Saturday, March 10, 2012

Women in the Law

March is National Women's History Month, a good time to check out some fast facts and inspiring stories about American women in the legal profession--past and present.  Catalyst, a leading nonprofit organization focused on expanding opportunities for women and business and supporting research in this area, has posted Quick Take: Women in Law in the U.S., with graphs, charts, and a great list of studies, reports, and statistical sources, with direct links.  For a look back at trailblazing women lawyers and the early history of women law students and attorneys in American society, browse through the biographies and articles found at Stanford University Law Professor Barbara Babcock's Women's Legal History (WLH) web site.  This is also a great resource for legal history research papers.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, March 09, 2012

When you need to speak to a live human

How many times have you screamed into your phone when stuck in the nightmare of automated menus?

Avoid customer service phone tree purgatory. Go to where you can find how to reach a live human for the company you are contacting.  Or, get them to call you back.

Free apps available for your iPhone and Android phones.

And to getfeline, send a comment to your favorite Virtual Cat!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, March 08, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court: Replacing Counsel In Capital Cases

In the recent decision Martel v. Clair, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided upon a standard for replacing counsel in capital cases. Read more at the SCOTUSblog here.

(Acknowledgment to Jurist)

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Creation of the Congressional Record

Monday, March 5 marked the anniversary of the creation of the Congressional Record!  Click here to read more about this historical highlight.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

New Book Spotlight

I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy by Lori Andrews 

Lori Andrews tackles a dificult and controversial topic in her new book.  Before social networks and media, privacy and information was a much more defined issue, with legislation and ideologies that many, if not all, could agree on.  At the very least, most could agree on what the problem was, what possible barriers could be erected to keep information private and the scope of available remedies that could try to make a person whose privacy has been invaded whole in the eyes of the law, if not in the eyes of their community or their family.

"Social networks are the defining cultural movement of our time, empowering us in constantly evolving ways.  We can all now be reporters, altering the world to breaking news of a natural disaster; we can participate in crowd-sourced scientific research; and we can become investigators, helping the police solve crimes.  Social networks have even helped to bring down governments.  But they have also greatly accelerated the erosion of our personal privacy rights, and any one of us could become the victim of shocking violations at any time.....The same power of information that can topple governments can destroy a person's career or marriage." (Book jacket excerpt, para. 1)

The New York Times Book Review begins its review by noting, "It may surprise anyone under 16, but even before the advent of social networking we faced threats to our privacy. A hospital accidentally releasing patient records or a shady marketing firm engaging in Stasi-like data collection — such violations were substantial enough and disturbing enough to make the evening news. Today, however, the “death of privacy” is more like death by a thousand cuts: information leaks out slowly and invisibly, and so routinely that we’re hardly shocked when it does [emphasis added]. Internet companies, which use the word “sharing” almost as a euphemism for “oops,” like to pretend these lapses are normal, even natural. If Mark Zuckerberg’s private photos are up for grabs (as when a recent glitch exposed his Facebook account), what can the rest of us expect?"  New York Times Book Review Link

The New York Times Review has both praise and criticism for Andrews' book, especially noting some difficulty with her proposed solutions to the threat of the death of privacy at the hands of social networking. It is worth the time to read the book for yourself to evaluate this important legal issue to make up your own mind on this issue. Some of the relevlations will shock you and some will not impact your personal views of social media and privacy as much as others, but you can be assured of one a societal and legal issue...this is a problem that is not going away on its own.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, March 05, 2012

Universal Human Rights Index

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at the United Nations has created a database of country reports emanating from the United Nations human rights protection system.  The Universal Human Rights Index (Index) is designed primarily to facilitate access to human rights recommendations issued by three key pillars of the UN human rights protection system: the Treaty Bodies established under international human rights treaties as well as the Special Procedures, and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council. 

The Index is the only on-line tool compiling recommendations from the treaty bodies, the special procedures and the Universal Periodic Review.  A unique feature of the Index is to enable the user to access and search treaty body, special procedures and UPR recommendations through several categories: State, right, body, affected person and, for the UPR, the State(s) that made the recommendation, the position of the State under Review, and the session.

Hat Tip to Library Boy

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, March 04, 2012

BNA Internet Law Resource Center

If you are interested in legal issues concerning cyberlaw topics such as online defamation, computer crimes, workplace privacy, internet patents and more take a look at BNA's Internet Law Resource Center. This resource provides full text case law, statutes & regulations, pleadings, motions, expert insight and more.
To access BNA Internet Law Resource Center:
  • Go to the Library's home page, click "Online Resources"
  • Click the "Commercial and Corporate Law" link
  • Scroll down to "Internet Law Resource Center"
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat