Saturday, November 22, 2008

Federal Register's Electronic Public Inspection Desk

Just in time for the Presidential transition period and the final regulatory rush (see yesterday's post), the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) has announced an electronic Public Inspection Desk to provide free online access to all documents--new final regulations, proposed regulations, and notices--that will be published in the next day's Federal Register, and to some that are scheduled to be published at a later date. For 72 years, the OFR has been filing these documents for public viewing as legally required, but only at their Washington, D.C., location. Now anyone in the world with a computer can read, print and download these pre-publication version documents in PDF format, beginning at 8:45 a.m. EST each federal business day. Arranged by agency, all documents include both the time of filing and the date that the regulation or notice will appear in the Federal Register. Documents in the "Special Filings" list for a particular day were filed at times other than 8:45 a.m., such as later in the day on an "emergency filing" basis.

This is a site to bookmark and revisit as a law student and practicing attorney. It is invaluable for keeping on top of federal regulations affecting business, finance, health, energy, the environment, and other areas of public interest.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, November 21, 2008

Midnight Madness???

Today is the day the Bush administration must finalize regulations in order for them to take full effect before President Bush leaves office. These so-called "midnight regulations" have been used by every president since the outgoing Carter administration, according to the Sunlight Foundation blog . For a more detailed explanation and discussion see Midnight Hour by Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker.

This article will also give you a summary of the regulations that the Bush administration plans to adopt which range from implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act by not regulating a contaminant in drinking water, allowing loaded guns in National Parks to changes in how the Family and Medical Leave Act will be administered. For a full list, see ProPublica Midnight Regulations . Go to OMB Watch to find out how to track the status of any of these "midnight" regulations.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Identity Theft Resource Center

Identity theft occurs when someone steals personal information (often a Social Security number) from an individual, and subsequently impersonates that individual. It is one of today’s fastest-growing crimes.

The Identity Theft Resource Center is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the understanding of identity theft, as well as its prevention. The Center offers extensive information regarding the subject of identity theft, including templates of letters and forms for victims of identity theft to send to law enforcement agencies and credit bureaus.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

G20 Meets in Washington

The group of 20 leaders from major industrialized and developing countries known as the G20 met in Washington last weekend. In their final communique the Delegation agreed "to work together to restore global growth."

Click here for additional information about the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, November 17, 2008

Justice Matters

The Justice Matters web site from the National Partnership for Women and Families is a good place to go if you are interested in legal issues related to women and families. The site monitors Supreme Court cases on matters such as workplace discrimination, equal pay and health care. I like the "cases to follow" feature for a heads up on upcoming cases on the Supreme Court calendar.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Radiohead Price Model Casebooks

Professors are experimenting with how students pay for two new intellectual property law casebooks. See a summary here. One is being offered as a pay-what-you-will download, with a suggested price of $30, and another is offered as a free SSRN download. Most students, however, will still have to pay for books next semester.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat