Tuesday, May 24, 2011

High Profile DOJ Mistakes, Recent and Historic

BLT, the Blog of the Legal Times, today discusses mistakes made at the highest levels of the Justice Department -- the recent politicization of hiring within the department and the historic injustice of defending of the removal of 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese residents from their homes during World War II.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Comparing Legal Directories

I did a small study to compare the coverage of four legal directories: the Washington State Bar Association's directory, Martindale-Hubbell on LexisNexis, West Lawyer Directory (WLD) on Westlaw, and Avvo.com.

I sampled lawyers listed in WSBA's directory by searching for bar numbers ending in "501": 501, 1501, 2501, 3501, 4501, . . ., up to 43501 (who was admitted in March of this year).
Note: This spread out the admission dates, but the sample is much too small for any assurance that it is representative along other lines (for instance, the proportion of lawyers in private practice or the number whose licenses are suspended).  If I had a lot more time, I'd love to look at a sample of several hundred lawyers, but I don't right now. Maybe one day.
WSBA sample:
  • 41 living,
  • 2 deceased,
  • 15 women (based on names like "Sylvia" and "Ruth"), 26 men (names like "Steven" and "Luke").
  • 35 active bar memberships,
  • 19 in private practice,
  • 30 in Washington State,
  • 17 with areas of practice listed.
Of those 41 living lawyers, how many were in the other directories?
  • Martindale-Hubbell? Just 5.
  • WLD? 30 (one with a different name, apparently a married name).
  • Avvo? 40. (Avvo mines bar association directories.)
If you were looking for basic biographical information, such as where the lawyer went to law school, where would you find it?
  • WSBA: 0
  • MH: 5
  • WLD: 26
  • Avvo: 14 (plus 2 listings linked to the lawyers' firm websites) 
In this small sample, there were no lawyers listed in Martindale-Hubbell but not in WLD. But don't conclude that WLD always has everyone listed in Martindale-Hubbell: I have often found people listed in MH who were not listed in WLD, even if WLD has more overall.

When lawyers claim their Avvo profiles and submit information, it can be a rich source, with photos, publications, and more.

  • If you want to know if someone is a member of the Washington State Bar, use the WSBA directory.
  • Use the WSBA directory for current addresses.
  • Use the WSBA directory for disciplinary history. (This is also picked up in Avvo.)
  • If you want to find out basic biographical information for a given attorney, such as schools attended, use WLD, Avvo, and MH.
  • Avvo often provides extra information, such as awards, comments by clients and colleagues, pictures, and publications.
  • Do not assume that any one directory has comprehensive coverage.
  • If you want to search by area of practice, you can try the WSBA directory, but the others seem more developed.
  • If you want to search by school attended, use MH or WLD. (Avvo lists schools, but you can't search by school.)
For more tips on searching legal directories, see Sample Searches for Networking and Informational Interviews.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Law and Economics Resource

Law and economics can come up in almost any field—even trial advocacy (see, e.g., Dru Stevenson, Jury Selection and the Coase Theorem (March 4, 2011), available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1777278)—so it's a real boon that there is a scholarly encyclopedia available online (free!).

For instance, if you'd like to read more about the Coase Theorem—a lot more—see Steven G. Medema & Richard O. Zerbe, Jr., The Coase Theorem (1999), in Encyclopedia of Law and Economics. The 57-page article about the Coase Theorem is just one of scores of articles. By the way, Dick Zerbe, from the UW's Evans School of Public Affairs is an adjunct professor in the law school.

If you think that it would be worthwhile to know a little more about economics and you need an introduction (or a refresher), consider Grady Klein & Yoram Bauman, The Cartoon Introduction to Economics. (This excerpt has a little about the Coase Theorem on page 182.) Yoram Bauman teaches in the UW's Program on the Environment.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Supreme Court Justices' Views on Writing

One way to develop better legal writing skills is to listen to the experts: judges and experienced lawyers. Bryan Garner (the author of many usage books and editor of Black's Law Dictionary) makes that possible with these video interviews.

Now Garner has published (in the Scribes Journal of Legal Writing) transcripts of his interviews with Supreme Court justices.  They're available here (on the Legal Times website). For highlights, see The Garner Transcripts: That v. Which, and Other Supreme Court Writing Tips, The BLT: Blog of Legal Times, May 18, 2011.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Federal Register on YouTube

What is the Federal Register? And why do we have it, anyway? A tightly edited YouTube video puts it all in historical context for you. Bonus: it's funny!

Hats off to William Cuthbertson, a government documents librarian at the University of Colorado Boulder.

SSRN for Current Scholarship

SSRN (the Social Science Research Network) is a great source for research in many fields, including law. Authors can post both published and unpublished papers and anyone can search the abstracts and download interesting works.

One way to find what's new is to browse a subject. You can get to the browse screen from various places. One is a link in the bottom of the first column of text on the homepage:

Recently I clicked + to expand the listings for the Legal Scholarship Network:

I drilled down: Legal Scholarship Network > LSN Subject Matter eJournals > Experimental & Empirical Studies eJournal > LSN: Empirical Studies (Topic).

This topic has 3,580 papers—far too many to browse them all. When I clicked on "i," I saw I could choose the top downloaded papers or the most recently posted papers.  I chose recently posted.  And then I skimmed titles until articles caught my eye. When a title grabbed me, I could click to see the author's abstract and then, if I was still interested, download the paper.

One of the ones that seemed interesting was "Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race?" This paper, posted on April 2, is a study of felony cases in Cook County, IL, that found that defendants were more likely to be incarcerated if they were black (even controlling for many other factors).

"Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race" in the browse list.

Abstract for "Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race?"
This paper will be published in The Journal of Legal Studies, but since it was posted on SSRN, I was able to download it and read it last week. (Today I wrote a post about it on Trial Ad (and other) Notes and I added it to our guide, Race in the Criminal Justice System.)

When you're looking for something specific, searching is more efficient. But when you're just looking around to see what's new and interesting, browsing is very useful.

Syttende Mai!

May 17th, the anniversary of Norway's constitution, is celebrated in Norway and in communities with Norwegian roots around the world. And one of those communities is here in Seattle! Ya, sure, you can pop over to Ballard to see a colorful (red, white, and blue) parade, starting at 6:00 this evening. There's more, too: a luncheon, children's activities, and entertainment, all afternoon.

I'd heard that Seattle's Syttende Mai parade was the largest in the US, but Wikipedia gives that honor to Stoughton, WI. Still, the event in Ballard is a sight to behold. And to hear—not just the marching bands, but also the sweater-clad people in the crowd chatting away in Norwegian.

A little history:

Norway was united with Denmark from 1450 to 1814. During the Napoleonic wars, Denmark and Norway were allied with France, and after Napoleon was defeated, the Danish king handed Norway to Sweden as part of the peace settlement. The Norwegians were not enthusiastic about this deal.

Christian Frederick, the governor of Norway and also the nephew of the Danish king, encouraged a Norwegian revolt against Sweden. A group adopted a constitution on May 17, 1814, and selected Christian Frederick to be the king of Norway. But the Swedes put down the revolt with their military. By October, the Swedish government had accepted the Norwegian constitution (with alterations to accommodate the union), and Christian Frederick had left the country.

The union with Sweden was rocky. In 1905, Norwegians voted overwhelmingly (368,392 to 184) to end the union and it was peacefully dissolved.

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democratic system of governance. You can read an English translation of the 1814 Norwegian constitution, as amended (most recently in 2007), here, on the website of the Storting (Norway's parliament). A brief essay about it is here.

If you can read Norwegian (or you'd like to pretend you can), see the text here.

Let's toast the Norwegian constitution today. Skol!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Human Trafficking Report

Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents, 2008-2010 is a 12-page report from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Data is derived from the Human Trafficking Reporting System, which includes cases reported by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

About 8 in 10 of the suspected incidents of human trafficking were classified as sex trafficking and about 1 in 10 incidents were classified as labor trafficking.

The confirmed human trafficking incidents open for at least a year led to 144 known arrests.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Workers' Compensation and Pirates?

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of workers' comp (first state: Wisconsin), a blog links it to the compensation schemes pirates used for crew members injured at work. Workers Compensation Law | American Workers’ Compensation Law Turns 100 (Ahoy!), Injury at Work, April 25, 2011.

If you'd like to read more about how eighteenth-century pirates* organized their enterprises, see Peter T. Leeson, The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates (2009). I LOVE that title. And, after I was attracted by the title, I found that the book was very interesting, too!  Arrrrrgh!

*Contemporary pirates, e.g., in the Indian Ocean, have much different organizations.

Rule Against Perpetuities Ends 92 Year Inheritance Wait

"No interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, no later than 21 years after the death of some life in being when the interest was created."

Ah, the rule against perpetuities. Some law students spend hours, days or even weeks learning the intricacies of RAP only to have it appear in briefly, if at all, on the bar exam three years later. Due to its difficulty and the fact that RAP has been statutorily abolished in many states students complain about having to learn it and some professors complain about having to teach it. But what happens when you practice in a state where RAP is still good law or was in effect when a will or trust goes into effect?

This week a Michigan probate court settled the estate of lumber baron Wellington Burt, who died in 1919. Michigan repealed RAP for personality held in trust in 2008. Due to the language used in the drafting of his trust Burt's heirs were not allowed to collect their share of his $100 million dollar fortune until 21 years after the death of his last grandchild. Burt's last remaining grandchild died in 1990. The Rule lives on (sort of)!

To read more about the life, death and fortune of Wellington Burt and what the probate judge called "one of the most complicated research problems" of his career click here and here

Summer Use of Your Lexis & Westlaw Passwords

When you registered your LexisNexis ID and Westlaw password, you agreed to certain restrictions in your use of those products. Specifically, you agreed to limit yourself to "academic" or "educational" use only. But what does that mean, exactly? Here is a short explanation.
Westlaw and LexisNexis may be used in research for a class for which you will receive academic credit, or in connection with unpaid work for a non-law school entity for which you will receive academic credit (EXTERNSHIPS). You may use LexisNexis and Westlaw in your work for a law school professor as a research or teaching assistant, even if you receive pay for such work. You may also use Westlaw and LexisNexis in connection with a law-school-approved law journal and in connection with activities relating to the law school's Moot Court.
You may NOT use Westlaw or LexisNexis in any volunteer or unpaid work (unless you are receiving academic credit for it) and you may NOT use either service in connection with any paid work (unless you are working as a research or teaching assistant for a law professor). Contact the library if you have any questions.
**Lexis ASPIRE Program**
The LexisNexis ASPIRE program offers free Lexis access to graduating and rising 2L & 3L students pursuing verifiable public interest work.
Exclusions include:
• Government work (even if unpaid)
• Work for a law firm (even if it represents a non-profit organization)
• Solo practice (even if it encompasses non-profit work)
• Pro bono work that is not non-profit or charitable in nature
Contact Aaron Meyers for more information: aaron.meyers@lexisnexis.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The National Jukebox

The Library of Congress today announced the launching of a new website called the "National Jukebox," which contains over 10,000 rare historic sound recordings - produced between 1901 and 1925 - that are available to the public in digital format for the first time.
"Visitors to the National Jukebox will be able to listen to available recordings on a streaming-only basis, as well as view thousands of label images, record-catalog illustrations, and artist and performer bios. In addition, users can further explore the catalog by accessing special interactive features, listening to playlists curated by Library staff, and creating and sharing their own playlists."
The recordings include not just music, but also items such as political speeches by former presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, recitings of famous poems, and even "early sound-effects records such as a collection of snores and sneezes."

More information about the National Jukebox is available on the Library of Congress website.

Monday, May 9, 2011

May Is Jury Appreciation Month

According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, May is Jury Appreciation Month.

Although many people consider jury service on a par with waiting at the DMV, jurors are essential to our judicial processes. The federal Courts website's Educational Resources includes several items about jury service, including jury service basics and two videos on jury service. One of the videos--aimed at high school students--features two judges from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Judge Richard Jones and Chief Judge Robert Lasnik.

If you are looking for books in the Gallagher Law Library on juries and jury service, try these subjects: Jury--United States and Jury selection--United States.

The National Center for State Courts website includes many sources on Jury Selection, Trial & Deliberations, including a link to its Center for Jury Studies.
Whether you have served on a jury, intend to practice law before a jury, or care about our fundamental freedoms, take a minute to appreciate jurors and juries.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Homeland Security Digital Library

The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) is a database containing thousands of documents related to homeland security policy, strategy and organizational management.
The HSDL is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
Its mission is "to strengthen national security of the United States by supporting federal, state, local, and tribal analysis, debate, and decision-making needs and to assist academics of all disciplines in homeland defense and security related research."

Most HSDL resources are not openly available to the public at large. Full access to the HSDL Collection and the News Digest Collection is available to academics for research, analysis, and policy and strategy development. For more information on restricted access resources see the special features section.

Some resources are open to the public at large, including the following:
  • Limited HSDL Collection: over Array ( [responseHeader] => Array ( [status] => 0 [QTime] => 2 [params] => Array ( [indent] => off [wt] => phps [rows] => 1 [fl] => DocID [start] => 0 [q] => Collection:0 AND (TabSection:("Congressional hearings and testimony" "Congressional reports" "Congressional resolutions" "Directives (presidential)" "Executive orders" "Major Legislation" "Public laws" "Reports (CBO)" "Reports (CHDS)" "Reports (CRS)" "Reports (GAO)" "Reports (NPS)" "Reports (OIG)" "Reports (OMB)" "Testimony (GAO)" "Thesis (CHDS)" "Thesis (NPS)") (Publisher_nostem:("Air Force Institute of Technology" "Air University" "Army War College" "Centers for Disease Control" "Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation" "Geological Survey" "Industrial College of the Armed Forces" "Joint Force Headquarters. National Capital Region" "Library of Congress" "National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States" "National Defense University " "National Drug Intelligence Center" "National Infrastructure Protection Center" "National Institute of Justice" "National Institute of Standards and Technology" "National Security Council" "National War College" "Naval Postgraduate School " "Naval War College " "U.S. Army Command and General Staff College" "U.S. Customs and Border Protection" "United States.") AND Rights:("public domain"~2 "Public Domain"~2 "Public domain"~2 "public Domain"~2))) AND ExternalDocSource:SPT AND NOT (Publisher_nostem:("Association of Military Surgeons of the United States" "Association of the United States Army" "Atlantic Council of the United States" "Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America" "Central United States Earthquake Consortium" "Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America" "Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States" "German Marshall Fund of the United States" "Institute of Land Warfare (Association of the United States Army)" "National Guard Association of the United States" "National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States" "Navy League of the United States." "United States Animal Health Association" "United States Conference of Mayors" "United States Virgin Islands Police Department" "United States Water Patrol" "United States/Mexico Border Coalition" "United States/Mexico Border Counties Coalition") OR Title_text:FOUO) ) ) [response] => Array ( [numFound] => 48670 [start] => 0 [docs] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [DocID] => 194155 ) ) ) ) 48,600 U.S. federal government documents as well as academic theses from federal government institutions.
  • Policy & Strategy Section: key U.S. policy documents, presidential directives, national strategy documents, major legislation, and executive orders.
  • HSDL Blog: On the Homefront: a synopsis of the most recent reports and issues in homeland security. The blog also includes a calendar of upcoming conferences and events.
  • Blog Search: a single search across the best homeland security-related blogs.
  • Homeland Security Grants: information on where to find homeland security grants and grant-writing assistance.
  • Books and Journals: pointers to commercial sources of homeland security-related research.

The Lowdown on Public Records

Choose Privacy Week seems as good a time as any to address the topic of public records. Are there certain types of records that are not publicly available, but which you think should be? Have you ever wondered about the differences between the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act?

Here are several resources available in the Law Library that may help to answer these questions and more:

Obi-Wan Stevens vs. Darth Rehnquist

cartoon of judges fighting with light sabers

An anecdote is told in which Chief Justice Rehnquist belittles an attorney during oral argument and Justice Stevens kindly helps the attorney out. Recently a law professor checked the transcript of the oral argument and learned that things were not exactly as the anecdote portrays.

To explain the popularity of the inaccurate story, he engages in a fantasy:

Suppose that when George Lucas created Star Wars he had done things differently with Obi-Wan Kenobi (the leading character on the side of good) and Darth Vader (his evil counterpart). Suppose that although Kenobi and Vader were rivals, they agreed most of the time – say, 63.6% of it. And when they did disagree, they did it civilly and in print, or discreetly behind closed doors. Moreover, both Kenobi and Vader were fun and fine human beings, liked and respected by their minions and peers. And they wore matching black robes. Not surprisingly, conflicts between two such powerful public figures over weighty and controversial topics were widely followed and debated. Yet because those clashes were between two such able, reasonable, peace-loving characters (surrounded by others of the same sort), they did not descend into saber-duels and civil war.
Ross Davies, Obi-Wan Stevens vs. Darth Rehnquist, 13 Green Bag 2d 263, 267-68 (2010), available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1596232 (footnotes omitted).

Davies speculates (reasonably) that this conflict might not have been a Hollywood blockbuster. The anecdote distorts the real incident to heighten the drama.

He remarks:
My impression, based mostly on second- and third-hand information, is that Obi-Wan Stevens is an admirable person and a valuable public servant, and that Darth Rehnquist was too. We should be grateful that we live in a world where a little fabrication is necessary to tell a story in which a good Justice fences with an evil one on our Supreme Court. Not because we lack Kenobi-caliber Justices, but, rather, because there seem to be no Vader-caliber villains on the Court for them to resist.
Id. at 268-69.

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you!

Public Law Library of King County

The King County Law Library has a new name, Public Law Library of King County, and a new Director, Rita Dermody.

Since the library is open to everyone, not just lawyers and court personnel, the King County Law Library Board of Trustees recommended this name change to make the public feel more welcome.

The Public Law Library of King County has a number of helpful services, including its website with links to research guides and court forms. The library also offers free classes on a rotating basis. Some examples are the following:

  • Civil Procedure in 90 Minutes
  • eFiling Basics and eFiling Advanced Features
  • How to Finish Your Divorce
  • Legal Research for the Non-Attorney Parts 1 and 2
  • Suing Mad: Commencing an Action (a new class)
The main library is located in downtown Seattle in the King County Courthouse. The branch library is located in Kent at the Maleng Regional Justice Center.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Word Tips to Make Your Life Easier

Do you ever struggle with word processing tasks like making a section sign or turning regular letters into Large and Small Caps? How about creating outlines or tables of contents? Or numbering pages i, ii, iii, and then 1, 2, 3?

See our guide, Word Tips to Make Your Life Easier. Be sure to see the links in the upper right corner: they lead to some related guides, like Word Tips for Briefs.

So many people use Word, that you can often find good tips just by using Google. For example, I searched Google for microsoft word roman number page numbers and quickly found How to create a Word document that uses different page numbering formats on the official Microsoft Support site. There's also a blog post that looks pretty good: Microsoft Office Word 2007 Page Numbering with Arabic Numbers and Roman Numbers, Akfash's Weblog, Nov. 8, 2008.

News Around the World

Curious about headlines around the world today? Eager to practice your Spanish, Croatian, or Mandarin? Library Press Display (UW restricted) gives page images of world papers:
Library PressDisplay provides online access to over 700 newspapers from more than 55 countries, displayed in their original format and accessible by country, language, or title.
Since this service displays images, you get ads, cartoon, and photos, not just text. It's just one of the many rich databases we have access to through the University Libraries.

Today's Front Pages is a free site (from the Newseum). Each day it presents 866 front pages from 86 countries.

So grab a cup of coffee and scan a newspaper—from nearly anywhere!

The Invention of the Citator

Today's researchers are used to the convenience of online citators, notably KeyCite (on Westlaw) and Shepard's (on LexisNexis). There's no disputing the advantages of online citators over their print predecessors: they are more current and easier to fine-tune, they cover more, and they link effortlessly to citing sources.

But think a moment about the origins of citators. Who thought them up?
The first compiler of a legal citation index was Simon Greenleaf. In 1807 Greenleaf was the first and only lawyer in the small town of Gray, Maine; he was, in fact, one of about fifty attorneys in the entire Maine territory. Like many of his colleagues, Greenleaf was not a college graduate. He began at the age of eighteen to "read" for the law in an attorney's office and, after five years, he was admitted to the bar. He soon opened his own office in Gray, where he practiced for twelve years. The typical legal practice of this period involved frequent appearances in court, and Greenleaf undoubtedly argued his share of cases before the bench. In one of those arguments, he relied upon and cited an English decision which seemed applicable and decisive of the issue. Unfortunately, the case had been overruled, and the court declared it of no authority whatever. "[Greenleaf's] first law book sprang, as we have his own authority for saying, from this circumstance .... He determined at once to ascertain, as far as he could, which of the apparently authoritative cases in the Reports had lost their force, and to give the information to the profession.'"
Patti Ogden, Mastering the Lawless Science of Our Law: A Story of Legal Citation Indexes, 85 Law Libr. J. 1, 2 (1993) (footnotes omitted and emphasis added), HeinOnline (UW restricted). 

Although I enjoyed this article when I read it years ago, what brought it to mind (and led to my sharing it with you) was a Twitter post:

Sarah Glassmeyer writes: Got wrapped up in some law librarian dorkiness
and just wasted some time looking at this early citator http://bit.ly/llrgCy.
I'm generally game for "some law librarian dorkiness," so I followed the link. It led to a Google Books digital version of A Collection of Overruled, Denied, and Doubted Decisions and Dicta, Both American and English, by Simon Greenleaf, LL.D., Professor of Law at Harvard University [he did not remain a solo practitioner in his small town], Fourth Edition Revised and Enlarged, by John Townshend, Counselor at Law, New York, published in 1856.

Like Sarah, who is a law librarian at Valparaiso, I couldn't resist browsing. Here are a few excerpts:

Several entries from Greenleaf's citator

It's an impressive work. I like the quotations from the citing cases: "Spencer, J., called this 'a very unintelligible and illy reported case'" is much more colorful than simply "questioned" or "distinguished."

Think what it would be like to practice without any way of tracking what cases have been overruled or disapproved!

Although the law library has Greenleaf's citator in print (3d ed., revised and enlarged, 1840; 4th ed., revised and enlarged 1867), I wouldn't have bothered to look at it if it weren't so easy to click from Sarah's tweet to the digitized version. Twitter can alert you to something from the distant past as well as to someone's lunch choices in the immediate present.

Learn U.S. Patent Law in Two Weeks

The Center for Advanced Study & Research on Intellectual Property (CASRIP) 2011 Summer Institute will be held at the UW School of Law from July 14 - 29. This institute, directed by Professor Toshiko Takenaka, teaches the fundamentals of patent prosecution, patent litigation, and technology licensing and management from a comparative law perspective. See the brochure for more information and the CASRIP site to register.

The two-day High Technology Protection Summit will be held on July 22-23.

Legal Basis for Bin Laden Strike

What Was the Legal Basis for the Bin Laden Strike? asks The BLT: Blog of Legal Times (May 2, 2011).
Lawyers who specialize in national security said today that the United States had several possible legal justifications for carrying out Sunday’s strike. But the operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, raises other issues, too.

For more discussion, see recent posts on Opinio Juris (a blog about international law written by several law professors) and Beth Van Schaack, Assassination Under International & Domestic Law, IntLawGrrls, May 2, 2011 (IntLawGrrls is a blog about international law written by a couple of dozen feminist law professors).

Monday, May 2, 2011

ALA's "Choose Privacy Week"

"Choose Privacy Week" is taking place this week (May 1-7, 2011) and is an ongoing program of the American Library Association. "Choose Privacy Week" is an initiative that invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age.

The ALA has listed a number of "Friends and Allies" organizations here. One such organization is the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a "consumer education advocacy nonprofit dedicated to protecting the privacy of American consumers." The site has a number of publications and privacy tips on various topics:

  • Background Checks & Workplace
  • Banking & Finance
  • Credit & Credit Reports
  • Debt Collection
  • Education
  • Identity Theft & Data Breaches
  • Insurance
  • Junk Mail/Faxes/Email
  • Medical Privacy
  • Online Privacy & Technology
  • Public Records & Info Brokers
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Telephone Privacy

Good-Bye to Reference Librarian Nancy McMurrer

Nancy McMurrer has retired from her position as Reference Librarian at the Gallagher Law Library.

Nancy joined the Library staff in 1994 and through the years she served as the liaison with LexisNexis and Westlaw and as the faculty instructional services coordinator. She was a cheerful, enthusiastic reference librarian who was always eager to help a law student, a faculty member, or an undergraduate with a legal research problem.

After getting her law degree from the University of Virginia, Nancy worked for the Internal Revenue Service. She also lived in Germany for many years while her husband was stationed there. Their son, Matt McMurrer, graduates this spring from the University of Iowa College of Law and his article in the Journal of Corporation Law was just published.

Nancy's theatrical experience was evident in the various roles she played in library skits for National Library Week and Law Revue. She joined Library Director Penny Hazelton in preparing gourmet dinners that were the subject of bidding wars during annual PILA auctions.

The Library and the Law School gave her a great party last Friday and she has promised to come back for parties in the future. Nancy, we miss you already!