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March 30, 2007

A New Law Librarian Blog: All-Purpose BiblioBlawg

Meg Kribble, a new law librarian at Nova Southeastern University Law Library in south Florida, has recently started blogging at All-Purpose BiblioBlawg.

In addition to law, librarianship, and legal research, Meg also blogs about such things as Second Life, Macs, cool YouTube content, and sci fi TV shows. Yay - someone else to talk Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica with. What is it with law librarians and sci fi?

March 29, 2007

CRS Reports No Longer Distributed to 'Non-Congressionals'

Material Information at Hamline reports that "according to the CRS Director Daniel Mulhollan, CRS reports cannot be distributed to 'non-Congressionals' without prior approval from CRS officials." See Mulhollan's memo.

This is quite interesting and troublesome, given that "in 1998, the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration encouraged the publication of CRS Reports on the Internet."

For more on CRS Reports, see the LLRX article by Stephen Young.

Justice Breyer on NPR's "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me"

Check out Yahoo News for more on Justice Breyer's entertaining interview on National Public Radio's "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me."

Being the funniest Supreme Court justice, he said, "is like being one of the shortest tall people."

Better yet, listen to the Show.

Source: Findlaw's Practice Paper

Article on the Diploma Privilege Debate

The ABA Journal E-report has an interesting article on the debate surrounding the diploma privilege in Wisconsin.

Would-be lawyers who intend to practice in Wisconsin would be well-advised to attend one of the state's two law schools.

That's because Wisconsin is the only state in the country that still allows graduates of its two law schools to be admitted to practice without having to take the bar exam.

But that won't be the case for long, if State Bar of Wisconsin President Steven Levine has his way.

March 23, 2007

Track Federal Regulations with Justia

Justia just keeps getting better and better. The latest addition, Regulation Tracker allows you to search, browse, and track Federal Register documents. justia.png

Not only is there a RSS feed for every agency, but you can customize them by type of document or keyword. I just had someone ask me whether a product like this existed - and at the time it didn't. Very cool.

Source: Law Dawg Blawg

LC Subject Headings RSS Feed

Beginning with Weekly List 1 for 2007, the Library of Congress Subject Headings Weekly Lists and Library of Congress Classification Weekly Lists are now available as free RSS feeds.

Thanks to my colleague, Cindy May for the tip.

March 22, 2007

Track Amazon Prices with RSStalker

beSpacific has a great tip for saving money on Amazon:

RSStalker.com provides RSS feeds to track price changes of Amazon.com products. Generate a feed for a single product or for an entire wishlist. Add it to your favorite aggregator and you will be automatically notified when the price changes. Simply unsubscribe to the feed when you are done...

Amazon.com doesn't advertise it, but they have a 30 day price drop policy. If you bought something from them and they lower the price within 30 days, just fill out a form and they'll refund you the difference. See the FAQ for details.

Temporary Tattoos for Librarians


Just in time for National Library Week, Archie McPhee has a wicked selection of temporary tattoos for librarians. For a better view, check out Stupid.com.

Source: Out of the Jungle

March 21, 2007

U.S. Post Office Moving to Vacant McDonald's on Lake St.

postal.jpg From the Daily Cardinal:

The U.S. Postal Service in Madison announced Monday it will be moving into the vacant building previously occupied by McDonald's at 441 N. Lake St.

According to Terri Bouffiou, spokesperson for Madison's postal service, the post office will start renovations on the building once a contractor is chosen. She said by next fall, students can expect to see a fully functional post office...

Currently, the post office is leasing temporary space from the University Bookstore to serve the campus community. Bouffiou said although the bookstore has provided a great interim location, a large, permanent residence is ideal.

Thanks to my UW Madison Libraries colleague, Steve Frye, for the tip.

Judges Not Reading Law Reviews Anymore

An article in Monday's New York Times opens with the provocative quote:

"I haven't opened up a law review in years," said Chief Judge Dennis G. Jacobs of the federal appeals court in New York. "No one speaks of them. No one relies on them."

Judge Jacobs was explaining to a gathering of law professors that their scholarship no longer had any impact on the courts. Why? According to the article:

Articles in law reviews have certainly become more obscure in recent decades. Many law professors seem to think they are under no obligation to say anything useful or to say anything well.

"But the big question is do the judges read lawprof blogs?" wonders UW Law Prof Ann Althouse. She her post for more.

UW Madison Libraries Used Book Sale Begins Today

The Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library semiannual used book sale starts today. The sale will be held for the March 21-24, at Memorial Library, 728 State St (room 116)

Today is the preview sale ($5 admission) which will be held from 5-9 p.m. The regular sale, open to the public at no charge, will be held from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, and Friday, March 23. From 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, patrons can bring a bag and fill it for $3.


This spring's sale will offer special collections of books in literary criticism, history of science and philosophy, theater and drama, South Asian studies and the UW Press.

Another New WI Blawg, Deliberations Focuses on Juries

Anne Reed, trial lawyer and jury consultant in the Milwaukee office of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, SC, has started a very well done blog entitled, Deliberations. The focus of the blog is juries, jury trials and jury selection.

Not only is the blog well written, Anne does a great job of using images to attract attention. The photo of the child watching the Teletubbies caught my eye. And I was rewarded by reading the interesting accompanying post comparing jurors to adults who can't understand what little kids say --because they lack the context to do so. Unless you've seen the Teletubbies, you won't understand when a toddler describes what Tinky Winky did today. Now just try to explain Boobah.

Thanks to Judge Richard Sankovitz for the tip.

March 20, 2007

A Lawyer Walks into a Bar - Lawyer Documentary

A Lawyer Walks into a Bar is the name of a new lawyer documentary from Camel's Back Films. According to the web site, "the documentary explores the influence of law and its practitioners on American culture, while following six characters as they do whatever it takes to become lawyers themselves. WARNING: the film contains karaoke, murder, vampires, and America's one million attorneys."

Looks like the closest showing will be at the Chicago Intl Doc Film Festival. A trailer and clips are available on the web site, though.

Odd Google Search - Celebrity Heights

I recently learned about a fairly odd Google search feature. If you type in the name of a celebrity followed by the word "height," Google will tell you how tall the person is (if they have the data).

Thanks to one of my UW-Madison library colleagues for the tip - albeit an odd one.

March 19, 2007

New Blog by UW Law Prof - The Wise Bard

University of Wisconsin Law School Prof Alan J. Weisbard has started the aptly named blog, The Wise Bard. He'll be writing about "life and law and things that matter (to me): bioethics, the experience of illness, law and legal education, Jewish affairs, religion and state, contemporary culture, and, of course, politics."

Federal Courts to Test Offering Audio Proceedings Online

The Associated Press reports Courts To Test Offering Trial Tapes Online.

The federal judiciary panel has approved a pilot program to make audio recordings of court proceedings available online for free. Although a court's participation in the program is voluntary, U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan, the executive committee chairman of the policy-making Judicial Conference, said he expects the system ultimately will be widely used.....

At present, recording devices and cameras are prohibited in all federal courtrooms... The pilot program, set to launch in the next few months, will put those recordings on the court's electronic records database for download.

See the Federal Judiciary News Release.

Thanks to Bill Ebbott for the tip.

UW Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series - New Content

The latest edition of the UW Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series is now available via the Legal Scholarship Network (SSRN) - Vol. 3, No. 1: March 16, 2007

Table of Contents:

- "The Business of State Supreme Courts, Revisited"
University of Wisconsin, Madison - Department of Accounting and Information Systems
Rice University - Department of Political Science
Michigan State University - Department of Political Science
University of Texas at Arlington

- "Monopolists Without Borders: The Institutional Challenge of International Antitrust in a Global Gilded Age"
University of Wisconsin Law School

- "Can the President Read Your Mail? A Legal Analysis"
University of Wisconsin - Law School

- "Interpreting the Qur'an and the Constitution: Similarities in the Use of Text, Tradition, and Reason in Islamic and American Jurisprudence"
University of Wisconsin - Law School

- "Contracts as Organizations"
University of Wisconsin Law School
Brigham Young University - Department of Sociology

NYT Archive Free to .Edu Users

Apparently, as of March 13th, the New York Times has opened up access permanently to TimesSelect to all students and faculty who have .edu e-mail addresses. See the sign up for more information.

TimesSelect provides access to The NYT archive dating back to 1851, op-ed columnists, news tracker, and more.

March 15, 2007

Life Comes First for Gen Xers

Findlaw has a very interesting article on Why are Women -- and Generation X and Y Attorneys Generally -Leaving Large Law Firms? The piece is a follow-up to a provocative article in the California Lawyer.

From the article:

On average, almost a fifth of associates (male and female) leave their law firms each year -- a record high. Within five years of entering a firm, over three-quarters of associates will depart. The associates who are leaving are disproportionately female.... Unlike the Baby Boomers who preceded them, Generation X and Generation Y women, she says, are less willing to sacrifice the rest of their lives for their careers.

As a Gen Xer myself, I totally concur. While I absolutely love my career as a law librarian, its just one part of my life. I'm also a mom, a wife, and an individual with interests outside my job. But unlike the high pressured attorneys featured in this article, as a law librarian I can have both a rewarding legal career and a life.

I've been invited to speak a couple times to our Women's Law Student Association about careers in law and this is something I always mention. And I've talked with others about it, too. In fact, in the last few months, three people in my life have seriously contemplated mid-life career changes to librarianship. I guess librarians aren't so nerdy after all - or maybe it's just OK to be nerdy.

Quick Video Explaining RSS and Debunking Hurdles for RSS Adoption in Law Firms

Thanks to Blawg for the link to the Practical RSS video clip, An Introduction To RSS... In just seven minutes, the video does an excellent job of explaining what RSS is and how to use it. Well worth a few minutes of your time if you've been wanting to learn more about RSS.

And after you've learned about RSS, head over to Vancouver Law Librarian Blog for a debunking of the Biggest Hurdles for Law Firm RSS Adoption.

March 14, 2007

Consumer Law Clinic Practices "The Wisconsin Idea"

Steve Meili and the UW-Madison Consumer Law Clinic are featured in the latest issue of The Wisconsin Idea.

Students gain an awareness of the life situation of the clients," says Meili. "What might seem like a fairly simple legal problem is really much more complicated. It is important for students and lawyer to realize you can't compartmentalize people's problems into neat little boxes.

March 13, 2007

Older WI Legislative Council Documents Now Available on UW Law Library Web Site

A few weeks ago, I reported that the UW Law Library will be hosting on our web site Wisconsin Legislative Council documents back to 1996. According to our Head of Cataloging, Cindy May, these documents are now available via the MadCat Library Catalog.

They can be searched in MadCat by author, title, subject, series, or keyword. From the MadCat record you can link directly to the full text.

To browse a list of all of the WLC titles hosted by the UW Law Library, click on the "guided search" tab in MadCat. Enter "libcd.law.wisc.edu/~wilc" in the search box and in the "search by" pull-down on the right, choose "Internet links."

March 9, 2007

Charging for CCAP?

JS Online reports that, according to a provision in the budget bill,

...The director of state courts would be given authority to "establish and charge fees for use of the circuit court automated information systems created under this section." Left unstated are who would be charged, how much they would be charged and how often...

[Deb Brescoll, the state courts' budget and policy analyst,] said lawyers in only a couple of counties can file court documents with the courts electronically. Her office hopes to charge a fee for cyber court filings to make this option available statewide someday.

Alando Tucker READ Poster from UW Madison Libraries

AlandoTuckerREAD.jpg From UW Libraries Head of Communication, Don Johnson: Alando Tucker, Wisconsin men's basketball senior forward and National Player of the Year finalist, is the focus of the newest READ poster created by the UW-Madison Libraries, which is in press.

The photo for the 18" x 24" poster, a promotion for the upcoming National Library Week April 15-21, was shot at College Library on Friday, Feb. 23. The UW Athletic Department has more information about the poster series. The project was paid for with private support. Contact bucky@library.wisc.edu for copies.

March 1, 2007

Lunar Eclipse this Saturday

From the UW Space Place:

Total Lunar Eclipse
Sat, 3-Mar-2007, 5:45 pm (3:00 hrs)

The full moon of 3 March will rise in Madison at 5:45 p.m., but it will not be your typical full moon. The rising moon will be totally eclipsed by Earth's shadow.

Unlike a solar eclipse, there is no safety hazard at all in looking at the moon, whether eclipsed or not. Equipment is not needed to appreciate the lunar eclipse, which is plainly visible to the eye.

Google Tips and Tricks

There have been a couple of good posts recently about cool Google tips and tricks. Bates InfoTip, an email newsletter, shares four Little-Known Google Tools. One of these is Simply Google which gathers together on one page pretty much everything you can do with Google - which is a lot!

Google Librarian Central explains Google Custom Search Engine (CSE). With CSE, you can create a custom search engine to search just the sites you want. For example, see John Doyle's (of Washington & Lee Law School Library) Searching U.S. Law School Websites.

If I'd have one Google tip to share, it would be to check out the Advanced Search screen. You can limit by:

  • format - Nice if you're giving a presentation and you want to see if anyone else has created a PowerPoint on a similar topic. Also good if you want PDFs
  • date - This is good if you only want to see things posted recently.
  • domain - Not every Web site has a search engine - or if it does, it may not be very good. But, by entering in the main URL for the site you want to search into the domain box, you've created a Google search engine just for that site. I use the one all the time, especially when helping our cite checkers track down a poorly cited Web page.

Daylight Savings Time Starts Early this Year - March 11th

If you haven't heard yet, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 changed the start and end dates of Daylight Savings Time beginning in 2007. Clocks will be set ahead one hour on March 11, which is three weeks earlier than they traditionally change.

Online calendars and computer clocks that have not been updated with patches to automatically adjust may have to be manually reset.

Thanks to the UW Madison Faculty/Staff Tech News for the reminder.

Law Librarian Hottie Nominations Are In

So I send my husband the Law Librarian Hotties contest post because I think it's fun, and he goes and nominates me. And, I'm floored to find that he wasn't the only one. I don't know whether to be flattered or embarrassed - both, I guess. Good thing I have a sense of humor because I don't think I'll ever live this one down.

Above the Law has posted the thirteen female candidates (males will follow later, apparently). Note that there's another Wisconsin law librarian in the list - Amy Thornton. Not only are we both from Wisconsin, but we are actually both from the same small town - her folks live next door to me.