Posted On: October 22, 2010

ABA Report: Recommendations for Improving Judicial Disqualification Practices and Procedures Among the States

ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence (SCJI)

In an October 20, 2010 e-mail discussing the Report, William K Weisenberg, Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence writes:

"On behalf of the Standing Committee on Judicial Independence (SCJI), I am pleased to present for your consideration recommendations and a report that address one of the most significant issues impacting the public’s trust and confidence in a fair, impartial and independent judiciary – the disqualification of a judge when the impartiality of the judge might reasonably be questioned either through specific conduct or the appearance of impropriety. In July, 2010, an updated draft of the recommendations and report was distributed widely for review by ABA entities and outside groups. The Committee held a public forum at the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting on Saturday, August 7, 2010, in order to encourage audience comments and suggestions on the revised proposal. Based upon the comments and suggestions received both at the forum and thereafter, SCJI revised the recommendations and report. They will be submitted to the House of Delegates for consideration at the 2011 Midyear Meeting. SCJI feels strongly that it has met its objective of helping states improve their judicial disqualification practices and procedures by providing to state supreme courts a menu of options to be considered as states move forward with adoption of standards and rules, while promoting public confidence in the state courts...."

FROM THE INTRODUCTION:

In recent years, judicial disqualification has emerged as an important policy issue in several states and an important focus of discussion and debate on ways to improve both the reality – and the public perception – of the fairness and impartiality of our court system. That focus has been sharpened because of intense public scrutiny and criticism in several highly publicized cases of refusals by judges to recuse themselves in circumstances where, as the default standard articulated in the Model Code of Judicial Conduct puts it, "the judge‟s impartiality might reasonably be questioned"'

.The ABA has traditionally taken the leading role in providing guidance to the States on matters of judicial ethics and judicial conduct.4 Since 2007, the ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence ('SCJI' or the “Committee”) has been working on a project to survey disqualification rules and practices in state courts around the country, to identify problems and uncertainties that arise under existing regimes, and, if and as appropriate, to propose reforms. The Judicial Disqualification Project ('JDP') has conducted research, solicited comments on particular ideas and proposals (primarily within the ABA but also from certain outside entities with a strong interest in the area, such as the Conference of Chief Justices), and gradually refined the thinking of the Committee's membership on these issues.

It bears mention here that the focus of the JDP has been on the State judiciaries and not the federal. Notwithstanding that focus, this Report benefits from the guidance provided by federal case law, some of which is cited herein. Indeed, much of the law on judicial disqualification as it has developed in this country, and the concomitant guidance to the judiciary as a whole and the practicing bar, has been the product of federal decisions. Nevertheless, it should be emphasized that the transformation of the landscape described below has been occasioned by dramatic changes in judicial elections and judicial campaign finance, neither of which has any relevance whatever to the federal judiciary...."

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING JUDICIAL DISQUALIFICATION PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES AMONG THE STATES


Posted On: October 21, 2010

Crime Related Story Ideas*

October 20, 2010

October 20, 2010
Computer Expert Pleads Guilty to Hacker Stock Scheme (Bloomberg)
http://j.st/ZSC
An Arizona computer specialist who did time in prison for his role in
an Internet stock-fraud scheme pleaded guilty in New Jersey today to a
similar scam.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 20, 2010
Cop acquitted of assaulting his judge-girlfriend (Philadelphia
Inquirer)
http://j.st/ZTw
The Oct. 17, 2009, altercation between Judge Leslie Fleisher and
paramour Lewis B. Palmer III left her with a cut scalp and scrapes and
bruises. But whatever transpired that night in her Society Hill
townhouse - her version, his version, or a mix of the two - did not
amount to criminal assault, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury ruled
Wednesday.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 18, 2010
DUIs involving prescription drugs difficult to prove - USA Today
http://j.st/ZSk
As illegal prescription drug use soars, the number of cases of driving
under the influence in which the substance is a prescription drug rather
than alcohol is rising steadily, authorities say. But prosecuting and
obtaining convictions against suspects charged with DUI involving
prescription drugs can be a challenge.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 20, 2010
Vt. police charge motorist with texting, DUI
http://j.st/Z5F
Vermont State Police say a 49-year-old woman is facing charges of
texting while driving and driving under the influence following a crash
on Interstate 89 in Richmond.
_______________________________
*We are grateful to the Justia Blog Support Team for identifying and submitting the above story ideas for consideration.

Posted On: October 21, 2010

Social Media are Affecting the Way We Hear About Death: Police Grapple With Issue

On social media bad news spreads quickly.

When off-duty Baltimore Police Detective Brian Stevenson was killed Saturday night after being struck in the head by a piece of concrete, word spread quickly through police circles and spilled onto Facebook, where the officer's young daughter learned of his death before relatives could break it to her in person.

See complete article by Justin Fenton in the October 20, Baltimore Sun.

Posted On: October 18, 2010

Leading Executives in the Legal Research Industry Join Bloomberg Law

Leading Executives in the Legal Research Industry Join Bloomberg Law

Lou Andreozzi and Larry D. Thompson to Lead Expansion of Bloomberg’s Web-Based Legal Platform

New York, October 18, 2010 – Bloomberg today announced that Lou Andreozzi has joined the Company as chairman of Bloomberg Law and Larry D. Thompson, PhD, has joined as chief operating officer. Andreozzi and Thompson will play key leadership roles in the growth of Bloomberg Law, the innovative real-time legal research system from the world leader in data and information services.

In his new role, Andreozzi will provide strategic leadership for Bloomberg Law aimed at driving the platform’s expansion in the legal research industry. He is widely recognized as a leader in the field of legal research, most recently serving as CEO of IQNavigator, Inc., and is a former CEO of LexisNexis North American Legal Markets.

Thompson will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Bloomberg Law including go-to-market, sales, content, data and relationships. He most recently was Senior Partner with The Sterling Group 925 LLC, and formerly served as Senior Vice President at LexisNexis.

“Lou Andreozzi and Larry Thompson are among the top executives in the field of legal research and together they bring extraordinary strategic expertise and deep market knowledge to Bloomberg Law,” said Beth Mazzeo, head of Data Products for Bloomberg. “With the recent completion of our successful pilot phase, we are excited to move forward with Lou and Larry at the helm. It is a pleasure to welcome them to Bloomberg Law.”

“Bloomberg Law is breaking new ground in the world of legal research by bringing to lawyers, through the Web, the same innovative technology and analytics that set Bloomberg apart in the financial world,” said Andreozzi. “I am delighted to be part of the team that will take Bloomberg Law to the next level.”

“Bloomberg Law is a formidable product, and I am confident it will change the legal research playing field with its expertise in data, technology and its extraordinary financial news and business analysis,” said Thompson. “Bloomberg Law has the flexibility of a stand-alone product with access to Bloomberg’s world-class resources and delivered to the legal profession in an intuitive interface.”

Constantin Cotzias, who oversaw the successful launch of Bloomberg Law, is returning to London to be part of the senior leadership team in Bloomberg Europe, where he will head Government and Regulatory Affairs and government business development and strategy in Europe. Cotzias played a critical role in shaping Bloomberg Law’s development and the introduction of the platform to over 90 percent of the top 100 U.S. law firms.

In the newly created role, Cotzias will take advantage of Bloomberg’s presence in Europe to expand Bloomberg's Government Affairs division. He will help coordinate the Company’s government affairs efforts around the globe, and will help broaden Bloomberg's product offerings for government. Cotzias' team will monitor government initiatives and public policy development globally, assisting the business team and Bloomberg customers in assessing impact.

Andreozzi spent over 10 years at LexisNexis. As CEO of North American Legal Markets, his portfolio included some of the most prominent legal products and brands including the Lexis online service, Shepard’s, Matthew Bender, Martindale-Hubbell and lawyers.com. Prior to becoming CEO, Andreozzi was General Counsel of LexisNexis.

Most recently, Andreozzi has been serving as president and chief executive officer of IQNavigator, Inc., a leading provider of services spend management software and managed services, and will continue to play a leadership role in the company. He also served as CEO of Inference Data, a leading software-as-a-service provider of solutions for legal data analysis and review. He has been a strategic advisor for ValueAct Capital, The Carlyle Group and Bain Capital on large media and technology deals. Andreozzi is a graduate of Rutgers University and received his JD from the Seton Hall School of Law.

Thompson has more than 25 years of experience as an executive in the legal publishing field, 12 of them with LexisNexis where he rose to the position of Senior Vice President, Business Development, Strategy & Marketing and Global Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to that, Thompson was Vice President for Sales and Marketing at Shepard’s/McGraw-Hill. Most recently, Thompson was Senior Partner with The Sterling Group 925 LLC, a boutique consulting firm that works within legal and professional markets assisting with strategy, sales, marketing, and business development efforts. He received a PhD in Mass Media and an MA in Telecommunications from Michigan State University and a BA from Montana State University
_______________________
For additional information see: Bloomberg Law Gets LexisNexis Experience by Monica Bay on LTN Law Technology News..October 18, 2010.


Posted On: October 18, 2010

Are Federal Judges Cutting Corners to Hire Clerks Early?

The system for placing them with federal judges is breaking down.

Karen Sloan National Law Journal

October 18, 2010

Are the Wild West days of federal clerk hiring back? That's what some law school administrators and judges fear. They worry that the voluntary system whereby federal judges wait until September of the 3L year to hire clerks is teetering. Judges are choosing clerks earlier in the year and are being inundated with applications as the legal job market narrows. And a trend toward hiring the already graduated means fewer positions are available for fresh law graduates.

Complete National Law Journal article.

See also: U.S. Federal Judges Law Clerk Hiring Plan 2010

Posted On: October 18, 2010

New York: Report of Preliminary Impact of 2009 Rockefeller Drug Law Reform

October 2009 - September 2010.

Issued October 2010

New York State fully implemented changes to its drug laws on October 7, 2009. This report provides a preliminary update of the impact during the first year. More comprehensive reports will be issued in the coming months. The preliminary review shows that because of the drug law changes:

• Approximately 1,000 fewer people went to state prison in the past 12 months:
300 individuals avoided state prison due to the elimination of certain mandatory prison sentences. These offenders were sentenced to jail or probation. 700 offenders who would have been sentenced to prison were instead enrolled into court-monitored judicial diversion programs.

• 327 Class B offenders were resentenced and released from prison.

• The number of individuals judicially diverted to drug court has increased substantially, with 46% admitted into residential treatment and 54% admitted into outpatient treatment.
This report and other related reports are available at: http://wwwdev:84/drug-law-reform/index.html.

The Interim Report can also be downloaded by click on the link below:

NY Criminal Justice Interim Drug Law Reform Update Oct. 2010 (PDF)

Posted On: October 18, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

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

October 11-15 2010.

United States First Circuit, 10/11/2010
US v. Brown
Defendant's conviction for possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute is affirmed where: 1) although the district court's factual findings and the inferences made from those findings, which formed the basis of its conclusion that reasonable suspicion existed to stop a car, are not compelled by the record or by the facts, both are nonetheless reasonable and therefore pass constitutional muster; 2) the affirmance of the district court's finding that the officers had reasonable suspicion to stop the car forecloses the need to address defendant's challenge to the district court's alternate conclusion that the car was not seized when the officers first approached; and 3) there was no abuse of discretion in the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence without an evidentiary hearing.

United States First Circuit, 10/14/2010
US v. Kinsella
Conviction of defendant for conspiring to possess and distribute oxycodone, possessing oxycodone with intent to distribute, and willfully failing to appear in court as required, as well as a 97-month sentence, are affirmed where: 1) defendant's claim of multiple instances of prosecutorial misconduct is rejected; and 2) the district judge did not clearly err in his drug-quantity calculations.

United States First Circuit, 10/15/2010
Statchen v. Palmer
In plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against police officers, claiming that they used excessive force in arresting him for public intoxication and in transporting him from a station house to jail, district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants on the basis of qualified immunity is affirmed as the district court had no basis for sending the case to a jury because plaintiff's own deposition provided no evidence to indicate that the force exerted was unnecessary, or that a reasonable police officer would have thought otherwise. .

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

Posted On: October 18, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law

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

October 11-15 2010.

United States First Circuit, 10/14/2010
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston v. Seger-Thomschitz
In an art museum's action for a declaratory judgment to confirm its rightful ownership of a painting, which a sole surviving heir of the painting's artist claimed that the artist was forced to sell under duress after Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938, district court's grant of summary judgment for the museum on statute of limitations grounds is affirmed where: 1) because defendant did not make a demand on the museum more than three years after her causes of action accrued, summary judgment was properly granted on the museum's limitations defense; 2) defendant has not shown that application of the Massachusetts statute of limitations to the Massachusetts causes of action in this case would cause a significant conflict with, or threat to, the federal interests and policies embodied in section 510(c)(3); and 3) the Massachusetts statute of limitations does not conflict with the federal government's foreign policy. ..

United States First Circuit, 10/15/2010
Statchen v. Palmer
In plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against police officers, claiming that they used excessive force in arresting him for public intoxication and in transporting him from a station house to jail, district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants on the basis of qualified immunity is affirmed as the district court had no basis for sending the case to a jury because plaintiff's own deposition provided no evidence to indicate that the force exerted was unnecessary, or that a reasonable police officer would have thought otherwise.

United States Second Circuit, 10/12/2010
Amore v. Novarro
In a civil rights action alleging a false arrest, a denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity is reversed where the district court erred in deciding that it would have been clear to a reasonable officer in defendant's position that making the arrest was unlawful.

Continue reading " Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law " »

Posted On: October 18, 2010

From the Offices of Lesley Ellen Harris

A New Bog:

Those of you who follow this blog will know that I occasionaly post Lesley Harris's excellent Newsletter The Copyright & News Media Law Newsletter, (latest issue posted below with permission) where she covers a wide range of topics from copyright and licensing to jobs for librarians. Although the Newsletter is by itself an ambitious undertaking, Leslie has now outdone herself by also launching a new blog, Copyrightlaws.com which, as you might expect, is about "copyright, licensing and digital property". I have been following the blog since she launched it a few months ago: it is a nice complement to her newsletter. I especially like the Questions and Answers feature. You can see the blog at http://copyrightlaws.com.

David Badertscher

The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter
Vol. 14 No. 5 October 11, 2010.
ISSN 1489-954X

Contents:

1. Studies, Legislation and Conventions
Inquiry on Copyright Policy
Report on Legal Implications of News Aggregation
The State of Recorded Sound Preservation Report

2. Legal Cases:
Vernor v. Autodesk Decision Overturned
Georgia State University Update
Beatles v. Beatles Lawsuit

3. Of Interest:
Looking for a Job in Copyright?

4. Seminars and Publications:
Write Your Own Copyright Policy
Webinar for Librarians, Publishers and Vendors
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Copyright, New Media & E-Commerce News is distributed for free by the office
of Lesley Ellen Harris. Information contained herein should not be relied upon or
considered as legal advice. Copyright 2010 Lesley Ellen Harris. This e-letter may
be forwarded, downloaded or reproduced for non-commercial purposes provided
that you cc: lehletter@copyrightlaws.com.

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


1. STUDIES, LEGISLATION AND CONVENTIONS:

INQUIRY ON COPYRIGHT POLICY – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
is conducting a comprehensive review of the relationship between availability and
protection of online copyright-protected works and innovation in the internet
economy. Public comments are being sought by November 19, 2010. See
http://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2010/10/05/2010-24863/inquiry-on-
copyright-policy-creativity-and-innovation-in-the-internet-economy.

REPORT ON LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF NEWS AGGREGATION – The
Berkman Center for Internet & Society published a white paper that discusses hot
news misappropriation and copyright infringement claims against news
aggregators. The paper also provides “best practices” for using online third-party
content. See http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1670339.

THE STATE OF RECORDED SOUND PRESERVATION REPORT – The U.S.
Council on Library and Information Resources and The Library of Congress
recently published this report. The report discuss various relevant intellectual
property issues. See http://www.clir.org/pubs/abstract/pub148abst.html.
_________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

2. LEGAL CASES:

VERNOR V. AUTODESK DECISION OVERTURNED – The U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has strengthened the position of copyright owners
who license their works that are in turn sold to others. The Ninth Circuit
concluded in Vernor v. Autodesk that an agreement is a license (and not an
assignment) where the copyright owner specified that the user is granted a license,
significantly restricts the user’s ability to transfer the work, and imposes notable
use restrictions. See http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-9th-
circuit/2010/09/10/251923.html.


GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY UPDATE – Judge Orinda Evans of the
Federal District Court (Atlanta) has ruled on the cross motions for summary
judgment in the infringement lawsuit by three publishers against Georgia State
University. The case centers on the use of course readings for students via e-
reserves and the campus course management system. See judgment at
http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/districtcourts/georgia/gandce/1:2008cv01425/
150651/235/.


BEATLES V. BEATLES LAWSUIT – The Nevada-based Fab Four is suing
another Beatles tribute band, The Fab 4 of Colorado. The Nevada group is
claiming that the defendants are trading on their reputation and success and are
asking the court to stop the Fab 4 from using any trademark that sounds like “Fab
Four” and is also seeking monetary damages.
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

3. OF INTEREST:

LOOKING FOR A JOB IN COPYRIGHT? – Job listings in copyright and
licensing (many for nonlawyers) are now listed at
http://www.copyrightlaws.com/job-opportunities-in-copyright-licensing/.
_________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

4. SEMINARS AND PUBLICATIONS:

WRITE YOUR OWN COPYRIGHT POLICY – October 18, 2010 is the start date
for the online course, Developing A Copyright Policy. This is an assignment-
based course in which participants draft a copyright compliance policy/guidelines.
Register at www.acteva.com/go/copyright.

WEBINAR FOR LIBRARIANS, PUBLISHERS AND VENDORS – November
9, 2010 is a free webinar on How Copyright Affects Librarians, Publishers and
Vendors. Register at
http://www.sla.org/content/learn/certificates/copyright/copyrightprogram/CCMOp
enHouse.cfm.
This is the prelude to the 7-course certificate in copyright
management offered by SLA and Copyrightlaws.com.
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

This newsletter is prepared by Copyright Lawyer Lesley Ellen Harris. Lesley is
the author of the books Canadian Copyright Law, 3rd ed. (McGraw-Hill), Digital
Property: Currency of the 21st Century (McGraw-Hill), Licensing Digital Content:
A Practical Guide for Librarians, 2nd ed. (ALA Editions), and A Canadian
Museum’s Guide to Developing a Licensing Strategy (Canadian Heritage
Information Network). Lesley edits the print newsletter, The Copyright & New
Media Law Newsletter. Lesley may be reached at www.copyrightlaws.com.
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

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


Posted On: October 18, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court - Recusal

From the Brennan Center for Justice, Fair Courts E-Lert October 15, 2010:

Justice Elena Kagan's decision to recuse herself in 25 of the cases the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear continues to inspire discussion about judicial disqualification. A New York Times editorial praises Justice Kagan's decision, but questions the credibility of a judicial system that relies on voluntary recusal. The editorial recounts two recent examples - Justice Antonin Scalia's decision not to disqualify himself from a case involving then-Vice President Cheney, with whom the Justice socialized, and Caperton v. Massey, the 2009 landmark recusal case - in which unclear recusal guidelines cast doubt on judicial impartiality. Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is currently pushing legislation to allow retired Supreme Court justices to return to the bench if a current justice must recuse, but the Times editorial contends a more vigorous disqualification process is necessary. Meanwhile, another Times editorial argues that Justice Clarence Thomas' wife should be required to disclose donors to the conservative nonprofit organization she leads so that Justice Thomas can "comply with a fundamental ethical and legal requirement to "disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned." A separate Times article reports that Mrs. Thomas - who recently appeared at a large Tea Party convention - is playing "the most partisan role ever for a spouse of a justice on the nation's highest court."

Justice Thomas and His Wife, New York Times, October 12, 2010; Activism of Thomas's Wife Could Raise Judicial Issues, New York Times, Jackie Calmes, October 8, 2010; Recusals and the Court, New York Times, October 7, 2010.

Posted On: October 15, 2010

U.S. Justice Department is Continuing its Anti Corruption Campaign

In the October 15, 2010 Wall Street Journal, Dionne Searcey reports that "after numerous record-shattering fines and executive prosecutions in recent years, the government's crackdown on violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act shows no signs of slowing.

So far this year, the U.S. Justice Department has carried out a dozen prosecutions, after 19 prosecutions in 2009. That doesn't include civil cases brought under the law by the Securities and Exchange Commission." To see Ms. Searcey's complete article, go to:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704634104575552583836621938.html?mod=dist_smartb

Posted On: October 15, 2010

Chief Judge Lippman Announces Creation of Permanent Sentencing Commission for New York State

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman on October 13, 2010 announced the establishment of the New York State Permanent Sentencing Commission, charged with conducting a comprehensive and ongoing evaluation of sentencing laws and practices and recommending reforms to improve the quality and effectiveness of statewide sentencing policy. A very important aspect of this Commission is that has been designated as permanent. There have been previous commissions created to look into these matters in New York State but they were designated as temporary. Hopefully the permant designation of this Commission will increase its influnce and help ensure that it's recommendations and ongoing guidance will have significant impact over many years.

For official Unified Court System Press Release announcing establishment of New York State Sentencing Commission visit:

http://www.nycourts.gov/press/pr2010_11.shtml:

Related Stories include:

Michael Jacobson named to New York State sentencing commission ...
Vera's director, Michael Jacobson, has been named to the new New York State Permanent ... announced today by the New York State Unified Court System. ...
www.vera.org/node/4498

News for lippman "sentencing commission" new york
Sentencing Law and Policy: New York gets a permanant commission to ... Oct 14, 2010 ... As reported in this New York Daily News article, ... "The present sentencing laws are a mess," Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman told the Daily News. ... in charge of the Permanent Sentencing Commission for New York State. ...
sentencing.typepad.com/.../new-york-gets-a-permanant-commission-to-help-with-sentencing-mess.html

The Crime Report » Archive » Blue-Ribbon Panel To Study New York ... Oct 14, 2010 ... A blue-ribbon panel aims to clean up New York state's ... will head the Permanent Sentencing Commission for New York State. ... ¿We don't know whether the offenders are prepared to live useful lives,¿ Lippman said. ...
thecrimereport.org/.../blue-ribbon-panel-to-study-new-york-sentencing-mess/

Permanent Sentencing Commission for New York State New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman says 'the present sentencing ...
www.nydailynews.com/.../Permanent+Sentencing+Commission+for+New+York+State



Posted On: October 14, 2010

Ethics and Social Media Use By Court Staff

Real world examples needed.I

am posting the following request for real-world examples of issues and problems regarding ethics and social media that have occurred in our courts as a service to all of us who really need access to this information. Please contact Norman Meyer directly if you have any helpful information. Congratulations to Mr. Meyer for taking on this project.

David Badertscher


Hello, everyone. I am beginning to draft an article for the National Association for Court Management's (NACM) "Court Manager" journal on the topic of ethics and the use of social media by court staff, and I would appreciate your help. In particular, I'm looking for real-world examples of issues and problems that have happened in our courts in this area. If you have anything to share in this regard, I'd appreciate it -- I intend to sanitize any examples to not reveal which court or person(s) may be involved, so don't worry about that. And, if you have any insights in general about social media use and how that relates to court ethics/Codes of Conduct, that would be useful to me, as well. Thanks in advance for any help you may provide me.

Norman Meyer
Clerk of Court
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
District of New Mexico
505-348-2449

p.s. I am familiar with, and am using, the wonderful recent publication from the federal court AO's Office of the General Counsel, "Resource Packet for Developing Guidelines on Use of Social Media by Judicial Employees," so I do not need duplication of information contained there.

p.p.s. If you are not a member of NACM, I urge you to consider joining it as well. NACM is a great organization, with really good publications, educational opportunities, and networking with our peers. As a Past President of NACM, I know that it has been a tremendous help to me in my career. To find out for yourself, take a look at the NACM website: http://nacmnet.org/ (in particular, the "about us" page gives a nice summary of what NACM offers: http://www.nacmnet.org/about/index.html ), or I'd be happy to respond to any questions.

Posted On: October 13, 2010

Around the Blawgsphere

October 13, 2010.

Argument recap: Court doubts that failure to suppress confession is prejudicial in felony murder case
posted by James Bickford at SCOTUSblog -
On Tuesday, the Court heard oral argument in the case of *Premo v. Moore*.

Overcriminalization 2.0: Developing Consensus Solutions posted by White Collar Crime Prof Blogger at White Collar Crime Prof Blog
The Journal of Law, Economics & Policy at the George Mason University School of Law will host its annual symposium on October 21, 2010, in partnership with the Law & Economics Center at George Mason Universi...

Two or Three Myths About Substantive Due Process

posted by Timothy Sandefur, guest-blogging at The Volokh Conspiracy
(Timothy Sandefur, guest-blogging) When talking about “substantive due process,” as I’ve been doing, one must address a number of myths about that theory that, sadly, are so common

Costs of capital punishment getting the spotlight in Connecticut case
posted by Doug B. at Sentencing Law and Policy -
As detailed in this local article, which is headlined "Steven Hayes Defense Outlines High Cost Of Putting Someone To Death," the significant economic costs of capital punishment has moved from policy debate ...


Mapping Your Return to Useful Websites
posted by admin at Legal Talk Network -
Internet search is only half of the equation. Many times, you simply want to return to a site you had previously found. Managing bookmarks and favorites has long been a less-than-satisfying experience. Why...

Posted On: October 13, 2010

Report Predicts Hiring Boom for Lawyers Who Think Outside the Box

Report predicts hiring boom for lawyers who think outside the box
Hiring in the legal profession is expected to increase by about 13% between 2008 and 2018, roughly on par with the expected average increase for other jobs, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The outlook is a little better for nontraditional legal jobs, however: Lawyers who are willing to take a detour into administrative, managerial and business positions are likely to find jobs more easily, the report suggests. ABA Journal (10/12)

Posted On: October 13, 2010

The Internet's Thee Principles

The New York Chapter of the Internet Society has just sent word that avideo of Alex Goldman's OneWebDay talk 'The Internet's Three Principles" is now available..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2akLJoA5W24

Posted On: October 13, 2010

State of Telecom Conference: Matching Supply and Demand for the Next Generation of Broadband

The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) "State of Telecom" conference will be held on October 15 at the Columbia University Business School, Davis Auditorium in theShapiro Center (just behind Uris Hall). This year’s focus will be on "Matching Supply and Demand for the Next Generation of Broadband." The conference will be a "Trans-Atlantic Dialog" co-organized with IDATE of France so the topic will be explored from a global perspective.

Details, including registration, may be found on http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/citi/events/telecom2010

Posted On: October 13, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law

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

October 4-8, 2010.

United States First Circuit, 10/08/2010
Tevlin v. Spencer
District court's denial of defendant's request for habeas relief from his convictions for first-degree murder, armed robbery, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, is affirmed where: 1) defendant has failed to demonstrate the existence of ineffective assistance of counsel in any of his theories; and 2) the Massachusetts discovery procedures are not on their face unconstitutional and defendant has not established that their application here violated due process. .

United States Second Circuit, 10/04/2010
Analytical Diagnostic Labs, Inc. v. Kusel
In a class-of-one equal protection claim alleging that defendants, employees of the New York State Department of Health, intentionally and maliciously subjected plaintiff-clinical testing laboratory to an intense and unwarranted degree of regulatory scrutiny, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where there was no record evidence raising a question of fact as to whether: 1) other labs were similarly situated; or 2) even assuming other labs were similarly situated, that the same decisionmakers were aware of the similarity and treated plaintiff differently.

United States Second Circuit, 10/08/2010
Byrne v. Rutledge
In an action alleging that Vermont’s denial of plaintiff's requested vanity license plate, on the grounds that it contained a religious message in violation of state law prohibiting such messages on vanity license plates, violated the Free Speech Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Due Process Clause, summary judgment for defendants is reversed where Vermont's ban on all vanity plate combinations that "refer, in any language, to a ... religion" or "deity" constituted unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. .

Continue reading " Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law " »

Posted On: October 13, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

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October 4-8, 2010.

United States First Circuit, 10/07/2010
US v. Figueroa-Gonzalez
Conviction of defendant for carjacking and firearm use during and in relation to a crime of violence is affirmed as there was no error, clear or otherwise, as the district court was presented with conflicting evidence and chose to conclude that the evidence was stronger in favor of competency to plead guilty.

United States First Circuit, 10/08/2010
Tevlin v. Spencer
District court's denial of defendant's request for habeas relief from his convictions for first-degree murder, armed robbery, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, is affirmed where: 1) defendant has failed to demonstrate the existence of ineffective assistance of counsel in any of his theories; and 2) the Massachusetts discovery procedures are not on their face unconstitutional and defendant has not established that their application here violated due process. .

United States Second Circuit, 10/06/2010
Matthews v. US
Defendant's convictions for racketeering, drug-related murder, and the use of a firearm are affirmed where, while drug-related murder can be punishable by death if certain aggravating circumstances are specified in the charging instrument, no such aggravating factors were specified in the information. .

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