Posted On: December 23, 2009

Guide to Selected Free and Accessible Programs Available Via the Internet

There are a variety of webcasts of lecture series both law-related and general interest available from courts, law libraries, public libraries, and other organizations. Below is a non-comprehensive listing of links to transcripts and related videos (if available) of various types of programs compiled by our Senior Law Librarian for Public Access, Theodore Pollack. These programs are free and accessible via the Internet.

New York Court of Appeals webcasts of lectures and arguments:
http://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/crtnews.htm

Law Library of Congress Webcasts related to legal subjects:
http://www.loc.gov/law/news/webcasts.php

Various Law School webcasts of lectures:
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/live.htm

United States Supreme Court Justices lecture transcripts:
http://www.supremecourtus.gov/publicinfo/speeches/speeches.html

New York Public Library lecture series programs (variety of subjects):
http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/pep/transcripts.cfm

Library of Congress webcasts (variety of subjects):
http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/index.php

Book TV (archive of current and old nonfiction-related book discussions)
http://www.booktv.org/Series/AW/After-Words.aspx

Compiled by Ted Pollack, Senior. Law Librarian, NY County Public Access Law Library

Posted On: December 22, 2009

Seeking Ideas for Greater Transparency and Open Government in Federal Departments, Agencies and on Federal Web Sites

In the e-mail below Camilla Tubbs, Chair of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Government Relations Committee provides useful information regarding efforts by the Obama admiinistration to create greater transparency and openness in and among federal departments and agencies. She is also asking what types of information people want to see on federal agency web sites? These are important questions that merit serious consideration. Although this e-mail was originally directed to a group of law librarians everyone should be concerned about these issues. Comments from both librarians and non librarians are welcome. We will be glad to forward comments on to Camilla upon request.

E-mail from Camilla Tubbs:

In his Memorandum on Transparency and Open
Government http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Transparency_and_Open_Government/
President Obama instructed the Director of the Office of Management and
Budget (OMB) to issue an Open Government Directive. Responding to that
instruction, on December 8, 2009, a
memorandum http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/memoranda_2010/m10-06.pdf was
issued directing executive departments and agencies on how to take
specific actions to implement the principles of transparency, participation,
and collaboration. The memo was broken up into four main points, each
having their own action items: (1) Publish Government Information Online;
(2) Improve the Quality of Government Information ; (3) Create and
Institutionalize a Culture of Open Government; and (4) Create an Enabling
Policy Framework for Open Government

Aside from the major points mentioned above and the action items posted in
the memorandum http://www.whitehouse.gov/open/documents/open-government-directive ,
*what types of information would you want to see on agency web sites? *For
example, some ideas from the open government community include:

1. List of government agency employees and how to reach them.

2. Visitor logs of each agency and calendars for top-level agency
officials should be made public in timely fashion. The public has a right
to know who agencies are consulting, and a "timely fashion" needs to be
narrowly defined.

3. Contract and award documents include Requests for Proposals,
Contracts, Task Orders, Contract Modifications, etc.

4. Communications between the agency and Congress, including responses to
inquires, testimony before committees, reports mandated by Congress, etc.

5. A records retention policy along with a schedule of records that will
be declassified and the timetable for such action, as well as a list of all
FOIA requests.

*What else would you like to see? What types of documents are your patrons
requesting? What suggestions should be passed along to make the federal
government more transparent and participatory?

Posted On: December 22, 2009

CLLB: Information Security Newsletter

Volume 2 Number 12 December 2009.

Automatic Software Updates and Patching

From the Desk of David Badertscher

Security vulnerabilities are flaws in the software that could allow someone to potentially compromise your system. Each year, the volume of software security vulnerabilities discovered increases, and the hacking tools available to exploit these vulnerabilities become more readily available and easier to use. Vulnerabilities in commonly used programs such as Adobe PDF Reader, QuickTime, Adobe Flash and Microsoft Office are prime targets of attacks on computers connected to the Internet. Recent statistics reported show that 48% of the cyber attacks identified in the second quarter of 2009 were targeted against vulnerabilities in Adobe Acrobat/Adobe Reader1 and in October 2009 Microsoft released patches for a record number of security holes. No entity is immune to vulnerabilities, so we must ensure we understand the risks and take appropriate mitigation steps.

Why do I need to update my software?

One of the basic tenets of computer security is to update your operating system and other software installed on your computer. Software updates fix problems in the software, add functionality, and most importantly, fix vulnerabilities that impact the security of the software and subsequently your computer. These vulnerabilities can lead to your computer—and information that resides on it—being compromised. Exploitation of vulnerabilities may occur by opening documents, viewing an email which contains malicious code or visiting a web site hosting malicious content. Seventy percent of the top 100 web sites hosted malicious content or contained a link designed to redirect users to malicious sites.2

What is a software patch (fix) and when should I install software patches?

Patches are often called "fixes." A patch is software that is used to correct a problem to an application (software program) or an operating system. Computer companies are continuously addressing security holes (i.e. vulnerabilities) in computer software which could be used to infect your computer with a virus, spyware or worse. When vulnerabilities are discovered, the software vendor typically issues a fix (i.e. patch) to correct the problem. This fix should be applied as soon as possible since the average time for someone to try to exploit this security hole can be as little as a few minutes. Most major software companies will periodically release patches, usually downloadable from the Internet, that correct very specific problems in their software programs.

My computer includes hundreds of software programs-- which ones do I need to update and how often?

One of the challenges facing the average computer user is to know which software needs to be updated and how often. Software programs that communicate or interact with the Internet are especially susceptible to attacks and should be kept at a vendor-supported version and current on all patches.

Many software programs include a feature called “auto update.” This feature allows the computer to check for updates at periodic intervals. The software will automatically check for updates and save them to your computer. Some updates will instruct you to “reboot” your computer before the software update can be applied.

At a minimum, you should enable the auto update feature on the following products:

Anti-virus and Anti-spam signatures: anti-virus and anti-spam software requires regular updates to virus and spam signatures to remain effective. New viruses and other types of malware appear every day and the anti-virus/anti-spam vendors release new signatures on a daily basis to stay on top of the new threats. Windows Office software: Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. – (see below for updating Windows software) Internet Browsers: e.g., Internet Explorer (Microsoft), Firefox (Mozilla), Safari (Apple) and Chrome (Google). Make sure you update any software you use for browsing the Internet. Adobe products: e.g., Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Flash, Shockwave Media Players: e.g., Windows Media Player (Microsoft), QuickTime (Apple), Real Player (Real Networks) and Flash Player (Adobe)

Java (Sun Microsystems): Java is software that is installed on most computers to allow users to play online games, conduct online chats, and view images in 3D, among other functions. It is also used for Intranet applications and other e-business solutions. Other software programs that communicate or interact with the Internet, like e-mail, web servers, and remote desktop software are especially susceptible to attacks and should be kept current on patches and version levels.

It is very important to promptly download and patch your operating system and programs whenever security updates or “service packs” become available. These patches are created to protect systems against potential attacks. Be aware that attacks sometimes occur before updates are released.

How do I update my Microsoft Windows programs?

Windows Update is a Microsoft service that provides updates for the Windows operating system and other Microsoft software. Installing Windows updates, such as “service packs” and other patches, is necessary to keep your Windows system secure. To activate Windows Update, go to Settings/Control Panel/Automatic Updates. When you turn on Automatic Updates, Windows routinely checks the Windows Update web site for high-priority updates that can help protect your computer from the latest viruses and other security threats. These updates can include security updates, critical updates, and “service packs.” Depending on the setting you choose, Windows automatically downloads and installs any high-priority updates that your computer needs, or notifies you as these updates become available. Be sure to set the auto updates to daily, as patches can be released at any time.

Note: Many organizations have formal processes to patch systems that will automatically update all appropriate software. In these situations, no end user action is required.

******************************

Source: 1. F-Secure
Source: 2. SC Magazine

The above comments are based on information tips provided by the Multi-State Information and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). To learn more about MS-ISAC go to http://www.msisac.org/
__________________________________________

OTHER NEWS AND VIEWS

Continue reading " CLLB: Information Security Newsletter " »

Posted On: December 21, 2009

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

December-14-18, 2009.

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, December 14, 2009
US v. Giggy, No. 09-1542
In a case involving the sentence of a defendant for maliciously destroying by fire a building with two prior convictions for non-dwelling burglary, the government's appeal of defendant's sentence requesting that the Sentencing Commission be asked to clarify how courts ought to apply the Sentencing Guidelines to non-dwelling burglary is dismissed because there is no specification of error by the government directed to the district court's reasoning or findings, and the government's alternative request that the court consult the Commission is unpromising.

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, December 16, 2009
US v. Zapata, No. 08-1554
A sentence of the statutory maximum imposed following defendant's conviction for unlawful use of a communication facility in connection with a drug trafficking offense is affirmed where: 1) the sentence fell within constitutional limits as it did not exceed the statutory maximum set by Congress; 2) district court's drug quantity estimate represents a reasonable view of the record and is therefore not clearly erroneous; and 3) defendant's sentence was procedurally and substantively reasonable.

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, December 17, 2009
Mosher v. Nelson, No. 09-1636
In plaintiffs' civil rights action brought following the death of their son against a facility operated by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections that serves as both a prison and a mental hospital, its superintendent, and others, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) defendant-superintendent is entitled to qualified immunity as a reasonable official in defendant's place, given the circumstances and the legal standard, could have believed that allowing a certain practice to continue would not lead to events that would violate a patient's rights; 2) commissioner is also entitled to qualified immunity as a reasonable official in his position could have reasonably believed that staffing that met the hospital's recommendations was sufficient to avoid constitutional violations; and 3) the district court properly dismissed the plaintiffs' state law claims as barred by the Eleventh Amendment

Continue reading " Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure " »

Posted On: December 21, 2009

Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law

December-14-18, 2009.

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, December 17, 2009
Mosher v. Nelson, No. 09-1636
In plaintiffs' civil rights action brought following the death of their son against a facility operated by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections that serves as both a prison and a mental hospital, its superintendent, and others, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) defendant-superintendent is entitled to qualified immunity as a reasonable official in defendant's place, given the circumstances and the legal standard, could have believed that allowing a certain practice to continue would not lead to events that would violate a patient's rights; 2) commissioner is also entitled to qualified immunity as a reasonable official in his position could have reasonably believed that staffing that met the hospital's recommendations was sufficient to avoid constitutional violations; and 3) the district court properly dismissed the plaintiffs' state law claims as barred by the Eleventh Amendment. .

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, December 16, 2009
US v. Hester, No. 08-4665
Defendant's conviction for traveling in interstate commerce and failing to register or update his sex offender registration in violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is affirmed where the fact that defendant had no actual notice of SORNA was not sufficient to render his prosecution pursuant to that statute a violation of his due process rights.

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, December 18, 2009
Turkmen v. Ashcroft, No. 06-3745
In an action claiming abuse, mistreatment, and detention of Arab and Muslim aliens who were held on immigration violations in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, an order partially dismissing the complaint is affirmed in part where there was no clearly established equal protection right to be free of selective enforcement of immigration laws based on national origin, race, or religion at the time of plaintiffs' detentions. However, the order is vacated in part where defendant-officials were entitled to qualified immunity because a law enforcement official's actual motivation for the Fourth Amendment seizure of a person was constitutionally irrelevant if the seizure was supported by probable cause.


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Posted On: December 21, 2009

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


December 21, 2009.

Update from the Lexis Alert Service,

1. People v Hayes, 1802, 4897/06, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 9399; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9207, December 17, 2009, Decided, December 17, 2009, 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 (Lewis Bart Stone, ...

2. People v Marcellin, 1804, 9043/98, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 9401; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9209, December 17, 2009, Decided, December 17, 2009, 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 ...
... appellant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Jeffrey M. Atlas, ...

3. People v Garcia, 1819, 5122/06, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 9376; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9194, December 17, 2009, Decided, December 17, 2009, 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, ...

4. People v Cordisco, 1825, 4108/06, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 9382; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9185, December 17, 2009, Decided, December 17, 2009, 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 (Lewis Bart Stone, ...

...

Continue reading " New York Appellate Criminal Cases Originating from the New York Supreme Court NY County " »

Posted On: December 16, 2009

Charting A New Course: A Blueprint for Transforming Juvenile Justice in New York State

A report prepared by New York Governor David Paterson's Task Force on Transforming Juvenile Justice released in December 2009. It "shines a harsh light" on the problems in New York's prisons for juvenile offenders

According to this Report, " the problems are so acute that the state agency overseeing the prisons has asked New York's family court judges not to send youths to any of them "unless they are a significant risk to public safety," recommending instead alternatives like therapeutic foster care."

This Report comes three months after a federal investifgation found that excessive force was routinely used at the four New York prisons, "resulting in injuries as severe as broken bones and shattered teeth."

Although we are not authorized to include in this posting a draft copy we have seen of the Report, the following is an excerpt from the Executive Summary>

Continue reading " Charting A New Course: A Blueprint for Transforming Juvenile Justice in New York State " »

Posted On: December 15, 2009

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

December 14, 2009.

Update from the Lexis Alert Service,

1. People v Padilla, 1712, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 9144; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8976, December 10, 2009, Decided, December 10, 2009, 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 ...
... appellant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Ronald Zweibel, J.), ...

2. People v Perkins, 1716, 3963/07, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 9146; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8966, December 10, 2009, Decided, December 10, 2009, 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 (Charles J. Tejada, ...

3. People v Shaw, 1730, 7741/02, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 9157; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8981, December 10, 2009, Decided, December 10, 2009, 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, ...

4. People v Thomas, 1740, 1734/03, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 9163; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8984, December 10, 2009, Decided, December 10, 2009, 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 of resentence, Supreme Court, New York County (Carol Berkman, J.), ...

5. People v Henry, 1741, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 9164; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8987, December 10, 2009, Decided, December 10, 2009, 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 ...
... appellant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Renee A. White, ...

Posted On: December 14, 2009

Law and Literature Symposium at the University of Cincinnati Law School

February 29, 2008

A number of people who have distinguihed themselves in the legal profession have also been quite successful as poets. Wallace Stevens comes to mind. That brings me to the poetry of Professor Lawrence Joseph, Reverend Joseph P. Tinnelly, C.M. Professor of Law, which was the subject of the 2008 Law and Literature Symposium, "Some Sort of Chronicler I Am: Narration and the Poetry of Lawrence Joseph," on February 29, 2008, at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. The Symposium was put together by the University of Cincinnati Law Review. Professor Joseph was joined in the Symposium by a group of distinguished legal and literary scholars who used Professor Joseph's poetry as a starting point to explore the nature of narration in poetry and its relationship to the language of law, and other forms of narration and language. The Symposium has been published in 77 Cincinnati Law Review. Number 3 Spring 2009. To help illustrate the depth and range of topics covered in the Symposium, here is al list of papers and their contributors included in the 77 Cincinnati Law Review symposium issue:

Narrating Justice ..... Joseph P. Tomain

Embedded Chronicles: Lawrence Joseph's Poetry of Urgency..... Lee Upton

Several Kinds of Chronicler, He's Been: The Books and Selves of Lawrence Joseph...Eric Murphy Selinger.

"Why Not Say What Happens": Modernism, Traumatic Memory, and Lawrence Joseph's Into It....John Lowney.

"Telling the Time": Narrative and Lyric: in the Poetry of Lawrence Joseph... Lisa M. Steinman.

Lawrence Joseph's Detroit: "The Shifting Story"......Frank D. Rashid

I to Eye: Self and Society in the Poetry of Lawrence Joseph....Thomas Depietro.

Lawrence Joseph and Law nd Literature.....David A. Skeel, Jr.

Notations of Poetry and Narration...Lawrence Joseph.

According to a posting on a St. Johns Law School website, Professor Joseph graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1975, after receiving Bachelor and Masters of Arts degrees in English Literature from the University of Michigan and the University of Cambridge. After law school, he served as judicial law clerk for Justice G. Mennen Williams of the Michigan Supreme Court. He was then a member of the School of Law faculty at the University of Detroit. Professor Joseph joined the St. John's School of Law faculty in 1987, after practicing law with the firm of Shearman & Sterling in New York City. In addition to his scholarship and his legal writings in the areas of labor and employment law, tort and compensation law, legal theory and interpretation, and law and literature, Professor Joseph has published five books of poetry, most recently Into It, and a book of prose, Lawyerland, as well as essays. articles, and reviews which have appeared in leading magazines, newspapers, and journals. His legal and literary writings have received widespread, international critical acclaim and attention, including a symposium, "The Lawyerland Essays," which appeared in Volume 101, No. 7, the Columbia Law Review (November 2001).

Posted On: December 14, 2009

Findlaw Case Law Summaries: Constitutional Law

December-7-11, 2009.

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

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

U.S. Supreme Court, December 08, 2009
Alvarez v. Smith, No. 08–351
In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 case involving whether Illinois law provides a sufficiently speedy opportunity for an individual, whose car or cash police have seized without a warrant, to contest the lawfulness of the seizure, a circuit court's ruling reversing dismissal of the action is vacated and the case is remanded where the action was moot because all of the actual property disputes between the parties had been resolved.

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 08, 2009
Cooey v. Strickland, No. 09-4474
District court's denial of defendant's request for a stay of execution by lethal injection under Ohio's new protocol where the state eliminated the use of a three-drug protocol and implemented a one-drug protocol is affirmed as the defendant is unable to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits on his Eighth Amendment claim by demonstrating that, facially or as applied to him, Ohio's new protocol demonstrates risk of severe pain that is substantial when compared to the known and available alternatives.

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 09, 2009
Holder v. Palmer, No. 07-1440
District court's denial of defendant's petition for a writ of habeas corpus following his conviction for sexual penetration with an uninformed partner by a person infected with AIDS is affirmed as defendant failed to demonstrate either that his trial counsel's failure to challenge five jurors permeated the entire trial with obvious unfairness, or that the trial court committed plain error by allowing the five jurors to serve on the jury.


U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 10, 2009
Spears v. Ruth, No. 09-5408
In a suit brought by the family of an individual who died eleven months after being in police custody for public intoxication, denial of a summary judgment motion by an officer and the City of Cleveland is reversed and remanded where: 1) plaintiffs have not established the obvious existence of a sufficiently serious medical need; 2) there is no evidence that the officer was aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm existed, and that he drew that inference and chose to disregard the risk; 3) as such, because no constitutional violation occurred, the officer is entitled to qualified immunity; and 4) the city is entitled to summary judgment because the record as a whole does not support an inference that a reasonable trier of fact could find a causal connection between either officer's actions or the police chief's no-transport policy and the decedent's injuries.

Continue reading " Findlaw Case Law Summaries: Constitutional Law " »

Posted On: December 14, 2009

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

-December-7-11, 2009.

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

U.S. Supreme Court, December 07, 2009
Michigan v. Fisher, No. 09–91
In an assault prosecution, grant of petitioner's motion to suppress evidence that he pointed a rifle at an officer when he entered his house is reversed where the officer did not violate the Fourth Amendment because he was responding to a report of a disturbance and encountered a tumultuous situation in the house, which justified a warrantless search under the emergency aid exception.

U.S. Supreme Court, December 08, 2009
Beard v. Kindler, No. 08–992
In a capital habeas matter involving whether Pennsylvania's fugitive forfeiture rule provided an adequate basis to bar federal habeas review of petitioner's claims, grant of his habeas petition is vacated and remanded where a state procedural rule is not automatically "inadequate" under the adequate state ground doctrine (and therefore unenforceable on federal habeas review) because the state rule was discretionary rather than mandatory. ..

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, December 07, 2009
US v. Leon-Quinones, No. 07-1395
Defendant's conviction for robbing two banks and for carrying a firearm during and in relation to a robbery is affirmed where: 1) there was sufficient evidence that defendant used a real firearm during the robbery of one of the banks; 2) the district court committed no clear or obvious error in allowing a witness to identify defendant; and 3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the prosecutor to ask witnesses leading questions when they returned to the stand to identify defendant.

Continue reading " Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure " »

Posted On: December 14, 2009

ABA Journal Law News Now

Top Ten Stories for Week Ending December 11, 2009

Editor's Note: The 3rd Annual ABA Journal Blawg 100 is now online! Readers are invited to browse the list and are encouraged to register to vote for their favorites.

Legal Ethics
Hiring Lawyer Rejects Federalist Society Members--and Columnist's Advice
Dec 7, 2009, 08:43 am CST

Law Practice Management
As Law Firms Respond to Crisis, 21% of Law Students Regret Choice
Dec 9, 2009, 07:54 am CST

Layoffs
Some Law Firms Begin Firing Equity Partners, Despite a Better Third Quarter
Dec 10, 2009, 08:08 am CST

Law Practice Management
Debevoise Sues to Collect $6M Bill; Client Cites 50 Lawyers, 'Subpar' Work
Dec 9, 2009, 02:43 pm CST

Careers
Lawyers Second Most Likely Professional to Be in a Car Crash
Dec 7, 2009, 07:05 am CST

Law Practice Management
Brinks Hofer Cuts 7 Lawyers & 19 Staff, May Reduce Associate Pay Next Year
Dec 8, 2009, 06:56 pm CST

Careers
Hiring Lawyer Getting Resumes from Ivy League Law Grads for First Time
Dec 9, 2009, 08:24 am CST

Careers
New Career Path for U.S. Lawyers: Outsourcing Firms
Dec 10, 2009, 09:43 am CST

Criminal Justice
Detective Says Death of L.A. Lawyer Might Be a 'Targeted Killing'
Dec 9, 2009, 03:06 pm CST

Tax Law
IRS Audits Single Mom Making $20K, Says She Can't Claim Kids as Dependents
Dec 8, 2009, 03:53 pm CST

Posted On: December 14, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court Update: Beard v. Kindler

A Service from the ABA Criminal Justice Section, http://www.abanet.org/crimjust

Beard v. Kindler, No. 08-992 (U.S. Dec. 8, 2009)

"The Court decided a capital habeas matter involving whether Pennsylvania's fugitive forfeiture rule provided an adequate basis to bar federal habeas review of petitioner's claims, grant of habeas petition is vacated and remanded where a state procedural rule is not automatically "inadequate" under the adequate state ground doctrine (and therefore unenforceable on federal habeas review) because the state rule was discretionary rather than mandatory).

The respondent, Kindler was convicted of capital murder in Pennsylvania. The jury recommended the death sentence. Kindler subsequently filed post verdict motions but before the trial court could consider the motions he escaped and fled to Canada. He was picked up in Canada, escaped again and was eventually caught and now back in custody. During the time he was escaping the court dismissed the motions. Once back in prison Kindler moved to reinstate the motions which the trial court denied.

Kindler argued on direct appeal that the trial court erred in declining to address the merits of his post verdict motions, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed. Kindler’s claims were rejected on state habeas, and he sought federal habeas relief. Under the adequate state ground doctrine, a federal habeas court will not review a claim rejected by a state court “if the decision of [the state] court rests on a state law ground that is independent of the federal question and adequate to support the judgment.” Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U. S. 722, 729. The District Court nonetheless granted Kindler’s habeas petition, determining that the state fugitive forfeiture rule did not provide an adequate basis to bar federal review of Kindler’s habeas claims. The Third Circuit affirmed, and the Commonwealth petitioned for certiorari.

Held: A state procedural rule is not automatically “inadequate” under the adequate state ground doctrine—and therefore unenforceable on federal habeas review—because the state rule is discretionary rather than mandatory. The question whether a state procedural ruling is adequate is itself a question of federal law. Given the federalism and comity concerns motivating the adequate state ground doctrine in the habeas context, see Coleman, supra, at 730, this Court should not disregard discretionary state procedural rules that are in place in nearly every State and are substantially similar to those given full force in federal courts. Cf. Francis v. Henderson, 425 U. S. 536, 541–542. Pp. 7–9."

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-992.pdf


Posted On: December 14, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court Update: Michigan v. Jeremy Fisher

A Service from the ABA Criminal Justice Section, http://www.abanet.org/crimjust

Michigan v. Jeremy Fisher

United States Supreme Court No. 09-91

Decided: December 7, 2009

The United States Supreme Court issued a per curium decision on December 7 regarding a Fourth Amendment case. The case arising out of Michigan involved two police officers accused of violating the Fourth Amendment by making a warrantless entry into a home. The officers who were responding to a complaint about a “crazy man” in a house arrived on the scene and observed a damaged pick up truck in the driveway, a damaged fence, three broken house windows, blood stains on the front of the truck and bloodied clothing out side the house. As the officers approached the house they could see the defendant screaming and throwing things inside the house.

The defendant had locked the back door and placed a couch in front of the front door to prevent entry into his house. At the door the officers also noticed that the defendant’s hand was bleeding and asked him if he needed medical attention and asked him to let them in. The defendant responded that he was fine and demanded that they get a search warrant if they wanted to enter his house.

The officers then pushed the front door in and observed the defendant holding a gun. The defendant was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon.

The Michigan Court of Appeals believed that the officer’s actions were not justifiable enough to have entered the home of Fisher. They concluded that the drops of blood did not validate a serious, life-threatening injury and being that Fisher was upright and conscious; he could have tended to his own needs. A motion to suppress the evidence was granted.

The Supreme Court ruled that it was error for the Michigan Court of Appeals to replace that objective inquiry into appearances with its hindsight determination that there was in fact no emergency. [Quoting the per curium author]

It does not meet the needs of law enforcement or the demands of public safety to require officers to walk away from a situation like the one they encountered here. Only when an apparent threat has become an actual harm can officers rule out innocuous explanations for ominous circumstances.

The opinion went on to say that it was reasonable for the officers to conclude that an emergency aid exception to the Forth Amendment was called for and thus reversed and remanded the Michigan Court of Appeals.

This case is available to view at: www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/09pdf/09-91.pdf

Posted On: December 14, 2009

The State of Criminal Justice 2009

An American Bar Association publication sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section

The State of Criminal Justice 2009

"Authors from across the criminal justice field provide essays on topics ranging from white collar crime to international law to juvenile justice. This annual publication examines and reports on the major issues, trends and significant changes in the criminal justice system. As one of the cornerstones of the Section's work, the publication serves as an invaluable resource for policy-makers, academics, and students of the criminal justice system alike. The 2009 volume contains 21 chapters focusing on specific aspects of the criminal justice field, with new addition of full text and reports of all of the adopted official ABA policies passed in 2008-2009 that address criminal justice issues".

Detail:

Product Code: 5090122
Editor: Myrna Raeder
Publication Date: April 20, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60442-336-5
Page Count: 344
Trim Size: 8½ x 11 - Paperback
Sponsoring Entities: Criminal Justice Section
Topics: Criminal Law
Format:
Pricing: $29.95 (Regular)
$24.95 (Criminal Justice Section) ABA Members,

Posted On: December 10, 2009

Placement: Preservation Librarian Opportunity at GPO


Librarian (Preservation)

Salary Range: 102,721.00 - 133,543.00 USD /year

Open: Monday, December 07, 2009 to Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Series & Grade: PG-1410-14

Position Information: Full Time Career/Career Conditional

Duty Location: 1 vacancy - Washington DC Metro Area, DC

Who may be considered: US Citizens and Status Candidates


JOB SUMMARY:
Come be a part of one of the largest digital information facilities in the world! Make Your Mark on the reinvention of a major government enterprise. The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is Keeping America Informed by providing excellent publishing and dissemination services for official and authentic government publications to Congress, Federal agencies, Judiciary, Federal Depository Libraries, and the American public. We have developed new product lines, employed new strategies, reengineered processes, and significantly restructured our organization into a digital-based facility. Established by Congress in 1861, GPO was founded on values of integrity, teamwork, commitment, and dependability. Be a part of history as we continue this tradition through new technologies and strategic initiatives.

This position is located in the Collection Management and Preservation Office of the Library Services and Content Management organization, Washington, DC.

Duties:
Develop and implement operational policies, procedures, and guidelines for the Government Printing Office (GPO) collections and preservation program for informational products.

Establish, review, and maintain comprehensive plans to participate in nation-wide preservation programs.

Serve as an expert liaison with U.S. Government agencies and libraries on issues associated with the maintenance of materials made available in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) collections, including FDsys, GPO Access, and the FDLP Electronic Collection.

Represent GPO in major studies related to new technologies for preservation and issues related to the management of collections in all formats.

Provide oversight and executive strategy for preservation projects with agency-wide impact.

Develop comprehensive strategies to eliminate problems or barriers to mission accomplishments, promote team building, and implement quality improvement as related to preservation and policy goals.


http://jobview.usajobs.gov/GetJob.aspx?JobID=84985851&aid=40670666-8129&WT.mc_n=125

Posted On: December 10, 2009

Special Libraries Association Members Fail to Approve Proposal to Change Organization's Name

We just received word about the outcome of the vote on the proposal to change the name of Special Libraries Association (SLA) to the Association for Stategic Knowledge Professionals. The name change proposal stemmed from the findings of the Alignment Project, an intensive two year research effort aimed at understanding the value of the information and knowledge professionals in todays environment and how to communicate that value.

Although not a member of SLA, I have followed developments related to this issue on the SLA listserv and have been very impressed with both the dedication and passion exhibited by the SLA membership.

As for the outcome, I think this is good news. As a professional librarian (an information and knowledge professional) I am very concerned about libraries and librarianship being viable now and remaining so in the future. An important part of that viability, it seems to me, relates to the essential need for libraries and librarians to maintain a clear identity as the preeminent information and knowledge professionals in the world, both now and in the future. There is a danger that proposals such as the one we are discussing here will, if ratified, result in a dilution of that identity and by extension diminish the perceived value of librararies and librarians (whatever their names) in the marketplace as compared to other organizations and occupations that are somewhat comparable. I commend the SLA membership for its decision.

David Badertscher

Here is a note from SLA Headquarters concerning the outcome of the vote of the SLA membership:

Continue reading " Special Libraries Association Members Fail to Approve Proposal to Change Organization's Name " »

Posted On: December 9, 2009

Journal: Criminology

The Journal:

Criminology is a journal, published quarterly, devoted to crime and deviant behavior. Disciplines covered include sociology, psychology, design, systems analysis, and decision theory. Major emphasis is placed on empirical research and scientific methodology. The journal's content also includes articles which review the literature or deal with theoretical issues stated in the literature as well as suggestions for the types of investigation which might be carried out in the future. It is published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. on behalf of the American Society of Criminology.

Contents of Current Issue:

Online ISSN: 1745-9125 Print ISSN: 0011-1384
Criminology
Volume47, Issue4,2009.

© 2009 American Society of Criminology

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

REVIEWERS LIST

iii-v Reviewers list

Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00167.x


ARTICLES IN DECEMBER 2009 ISSUE

1009-1043 THE SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF EXECUTIONS ON HOMICIDES: DETERRENCE, DISPLACEMENT, OR BOTH?*
KENNETH C. LAND, RAYMOND H. C. TESKE JR., HUI ZHENG
Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00168.x


1045-1090 PUNISHING THE "MODEL MINORITY": ASIAN-AMERICAN CRIMINAL SENTENCING OUTCOMES IN FEDERAL DISTRICT COURTS*
BRIAN D. JOHNSON, SARA BETSINGER
Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00169.x


1091-1129 "MIGHT NOT BE A TOMORROW": A MULTIMETHODS APPROACH TO ANTICIPATED EARLY DEATH AND YOUTH CRIME*
TIMOTHY BREZINA, ERDAL TEKIN, VOLKAN TOPALLI
Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00170.x


1131-1166 SUPERMAX INCARCERATION AND RECIDIVISM*
DANIEL P. MEARS, WILLIAM D. BALES
Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00171.x


1167-1200 GIRLS, BOYS, AND SCHOOLS: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SCHOOL-RELATED FACTORS AND STUDENT DEVIANCE*
ALLISON ANN PAYNE
Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00172.x


1201-1222 CRIMINAL BEWARE: A SOCIAL NORMS PERSPECTIVE ON POSTING PUBLIC WARNING SIGNS*
P. WESLEY SCHULTZ, JENNIFER J. TABANICO
Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00173.x


1223-1264 LAND USE AND VIOLENT CRIME*
THOMAS D. STUCKY, JOHN R. OTTENSMANN
Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00174.x


1265-1293 PUBLIC COOPERATION WITH THE POLICE IN GHANA: DOES PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS MATTER?*
JUSTICE TANKEBE
Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00175.x


1295-1329 CO-OFFENDING AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DELINQUENT CAREER*
PETER J. CARRINGTON
Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00176.x


1331-1368 ASSESSING THE EXTENT OF CRIME DISPLACEMENT AND DIFFUSION OF BENEFITS: A REVIEW OF SITUATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION EVALUATIONS*
ROB T. GUERETTE, KATE J. BOWERS
Published Online: 8 Dec 2009
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00177.x


Posted On: December 9, 2009

Hon. Randall T. Shepard Selected as Recipient of the Sixth Annual Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence

Hon. Randall T. Shepard, Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, has been selected as the recipient of the Sixth Annual Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence. Chief Justice Shepard was chosen by a three-member panel: Hon. Judith S. Kaye, former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals; Justice Ronald Robie, California Court of Appeal–Third Appellate District; and Judge Frederic Rodgers, Gilpin Combined Courts, Colorado. The award will be presented in early 2010.

See this American Judicature Society News Release for more details.

Posted On: December 9, 2009

U.S. Senate Floor Schedule 2010

The following is the announced U.S. Senate floor schedule for 2010:

Jan. 5 - Second session convenes in a pro forma session

Jan. 19 - Senate reconvenes for legislative business

Feb. 15-19 - Presidents Day recess

March 29-April 9 - Spring/Easter recess

May 31-June 4 - Memorial Day recess

July 5-9 - Independence Day recess

Aug. 9-Sept. 10 - August recess

Oct. 12 - Columbus Day recess

Nov. 11 - Veterans Day recess

Target Adjournment – To Be Determined

Posted On: December 8, 2009

Q&A: Can a Librarian With Skills in Reference, Research, and Other Areas Potentially Become a Good Paralegal?

Question (as asked):

"With times being as tough as they are, and job opportunities not being
great, I'm considering getting certified as a paralegal. It seems
from what I've read so far that a Librarian's skills could translate
well into a paralegal's duties, and I wanted to ask if anyone has any
knowledge, experience, or opinion in the matter.

Does being a Librarian with skills in research and reference and other
areas mean such a person could potentially make a good paralegal? And
if so, does anyone recommend a particular course of action over
another for getting certification or experience?"

Summary of Responses:

On the positive side:

People who thought it was a good idea stressed how the fit is
basically a natural one, how a librarian's and a paralegal's skills
complemented one another.

Education was a major point, how someone could work while getting the
necessary certificate(check your state's requirements--they vary.)

The "immediate return" on a paralegal certificate was also stressed,
how once you have it, doors could potentially open right up.

On the negative side:

More than one person described work that was more administrative than
it was library-related. Little research, reference, or other type
work. Often work was more like that of a court runner, updating
clients, making copies, and the like.

Others describing their situations more often than not went in the
direction of being law librarians--more reasonable hours, more work
that they wanted to do, and more respect.

Lots more was written, of course. But those are the types of points I
focused on.

Posted On: December 8, 2009

Remarkable Work by New York State Judges

Letter:
Remarkable Work By State Judges*

In "10 Suggestions for Court Reform," New York City Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo notes that our nation's state courts are in crisis. Many of society's most intractable problems end up in the state courts, particularly during economic downturns. In New York, this has been especially true. Throughout the state, filings continue to spiral, in every case category. Over the past five years, filings in New York City have risen in Family Court by 24 percent and in Criminal Court by 19 percent, as well as in Civil Court and in Supreme Civil and Supreme Criminal. One result of this, for example, is that a judge in the Civil Term of Supreme Court in New York City has a caseload that exceeds 600 cases, and a judge in the New York City Family Court can handle over 1,000 cases at any one time. Recent efforts to create additional judgeships, which will help alleviate these massive inventories, have yet to meet with success.

At the same time that judges are being asked to manage their burgeoning caseloads, the maddening stalemate over judicial salaries continues. New York's judges are about to enter their 12th year without a single cost-of-living adjustment. No other judges in the country have gone anywhere near that long without an increase.

Despite these extraordinarily challenging circumstances, our judges have been disposing of record numbers of cases - more than 1.5 million will be resolved this year in New York City alone. Their performance has been nothing less than remarkable, a fact that all too often receives less recognition than it should.

Ann Pfau
The author is chief administrative judge of New York.
______________________
*This letter also appears in the New York Law Journal, Tuesday December 8, 2009, p 6 col. 4

Posted On: December 8, 2009

Use of Internet Technology by Jurors and Others During a Trial

David Badertscher*

Some jurors have always had an urge to visit a crime scene or research a case they're considering while on jury duty, but now the Internet is making it much easier to play detective.

"As simple as it might have been to research facts on their own in the past, now jurors don't have to have a brother-in-law who's a doctor or a next-door neighbor who's a dentist. Everyone has access to the world of doctors and dentists," says Laura A. Miller, the chair of the criminal litigation section of the American Bar Association and a partner at Nixon Peabody.

Courts across the country are wrestling with the problem.

According to an article by Douglas L. Keene and Rita R Handrich in the November 2009 issue of The Jury Expert: The Art of Science and Litigation Advocacy, trials have been disrupted due to the internet from as far back as 2001. The sense of “feeling connected” through the internet has lead to various issues relating to legal issues, including using social media during trials.

The internet and social media has affected trials. Jurors use the internet and social media as research tools, even during jury duty. Jurors also communicate about cases online. Some say the reason for this type of behavior is because people are more self‐centered and do not consider the impact of their behavior on others. However, the real issues involve juror curiosity and naivete about their behavior.

In order to resolve these issues, the focus of the legal system has been to revise jury instructions so that jurors are explicitly told to not do internet research. According to data gathered in response to a New York Times article, the public sentiment falls into three categories. The first group says, “take away their phones,” the second says, that the legal system should figure out a way to how to deal with this new issue (taking away juror cell phones would be ineffective), and the third (smallest) group says that jurors should use these tools as a method to dig deeper into courtroom issues.

The Jury Expert article referenced above, Online and Wired for Justice: Why Jurors Turn to the Internet, also includes several recommendations and strategies for addressing the issues of jurors and internet. As the article points out, "...It isn't just jurors!" The disruptive internet-related activities of judges, attorneys, witnesses, parties and jurors must also be concerned as part of the overall problem. This and many other articles on the topic agree that increasing use of internet based technology by jurors and others in a court setting can be a broad based problem and that all concerned, especially jurors, need to be educated on the importance of not engaging in "Google mistrials".
_______________________
* I am grateful to Michael Chernicoff for his assistance in preparing this article.

Posted On: December 7, 2009

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

December 7, 2009.

Update from the Lexis Alert Service,

1. People v Basbus, 1649, 2759/05, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8964; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8782, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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 (Roger S. Hayes, ...

2. People v McAlpin, 187, 5214/06, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8957; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8770, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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 Brown, 1642, 1566/06, 5155/06, 5903/06, 5995/07, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8959; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8789, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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 ...
... appellant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Richard Carruthers, J.), ...

4. People v Watson, 1627, 3735/07, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8947; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8768, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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 ...
... appellant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Gregory Carro, J.), ...

5. People v Hecker, 1639, 5770/07, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8955; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8797, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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 (A. Kirke Bartley, ...

6. People v Boulware, 1657, 4523/07, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8972; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8769, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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 (Robert Stolz, J.), ...

7. People v Koonce, 1629-2579/04, 1629A, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8948; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8766, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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 (William A. Wetzel, ...

8. People v Carvajal, 1651, 2185/07, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8966; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8791, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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 (William A. Wetzel, ...

9. People v Barnes, 1656, 3299/07, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8971; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8784, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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 (Eduardo Padro, J.), ...

10. People v Capers, 1636, 2862/02, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8953; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8780, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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 of resentence, Supreme Court, New York County (Charles H. Solomon, ...

11. People v Stanley, 1624, 504/05, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 8944; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8764, December 3, 2009, Decided, December 3, 2009, 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. ...

12. People v Argentieri, 1248, 1249, 4081/06, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT, 2009 NY Slip Op 7495; 887 N.Y.S.2d 568; 2009 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7352, October 22, 2009, Decided, October 22, 2009, 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 (Carol Berkman, J.), ...

Posted On: December 7, 2009

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

November 30-December-4, 2009.

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

U.S. Supreme Court, November 30, 2009
Porter v. McCollum, No. 08–10537
In capital habeas proceedings, circuit court's order reversing a district court's grant of a habeas petition is reversed where it was objectively unreasonable for a state court to conclude that there was no reasonable probability the sentence would have been different if the sentencing judge and jury had heard the significant mitigation evidence that petitioner's counsel neither uncovered nor presented, including evidence of petitioner's mental health or mental impairment, his family background, or his military service.

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, December 01, 2009
US v. Willings, No. 09-1334
In a prosecution for robbery of a federal bank through the use of a dangerous weapon, district court's imposition of a sentence designating defendant as a career offender under U.S.S.G. section 4B1.1(a) is affirmed as escape from secure custody is a crime of violence within the purview of the career offender guideline.

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, December 03, 2009
US v. Hersom, No. 07-2401
Defendant's conviction for maliciously destroying by fire a building owned by an institution receiving Federal financial assistance in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 844(f) is affirmed where: 1) in general, the statute should be limited to arson of property acquired, renovated, or leased using federal financial assistance; 2) section 844(f) is constitutional and it applies to defendant's conduct in this case; but 3) defendant's sentence is vacated and remanded in light of US v. Giggey to determine whether defendant's second career offender predicate is a crime of violence.

Continue reading " Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure " »

Posted On: December 7, 2009

Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law

November 30-December-4, 2009.

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, December 03, 2009
US v. Hersom, No. 07-2401
Defendant's conviction for maliciously destroying by fire a building owned by an institution receiving Federal financial assistance in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 844(f) is affirmed where: 1) in general, the statute should be limited to arson of property acquired, renovated, or leased using federal financial assistance; 2) section 844(f) is constitutional and it applies to defendant's conduct in this case; but 3) defendant's sentence is vacated and remanded in light of US v. Giggey to determine whether defendant's second career offender predicate is a crime of violence. ..

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, December 03, 2009
Lopez v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, No. 09-1664
In minority police officers' disparate impact race claim under Title VII against a state agency that prepares and administers promotional examinations for local police officers under the state civil service system, their employers, various cities, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), district court's denial of Eleventh Amendment immunity for the state defendants, the state of Massachusetts and a chief human resources officers of the Human Resources Division (HRD) in his official capacity, is reversed where: 1) the state defendants do not qualify as employers as that term is used in Title VII; 2) HRD cannot be deemed plaintiffs' de facto employer as it exercised no control, direct or indirect, over the factors relevant to the common law agency test; and 3) plaintiffs' alternate theories why HRD should be considered their employer under Title VII are rejected.

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 02, 2009
Francis v. Giacomelli, No. 08-1908
In a case brought by a police commissioner and his deputies following a highly public dispute with the mayor of Baltimore resulting in the termination of their employment, dismissal of the action is affirmed as, based on the facts alleged in the complaint, the complaint fails to articulate any claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Furthermore, the mayor, against whom the allegations of due process violations were directed, is entitled to qualified immunity.


Continue reading " Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law " »

Posted On: December 7, 2009

Book Review: The Ethics of Representing Organizations: Legal Fictions for Clients

Title: The Ethics of Representing Organizations: Legal Fictions For Clients

Authors: Lawrence J. Fox
Susan R. Martyn

Publisher: Oxford University Press (New York)

Date of Publication: 2009

Pages: 440

Price: $125.00

The authors (Lawrence J. Fox, a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath, specializes in corporate and securities litigation; Susan J. Martyn, Stoepler Professor of Law and Values at the University of Toledo College of Law, teaches Legal Ethics, Bioethics & Law, and Health Care Provider Liability) both possess expertise and publication history in the field of legal ethics. In this volume the authors attempt to provide a handbook for the representative of organizations to better assist the practitioner in better representing the client and steering clear of ethical problems.

By inserting New Yorker Magazine cartoons relating to attorneys, the authors implicitly recognize the common place public perception of attorneys being ethically-challenged or less than ethically scrupulous in their roles as zealous advocates. In this manner, they inject some humor into a relatively arid subject. On a more serious note, the authors provide a valuable resource to practitioners representing various types of organizations. Factual scenarios are presented in a question and answer format that is conversational in nature and written in non-academic prose. The text is comprehensively footnoted with case law, Restatement, and Model Rule references. Appendices include selected state rules of professional conduct and selected sections of the restatement of laws.

This book is recommended for practitioners, law libraries, and academic libraries.

Theodore Pollack, Sr. Law Librarian, NY County Public Access Law Library


Posted On: December 4, 2009

GungaWeb An Online Tool That Assists Analysis of New York Criminal Cases

GungaWeb is an online tool that assists analysis of New York criminal cases with respect to sentencing, lesser included offenses, plea bargaining restrictions, charging and offense elements.

Detailed sentencing reports for all Penal Law offenses plus DWI and,now for 2009, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (VTL511). Dynamic detailed and summary reports of lesser included and greater inclusory offenses. Commentary on pertinent legislative
amendments included.

Current subscribers include over 100 New York judges and law clerks.

Updated on a continuous basis (Judicial Diversion analysis [CPL Article 216] now included in 2009 version) with archived annual versions from 2000 on available on-line. Annual subscriptions $198 per person.

This computer assisted legal research (CALR) application is designed to complement and supplement systems such as LEXIS and Westlaw. While those systems emphasize the search, retrieval and dissemination of information stored in their databases, GungaWeb emphasizes the analysis of New York criminal cases as noted above. Although GungaWeb has been designed primarily with New York users in mind, those outside New York who need to devote a significant amount of their time analyzing New York criminal cases as discussed in the first paragraph might also want to consider GungaWeb.

Created by a New York attorney with over 27 years experience, former member of the ommittee on Criminal Jury Instructions, and member of the Subcommittee on Simplification of the New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform.

Further details at www.gungaweb.com (click on "Features" to explore)."

Also click here to see GungaWeb News

Posted On: December 4, 2009

ABA Journal Law News Now

Top Ten Stories for week ending December 4, 2009.

Editor's Note: The 3rd Annual ABA Journal Blawg 100 is now online! Readers are invited to browse the list and are encouraged to register to vote for their favorites.

U.S. Supreme Court
A 'Somewhat Tense Moment' as Justices Consider Discharge of Student Loans
Dec 2, 2009, 07:42 am CST

Law Firms
Seyfarth Partner Sues Over Demotion, Claims Core Values Just a Marketing Tool
Dec 1, 2009, 08:23 am CST

Judiciary
Nearly 20 Court Deputies Call in Sick in Wake of Fellow Officer's Jailing
Dec 3, 2009, 11:33 am CST

Labor & Employment
Legal Secretary Sends E-Mail About Cancer Surgery, Is Fired, Suit Says
Nov 30, 2009, 10:23 am CST

Tax Law
7th Circuit Rules for Tax Lawyer in 'Yo-Yo' Case That Spanned 23 Years
Dec 2, 2009, 01:52 pm CST

Banking Law
Judge Cancels $525K in Mortgage Debt, Blasts Bank's 'Shocking and Repulsive' Acts
Nov 30, 2009, 09:21 am CST

Law Practice Management
40% of Firms Cut Starting Associate Pay, While 44% Consider 2010 Cut
Dec 1, 2009, 02:02 pm CST

U.S. Supreme Court
Scalia in Lawyer Free Speech Case: Constitution Doesn't Ban Stupid Laws
Dec 2, 2009, 07:13 am CST

Legal Ethics
Lawyer With 'Couch of Restitution' Disciplined in Michigan
Dec 1, 2009, 04:15 pm CST

Legal Ethics
Courthouse Abuzz Over DA's Blanket Boycott of Longtime Judge

Posted On: December 4, 2009

From Recent Publication Announcements of the ABA

Another Bite at the Apple: A Guide to Section 2255 Motions for Federal Prisoners

By Janice L. Bergmann

Today, the writ of habeas corpus is a federal remedy primarily used by state prisoners to challenge their conviction or sentence. Habeas corpus was also the primary post conviction remedy for federal prisoners until 1948, when Congress adopted Section 2255. Congress intended Section 2255 to supersede habeas corpus as the means by which federal prisoners could challenge the lawfulness of their incarceration, but nonetheless Aafford federal prisoners a remedy identical in scope to federal habeas corpus.

Another Bite at the Apple: A Guide to Section 2255 Motions for Federal Prisoners is the first book of its kind to focus on the special procedures and concerns that arise when a prisoner moves to Avacate, set aside, or correct a federal conviction or sentence under Section 2255.

This book is especially important now as Section 2255 proceedings have become significantly more complex with the enactment of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, and federal courts continue to struggle with the interpretation of the AEDPA=s provisions. This book examines the various legal and practical questions that may be encountered in section 2255 proceedings, including those posed by the AEDPA. This book is an essential resource for anyone wanting an introductory education about section 2255, or experienced practitioner looking for an in-depth analysis. This important book is the perfect handbook for the in the litigation of noncapital section 2255 proceedings.

This book examines:

-An Overview of Section 2255 Proceedings, including the relationship of Section 2255 to other federal postconviction remedies

-Timing Considerations, including the statute of limitations

-Section 2255 Jurisdiction, including custody and mootness, and cognizable claims

-Obstacles to Relief, including retroactive application of Teague v. Lane and Fourth Amendment claims

-Proceedings Before the District Court, including motion, summary proceedings, relief and postjudgement motions

-The Appeal and Subsequent Motions, including perfecting the appeal and second or successive motions

-Finally, an appendix contains the full text of section 2255 and the rules governing 2255 proceedings.

Product Details: 5090118
Regular Price: $99.95
CJ Section Member Price: $84.95 ©2008
6 x 9 - Paperback
327 pages
________________________

Human Rights and the Alien Tort Statute Law, History and Analysis

by Peter Henner

This unique book addresses the legal interpretations and practical implications of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), which has become the primary vehicle for international human rights litigation in United States courts in the last thirty years. It places the Alien Tort Statute in perspective, from its original enactment as a jurisdictional statute in 1789, through its evolution into a vehicle for human rights litigation. It includes in-depth analysis of legal decisions and describes the theoretical issues, practical considerations, and anticipated prospective development of the statute. It also examines the relationship between the Alien Tort Statute and two issues which have received particular attention during the Bush administration: the use of torture by United States officials and the practice of extraordinary rendition.

"Whether you are a trial lawyer representing plaintiffs or defendants in the expanding field of ATS litigation or a federal judge faced with deciding the complex jurisdictional and immunity questions which such litigation presents, you will want a copy of Peter Henner's Human Rights and the Alien Tort Statute. In this readable, lucid and logically organized text, Peter Henner has covered it all from the history of the Alien Tort Statute's enactment in 1789 to recent efforts to bring cases against the United States."

Hon. Stewart F. Hancock, Jr.
Retired Associate Judge, New York State Court of Appeals

Product Details:
Regular Price: $109.95
Section Member Price: $87.95

©2009
6 x 9 - Paper
492 pages
Product Code:
1620419
_________________________




Continue reading " From Recent Publication Announcements of the ABA " »

Posted On: December 4, 2009

Selected Recent and Forthcoming Books: Criminal Procedure

Projected publication dates from July 2009 to September 2010*

Sorted in ascending order by projected publication date:

Title: Criminal Law and Procedure for the Paralegal
Author: Gary W. Carter
Publication Date: July 2009
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Market: United States
ISBN: 0-7355-7012-4
ISBN 13: 978-0-7355-7012-2
Binding Format: Trade Paper
Price: $95.95(USD) Retail (Publisher)
---------------------------------------

Title: International Children's Rights
Author: Sara Dillon
Publication Date: November 2009
Publisher: Carolina Academic Press

Market: United States
ISBN: 1-59460-115-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-59460-115-6
Binding Format: Trade Cloth
Price: $100.00(USD) Retail (Publisher)
---------------------------------------

Title: The Criminal Cases Review Commission: Hope for the Innocent?
Contributor: Michael Naughton (Editor)
Publication Date: December 2009
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Market: United States
ISBN: 0-230-21938-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-230-21938-0
Binding Format: Trade Cloth
Price: $90.00(USD) Retail (Macmillan)
---------------------------------------

Title: Real Law Stories: Inside the American Judicial Process
Author: Richard A. Brisbin
John C. Kilwein
Publication Date: December 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated

Market: United States
ISBN: 0-19-973359-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-19-973359-0
Binding Format: Trade Paper
Price: $22.95(USD) Retail (Publisher)


Continue reading " Selected Recent and Forthcoming Books: Criminal Procedure " »

Posted On: December 3, 2009

Voting Has Begun in the ABA Journal's Third Annual Blawg 100

I received the following letter from the ABA Journal along with a request to send it along to our readers. I urge all of you to contribute to the Blawg 100 conversation.
David Badertscher

Dear Blawgger,
As proprietor of one of the more than 2,500 blawgs in the ABA Journal's online directory, we thought you'd want to know that our annual Blawg 100 list was published today.

Now the real fun begins. We've invited our readers to vote for their favorite blogs from among the top 100 in each of 10 categories. Voting ends December 31. Winners will be featured in the February issue of the Journal.

Every year, the list has occasioned great debate about the state of the blawgosphere, terrific legal blogs that didn't make the list, and how lawyers can benefit from the news and analysis being produced online every day by their colleagues nationwide. Indeed, the debate that occurs on blawgs like yours has done as much to promote the legal profession's engagement with new media as the Blawg 100 list itself.

So we invite you to point your readers to the Blawg 100 and continue contributing to that conversation.

Thank you for the news and analysis you provide the legal community on your blog.
--Ed
________________________________
Edward A. Adams
Editor and Publisher
ABA Journal
www.ABAJournal.com

Posted On: December 2, 2009

fMRI Evidence Used in Murder Sentencing

CLLB Abstract Prepared by Michael Chernicoff

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2009/11/fmri-evidence-u.html

The defense lawyer for Brian Dugan, an Illinois man convicted of raping and killing a 10-year-old girl, used fMRI brain scans as evidence during the sentencing phase of his trial show that their client should be spared the death penalty because he has a brain disorder. The defense argued that Dugan was born with a mental illness – psychopathy. This, said the defense, should be a mitigating factor since it impaired his ability to control his behavior.

Dugan scored a 37 out of 40 on the standard diagnostic checklist for psychopathy, placing him in the 99½ percentile. Dugan exhibits antisocial behavior, impulsivity, lack of remorse, and other characteristics of psychopathy, according to Kent Kiehl, a neuroscientist at the University of New Mexico. Kiehl did not say that Dugan murdered as a result of a brain abnormality, but commented that, “It’s just one piece of evidence that his brain is different.” Jonathan Brodie, a psychiatrist at New York University testified for the prosecution saying that the scans were not relevant in this case.

After one juror initially held out from the death penalty, the jury found Dugan guilty and sentenced him to death.Although evidence of brain abnormalities have been previously introduced during the sentencing phase of murder cases, and PET scans used to show abnormalities consistent with mental illness in court, Dugan’s case may be the first one for fMRI. It is hard to know what effect this evidence had on the jury.

Posted On: December 2, 2009

Does Bringing a Terrorist Suspect From Gitmo to New York Confer Any More Legal Rights?

CLLB Abstract prepared by Michael Chernicoff

Does Bringing a Terrorist Suspect From Gitmo to New York Confer Any More Legal Rights?
http://volokh.com/2009/11/20/does-bringing-a-terrorist-suspect-from-gitmo-to-new-york-confer-any-more-legal-rights/

If Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed is transferred from Gitmo to New York, would this allow him different immigrant status or create constitutional rights, such as Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, or Due Process rights? Fourth Amendment rights would not be created, as dictated by United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 (1990). (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=494&invol=259). Other rights acquired are hard to determine because we do not know the rights Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed had at Gitmo.

Seven GOP Senators on the Judiciary Committee sent a letter questioning the Administration on this issue (http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=010ab680-9223-499f-a24a-143f031b10df). Orin Kerr, the author of this opinion piece, believe that Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed will not get a lot of rights in a criminal trial, as President Barrack Obama said, “I don’t think it will be offensive at all when he’s convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him.”

Posted On: December 2, 2009

SRLN: Training on Public Libraries and Access to Justice


With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the National Center for State Courts, the Center-hosted Self-Represented Litigation Network, in cooperation with the Legal Services Corporation, is presenting:

A Training on Public Libraries and Access to Justice
January 11-12, 2010, Austin, Texas

Information on Application Process

With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the National Center for State Courts, the Center-hosted Self-Represented Litigation Network, in cooperation with the Legal Services Corporation, is presenting a two-day conference that addresses how public libraries can improve access to online legal information at libraries. The conference will be a unique opportunity for participants to meet with public librarians and with legal and court experts to discuss strategies for integrating access to legal information into their programs, including how to the best locate content and tools, how to talk about the content with library patrons, how to work with content partners to make sure that needed content is developed, how to share what they have learned statewide, and how to use successful programs to advocate for the importance of public libraries as gateways to government institutions..

The conference organizers plan to select between 10 and 15 teams of two to three people from across the country to attend the conference. These teams will learn about a broad range of currently available print and online, customer-friendly legal tools developed by courts, bar associations, law libraries, and legal aid programs that support people without access to legal aid or counsel. The participants will learn how to access this information, facilitate sharing among libraries and legal agencies and participate in the enhancement and customization of these tools.

Preference will generally be given to teams that include a person who plays a statewide library staff educational or organizational role; a local librarian with a strong interest in expanding the use of public libraries for access to justice; and one of the following: a legal aid staff member; or a court online information expert or member of a self help center currently not using online tools to provide services. Applicant teams are encouraged to put together a group that will be the most effective in their area of service to spread the word in their states. The decision of the selection group will be final.

Conference participants will receive travel and hotel costs (subject to certain caps described in the application). Participants will also be eligible to apply for post-conference funding to implement some of the tools learned at the conference. Such grants, which will range from $750 to $1,000, might be used for travel to conferences at which training would be shared, development of marketing materials, and so on.

For additional immediate information, contact Richard Zorza, richard@zorza.net.

Application materials can be found:
On SelfHelpSupport:

http://www.selfhelpsupport.org/libraries

On WebJunction:

http://www.webjunction.org/legal-information/-/articles/content/86970844.

Posted On: December 1, 2009

LEH Letter: Copyright, New Media Law and E-Commerce News

I am grateful to Lesley Ellen Harris for granting me permission to publish the complete issues of her New Media Law & E-Commerce News on this blawg as they appear. Here is Leslie's most recent issue.:

FROM THE OFFICES OF LESLEY ELLEN HARRIS
Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Vol. 13, No. 5, December 1, 2009
ISSN 1489-954X

Contents:

1. Studies, Legislation and Conventions
WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
Finland makes Broadband Access a Legal Right

2. Legal Cases:
Database of Classified Ads held Copyrightable
Software Pirates Fined and Jailed in China

3. Of Interest:
iStockphoto Provides Guarantee to Users Regarding IP Rights
Listing of Copyright & Licensing Positions

4. Seminars and Publications:
The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter 2010
WIPO Magazine
Copyright Certificate Program
Online Copyright Courses
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Copyright, New Media & E-Commerce News is distributed for free by the
office of Lesley Ellen Harris. Information contained herein should not be
relied upon or considered as legal advice. Copyright 2009 Lesley Ellen
Harris. This e-letter may be forwarded, downloaded or reproduced in whole
in any print or electronic format for non-commercial purposes provided that
you cc: lehletter@copyrightlaws.com.

This e-letter, from 1996 to the present, is archived with Library &
Archives Canada at: http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/201/300/copyright/.
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

1. STUDIES, LEGISLATION AND CONVENTIONS:

WIPO STANDING COMMITTEE ON COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS
- The nineteenth session will take place in Geneva from December 14 to 18,
2009. The Committee is currently discussing special provisions for
education, libraries and persons with disabilities, as well as the
protection of audiovisual performances and broadcasting organizations.
Meeting documents are at: www.wipo.int.

FINLAND MAKES BROADBAND ACCESS A LEGAL RIGHT The Finnish government is
the first worldwide to introduce new laws that guarantee broadband access
to every person living in the country. Starting in July 2010, every Finnish
person will have the right to a one-megabit broadband connection; and by
the end of 2015 the legal right will be extended to a 100Mb connection.
Almost 80% of the population (5.5 million) currently use the Internet; with
approximately 1.5 million broadband connections in the country.
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

2. LEGAL CASES:

DATABASE OF CLASSIFIED ADS HELD COPYRIGHTABLE This case involved the
Defendant copying classified ads and pictures from an issue of Want Ad
Digest into its own publication. The U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of New York held that while the individual ads were not protected
by copyright since they lacked creativity and originality, the digests
arrangement of subheadings was sufficiently creative to receive copyright
protection as a compilation. See: Want Ad Digest Inc. v. Display
Advertising Inc.

SOFTWARE PIRATES FINED AND JAILED IN CHINA Four people were sentenced to
2-4 years in prison and fined approximately 11 million Renminbi ($1.6
million) for distributing pirated versions of Microsoft Windows XP and
other software on a Web site called the Tomato Garden. The Huqin District
Peoples Court in Suzhou also fined the company who operated the site more
than 8.7 million Renminbi ($1.3 million) and confiscated part of its
revenue. Estimates suggest that more than 10 million people downloaded
pirated software from the Web site.
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__________________________________________________________________

3. OF INTEREST:

ISTOCKPHOTO PROVIDES GUARANTEE TO USERS REGARDING IP RIGHTSiStockphoto,
who licenses images for a relatively low cost, has implemented a new
guarantee to alleviate customer concerns regarding infringement of
intellectual property rights. Under the guarantee, the company will cover
up to $10,000 of legal costs in cases involving IP infringement. Coverage
may be increased to $250,000 at a cost of 100 of the credits ordinarily
used to purchase images, videos, etc. Credits presently cost $1.50 or less.
This new guarantee capitalizes on consumer concerns of the risks involved
in using images that are freely downloadable from the Internet. See:
http://www.istockphoto.com.

LISTING OF COPYRIGHT & LICENSING POSITIONS Listings of available
positions in the U.S., Canada and around the world, are now posted at
www.copyrightanswers.blogspot.com. Current listings include positions for
librarians, rights and reproduction person in a museum, and a position at
WIPO. These listings will continue to include positions for non-lawyers in
copyright and licensing as well as positions for lawyers outside the
traditional practise of law.

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__________________________________________________________________

4. SEMINARS AND PUBLICATIONS:

THE COPYRIGHT & NEW MEDIA LAW NEWSLETTER 2010 The 2010 Volume of this
previously print-only Newsletter (which has been in publication since 1997)
is now also available in a PDF format. This unique publication provides
plain English copyright compliance and licensing information aimed at a
diverse audience including librarians, educators, government employees,
publishers, digital content creators and distributors, and lawyers. See:
www.acteva.com/go/copyright. Email editor@copyrightlaws.com for a sample
copy.

WIPO MAGAZINE The December 2009 issue of WIPO Magazine incleditor@copyrightlaws.com udes a number
of stories on digital copyright issues including Wikimedia Licensing
Policy Change A Conundrum, Is Sampling Always Copyright Infringement?
and Legal Use of Digital Content Making it Clear and Simple. See:
http://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/.

COPYRIGHT CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Copyrightlaws.com jointly with the Special
Library Association/Click University offers a seven course Certificate in
Copyright Management. See: www.clickuniversity.com. A primer on Canadian
Copyright Law is also available through this program for any Canadians
wishing to pursue the Certificate. Register for a free virtual open house
for this program on January 20, 2009 at
http://www.sla.org/content/learn/certificates/copyright/index.cfm.

ONLINE COPYRIGHT COURSES Copyrightlaws.com is offering the following
online courses in early 2010:
Managing Copyright Issues
Copyright Law for Canadian Librarians
Copyright Education: Demystifying Copyright in Your Enterprise
Developing a Copyright Policy. By completing the assignments in this
course, you will have a draft Copyright Policy customized for your organization.

For further information and registration, see:
www.copyrightlawscom.blogspot.com and www.acteva.com/go/copyright.

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__________________________________________________________________

This newsletter is prepared by Copyright Lawyer Lesley Ellen Harris. Lesley
is the author of the books Canadian Copyright Law (McGraw-Hill), Digital
Property: Currency of the 21st Century (McGraw-Hill), and Licensing Digital
Content (ALA Editions). Lesley edits the print newsletter, The Copyright &
New Media Law Newsletter. Lesley may be reached at:
http://copyrightlaws.com.
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

If you are looking for further topical and practical information about
copyright law, obtain a sample copy of the print newsletter, The Copyright
& New Media Law Newsletter, from editor@copyrightlaws.com.