Friday, 30 April 2010
Thursday, 29 April 2010
The Trial Proceedings of the International Criminal Court is available in the Barco Law Library.
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
ABA Journal: An Ohio judge who refused to step down from a serial murder case after a newspaper reported she may have posted anonymous Internet comments about the defendant and his lawyer was removed from the case by Acting Ohio Chief Justice Paul E. Pfeifer.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Northern Arizona University is spending $75,000 to install an electronic system that tracks student class attendance by detecting student ID cards with an electronic sensor.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: The new internet trend Chatroulette, popular with college students, works on a simple principle: a screen with 3 boxes. One is your image, the second is a random other online person’s image (the randomness is what makes it Roulette), and the third is a box for typing messages and chatting. If either gets bored chatting they can click on a “Next” button to chat with a new random person and be 99-percent sure of never seeing each other again.
CNet: A woman in England appears in Google Streetview 43 times while she is out walking her dog.
ABA Journal: In a recent Florida felony gun case, the jurors admittedly were texting and making cell calls during deliberations and after the deliberations were over a prosecutor in the case posted a ditty about the trial on Facebook that can be sung to the tune of the theme song from Gilligan's Island.
Legal Blogwatch: Craigslist crimewave: Rapes, Fake 'Orgy Requested' Ads and robberies using Craigslist. For example, a Connecticut man, as part of a feud with a "soccer-mom" neighbor, targeted her with an explicit online posting (supposedly from her) that invited the Craigslist world to join her for an orgy.
MIT Technology Review: South Korea targets 2 million Internet addicts; the Culture Ministry announced a joint project with major South Korean gaming companies earlier this month to implement a "late-night shutdown" on Internet games popular among young users. Stories of internet addiction include a couple who let their 3-month-old starve while they raised a virtual child in an online game, spending most of their days at an Internet cafe instead of caring for their newborn and a 22-year-old who bludgeoned his mother to death for nagging him about playing Internet games and then played games online for hours, paying with his mother's credit card.
MIT Technology Review: Pope warns of Internet risks; says the Internet and the ongoing process of media convergence carry a risk of conformity of thought and control.
O'Reilly Radar: How the US military is using social media; Letters from the front have been replaced with Facebook updates.
ABA Journal: Juror in a reckless homicide case faces contempt of court charge for watching a YouTube video about the case before deliberations.
- Students enrolled in summer law school classes
- Students doing Law review or law journal work
- Students working for a professor during the summer
- Students who are working as Research Fellows for the library during the summer
- Unpaid, nonprofit public interest internship/externship
- Students doing pro bono work required for graduation
In addition, graduating students preparing for the July bar exam can also have their passwords extended for the summer.
Lexis also offers the Aspire program, granting some access to current and graduating students who are engaging in qualifying non-profit work.
Finally, even if you don't qualify to extend your Westlaw password for the summer, your password can still be used 2 hours a month in June and July.
Monday, 26 April 2010
The Write-On competition provides 1Ls with the opportunity to serve on one of the Pitt Law journals even if their grades don't place them within the top tier of their class. Since final grades and class rank aren't available until after the Write-On competition even the best students usually enter the competition.
The competition this year begins at noon on Friday May 14 and ends on May 28. The competition will require the students to write about a topic assigned by the Write-On committee, using 26 possible assigned research sources, 5 "free" sources like Black's Law Dictionary, and up to 5 additional sources.
Competitors should bear in mind several factors that tend to cause frustration every year:
1. When you print up all 26 of the research sources you will be printing several hundred pages. If you use the law school Lexis and Westlaw printers you will be one of many print jobs as every 1L tries to print at the same time.
2. Try to plan so as to allow yourself plenty of time to get the sources printed up. The print queues will be long. Please try to refrain from hitting the "Print" button more than once, unless you definitely know that your job wasn't sent to a printer.
3. We strongly suggest you use the Westlaw "find and print" service or the Lexis "Get & Print" service to print up the sources you want. These services allow you to enter a list of citations and print all of them at once. If you don't print this way, your print jobs will likely get all mixed up with the print jobs of other students.
4. The library goes on summer schedule on Friday May 14. This means the hours we are open are limited; hours are posted at http://www.law.pitt.edu/library/hours .
5. The library and both Westlaw and Lexis will also be on their summer staffing schedules. This means that there will be fewer people available to help with printing problems like paper jams, low toner, and running out of paper. Please keep in mind that responsibility for fixing printer problems lies with our Lexis rep for the Lexis printers, our Westlaw rep for the Westlaw printers, and our IT department for the law school printers.
6. Campus libraries and computer labs will also be on summer hours, beginning May 2. Check their websites or call to make sure they are open when you need them.
Friday, 23 April 2010
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
The @ sign is such an extraordinary mediating symbol that recently in the Spanish language it has begun to express gender neutrality; for example, in the typical expression Hola l@s viej@s amig@s y l@s nuev@s amig@s! (Hello old friends and new friends!) Its potential for such succinct negotiations (whether between man and machine, or between traditional gender classifications and the current spectrum) and its range of application continue to expand. It has truly become a way of expressing society’s changing technological and social relationships, expressing new forms of behavior and interaction in a new world."A Pittsburgher would add "n'@".
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
- Dead Cell Zones offers a searchable map mashup of user-reported dead cellular zones. It lists U.S. dead spots that have been reported by users of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and some smaller carriers. How many? The site claims to have more than 100,000 submissions from users.
- Things You Saw in a Movie helps you find things you, well, saw in a movie and wondered where you could pick one up yourself. Like the red stapler in Office Space, for example.
- Storm Events for people who love weather, info from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) lists all U.S. weather events going back to 1996, and some (like tornadoes, high winds, and hail) going back to the 1950s.
- Pillbox from the NIH is a search engine for identifying unknown pills; you provide the size, shape, color etc and it provides a list of possibilities and links to more info.
- TypoBuddy is a search engine that helps you look for misspelled auction items on eBay or misspelled items on Craigslist. No kidding.
- Filler Item Finder If you are buying something on Amazon that costs $24.99 and you want to spend $25 to get the free shipping this search engine will find you low-cost Amazon products to bump up your total just enough.
- Soda Finder offers a search engine for rare, old, and discontinued soda pop. Yum!
- StorageFront offers a search engine for finding self-storage locations across the U.S. You can filter results by unit size and a dozen features, such as climate control, 24-hour cameras, and more.
- Primary Law: Generally, persons of a certain size or weight are generally not considered to be a protected class. Of the fifty states, only Michigan has a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of weight (the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976). A handful of municipalities have similar laws.
- Secondary Sources
There is some legal literature discussing discrimination on the basis of size and weight. The literature tends to use the terms “weight discrimination,” “size discrimination,” “obesity discrimination” and more recently “fat rights.”
Helpful sources providing an overview of the topic,:
Weight Bias: Nature Consequences and Remedies offers several articles on weight discrimination. Most of the articles are sociological/psychological in nature, but two articles: Legal Theory on Weight Discrimination by ElizabethTheran; and Remedies for Weight-Based Discrimination by Sondra Solovay give a solid explanation of weight discrimination and current anti-discrimination laws.
The Fat Studies Reader includes several articles about weight discrimination in contemporary society. Of particular interest is an article titledNo Apology: Shared Struggles in Fat and Transgender Law as well as an article discussing airlines and size limitations. The book also includes an Appendix entitled Legal Briefs which provides excerpts from laws and ordinances that prohibit discrimination on the basis of weight.
Anna Kirkland’s Fat Rights: Dilemma’s of Difference and Personhood examines anti-discrimination laws within the context of weight discrimination. Using her“logics of personhood” it offers an interesting analysis of how difference is treated in the legal system and how difference should be treated.
Finally, the Congressional Research Service Report titled Obesity Discrimination and the Americans with Disabilities Act gives a good overview of cases in which weight discrimination was addressed using the ADA.
Thanks to Ms. Alexander and the AALL Patron Services SIS for sharing the information.
Friday, 16 April 2010
"There are more than 500-million documents on file in the federal judiciary's electronic records system, and the number of cases is growing everyday. Improvements to the system will make it easier to search the massive electronic data base."
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Monday, 12 April 2010
Friday, 9 April 2010
- State Attorney General Reports & Opinions
- Congressional Serial Set
- Census Historical File
- Social Security & Health Care Reform
- British Statutes
- Native American
- Case Law
- Intellectual Property
- International Trade
Thursday, 8 April 2010
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
- Quick search option where you can quickly search for an article
- Simple citation box in which you type the bluebook citation
- The title lookup tool to quickly search for a publication title
- Google Scholar search widgets where you can search just HeinOnline titles using the Google Scholar interface, or search all of Google Scholar .
Open the Government dot Org, a coalition of journalists, consumer groups, environmentalists, library groups (including the AALL and ALA), and others is arranging an audit of these Open Government Plans with the goal of having each plan evaluated by April 16. The audit will evaluate the agency Plans and grade them on whether they live up to both the letter and the spirit of the Directive. Several organizations have volunteered to evaluate plans, but anyone interested in how an agency is doing, and willing to help by filling out an evaluation form, can email firstname.lastname@example.org with information about what federal agency you would like to grade, and a little bit about your involvement with the agency.
The public can view these evaluations, comment on any part of the plans they think are impressive, and make concrete suggestions on how the agency could improve its plan on the Evaluating Open Government Site.
The HathiTrust Digital Library is a repository for some of the US's greatest research libraries, including the University of California system and other major state universities, allowing these universities to archive and share their digitized collections. OCLC and the HathiTrust are working together to implement a public interface for the HathiTrust catalog through a WorldCat Local interface, to be introduced later this year.
A nonprofit group called DuraSpace is leading the effort. The group was formed by a merger of two groups that produce software to manage digital repositories—the DSpace Foundation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Fedora Commons at Cornell University. The project is still in beta, but hopes to be available to more libraries by next fall.
The goal of the new service is to add features that support what libraries care about most: access, preservation, re-use and sharing.
Friday, 2 April 2010
According to the coalition's website, the ECPA is a patchwork of confusing standards that have been interpreted inconsistently by the courts, creating uncertainty for both service providers and law enforcement agencies. The ECPA can no longer be applied in a clear and consistent way, and, consequently, the vast amount of personal information generated by today’s digital communication services may no longer be adequately protected. At the same time, ECPA must be flexible enough to allow law enforcement agencies and services providers to work effectively together to combat increasingly sophisticated cyber-criminals or sexual predators.
Members of the Digital Due Process coalition include the ACLU, American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, Google, eBay, Microsoft, Intel, the EFF, and faculty from a number of law schools and universities.
Also updated recently are the guides on Icelandic Law; Moldovan Legal Research; and South African Law .
hat tip: Joe Hodnicki