana University, said in a white paper released this week, that phishing emails claiming to be authentic campaign messages are easy to create.
“The easiest way for an attacker to make a phishing page look authentic is to simply clone the content of the original website,” the researchers said. “Web cloning tools, such as the ScrapBook extension for the Firefox web browser, or the Macintosh application Web Devil, allow attackers to create a working local copy of a remote political campaign website, which the attacker can then modify, upload to a server and make available online with a fake, but authentic-sounding domain name.”

Friedrichs told today that phishing and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks are likely to be employed in upcoming elections because they have succeeded in the past.

“Certainly phishing and DoS attacks are two things that have already happened,” he said.

The integration of Web 2.0 technologies into political websites could open campaigns up to cross-site scripting attacks and other malicious activities, said Friedrichs.

“It certainly has the potential to make [campaign website security] worse, because the implications of these technologies are not as well understood [as conventional websites],” he said. “Some of these new technologies lend themselves to new types of attacks.”


NOTE: For more detailed information see the the posting by Oliver Frederichs on the Symantec Security Response Blog

Posted On: October 10, 2007

The Scitech Lawyer

Volume 6 Issue 2 FALL 2007 Section of Science & Technology Law American Bar Association

The SciTech Lawyer is published quarterly as a service to the members of the Section of Science & Technology Law of the American Bar Association. It endeavors to provide information about current deevelopments in law, science, medicine and technology that is of professional interest to members of the Section.


2. LETTER FROM THE CHAIR. "The first column from the Section of Science & Technology new chair. BY Gilbert F. Whittmore.

6. E-DISCOVERY: A Practical Approach. "New amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure mean that legal professionals can no longer ignore the broader implications of e-discovery. The author recommends creating an electronically stored information hold system and details seven steps for creating a discovery response team with your client. BY Douglas W. Kim.

12 E-DISCOVERY: Aligning Practice with Principles. " E-discovery in practice has taken on a life of its own beyond the intent of new amendments. This asrticle discusses those specific areas where the practice of e-discovery appears to have diverged from fundamental principles and three relatively uncharted areas where fundamental principles should guide the practice going forward." BY Sarah Michaels Montgomery.

16 E-DISCOVERY CHALLENGES AND TECHNOLOGIES: The IT Guy's Perspective. "The nature and scope of discovery has changed dramatically because of electronically stored information, and the cost associated with it, varies significantly depending on its format and the technologies available to retrieve it. BY Andrew Bowden.

20 SPOLIATION OF DIGITAL EVIDENCE: A Changing Approach to Challenges and Sanctions. "After the Zubulake decision, businesses now have a duty to preserve electronic evidence or face sanctions. This article discusses the obligations of this decision for businesses, including forensic and antiforensic software to assist in managing data. BY Steven W. Teppler.

26 CPO CORNER: Stan Crosley "An interview with the CPO of Eli Lilly and Company. BY Ruth Hill Bro.

30 B-TECH UPDATE. "In this quarterly column, find coverage of Genasense injection therapy, hybrid embryos, cander-fighting vegtables and encapsulated DNA." By Calhoun "Reb" Thomas III.

32 E-TECH UPDATE. "In this quarterly column, find coverage of the Linux ownership dispute, Internet radio royalties, spam registry litigation, and improper IP licensing. BY Robert Bauer.

34 SCITECH PROFILE: Q&A with Melissa Ince. "An interview with the Section's new Cochair of the Public Health, Environmental Law and Prepardness Committee." BY Shiv Naimpally.

Posted On: October 9, 2007

Court Demeanor: The Theatre of the Courtroom

A recent paper very useful to all who are involved with the courts and the judiciary. The Abstract appears below:

Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Minnesota Law Review, Forthcoming
Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2007-30

The American criminal courtroom is a theater where courtroom actors play out the guilt or innocence of the defendant for the jury to assess. Although one view of the courtroom is that of a controlled atmosphere where cases are decided based only on formal evidence, this view is undoubtedly unrealistic. Trials are affected by many factors, including the appearance and demeanor of the defendant. This article proposes an approach to deal with non-testifying demeanor evidence that occurs outside the witness box. Given the problems with having jurors rely on demeanor evidence, courts should be carefully monitoring the use of non-testifying demeanor evidence. Appropriate jury instructions should be given, including those warning jurors on proper use of such evidence.

Accepted Paper Series


Suggested Citation
Levenson, Laurie L., "Courtroom Demeanor: The Theater of the Courtroom" . Minnesota Law Review, Forthcoming Available at SSRN:

Download file

Posted On: October 9, 2007

The Pulse of the Legal Profession

Since 2001 the American Bar Association has commissioned four surveys of the legal profession, including both members and non-members of the ABA. The most recent survey, The Pulse of the Legal Profession is reported in some detail by Stephanie Francis Ward in the October 2007 issue of the American Bar Association Journal. The following is a brief summary of survey responses as included in her report:


Type of Pracitice:

Public Sector 138
Solo 209
Small Firm (2-20 lawyers) 184
Medium size form (21-100 76
Large firm (101+) 97
In House 97

Years in Practice.
Less than 3 yeears 76
3-5 years 101
6-9 years 124
10+ years 499

Male 560
Female 240

White 654
Nonwhite 146


80% "The cost of litigation has become prohibitive in recent years."
69% "Lawyers have become less civil to each other over time."


55% "I am satisfied with my career."
81% "I find the practice of law to be intellectually stimulating."


44% "I would recommend a legal career to a young person."


68% "Public sector lawyers who report being 'satisfied with my career.' "
44% "Big-firm lawyers who say the same."


72% "Public sector lawyers who agree 'the law is becoming increasingly pliticized.'
72% "Public sector lawyers who are 'concerned about the independence of the judiciary.' "

The above is a very brief summary of the responses, commentary, and graphics included in Stephanie Ward's article. Ward, Stephanie Francis. "Pulse of the Legal Profession: 800 lawyers reveal what they think about their lives, their careers and the state of the profession," pages 30-34. ABA Journal (October 2-007). Additional results not included in the article can be found on

Posted On: October 5, 2007

Exactly What Is A Hate Crime?

Source: : Website: In Chambers...a commonplace book of interesting legal things,

"Arizona, like a number of states, punishes certain crimes when they are done with hate. For instance, if A, who hates homosexuals, attacks B because B is a homosexual, A may be charged with assault and punished more harshly than he would be if B were not gay."

"Okay, now what if A attacks B and B is gay, but A did not attack for that reason? Is that attack also a hate crime?"

" There’s a case in New York now that has that issue. Using the internet, three men looking for drugs and money, lured Michael J. Sandy to a secluded place. They chose Mr. Sandy because they thought he might have some money or drugs and would be easy pickings. So they looked for a gay man and picked Mr. Sandy. They did not hate gays or Mr. Sandy; they were just looking for an easy target and they thought a gay man would not put up a fight or report the incident to the police. They beat Sandy, but he escaped and ran onto a highway
where he was hit and killed by a car"

"The three were charged with murder and murder as a hate crime, and the prosecution acknowledged that the defendants has no animus toward gay men or Mr. Sandy. The New York statute, the state argued, doesn’t require an animus; all that is necessary is that the defendant pick his target 'in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person.' "

"As an article in the New York Times on June 26 (by Clyde Haberman) pointed out, if this is true, then someone who mugs an old woman because he thinks she will be an easy mug has committed a hate crime, or a burglar who goes after an illegal immigrant because he believes he won’t tell the police has also committed a hate crime. And I guess that, by that standard, any man who has illegal intercourse with a woman has committed a hate crime. Is this what legislatures had in mind? If not, then what is it they had in mind? At least in New York, there is a good chance that the guy who mugs an old woman commits a hate crime because he’s
formed a belief about her age – she was so old she couldn’t resist."

"Hate isn’t hard to define. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th Ed.) states it pretty simply and clearly: 'To feel hostility or animosity toward…To detest.' Unfortunately, the New York statute doesn’t say that – perhaps it should."

"The New York Times article ends on a salutary note: “Slippery slopes. They are what happens, some say, when the law does not let actions speak for themselves, and climbs into people’s heads in often fruitless attempts to figure out what is rattling there.”

" [Later, in an article in the September 18 Times, reporter Michael Brick tells us that an attorney for one of the defendants told the jury in his opening statement (the trial started September 17) that his client was gay.]"

Posted On: October 4, 2007

New York Supreme Court Appellate Division 1st Dept.: Decisions Released October 4, 2007

Index of decisions released October 4, 2007:

Download file

Decisions Released October 4, 2007

Download file

Posted On: October 4, 2007

WSLL @ Your Service October 2007

WSLL @ Your Service is the e-published Newsletter of the Wisconsin State Law Library. Among the items included in this issue are:

* What's New: WSLL Welcomes New Part Time Staff

* This Just In...: In celebration of Professional Legal Management Week, this month's column features new and updated materials related to Law Practice Management
* @ Your Service: Borrow Books by Mail

* Tech Tip in Brief: Using RSS Feeds

* Click To It! Legal Research @ Your Fingertips: Tools to Stay Current on Your Research

* Odds 'n' Endings: National Book Month, Wisconsin Book Festival, Medical Librarians Month, and more

Click here to see the entire issue.

Posted On: October 4, 2007

New York Appellate Division Fourth Department Law Library Newsletter

To see the entire Fall 2007 issue click "download file" below

Download file

Posted On: October 4, 2007

NYLINK Library Newsletter

The October issue of Nylink’s monthly bulletin, Check It Out: What’s New at Nylink, is now available.

Check It Out complements the quarterly Nylink Connection and our monthly technical newsletter, Status Line, by focusing on timely information about products and services available to you through Nylink as well as upcoming Nylink events and happenings. Click "download file" below to access complete Newsletter.

Download file

Posted On: October 4, 2007

Region 1 News from New York State Archives

This October 2007 Newsletter includes information regarding: Workshops, General News, Resources, Professional Organizations, and News for Educators. To see entire Newsletter click on Download File:

Download file

Posted On: October 3, 2007

ABA Criminal Justice Section: Events for October and Weekly News Roundup September 24-30


Oct. 3
Corporate Representation After DOJ's McNulty Memo, Teleconference and Live Audio Webcast

Oct. 8
International Criminal Investigations, San Francisco, CA

Oct. 10
Reflections on the Trial of Joseph P. Nacchio, Denver, CO

Oct. 12
Criminal Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, Washington, DC

Oct. 17
State False Claims Act Developments: How They Affect Your White Collar Practice Today, Teleconference and Live Audio Webcast

Oct. 18
Subpoenaing Sources: Lessons From The Libby Case, New York, NY

Oct. 21-23
ABA/ABA Money Laundering Enforcement Conference, Washington, DC

Oct. 25-26
National Institute on Securities Fraud, Washington, DC


Download file

Posted On: October 2, 2007

News from American Libraries September 27, 2007

Protecting library patron confidentiality: Best practices (PDF file)

Trina J. Magi writes: “Now that libraries have greater-than-ever potential for collecting and storing many types of personal data,
often in digital form, librarians must be increasingly vigilant in guarding the public trust. Fortunately, the library literature offers many concrete actions librarians can take to protect the
confidentiality of library patrons.”...

AALL Spectrum 12, no. 1 (Sept./Oct.)

Why librarians blog

Michael Stephens presents an excerpt from his recent Ph.D. dissertation, “Modeling the Role of Blogging in Librarianship,” in which he examines the answers to his question: “Why do you blog?” The most frequent response (40%) was “to share information or insight,” with only 16% of respondents saying they did it for fun....

Tame the Web blog, Sept. 23

Foreign-language antique leather books are only $300 per foot, at the Strand BookstoreAn idea for the Friends’ book sale

The Strand Bookstore in New York is selling books “by the foot” in various genres, bindings, and conditions that will be a “perfect match for any home or office space, one that will please the eye and satisfy the mind.” Prices range from $10 (bargain books) to $400 per foot (antique leather). The store has been doing this for film and theater-set designers for years. The Strand’s book chooser Nancy Bass Wyden says that she can “custom make any kind of library.” Not a bad fundraiser....

The Strand Bookstore

Blue-ribbon task force to address digital preservation

An international Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will address the preservation of our digital data and its economic sustainability. The Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the Joint Information Systems Committee of the United Kingdom are all participating....

San Diego Supercomputer Center, Sept. 19

Library2Library logoLibrary courier management system

The Quipu Group in Denver has released Library2Library, a scalable courier management and materials transportation system designed specifically for libraries. The knowledge-base application includes a trouble-ticket system, routing-slip creation, lost and damaged item management, multilevel logins, and courier route and schedule management....

Quipu Group, Sept. 24

Posted On: October 2, 2007

Emerging Library Leaders in the 21St Century - Seminar Series

The following is a list of seminars and lectures sponsored by Dominican University Graduate School of Library Science, River Forest, IL.

A Season of Engagement
Dominican University
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Welcome’s Library Leaders this Fall

• Monday, October 8, 2007, 4 pm
Emerging Library Leaders for the 21st Century Seminar Series, Crown Library’s Springer Suites. “Managing the Virtual Library” presented by Jane Burke, Vice President, ProQuest Information and Learning; General Manager, Serial Solutions; and 2007 Dominican GSLIS Alumna of the Year.

• Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 6:30 pm
McCusker Lecture, LOCATION???. “Matter and Energy: A Luddite Looks at Libraries” presented by Stephanie Mills. Author of Epicurean Simplicity, and Whatever Happened to Ecology? and editor of Turning Away From Technology, Mills muses on books and libraries as technics, and the energy budget of the Interweb.

• Monday, October 22, 2007, 4 pm
Emerging Library Leaders for the 21st Century Seminar Series, Crown Library’s Springer Suites. “Government Information Services, Policies and Programs: The Future Role of Libraries” presented by John Shuler, Associate Professor and Government Information Documents Librarian, University of Illinois, Chicago.

• Monday, November 5, 2007, 4 pm
Emerging Library Leaders for the 21st Century Seminar Series, Crown Library’s Springer Suites. “Building for Tomorrow: Twenty-First Century Academic Library Buildings” presented by Michael Gorman, University Librarian Emeritus, California State University, Fresno and Past President, American Library Association.

• Monday, November 19, 2007, 4 pm
Emerging Library Leaders for the 21st Century Seminar Series. Crown Library’s Springer Suites. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Résumés, Cover Letters, and Interview Planning” presented by Lenora Berendt, GSLIS Coordinator of Student Placement.

All Programs held at Dominican University
7900 West Division Street, River Forest, Illinois 60305.
RSVPs recommended but not required.
Call (708)524-6845 or email to RSVP or for more information.

Posted On: October 1, 2007

Domestic Violence and Youth at Risk

Each quarterly issue of the Judges Journal , the official publication of the Judicial Division, American Bar Association, emphasizes a particular theme of interest and concern to the judiciary. The Summer 2007 issue, Volume 46 Number 3 is devoted primarily to matters related to domestic violence and youth at risk. The following is an overiew of the various articles and other features included. I am grateful to Steven Essig, our professional law librarian intern for special projects for his able assistance in compiling this material.

Domestic Violence and Youth at Risk

BY Steven Essig

Introduction - Pamela J. Brown, Judge in the District Court for Maryland of Howard County, and chair of the ABA's Commission on Domestic Violence "Judges Can Help Break the Cycle of Domestic Violence and Its Impact on At-Risk Youth."

Notes that "studies have shown that children from violent homes are more likely to be victims of violence themselves, to commit violence themselves as teens and adults, to have a higher interaction with the criminal justice system, and to have a much higher likelihood of negative adult health consequences."

While several "helplines" have been launched, as well as more local informational programs, "the best mechanism available to end and prevent further violence in the lives of our youth is to ensure meaningful access to the justice system. But without the appropriate resources and knowledge, judges will be unable to best address the needs of youth victims, which could lead to fatal results. A host of special considerations apply to cases involving teens. Many times, the abuser attends the same school as the victim. How do you protect the teen, both during normal school hours and at school activities? How do you stress to a teen victim the importance of having a plan to stay safe? And how do federal and state statues address teen dating violence?" The ABA calls for localities to enact legislation that will allow teens to obtain civil protection orders against their abusers, and has itself developed a "checklist and set of tips for lawyers handling teen violence cases".

Features: "Comprehending the Link between Domestic Violence and Children: An Interview with Mary Beth Buchanan". Robin Runge, Director of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, interviews Mary Bay Buchanan, acting director of the Office of Violence Against Women about her office's work "addressing the impact of domestic violence on children." Buchanan is also the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

When asked about the "unique challenges that the legal system faces in providing support and assistance to children who are victims of domestic violence", Buchanan responds that they include "a lack of coordination, lack of training, and lack of resources ... If domestic violence programs and child welfare agencies are working in opposition, if the family court is unaware of pending criminal cases against a particular family, if probation and parole are not focusing on holding the batterer accountable, the victims do not get the appropriate response." Also, "victims need access to services, including civil legal services. Judges report that most parties now appearing in civil cases lack legal counsel. Frequently, one party might have an attorney, and more likely than not, this will be the batterer, who commonly has greater access to economic resources. Furthermore, victims in criminal cases frequently lack competent legal advice on what civil remedies they might pursue for safety, housing, or economic assistance. Children exposed to domestic violence, in addition to requiring a strong relationship with with the nonviolent parent, need access to mental health assessment and services with respect to the impact of violence. In most communities, these resources are sparse or do not exist."

"A Model Response to Truancy Prevention: The Louisville Truancy Court Diversion Project" by Hon. Joan L. Byer and Jeffrey A. Kuhn. "The Lousiville Truancy Court Diversion Project is a national model that can help prevent juvenile delinquency and help establish and preserve safe and permanent homes for children. Judge Joan Byer and Jefferey Kuhn describe the history and methodology for the project's implementation."

"It cannot be overstated that truancy often arises from multifaceted familial conditions that require a multifacted response. The identification and treatment of underlying causes of truancy through the courts can be greatly enhanced when the court with jurisdiction over the truancy matter can assert jurisdiction over dissolution, domestic violence, child protection, or substance abuse issues. Therefore, a family court or juvenile court judge with jurisdiction over an array of family matters, coupled with the ability of the court to coordinate proceedings and integrate service delivery for families, is well positioned to respond to family service needs that are identified through a truancy prevention program."

"Changing the Judiciary's Relationship with a Community One Child at a Time" by Martha Stone and Emily Breon. The Truancy Court Prevention Project (TCPP) in Hartford, CT involves a wide range of services and mentoring to at-risk youth including the participation of judges. There is also case monitoring from social service agency represntatives. The program has had a noticeable success rate in reducing truancy, and has helped the participating judges better understand the circumstances that these youth confront in their daily lives, ranging from family problems and pressures, lack of transportation, school resources etc. The judges feel that as a result they have become better judges, and had a benificial impact on the lives of the young people that they deal with.

"Restorative Justice for Youth at Risk" by Hon Sophia H. Hall, presiding judge of the Resource Section, Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Department, Circut Court of Cook County, IL. "Restorative justice is a growing movement with enormous potential that focuses on reconciliation instead of recrimination. The core of the movement's philosophy is that judges are in a unique position to support the various players within a community who can help youth at risk before they become deeply involved in the justice system."

"Obsessive Teenage Love: The Precursor to Domestic Violence" by Hon. Amy Karan and Lisa Keating. " It is estimated that one in three teens has experienced violence in a dating relationship. Thankfully, many programs exist to help eradicate teen dating violence. Through early education and prevention, judges can work with partents and schools to give victims and abusers a way to find help".

This article also details the signs one can look for to recognize a pattern of abuse, the cycle of violence and how it can repeat itself, and, by contrast, defines what a healthy dating relationship might look like.

"Erie Earn-It Program, Inc.: A Successful Collaborative Restitution Program for Juveniles at Risk" by Hon. Stephanie Domitrovich. "Judge Stephanie Domitrovich describes the history and methodology of the Erie Earn-It Program, Inc., to help inspire other judges to work within their communities to develop programs to teach juvenile offenders employment, vocational, academic, and social skills while they reimburse their victims." Describes the restitution program of Erie, PA including the code of conduct to which all participating juvenile offeners must subscribe. It has also encouraged other collaborative projects to help rehabilitate juvenile offenders.

"Hip Hop And Youth at Risk" by Cleveland Prince. "The author purports that while some rap music is positive, the genre is saturated with negative images, stereotypes and excesses that tend to influence our young people. He encourages leaders to address the effects that hip hop music has on our youth with the same fervor sparked by Don Imus's rant on the Rutgers women's basketball team." This is more of an opinion piece than most of the other articles in this issue, with less of a purely legal focus. The author is a probation manager in Santa Clara County who deals directly with gang members and gang violence, and thus represents an interesting "hands-on" cultural perspective from what could be seen as "inside the trenches" (quotation mine).

"E-Discoveryand Pretrial Conferences: A Primer for Lawyers and Judges" by Richard N. Lettieri and Hon. Joy Flowers Conti. "Electronically Stored Information (ESI) has become the predominant source of evidence in civil lawsuits. Judges, lawyers, and litigants should work together form the outset of litigation to understand the potential discovery issues that could relate to ESI." This includes the perspectives of both a lawyer and a judge on this issue, including questions of data accessibility, confidentiality of documents, preservation and waiver of work product protectiion among other concerns unique to this format.

"Standing Columns":

"Judicial Ethics: "Discussing the Judicial Code is Like Discussing Religion" by Hon. Cara Lee Neville. "The latest version of the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct was passed by the House of Delegates in February 2007. It only took 3 1/2 years of study, rewriting, and nine public hearings to sort through the thousands of pages of proposals and critiques by lawyers, judges, interest groups, nonprofits, citizens, the media, and law professors." Several of the new rules are elaborated and discussed.

"Technology: "The Lack of Effort to Insure Integrity and Trustworthiness of Online Legal Information and Documents" by Hon. Herbert B. Dixon, Jr. "Judge Herbert Dixon cautions that as more and more courts and agencies institutionalize the use of electronic filing and the maintenance of records, the courts will need to address certain lurking issues to ensure the integrity and trustworthiness of legal documents." In particular, this article refers in great depth to the findings of a recent study from the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) entitled State-by-State Report on Authentication of Online Legal Resources which seeks to investigate how trustworthy are state-level primary legal resources on the web.