Friday, January 20, 2012

Is your JD a good investment?

That very question was asked late last year in TaxProf blog .  In the post there is some serious number crunching to help you answer that question.  Definitely worth a read.

TaxProf blog is one of my favorite sources for discussion not only relating to taxes, but about law schools and legal education.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Freedom of Information Act

A brief reminder on a subject of perennial interest: There is an extensive guide to the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") available at The George Washington University's National Security Archive's Web page. The page contains the text of FOIA, and several guides that describe aspects of FOIA, including an explanation of how FOIA requests work

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Maples v. Thomas: A Cautionary Tale

Today the United States Supreme court decided a case that is both high profile and right on point for aspiring law students, at the intersection of constitutional law and professional responsibility.  Maples, an  Alabama death row inmate challenging his murder convictions on constitutional grounds (ineffective assistance of counsel) , was represented pro bono at the state level by two lawyers from a prominent New York Law firm. When the lawyers left that firm without notifying the Alabama court, the notice of the court's decision against their client ended up in the New York firm's mail room, where it was marked "Return to Sender." When it was returned, the Alabama court took no action.  Neither did the client's local Alabama attorney, so the filing date for a Notice of Appeal just passed by. After the attorneys and the courts shared the blame in the oral arguments presented to the Supreme Court justices, the often divided Court decided 7-2 that Maples had suffered "abandonment" by his attorneys and that his procedural default must be excused.  The opinion, which makes for good reading, is found here.  The briefs and case analysis can be found at SCOTUSblog.     

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dot-Com, Dot-Org, Dot-?: ICANN Launches New gTLD Program

Move over .com, .gov, and .org top-level internet name space is about to get a bit more crowded.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN), the organization that oversees Internet domain names just rolled out a new program that will likely dramatically increase the number and kinds of domain names.

The new program  allows organizations to apply for a custom top-level domain (gTLD), for a fee of $185,000.  Currently, there are about 22 generic gTLDs, but an ICANN board resolution allows as many as 1,000 gTLDs per year that can be added to the Internet and there are many companies that are interested.  It has been reported that “ICANN expects that its plan will lead to the creation of several hundred new gTLDs, such as .canon, which Canon, the Japanese electronics company, has said it is seeking to register. Hitachi is another company that has said it will apply for its own gTLD. “

"Rod Beckstrom, president and CEO of ICANN, in a statement characterized the decision as a way to "unleash the global human imagination" and expressed the hope that "this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind."  However, in a recent interview, Dan Jaffe of the Association of National Advertisers warned “that this basically unlimited increase in top-level domains is going to impose enormous costs on business, costs that will basically mean that people will be buying their own trademarks to protect them against others who may harm them and it's going to be a serious problem for consumers.  . . . This is going to create enormous problems for those who try to monitor the Internet against Internet crime.”

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat