Articles Posted in Commentary and Opinion

Click on link below for various information sources related to criminal jurisdiction collected through the Google News Alert Service, September 13, 2010.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE TIMOTHY COLE ADVISORY PANEL ON WRONGFUL …

By john Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair Current Eyewitness Identification Procedure Reinforce False Memories and Lead to Wrongful Convictions By: Houston Criminal Lawyer John Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair There have been 258 DNA exonerations in this country over the last two decades, according to the New … Even conservative, law-and-order minded Texans have grown weary and disgusted with repeated, highly publicized cases of innocent people being wrongfully convicted and who have spent decades in prison. …

Volume 14, No. 4. September 1, 2010 ISSN 1489-954X

Published and Distributed by the Office of Lesley Ellen Harris. 2010 is the 15TH year of publication of the LEH Newsletter. All back issues are archived at http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/202/300/copyright-a/

1. Studies, Legislation and Conventions

BY: Claire M Germain, Edward Cornell Law Librarian and Professor of Law Cornell University and Director, Dual Degree Programs, Paris & Berlin

Publishers Note:

Claire Germain is interested in all aspects of legal information, from rare books to digital libraries, and often writes on these topics, most recently “Digitizing the World’s Laws: Authentication and Preservation.” the topic of this posting. For several years she has been actively advocating for effective measures to bring about authentication and improved preservation of digital law locally, nationally, internationally, and globally.

In his August 31, 2010 New York Law Journal article, Court Rule Altered to Buttress E-Discovery; I-Filing Advances, Joel Stashenko discusses the amended Uniform Rules of Trial Courts of the State of New York as an effort to insure that lawyers keep “up to speed” regarding their clients’ records at the early stages of discovery. The amended rules were published August 18 and went into effect immediately, having been approved beforehand by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and the presiding justices of the four appellate division departments.

Much of this activity has been influenced by a New York court system report, Electronic Discovery in the State of New York, published in February 2010. The key recommendations of that Report includes: establishing an e-discovery work group; improving the preliminary conference; more e-discovery programs in Education and Training; more court attorney referees serving as e-discovery specialists, establishing an institutional presence at the Sedona Conference; and working harder to improve the quality of E-Discovery practice.

On the second front mentioned in Mr. Stashenko’s article, electronic filing of litigant papers is said to be proceeding in New York at a deliberative pace. While more than10,000 lawyers registered for New York’s electronic filing system in 2009, compared to only 300 in 2002, there is , as Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau has observed, “there is a long way to go: before e-filing and E-Discovery are required in all New York Courts. After 11 years of experimentation with electronic filing, New York has accorded permanent status to the effort and is now beginning to institute mandatory e-filing in limited areas.

A new study of judicial independence from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School

Authored by James Sample, Adam Skaggs, Jonathan Blitzer, Linda Casey Edited by Charles Hall

Foreword by Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

David Badertscher

Introduction

In an August 6, 2010 posting on the AALL Washington Blawg, “As Talks Break Down, What is Next for Neutrality”, Emily Feldman discussed the implication of talks on network neutrality between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and stakeholders of network neutrality falling apart, or at least being sidetracked, as part of the fallout from the private proposal presented by Google and Verizon regarding the management and possibly financing of internet traffic. As Ms. Feldman correctly noted, network neutrality is a priority for the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) because law librarians “are providers, creators and users of digital information, and it is up to law libraries to ensure that everyone has equal access to the information they need”.Although librarians are special stakeholders in issues relating to the nature and the existence of network neutrality due to the nature of their mission, everyone in our society should have special concerns about the outcome of these discussions and debates because of the increasing perception of web based information as increasing in value as a service, and even perhaps as a commodity (or something like a commodity).

On JUly 28, 2010, Skyriver Technology Solutions, LLC and Innovative Interfaces, Inc. filed a complaint against Online Computer Library Center, Inc.(OCLC) in the District Court Northern District of California alleging federal and state antitrust violations and unfair competition. More specifically the complaint states that OCLC “…is unlawfully monopolizing the bibliographic data, cataloging services, and interlibrary lending markets and is attempting to monopolize the market for integrated library systems by anticompetitive and exclusionary agreements, policies and practices.”

OCLC has responded though a Statement from Larry Alford, the Chair of the OCLC Board of Trustees and Jay Jordan OCLC President. The Statement reads in part:

“We at OCLC believe the lawsuit is without merit, and we will vigorously defend the policies and practices of the cooperative .

On Wednesday August 4, 2020 Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco struck down California’s ban on same sex marriage in a 136 page opinioon, ruling that voter approved Proposition 8 violates the constitutional right of equal protection. Proposition 8 defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

This high profile case, Kristin Perry et. al. v. Arnold Schwarzenegger Case3:09-cv-02292-VRW, is being watched closely by both supporters and opponents of same sex marriage, as many believe it will make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court where it could result in a landmark decision.

Below are links to a discussion of this decision in the August 15 New York Times and to the decision as decided on Wednesday.

Robert Richards, Editor in Chief of the VoxPopuLII Blog at the Legal Information Institute at Cornell has just announced an important and helpful posting “IT and the Access to Justice Crisis” by Judge Dory Reiling, Vice President of the Amsterdam District Court on that blog.

Mr. Richards writes: “Judge Dory Reiling, mag. iur., Ph.D., Vice President of the Amsterdam District Court, has posted ‘IT and the Access to Justice Crisis,’ http://j.mp/cKmHz5 , on the VoxPopuLII Blog, http://blog.law.cornell.edu/voxpop/ , published by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School.

In her post — which is based on a chapter in her recent book entitled Technology for Justice: How Information Technology Can Support Judicial Reform, http://j.mp/cpG7OY — Judge Reiling discusses what we currently know about citizens’ information needs and behavior respecting access to civil justice. Judge Reiling describes the information that citizens need to resolve disputes outside of the legal system — whether without a third party or via alternative dispute resolution (ADR) — as well as the information they need in order to proceed pro se via the civil justice system. Judge Reiling then discusses how technology can be used to encourage dispute resolution outside of formal legal proceedings, as well as to improve outcomes for self-represented litigants in the civil justice system.

According to the New York Times, the articles published on July 25 are based on thousands of United States military incident and intelligence reports – records of engagements, mishaps, intelligence on enemy activity and other events from the war in Afghanistan – that were made public on Sunday on the Internet by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to exposing secrets of all kinds. These reports are used by desk officers in the Pentagon and troops in the field when they make operational plans and prepare briefings on the situation in the war zone. Most of the reports are routine, even mundane, but many add insights, texture and context to a war that has been waged for nearly nine years.

The New York Times article, Piecing Together the Reports, and Deciding What to Publish, explains the process of deliberation through which the New York Times decided to publish, and sometimes not to publish, material from some 92,000 individual reports made available by WikiLeaks to the Times, The Guardian newspaper in London, and the German magazine Der Spiegel.

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