Saturday, October 30, 2010

Honoring Those Who Served: Commemorating Veterans Day in Seattle and Beyond

Veterans Day, November 11, honors the men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces. Several area events commemorate the day:

The UW's Veterans Day 2010 Ceremony will take place on Thursday, Nov. 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event will honor the men and women in this region "for their dedication and service in our Armed Forces." Advance registration is requested. Click here for details.
  • The city of Auburn is hosting the Vietnam Veterans Traveling Wall from Nov. 4-7 in Auburn's Veterans Memorial Park. The wall, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., will be open to visitors 24 hours a day. See here for more information.
  • The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs has a list of events and observances taking place state-wide.

Upcoming CLE: Advocating for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence

The Immigrant Families Advocacy Project (IFAP), the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project (NWIRP), and the University of Washington School of Law are presenting a Continuing Legal Education program on Friday, November 5, 2010, in downtown Seattle.

Find more information about the program, "Immigration Options for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence: U-Visa under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act," including registration information, here.

New Faculty Publication: Steve Calandrillo on Penalizing Punitive Damages

Steve P. Calandrillo, Penalizing Punitive Damages: why the Supreme Court needs a lesson in law and economics, 78 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 774-821 (2010).

The most recent edition of The George Washington Law Review has published Professor Calandrillo's article, which analyzes modern punitive damages jurisprudence from a law and economics standpoint and calls for the abolition of the current ceiling on punitive damages.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wall Street Reform Act: A Brief Legislative History

The Law Librarians' Society of Washington D.C. announced a new web site,
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act: A Brief Legislative History with Links, Reports, and Summaries. "The history is designed in a streamlined fashion so as to allow users to more easily check when provisions in the law got into bill and then check for related remarks concerning those provisions. It also has links to earlier legislation related to different titles of the Act, to the Administration's proposed legislation in 2009, to related CRS reports, and to various summaries and commentaries of the law on the Web."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First Year Course Study Aids on CD

The library has new study aids available on CD. See the catalog records--linked below-- for more detailed information on what each disc covers:

Each CD within a title is boxed and barcoded separately.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Three CLE Opportunities this Friday

The UW School of Law is hosting three separate CLE opportunities on Friday, October 29, 2010:
  • Mobile Payments: Global Markets, Empowered Consumers and New Rules? Click here for details.
  • Whose Right? Corporations, People and the 1st Amendment. Click here for details.
  • Justice for Washington's Wrongly Convicted? Click here for details.
For more information about CLE programs, please contact the UW School of Law's Continuing Legal Education office.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Prof. Paul Steven Miller

Prof. Paul Steven Miller's death has led to an outpouring of both grief at his passing and praise for all that he accomplished. Both the New York Times and the Seattle Times published obituaries and President Barack Obama issued a statement, saying (among other things):

He dedicated his life to a world more fair and more equal, and an America where all are free to pursue their full measure of happiness – and all of us are better off for it.

The School of Law will hold a public memorial service honoring Prof. Miller and his many contributions on Monday, Oct. 25th.

The following reception will take place in the Library, from 4:30-6:30pm. The Library will remain open during the event, although the Law Student Lounge will be closed from 3-7pm.

Out thoughts are with his family and the many people who admired and respected Paul.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Credit Reports for Jobs - Learning More About a News Story

This evening I heard a news story on the car radio: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is considering a rule about employers using credit reports in hiring and promotion decisions. I decided to look up some more information when I got home. Here's what I did (and what you can do, too!).

First, I made it a point to remember what I could:
  • The agency held a hearing (at least, I think a sound bite I heard was someone testifying).

  • The National Consumer Law Center (I think) is concerned about the practice of using credit reports for employment.

  • Someone in Congress is proposing (or has proposed?) legislation.
Next step: find the news story on the radio program's website. I knew it was on KUOW, but was it on All Things Considered (National Public Radio) or Marketplace (American Public Media)? The schedule indicates that Marketplace starts at 6:30, and I think I heard the story after that, so I clicked there. Sure enough, today's front page for Marketplace included a headline, Could Credit Affect Getting Hired for a Job?

Next step: see if my recollection of the story was correct and see if it links to other resources. Yes (pretty good recall) and no (no useful links).

Now what? See if the EEOC website has anything. Yes! There was a big headline: Commission Holds Hearing on Employer Use of Credit History as a Screening Tool -- with a box to click on to "Learn More." That led me to a page that linked to:
So what about the National Consumer Law Center? I visited that website, clicked on the Issues tab, and saw Credit Reports. There was a link to testimony -- but not today's, something from May: Testimony regarding Use of Credit Information beyond Lending: Issues and Reform Proposals, May 12, 2010. That was Chi Chi Wu testifying before the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit -- a good lead to the Congressional action alluded to in the radio story ("Congress is considering a ban on credit checks for employees.")

Next stop: House Financial Services Committee. With just a few clicks, I got to a page about the May 12 hearing, with links to a webcast and the witnesses' prepared statements.

Finally, I looked for some good coverage of the issue in a legal newsletter: the Daily Labor Report (available to UW Law School users through our BNA web subscription). At the top of the screen, next to a big red box labeled "Latest Developments," I saw "EEOC Examines Potential Bias From Employers' Use of Credit Checks Posted: Oct 20, 2010, 4:03 PM EDT." The article summarized some of the testimony -- from both consumer advocates and industry advocates. It concluded:
[EEOC Chair Jacqueline] Berrien said EEOC plans no immediate actions based on the meeting, which she characterized as part of a series examining employment practices that potentially "unfairly screen out" applicants based on race, age, or other protected characteristics that are not job-related.
That leaves a different impression from the radio story, which said "Today, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission looked at establishing a national policy." Maybe some sort of rule making will grow out of this, but the Chair's remark makes it clear that it'll be a while.

The Daily Labor Report story included a note: "A full report will appear in the next issue of Daily Labor Report. Click here for the latest issue." I clicked and found EEOC Examines Potential Bias Resulting From Employers' Use of Credit Checks -- also dated Oct. 20, but much longer. That article in turn linked to an article from three years ago, reporting on an EEOC hearing on potential bias in the use of selection tests and credit histories.

Searching the newsletter for "credit report*" turned up a lot of stories on this issue, including these recent ones:
  • 09/27/2010: Privacy Rights: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Bill to Ban Employer Use of Worker Credit Reports
  • 09/23/2010: Privacy Rights: House Panel Explores Discriminatory Use Of Credit Checks in Employment Decisions
  • 09/01/2010: Privacy Rights: Bill to Limit Employer Use of Credit Data Clears California Assembly; Veto Possible
  • 07/09/2010: Incipient Legislative Trend Toward ‘Credit Privacy' Compels Restraint in the Use of Credit Checks for Employment Purposes
There's a lot going on here!

Starting with an interesting but short news item, I was able to find testimony before the EEOC, testimony before a congressional subcommittee, and newsletter articles on the issue. You can use techniques like this to deepen your understanding of many news stories.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Faculty Publication: Scott Schumacher on Criminal Tax & Immigration

Scott A. Schumacher, Criminal Tax and Immigration: A Search for Clarity, 129 TAX NOTES 234-39 (2010).

The Oct. 11, 2010 issue of Tax Notes contains Scott's article.

This article discusses the recent case law developments concerning the impact of a criminal conviction on immigration status, focusing on the circuit split regarding whether a conviction for filing a false tax return is an aggravated felony under the immigration laws.

Prof. Schumacher has published several articles in Tax Notes, including:
  • Tomko and Sentencing Guidelines in Tax Cases after Booker, 125 Tax Notes 149-53 (2009), available at

  • The Ninth Circuit Says Aloha to Boulware -- Again, 122 Tax Notes 1631-34 (2009), available at

  • Unnecessary Harm: IRS Levies on Social Security Benefits, 113 Tax Notes 265-67 (2006).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Online Research History

You've signed on to LexisNexis or Westlaw and started doing research on that big paper. Then, just as you are making some progress, you are interrupted and must sign out. Several days later, you would like to pick up where you left off, but where, exactly, were you? What databases had you tried? What searches had turned out to be the best?

Well, this is a problem that also afflicts general Internet searching. Before you know it, you have clicked on link after link, opened several new tabs, and are not quite sure how to get back to that wonderful site you found earlier. There is a recent paper, written by two folks from Google and two folks from universities that address this issue. Here is their goal, from the article's abstract:

We propose the concept of research trails to help web users create and reestablish context across fragmented research processes without requiring them to explicitly structure and organize the material. A research trail is an ordered sequence of web pages that were accessed as part of a larger investigation; they are automatically constructed by filtering and organizing users’ activity history, using a combination of semantic and activity based criteria for grouping similar visited web pages.

The article goes on to say that, although web browsers keep a "history" of visited websites, recreating (especially) new, investigative research is too difficult with just a list of URLs, or even URLs with page thumbnails. Certainly, if the authors have their way, this problem will be alleviated in the future.

But, let's go back to that research you started on Westlaw or LexisNexis. Fortunately for you, both services have a "research trail" (Westlaw) or "history" (LexisNexis), that provides you with a lot of information about that first session. For both services, look up at the top of the screen on the right side to find the link.

On LexisNexis, that history is kept on two tabs: recent results (the past 24 hours), and archived activity (the past 30 days). All of your research is kept, a "get a document," "shepard's," or a search in a database. Each search, with the number of documents retrieved, is listed along with the database you used. Rerunning a search is as easy as clicking on it.

On Westlaw, the current research trail is the one you are working on at the time. Older trails are reached by clicking on the "List of all Research Trails" link. Trails are listed by date (like on LexisNexis), but you can rename them to reflect your project, and even add your own notes. They are kept automatically for 14 days, but you can extend them with a click of your mouse. Similar to LexisNexis, your search activity and databases are listed along with every document you viewed. Rerun a search by clicking on its link.

So, don't let that first research session on Westlaw or LexisNexis go to waste! No need to start all over again. Use the LexisNexis history or the Westlaw research trail link to start just where you left off.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Documents in the News: Deep Water Drilling Ban

Did you hear this on NPR? White House Lifts Ban on Offshore Drilling
Or read this in the New York Times? White House Lifts Ban on Deepwater Drilling

Interested in the actual text? See:

Department of Interior press release.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision memorandum.

The new safety rules, promulgated by DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow and Friday. You can see copies at the Public Inspection Desk:

Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in Outer Continental Shelf: Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on Outer Continental Shelf
Publication Date: 10/14/2010

Safety and Environmental Management Systems:
Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in Outer Continental Shelf
Publication Date: 10/15/2010

For even more government information, see the DOI’s Deepwater Horizon Response page.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lady Chatterly's Lover on Trial

We're coming up on the 50th anniversary of the trial of Penguin Books for publishing Lady Chatterly's Lover. The trial, in late October and early November 1960, included testimony by writers, professors, ministers, and others. On November 4, the jury took just three hours to return a verdict of not guilty and the book sold briskly. This victory for the publisher "did not mark an immediate end of literary censorship in Britain" - but the climate changed soon after. Ben Yagoda recounts this historic trial in Trial and Eros, Am. Scholar, Autumn 2010.

SAGE Research Methods Online – Free access to beta until Jan. 2011

Sign up for a free trial of SAGE Research Methods Online (SRMO), an advanced search and discovery tools for researching across the social and behavioral sciences, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

The beta version of this research tool has been released and is available for trial until the product's official launch in January 2011. For information, click here.

Hat tip Sue Polanka from No Shelf Required.

Washington Women's Suffrage Centennial

2010 marks the centennial of women's right to vote in Washington state. For in depth information on this historic event, check out this book, located at Good Reads:
Women's Votes Women's Voices: the campaign for equal rights in Washington by Shanna Stevenson.

For information on Suffrage Centennial events and exhibits, see
the Washington Women's History Consortium's website.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Gallagher Law Library Toolbar

Looking for quick and convenient access to the Gallagher Law Library catalog (MARIAN) and “quick links” to popular library research pages?

Try adding the Gallagher Law Library toolbar extension to your browser!

When surfing the web, you will also be able to select text on the page and right-click for a menu of search options. The toolbar will also automatically link results from your web searches to the Law Library's print and licensed e-resources.

To install the Firefox extension, click here.
To install the IE plug-in, click here.

Give this a try and let us know what you think. We’d appreciate any comments that you might have. If you need help with installation or if you would like a demo of how to use it, just stop by the Reference Office.

Many thanks to Richard Jost, Information Systems Coordinator at University of Washington Gallagher Law Library, and David Aznar, University of Navarro in Spain, for creating the Gallagher Law Library edition of this LibX toolbar!

New Articles by Prof. Howard and Naomi Sanchez

The October issue of DeNovo, the newsletter of the Washington State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, contains articles by two members of the UW School of Law community:

Prof. Howard describes several techniques for managing uncooperative witnesses, including "the hand stop," repeating your question, and "the reverse/repeat."

This article is one in a regular series called "Off the Record." Other recent articles in the series address the closing argument (Aug. 2010), impeaching a witness on cross-examination (June 2010), and direct examination (April 2010).

Naomi's article discusses leadership skills, "unearthing" job opportunities, and developing a personal "brand."

BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Commission Draft Working Papers

The National Oil Spill Commission today is releasing four new draft working papers prepared by its staff. Commission staff prepares draft working papers to inform the Commissioners’ on-going examination of the root causes of the Gulf spill and options to guard against and mitigate the impacts of future spills. The Commissioners’ decisions regarding these matters will be contained in the Commission’s final report, expected to be issued on Jan. 11, 2011.

The working papers are:

Decision-Making within the Unified Command

The Amount and Fate of the Oil

The Use of Surface and Subsea Dispersants during the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

The Challenges of Oil Spill Response in the Arctic

Searching for Hate Crimes Law

Recently a caller asked for help finding online the hate crimes law that Pres. Obama signed. Here's what I walked him through:

  1. Go to Thomas, the Library of Congress's site with bills and other congressional information.

  2. Under the search box, click on Try the Advanced Search.

  3. The default is searching the 111th Congress. That the current Congress and covers all the bills during Obama's administration. So we'll stay there.

  4. Type "hate crimes" in the search box.

  5. The search turns up H.R. 2647, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010.

    That might not look like a hate crimes law, but take a look at the summary. You'll see that it's a huge law -- so big that it has subdivisions that are themselves named laws. And one of them is the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

  6. If we go back from the summary to the first screen listing H.R. 2647, we can follow the link to the PDF of the public law. We find that the whole thing is 656 pages, and the hate crimes law starts on the 647th page. (Ctrl-f comes in handy!)

This post offers research tips about using Thomas and being aware that one named law can be wrapped up in a much bigger law. It is also a way of marking the 12th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's being beaten and left to die because he was gay. James Byrd, an African American man, was brutally murdered by three white men June 7, 1998.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Election Trends

Many Congressional and state governor races are tight this year! Political news organizations that follow the trends seem to make forecasts daily. If you are a "political junkie" and want to follow who is up and who is down, visit Google's new website, 2010 U.S. Election Ratings. Here is a description from the website:

How will the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans shake out after the elections on November 2? Many political experts and news sources track and revise predictions, but until now it’s been hard to compare perspectives. We’ve worked with some of the top names in politics — Sabato, Cook, Rothenberg, CQ-Roll Call, and RealClearPolitics — to make it easier to track the daily changes in the political landscape.

The site's US map has colors ranging from deep to light blue or red (Democrat or Republican, respectively) and gold for "pure toss up." If you are interested in a particular state's House of Representative races, just select that state from the drop-down menu. The five political sources are listed so you can see how each source rates a particular race.

And what are these political organizations? Satato's Crystal Ball comes from the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. The Cook Political Report is connected with the National Journal. The Rothenberg Political Report is an independent newsletter. CQ Politics is a publication of CQ-Roll Call Group, which focuses on national legislation and other Congressional activity. RealClearPolitics is an independent political website. The five are nonpartisan and each emphasizes its neutrality in making predictions.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When Litigation Is About More Than Winning

Jules Lobel (Univ. of Pittsburgh and Center for Constitutional Rights) spoke yesterday afternoon on "Success Without Victory: Progressive Lawyering in an Era of Judicial Conservatism." He discussed not only his own career as a public interest lawyer but also the longer reach of history. Salmon P. Chase lost his cases on behalf of fugitive slaves before the Civil War, but the cases drew attention to the unjust situation and his arguments were published and circulated widely by abolitionists. Susan B. Anthony lost her case arguing for women's right to vote, but publicized her cause. Lobel says public interest lawyers should certainly try to win cases, but invites us to think beyond the outcome of any one case.

For more, see Jules Lobel, Success Without Victory Lost Legal Battles and the Long Road to Justice in America, K184 .L63 2003 at Classified Stacks. The publisher's description is here.

You might also be interested in this book Lobel edited: A Less Than Perfect Union: Alternative Perspectives on the U.S. Constitution, KF4550.A2 L47 1988 at Classified Stacks.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Law & Order: UK

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime, and the Crown Prosecutors who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.

The Crown Prosecutors? What parallel universe is this? Just like Mr. Spock’s beard, the attire – in this case wigs and robes – gives you a clue that you aren’t in New York any longer.

Law & Order: UK had its U.S.debut last night on BBC America. If Ben Stone was your favorite prosecutor – and you are a bit of an Anglophile – this series is for you. The scripts were adapted from shows from the earlier seasons of Law & Order.

The show moves to its regular Friday night slot this week. If BBC America isn’t your television subscription package, the DVD of season 1 will be released October 26, 2010. And you can already put it in your Netflix queue.

Westlaw Training: Using Terms & Connectors

Learn how to perform terms and connectors searches on Westlaw today or Thursday, October 7. Log in to Westlaw and click on the "Training Calendar" link to sign up for a session.

If you cannot attend a session, be sure to check out the User Guides for more information. From the "Getting Started with Online Research" guide:
  • Use /p to search for terms in the same paragraph (example: hearsay /p utterance)
  • Use /s to search for terms in the same sentence (example: design /s defect)
  • Use % to exclude terms following the percent symbol (example: r.i.c.o % "puerto rico")

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Social Media in Court

The Conference of Court Information Officers conducted a nationwide study of how social media affects the administration of justice: New Media and the Courts: The Current Status and a Look at the Future (Aug. 26, 2010). It discusses these media:

  • social media profile sites (Facebook, Myspace, et al.)
  • microblogging (e.g., Twitter)
  • smart phones, tablets, and notebooks
  • monitoring and metrics
  • news sharing (blogs, RSS feeds, etc.)
  • visual media sharing (YouTube, Flickr, etc.)
  • wikis

Some of the findings (lifted from the executive summary, pp. 9-10):

  • About 40 percent of responding judges reported they are on social media profile sites, the majority of these on Facebook. This is almost identical to the percentage of the adult U.S. population using these sites.

  • Judges who are appointed and do not stand for re-election were much less likely to be on social media profile sites. About 9 percent from non-elected jurisdictions reported they were on these sites.

  • Nearly half of judges (47.8 percent) disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement "Judges can use social media profile sites, such as Facebook, in their professional lives without compromising professional conduct codes of ethics."

  • Judges appear to be more comfortable with using these sites in their personal lives, . . .

  • More than half (56 percent) of judges report routine juror instructions that include some component about new media use during the trial.

  • A very small fraction of courts (6.7 percent) currently have social media profile sites like Facebook; 7 percent use microblogging sites like Twitter; and 3.2 percent use visual media sharing sites like YouTube.

  • A smaller proportion of judges than might be expected (9.8 percent) reported
    witnessing jurors using social media profile sites, microblogging sites, or smart
    phones, tablets or notebooks in the courtroom.

  • Almost all (97.6 percent) respondents agree that judges and court employees should be educated about appropriate new media use and practices.

Prof. Anita Ramasastry has written commentaries on Findlaw about many aspects of social media in the courts:

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Faculty Publication: Sean O'Connor

Sean O'Connor, U.S. Perspective on IP and Antitrust Issues in Proposed Biosimilars Regulatory Pathway, in LES PRATIQUES DE L'INDUSTRIE PHARMACEUTIQUE AU REGARD DU DROIT DE LA CONCURRENCE 129-49 (Clotilde Jourdain-Fortier & Isabelle Moine-Dupuis eds., LexisNexis Litec 2010).

Prof. O'Connor's chapter focuses on the regulation of follow-on biologics, which are "intended to be sufficiently similar to a product already approved." He reviews provisions of the new Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (enacted as part of the

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, and related laws and regulations. He also explores the patent system and reverse payment settlements.