Law and Legal
National Park Typeface: “I had trekked pretty far that day and wasn’t exactly lost, but I needed a little reassurance that I was heading the right direction when I came across one of those ubiquitous signs you see in a national park. You know the ones that have the text carved or “routed” into it. Entering Rocky Mountain National Park. I saw those familiar words. Set “National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior” — style. I wondered if it actually was a typeface or “font” that anyone could download and use? Do park rangers have this as a typeface on their computers to set in their word docs, pdfs and power point slides? I had a sketchbook with me and took some rubbings of the letterforms and asked my friend Miles Barger, the Visual Information Specialist for Rocky, if he had the typeface. He asked the sign shop. No one has it? Turns out it isn’t a typeface at all but a system of paths, points and curves that a router follows. The router’s “bit” follows the path and gives the letters its stroke weight or thickness only when engraving a sign. It doesn’t really exist as a typeface unless a sign is made.
Via LLRX – Casetext’s New ‘SmartCite’ Citator Is Its Clever Answer to Shepard’s and KeyCite – Robert Ambrogi writes – “Knowing whether a case is good law is elemental to legal research. To do this, lawyers have long relied on citator services such as Shepard’s from LexisNexis and KeyCite from Westlaw. Now, the legal research service Casetext has introduced a citator of its own, called SmartCite, with many of the features you would expect to find in a citator, plus some that make it unique.”
The Version Museum “is devoted to showcasing the visual history of popular websites, games, apps, and operating systems that have shaped our lives. Merriam-Webster defines the word museum as: An institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest or value. Certainly the technology we use everyday is both interesting and highly valuable! Much like walking through a real-life museum, Version Museum aims to illustrate the visual, tangible elements of various versions of technology, rather than just the written history behind it. Wikipedia and other sites already do a fantastic job of detailing the story behind websites, apps, and everything else.
This site focuses on observable changes over time. If you’re a longtime user of a certain product, there’s probably going to be some nostalgia as you look at all the previous iterations of it over the years. This site displays images of a given topic in (mostly) chronological order, starting from the earliest time feasible. All the images are credited when possible. We search for images from the original time period, and use them if they are available. Unfortunately, many of these old images are of poor quality and resolution, and end up looking awful on high-quality modern displays. So for image clarity and quality, many website images are created using the Wayback Machine at web.archive.org. This tool is indispensable for looking back into earlier days of the world wide web. Unfortunately, the images generated from archive.org in modern browsers aren’t 100% faithful to the original way the website would be rendered and viewed in the older browsers of the 1990’s and 2000’s. The fonts, resolutions, and layouts are different. However, in our view, the tradeoff is worth it to get high-quality images that are mostly representative of what the website used to look like…”
The New York Times – Some Democrats say opening an impeachment inquiry could help the House overcome the president’s blockade of its investigations. But others say that could backfire politically. “Liberal House Democrats, struggling to combat President Trump’s stonewalling of congressional oversight, have come out by the dozen in recent days to endorse a new strategy to secure the information that they say they need: opening an impeachment inquiry. Supporters of an inquiry argue that they are not necessarily seeking the president’s ouster but instead are pursuing a legal strategy — warranted by the stakes — to try to break Mr. Trump’s blockade of nearly every document and witness that Democrats have requested since the release of the redacted report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in April. Opening an investigation, they say, could increase Democratic chances of winning court orders to require compliance with House subpoenas. But others are wary, saying it would be politically risky; impeachment implies an effort to remove the president from office, and Mr. Trump is primed to try to exploit any such effort politically. On Thursday, he called impeachment a “dirty, filthy, disgusting word.” Here’s what you need to know about how impeachment inquiries work….”
An interactive glossary of the acronyms, slang, and terminology of the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology industry. “The Book of Jargon® – Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Technology is one in a series of practice area and industry-specific glossaries published by Latham & Watkins. The definitions provide an introduction to each term and may raise complex legal issues on which specific legal advice is required. The terms are also subject to change as applicable laws and customary practice evolve.
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CRS Legal Sidebar – Enforcing Federal Privacy Law—Constitutional Limitations on Private Rights of Action, May 31, 2019: “Over the last two years, the prospect of a comprehensive federal data privacy law has been the subject of considerable attention in the press and in Congress. Some Members of Congress and outside groups have developed many proposals in the last six months alone. Some of the proposed legislation would limit companies’ ability to use personal information collected online, require that companies protect customers from data breaches, provide certain disclosures about their use of personal information, or allow users to opt out of certain data practices. Some proposals combine all of those elements or take still different approaches.
One overarching question that every data privacy proposal raises is how to enforce any new federal rights or obligations that a given bill would impose. One traditional method of enforcement would be by a federal agency, such as the Federal Trade Commission or Department of Justice, through civil penalties or criminal liability. A bill could also provide for enforcement in civil lawsuits brought by State Attorney Generals. Along with these methods, several outside commentator shave recently called for any new federal privacy legislation to include a federal private right of action—a right that would allow individuals aggrieved by violations of the law to file lawsuits against violators in order to obtain money damages in federal court. At least one bill proposed in Congress includes such a right: the Privacy Bill of Rights Act, S. 1214.
Such proposals for judicial enforcement by individual lawsuits must necessarily tangle with the constitutional limits on when federal courts can hear such claims. This Sidebar considers how the lower courts have addressed such questions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Spokeo v. Robins. As is discussed in detail below, these cases reveals some common principles on the limits of federal justiciability that might inform Congress’s efforts to craft a private right of action in the data privacy context…”
CRS In Focus – Israel and the Palestinians: Chronology of a Two-State Solution, May 31, 2019. “The idea of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict developed gradually in the years after Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. This product highlights the evolution of thisi dea. In 2002, U.S. policy became explicitly supportive of creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Since then,unsuccessful negotiating efforts and other developments have led many observers to doubt the viability of a two-state solution. These doubts have grown during the Trump Administration amid speculation that the plan the Administration has pledged to release may use economic measures to elicit Palestinian concessions on core issues of dispute with Israelis (security, borders, settlements, Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees),without specifically calling for an independent Palestinian state….”
NBER – “Non-college-educated workers in cities are far less likely to work in middle-skill occupations than in the past, and the urban wage premium has sharply eroded. American cities have historically been centers of opportunity, beckoning workers from elsewhere with the promise of economic mobility. In Work of the Past, Work of the Future (NBER Working Paper No. 25588), David Autor concludes that’s a promise cities may no longer be able to keep. He finds that non-college-educated workers in cities are far less likely to work in middle-skill occupations than in the past. What’s more, their shift into low-skilled jobs has come with a steep decline in the wage premium that urban centers once offered.
The hollowing out of middle-skill jobs has remade labor markets across the United States, leaving behind mostly low-skill, low-paid jobs on the one hand and high-skill, highly remunerated jobs on the other. Autor examines this job polarization on a geographic basis, yielding a new finding: Polarization has been far more pronounced in urban than in suburban or rural labor markets. The impact of job polarization on urban markets alone has been a key part of the secular fall in wages over the past four decades for workers without a college degree.
Autor identifies three mechanisms through which the drop in wages for non-college workers has occurred. Occupational polarization has shunted non-college workers from middle-skill jobs, such as clerical or factory work, into traditionally low-paid jobs that require little specialized training, for example in the retail and hospitality sectors. Second, because occupational polarization has been much more pronounced in dense urban areas than in suburbs and rural areas, it has differentially diminished the fraction of non-college workers holding middle-skilled jobs in high-wage cities. Finally, and as a result, job polarization has unwound the wage premium for non-college workers residing in cities. This premium prevailed in the decades following World War II….”
ADP Research Institute – 2019 State of the Workforce Report – “The first annual State of the Workforce Report provides decision makers with organizational benchmarks to compare against their own internal HR statistics. Employers and decision makers can gain a better understanding of the hierarchical structure of organizations, pay levels, how pay and promotions are connected and how employers retain workers throughout their organizations.
- Males and females show significant disparities across pay and organizational hierarchies – Gender differences across hierarchy levels show that the proportion of women in senior level positions is significantly lower than that of men. This pattern was evident across all industries and intensifies up the corporate ladder. A “glass ceiling” was evident at the 4th hierarchy level which showed the steepest decline in the representation of women across the levels….
- A comparison of promotion rates over a one-year period against the proportion of new hires reveals that firms are more confident in promoting from within versus hiring externally for management positions. At the supervisory levels, firms promoted more internally than they hired externally—17.2 percent of managers are promoted, while 15.6 percent are new hires. The disparity becomes even more apparent at the highest rankings within an organization, where 21.5 percent were internally promoted and only 12.5 percent were new hires…”
TIME: “Colin Goddard lay in a pool of his own blood, hoping his racing heart would not tip off the approaching gunman that he was still alive. The shooter hovered over Goddard, paused and fired two more bullets into him anyway. Goddard survived the April 16, 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, which killed 32 people and was the worst school shooting in U.S. history. Twelve years later, he tries not to dwell on the day, but he has dozens of constant reminders: bullet fragments lodged in his body, leaching toxins into his blood.
Like hundreds and possibly thousands of shooting survivors across the country, Goddard, a 33-year-old father of two, is suffering a lesser-known and often unrecognized side effect of gun violence: lead poisoning. When he was shot in his French class that spring day, one bullet pierced his right shoulder cleanly, but three others shattered when they hit his hips and left knee. Because the fragments did not pose life-threatening risks, trauma surgeons left them in his body—a common and widely accepted practice in emergency rooms throughout the United States. Now, with his blood lead levels seven times higher than what is considered safe, Goddard faces long-term health risks, including neurological problems, kidney dysfunction and reproductive issues.
The metal’s toxicity is well-documented, but only wildlife have so far benefitted from efforts to outlaw its use in bullets, and even those results have been limited. California on July 1 will become the first state to ban lead hunting bullets, the culmination of a yearslong battle that pitted environmentalists against the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups. “I was told, ‘You’re going to be fine in the long-term,’ and that’s not right,” Goddard says. “It throws you back when you realize you’re not out of the woods yet, and this terrible day is not entirely behind you.”
Via LLRX – Terms, Tags, and Classification = It is helpful to classify documents or other content items to make them easier to find later. Searching the full text alone can retrieve inaccurate results or miss appropriate documents containing different words from the words entered into a search box. A document or content management system may include features for tagging, keywords, categories, indexing, etc. Taxonomist Heather Hedden identifies the difference between these elements to facilitate the implementation of more effective knowledge and content management.
New on LLRX – Whither Law Student Information Literacy? – Dennis Kim-Prieto, J.D., M.S.L.I.S., M.F.A. presented this paper, and the associated PowerPoint slides, at the Learning Information Literacy Across the Globe Conference, held in Frankfurt em Main, May 10, 2019. Information Literacy has only recently been applied to instructional frameworks and benchmarking assessment for legal research skills in the United States. This paper seeks to answer two simple questions: what has information literacy done for legal research since AALL has adopted Legal Research Competencies and Standards for Law Student Information Literacy, and what is the future of information literacy in legal research classrooms and the practice of law around the world?
Inc. – “If entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of an economy, consider Inc.’s ranking of 5,000 companies America’s circulatory system. Our annual report looks at these fast-growing innovators–and how they made our list. The fastest-growing companies in America are a force, notching collective revenue of more than $206.2 billion in 2017 and three-year revenue growth rates that top out at 75,661 percent. Explore the list.” [Companies on the 2018 Inc. 5000 are ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2014 to 2017. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2014. They must be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent–not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies–as of December 31, 2017. (Since then, some on the list have gone public or been acquired.) [“The minimum revenue required for 2014 is $100,000; the minimum for 2017 is $2 million.”]
Hyperallergic – The stamps feature tiny reproductions of ten paintings by Kelly, one of America’s great 20th-century abstractionists. ” The US Postal Service is releasing a new collection of stamps honoring Ellsworth Kelly, one of America’s great 20th-century abstractionists, who died at age 92 in 2015. Kelly, who worked as a designer of camouflage patterns while in the Army, was known for his vibrant, hard-edged color fields. “I’m not a geometric artist,” he once insisted, despite his frequent use of crisp geometric shapes. “Geometry is moribund. I want a lilt and joy to art. My forms are geometric, but they don’t interact in a geometric sense. They’re just forms that exist everywhere, even if you don’t see them.” [These stamps are beautiful – please take a look]
cnet – The social network wants to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. “Facebook on Wednesday [May 28, 2019]reportedly argued that it didn’t violate users’ privacy rights because there’s no expectation of privacy when using social media.
“There is no invasion of privacy at all, because there is no privacy,” Facebook counsel Orin Snyder said during a pretrial hearing to dismiss a lawsuit [case documents are available at this link covering the period 2018-2019] stemming from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to Law 360. The company reportedly didn’t deny that third parties accessed users’ data, but it instead told US District Judge Vince Chhabria that there’s no “reasonable expectation of privacy” on Facebook or any other social media site…”
“ePADD is free and open source software developed by Stanford University’s Special Collections & University Archives that supports the appraisal, processing, preservation, discovery, and delivery of historical email archives.
Visit the Discovery Module for Stanford University’s Special Collections & University Archives to see ePADD in action.
ePADD has been awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum & Library Studies (IMLS) to build out functionality that furthers the development of a National Digital Platform. Phase 2 of ePADD development commenced on November 1, 2015. Additional information can be found on the About page and in the IMLS announcement…”
For those of us who had the opportunity to work with the web in the early 1990s, an exciting time for the development of search engines, this article via ars technica is not just a throw back. It is an important reminder of how exciting and impactful this new web was, and how greatly our search choices narrowed and been circumscribed by the Tech Giants.
…2019 marks 30 years since Tim Berners-Lee worked at CERN and came up with a little idea known as the World Wide Web. As all of us do a little Web browsing this weekend, we thought resurfacing this piece outlining those early browsers might make all of us even appreciate Internet Explorer today. This story originally ran on Oct. 11, 2011, and it appears unchanged below…”
Emerj (via Joe Hodnicki) – AI in Law and Legal Practice – A Comprehensive View of 35 Current Applications. “Artificial intelligence (AI) companies continue to find ways of developing technology that will manage laborious tasks in different industries for better speed and accuracy. In the legal profession, AI has already found its way into supporting lawyers and clients alike. The growing interest in applying AI in law is said to be slowly transforming the profession and closing in on the work of paralegals, legal researchers, and litigators.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different ways in which AI is currently applied in the legal profession and how technology providers are trying to streamline work processes. We break down AI’s current legal applications into the following categories of applications:
- Helping lawyers perform due diligence and research
- Providing additional insights and “shortcuts” through analytics
- Automating creative processes (including some writing) in legal work
Because of the breadth of our research (and hence the length of this article), we encourage readers to feel free to skip ahead to the applications areas of greatest interest for them. We’ll conclude this article with some thoughts on AI’s promise and limitations across the legal industry…”
LA Times – “A growing number of House Democrats are eager to start impeachment proceedings against President Trump as his White House rebuffs cooperation with multiple congressional investigations into his finances, his businesses and his administration. The dozens of impeachment supporters are still vastly outnumbered by Democrats who view the tactic as politically toxic and liable to backfire in 2020. Speaker Nancy Pelosi argues there is not enough bipartisan support or overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing, even though she says Trump is engaging in a “coverup.”
Impeachment — which Trump called a “dirty, filthy, disgusting word” on Thursday [May 30, 2019] — will hang in the air next week when lawmakers return to Washington to consider whether to hold members of his administration in contempt of Congress. Here’s how the impeachment process would work…”
A Reuters visual guide – “A blockchain is a database that is shared across a network of computers. Once a record has been added to the chain it is very difficult to change. To ensure all the copies of the database are the same, the network makes constant checks. Blockchains have been used to underpin cyber-currencies like bitcoin, but many other possible uses are emerging…”