Posted On: January 29, 2010

2009 End of Year Message from Internet Society President and CEO

Although addressed primarily to Internet Society members, the following message contains information which should be of interest to librarians, lawyers and other important stakeholders in the internet community who need to follow ongoing developments.

Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,

The end of 2009 is here - and what a year it has been. The Internet
Society continued to prosper in 2009, the results of our work reaching
wider and deeper than ever before. So it is a pleasure to extend my
sincere gratitude to all of you whose combined efforts, energy, and
dedication have made this such a great year.

We often use the term "Internet community" and, looking back at the
achievements of this year, it is clear that these are truly the result
of a strong, committed community pulling together around shared values
and principles.

It is impossible to list here all of the Internet Society's
achievements from such a busy and productive year, but I would like to
single out a few highlights.

Within the Enabling Access Initiative, we worked closely with Chapters
and other local and regional partners to significantly extend our
technical and policy capacity building programmes, especially in
Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. These efforts were aided
through a revitalized INET programme with specialized content
developed in partnership with local communities, and which reached out
successfully to hundreds of participants in each location. This work
advanced our profile and strengthened our message in many high-level
forums, such as the OECD, the World Bank, and the ITU. Access
continues to be one of the major themes in many of the Chapter and
other member projects supported by our grants programmes.

In our InterNetWorks Initiative, a number of new efforts contributed
to helping to advance the health of the Internet. ISOC continues to
project a strong voice for IPv6 deployment, so it has been pleasing to
see in 2009 that IPv6 is gathering momentum around the world. In an
exciting new development this year, ISOC launched a series of topical,
lively panel discussions during IETF meetings. The first on IPv6
deployment attracted much international attention. Together with the
subsequent panels on DNS security and bandwidth management issues,
these events have set the scene for what will be an important ongoing
activity, helping to advance the health of the Internet and promoting
the role of the IETF.

ISOC's Trust and Identity Initiative benefited from two important new
staff additions in 2009, increasing our involvement in many important
new initiatives and partnerships in both the Trust and Identity
spaces. One of the most significant is the Kantara Initiative
(formerly the Liberty Alliance), in which ISOC has developed a strong
voice and leadership role.

Throughout all of our work in 2009, we strived to promote better
understanding of the nature and importance of the Internet Model of
development and the relationships of the many organizations and
functions making up the Internet Ecosystem. These efforts have clearly
paid off and we were very pleased to see many of our messages
reflected in the words and actions of many others in regional,
national, and global discussions. In 2009, ISOC's key messages were
more frequently cited in media reports and reflected in statements by
policy makers around the world than ever before.

Additions to ISOC's staff in 2009 helped us make big strides in
producing better publications and communications resources, delivering
important information and services in more languages, and providing
much greater support for events where Chapters, Individual and
Organization Members, and others come together in support of our
common mission. The successful Sphere project continues to be an
excellent process for enabling the full potential of the Chapter
network. And we were very pleased to recently launch the first phase
of our new Association Management System as a much improved tool for
Chapter and member interaction.

This year was one of ISOC's most significant ever in terms of global
engagement. With highly visible roles in the EU, ITU, OECD, IGF, and
many other major policy and technical forums, it is clear that ISOC's
reputation as a trusted and authoritative voice on critical Internet
issues continues to grow stronger. We again were honoured to
coordinate the participation of other organizations, especially in the
Internet Technical Advisory Committee to the OECD and the Internet
Pavilion at the ITU's Telecom World 2009. At the latter event, ISOC
announced the Next Generation Leaders programme, a new activity
starting in 2010 to build on our past successes such as the Network
Training Workshops (NTW's), as well as our current work in Fellowships
to the IETF, and Ambassadorships to the IGF and other forums, adding
coursework and mentoring to help accelerate the careers of the young
practitioners who will lead the Internet into its next generation.

Finally, the Internet Society is finishing the year on a high note,
having just announced our support for the World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C), to help it evolve as a more agile, inclusive, and flexible
organization, as it creates and promotes open standards.

There is so much more I could mention here - it really has been an
extraordinary year. As 2009 draws to a close, it is important to
recognize and thank all those who contributed to such a successful
year. So, thank you to all the Individual and Organization Members,
the Chapters, and all our other supporters and partners for their
efforts and support as we worked together in pursuit of our common
goals. Thank you to our friends in the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) without whose values
and work, the Internet, as we know it, would not exist. And, of
course, thank you to the ISOC staff, the ISOC Board of Trustees, the
Organization Member Advisory Council and the Public Interest Registry
(PIR), for their efforts and support. To all of you, your support is
vital to helping the Internet improve the lives of people everywhere.

Finally, I'd like to extend my very best wishes to you and your
families during the holiday season, as we couldn't do what we do
without their support. I look forward to working together with all of
you for a prosperous and successful 2010.

Warmest regards,

Lynn

Lynn St.Amour
President & CEO, Internet Society

Posted On: January 29, 2010

State Courts and the Economy

Volume 2 Number 1
January 7, 2010

State Courts & the Economy is an e-newsletter published by the National Center for State Courts.

Contents of this issue:

Courts Starting to Bear the Brunt of the Recession
Close Some Courthouses, But Build New Ones, Too?
Budget Cuts Go to Court
State-by-State Budget News

Posted On: January 29, 2010

OCLC Announces QuestionPoint and Text A Librarian Collaboration


OCLC's QuestionPoint and Mosio's Text a Librarian announce virtual reference collaboration
Project to offer text messaging reference options to QuestionPoint users. Here is the Press Release :

DUBLIN, Ohio, January 15, 2010-OCLC and Mosio are working together to enable seamless integration of Mosio's Text a Librarian text messaging reference software with OCLC's QuestionPoint reference management service to provide a comprehensive virtual reference solution for libraries.

OCLC and Mosio are exploring solutions to the demands of a mobile world and the need for libraries to be able to communicate with their patrons online and on-the-go.
"Library reference services need to be accessible where and when users need them, in the form they want," said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO. "Users are increasingly relying on mobile technologies, and QuestionPoint is committed to providing libraries with the tools they need. Text a Librarian is a leader in texting services for libraries in the U.S. Working together, we believe we can deliver an efficient and cost-effective solution for libraries."

QuestionPoint's reference management suite that includes email, online chat and chat widgets combined with Mosio's Web-based Text a Librarian service for text messaging would offer patrons more virtual reference options and provide libraries increased efficiencies in managing patron inquiries in a single place.

"Mobile reference services are an exciting opportunity for libraries," said Noel Chandler, Mosio CEO and Co-Founder. "This collaboration combines our expertise in mobile reference technology with OCLC's experience as the leader in virtual reference management software to provide libraries a full digital reference services package."

The integration of Text a Librarian with QuestionPoint services will begin with libraries based in the United States.

For more information, visit www.textalibrarian.com or www.oclc.org/questionpoint.

About OCLC
Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing library costs. More than 72,000 libraries in 112 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world's largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat on the Web at www.worldcat.org. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.

About Mosio's Text a Librarian
Text a Librarian is a mobile reference service technology developed specifically for libraries. Built on Mosio's award-winning mobile questions and answers platform, Text a Librarian enables libraries to reach more patrons on the go through their mobile phones. For more information regarding Text a Librarian, please visit www.textalibrarian.com

Posted On: January 29, 2010

Rhodes on Preserving Born-Digital Legal Materials

Robert C. Richard, Editor in Chief of Vox PopoLII reports thatSarah Rhodes has just published a terrific new overview of digital legal preservation, entitled "Preserving Born-Digital Legal Materials…Where to Start?" on Cornell's VoxPopuLII blog. The post addresses core concerns, as well as emerging issues, and provides a thorough and accessible view of the field. He thinks it will prove a very rewarding resource for novices and experienced preservation professionals alike.

Posted On: January 29, 2010

Annual Business Congress for Global Intellectual Property Leaders - 2010

The third annual IP Business Congress (IPBC) is taking place at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel, Munich's premium five-star hotel, between 20th and 22nd June 2010.

The super early-bird discount price for the IPBC expires this Friday 22nd January. If you register by the end of Friday, the registration fee is reduced from €1,500 to just €995, risk free. To take advantage of this offer please click here.

With close to 200 senior-level attendees already confirmed, the event is once again proving incredibly popular and is well on its way to reaching capacity. With a host of cutting-edge thought-leaders already confirmed as speakers and sponsorship from Thomson Reuters, Philips and General Electric, among many others, the IPBC is shaping up to be the networking opportunity for the movers and shakers in the IP world in 2010.

Full details of the programme are available here.

Risk-free guarantee

If you register by 22nd January you have until 2nd April to cancel your registration and receive a full refund. You may also make substitutions at any time before the IPBC at no charge.


Posted On: January 29, 2010

ABA Journal Newsletter

Top 10 Stories for Week Ending January 29, 2010.

Law Firms
EEOC Sues Kelley Drye Over Firm's De-Equitization Policy for Older Partners
Jan 28, 2010, 02:44 pm CST

U.S. Supreme Court
Alito Mouths an Objection During Obama's Speech
Jan 28, 2010, 06:25 am CST

Careers
Vinny of 'Jersey Shore' Says Law School Is Fallback Plan
Jan 27, 2010, 07:46 am CST

Legal Technology
Emoticons a Sign You Should Step Away from the Keyboard, Firm Chair Says
Jan 26, 2010, 09:15 am CST

Careers
Appellate Law Clerk Is Out of a Job After Ghostwriting Claim
Jan 28, 2010, 07:41 am CST

Law Schools
Cornell Law School Officials Expected More Applications, But Not a 52% Spike
Jan 26, 2010, 06:41 am CST

Criminal Justice
DWI Defendant Goes to Jail After Posting 'Drunk in Florida' Facebook Photo
Jan 28, 2010, 07:12 am CST

Legal Ethics
A Subdued Scott Rothstein Pleads Guilty in $1.2B Ponzi Scheme
Jan 27, 2010, 09:58 am CST

Criminal Justice
Judge Can't Figure Out Why Lawyers Thought DWI Scheme Was a Good Idea
Jan 26, 2010, 01:56 pm CST

Law Schools
Another Law School Offers to Wipe Out Entire Loans of Public Sector Grads
Jan 26, 2010, 01:27 pm CST

Posted On: January 28, 2010

NCSC: Social Media and the Courts

Includes both useful resources and a request for information from the courts.

Nora Sydow reports that the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has recently developed a Social Media and the Courts web module. Included in this module is a state links page that links to courts that are using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. In an effort to make this page as complete as possible, we are asking for your help.

(1) If your court is using a social media site, could you please send me the link(s) so we can include them in our state links page?

(2) If your court has established a social media policy, either for employee use of social media sites and/or a policy that governs the court’s own social media sites, could you please send me a copy of your policy?

Please send any information you can provide to:

Nora E. Sydow
Knowledge and Information Services Analyst
National Center for State Courts
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185
voice: 757.259.1509
fax: 757.564.2041
email: nsydow@ncsc.org

Visit the new NCSC website at www.ncsc.org.

Posted On: January 28, 2010

D-Lib Magazine

January - February 2010 Issue:

The January/February 2010 issue of D-Lib Magazine (http://www.dlib.org/) is now available.

This issue contains eight articles, two conference reports, the 'In Brief' column, excerpts from recent press releases, and news of upcoming conferences and other items of interest in 'Clips and Pointers'. This month, D-Lib features The Swingle Plant Anatomy Reference Collection, a historical collection of plant anatomical microscope slides, courtesy of University of Miami Libraries.

The Articles are:

Digital Object Repository Server: A Component of the Digital Object Architecture by Sean Reilly and Robert Tupelo-Schneck, Corporation for National Research Initiatives
http://dx.doi.org/10.1045/january2010-reilly

Technologies Employed to Control Access to or Use of Digital Cultural Collections: Controlled Online Collections by Kristin R. Eschenfelder, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Grace Agnew, Rutgers University
http://dx.doi.org/10.1045/january2010-eschenfelder

The Use of Metadata for Educational Resources in Digital Repositories: Practices and Perspectives by Dimitrios A. Koutsomitropoulos, Andreas D. Alexopoulos, Georgia D. Solomou, and Theodore S. Papatheodorou, University of Patras
http://dx.doi.org/10.1045/january2010-koutsomitropoulos

RDA Vocabularies: Process, Outcome, Use by Diane Hillmann, Information Institute of Syracuse, Metadata Management Associates; Karen Coyle, kcoyle.net; Jon Phipps, JES & Co., Metadata Management Associates; Gordon Dunsire, University of Strathclyde
http://dx.doi.org/10.1045/january2010-hillmann

D-Lib Magazine: Its First 13 Years by Taemin Kim Park, Indiana University Libraries
http://dx.doi.org/10.1045/january2010-park

Tagging Full Text Searchable Articles: An Overview of Social Tagging Activity in Historic Australian Newspapers August 2008 - August 2009 by Rose Holley, Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program (ANDP), National Library of Australia
http://dx.doi.org/10.1045/january2010-holley

FERPA and Student Work: Considerations for Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Marisa Ramirez, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo and Gail McMillan, Virginia Tech
http://dx.doi.org/10.1045/january2010-ramirez

The Virtual Journals of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics by Richard H. Cyburt, Sam M. Austin, Timothy C. Beers, Alfredo Estrade, Ryan M. Ferguson, Alexander Sakharuk, Hendrik Schatz, Karl Smith, and Scott Warren, Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1045/january2010-cyburt

The Conference and Workshop Reports are:

e-Science for Musicology Workshop Report by Richard Lewis, Goldsmiths College, University of London
http://dx.doi.org/10.1045/january2010-lewis

Cloud Computing, Big Data, and Open Access at EDUCAUSE 2009 by Carol Minton Morris, DuraSpace and Cornell University
http://dx.doi.org/10.1045/january2010-morris

D-Lib Magazine has mirror sites at the following locations:

UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath, England
http://mirrored.ukoln.ac.uk/lis-journals/dlib/

The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
http://dlib.anu.edu.au/

State Library of Lower Saxony and the University Library of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
http://webdoc.sub.gwdg.de/edoc/aw/d-lib/

Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
http://dlib.ejournal.ascc.net/

BN - National Library of Portugal, Portugal
http://purl.pt/302/1

Posted On: January 28, 2010

ABA Publication: Witness Preparation for Deposition DVD and Witness Preparation for Trial DVD


By Jan M. Spaeth Ph.D.

"These DVDs provide real assistance to counsel in guiding witnesses through what can be a scary prospect. Not preachy or intimidating, these videos set just the right tone in providing guidance while inspiring confidence. After watching one of these programs, a witness should be much better prepared."
--Philip R. Higdon, Esq., Perkins, Coie, Brown & Bain, P.A.

ABA Descriptive Material:

Now, one of the nation's leading authorities on jury research and witness preparation, nationally-recognized litigation consultant Jan Mills Spaeth, Ph.D., has created two essential DVDs to thoroughly instruct your witnesses in preparing for their upcoming depositions and testimony.

Your witness only needs to watch these DVD's to be fully prepared for their trial or deposition! This 2-DVD set contains one 45 minute DVD focused exclusively on preparing the witness for a deposition, and another for preparing witnesses for trial. A take-home booklet will further reinforce the lessons learned.

Both feature sample questions, positive and negative responses--some filmed in an actual courtroom setting, and stress the essentials for a credible, convincing testimony. If you need to prepare witnesses for trial or deposition, this essential tool will save you time and money--and will help you make sure it's done right!

Product Details:

Regular Price: $399.95
ABA Member Price: $379.95

©2008 - 2 DVD Set
plus 2 booklets

Product Code:
1620395P



Posted On: January 28, 2010

Aspen Publication: Civil RICO Practice Manual Third Edition


by Paul A. Batista, Esq.

Eligible for Free Standard Shipping on U.S. Prepaid Orders

List Price: $280.00 / ISBN: 9780735567825 / Looseleaf: 792 pages

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

According to Aspen Publications, Civil RICO Practice Manual, Third Edition, serves as a comprehensive resource to which attorneys for plaintiffs and defendants, judges, professors and students turn for information encompassing the full array of issues relating to RICO. An analytic and practical resource of high value to any attorney practicing in this area, Civil RICO Practice Manual provides comprehensive coverage of the Act and its various judicial interpretations, while at the same time taking the litigator through all aspects of RICO-based litigation—from the complaint, through trial and appeal. The following features are also emphasized.

This resource supplies the forms and models you need to practice

Provides model complaints and other forms you need to prosecute or defend a claim

Keeps you current with the latest applications or bases for civil RICO claims including copyright infringement

Delivers the latest case law and analysis on RICO, including U.S. Supreme Court cases

Facilitates your understanding of special issues unique to civil RICO, including the Person/Enterprise standard, which holds persons employed by the enterprise responsible for damages caused by prohibited RICO activities

This new Third Edition of Civil RICO Practice Manual adds an important dimension: a meaningful discussion of the criminal uses and scope of RICO. The language of the RICO statute applies equally to civil cases and criminal indictments. As a result, U.S. Supreme Court and appellate decisions rendered in criminal RICO cases almost invariably have meaning for civil racketeering litigation.



Posted On: January 28, 2010

Free Publications Added to Indiana Supreme Court Legal History Series

Posted on behalf of the Court History and Public Education division of the Indiana Supreme Court. Please contact Ms. Sarah Hachey with your requests.

The Indiana Supreme Court is pleased to announce the addition of two new
FREE* publications to the Indiana Supreme Court Legal History Series.

The Indiana Constitutional Convention of 1850-1851 - In his 1931
master™s thesis, author and noted Indiana historian Donald F. Carmony (1910-
2005) described and interpreted the events leading to the adoption of
Indiana™s second state constitution. The publication includes Carmony™s
original text, primary source materials identified by Carmony and an index and
updated bibliography created by the editors.

Justice Shall Be Administered Freely - This book is a collection of
State of the Judiciary addresses delivered by Chief Justice Norman F.
Arterburn & Chief Justice Richard M. Givan, 1973-1987.

*Free copies of all Indiana Supreme Court Legal History Series books are
available for libraries, teachers, and all other educational organizations.


Previously published titles in the Indiana Supreme Court Legal History Series:

Isaac Blackford: The Indiana Blackstone - a biography about one of
the leading figures in Indiana™s early judiciary. Blackford served on the Indiana
Supreme Court from 1816-1853.

In Memoriam: Glimpses from Indiana's Legal Past - a volume that
memorializes the deeds and accomplishments of men who sat on the Indiana
Supreme Court and other important Hoosiers including President Abraham
Lincoln and Vice President Thomas Hendricks.

Justice Shall Be Administered Freely - a collection of State of the
Judiciary addresses delivered by Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, 1988-2004.

If you would like a free copy of one of our new publications, please send
requests, including email contact and delivery address, to
shachey@courts.state.in.us.

Indicate exactly which titles you would like to receive.

We do not charge for these books, but we do request that you please check
your shelves before requesting copies of our older publications to avoid
duplication.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues, school librarians,
and local libraries.

Thank you,

Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn
Asst. to the Chief Justice for Court History and Public Education

Kim L. Schwant
Reference/Catalog Librarian
Indiana Supreme Court Library
200 W. Washington St., Rm. 316
Indianapolis, IN 46204
kschwant@courts.state.in.us
(317) 232-2557

Posted On: January 26, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Update: McDaniel v. Brown

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

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against a defendant convicted of the rape of a 9-year-old girl after a night of heavy drinking.

The Supreme Court said in a per curiam opinion that overstated estimates of a DNA match at trial did not warrant reversal of a conviction when there is still “convincing evidence of guilt.”

The defendant, Troy Brown, had alleged on appeal that the state mischaracterized the probability that his DNA matched that of someone in the general population. He also claimed that a prosecution expert had misstated the chances of a DNA match between himself and his two brothers. All three lived near the victim.

“DNA evidence remains powerful inculpatory evidence even though the state concedes [its expert] overstated its probative value,” the Supreme Court wrote in McDaniel v. Brown.

The court remanded for consideration of Brown’s claims of ineffective assistance.

The court had granted cert in the case last January, SCOTUSblog reports. Oral arguments set for October were later canceled by the court.

According to SCOTUSblog, the decision was “based mainly on a legal ground that neither side in the case believed remained in issue—the sufficiency of the DNA evidence, under Jackson v. Virginia.”

According to the opinion, the court had granted cert to consider two issues: the proper standard of review for a Jackson claim, and whether such a claim may rely upon evidence outside the trial record that goes to the reliability of trial evidence.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/misstated_dna_probabilities_not_ground_for_reversal_high_court_says/

Posted On: January 26, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: U.S. Supreme Court

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


CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE, HABEAS CORPUS, PER CURIAM
McDaniel v. Brown, No. 08-559
In habeas proceedings arising from a rape conviction, a circuit court of appeals' order affirming the grant of petitioner's habeas petition is reversed and remanded where: 1) the court of appeals' analysis failed to preserve the factfinder's role as weigher of the evidence by reviewing all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, and it erred in finding a state court's resolution of petitioner's claim to be objectively unreasonable; and 2) petitioner forfeited his claim that a prosecution expert incorrectly described the statistical implications of certain DNA evidence.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, HABEAS CORPUS, SENTENCING
Smith v. Spisak, No. 08–724
In capital habeas proceedings, a grant of petitioner's habeas petition is reversed where a state court's rejection of claimed errors regarding jury instructions and verdict forms, as well as ineffective assistance of counsel, was not contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law as: 1) the jury instructions and forms in the penalty phase made clear that, to recommend a death sentence, the jury had to find unanimously that each of the aggravating factors outweighed any mitigating circumstances, but they did not say that the jury had to determine the existence of each individual mitigating factor unanimously; and 2) even assuming that defense counsel's closing argument was inadequate in the respects claimed by petitioner, there was no reasonable probability that a better closing argument without such defects would have made a significant difference.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CONTRACTS, GOVERNMENT LAW, PUBLIC UTILITIES
NRG Power Mktg., LLC v. Maine Pub. Utils. Comm., No. 08–674
In a petition for review of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) approval of a settlement agreement establishing rate-setting mechanisms for the sale of energy capacity in the New England region, circuit court's partial grant of the petition is reversed where: 1) the Mobile-Sierra presumption does not depend on the identity of the complainant who seeks FERC investigation, and the presumption is not limited to challenges to contract rates brought by contracting parties; and 2) contrary to the ruling below, the Mobile-Sierra presumption applies when a rate challenge is brought by a non-contracting third party

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, IMMIGRATION LAW
Kucana v. Holder, No. 08–911
In a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's motion to reopen his removal proceedings, the court of appeals' denial of the petition is reversed where 8 U.S.C. section 1252(a)(2)(B)'s proscription of judicial review applies only to Attorney General determinations made discretionary by statute, not to determinations declared discretionary by the Attorney General himself through regulation. .

Related Resources
• Docket for the Case

CIVIL PROCEDURE, GOVERNMENT LAW, WATER LAW
S. Carolina v. N. Carolina, No. 138
In an original jurisdiction action by South Carolina seeking an equitable apportionment with North Carolina of the Catawba River's waters, the special master's grant of three nonparties' motions to intervene is affirmed in part as to two of them where: 1) the Catawba River Water Supply Project was properly permitted to intervene because it showed a compelling interest in protecting the viability of its operations, which were premised on a fine balance between the joint venture's two participating counties; and 2) Duke Energy was also properly allowed to intervene because it was likely that any equitable apportionment of the river would need to take into account the amount of water that Duke Energy needed to sustain its operations. However, the order is reversed in part where the interest of Charlotte, North Carolina was not sufficiently unique and would be properly represented by North Carolina.


CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, ELECTIONS
Citizens United v. FEC, No. 08–205
The Court rules that the government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether. Specifically, in an action brought by a nonprofit corporation, the makers of a documentary critical of Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, challenging the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for speech that was an "electioneering communication" or for speech that expressly advocated the election or defeat of a candidate, a denial of a preliminary injunction for plaintiff is reversed in part where Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990), is overruled, and thus provides no basis for allowing the government to limit corporate independent expenditures. Hence, the part of McConnell v. Federal Election Comm'n, 540 U.S. 93 (2007), that upheld the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act section 203's extension of section 441b's restrictions on independent corporate expenditures is also overruled. However, the order is affirmed in part where BCRA sections 201 and 311 were valid as applied to the ads for the documentary and to the movie itself because disclaimer and disclosure requirements may burden the ability to speak, but they impose no ceiling on campaign-related activities, or prevent anyone from speaking.

Posted On: January 26, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

January 18, 2010 - January 1, 2010

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

Supreme Court, January 19, 2010
Wellons v. Hall, No. 09–5731
In a capital habeas matter, the petition for certiorari is granted and the court of appeals' order is vacated and remanded where the court of appeals incorrectly held that the habeas petition, which claimed that petitioner was denied discovery into the issue of whether there had been improper communications between the judge and jury, was procedurally barred based on an insufficient record, contrary to Cone v. Bell, 556 U.S. ___ (2009).

U.S. Supreme Court, January 20, 2010
Wood v. Allen, No. 08–9156
In capital habeas proceedings, a court of appeals' reversal of a grant of petitioner's petition is affirmed where a state court's conclusion that defense counsel made a strategic decision not to pursue or present evidence of petitioner's mental deficiencies was not an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state court proceedings.

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, January 20, 2010
Clements v. Clarke, No. 09-1629
In habeas proceedings of a defendant convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, district court's conclusion that the state trial judge had impermissibly (though unintentionally) coerced a guilty verdict as a result of a series of voir dire examinations of individual jurors is reversed as the AEDPA's deferential standard of review controls in this case, and the district court employed an insufficiently deferential standard of review.

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 20, 2010
US v. Martinez-Melgar, No. 08-4569
Sentence on a defendant convicted of drug trafficking and firearm possession is vacated and remanded for resentencing as the district court clearly erred in concluding, on the basis of the record, that defendant's admission of guilt occurred in a judicial proceeding in open court, and as such, certain criminal history points should not have been assessed.

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 21, 2010
US v. Williams, No. 08-5000
Conviction for possession of an unregistered machine gun and an unregistered silencer, based on evidence seized from defendant's home during execution of a search warrant issued in the investigation of threatening and sexually explicit emails concerning minor boys sent by the defendant, is affirmed where: 1) the search for and seizure of the child pornography fell within the scope of the warrant, or in the alternative, its seizure was justified under the plain-view exception to the warrant requirement; and 2) the seizure of the machine gun and the silencer was justified by the plain-view exception.

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 21, 2010
US v. Fennell , No. 08-7238
District court's imposition of a 96 months sentence on a defendant convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base is vacated and remanded for resentencing as the district court misapprehended the scope of its discretion at resentencing, as a sentencing court may use any reasonable method in calculating a downward departure during resentencing and is not limited by any specific method previously used. .

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 22, 2010
US v. Pineda, No. 08-41301
The $100 special assessment portion of the district court's order revoking defendant's supervised release for illegal reentry into the U.S. is vacated where the district court erred in reimposing the unpaid assessment from defendant's sentence for a prior offense, because neither 18 U.S.C. section 3013 nor 18 U.S.C. section 3583, which concerned supervised release, sanctioned the imposition of a section 3013 assessment for revocation of a term of supervised release.

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 19, 2010
US v. Gillis, No. 07-3754
District court's imposition of a sentence of 262 months' imprisonment followed by six years of supervised release on a defendant convicted of possession and sale of crack cocaine within 1000 feet of a public school is affirmed in part and reversed in part and remanded where: 1) the government has not met its burden of showing that an error by the district court was harmless because it cannot be concluded that the court would have imposed the same sentence had it known that the career offender Guidelines were advisory; and 2) a denial of defendant's motion for a reduced sentence is affirmed as his career offender status disqualified him from receiving a reduced sentence under Guidelines Amendment 706 for crack cocaine offenses under Guideline 2D1.1. ..

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 19, 2010
Smith v. Bradshaw, No. 07-4305
A denial of a request for habeas relief by a defendant convicted and sentenced to death for raping and murdering a six-month-old baby is affirmed where: 1) defendant's claim that the prosecutor improperly commented on his failure to testify during the guilt phase is procedurally defaulted and defendant cannot excuse the default through the ineffectiveness of counsel because he cannot show that counsel's failure to object to this one comment -- thereby drawing attention to it -- was deficient; 2) defendant's claim that the penalty instructions violated Caldwell v. Mississippi is procedurally defaulted; 3) defendant's counsel was not ineffective for failing to object to the penalty instructions; and 4) a state court's analysis under Beck was reasonable as it is well established that a lesser-included offense instruction is not required where the facts of a murder so strongly indicate intent to kill that the jury could not rationally have a reasonable doubt as to the defendant'! s intent.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 19, 2010
US v. Johnson, No. 09-1912
Defendant's conviction for drug related crimes is vacated in part, affirmed in part and remanded where: 1) defendant's conspiracy conviction is vacated as a drug purchaser does not enter into a conspiracy with his supplier by reselling the drugs to his own customers, as a conspiracy requires evidence that the buyer and seller entered into an agreement to commit a crime other than the crime that consists of the sale itself; 2) defendant's remaining convictions are affirmed as there was sufficient evidence to affirm the jury's verdict for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and using a telephone to facilitate a drug felony; and 3) defendant's 72-month sentence is vacated and remanded as it hinged largely on his conspiracy conviction.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 20, 2010
US v. Mann , No. 08-3041
Conviction of defendant for possessing child pornography, supported by evidence found while executing a warrant to search defendant's computers and hard drives for the unrelated crime of voyeurism, is affirmed as, although an officer exceeded the scope of the warrant by opening certain files, those files are severable from the remaining files seized.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 20, 2010
US v. Mitten, No. 09-1758
Conviction and sentence of a defendant for possessing five grams or more of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is affirmed where: 1) the affidavit was not so lacking in probable cause that the officer could not have believed the warrant was valid; 2) jury had sufficient evidence to conclude that the gun was possessed in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime; and 3) defendant's argument, that the minimum ten-year sentence to which he was subject to on the underlying drug trafficking crime rendered him exempt from section 924(c)'s consecutive sentence scheme, is foreclosed by prior case law.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 21, 2010
Ray v. Boatwright, No. 08-2825
Denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief is reversed and remanded where: 1) the detective testifying to the co-actors' statements violated defendant's right of confrontation; 2) the statements were inadmissible under Roberts as they neither fell within a firmly rooted hearsay exception nor did they contain particularized guarantees of trustworthiness; 3) the error in admitting statements by the nontestifying co-actors was plain and defendant's substantial rights were affected; and 4) defendant's petition is determined to be timely. Read more...

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 21, 2010
Bennett v. Gaetz, No. 08-3262
Denial of a habeas petition from a conviction for possession of a stolen vehicle is affirmed as defendant failed to establish a prima facie case of racial discrimination under Batson.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 21, 2010
US v. Pappas, No. 09-1595
In a prosecution for possession of child pornography, grant of defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized during a search of his home, as well as statements he made during the execution of the search warrant is reversed where: 1) even if probable cause did not support issuance of the warrant, the federal agent demonstrated a prima facie case of good faith by obtaining a warrant in the first instance; and 2) although there was some delay between the transmission of child pornography to defendant and the issuance of the warrant, the delay was not so great as to overcome the presumption of good faith, nor was there anything impermissible in including information related to the practices of child pornography "collectors" given that numerous images of child pornography were sent to defendant.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 22, 2010
Doe-2 v. McLean County Unit Dist. No. 5, No. 09-1936
In plaintiff's action against a county school district under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. section 1681(a), alleging that defendants knew that an elementary school teacher sexually harassed students at another county but allowed him to obtain a teaching job at another school, district court's dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where: 1) at the time the teacher abused the plaintiff, the defendants lacked the requisite control over him to establish deliberate indifference liability under Title IX; and 2) defendants did not owe a duty to plaintiff enforceable under Illinois tort law.

U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 20, 2010
US v. Rill, No. 09-1262
Defendant's sentence for attempted escape from federal custody is affirmed where the district court did not clearly err in finding that defendant was about to complete all of the acts necessary for the escape but for discovery of the escape attempt by corrections officers, and thus defendant was not entitled to a three-level reduction in his base offense level under U.S.S.G. section 2X1.1(b)(1).

U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 21, 2010
US v. Spencer, No. 09-1196
Defendants' cocaine distribution convictions and sentences are affirmed where: 1) the indictment was not duplicitous because the evidence, viewed most favorably to the verdict, sufficiently established a single conspiracy between defendants; 2) to meet its burden, the government needed to show only that each defendant conspired with others within the limitations period; and 3) a reasonable juror would not naturally and necessarily interpret a codefendant's opening statement as commenting on defendants' failure to testify.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 19, 2010
US v. Aguirre-Ganceda, No. 08-35696
In an appeal from a denial of defendant's motion to correct his sentence as untimely, the order is affirmed where: 1) the district court properly determined that defendant's judgment of conviction became final upon the Supreme Court's denial of certiorari; and 2) extraordinary circumstances justifying equitable tolling did not include defendant's lawyer's miscalculation of a limitation period.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 19, 2010
US v. Palos-Marquez, No. 08-50498
Defendant's conviction for transportation of illegal aliens is affirmed where an in-person tip by an unidentified informant provided reasonable suspicion to support border patrol agents' investigatory stop of defendant's vehicle.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 22, 2010
US v. Green, No. 08-10149
Defendant's wire fraud and bid rigging convictions are affirmed where: 1) defendant's conduct did not need to violate a rule or regulation of the E-Rate educational funding program in order to be fraudulent; 2) even accepting that her ultimate motives were laudable, defendant concealed material facts from the federal government in an attempt to induce it to fund her projects; and 3) the evidence at trial easily supported the jury's finding that defendant participated in multiple bid-rigging conspiracies.

U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 22, 2010
US v. James, No. 08-1115
Defendant's wire fraud and money laundering sentence is affirmed in part where the district court did not clearly err in finding that defendant was an organizer of the fraudulent scheme. However, the sentence is remanded where the record included no evidence to support an inference that the foreclosure sales prices at issue were appropriate estimates of what the original lenders received when they sold the loans to the successor lenders.

U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 22, 2010
US v. Brown, No. 09-6079
Defendant's attempted armed robbery conviction is affirmed where the government's summary of an expert's proposed testimony stated that she would testify that the latent fingerprint on a job application left at the scene of the crime was defendant's, as did her own report, and thus the summary substantially complied with Fed. R. Crim. P. 16.

U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 22, 2010
US v. Marquez, No. 08-12588
Defendant's RICO conspiracy conviction is affirmed where: 1) defendant failed to raise objections to his extradition from Spain in a timely manner; and 2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's other post-trial motions, for the reasons stated by the district court.

U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, January 22, 2010
US v. Love, No. 07-3140
Defendant's sentence for transporting child pornography is affirmed in part where: 1) the district court based its application of the U.S.S.G. section 2G2.2 sentencing enhancement on defendant's distribution of child pornography, and thus committed no error; 2) nothing in the Guidelines supported defendant's argument that section 2G2.2(b)(3)(E) applied only to distribution of child pornography "directly" to a minor; and 3) because the district court made treatment a mandatory condition of defendant's supervised release, there was no vagueness in the order regarding who was to decide whether treatment is necessary. However, the sentence is vacated in part where the district court needed to conform the condition in the written judgment relating to possession of sexual materials to the corresponding condition imposed orally at the sentencing hearing.

Supreme Court of California, January 21, 2010
In re Freeman, No. S150984
Court of appeals' reversal of defendant's conviction for child endangerment and related crimes is reversed and remanded as, while a showing of actual bias is not required for judicial disqualification under the due process clause, neither is the mere appearance of bias sufficient, and in light of Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc., __ U.S. __ (2009), this case does not present the "extreme facts" that require judicial disqualification on due process grounds.

Supreme Court of California, January 21, 2010
People v. Kelly, No. S164830
In an action arising from a conviction of a defendant for possessing more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, court of appeals judgment determining the validity of Health & Safety Code section 11362.77 which prescribes the amount of marijuana that a qualified patient may possess or cultivate is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) insofar as section 11362.77 burdens a defense under the CUA to a criminal charge of possessing or cultivating marijuana, it impermissibly amends the Compassionate Use Act (CUA) and in that respect is invalid under California Constitution article II, section 10(c); and 2) the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that section 11362.77 must be severed from the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) and hence voided.

Supreme Court of Florida, January 21, 2010
Johnston v. State of Florida, No. SC09-839
Denial of defendant's request for postconviction relief, following his conviction for first-degree murder and death sentence, is affirmed where: 1) trial court applied the correct newly discovered evidence standard and determined, in light of all the now available and admissible evidence, that the newly discovered evidence would not exonerate defendant; 2) a a report in a scientific journal presented by defendant does not constitute newly discovered evidence; 3) postconviction court did not err in denying production of the fingerprints and shoeprint evidence for additional testing, and that denial of the motion did not deprive defendant of due process; 4) no specific procedures are mandates in the clemency process and defendant has been provided with the clemency proceedings to which he is entitled; 5) defendant's claim of mental illness was procedurally barred, and even if the claim were not procedurally barred, it is without merit; 6) defendant's claim that execution after! an inordinate length of time on death row is unconstitutional is without merit; and 7) defendant's claim that he is entitled to relief due to the leg shackles, when he insisted on wearing more noticeable belt restraints, is without merit.

California Appellate Districts, January 21, 2010
People v. Sok, No. B213467
Trial court's imposition of 84 year sentence on a defendant convicted of attempted murder and related crimes is reversed and remanded where: 1) trial court erred in calculating defendant's sentence for the attempted murder count; 2) trial court erred in applying the criminal street gang enhancement to defendant's sentence for shooting at an occupied vehicle; 3) absent different discretionary sentencing choices by the trial court, on remand the court should impose the aggregate sentence for shooting at an occupied vehicle, while staying the sentences attempted murder charges pursuant to section 654; and 4) trial court improperly sentenced defendant on the unlawful gun possession and ammunition counts.


Posted On: January 26, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law

January 18, 2010 - January 1, 2010

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

U.S. Supreme Court, January 21, 2010
Citizens United v. FEC, No. 08–205
The Court rules that the government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether. Specifically, in an action brought by a nonprofit corporation, the makers of a documentary critical of Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, challenging the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for speech that was an "electioneering communication" or for speech that expressly advocated the election or defeat of a candidate, a denial of a preliminary injunction for plaintiff is reversed in part where Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990), is overruled, and thus provides no basis for allowing the government to limit corporate independent expenditures. Hence, the part of McConnell v. Federal Election Comm'n, 540 U.S. 93 (2007), that upheld the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act sect! ion 203's extension of section 441b's restrictions on independent corporate expenditures is also overruled. However, the order is affirmed in part where BCRA sections 201 and 311 were valid as applied to the ads for the documentary and to the movie itself because disclaimer and disclosure requirements may burden the ability to speak, but they imposed no ceiling on campaign-related activities, or prevented anyone from speaking. .

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 20, 2010
Fox v. Vice, No. 08-31135
In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action based on a blackmail letter sent to plaintiff by a rival candidate for the office of police chief, a grant of defendants' motion for attorneys' fees based on the dismissal of plaintiff's federal claims is affirmed where: 1) defendants were prevailing parties despite plaintiff's voluntary dismissal of his federal claims because the case had proceeded through substantial discovery before defendants' motion to dismiss those claims; and 2) plaintiff's claims were frivolous because it was clear from the face of the complaint that the letter was not sent under color of law. .

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 22, 2010
Libertarian Party v. Dardenne, No. 09-30307
In an action seeking to declare unconstitutional the Louisiana Secretary of State's deadline for submitting qualifying papers entitling candidates to be on the ballot for the 2008 presidential election, dismissal of the complaint as moot is affirmed where plaintiffs failed to show a reasonable expectation that the Secretary would again unilaterally change filing deadlines in the future.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 21, 2010
Ray v. Boatwright, No. 08-2825
Denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief is reversed and remanded where: 1) the detective testifying to the co-actors' statements violated defendant's right of confrontation; 2) the statements were inadmissible under Roberts as they neither fell within a firmly rooted hearsay exception nor did they contain particularized guarantees of trustworthiness; 3) the error in admitting statements by the nontestifying co-actors was plain and defendant's substantial rights were affected; and 4) defendant's petition is determined to be timely.

Supreme Court of California, January 21, 2010
In re Freeman, No. S150984
Court of appeals' reversal of defendant's conviction for child endangerment and related crimes is reversed and remanded as, while a showing of actual bias is not required for judicial disqualification under the due process clause, neither is the mere appearance of bias sufficient, and in light of Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc., __ U.S. __ (2009), this case does not present the "extreme facts" that require judicial disqualification on due process grounds.

Supreme Court of California, January 21, 2010
People v. Kelly, No. S164830
In an action arising from a conviction of a defendant for possessing more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, court of appeals judgment determining the validity of Health & Safety Code section 11362.77 which prescribes the amount of marijuana that a qualified patient may possess or cultivate is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) insofar as section 11362.77 burdens a defense under the CUA to a criminal charge of possessing or cultivating marijuana, it impermissibly amends the Compassionate Use Act (CUA) and in that respect is invalid under California Constitution article II, section 10(c); and 2) the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that section 11362.77 must be severed from the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) and hence voided.

Supreme Court of Florida, January 21, 2010
Johnston v. State of Florida, No. SC09-839
Denial of defendant's request for postconviction relief, following his conviction for first-degree murder and death sentence, is affirmed where: 1) trial court applied the correct newly discovered evidence standard and determined, in light of all the now available and admissible evidence, that the newly discovered evidence would not exonerate defendant; 2) a a report in a scientific journal presented by defendant does not constitute newly discovered evidence; 3) postconviction court did not err in denying production of the fingerprints and shoeprint evidence for additional testing, and that denial of the motion did not deprive defendant of due process; 4) no specific procedures are mandates in the clemency process and defendant has been provided with the clemency proceedings to which he is entitled; 5) defendant's claim of mental illness was procedurally barred, and even if the claim were not procedurally barred, it is without merit; 6) defendant's claim that execution after! an inordinate length of time on death row is unconstitutional is without merit; and 7) defendant's claim that he is entitled to relief due to the leg shackles, when he insisted on wearing more noticeable belt restraints, is without merit.

Posted On: January 26, 2010

ABA Journal Newsletter

For Week Ending January 22, 2010

Law Students
Deluged with Clerkship Apps, Some Federal Judges Don't Look at All of Them
Jan 19, 2010, 03:51 pm CST

Law Firms
Six Law Firms Make Fortune's List of Top 100 Places to Work
Jan 21, 2010, 08:29 am CST

Careers
90-Year-Old Retiring Manhattan DA Heads to Wachtell
Jan 20, 2010, 09:38 am CST

Legal Ethics
Lawyer Who Inflated Grades Gets Recommended 18-Month Suspension
Jan 19, 2010, 07:51 am CST

U.S. Supreme Court
5-4 Citizens United Ruling 'a Revolution in Campaign Finance Law'
Jan 21, 2010, 09:00 am CST

Careers
Depression Is Rising as Lawyers Lose Jobs and Sense of Entitlement
Jan 19, 2010, 07:04 am CST

Legal Marketing & Consulting
Ads by Personal Injury Law Firm Poke Fun at Faked Injuries
Jan 20, 2010, 08:18 am CST

Constitutional Law
Liberal Law Prof Thrills Conservatives with Claim of Class Action 'Pathologies'
Jan 20, 2010, 06:06 pm CST

Legal Ethics
Senior Judge Is Charged with Choking Wife in Domestic Dispute
Jan 19, 2010, 02:27 pm CST

White-Collar Crime
Prominent Lawyers Charged with Failing to File Personal Income Tax Returns
Jan 20, 2010, 01:56 pm CST

Posted On: January 26, 2010

ABA Weekly Newsletter January 15, 2010

Top Ten Stories for Week Ending January 15, 2010

Careers
DLA ‘Working Lawyer’ Explains Why He and 8 Others Moved to Jackson Lewis
Jan 14, 2010, 09:39 am CST

Legal Ethics
Unhappy Secretary’s Report Spurs Ethics Trouble for NJ Litigator
Jan 13, 2010, 11:42 am CST

Business of Law
Jones Day Practice Head Joins Winston; Other Lawyers Likely to Follow
Jan 13, 2010, 04:13 pm CST

Legal Ethics
Posner Blasts ‘Out of Control’ Class-Action Lawyer in Fee Fight
Jan 14, 2010, 08:20 am CST

Law Practice Management
New Milbank Partner Quits After Former Firm Alleges ‘Personal Misconduct’Jan 11, 2010, 03:04 pm CST

Elder Law
Invisible’ Woman, 78, Jailed 2 Weeks By ‘System of So-Called Justice’Jan 12, 2010, 04:34 pm CST

U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court Word of the Day: Orthogonal
Jan 12, 2010, 08:28 am CST

Natural Disasters
ABA Prez Calls for Haiti Donations After ‘Heartbreaking’ Quake; BigLaw Gives Big MoneyJan 14, 2010, 02:24 pm CST

Terrorism
Jon Stewart: Terrorists May Talk if Forced to Watch His Yoo Interview
Jan 12, 2010, 06:43 am CST

Careers
Boat Commute & Luck Led to Lawyer’s 2nd Gig as Author of Legal Thrillers

Posted On: January 20, 2010

New York Governor David Paterson Presents Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2010-2011


Yesterday January 19, 2010 New York State Governor David Paterson proposed a 2010-11 Executive Budget that according to a Press Release from the Governor's Office "makes significant spending reductions in order to eliminate a $7.4 billion deficit and institutes key reforms to put New York on the road to economic and fiscal recovery. The Executive Budget proposal includes spending reductions across every area of the budget; limits State spending to far below both the Governor's proposed spending cap and the rate of inflation; implements the most significant public higher education reforms in a generation; and provides fiscal relief to local governments through an aggressive mandate reform agenda."

Below are links to some of the documents related to that proposal. Some of these documents are related primarily to the proposed State of New York Executive Budget as a whole while others include various agency presnetations, A link to State of New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's commentary on the Governors observations regarding the judiciary part of the budget proposal is also included.

Link to Press Release , video presentation and various other documents related to Governors budget Address on January 19:

http://www.state.ny.us/governor/press/2010budgetaddress.html .

2010-2011 Governors Budget Proposal - Agency Presentations
http://publications.budget.state.ny.us/eBudget1011/agencyPresentations/pdf/AgencyPresentations.pdf

New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's Statemeont on Proposed 2010-11 Judiciary Budget
http://www.nycourts.gov/press/pr2010_01.shtml

Posted On: January 15, 2010

Help for Haiti Earthquake Victims

In his posting on the Blog Critics Culture Blog, William Lambers explains that bloggers can help Haiti by taking action through spreading the work about the suffering in that country and by showing how others can help. Although Lambers is referring in his post primarily to the World Food Programme, his words aply to blogging assistance in promoting other programs as well.

You may also be interested in the video from the New York State Comptroller regarding Haiti at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/video/haitian_relief.wmv

U.S. White House: Haiti Earthquake Relief

Posted On: January 15, 2010

Manhattan DA Robert M. Morgenthau Retires at 90

David Badertscher*

A giant of New York politics and law enforcement recently retired from public office– Robert Morgenthau. Scion to a powerful family, Robert Morgenthau’s grandfather served as United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and his father was Secretary of the Treasury under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. While his famous name and lineage may have helped to open doors, Robert Morgenthau was determined to find a profession where he could navigate his own path in life.

After honorable combat service in the navy during World War 2, where his ship was torpedoed, Robert Morgenthau proceeded to law school and rose to partner in a major law firm. However, Robert Morgenthau largely dedicated his professional career, and indeed his life, to public service. He served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for an eight year period from 1961 -1969. But he will surely best be remembered for his longstanding and legendary tenure as New York County District Attorney that spanned a thirty-five year period from 1974 - 2009. In this latter capacity, he resuscitated the office which was ravaged by budget problems and made it, what many law enforcement officials consider, the finest district attorney’s office in the nation and possibly the best overall law enforcement office in the nation.

Robert Morgenthau certainly accomplished much in his professional life. Many noteworthy prosecutions and convictions were won by his office, and staff members consisted of many notable figures ranging from John F. Kennedy, Jr to Linda Fairstein to Eliot Spitzer to Andrew Cuomo. Indeed, many rose to higher positions in government and the private sector. Most people would consider it amazing to continue effectively working until the age of ninety as Robert Morgenthau did. Nonetheless it is even more amazing that Robert Morgenthau does not plan to retire but intends to open an office to remain active in retirement. This is truly a model we should all hope to be able to emulate.

Those interested in learning more about his life and accomplishments can find much information on the web and elsewhere. One of possible statring point for an overview is: Real Life "Law and Order" DA Robert Morgenthau Retirees at 90.

On a personal note, I did not know Robert Morgenthau well. However, many years ago, Justice Murphy, then Presiding Justice of the New York Appellate Division, First Department, introduced us at a social function, and we chatted briefly. Working in the same building where the New York Supreme Court (Criminal Term), New York County Criminal Court, and New York County District Attorney Office share space at 100 Centre Street, I would occasionally see Robert Morgenthau on an elevator. He always made time to say hello, trade small talk, and ask how business was even though he was involved in steering a large office with many high level prosecutions and complex organizational issues. This repeated kindness over the years to an acquaintance met in passing demonstrates another dimension of Robert Morgenthau that is not well known by the public. However, I saw it many times over the years we worked in the same building. No longer will we sometimes share the same elevator. The torch has been passed to a new district attorney: Cyrus Vance. Yet, I certainly wish Mr. Morgenthau all the best in his future endeavors and, indeed, his working retirement.
______________________________
* Principal Law Librarian, New York Supreme Court Criminal Term Library, New York County. He would also like to thank Theodore Pollack, Senior Law Librarian, New York County Public Access Law Library for his assistance.


Posted On: January 13, 2010

Help Save Connecticut Courthouse Libraries By Spreading the Word

Since first hearing about the planned closure of of six of the fifteen courthouse libraries in Connecticut I have contacted I have heard from a number of people (both librarians and non-librarians) from throughout that state. By all accounts the announced closures will prevent attorneys, judges and members of the public from accessing the up-to-date legal materials they need. They will especially hurt disadvantaged citizens and pro se litigants, who are especially vulnerable and may be unable to access official legal resources and will be required to struggle to travel to far-away courthouses. While the dire budgetary circumstances are the state currently faces are understandable, it is essential that Connecticut’s public law libraries and courthouses remain open. They are irreplaceable.

To help spread the word, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has been working closely with the Southern New England Librarians Association (SNELLA) to oppose the announced closures . Kate Hagan the AALL Executive Director has distibuted an e-mail (see below) which details that effort. It includes some useful links for those who want to become active in saving Connecticut court libraries.

People are also urged to search the directory of state legislators and government employees at the of Connecticut Website for other contacts that could be helpful in this effort. This web site includes a directory of state employees, a directory of state legislators, and a directory of federal legislators serving Connecticut, all with links for e-mail contact information.

Additionally I have included a link at the end of this post to enable you to download the November 18, 2009 written testimony of Judge Barbara Quinn, Chief Court Administrator at an Appropriations Committee public hearing on Deficiencies. In this statement she includes a section on "Closing law libraries".

Please help spread the word about the importance of saving Connecticut courthouse libraries.

David Badertscher

AALL has been working closely with the Southern New England Law Librarians Association (SNELLA), to oppose the announced closure of six of the 15 courthouse libraries in Connecticut. They are jointly sponsoring online petitions to save the courthouse libraries in Bridgeport, Hartford, Litchfield, Milford, and Norwich. The sixth library, at the Willimantic Courthouse, is not staffed and its small collection will likely be moved to the local public university. Each petition includes a compelling statement by a leader of the local bar association, whose members stand ready to join forces with us. Attorneys and pro se litigants will be deprived of local access to current and historic legal materials, as well as the knowledge and expertise of professional librarians, if we do not stop these proposed closures.

The petitions are open to all residents of Connecticut, so please help spread the word so that our efforts are successful in quickly getting as many signatures as possible to keep these public law libraries open and staffed.

In addition to the petitions, on December 23, AALL and SNELLA sent joint letters to Connecticut's Governor Rell and to the leadership of the Appropriations Committee strongly opposing the decision, which was announced by Judge Barbara M. Quinn, chief court administrator. The closures became necessary, according to Quinn, after the executive branch cut $12.9 million from the budget for the judicial branch.

Kate Hagan
Executive Director
American Association of Law Libraries
Suite 3300

105 W. Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60603

Written Testimony of Judge Barbara M. Quinn, Chief Administrative Judge of Connecticut to the Appropriations Committee Public Hearing on Deficiencies, November 18, 2009


Posted On: January 12, 2010

U.S. Supreme Courrt McDaniel v. Brown

January 11, 2010 No. 08-809.

The defendant, Troy Brown, had alleged on appeal that the state mischaracterized the probability that his DNA matched that of someone in the general population. He also claimed that a prosecution expert had misstated the chances of a DNA match between himself and his two brothers. All three lived near the victim.

“DNA evidence remains powerful inculpatory evidence even though the state concedes [its expert] overstated its probative value,” the Supreme Court wrote in McDaniel v. Brown.

The court remanded for consideration of Brown’s claims of ineffective assistance.

From: Per Curiam:

" In Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U. S. 307 (1979), we held that a state prisoner is entitled to habeas corpus relief if afederal judge finds that “upon the record evidence adducedat the trial no rational trier of fact could have found proofof guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” Id., at 324. A Nevada jury convicted respondent of rape; the evidence presented included DNA evidence matching respondent’s DNA pro-file. Nevertheless, relying upon a report prepared by aDNA expert over 11 years after the trial, the Federal District Court applied the Jackson standard and grantedthe writ. A divided Court of Appeals affirmed. Brown v. Farwell, 525 F. 3d 787 (CA9 2008). We granted certiorarito consider whether those courts misapplied Jackson. Because the trial record includes both the DNA evidence and other convincing evidence of guilt, we conclude that they clearly did".

Posted On: January 12, 2010

Wrongful Convictions and Attorney-Client Confidentiality

What recourse does a criminal defense defense attorney have if he or she learns a client has committed a crime ascribed to someone else? On the one hand, as Ken Strutin writes in his article "Wrongful Convictions and Attorney-Client Confidentiality" published at LLRX.COM, "When an innocent person faces conviction, imprisonment, and in some cases death, an attorney mindful of the injustice occuring to a third party is still bound by the rules of confidentialtiy to honor their commitment to their client" But as Mr. Strutin also points out, ABA MRPC Rule 1.6 Confidentiality of Information creates an exception to confidentiality and this exception in turn creates what can become a very difficult ethical quandry for the attorney.

In addition to identifying the relevant issues, the primary focus of his article is to search for ways to resolve this dilemma by examininig both resources about several notable cases and approaches to possible resolution discussed in the scholarly literature .

Posted On: January 11, 2010

Letter to OMB Director Peter Orszag from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

The following is from a letter sent by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to OMB Director Peter Orszag requesting full federal funding to reimburse the City for security costs associated with Terrorism Trials to be held in Manhattan.

January 5, 2010
The Honorable Peter R. Orszag
Director
Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503

Dear Director Orszag,

As you are well aware, the suspected perpetrators of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil
will soon be brought to New York City to face criminal prosecution. The City of New York will
provide the security necessary to ensure public safety, not only while the suspects are on trial, but throughout the entire time the suspects are detained in New York City.

I want to express my strong support of Senator Charles E. Schumer's proposal that
President Obama include a separate line in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2011 budget that devotes
federal funding to reimburse the NYPD and other local law enforcement for the full costs of
providing security for the upcoming trials.

The City of New York's financial resources are in short supply, and we have been forced
to reduce our Police Department's headcount. Thus, securing the trial will require us to pull
existing personnel from crime prevention efforts around the City and require significant overtime
expenses. As 9/11 was an attack on the entire nation, we need the federal government to shoulder the significant costs we will incur and ease this burden.

We estimate the cost for security operations will be approximately $216 million for the
first year and $206 million annually in subsequent years. This includes personnel costs of more
than $200 million annually and equipment costs of $12.5 million in the first year and $2.5 million
in subsequent years. We have shared our security plans and estimated costs with the Justice
Department as we work with our federal partners to prepare for the trials.

I want to assure you that our estimates, while significant, are real and not the result of any
expectation that we will receive a "blank check." For the sake of comparison, the cost of policing the Republican National Convention in 2004 was $50 million and that event was less than a week long. The security arrangements for the incarceration and trial periods will be need to be in place around the clock over a period of years....

Posted On: January 8, 2010

New York: Governors' Programs 2009

During every session of the New York Legislature the current governor and his staff prepare bills addressing his or her objectives to be introduced directly in the legislature by the Governor. While it is assumed that legislatures in other states have similar mechanisms, this posting is only concernd with Governor's programs in the State of New York.

When first introduced, these program bills are only sponsored by the Governor but once they have been introduced, members of the legislature can and often do add their names as sponsors. It is my understanding that once such a bill is introduced the process by which it works its way through the legislature is similar to other legislation except that if such a bill is amended while under consideration, it is then sent back to the Governor's office for review, further modification etc.

In conversations I have had with people in the Governor's office it was emphasized that Governor's Programs should not be considered identical with other legislation introduced directly by individuall or groups of legislators and that Budget programs are separate from the Governor's Program being discussed here. During those conversations the following book was recemmended as an excellent source for further information on this topic:

Author: Robert B Ward
Title: New York State Government.
Publisher: Albany, N,Y. : Rockefeller Institute Press, ©2006.
Edition/Format: Book : English : 2nd ed., [25th anniversary ed.]


To see the list of Governor Paterson's Programs for 2009, you can go to the Governor's website at:

http://www.state.ny.us/governor/bills/program_bills.html

David Badertscher

Posted On: January 8, 2010

New York Legislature: Chapter Law List for 2009

A List of New York State Chapter Laws Signed in 2009. Arranged in decending order. Includes Chapter Numbers, Bill Numbers and Titles

To retrieve the text of any of the New York Chapter laws listed below, go to http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menuf.cgi

507 S66007 KLEIN -- Relates to home mortgage loans, the crime of mortgage fraud, and appropriations to the NYS housing trust fund corporation

506 A40012 Rules (Brodsky) -- Creates the authorities budget office; repealer

505 A2209C Brodsky -- Creates an independent authority budget office; repealer

504 A40026 Rules (Silver) -- Provides retirement benefits for new entrants to certain public retirement systems

503 A40023 Budget -- Implements savings adjustments to the state fiscal plan

502 A40022 Budget -- Amends various provisions of chapters of the laws 2009 making appropriations for the support of government

501 A40021 Budget -- Authorizes commissioner of taxation and finance to administer accounts receivable discount program with respect to certain overdue tax liabilities

500 A40011 Rules (Destito) -- Authorizes term appointments without examination for certain information technology positions

499 S66009 BRESLIN -- Relates to the licensure of life settlement brokers; creates certain crimes relating to life settlement fraud; relates to premium finance agreement; repealer

498 S66006 BRESLIN -- Establishes a special enrollment period for employees and members with expired health coverage who wish to utilize state continuation benefits

497 S66004A THOMPSON -- Authorizes municipalities to create a municipal sustainable energy loan program

496 A40008 Rules (Weisenberg) -- Relates to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child passenger

495 S66005 VALESKY -- Relates to eligibility of certain felony offenders for parole and medical parole

494 S66002 STEWART-COUSINS -- Enacts into law major components of legislation necessary for the efficient operation of local governments; repealer

493 A8924 Hoyt -- Establishes the crime of aggravated interference with health care services in the first and second degrees

492 A7779 Rosenthal -- Relates to the duties of the municipal police training council

491 A5643 Farrell -- Raises minimum salary of each of the county clerks of the counties comprising the city of New York to that of supreme court justices instead of civil court judges

Continue reading " New York Legislature: Chapter Law List for 2009 " »

Posted On: January 8, 2010

ABA Journal Weekly Newsletter

Top Ten Stories for Week Ending January 8, 2010.

Layoffs
BigLaw Laid Off More than 12,000 People in 2009, the Worst Year Ever
Jan 4, 2010, 06:55 am CST

Law Students
Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Debt
Jan 6, 2010, 08:23 am CST

Law Practice Management
Two Chief Justices Have One Word of Advice for Solos: Unbundling
Jan 4, 2010, 10:56 am CST

Careers
ABA Prez Laments Young Lawyers 'Squashed by Debt,' Presses Deferment Idea
Jan 4, 2010, 07:33 am CST

Law Practice Management
Law School Rank and Class Year Take Back Seat to Practical Skills in 2010
Jan 7, 2010, 10:01 am CST

Business of Law
BigLaw Partners May Be Worth Top Pay, But What About Associates?
Jan 5, 2010, 05:55 pm CST

Consumer Law
Angry About 27.99% Credit Card Rate, Lawyer Refuses to Pay, Threatens Suit
Jan 6, 2010, 11:44 am CST

Criminal Justice
Las Vegas Courthouse Shooter Had Served Time for Killing His Brother
Jan 6, 2010, 07:14 am CST

Business of Law
Growing Midsize Firm Pays Big Bucks, Targets 'Core Industries'
Jan 7, 2010, 12:00 am CST

U.S. Supreme Court
Scalia Worried About Supreme Court Filled with Experienced Judges
Jan 5, 2010, 07:08 am CST

Posted On: January 8, 2010

ABA Journal Weekly Newsletter

Top Ten Stories for Week Ending December 30, 2009:


Legal Technology
100 Best Blawgs of 2009

Two more days to vote here. Voting ends at 5 p.m. CT, Dec. 31. Results will be posted by Jan. 5.

Legal Technology
70 Sizzling Apps

Legal Innovation
50 Legal Rebels Remaking the Profession

Law in Popular Culture
25 Greatest Legal TV Shows

Plus from 2008: 25 Greatest Legal Movies
Legal Technology
13 Law Firm Websites That Work

Law Practice Management
10 Tips to Recession-Proof Your Practice

Law Practice Management
7 Over 70: Lions of the Trial Bar

Solo/Small Firms
6 Tasks to Master to Live the Shingle Life

Women in the Law
Top Law Firms Named for Working Moms; 62% Allow Full-Time Telecommuting

Law Firms
Wachtell Nabs Top Spot—Again—in Prestige Rankings

Law Schools
It’s Official: Yale Law School Tops US News Rankings

Law Schools
North Carolina Central Tops List of Best Value Law Schools

| Share
Posted On: January 8, 2010

ABA Journal Weekly Newsletter

Top Ten Stories for Week Ending December 23, 2009

Lawyer Pay
First-Year Associates Bear the Brunt of Lower Bonuses; Some See Cuts of 71%
Dec 21, 2009, 08:09 am CST

Labor & Employment Law
Ex-Fried Frank Associate Says Female Partner Harassed Her
Dec 21, 2009, 07:00 pm CST

Careers
Legal Recruiter's Job Secret: Fitting In Helps You Get and Keep a Job
Dec 21, 2009, 06:50 am CST

Legal Ethics
A Judge's Advice to New Lawyers: Don't Be a Jerk
Dec 22, 2009, 09:49 am CST

Judiciary
Hundreds of Lawyers Rally to Protest Ariz. Sheriff's Battle Against Judiciary
Dec 22, 2009, 07:51 am CST

Constitutional Law
Convicted for Being Naked in Own Home, Man Complains of 'Living in a Fishbowl'
Dec 18, 2009, 07:21 pm CST

Entertainment & Sports Law
Story of Tiger Woods' Parking Lot Liaison Reportedly Killed with Law Firm's Help
Dec 18, 2009, 01:55 pm CST

Plus:

Setting Stage for 'Lawyer's Dream' Divorce, Tiger Woods' Wife Retains Attorney Sorrell Trope
Tort Law
Hedge Fund Sues Dechert, Claims $125M Loss in Dreier Ponzi Scheme
Dec 21, 2009, 07:36 pm CST

Law Professors
Law Prof Writes 'Explosive' New Book on Whitewater, Lewinsky Probes
Dec 21, 2009, 10:36 am CST

Legal Ethics
Judge Gets 30 Days for 'Stupidity' of Seeking Relationship with Defendant
Dec 21, 2009, 04:58 pm CST

:

Posted On: January 8, 2010

ABA Journal Law Journal Weekly Newsletter

Top Ten Stories for Week Ending December 18, 2009:

Trademark Law
The North Face Sues The South Butt for Trademark Infringement
Dec 15, 2009, 06:46 am CST

Careers
Cravath's $80K Deferral Offer Not Enticing Enough for Some Yale Law Grads
Dec 15, 2009, 07:40 am CST

Judiciary
Judge Orders Lawyers to Stop Using Capitalization 'With Abandon'
Dec 14, 2009, 09:31 am CST

Law in Popular Culture
Unable to Find Legal Job, Blogger Posts Bah Humbug Tale on YouTube
Dec 14, 2009, 01:43 pm CST

Criminal Justice
Police Theorize Howrey Associate Was Willing Participant in Murder-Suicide
Dec 17, 2009, 09:18 am CST

Legal Ethics
Oops. Accidental Posting of Exam a 'Teachable Moment,' Law Prof Says
Dec 14, 2009, 06:51 pm CST

Insurance Law
Billionaire Stanford & His Lawyers Held in Contempt Over Legal Fees Suit
Dec 16, 2009, 04:51 pm CST

Solos/Small Firms
New Solos Get Cheap Rents and Good Deals, But Will Clients Come?
Dec 15, 2009, 10:04 am CST

Careers
Awkward or Not, Go to the Holiday Party, Recruiter Advises Laid-Off Associates
Dec 16, 2009, 05:24 pm CST

Constitutional Law
Paper: War Over $340M Court Tower Threatens Rule of Law in Ariz. County
Dec 16, 2009, 06:51 pm CST

Posted On: January 7, 2010

After Being Pronounced Dead Kirkus Reviews Appears to be Back With Us

David Badertscher

Although not primarily a reviewer of legal materials, Kirkus Reviews is one of the most outstanding and respected review magazines devoted to book media. It was founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus (1893-1981) a former head of the children's book department of Harper & Bros. with the idea of holding book reviewing to a very high standard, being selective in both the books reviewed and the people assgned to review them. The first year they received about 20 advance galley proofs.

By all accounts Kirus has managed to maintain these high standards throughout the years, becomeing one of the true standard bearers for the authoritative reviewing of all types of titles including those related to law. According to their website, Kirkus currently reviews about 5,000 titles per year "with the idea of of providing Kirkus regulars (librarians, newspaper editors, agents, film producers, booksellers, and those throughout the book world in general) with professional, informative, and impartial descriptive evaluations of forthcoming titles, and to do so on a timely basis."

This is a tall order whch even under the best conditions would be difficult to duplicate under present conditions. It was therefore distressing to hear last month that Kirkus Reviews would be shut down and cease publication..

Hopefully miracles do happen because I was informed today that a business deal is currently being worked out with a new buyer and that Kirkus will not suspend publication as announced earlier. This is great news for all who love and respect books. The world will remin a much better place if Kirkus and other organizations like it can be resurrected and continue setting high standards for all of us.

Posted On: January 6, 2010

User Driven Enhancements to THOMAS Launched on its Fifteenth Birthday

THOMAS was launched on January 5, 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The leadership of the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. Since that time THOMAS has expanded the scope of its offerings to include many features and content including those listed below.:

Bills, Resolutions
Activity in Congress
Congressional Record
Schedules, Calendars
Committee Information
Presidential Nominations

Now, fifteen years later in response to user feedback and in celebration of its fifteenth
anniversary, THOMAS has been updated for the second session of the 111th
Congress.

As reported by Emily Carr of the Public Services Division at the Law Library of Congress, the new items include a bookmarking and sharing toolbar, top five bills of the week, a new RSS feed, highlighting how to contact Members of Congress, a tip of the week, enhanced visibility of bill PDFs, and an increased timeout interval.

The bookmarking and sharing toolbar, found near the top of most THOMAS pages, allows users to save or share a permanent link via bookmarks,email, or social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook. The toolbar also includes quick links to subscribe to THOMAS RSS feeds and to print.

The five most-searched-for bills from the past week will be listed in the center box on the right side of the homepage. Hovering the mouse over the bill number will display the title of the bill.

The new Bills Presented to the President RSS feed and email update lists bills that have passed both the House and Senate and have been sent to the White House for the President's signature.

It's now easier to contact your Members of Congress. A link to this page of tips about how to contact your Representative or Senator is included on the homepage.

Each week, a new tip about using THOMAS will be displayed on the right-hand side of the THOMAS homepage, below the “Top Five” list.

Based on user feedback, links to the bill PDF are more visible and accessible. Clicking on a PDF link will bring you to the Government Printing Office (GPO) PDF for a specific version of a bill.

Search results within THOMAS are displayed on temporary pages. The timeout interval has been increased from 5 minutes to 20 minutes..

THOMAS can be accessed at http://thomas.loc.gov.


Posted On: January 6, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

December-28, 2009 - January 1, 2010

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 28, 2009
US v. Dyer, No. 08-1343
Sentence on a defendant convicted of possessing child pornography is affirmed where: 1) the district court properly interpreted the trafficking cross-reference under U.S.S.G. section 2G2.4(c)(2) to include situations in which a defendant intended to exchange child pornography without any commercial purpose; 2) defendant's argument that the government must necessarily show the defendant actively and subjectively desired that others would get images of child pornography from him and that ordinary general intent does not suffice is rejected; 3) district court did not err in concluding that defendant's online conduct showed an "intent to traffic" under section 2G2.4(c)(2); and 4) defendant's argument that agent's testimony violated his Confrontation Clause rights because the grand jury testimony was never part of the record and because he had no chance to challenge that testimony during the sentencing hearing is rejected as without merit.

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, December 30, 2009
US v. MacPherson, No. 08-1829
Defendant's drug distribution sentence following a guilty plea is affirmed where: 1) the agreement and the plea colloquy put the defendant on notice that the Pimentel drug quantity estimate was not binding on the prosecutor and that if the estimate was wrong, the plea could not be withdrawn; and 2) there was no authority that prevented a sentencing judge from using facts of the offense conduct both to determine the applicable Sentencing Guidelines range and to select a sentence within that range.

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 28, 2009
Smith v. Smith, No. 08-7139
In an inmate's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a prison nurse claiming deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, district court's judgment in favor of the defendant is reversed and remanded where: 1) the inmate made out a claim for a deliberate indifference and the district court erred in finding that he failed to state a claim under the Eighth Amendment; and 2) because the district court premised both the grant of the motion to dismiss and qualified immunity on its finding that plaintiff failed to allege deliberate indifference in his complaint, the immunity analysis was prematurely concluded on the erroneous basis that plaintiff did not plead facts sufficient to indicate defendant had deliberate indifference to his medical need.

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

Posted On: January 6, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law

December-28, 2009 - January 1, 2010

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

U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, December 30, 2009
Wilner v. Nat'l. Sec. Agency, No. 08-4726
In a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) action filed by attorneys for Guantanamo Bay detainees seeking information regarding whether the government intercepted plaintiffs' communications relating to the representation of their detainee clients, an order upholding the National Security Agency's (NSA) and Department of Justice's responses neither confirming nor denying the existence of such records is affirmed where: 1) a Glomar response was available to agencies as a valid response to FOIA requests; 2) an agency may issue a Glomar response to FOIA requests seeking information obtained pursuant to a publicly acknowledged intelligence program, at least when the existence of such information has not already been publicly disclosed; 3) the NSA properly invoked the Glomar doctrine in response to plaintiffs' request for information pursuant to FOIA Exemption 3; 4) the government's affidavits sufficiently alleged the necessity of a Glomar response in this case, making it unnecessary ! for the court to review or to require the district court to review ex parte and in camera any classified affidavits that the NSA might proffer in support of its Glomar response; and 5) there was no evidence in the record that the NSA invoked Glomar for the purpose of concealing activities that violated the Constitution or were otherwise illegal.

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 28, 2009
Smith v. Smith, No. 08-7139
In an inmate's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a prison nurse claiming deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, district court's judgment in favor of the defendant is reversed and remanded where: 1) the inmate made out a claim for a deliberate indifference and the district court erred in finding that he failed to state a claim under the Eighth Amendment; and 2) because the district court premised both the grant of the motion to dismiss and qualified immunity on its finding that plaintiff failed to allege deliberate indifference in his complaint, the immunity analysis was prematurely concluded on the erroneous basis that plaintiff did not plead facts sufficient to indicate defendant had deliberate indifference to his medical need.

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 30, 2009
Hamblen v. US, No. 09-5025
District court's denial of a 28 U.S.C. section 2255 motion to vacate a sentence for possession of machine guns and unregistered firearms by defendant, a volunteer with the Tennessee State Guard who had built nine machine guns in response to the events of September 11, is affirmed as the Second Amendment does not confer an unrestricted individual right to keep and bear machine guns.

Continue reading " Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law " »

Posted On: January 6, 2010

New York State Office of the State Comptroller: Citizen Centric Report

The New York State Office of the State Comptroller has issued it's first
Citizen-Centric Report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. The
format for the Citizen-Centric Report was developed by the Association of
Government Accountants (AGA) and is intended to foster innovative means of
communication between governments and their citizenry. The AGA believes
that government financial information should be provided to citizens in a
visually appealing, clear and understandable four-page document.

To view the Citizen-Centric Report for the fiscal year ended March 31,
2009, please click on the link below:

http://www.osc.state.ny.us/finance/finreports/citizencentric2009.pdf

Posted On: January 4, 2010

Characteristics Which Can Help Save Libraries in a Highly Competitive and Dynamic Environment

BY: David Badertscher*

I have been following with great interest recent discussion on listservs and in the literature regarding a perception that libraries are becoming less relevant in a technologically-oriented society that relies increasingly on “instant gratification”(achieved largely through online searching and related techniques).

Technology is wonderful, and I think should it should be embraced, but not at the expense of alternative tools and methods that produce better results and may be more cost effective. If they are to accomplish their mission and remain relevant over time to their parent organizations, libraries must always be prepared to use a variety or mixture of techniques and materials, both technical and non-technical, to achieve results that are accurate, timely, efficient, cost effective, and deemed by patrons and managers to be trustworthy. The alternative is to increase the risk of libraries being perceived as no longer capable of meeting growing expectations and thereby becoming possible candidates for eventual closure.

How can libraries hope to escape this dilemma and continue to thrive in the highly competitive and dynamic environment where we live and work?

The discussions mentioned earlier include many excellent observations and recommendations which I think should be adopted. I agree that law libraries (and perhaps all libraries) need ready access to the services of a public relations department with the capability of responding quickly and professionally to articles denigrating libraries**. Discussions regarding these matters should be extended outside the library to include a broader population served by libraries, and more should be done by way of educating people “who work with librarians as to the value added elements a well-trained library staff adds to”*** the utility of both the library and its parent organization.

These and other excellent recommendations and suggestions being discussed are both necessary and useful, but are not by themselves sufficient to address the overall dilemma mentioned above. They need to be presented within a broader context which includes both core competencies of librarians such as the ones currently being revised by the American Association of Law Libraries for law librarians and a separate list of characteristics essential for libraries and library systems to maintain their relevance and effectiveness over the long term. If properly constructed, such a list should go far in helping libraries and library systems to be perceived as being essential components of our society due to their leadership role in both identifying and responding to information needs in a thoroughly professional manner. While much work continues to be done regarding the competencies of librarians, it appears that insufficient attention is being devoted to the complementary but distinct effort in identifying those overall characteristics or attributes of libraries, library personnel, and library systems essential for their assuming and maintaining a leading role in our increasingly dynamic and competitive world. Although other work has probably already been done in this area, I am not aware of it.

The following is my effort to compile such a list based on my own observations and conversations with colleagues. Hopefully it will stimulate both thought and further action. With that in mind the list of characteristics can be used as a point of departure for further development. A second equally important objective is to convey to the reader reviewing the list a sense of the vital, irreplaceable role libraries and librarians can play in meeting the information requirements of an increasingly dynamic and competitive environment. Thirdly, I would hope to convey my basic optimism regarding the future of libraries and library systems, provided that measures such as those discussed above are implemented and maintained consistently over time.

Some of the characteristics listed below apply primarily to librarians as a group. Others also include additional components of libraries such as the physical space, records, etc. Characteristics listed are assumed to incorporate a willingness to take actions and assume appropriate risks associated with those actions in the areas concerned. While all of the characteristics are considered important (even essential) to the relevance of libraries and library systems over the long term, some will be perceived as being more significant than others in particular situations and circumstances. Therefore, since the focus of this article is long term, no attempt is made in the following list to rank characteristics in terms of relative importance or significance. In my view they all play vital roles in the long term relevance and ultimate success of libraries. In addition to the characteristics (upper case and bold type) the following list includes some definitions and other illustrative material. Since the illustrative material is not intended to be all inclusive I have added the notation “Other, as appropriate” at the end of each grouping to underscore that fact.

The List:

ACCESSIBILITY
Ability, right, or permission to approach, enter, speak with, or use; obtainable; approachability.
Accessibility of library directors, managers, department heads, and others as appropriate to decision makers and to meetings and other forums where policies and procedures related to libraries and library systems are being discussed and deliberated.
Accessibility of library collections in all formats, including digital, to library users.
Other, as appropriate

ANALYTICAL:
Skill, aptitude, and motivation in the identification and detailed examination of components of systems, procedures, documents, organizations, or other entities and to infer meaning and communicate conclusions based on such examination..
Reports.
Studies
Evaluations (including evaluations of library collections)
Compilations (including bibliographies, development and continuing maintenance of library catalogues, indices)
Financial evaluation and analysis (includes financial planning - budgets)
Analysis related to strategic planning
Systems Analysis related to library applications and services
Other, as appropriate.

CREATIVITY::
The ability to transcend traditional ideas, techniques, rules, approaches
Originality
Develop new, improved approaches to resolving challenges
Exploration of new and emerging developments as to their possible application to library applications and services.
Other, as appropriate

CURIOSITY::
Desire, and drive, to learn and understand
Inquisitiveness
Urge and motivation to become more aware of ways to adapt libraries and librarianship to competitive, dynamic environments
Other, as appropriate

EMPATHY:
Ability to vicariously experience experiences, feelings, thoughts, attitudes of others
Sharing
Collaboration
Outreach
Caring about and relating to other people
Other, as appropriate

FLEXIBILITY:
Willing to adapt and adjust
Accepts and is reasonably comfortable with change
Willing to yield when appropriate
An important attribute in a rapidly changing library environment
Other, as appropriate.

LEADERSHIP:
Ability to make things happen
Provide direction
Take initiative and assume risk
Strategic planning
Ability to ensure that quality of organization and service are maintained at a high level
Ability to persuade and articulate at a high level
Take lead in encouraging coordination, collaboration, and sharing as considered appropriate
Take lead in introducing new technologies as appropriate
Ability to say “no” when situation warrants
Other, as appropriate

PERSEVERANCE:
Ability to stay the course and be steadfast in working toward objectives of the library, especially in difficult, challenging situations
Other, as appropriate

STABILITY:
Includes all areas related to maintaining the integrirty of library records, including bibliographic records as well as financial and business records associated with the library
Cataloging, indexing, issues related to authentication of digital records and materials over time Preservation of materials and records over time
Maintain consistent and steady relationships with parent and other organizations as needed Maintain stable physical environment in library or library system
Other, as appropriate


RESOURCEFULNESS
:
Ability to deal skillfully with new or difficult situations
Ability to adapt quickly
Skillful in finding ways of doing more with less as situation warrants
Other, as appropriate

Comments are welcome.
_____________________________
*Although David Badertscher is the Principal Law Librarian of the New York State Supreme Court Criminal Term, First Judicial District, the opinions, conclusions, and observations expressed in the above article are entirely his own and should not in any way be attributed to that organization, the State of New York Unified Court System, or any other organization or group with which he has been associated, past or present. He also wishes to thank Theodore Pollack, Senior Law Librarian at the New York County Public Access Law Library for his assistance in editing the final version of this paper.

**E-mail from Mary Matuszak, Director of Library Services, New York County District Attorney's Office, December 18, 2009.

***E-mail from Joni L. Cassidy, President and Technical Services Librarian, Cassidy Cataloguing Services Inc., December 17, 2009/