Posted On: September 30, 2008

CLLB Information Security Newsletter

Volume 1 Issue 5

Personal Privacy – How to Protect Your Information

From the Desk of David Badertscher

As we continue to conduct more business online, such as banking, shopping and other activities, our personal information (such as name, credit card account, address, etc) is increasingly utilized. Personal information has become a frequent target for data thieves and the volume of breaches involving personal information continues to grow. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, there have been more than 240 million records containing sensitive personal information involved in security breaches to-date nationally.

What Personal Information is Collected?

Many types of organizations are interested in obtaining and using your personal information, and it’s important to know what information is being collected, by whom and how it will be used.

Websites track web users as they navigate cyberspace. Data may be collected about you as a result of many of your routine activities including:

· When you make purchases and pay bills with credit cards, you leave a data trail consisting of purchase amount, purchase type, date, and time.

· When you pay by check, data such as phone number, home address, driver’s license number, etc. may often be requested to verify your identity.

· When you use supermarket discount cards, the store is able to create a comprehensive database of everything you have purchased.

· When you surf the web, you leave a significant data trail such as your name, email address, Internet address of your computer, the name of your computer, the last time you visited that particular site, the type of browser and operating system you are using.

· When you sign up for a subscription or service (for a magazine, book or music club, professional association, warranty card, etc.) or give money to charities your personal information is often collected and stored.

Protecting Your Personal Information

The following tips should be used to help you manage your personal information wisely, to help minimize its misuse, and to lessen the risk of your personal information being compromised:

· Most legitimate websites include a privacy statement. This is usually a link at the bottom of the home page and details the type of personally identifiable information the site collects about its visitors, how the information is used—including with whom it may be shared— and how users can control the information that is gathered. Be sure to read the privacy statement on websites you are visiting prior to providing any personal information, to understand that entity’s policy regarding protection of data.

· When shopping online, guard the security of your transactions by ensuring the transaction is submitted securely. When submitting your purchase information, look for the “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar to be sure your information is secure during transmission.

· Periodically check your Internet browser settings (e.g. Security and Privacy) to ensure that the settings are adequate for your level and type of Internet activity.

· If you are not already using anti-spyware or adware protection software, start now. This software is designed to protect against spyware or malware designed to extract private information from your computer without your knowledge. Make sure you keep the anti-spyware or adware protection programs updated.

· Be sure to have a firewall installed and enabled on your computer.

· If you store private data on your laptop or other portable electronic devices (e.g. USB), use encryption software to protect your private data in the event the device is lost or stolen.

· Use strong passwords on all your accounts, such as a minimum of eight characters and a mix of special symbols, letters and numbers.

· To protect against identity theft, always question someone who is asking you to reveal any personably identifiable information. Find out how it will be used and whether it will be shared with others.

· Keep items with personal information in a safe place. When you discard receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, health records, bank statements, or other personal documents, tear or shred them.

· Order a copy of your free annual credit report. Make sure it’s accurate and includes only those activities you’ve authorized.

References

To learn more about protecting your privacy, you may wish to visit the following sites:

· Identity Theft: www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/data/idt.shtm
· Consumer Action: www.consumer-action.org

· Electronic Privacy Information Center: www.epic.org
· Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: www.privacyrights.org

· World Privacy Forum: www.worldprivacyforum.org

· Free Annual Credit Report: www.annualcreditreport.com
· US-CERT Tips for Strong Passwords: www.uscert.gov/cas/tips/ST04-002.html

News from SC Magazine Newswire
September 30, 2008.

Study: Few internet users exercise caution
Angela Moscaritolo September 25, 2008
In a recent study, researchers found that most users are susceptible to tricks that could potentially open them up to attacks by malicious software.

Group tells FTC more RFID security guidance is needed
Angela Moscaritolo September 24, 2008
The Federal Trade Commission should tighten regulations around the use of RFID, urged an industry group.

No charges in Palin hacker investigation
Dan Kaplan September 24, 2008
A federal grand jury has failed to return an indictment against the University of Tennessee student accused of hacking into vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's webmail account.

The information provided in these Newsletters is intended to increase the security awareness of an organization’s end users and to help them behave in a more secure manner within their work environment. While some of the tips may relate to maintaining a home computer, the increased awareness is intended to help improve the organization’s overall cyber security posture.

Organizations have permission--and in fact are encouraged--to brand and redistribute this newsletter in whole for educational, non-commercial purposes.

Brought to you by:

http://www.msisac.org

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This message may contain confidential information and is intended only for the individual(s) named. If you are not an intended recipient you are not authorized to disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system.

Posted On: September 29, 2008

Feature Articles from LLRX.Com, September 2008

Sabrina I. Pacifici Founder, Editor, Publisher:


**LLRX Book Review by Heather A. Phillips - We're All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age
http://www.llrx.com/columns.bookreview11.htm
Heather A. Phillips highlights attorney John Gant's contention that one's title, income, and employer are at best side issues in determining who is a journalist in the day-to-day realities of issuing press passes as well as in larger policies such as the extension of shield laws.

**The Government Domain: Political Fact-Checking Websites
http://www.llrx.com/columns/govdomain38.htm
Peggy Garvin's well-timed article identifies and evaluates key websites that monitor the accuracy of statements and representations made by political candidates and their respective campaigns.

**Researching Medical Literature on the Internet - 2008
http://www.llrx.com/features/medical2008.htm
Medical journals, dictionaries, textbooks, indexes, rankings, images – all can be found on the Net, and much of it is available free. Sources include publishers, government agencies, professional organizations, health libraries and commercial entities. Gloria Miccioli's completely updated and revised topical guide expertly focuses on what she identifies as the best, content-rich databases and services for researchers.

**Commentary: New FBI Anti-Terror Guidelines
http://www.llrx.com/extras/fbiguidelines.htm
Beth Wellington's commentary focuses on congressional and public response to the guidelines, related public surveillance actions, and current as well as future ramifications to civil liberties.

**Criminal Law Resources: DNA Post-Conviction Resources
http://www.llrx.com/features/dnapostconviction.htm
Ken Strutin's article includes a collection of recent and representative web-based materials concerning DNA technology developments and legal research on the impact of wrongful convictions and DNA exonerations on the justice system.

CONTACT:
Sabrina I. Pacifici
Founder, Editor, Publisher
LLRX.com
http://www.llrx.com
spacificATearthlinkDOTnet

Posted On: September 29, 2008

Document: U.S. Department of Justice - An Investigation into the Removal of Nine U.S. Attorneys in 2007

Office of the Inspector General, September 2008.

A report of the investigation into the firfings of nine U.S. Attorneys by the Department of Justice in 2006.

An excerpt from Chapter 1 of the Report:

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

On December 7, 2006, at the direction of senior Department of Justice
(Department) officials, seven U.S. Attorneys were told to resign from their
positions.1 Two other U.S. Attorneys had been told to resign earlier in 2006.2
When these removals became public in late 2006 and early 2007, members of
Congress began to raise questions and concerns about the reasons for the
removals, including whether they were intended to influence certain
prosecutions.

Beginning in March 2007, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and
the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) conducted this joint investigation
into the removals of these U.S. Attorneys.3 Our investigation focused on the
reasons for the removals of the U.S. Attorneys and whether they were removed
for partisan political purposes, or to influence an investigation or prosecution,
or to retaliate for their actions in any specific investigation or prosecution. We
also examined the process by which the U.S. Attorneys were selected for
removal, and we sought to identify the persons involved in those decisions,
whether in the Department, the White House, Congress, or elsewhere. In
addition, we investigated whether the Attorney General or other Department
officials made any false or misleading statements to Congress or the public
concerning the removals, and whether they attempted to influence the
testimony of other witnesses. Finally, we examined whether the Attorney
General or others intended to bypass the Senate confirmation process in the
replacement of any removed U.S. Attorney through the use of the Attorney
General’s appointment power for Interim U.S. Attorneys.

1 The U.S. Attorneys were Daniel Bogden, Paul Charlton, Margaret Chiara, David
Iglesias, Carol Lam, John McKay, and Kevin Ryan.

2 On January 24, 2006, Todd Graves was told to resign; on June 14, 2006, H.E. “Bud”
Cummins was told to resign.

3 In addition, we also conducted joint investigations of three other matters related to
the subject matter of this investigation. We investigated allegations that the Department’s
former White House Liaison, Monica Goodling, and others in the Office of the Attorney General
used political considerations to assess candidates for career positions in the Department, and
on July 28, 2008, we issued a report describing our findings. We also investigated allegations
that officials overseeing the Department’s Honors Program and Summer Law Intern Program
used political considerations in assessing candidates for those programs, and on June 24,
2008, we issued a report describing our findings in that investigation. In addition, we
investigated allegations that former Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General (AAG)
Bradley Schlozman and others used political considerations in hiring and personnel decisions
in the Civil Rights Division. We will issue a separate report describing the results of that
investigation.

To see the entire Report click here.

Posted On: September 29, 2008

Findlaw: Weekly Opinion Summaries, Constitutional Law September 26, 2008

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U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, September 23, 2008
Welch v. Campia, No. 072470
In a lawsuit filed against the Chief of Police and the Town on the grounds that defendants impermissibly retaliated against plaintiff for exercising his First Amendment rights, grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants is reversed in part and affirmed in part where: 1) plaintiff's non-reappointment constituted an adverse employment action sufficient to support a section 1983 claim; 2) district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of co-defendants because defendant was the only one with the appointment authority; 3) plaintiff failed to explain how defendants' actions resulted in unreasonably inferior work conditions; 4) defendants' argument that plaintiff's First Amendment claim failed; 5) the district court erred in placing the burden on plaintiff to show that the reasons articulated by defendant were pretextual; 6) liability can be imposed for defendant's decision not to reappoint plaintiff; 7) plaintiff's whistleblower claims survived since there was a q! uestion as to whether he was not reappointed because of his involvement in the grand jury investigation; and 8) district court erred in concluding that plaintiff could not maintain an action for interference with advantageous relations.

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
Thomas v. State of Rhode Island, No. 071985
In a suit brought by members of an Indian tribe claiming that state officials violated their constitutional rights by arresting them without lawful authority on tribal lands for alleged cigarette tax violations, dismissal of action for failure to state a claim is affirmed over claims of error that: 1) the court construed their allegations too narrowly, thereby ignoring a viable Fourth Amendment claim based on the lack of probable cause for arrest; and 2) the court wrongly denied their request to amend the complaint, thereby denying them the opportunity to remedy any tax deficiencies.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 22, 2008
Barrett v. Belleque, No. 06-35667
In a First Amendment case regarding punishment of an Oregon state prisoner for writing letters vulgarly describing prison officials, dismissal of plaintiff's section 1983 claim is reversed and remanded where: 1) censorship of prisoner mail is justified only if the regulation furthers a substantial governmental interest unrelated to the suppression of expression and the limitation on expression is no greater than necessary to the protection of the particular governmental interest involved; 2) plaintiff properly pleaded that he was punished for the content of his letters; and 3) the district court erroneously relied on case law concerning prisoner to prisoner communications.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
US v. McCalla, No. 07-50162
In a case challenging the constitutionality of federal child pornography laws applied to intrastate production of child pornography, denial of motions to dismiss is affirmed where there is a rational basis to believe that homegrown production of child pornography, even absent evidence of a commercial intent, would affect interstate commerce. ..

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 25, 2008
CarePartners LLC v. Lashway, No. 07-35125
In an action alleging constitutional violations by state regulators of boarding homes, denial of defendants' motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff made an initial showing that its constitutionally protected speech activity was a substantial or motivating factor in defendant's regulatory decision; 2) defendants failed to show that the constitutional rights at issue were not clearly established; and 3) the public concern requirement and Pickering balancing test do not apply to First Amendment retaliation claims in the regulated entity context.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 26, 2008
Lazy Y Ranch v. Beherns, No. 07-35315
In an equal protection case arising out of a dispute over an auction for Idaho grazing lands, denial of defendants' motion to dismiss is affirmed where: 1) the Court had jurisdiction over the interlocutory appeal due to defendants' claim of qualified immunity; 2) defendant adequately pled an equal protection claim under section 1983 by alleging disparate treatment due to status as a non-conservationist for which defendants put forth no rational basis; and 3) defendants had no qualified immunity because plaintiff adequately pled that defendants violated a constitutional right and that right was clearly established.

U.S. Fed. Circuit Court of Appeals, September 25, 2008
Casitas Muni. Water Dist. v. US, No. 2007-5153
In a suit alleging breach of contract and a taking by the government in connection with the financing of a water-supply project, summary judgment in favor of the government is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded where: 1) under the terms of the contract, construction of a fish ladder was a maintenance and operational cost rather than a construction cost, and defendant was not obligated to pay for it; 2) defendant's breach of a portion of the contract guaranteeing perpetual water-use rights to plaintiff was a sovereign act and did not give rise to any liability; but 3) defendant's taking of a portion of plaintiff's exclusive water-use right was a physical taking, not a regulatory one, requiring new analysis on remand.

California Appellate Districts, September 25, 2008
Hernandez v. County of Los Angeles, No. B203097
In a matter involving a post-election challenge to Measure R, denial of a petition for writ of mandate is affirmed where the single subject rule does not apply to a city council sponsored ballot measure such as Measure .

Posted On: September 29, 2008

Findlaw: Weekly Opinion Summaries, Criminal Law and Procedure September 26, 2008

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com. All summaries are produced by Findlaw.

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, September 23, 2008
US v. O'Brien, No. 072312
In a conviction for charges related to attempted robbery, conspiracy to affect interstate commerce, and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, ruling that machine-gun possession was an element of a crime rather than a sentencing enhancement is affirmed where absent a clearer or more dramatic change in language or legislative history expressing a specific intent to assign judge or jury functions, court is bound by Supreme Court decision, Castillo v. US, 530 U.S. 120 (2000).

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
Thomas v. State of Rhode Island, No. 071985
In a suit brought by members of an Indian tribe claiming that state officials violated their constitutional rights by arresting them without lawful authority on tribal lands for alleged cigarette tax violations, dismissal of action for failure to state a claim is affirmed over claims of error that: 1) the court construed their allegations too narrowly, thereby ignoring a viable Fourth Amendment claim based on the lack of probable cause for arrest; and 2) the court wrongly denied their request to amend the complaint, thereby denying them the opportunity to remedy any tax deficiencies. .

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, September 22, 2008
Brown v. Alexander, No. 071780
In a conviction for sale of controlled substance in or near school grounds, denial of writ of habeas corpus is affirmed over claims that the state courts unreasonably applied Batson v. Kentucky in concluding that petitioner had not presented a prima facie case of race discrimination with respect to jury selection at her criminal trial in state court. .

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, September 23, 2008
US v. MacMillen, No. 073377
Sentence of 78 months' imprisonment and a lifetime term of supervised release for possessing child pornography is affirmed over claims of error that: 1) the special condition prohibiting defendant from frequenting locations where "children are likely to congregate" is both overly broad and unconstitutionally vague; and 2) the special condition that authorizes Probation to discuss third-party risks with employers is overbroad because it "assumes that [defendant's] employment will, in some form, be related to his offense of possessing images containing child pornography," even though not all types of employment require access to or use of computers.

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
US v. Cote, No. 071852, 071949
In a case against in which defendant-state correctional officer for bodily injury sustained by a pre-trial detainee, judgment of acquittal and grant of new trial is reversed where: 1) the district court erred in granting defendant a judgment of acquittal, as the evidence was sufficient to support the jury's verdict of guilt; 2) the district court abused its discretion in conditionally granting defendant a new trial; and 3) defendant's contentions on cross-appeal were without merit, because the record evinced that defendant waived any statute of limitations challenge, and the doctrine of dual sovereignty foreclosed his double jeopardy claim.

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
US v. Carmenate , No. 072421
Conviction for bank fraud is affirmed where defendant's waiver of his constitutional right to a jury trial was knowing, voluntary, and intelligent in light of defendant's: 1) presence at a pre-trial conference at which his attorney requested a bench trial; 2) presence at another pre-trial conference at which the District Court requested a written waiver; 3) counsel's letter to the District Court requesting a bench trial; 4) oral waiver of his right after questioning by the District Court; and 5) personal knowledge of the criminal justice system.

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, September 25, 2008
US v. Douglas, No. 061099
Sentence of seventeen and twenty-seven months imprisonment for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana within one thousand feet of a public elementary school is affirmed where: 1) section 860(a) applies to a defendant who possesses a controlled substance within one thousand feet of a public school with the intent to distribute that controlled substance regardless of whether the defendant specifically intended that the distribution be within a one-thousand-foot radius of a school; 2) schoolyard statute in its present form remains a strict liability offense for which a defendant may be convicted regardless of his knowledge of the proximity of a school; and 3) the district court properly instructed the jury in this case.

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, September 25, 2008
US v. Kerley , No. 071818
Conviction for failure to pay a child support obligation is vacated and remanded where: 1) the district court did not err in its rulings as to the good faith defense; 2) the rule of lenity required the court to vacate the conviction on the second count of the offense; and 3) although the district court correctly applied the loss amount and obstruction of justice enhancements under the Sentencing Guidelines, the court erred in concluding that the vulnerable victim enhancement was applicable.

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, September 25, 2008
US v. Triumph Capital Group, Inc., No. 064970
Conviction and sentence for charges related to racketeering and obstruction of justice are affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded where: 1) the evidence was sufficient to sustain the jury's verdicts; 2) the racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, bribery, and wire fraud counts were reversed on the grounds that the government suppressed material exculpatory and impeaching evidence; 3) the court properly instructed the jury on the obstruction of justice charge; and 4) because the court cannot be certain that the 36-month concurrent sentence on Count 24 was not affected by the convictions that were reversed, the sentence on Count 24 is vacated and remanded.

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, September 25, 2008
Gertsenshteyn v. Mukasey, No. 071183
Petition for review of decision ordering Ukranian citizen-petitioner to be removed for conviction of an aggravated felony is granted and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision is vacated and remanded where: 1) the BIA decision departed, with insufficient reason, from the legal framework that the court has long used to decide whether an alien charged with removability under 8 U.S.C. section 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) has been convicted of an aggravated felony; and 2) it was unclear what result the BIA would reach under the proper framework. .

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, September 25, 2008
US v. Falso, No. 062721
Conviction for crimes relating to child pornography and traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minors is affirmed where: 1) though the district court's finding of probable cause was not supported by a substantial basis, the district court nevertheless properly denied defendant's motion to suppress physical evidence seized from his home under the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule; 2) the district court was not knowingly or recklessly misled; and 3) the affidavit was not "so lacking in indicia of probable cause".

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 23, 2008
Mesa v. Prejean, No. 07-30953
In a suit alleging that police officers arrested plaintiffs illegally and with excessive force, summary judgment of dismissal on the basis of qualified immunity is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) defendant did not use excessive force in arresting one plaintiff, nor did he fail to supervise the officers who arrested the second plaintiff, and was entitled to qualified immunity on those counts; but 2) triable factual issues remained as to the grounds for the first plaintiff's arrest, and as to her state-law tort claims.

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 25, 2008
US v. Cardenas-Cardenas, No. 08-40210
Sentence for being an alien unlawfully present in the U.S. after deportation is affirmed where defendant's prior burglary conviction was a crime of violence for sentence-enhancement purposes. ...

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
US v. Polihonki, No. 07-2106
A sentence imposed following revocation of defendant's supervised release is affirmed over defendant's claim that the sentence, which was two months longer than the applicable Sentencing Guidelines range, was both procedurally and substantively unreasonable. .

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
Smith v. Berghuis, No. 06-1463
Denial of a petition for habeas relief from a conviction and life sentence for second degree murder and felony possession of a firearm is reversed where petitioner demonstrated a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to a jury drawn from a fair cross-section of the community, and the Michigan Supreme Court unreasonably applied federal law when it held that underrepresentation of African Americans county venire panels did not occur as a result of systematic exclusion. ..

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 26, 2008
US v. Hagerman, No. 08-2670
In a case involving criminal sanctions against a corporation for violations of the Clean Water Act, appeals from dismissal of the government's petition seeking relief from alleged probation violations are dismissed where: 1) an individual defendant was not a party to the probation-violation proceeding and no order against him was entered; and 2) the corporate defendant, an LLC, could not be represented pro se by one of its members, but, like a corporation, was required to be represented by counsel. ..

U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 23, 2008
US v. Rogers, No. 07-1790
Revocation of defendant's supervised release and a resultant sentence are affirmed where: 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in the revocation as it did not clearly err in finding that he violated the conditions of his supervised release by committing an assault under state law; 2) the revocation sentence was proper as 18 U.S.C. section 3583(b)'s 3-year maximum term of supervised release did not apply in this case; and 3) the sentence was not unreasonable. ..

U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 23, 2008
US v. Cavins, No. 07-3343
Chiropractor's conviction for willfully attempting to evade and defeat payment of federal income tax is affirmed over claims that: 1) the indictment failed to charge and the government failed to prove a willful violation of 26 U.S.C. section 7201; 2) the district court erred in refusing to dismiss the indictment because Form 1040 returns for the 1992-1994 tax years failed to comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act; and 3) the admission of evidence that he failed to file income tax returns violated his Fifth Amendment rights.

U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 26, 2008
US v. Reyes-Solano, No. 07-3334
A twenty-two month sentence for illegally reentry to the U.S. following deportation is vacated and remanded where the district court erred in applying Shepard v. US, 544 U.S. 13 (2005), to defendant's prior Mississippi convictions for domestic assault and assault of a police officer, an error that undermined a U.S.S.G. section 2L1.2(b) 1)(E) four-level increase.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 23, 2008
US v. Pham, No. 06-30489
In an identity theft case challenging the level of sentencing enhancement imposed, the sentence is vacated and case remanded where: 1) a four level enhancement under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines section 2B1.1(b)(2)(B) requires that victims sustain actual losses beyond immediate losses quickly covered by a third party; 2) the victims' monetary losses were covered by their respective banks; and 3) the government failed to provide adequate evidence of victim losses due to inconvenience in rectifying their accounts or due to not having their money in the time before their losses were covered. .

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
US v. McCalla, No. 07-50162
In a case challenging the constitutionality of federal child pornography laws applied to intrastate production of child pornography, denial of motions to dismiss is affirmed where there is a rational basis to believe that homegrown production of child pornography, even absent evidence of a commercial intent, would affect interstate commerce.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
US v. Bhatia, No. 07-10424
In a wire fraud and money laundering case, interlocutory appeal of denial of a motion to dismiss is denied for lack of res judicata or collateral estoppel where the government did not assume control of prior civil litigation so was not in privity with plaintiffs from the prior litigation.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
Ngaeth v. Mukasey, No. 04-71732
In an immigration case, the Court denies petition for review of denial of a motion to reopen the case where a conviction for entering a locked vehicle with the intent to commit theft under California Penal Code section 459 constitutes an attempted theft offense allowing removal of a lawful permanent resident as an aggravated felon under 8 U.S.C. section 1101(a)(43)(U). .

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
US v. Vega, No. 07-50245
In a case challenging the conditions of supervised release, the sentence is affirmed where: 1) the condition that defendant abstain from alcohol was not a abuse of discretion; 2) the condition requiring community service when unemployed was not an abuse of discretion; and 3) the condition against "association" with "any member of any criminal street gang" specifically "Harpys street gang" was not impermissibly vague, impliedly excluded inadvertent association, and was not plain error. ...

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 24, 2008
US v. Gomez-Leon, No. 05-50138
In a case challenging an enhanced sentence imposed for illegal reentry after deportation, the sentence is reversed and remanded where: 1) the district court erred by enhancing defendant's sentence under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (USSG) section 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(I) because the government failed to show that defendant’s sentence for his prior drug trafficking offense exceeded thirteen months; and 2) defendant's conviction under California Penal Code section 192(c)(3) for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence was not a "crime of violence" allowing a sixteen point enhancement under USSG section 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(ii).

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 26, 2008
US v. Lazarenko, No. 06-10592
In a case of involving millions of dollars extorted and stolen by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Lazarenko, eight convictions are affirmed and six reversed where: 1) the indictment need not plead a violation of a specific foreign law; 2) wire transfers not part of the execution of the scheme in question could not support conviction for wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. sections 1343 or 1346; and 3) interstate transfer of stolen property under 18 U.S.C. section 2314 require direct tracing of the stolen proceeds, and evidence of a comingled account will not suffice.

California Appellate Districts, September 22, 2008
Quinones v. Super. Ct. , No. D052665
Petition for writ of prohibition restraining respondent-court from proceeding further on torture and attempted murder counts is partially granted where: 1) the torture charge unfairly surprised petitioner; but 2) the attempted murder charge did not.

California Appellate Districts, September 23, 2008
People v. Barkley, No. H031717
Sentence for possession for sale or purchase for sale of cocaine base is affirmed where trial court's conclusion that defendant's prior assault conviction was a felony strike prior was supported by the record of conviction, so the trial court did not err in doubling defendant's midterm sentence.

California Appellate Districts, September 23, 2008
People v. Martinez, No. C055549
54-year 8-month to life sentence for torture, rape, assault and other crimes is affirmed where: 1) defendant had no right to a jury trial on the factors used to impose consecutive sentences; and 2) the trial court's selection of the upper term on stayed counts is supported by at least one aggravating factor that the jury would have found true beyond a reasonable doubt.

California Appellate Districts, September 25, 2008
People v. Zepeda, No. C054972
Conviction for murder, attempted murder, assaults with a semiautomatic firearm, and other gang-related charges is affirmed over claims that the trial court erred by: 1) instructing the jury with CALCRIM No. 220, an instruction defendant claimed misstated the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard by not referring to the conviction of proof being deeply "felt"; and 2) admitting unduly prejudicial evidence in the form of two tracks from a gangster rap CD that defendant wrote.

California Appellate Districts, September 25, 2008
Wilkinson v. Zelen, No. B200074
In the context of legal malpractice actions stemming from an attorney's representation in an underlying criminal trial, a legal malpractice plaintiff must prove factual innocence and exoneration as to all transactionally related offenses comprising the basis for the underlying criminal proceeding in order to maintain a malpractice action.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, September 24, 2008
Clarke v. Texas, No. PD-1454-07
In a prosecution for sexual assault, denial of a Brady claim as waived by defendant's failure to raise it during proceedings on a motion for a new trial is reversed and remanded for consideration on the merits where, under Appellate Rule 33.1, a claim that the trial court erred in denying a motion for new trial is preserved for appellate review if the nature of the ground allegedly warranting the new trial is raised and litigated, without objection, at some point during the motion-for-new-trial proceedings. .

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, September 24, 2008
Brown v. Texas, No. AP-75,294
Conviction and sentence of death for capital murder are affirmed on automatic appeal over claims of error regarding: 1) the corroboration of the testimony of an accomplice-witness; 2) defendant's requests to shuffle the jury panel; and 3) improper statements during closing arguments made by the prosecutor

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Posted On: September 29, 2008

Findlaw Summaries: Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, September 25, 2008

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com. All summaries are produced by Findlaw.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE, SENTENCING

US v. Triumph Capital Group, Inc., No. 064970

Conviction and sentence for charges related to racketeering and obstruction of justice are affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded where: 1) the evidence was sufficient to sustain the jury's verdicts; 2) the racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, bribery, and wire fraud counts were reversed on the grounds that the government suppressed material exculpatory and impeaching evidence; 3) the court properly instructed the jury on the obstruction of justice charge; and 4) because the court cannot be certain that the 36-month concurrent sentence on Count 24 was not affected by the convictions that were reversed, the sentence on Count 24 is vacated and remanded.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE

US v. Falso, No. 062721

Conviction for crimes relating to child pornography and traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minors is affirmed where: 1) though the district court's finding of probable cause was not supported by a substantial basis, the district court nevertheless properly denied defendant's motion to suppress physical evidence seized from his home under the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule; 2) the district court was not knowingly or recklessly misled; and 3) the affidavit was not "so lacking in indicia of probable cause".


CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, FAMILY LAW
US v. Kerley , No. 071818
Conviction for failure to pay a child support obligation is vacated and remanded where: 1) the district court did not err in its rulings as to the good faith defense; 2) the rule of lenity required the court to vacate the conviction on the second count of the offense; and 3) although the district court correctly applied the loss amount and obstruction of justice enhancements under the Sentencing Guidelines, the court erred in concluding that the vulnerable victim enhancement was applicable.


CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, IMMIGRATION LAW

Gertsenshteyn v. Mukasey, No. 071183

Petition for review of decision ordering Ukranian citizen-petitioner to be removed for conviction of an aggravated felony is granted and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision is vacated and remanded where: 1) the BIA decision departed, with insufficient reason, from the legal framework that the court has long used to decide whether an alien charged with removability under 8 U.S.C. section 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) has been convicted of an aggravated felony; and 2) it was unclear what result the BIA would reach under the proper framework.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

US v. Douglas, No. 061099

Sentence of seventeen and twenty-seven months imprisonment for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana within one thousand feet of a public elementary school is affirmed where: 1) section 860(a) applies to a defendant who possesses a controlled substance within one thousand feet of a public school with the intent to distribute that controlled substance regardless of whether the defendant specifically intended that the distribution be within a one-thousand-foot radius of a school; 2) schoolyard statute in its present form remains a strict liability offense for which a defendant may be convicted regardless of his knowledge of the proximity of a school; and 3) the district court properly instructed the jury in this case. ..


Posted On: September 29, 2008

New York Appellate Criminal Cases Originating from the New York Supreme Court NY County

arch Update from the Lexis Alert Service, Search run morning of September 29, 2008:

1. People v. Kerins, 4121, 6352/05, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 7069; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6910, September 25, 2008, Decided, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Richard Carruthers, J.), ...

2. People v. Ryerson, 4124, 1056/07, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 7072; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6905, September 25, 2008, Decided, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (James A. Yates, ...

3. People v. Sanchez, 4130, 949/07, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 7078; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6922, September 25, 2008, Decided, September 25, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Richard D. Carruthers, ...

4. People v. Ortiz, 4117, 6331/04, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 7066; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6912, September 25, 2008, Decided, September 25, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Michael Ambrecht, J.), ...

5. People v. Harrell, 4114, 5591/05, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 7063; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6913, September 25, 2008, Decided, September 25, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.

Posted On: September 29, 2008

Selected Documents: U.S. Ecomonic Stimulus

The following are links to three legislative documents regarding the Emergency Econimic Stabilization Act of 2008 from those included in our subscription to Gallerywatch.com. We are grateful to the Gallerywatch team for their hard work and dedication in compiling this and much more information over this past weekend:

Final Legislative Text of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, as agreed on September 28, 2008

Section by Section Sumary of the Emergency Ecomomic Stabilization Act of 2008 as released by the House Financial Services Chairman, Barney Frank

Side by Side Comparison of Rescue Legislation , released by the House Republican Conference

Posted On: September 26, 2008

ABA Journal Weekly Newsletter September 26, 2008

Top Ten Stories:

Legal Ethics
Ex-Partner at S&C Gives up Law License over $500K in False Expenses
Sep 24, 2008, 05:56 am CDT

Law Schools
No LSAT Allowed in Michigan Law School's Special Admissions Program
Sep 25, 2008, 08:43 am CDT

Women in the Law
Four Law Firms on Working Mother's List of 100 Best Companies
Sep 25, 2008, 07:54 am CDT

Legal Ethics
RIAA Seeks Sanctions for N.Y. Lawyer's 'Vexatious' Blog Posts of Case Filings
Sep 25, 2008, 10:47 am CDT

Law Firms
Heller Holds Firmwide Meeting on Plans for 'Orderly Transition'
Sep 25, 2008, 07:24 am CDT

Law Practice Management
Nonhire Pacts in Law Firm Merger Talks Are Worthless, Ruling Suggests
Sep 23, 2008, 07:27 am CDT

Legislation & Lobbying
Bush Bailout Plan Would Protect Treasury Secretary from Lawsuits
Sep 24, 2008, 06:55 am CDT

Real Estate & Property Law
1 Family + 43 WaMu Mortgages = $2.7M in Likely Lender Losses Since 2007
Sep 22, 2008, 05:20 pm CDT

Family Law
Divorce Drama: Kirkland Partner Sues Wife re Alleged Affair & STD
Sep 22, 2008, 03:19 pm CDT

Evidence
Seeing Other Side's Docs Knocks Miami Law Firm Off of $100M Case
Sep 23, 2008, 10:42 am CDT

Posted On: September 26, 2008

American Libraries Direct September 24, 2008

An e-newsletter of the American Library Association

Trenton library plans to close all its branches

A potential citywide budget deficit of as much as $28 million has led the Trenton (N.J.) Public Library to develop plans to close all four of its neighborhood branches. Library Director Kimberly Bray announced the library board’s decision, which followed an across-the-board 10% cut in funding to all city departments, in an email to staff September 10. Some 60 residents attended a September 23 city council meeting devoted to the closings—the third such meeting held over eight days—at which Bray described three options, all requiring staff layoffs....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 24


ALA launches website upgrade

Regular visitors to the ALA website will discover a more user-centered site with a new look and feel. The upgrade is the result of a two-year, member-driven redesign process. New features include: a homepage banner, with dropdown shortcuts to frequently requested areas of the site; a highlights section featuring images and timely information “above the fold”; a redesigned news section on the front page with three segments, updated frequently; and a new information architecture that doesn’t require users to be familiar with internal ALA structure in order to browse successfully....


ALA and DebateWatch

For the fourth consecutive presidential election, ALA will team up with the Commission on Presidential Debates to promote its DebateWatch initiative. DebateWatch is a voter education program that brings citizens together to watch televised presidential debates, discuss them, and share their reactions with the CPD. Find out how you can host a DebateWatch event in your library....


ACRL opens registration for 14th National Conference

ACRL has opened registration for the ACRL 14th National Conference, “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend” to be held March 12–15, 2009, in Seattle. Registration materials are available online. Keynote speakers include Naomi Klein, Sherman Alexie, and Ira Glass. The division will implement more eco-friendly practices than ever before during this conference....


Fairfax County takes a hit

The biggest single theft of books in the history of the Fairfax County (Va.) Public Library system took place this month at the Fairfax City Regional Library. On September 9, “an unknown suspect” stole an estimated 150 books from the branch. The books ranged in value from $6 to $40. One book was titled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff about Money, and another was 25 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living....
Washington Post, Sept. 21


The 50 greatest villains in literature

A panel of 11 critics writes: “Compiling a list of the 50 Greatest Villains in Literature, without too much recourse to comics and children’s books, proved trickier than we’d imagined—but gosh it was fun. It’s perhaps the nature of grown-up literature that it doesn’t all that often have villains, in the sense of coal-black embodiments of the principle of evil. Yet even writers as subtle as Vladimir Nabokov have spiced their work with a fiend or two. And here they are.”...
The Telegraph (U.K.), Sept. 20

Click here to see complete issue in html format.

Posted On: September 26, 2008

New York: Fiscal Stability, The Mortgage Crisis and the New York Budget

News from Google Alert, September 26, 2008.

<strong>GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL NEW YORK STATE GRANTS TO ...
Media Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA

"Governor David A. Paterson today announced a total of $3495000 in grants as part of New York's continuing efforts to address the subprime mortgage crisis. ..."


UPDATE 1-NY gov: Legislators to weigh budget cuts on Oct 3
Reuters - USA

By Joan Gralla NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Reuters) - "New York Gov. David Paterson on Thursday said he asked legislative leaders to discuss more steps to safeguard ..."


Governor calls for meeting of legislative leaders fiscal stability
EmpireStateNews.net - Newburgh,New York,USA

"... of jobs and revenues from New York's financial industry. The Governor invited the legislative leaders to convene in New York City on Friday, October 3, ..."

Posted On: September 26, 2008

Crminal Law and Procedure: Case Summaries Update for September 25, 2008

Source: Pace and Schmidt

For personal use only. Not for commercial distribution.,

[09/25] US v. Kerley
Conviction for failure to pay a child support obligation is vacated and remanded where: 1) the district court did not err in its rulings as to the good faith defense; 2) the rule of lenity required the court to vacate the conviction on the second count of the offense; and 3) although the district court correctly applied the loss amount and obstruction of justice enhancements under the Sentencing Guidelines, the court erred in concluding that the vulnerable victim enhancement was applicable.

[09/25] Gertsenshteyn v. Mukasey
Petition for review of decision ordering Ukranian citizen-petitioner to be removed for conviction of an aggravated felony is granted and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision is vacated and remanded where: 1) the BIA decision departed, with insufficient reason, from the legal framework that the court has long used to decide whether an alien charged with removability under 8 U.S.C. section 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) has been convicted of an aggravated felony; and 2) it was unclear what result the BIA would reach under the proper framework.

[09/25] US v. Triumph Capital Group, Inc.
Conviction and sentence for charges related to racketeering and obstruction of justice are affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded where: 1) the evidence was sufficient to sustain the jury's verdicts; 2) the racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, bribery, and wire fraud counts were reversed on the grounds that the government suppressed material exculpatory and impeaching evidence; 3) the court properly instructed the jury on the obstruction of justice charge; and 4) because the court cannot be certain that the 36-month concurrent sentence on Count 24 was not affected by the convictions that were reversed, the sentence on Count 24 is vacated and remanded.

[09/25] US v. Falso
Conviction for crimes relating to child pornography and traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minors is affirmed where: 1) though the district court's finding of probable cause was not supported by a substantial basis, the district court nevertheless properly denied defendant's motion to suppress physical evidence seized from his home under the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule; 2) the district court was not knowingly or recklessly misled; and 3) the affidavit was not "so lacking in indicia of probable cause".

[09/25] US v. Douglas
Sentence of seventeen and twenty-seven months imprisonment for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana within one thousand feet of a public elementary school is affirmed where: 1) section 860(a) applies to a defendant who possesses a controlled substance within one thousand feet of a public school with the intent to distribute that controlled substance regardless of whether the defendant specifically intended that the distribution be within a one-thousand-foot radius of a school; 2) schoolyard statute in its present form remains a strict liability offense for which a defendant may be convicted regardless of his knowledge of the proximity of a school; and 3) the district court properly instructed the jury in this case.

Copyright © 2008 Pace & Schmidt. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.

Posted On: September 25, 2008

Perspectives: Why Google Won't Focus on Business Software

Vembu, Sridhar, "Annother View: Why Google Won't Focus on Business Software", Government Computer News. (September 27, 2008).

"So what is Google’s plan? It is fairly obvious the company is in it to put Microsoft on the defensive on its home turf, to diminish that company’s offensive capability in the Internet. It is also perfectly clear why Microsoft wants to be an Internet player: as Google has shown, it is a higher-margin business even than its monopoly-profit core business.

So why is business software so much less profitable than the Internet? I can think of two reasons: 1) purchasing departments that know a thing or two about supplier margins and specialize in putting the squeeze on them and 2) sales and support costs, particularly support costs. When you sell software to businesses, they have all kinds of support expectations, which add to headcount. A search engine or a news portal isn’t expected to provide any customer support..."

To see the complete article, click here.

Posted On: September 25, 2008

Law Library of Congress: Redesigned Global Legal Monitor Launched

The following is from an announcement received from Emily Carr, Legal Reference Specialist, Law Library of Congress, on September 24, 2008. It should be of great interest to all who need to follow foreign and international developments in the law.

Redesigned Global Legal Monitor Launched

The Law Library of Congress is pleased to announce the launch of the redesigned Global Legal Monitor [http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?home]. The Global Legal Monitor has transformed from a monthly published PDF to a dynamic continuously updated website. The new Global Legal Monitor has the ability to view legal developments by topic [http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?allTopics] (more than one hundred so far) and by jurisdiction [http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?allJuris] (over one hundred and fifty). The content of the Global Legal Monitor can also be searched through its advanced search interface.

Each legal development has its own permanent link for easy access, sharing, and bookmarking. To keep up to date on new legal developments in the Global Legal Monitor subscribe to its RSS feed.

The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It draws on information from the Global Legal Information Network, official national legal publications, and reliable press sources.

Posted On: September 25, 2008

Criminal Law and Procedure: Case Summaries Update September 24, 2008

Source: Pace and Schmidt

For personal use only -- Not for Commercial Distribution:

Criminal Law & Procedure
[09/24] US v. Vega
In a case challenging the conditions of supervised release, the sentence is affirmed where: 1) the condition that defendant abstain from alcohol was not a abuse of discretion; 2) the condition requiring community service when unemployed was not an abuse of discretion; and 3) the condition against "association" with "any member of any criminal street gang" specifically "Harpys street gang" was not impermissibly vague, impliedly excluded inadvertent association, and was not plain error.

[09/24] US v. McCalla
In a case challenging the constitutionality of federal child pornography laws applied to intrastate production of child pornography, denial of motions to dismiss is affirmed where there is a rational basis to believe that homegrown production of child pornography, even absent evidence of a commercial intent, would affect interstate commerce.

[09/24] US v. Bhatia
In a wire fraud and money laundering case, interlocutory appeal of denial of a motion to dismiss is denied for lack of res judicata or collateral estoppel where the government did not assume control of prior civil litigation so was not in privity with plaintiffs from the prior litigation.

[09/24] US v. Gomez-Leon
In a case challenging an enhanced sentence imposed for illegal reentry after deportation, the sentence is reversed and remanded where: 1) the district court erred by enhancing defendant's sentence under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (USSG) section 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(I) because the government failed to show that defendant's sentence for his prior drug trafficking offense exceeded thirteen months; and 2) defendant's conviction under California Penal Code section 192(c)(3) for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence was not a "crime of violence" allowing a sixteen point enhancement under USSG section 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(ii).

[09/24] Ngaeth v. Mukasey
In an immigration case, the Court denies petition for review of denial of a motion to reopen the case where a conviction for entering a locked vehicle with the intent to commit theft under California Penal Code section 459 constitutes an attempted theft offense allowing removal of a lawful permanent resident as an aggravated felon under 8 U.S.C. section 1101(a)(43)(U).

[09/24] Thomas v. State of Rhode Island
In a suit brought by members of an Indian tribe claiming that state officials violated their constitutional rights by arresting them without lawful authority on tribal lands for alleged cigarette tax violations, dismissal of action for failure to state a claim is affirmed over claims of error that: 1) the court construed their allegations too narrowly, thereby ignoring a viable Fourth Amendment claim based on the lack of probable cause for arrest; and 2) the court wrongly denied their request to amend the complaint, thereby denying them the opportunity to remedy any tax deficiencies.

[09/24] Brown v. Texas
Conviction and sentence of death for capital murder are affirmed on automatic appeal over claims of error regarding: 1) the corroboration of the testimony of an accomplice-witness; 2) defendant's requests to shuffle the jury panel; and 3) improper statements during closing arguments made by the prosecutor.

[09/24] Clarke v. Texas
In a prosecution for sexual assault, denial of a Brady claim as waived by defendant's failure to raise it during proceedings on a motion for a new trial is reversed and remanded for consideration on the merits where, under Appellate Rule 33.1, a claim that the trial court erred in denying a motion for new trial is preserved for appellate review if the nature of the ground allegedly warranting the new trial is raised and litigated, without objection, at some point during the motion-for-new-trial proceedings.

[09/24] US v. Polihonki
A sentence imposed following revocation of defendant's supervised release is affirmed over defendant's claim that the sentence, which was two months longer than the applicable Sentencing Guidelines range, was both procedurally and substantively unreasonable.

[09/24] Smith v. Berghuis
Denial of a petition for habeas relief from a conviction and life sentence for second degree murder and felony possession of a firearm is reversed where petitioner demonstrated a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to a jury drawn from a fair cross-section of the community, and the Michigan Supreme Court unreasonably applied federal law when it held that underrepresentation of African Americans county venire panels did not occur as a result of systematic exclusion.

[09/24] US v. Carmenate
Conviction for bank fraud is affirmed where defendant's waiver of his constitutional right to a jury trial was knowing, voluntary, and intelligent in light of defendant's: 1) presence at a pre-trial conference at which his attorney requested a bench trial; 2) presence at another pre-trial conference at which the District Court requested a written waiver; 3) counsel's letter to the District Court requesting a bench trial; 4) oral waiver of his right after questioning by the District Court; and 5) personal knowledge of the criminal justice system.

[09/24] US v. Cote
In a case against in which defendant-state correctional officer for bodily injury sustained by a pre-trial detainee, judgment of acquittal and grant of new trial is reversed where: 1) the district court erred in granting defendant a judgment of acquittal, as the evidence was sufficient to support the jury's verdict of guilt; 2) the district court abused its discretion in conditionally granting defendant a new trial; and 3) defendant's contentions on cross-appeal were without merit, because the record evinced that defendant waived any statute of limitations challenge, and the doctrine of dual sovereignty foreclosed his double jeopardy claim.


Copyright © 2008 Pace & Schmidt. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.


Posted On: September 25, 2008

New York Supreme Court Appellate Division First Department: Criminal Cases Originating from the New York Supreme Court NY County

Search Update from the Lexis Alert Service, Search run morning of September 25, 2008:

1. People v. Colon, 4110, 2506/02, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 7039; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6881, September 23, 2008, Decided, September 23, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Marcy L. Kahn, ...

2. People v. Yoy, 4094, 4891/06, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 7028; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6883, September 23, 2008, Decided, September 23, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Daniel P. FitzGerald, ...

3. People v. Andrew, 4105, 2482/06, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 7035; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6887, September 23, 2008, Decided, September 23, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Arlene R. Silverman, ...

4. People v. Wells, 3314/04, 2250, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 5822; 53 A.D.3d 181; 862 N.Y.S.2d 20; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5714, June 26, 2008, Decided, June 26, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
... appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Richard D. Carruthers, ...
... Smith. Accordingly, the judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Richard D. Carruthers, ...

5. People v. Florestal, 2854/04, 3220, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 5765; 53 A.D.3d 164; 860 N.Y.S.2d 86; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5673, June 24, 2008, Decided, June 24, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
... appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (William A. Wetzel, ...
... People v Evans, 94 NY2d 499, 504-505, 727 N.E.2d 1232, 706 N.Y.S.2d 678 [2000]). Accordingly, the judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (William A. Wetzel, ...

6. People v. Valdez, 2274, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 5559; 53 A.D.3d 172; 861 N.Y.S.2d 288; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5454, June 17, 2008, Decided, June 17, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
... appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Charles H. Solomon, ...
... 547 U.S. 1043, 126 S. Ct. 1623, 164 L. Ed. 2d 339 [2006]). Accordingly, the judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Charles H. Solomon, ...

Posted On: September 24, 2008

Legislator's Son at Center of Sarah Palin Hack Talk, Report says

Legislator's Son at Center of Sarah Palin Hack Talk, Report Says
"Tennessee Rep. Mike Kernell says that his son, David Kernell, is at the center of speculation about the identity of the hacker who gained access to Palin's account."

From: CIO Insider News, September 2008

Posted On: September 24, 2008

LLAM News September 2008

Law Library Association of Maryland Newsletter

http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/llam/publications/llamnewsletter/Llamnews200809%20(2).pdf

No password required. Please be patient if the document takes a little while to open.

Posted On: September 24, 2008

Publication Announcement: Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques

Published by Research and Markets Ltd.

" 'Sally Schmidt's book, Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques, is a bible, a must-read, and a springboard to law firm marketing for any new or seasoned marketing professional. Its frequent updates are easy to insert and the range of information is nearly exhaustive.' -Rita Menz, former Director of Client Relations,
Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, LLP, New York

Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques examines how marketing can improve client satisfaction and increase the bottom line for both corporate and consumer practices. This pragmatic book shows you how to implement client surveys, Web sites, brochures and collateral pieces, databases, newsletters, direct mail, seminars, special events, advertising, public relations, proposals, presentations, and interviews, whatever the size of your firm.

Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques is filled with case studies and examples of real law firm situations to help you put these tools and techniques into practice-and use them effectively. You'll find out how to: make realistic, long-term marketing plans for the firm, practice groups or individuals; market online; market a new capability; cross-sell your firm's services; create an "alumni" relations program; discover new business opportunities through market research, charitable contributions, and sponsorships; use flat fees as a billing alternative; train your lawyers-and your support staff-to be good marketers; surmount marketing obstacles; budget for marketing time, expenses and compensation; and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. You'll also get up-to-date information on Web sites, extranets, client advisory boards, niche marketing and the uses of intranets. An appendix provides law firm marketing resources, including organizations, publications and studies.

Author Bio:

Sally J. Schmidt
Sally J. Schmidt, the first president of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), is the president of Schmidt Marketing, Inc. Headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, her company has served hundreds of client law firms throughout the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico and Australia.

Ms. Schmidt has taught "Principles of Marketing" at the University of Minnesota, where she received her M.B.A. (in marketing) and her B.S. She is also the former Director of Client Relations and Marketing for a 100-attorney firm in Minneapolis and a well-known author and lecturer on law firm marketing topics."

For more information please click on:
http://www.researchandmarkets.com/product/b31278/marketing_the_law_firm_business_development

Pricing:

Hard Copy : EUR 277

Ordering - Three easy ways to place your order:

1] Order online at http://www.researchandmarkets.com/product/b31278/marketing_the_law_firm_business_development

2] Order by fax: Print an Order form from http://www.researchandmarkets.com/product/b31278/marketing_the_law_firm_business_development and Fax to +353 1 4100 980

3] Order by mail: Print an Order form from http://www.researchandmarkets.com/product/b31278/marketing_the_law_firm_business_development and post to Research and Markets Ltd. Guinness Center, Taylors Lane, Dublin 8. Ireland


Posted On: September 24, 2008

Book Review: Legacy and Legitimacy: Black Americans and the Supreme Court

TITLE: Legacy And Legitimacy
SUBTITLE: Black Americans And The Supreme Court
AUTHORS: Rosalee A. Clawson and Eric N. Waltenburg
PUBLICATION DATE: December 2008
PUBLISHER: Temple University Press
PAGE COUNT: 224 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-59213-903-3
PRICE: $23.95

The U. S. Supreme Court's Warren-era revolution in the areas of civil, individual, and privacy rights is the focus of this historical and statistical treatise which combines sociology with survey analysis in a successful effort to prove that Brown v. Board of Education and related Supreme Court decisons of the 1950s and 1960s have created a well of good will toward the Court among African-Americans, a reservoir that appears deep enough to endure the high court's much more tepid support for black political and legal interests since the 1970s. The U.S. Supreme Court therefore enjoys a legacy of legitimacy among black Americans, according to Clawson and Waltenburg, both of whom are political science professors at Purdue.

The concept of political legitimacy as a stabilizing force is central to the book's theme and is particularly important in a pluralist democracy such as the U.S., where constituents regularly lodge competing demands. As these demands are met, winners and losers are created, placing stresses upon the political system. As these stresses accrue, the organizational vitality of the system is challenged, as is the support of the constituents for that system. Offsetting these challenges is the level of legitimacy maintained by the pluralist democracy's institutions.

The authors seek to measure, through a series of extended surveys and intricate statistical analysis, the one institution of government which most effectively regulates pluralist conflicts and rallies support for the regime. Relative to other institutions, the authors conclude, the Supreme Court has the greatest capacity to legitimize policies. And, consistent with Legitimacy Theory, this capacity likely stems from its institutional credibility, as the authors note the Court's remarkably high and stable levels of abstract mass approval compared with the presidency and Congress. Recommended for academic libraries.

Philip Y. Blue, New York State Supreme Court Criminal Branch Law Library, First Judicial District, New York, NY



Posted On: September 24, 2008

U.S. Supreme Court Delays Execution of Convicted Georgia Cop Killer Troy Davis

"The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution for Troy Anthony Davis less than two hours before he was to be put to death by lethal injection yesterday, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Davis, 39, sits on death row for the 1989, killing of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Annelie Reaves, MacPhail's sister, said the victim's family was furious but would wait for the execution to be rescheduled".

"It was the second time that Davis, whose claims of innocence have attracted international attention, was granted a stay hours before he was to be put to death. In July 2007, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles postponed his execution less than 24 hours before it was to occur. Supreme Court justices are scheduled to meet Monday to decide whether to hear Davis' appeal of a ruling issued by the Georgia Supreme Court in March. In that 4-3 decision, the state court rejected Davis' bid for a new trial or a court hearing to present new evidence".

Crime and Justice News, September 24, 2008.

Related Stories:

Shalhoup, Maria. "An Innocent Man? Amnesty International Leads Fight to Get Troy Davis Off Death Row".

ZeitVogel, Karin. Accused Cop Killer Troy Davis Gets Death-Row Reprieve."

Posted On: September 23, 2008

Criminal Law and Procedure

Source: Pace and Schmidt

For personal use only -- Not for Commercial Distribution:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Criminal Law & Procedure
[09/23] US v. Pham
In an identity theft case challenging the level of sentencing enhancement imposed, the sentence is vacated and case remanded where: 1) a four level enhancement under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines section 2B1.1(b)(2)(B) requires that victims sustain actual losses beyond immediate losses quickly covered by a third party; 2) the victims' monetary losses were covered by their respective banks; and 3) the government failed to provide adequate evidence of victim losses due to inconvenience in rectifying their accounts or due to not having their money in the time before their losses were covered.

[09/23] US v. Cavins
Chiropractor's conviction for willfully attempting to evade and defeat payment of federal income tax is affirmed over claims that: 1) the indictment failed to charge and the government failed to prove a willful violation of 26 U.S.C. section 7201; 2) the district court erred in refusing to dismiss the indictment because Form 1040 returns for the 1992-1994 tax years failed to comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act; and 3) the admission of evidence that he failed to file income tax returns violated his Fifth Amendment rights.

[09/23] US v. Rogers
Revocation of defendant's supervised release and a resultant sentence are affirmed where: 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in the revocation as it did not clearly err in finding that he violated the conditions of his supervised release by committing an assault under state law; 2) the revocation sentence was proper as 18 U.S.C. section 3583(b)'s 3-year maximum term of supervised release did not apply in this case; and 3) the sentence was not unreasonable.

[09/22] Quinones v. Super. Ct.
Petition for writ of prohibition restraining respondent-court from proceeding further on torture and attempted murder counts is partially granted where: 1) the torture charge unfairly surprised petitioner; but 2) the attempted murder charge did not.

[09/22] Brown v. Alexander
In a conviction for sale of controlled substance in or near school grounds, denial of writ of habeas corpus is affirmed over claims that the state courts unreasonably applied Batson v. Kentucky in concluding that petitioner had not presented a prima facie case of race discrimination with respect to jury selection at her criminal trial in state court.

[09/19] Blanton v. Quarterman
Denial of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in a capital case is affirmed over claims that: 1) trial counsel was ineffective in his investigation and presentation of mitigation evidence during the sentencing phase of trial; 2) trial counsel was ineffective in his failure to properly preserve a Batson claim; and 3) appellate counsel was ineffective in her presentation of his Batson claim on direct appeal.

[09/19] US v. Cartier
In a prosecution for offenses involving, inter alia, sexual exploitation of minors, denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence and statements is affirmed over claims that: 1) an agent failed to establish that there was probable cause to issue a search warrant; 2) the search warrant was overly broad and did not articulate a search strategy; and 3) he was not advised of the Miranda warnings prior to giving a statement.

[09/19] US v. Hoover
A conviction for two counts of using a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense, resulting in the deaths of two individuals, is affirmed over claims that: 1) the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict; 2) the district court erred in two evidentiary rulings; and 3) a verdict should have been entered on only one count because the counts were redundant.

[09/19] Burns v. PA Dep't of Corr.
In an inmate's suit alleging due-process and retaliation claims against prison officials, summary judgment for defendants is reversed and remanded where a disciplinary conviction directing that an inmate's institutional account be assessed for medical or other expenses implicates a property interest sufficient to trigger the protections of procedural due process.

[09/19] US v. Nguyen
Conviction for battery in the collection of a gambling debt is affirmed over a claim that the district court erred in granting of the government's motion to exclude evidence of the victim's prior conviction where: 1) the victim's prior conviction was more than ten years old; 2) appellant made no showing of the substantive value of evidence of the conviction; and 3) the prior conviction was for car theft and did not go to the veracity of the victim's testimony.

[09/19] US v. Lopez
Sentence for cocaine possession with intent to distribute is affirmed where the district court did not clearly err in its factual determinations when rejecting defendant's request for a sentence reduction as a minor participant.

[09/19] US v. Krasinski
Sentence for drug distribution and money laundering is affirmed where: 1) there was no merit to defendant's objections to an enhancement for transfer of money from the US to Canada; 2) the district court did not clearly err when it estimated the number of pills attributable to defendant; 3) the district court was also justified in imposing an obstruction of justice enhancement and denying an acceptance of responsibility reduction; and 4) the sentence was reasonable.

[09/19] Torzala v. US
Denial of a motion to vacate, set aside or correct defendant's sentence is affirmed where defendant knowingly and voluntarily entered into his guilty plea, and he received effective assistance of counsel.

[09/19] US v. Hodson
In an appeal arising from a district court's denial of a defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a warrant, the circuit court rules that a suspect's ostensibly admitting to having engaged in child molestation is not sufficient, without more, to establish probable cause to search that suspect's home for child pornography.

[09/19] US v. Shank
In a prosecution for use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence is affirmed over claims that: 1) officers lacked probable cause to effectuate a traffic stop; 2) his detention in the back of a police cruiser continued too long and violated his Fourth Amendment rights; and 3) a search of the vehicle violated his Fourth Amendment rights because officers lacked reasonable suspicion that he was armed.

[09/19] US v. Magassouba
In a case challenging the length of detention of a defendant found incompetent to stand trial, denial of a motion to dismiss defendant's indictment and entry of an order committing defendant to further psychiatric treatment are affirmed where: 1) under the collateral order doctrine, the court has jurisdiction to review an order of commitment pursuant to 18 U.S.C. section 4241(d)(2)(A) authorizing involuntary medication; 2) 18 U.S.C. section 4241(d)(2) does not limit a district court's authority to order a defendant's further hospitalization under section 4241(d)(2)(A); 3) initial hospitalization beyond the section 4241(d)(2) limit of four months was harmless error; and 4) defendant's nineteen month detention since the time of being found incompetent was not so unreasonable as to violate due process.

[09/19] US v. Hassan
In a case regarding the import and distribution of khat plant, conviction on counts of money laundering are reversed, and convictions for conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to import cathinone, and conspiracy to distribute cathinone are vacated and remanded for retrial where: 1) the government did not show that the funds laundered by defendant were proceeds of cathonine sales; 2) the government at trial erroneously referred to khat as an illegal substance; 3) the government presented no evidence as to whether the khat at issue contained cathonine (a Schedule I controlled substance) or cathine (a Schedule IV controlled substance); and 4) the jury instructions failed to inform the jury that intent to import or possess khat, or cathine, would not be sufficient to convict on cathonine charges.

[09/18] US v. Klein
A doctor's convictions for mail and health care fraud are affirmed and sentence vacated and remanded where: 1) two proposed jury instructions were properly denied; 2) there was sufficient evidence of an effect on interstate commerce to support the convictions; but 3) the amount-of-loss calculation used in sentencing did not discount the actual loss by the value of the drugs dispensed by defendant.

[09/18] Johnson v. State of Florida
Conviction for felony driving under the influence (DUI) is affirmed where: 1) defendant's silence on the issue of a jury trial was not a waiver of his right to have a jury determine, separately from the question of his guilt on the charged DUI, whether he had been convicted of DUI in the past; but 2) a jury would have found that defendant had three previous DUI convictions, and the error was therefore harmless.

[09/18] Sexton v. State of Florida
In a capital-murder case, denial of motion for postconviction relief is affirmed over claims of error regarding: 1) ineffective assistance of counsel during the penalty phase of petitioner's trial; 2) summary denial of claims of ineffective assistance during the guilt phase; 3) the constitutionality of rules limiting the subjects about which counsel may interview jurors; and 4) the constitutionality of Florida's lethal-injection protocol.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Copyright © 2008Pace & Schmidt. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.

Posted On: September 23, 2008

What is Your Policy On Cell Phones in the Court House?

QUESTION:

What is your policy on cell phones in the courthouse? Are you able to keep them with you? If not, what do you do with them while you are in the courthouse? Can you use them in the courthouse?

SOME RESPONSES:

"...The New Castle County Courthouse in Delaware bans the general public from entering with any cellphones or electronic devices. Staff, attorneys, police officers, etc. are allowed to enter with these devices with proper identification. However, the devices are not allowed to be used in the courtroom while the judge is on the bench. There are lockers in the adjacent parking garage which cost $.50 and allow people who did not drive to Court to deposit their devices. However, numerous people hide the cell phones in the bushes because, I guess, $.50 is too expensive"
__________________

"On recommendation of the Judicial Branch Administrative Council, the Supreme Court adopts the following policy concerning use of electronic devices in New Hampshire Judicial Branch courtrooms:

Electronic devices, including laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and cellular telephones are permitted in the courtroom unless the presiding justice finds that use of a particular device will disrupt a particular court proceeding. Cellular telephones shall be put in 'silent mode' in the courtroom.

Audio recorders, video cameras, and still cameras, including cellular telephone cameras, are also permitted in the courtroom. Supreme Court Rule 19, Superior Court Rule 78, District Court Rule 1.4 (also applicable in the Family Division), and Probate Court Rule 78 regulate use of devices listed in this paragraph"
___________________

"We do not take cell phones away as our customers enter the courthouse. Although upon entering the courtrooms we have signs posted stating that cell phones need to be turned off and are subject to being confiscated. I have attached Rule 1.150 from the Rules of Court used in CA. Our Local Rules also state that any and all video, cell phone and other photography through crtrm windows or into the courtroom from the hallway is subject to the same restrictions that apply to the use of cameras in the crtroom and shall require prior approval by the judge of the affected courtroom. (See CA Rules of Court 1.150)"
____________________

"Our policy allows attorneys and law enforcement officers to bring in
cell phones, but not the general public. We give customers the choice of
returning the phone to their vehicle, or we have a system where we can
hold the phone for them and give them a ticket to retrieve it when they
leave the courthouse (there is a sign on the exit reminding them to
retrieve their phone). The reaction to this policy is generally very
negative, but we found it necessary due to gang members using camera
phones to intimidate witnesses. Yes it's a double standard, but it would
really be cumbersome so impose this on attorneys and law enforcement
officers."
_____________________

"I like the cell phone policies at the Montgomery County Circuit and Baltimore City District Courts in [Maryland]. Their policies state something to the effect that cell phones are allowed in the courthouse, but the audible ring has to be silenced and no phone use is allowed in any courtroom. They also prohibit the use of cell phone cameras at all times.

I have only seen a handful of courts that outright ban them. Those that do have negative reactions among court patrons and there is usually some allowance for attorneys, which generates more negative reaction due to a perceived double standard. Moreover, rather than return the cell phone to one's automobile, people tend to stash them in the bushes (hopefully) to retrieve them later.

In short, courts need to make reasonable adjustments to contemporary times, which for better or for worse, involves significant cell phone ownership"
______________________

The Knowledge and Information Service (KIS) of the National Center for State Courts did a survey a few years ago which covered this topic. They "...observed a trend with regard to banning cell phones. Cell phones are a distraction; if they are not permitted in doctors’ offices, movie theaters, and restaurants, why should we allow them in courtrooms? At the very least, judges require that phones be turned off in court."


Posted On: September 23, 2008

New 2008 Presidential Debates Web Site

The Commission on Presidential Debates has partnered with MySpace to create a new Web site, www.MyDebates.org. This site will become available in the days leading up to the first Presidential debate on September 26. The more questions submitted, the more likely a library question will be asked. This is an opportunity for the library voice to become an important part of the 2008 Presidential election. Librarians need to submit questions to this web site in order for their voices to be heard.

Posted On: September 23, 2008

New State Bibliographies from the AALL Government Documents SIS

The GD-SIS Publications Committee is proud to announce three new bibliographies ready for purchase.

1. State Documents Bibliography: Washington, DC (series # 3-74)

2. Selective Annotated Bibliography of Delaware State Documents and Other Resources Used in Delaware Legal Research (Series # 3-73)

3. Kentucky State Documents: A Bibliography of Legal and Law-Related Material / compiled by Ryan Valentin & Michelle Cosby (Series # 3-72)

Washington and Delaware are new bibliographies for the series while the Kentucky release supersedes the earlier Kentucky bibliography from 1990 (series # 3-39)

They are available for $15 each and an order form is available at http://www.aallnet.org/sis/gd/stateb.html

Further details about the series can be obtain from the Publications Committee Chair Edward T. Hart,

Posted On: September 23, 2008

Recent NY Appellate Division First Department Criminal Cases Originating from the NY Supreme Court NY County

Source: Lexis Alert Service. Search run September 22, 2008.

http://www.lexis.com

1. People v. Hill, 4080, 4081, 3857/05, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 6931; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6766, September 18, 2008, Decided, September 18, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Renee A. White, ...

2. People v. Green, 4072, 4756/06, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 6925; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6770, September 18, 2008, Decided, September 18, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Renee A. White, ...

3. People v. Alvarez, 4088, 2463/03, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 6937; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6769, September 18, 2008, Decided, September 18, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Edward J. McLaughlin, ...

4. People v. Baum, 4075, 3468/06, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 6928; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6777, September 18, 2008, Decided, September 18, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Arlene R. Silverman, ...

5. People v. Metellus, 4070, 4404/05, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 6923; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6780, September 18, 2008, Decided, September 18, 2008, Entered, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Bruce Allen, J.), ...

6. People v. Llop, 4076, 5935/06, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2008 NY Slip Op 6929; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6782, September 18, 2008, Decided, THE LEXIS PAGINATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING RELEASE OF THE FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION., THIS OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS.
The People of the State ...
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Micki A. Scherer, ...

Posted On: September 23, 2008

Support Ohio Draft Reform Bill SB 345 to Help Ohio County Law Libraries

Ohio Draft Reform Bill SB345

Increasingly, county law libraries face new challenges with regards to their funding, space and continued existence in the states with established systems. These challenges were addressed in 2005 with legislation in Ohio to cut back on funds going to county law libraries. Please take a moment to read this summary of the bill and let us know if you are in favor of SCCLL supporting Ohio county law libraries in their struggle. Please go to our website to share your read more and share your vote.

www.aallnet.org/sis/sccll

Posted On: September 23, 2008

Some Helpful Criminal Justice Information Web Reference Sources

Findlaw Criminal Law Center Provides "information and help if you or a loved one are faced with a legal need related to the criminal justice system..."

Cornell University Law School: Criminal Law Criminal Procedure Criminal Codes and other subjec categories of statutes


Washlaw, A free service of Washburn University School of Law. For links to governmental and non governmental criminal justice information, click here


There are many excellent websites to provide you information regarding criminal law and justice but those listed above are a good beginning.

Posted On: September 23, 2008

New ABA Voting Information Website


This ABA voting information website, www.abavoteinfo.org, is a project of the ABA Division for Public Education and the Standing Committee on Election Law, in cooperation with the Section of Administrative Law, the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, the Judicial Division, the Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice, and the Office of the President. It also provides materials for the bar including a call for attorneys to serve as nonpartisan election officials, Election Protection Project hotline volunteers and materials for the public that includes information on the importance of voting and how to register to vote.

All are encouraged to visit this new website.

Posted On: September 23, 2008

Robert Pear Highlights Concerns of Loss of Federal Electronic Government Information*

One of the historic functions of libraries has been preserving and providing access to information in various media. In many ways, digitization of information has positively altered the information landscape. However, with the dynamic nature of such information, vital information preservation issues arise.

In a timely September 13, 2008, New York Times article by Robert Pear that is entitled "In Digital Age, Federal Files Blip Into Oblivion," the issue of institutional preservation of digital information is addressed. The author maintains that many federal records created by email, word processing, or posting on the Internet are being lost to history. This is due to federal employees failing to preserve such material due to the incredible volume being generated. Dramatic examples of these preservation issues include, the appearance of non-functioning links on government websites and removal of important reports such as those critical of the Bush administration.

There is another concern about information loss not addressed directly in Robert Pear's article. The issue Mr. Pear raises regarding the apparent failure of federal employees to implement adequate procedures to preserve the huge amounts of significant digital materials being generated may also relate to the ongoing necessary maintenance of such information to keep it trustworthy and authentic. No matter how carefully information in digital formats is maintained on an ongoing basis there is always a possibility that it may become corrupted or otherwise tainted, making it untrustworthy and therefore "lost" in terms of its value and relevancy to users. The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is very concerned about this issue because the trustworthiness of all online legal resources, including federal. is fundamental to permanent public access and is inherently a matter of great concern to the legal community

The global issue of digital information preservation has been a significant concern of the American Association of Law Libraries. This was demonstrated by a AALL letter to members of Congress last April regarding the problematic and troubling decision of the National Archives and Records Administration not to preserve agency websites at the end of this administration. Consequently, as Mary Alice Baich the Washington representative of AALL comments within the above article saying that the expectation is to see the "wholesale disappearance of materials on federal agency Web sites.... When new officials take office... they want to make a fresh start." Thus the implications for the preservation of our national historical record are grave and warrant a change in federal policy.
_______________________
*This posting was revised on September 24, 2008.

Posted On: September 19, 2008

Justice Made Local: The Future of Town and Village Courts in New York State: A Report by the Special Commission on the Future of New York State Courts

September 2008

A special commission appointed by Hon. Judith S. Kaye, Chief Judge of the Courts in the State of New York, has issued a Report: Justice Most Local, The Future of Town and Village Courts in New York State, which recommends a significant consolidation of the "centuries-old" local court system.

Am excerpt from the Overview of Findings section of the Executive Summary"

"At bottom, we believe that immediate action must be taken to cure serious inefficiencies
in the organization of the courts; to deter due process violations and other legal errors; and to
cease the continued use of facilities that are unsafe and unfit for twenty-first century courts.

To this end, we set forth in this report proposals that we believe will fundamentally
address the flaws and criticisms that have plagued the Justice Courts for over one hundred years. We believe that, unlike the reform proposals offered in past generations, these proposals are pragmatic and politically realistic enough to be accomplished in the immediate future. This is because, in contrast with most of the recommendations that have come before, ours do not
require a complete dismantling of the Justice Court system, amendment of the State Constitution or elimination of non-attorney justices – steps that most members believe may be desirable in an ideal world, but that have politically doomed generations of past reforms. Instead, as discussed below, we believe that the necessary reforms should and can be achieved swiftly and effectively within the general framework of the existing system, thus avoiding many of the obstacles and intransigence that have stymied improvement for so many years."

The Report

<Appendices to the Report


Posted On: September 19, 2008

The Jury Expert: The Art and Science of Litigation and Advocacy

Volume 20 Issue 3 September 2008

Table of Contents

The Preparation of Narcissistic Witnesses

Solution Focused Mediation

Some Juror Rules for Determining Damages

The 3 Cs in Using Visual Communication to Tell Legal Stories: Communication, Credibility,
and the Central Image

Using the Science of Persuasion in the Courtroom

Our Favorite Thing(s) for September

Lawyers Learning to Communicate

Witness Preparation: Hidden False Assumptions, Real Truths, Recommendations

A Jury of Your Peers: Venue, Vicinage and Buffer Statutes

To see complete issue click here.

Posted On: September 19, 2008

ABA Journal Weekly Newsletter September 19, 2008

Top Ten Stories of the Week:

Law Firms
Lehman's Impact Stretches from Corporate Lawyers to Litigators
Sep 16, 2008, 06:39 am CDT

42% of Lawyers Surveyed Fear Career Fallout from Lehman Woes
Lawyer Laments 'Incredibly Shrinking Market' as Wall Street Shudders
Conflict Checks Soar as Worried Clients Call Counsel About Wall Street Woes
How a Lehman Bankruptcy May Unfold With Weil Gotshal's Help


Law Firms
Heller Partners Reportedly Told Dissolution is Possible
Sep 18, 2008, 05:56 am CDT

Law Practice Management
Were Heller's Problems Caused by Term Limits?
Sep 17, 2008, 11:03 am CDT

Careers
Online Chat: Midcareer Malaise
Sep 17, 2008, 12:53 pm CDT

Law Firms
Locke Lord's Computers Kept Running While Ike Destroyed 65 Offices
Sep 17, 2008, 02:18 pm CDT

Legal Ethics
Bar Seeks Suspension for 'Obstreperous' Would-Be Judge
Sep 16, 2008, 12:27 pm CDT

Criminal Justice
Unlicensed 'Lawyer' Allegedly Practiced for a Decade in 10 States
Sep 16, 2008, 04:14 pm CDT

U.S. Supreme Court
Scalia Says U of C Law School Has Lost its Conservative Edge
Sep 17, 2008, 07:29 am CDT

Women in the Law
Trailblazing Oregon Judge Fought 'Shockingly Overt Sexism'--and Won
Sep 15, 2008, 05:39 pm CDT

Legal Technology
35% of Professionals Would Choose BlackBerry Over Spouse; Take Our Poll
Sep 17, 2008, 09:58 am CDT

| Share
Posted On: September 19, 2008

Highlights and Lowlights of the Mozilla Firefox 3.1, Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Web Browsers

From: Government Computer News, September 19, 2008.

"InfoWorld breaks down the highlightsand the lowlightsfor the Mozilla Firefox 3.1, Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Web browsers. and lowlights of each offering and where it stands as far as a full release".

Posted On: September 17, 2008

List of 2008 New York Chapter Laws Containing the Word Criminal

As of September 16, 2008.

Search run on New York State Legislative Retrieval System (LRS), September 17, 2008.

Chapter Bill No.
155 A564A Wright -- Relates to enhancing police officer recruitment and increasing diversity awareness

69 A614 Paulin (MS) -- Establishes intentionally preventing a person from communicating certain requests for emergency assistance shall be criminal mischief in the 4th degree

401 A7197 Lavine -- Permits waiver of indictment for class A felonies which are not punishable by death or life imprisonment

404 A8358B Bradley -- Relates to the legal powers of custodians and guardians of children
7 A8582A Alessi (MS) -- Relates to the prevailing wage paid by individuals who are awarded public works contracts

406 A8634D Pheffer (MS) -- Provides consumers who are victims of domestic violence with a free security freeze report upon request

16 A9340A Aubry -- Makes a technical amendment relating to the probation detainer warrant pilot program
179 A9391A A
bbate -- Relates to dispute resolution during collective bargaining with a public employer and detective-investigators, criminal investigators or rackets investigators

18 A9998 Pretlow (MS) -- Relates to racing corporations and associations; simulcasting and imposition of certain taxes

37 A10418 Rules -- Enacts into law major components of legislation necessary to implement the state fiscal plan for the 2008-2009 state fiscal year

524 A11137A Farrell -- Makes certain technical changes for the purpose of bringing certain provisions of law into compliance with the government accounting standards board; repealer

346 A11418 Rules (Abbate) -- Permits counties to appoint part-time officers to full-time status despite age restrictions where the civil service list is exhausted

296 A11500A Rules (Nolan) -- Provides for the automatic revocation of a teaching certificate held by a teacher convicted of a sex offense

426 A11636 Rules (Rivera P) -- Expands the definition of coercion in the second degree and makes technical changes to the definition of coercion in the first degree

299 A11717 Rules (Lentol) -- Relates to the dissemination of violent and indecent video games to minors

496 A40002 Budget -- Makes amendments to certain appropriations made by chapters 50, 51 and 53-55 of the laws of 2008 relating to support of state government

497 A40003 Budget -- Enacts provisions of law necessary to implement saving adjustments to the state fiscal plan; repealers

528 S902B FARLEY -- Relates to penalites for violations of potable water regulations

434 S3079A FUSCHILLO -- Provides that the commission of criminal impersonation in the first degree shall include the impersonation of any police officer or federal law enforcement officer

302 S3612 NOZZOLIO -- Provides for the electronic transmission of notification of the release of an inmate convicted of a felony

231 S4146 VOLKER -- Relates to final orders of observation of individuals who lack capacity to stand trial

232 S4332 SKELOS -- Relates to the registration of sex offenders

62 S4473 MALTESE -- Requires the industry apparel special task force to submit annual reports to the governor, legislature and chairpersons of legislative labor committees

234 S4690B TRUNZO -- Provides procedures for resolution of disputes between a public employer and Suffolk county park police

534 S4956A VOLKER -- Relates to evidence of an employee's past criminal record

312 S6764 VOLKER -- Adds certain crimes to the definition of criminal act for the purposes of the penal law article relating to enterprise corruption

56 S6806C BUDGET -- Enacts into law major components of legislation necessary to implement the public protection and general government budget for the 2008-2009 state fiscal plan

57 S6807C BUDGET -- Enacts into law major components of legislation necessary to implement the education, labor and family assistance budget for the 2008-2009 state fiscal plan

58 S6808C BUDGET -- Enacts major components of legislation necessary to implement the health and mental hygiene budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year

67 S6875A SKELOS -- Protects people who use the internet from convicted sex offenders

359 S6879 DEFRANCISCO -- Provides that bus companies may reserve and keep empty one seat on each bus placed in service by such bus company in honor of civil rights activist Rosa Parks

255 S7437A KRUGER -- Relates to the advisory council of the office for prevention of domestic violence

317 S7548 SEWARD -- Permits the electronic appearance of a defendant in the county of Herkimer

463 S7602A LANZA -- Establishes disciplinary provisions for crane inspectors who commit wrongful acts in the course of their employment

564 S7608 MALTESE -- Designates certain employees of the New York city business integrity commission as peace officers

465 S7638A VOLKER -- Requires an employer that receives a consumer report to provide the subject of such report a copy of the laws governing the employment of persons previously convicted

467 S7712A SKELOS -- Relates to the timeliness of prosecutions for a certain crime

469 S7723 MONTGOMERY -- Provides guidelines for evaluating applications for barbers and cosmetology license where applicant has prior criminal record

472 S8143A FARLEY -- Establishes all home loans shall be subject to certain standards and limitations; creates the crimes of residential mortgage fraud in the 1st through 5th degrees

275 S8254 MORAHAN -- Creates an advisory council on underage alcohol consumption; repealer

552 S8291 WINNER -- Relates to the tobacco escrow funds and providing for the enhanced enforcement of these provisions with respect to roll-your-own tobacco products

477 S8298A HANNON -- Relates to clarifying and strengthening the authority of the board for professional medical conduct to discipline physicians and to enhancing infection control training and practices

279 S8376A FUSCHILLO -- Relates to identity theft, protection of sensitive personal information, employee personal identifying information and crime of unlawful possession of skimmer device

323 S8534A MORAHAN -- Relates to the protection of children in residential facilities from child abuse and neglect; repealer

115 S8549 LARKIN -- Relates to the New York city off-track betting corporation

325 S8554 SALAND -- Requires the commissioner of education to revoke and annul the certificates of school administrators or supervisors under certain conditions

326 S8665 WINNER -- Authorizes issuance of an order of protection against any member of the same family or household

491 S8706 SKELOS -- Relates to transmission of data relating to the possession and acquisition of a firearm

139 S8708 RULES -- Relates to individual and group self-insurers and security for payment of compensation and a default offset fund, creates a task force on group self-insurers

140 S8709 RULES -- Relates to thoroughbred horse racing; repealer

141 S8714 NOZZOLIO -- Enacts provisions relating to post-release supervision

NOTE: Comments indicating whether you the reader find this type of information useful or not will be appreciated.

Posted On: September 17, 2008

Recent Decisions of the New York Court of Appeals

To see the most recent New York Court of Appeals slip decisions (September 4 through September 16, 2008) click here.

Posted On: September 17, 2008

Remarks of the Democratic and Republican Nominees at the 2008 Conventions

Some of our readers have suggested it would be helpful to have copies of the full text of remarks of all four nominees at the 2008 Democratic and Republican Conventions held in late August and early September.

Thanks to both the democratic and republican parties we are able to do so by downloading these documents from their respective websites, listed chronologically by convention dates:

2008 Democratic National Convention, Official Site

2008 Republican National Convention

The following links to remarks by Joe Biden, August 27, 2008; Barack Obama, August 28, 2008; Sarah Palin, September 3, 2008; and John McCain, September 4, 2008 are arranged chronogically:

Remarks of Joe Biden

Remarks of Barack Obama

Remarks of Sarah Palin

Remarks of John McCain


Posted On: September 16, 2008

2008 Republican Party Platform

Prior to the 2008 National Convention fo the Democratic Party we posted the Draft of the 2008 Platform of the Democratic Party. At that time we did not have comparable information from the Republican Party to post, even though we very much wanted to do so. To be fair and impartial we are now posting a link to the 2008 GOP platform as well.

Click here for access to the GOP platform and related information.

Posted On: September 15, 2008

American Libraries Direct September 10, 2008

The e-newsletter of the American Library Association*.

Critics revisit library incident that paints Palin as censor

"Journalists and bloggers scrutinizing Sarah Palin’s record of public service have made national news out of a 1996 library incident in Wasilla, Alaska, where the Republican vice-presidential nominee was then mayor. The story that has emerged—in countless reports, from the blogosphere to the New York Times—paints Palin as a would-be censor and then–city librarian Mary Ellen Emmons as nearly losing her job for disagreeing...."


Book banning is alive and well in the United States

"Are books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or the Harry Potter series available at your public or school library? According to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, due to book challenges, more than one book a day faces removal from public access in school and public libraries. Challenges are defined as formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Judith Krug and Nathan Ritchie from the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum (above) discuss Banned Books Week 2008 on Chicago Access "


Library clerk recognized for catching a thief

"Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library Clerk Bradley Jaskula helped gather information that led to the arrest of a library patron who had stolen about $7,000 worth of materials last spring. Jaskula noted that Jermaine Smith had more than a dozen library cards issued to fictional children. For his efforts, Jaskula was given a “Goal Star” civic award and a letter of recognition from Mayor John Peyton...."


Groups criticize new copyright bill

"A broad intellectual property enforcement bill introduced in July is slated for markup by the Senate Judiciary Committee September 11. The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act (PDF file), sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), enacts a potpourri of measures long sought by content industries. In a letter sent to the committee September 10, ALA and other groups criticized the bill, warning that an “unbalanced approach to enforcement would lead to unintended harms” that could stifle innovation...."


Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library planned

"Theodore Roosevelt lacks one thing that most modern-day presidents have: a presidential library. Dickinson (N. Dak.) State University is gearing up to change that and is planning a library, museum, meeting space, research center, and a comprehensive digital library, all in honor of the 26th president. DSU will incorporate a database of 600,000 digitized Theodore Roosevelt documents from the Library of Congress and Harvard University...."


Highsmith company to close

"The Highsmith company in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, will close November 1, leaving 86 employees out of work. Lab Safety Supply of Janesville, which purchased Highsmith in July, has informed the Department of Workforce Development that it will close the Fort Atkinson facility. Highsmith, founded in 1956, is a distributor of supplies, furniture, and equipment to public, academic, school, and special libraries throughout the United States..."


.Beethoven’s last piano piece discovered in Berlin library

"Is this Beethoven’s last work for piano? Peter McCallum, associate professor in musicology at the University of Sydney, Australia, believes it is. The 32 bars of handwritten musical notation caught his eye when he was studying the composer’s last sketchbook in the Berlin State Library a couple of years ago. McCallum said he believed the piece was written in October 1826, a few months before Beethoven died in March 1827...."


10 things that changed the face of computing

"The history of computing is a fascinating one. Over the last 40 years or so computers have evolved from enormous and complex machines requiring specialized knowledge for operating, to small devices that most people can understand and operate in a few hours. This is a list of 10 software developments that have been the most revolutionary in the history of computing.
Number 1? The Xerox Alto operating system (above)...."
The List Universe, Sept. 2


Oddest book titles of the past 30 years

"Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers (Hellenic Philatelic Society of Great Britain, 1994) has been crowned the oddest book title of the past 30 years. In The Bookseller’s online poll in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, Derek Willan’s comprehensive record of a sector of Greece’s postal routes gained 13% of the public vote. Gary Leon Hill’s People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead (Weiser, 2005) finished second (11% of the public vote) and John W. Trimmer’s guide to avoiding maritime mishaps, How to Avoid Huge Ships (The author, 1982) finished third (10%)...."
The Bookseller, Sept. 5
_______________________________________________
*Information for this post was contributed by our Senior Law Librarian, Philip Y. Blue. To see the entire issue in html format click here.

Posted On: September 15, 2008

ABA Journal Weekly Newsletter September 12, 2008

Lawyer Pay
Being a Lawyer and Male Makes You a Top Earner, Census Report Shows
Sep 10, 2008, 06:57 am CDT

"The highest earners in 2007 were men in legal occupations, who earned a median salary in 2007 of $105,233, according to a Census Bureau report. The online report (PDF) issued in August shows women in legal occupations, which includes paralegal as well as lawyer positions, didn't fare as well."

Women in the Law
Yale Law Women List Top 10 Family-Friendly Law Firms
Sep 8, 2008, 06:21 pm CDT

"Last year, Quarles & Brady was No. 1. But this year, the Chicago-based law firm didn't even make it on a list of the nation's 10 most family-friendly law firms compiled by Yale Law Women. It wasn't alone in being left out, however: Only three law firms--Arnold & Porter".

Evidence
Litigation Too Costly, E-Discovery a 'Morass,' Trial Lawyers Say
Sep 9, 2008, 10:00 am CDT

"The civil justice system in the United States is so bogged down in a "morass" of e-discovery that it is often too expensive for litigants to take their cases to trial, according to a survey of trial lawyers. Now the next step is to fix this increasingly dysfunctional system,"...

Death Penalty
Prosecutor and Judge in Capital Case Admitted Affair, Lawyers Say
Sep 10, 2008, 05:56 am CDT

"A judge who oversaw the death penalty trial of Charles Dean Hood and the prosecutor in the case have admitted an affair, lawyers told the governor of Texas in a letter. The now-retired judge, Verla Sue Holland, and the onetime prosecutor, Thomas O'Connell, "admitted under oath that they had"

Criminal Justice
William Lerach in Prison Lockdown for Alleged Football Tickets Offer
Sep 9, 2008, 06:04 am CDT

"Former lawyer William Lerach, serving time for paying kickbacks to lead plaintiffs in securities class actions, is now accused of offering another kind of incentive, this time to a prison guard: his San Diego Chargers season tickets. Lerach has been moved to administrative segregation where he is locked up for"...

Intellectual Property Law
Jones Day Sues Over Website Posting Attorney Home Purchase Info
Sep 11, 2008, 12:08 pm CDT

"Jones Day has sued a website that highlights lawyers--even posting their photos and linking to firm biographies--and other professionals who buy and sell their homes in Chicago, Las Vegas, St. Louis and South Florida. After two Jones Day associates were featured on the BlockShopper site, the Cleveland-based BigLaw firm sued,"

Law Firms
King & Spalding Goes on an 18-Month 'Expansion Spree'
Sep 9, 2008, 12:55 pm CDT

"King & Spalding, a law firm known for its ties to Atlanta, is on "an expansion spree" that is tied to targeted practice areas, the American Lawyer reports in a profile. The law firm has opened eight new locations since 2007--in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates;..". .

Labor & Employment
Owner, Managers of Iowa Meat Plant Face 9,311 Child Labor Charges
Sep 9, 2008, 02:15 pm CDT

"More than 9,000 misdemeanor child labor charges were filed today by the Iowa attorney general's office against the owner and managers of a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville that was the site of a huge immigration raid earlier this year. The 9,311 violations involve 32 workers at Agriprocessors who... "

Banking Law
U.S. Takeover of Mortgage Giants Followed Failed Talks at Davis Polk
Sep 8, 2008, 06:02 am CDT

"The announcement this weekend of a U.S. takeover of the nation's two mortgage giants followed failed talks with potential Freddie Mac investors at the headquarters of Goldman Sachs and law firm Davis, Polk & Wardwell. Freddie Mac chief executive Richard Syron made the last-ditch pitch to investors three weeks... "

Attorney Fees
Legal Fees a 'Breathtaking' $93M-Plus in Bratz Battle
Sep 10, 2008, 07:17 am CDT

"Two toy companies battling for rights to the Bratz dolls-with-attitude have racked up legal fees of at least $93 million in the case. MGA Entertainment has spent $63 million in fees since 2004 defending a lawsuit by Mattel Inc. that contended the doll's designer conceived of the idea before leaping."

Posted On: September 9, 2008

Documents: Takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

From: Gallerywatch.com September 9, 2008.

Through our Gallerywatch Documents subscription service we are poviding the following selection of documents regarding the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We hope you will find them of interest:

Selected Documents

Additional Information:

Q&A: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, prepared by Adhip Chaudhuri, Economic Analyst

What are the Origins of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? by Robert Alford

The Future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, David Wessell, Econimics Editor of the Wall Street Journal and Renee Montagne, NPR.

Posted On: September 9, 2008

ABA Journal Weekly Newsletter

September 5, 2008.

Exclusive survey: Lawyers slow to hop on blogging and social networking bandwagons.*

Careers
Interview Mistakes Include 'Too Much Information Syndrome' and Bad Suits
Sep 3, 2008, 07:10 am CDT

"Some advice on how to avoid job search mistakes sounds like common sense: Make sure there are no typos in your resume or cover letter. Get an early start on your job search, and be aware of employer deadlines. Don't get discouraged. Circle back after rejections and ask for guidance...."

Law Firms
Make That 37 Partners Who Have Left Heller Ehrman This Year
Sep 3, 2008, 02:33 pm CDT

"With the departure of two San Francisco Bay area attorneys for other law firms, the total number of partners who have left Heller Ehrman this year now reportedly tallies at least 37. Trademark lawyer Harold Milstein is the seventh Heller partner to join Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton this year,... "

Hurricane Gustav
Lawyer's Gustav Observations: Loud Frogs and Brave Birds
Sep 2, 2008, 06:44 am CDT

"The lawyer known to his blog fans as Ernie the Attorney reports that Hurricane Gustav left the city dark but not silent. Ernest Svenson, a New Orleans solo practitioner, recorded his observations on Twitter as he weathered the storm in his high-rise condo during the weekend. "Looking from 10th floor..."

Law Firms
Lawyers 'in Love With MoFo' Among those at Big Firms on Facebook
Sep 4, 2008, 06:24 am CDT

Big law firms may be Facebook Luddites, but their lawyers are using the social networking site. "Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle was in the news last month for using Facebook as a recruiting tool. It's believed to be the first big firm to do so, but it's not the only..."

Criminal Procedure
'Forgotten' Defendant Sits in Jail for Two Years
Sep 2, 2008, 09:25 am CDT

"The federal prosecutor in St. Louis says she is concerned about the performance of a lawyer who represents a defendant sitting in jail for almost two years with apparently no action to secure his release on bond. U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway spoke to the St. Louis Post Dispatch about the... "

Law Practice Management
Law Firm Websites Lag: Spend More, But Think First, Experts Say
Sep 2, 2008, 04:30 pm CDT

"Although law firms are far more focused on the Internet than they were a few years ago, experts say many still have a lot to learn about marketing themselves online, and that their websites could use improvement. Some law firms, for instance, feature streaming video, podcasts, RSS feeds and law..."

Associates
Associate Quits O'Melveny & Myers to Volunteer Full-Time for Obama
Sep 3, 2008, 07:29 am CDT

"Lee Fink had worked for O'Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles for seven years as a litigation associate when he quit his job in June to spend 12-hour days volunteering for Barack Obama. Fink has rented out his house and traveled to Denver, living off his savings and renting a... "

Evidence
Palin E-Mails Criticize Failure to Fire Trooper
Sep 4, 2008, 05:51 am CDT

"Two e-mails from Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin criticize the failure to fire a state trooper who was formerly married to her sister. Palin is being represented by a private lawyer in an investigation into whether she fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan for keeping the trooper as a... "

Women in the Law
Meet Shelley Smith, a City Solicitor With 200 Pairs of Shoes
Sep 2, 2008, 02:22 pm CDT

"It's not easy being in the shoes of Shelley Smith, who has served as Philadelphia's city solicitor for the past eight months. For one thing, they're size 11, and she's got 200 pairs--50 of them ready for action in a closet in her municipal office. For another, she's got a... "

Legal Ethics
An Overwhelmed Lawyer Leads to Md. Suspension for Lemon-Law Founders
Sep 3, 2008, 06:24 am CDT

"The founders of Pennsylvania-based Kimmel & Silverman, the "1-800-Lemon-Law" firm, have been suspended from legal privileges in Maryland for failing to supervise a lawyer there unable to keep up with an overwhelming caseload. Maryland's highest court suspended Craig Kimmel and Robert Silverman in an opinion released yesterday, the Maryland"
_________________________________
*The ABA Legal Technology contains important information regarding the degree of adoption of Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs and RSS feeds by lawyers who responded to the Survey. On observation of interest to librarians is that in 2008 the percentage of respondents using free online research has suprassed that of those using for fee online legal research. Approximately 850 lawyers nationwide responded to the Survey. The following is among the responses mentioned:

FREE ONLINE LEGAL RESEARCH

2003 72%

2008 89%

FOR FEE ONLINE LEGAL RESEARCH

2003 82%

2008 87%

Posted On: September 2, 2008

Sarah Palin: Governor of Alaska and Senator McCain's Choice for Vice President

This is not a political blog and we do not endorse people for office; but we do try to provide information in an impartial manner of interest to our readers. The following is a compilation of links from various sources throughout the web we have been able to identify quickly and links to documents we have obtained through subscriptions to Gallerywatch.com and others. We are grateful to all for making this information accessible.

In compiling this small selection of items we have deliberately rejected sources that might sensationalize the issues surrounding Sarah Palin. That is not our purpose. Instead, we want to provide information that will help everyone to rationally to work through the issues in their own way during this election season.

Official Biography of Governor Palin

2007 State-of-the-State Address of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Official Home Page of the Governor of Alaska

Alaska Ethics Reform Act, Signed 2007

Sarah Palin on the issues.

2006 New York Times Profile of Sarah Palin

Wikipedia on Sarah Palin

Blog: Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President

We realize that we omitted many excellent sources many but maybe this will be a beginning for those who are interested.

Posted On: September 2, 2008

Lawyers: Gonzales Mishandled Classified Information

The Associated Press

"Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales mishandled highly classified notes about a secret counterterror program, says a memo by his legal team, which touches on one of the most contentious episodes of high-level infighting in the Bush administration's war on terror. The memo acknowledges that Gonzales improperly stored notes about the program and might have taken them home at one point. Removing secret documents from specially secured rooms violates government policy."

Findlaw has provided a link to the actual Report:

Posted On: September 2, 2008

2008 Republican Convention: Changes to Convention Progarm

The following is a Fact Sheet which outlines program changes to the Republican National Convention of 2008 as announced on August 31, 2008 by John McCain and the Republican National Convention Committee:

Fact Sheet: 2008 Republican National Convention Program Changes