Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Death and Your Digital Social Life

The death of a loved one can be difficult, especially when their online life continues to exist. A British funeral service called R Hyde Chambers has created an infographic to help the bereaved know what's what on social media sites if you're trying to wrap things up for someone or if you're planning for yourself. More on the infographic can be found here.

Also, apparently services in some countries offer more for those who wish to close out their online lives. Japan's Yahoo! is now offering Yahoo Ending. Once the search engine receives an official notice of death for a user, it will delete all his or her Yahoo Japan data, cancel any charges to Yahoo’s digital wallet, expunge files from Yahoo Box online storage and send farewell messages to loved ones."

The search terms "estate planning" and "social media" used together don't bring up much in the library catalog---consider whether this is because no book exists on the subject or no law exists on the subject. But that doesn't mean there isn't information out there. In fact, this area is so new, you might consider writing a law review note on it. If you do, feel free to stop by the law library reference desk for tips and suggestions on gathering your sources.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Now through August 27, 2014, you can help the law library test-drive a new database! We're always looking for more content for our patrons, and the latest is ProQuest Legislative Insight. Access is good through August 27, 2014, so please give it a try and let us know what you think.

What is ProQuest Legislative Insight? In a nutshell, it's extraordinarily comprehensive federal legislative history in PDF form (i.e., a form acceptable for most law journal acc checks). From ProQuest, The following document types may be included in a legislative history: bills, reports, documents, hearings CRS reports, committee prints, Congressional Record sections), Presidential Signing Statements, and Statutes."

Friday, July 25, 2014

Casetext Update

We wrote about Casetext in April; now there's new news: Casetext is transitioning to a new site, currently available at

As part of the transition process Casetext has temporarily frozen the old database of cases. In other words, they are not being updated, which is why you can't find the US Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision on the old site.

This information serves as a helpful reminder to always know the coverage of the database you are searching. You might think you've found all there is to know on a subject, but your research is only as comprehensive as the source you are searching.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Coping with Bar Exam Stress

As the bar exam nears, stress often increases.  We have posted about mindfulness as a way to cope with exam stress.  The Moritz Law Library is developing a collection in the reserve room with a variety of health and wellness titles, from Jiu Jitsu Jurisprudence to Becoming a Joyful Lawyer. Your title suggestions are welcome!

If you're working form home or your local coffee shop, OSU's Center for Integrative Health and Wellness offers a number of free recordings to help you relax.  The Quick Links box on the Center's website will lead you to recordings on guided imagery, heart-centered practices, mindfulness, and relaxation response.

Anonymity Online

Is there a difference between a web service that tracks Internet use to target ads and a service that tracks use and ties the use to a person's name or other personally-identifying information? Does the question actually come down to what constitutes one's "identity?"

The Pew Research Center recently reported "86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints—ranging from clearing cookies to encrypting their email, from avoiding using their name to using virtual networks that mask their internet protocol (IP) address."

But those phishing for information can simply rely on human nature to learn more about Internet users. The typical example one hears about is someone posting loads of vacation pictures with a time and date stamp indicating the person is not at home. In other words, any technological steps we might take to maintain our privacy may not be sufficient to protect us from ourselves.

The latest online tracking tool is "canvas fingerprinting," which "works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it."

How much of this is legal? Find the answers in our collection:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Welcome Sara Sampson!

The Moritz Law Library has had a few changes; our previous director, Bruce Johnson, retired in December after almost 20 years of leadership; our interim director, Mary Hamburger, ably helped us navigate the last six months; and we now welcome Sara Sampson!

Sara joined us from University of North Carolina School of Law where she was Deputy Director of the Law Library and Clinical Assistant Professor of Law. Prior to that, she was Head of Reference at the Georgetown University Law Center. Sara's directorship here is a homecoming: before working at Georgetown, she was a reference librarian here at Moritz.

Welcome Sara!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Death, Taxes, and Potato Salad

By now, the Columbus, Ohio, resident with the potato salad Kickstarter campaign is legendary. But where there's money, there are interested parties.

Per the New York Daily News, Mr. Brown will lose approximately 5% of all money raised as part of Kickstarter's fee. The IRS may also take a cut...perhaps as much as $10,000.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Everything You Never Knew About Miranda Warnings

The Miranda warnings feature prominently in the 2012 film 21 Jump Street. Channing Tatum's character kicks off the whole film due to his failure to remember the four declaratory statements and a question. briefs readers on how the warnings came to be...the actual warnings themselves. See, "Miranda established that suspects must be advised of their Fifth Amendment rights to counsel and against self-incrimination before police questioning.  but nowhere did the Court mandate specific language for implementation."

The guy responsible? An attorney with an affinity for fine art and letterpress printing.

For more on this fascinating story, check out Miranda : the story of America's right to remain silent and The Miranda ruling : its past, present, and future.

Law Librarians Take on Texas

The American Association of Law Libraries 107th Annual Meeting and Conference will take place July 12-15, 2014. Consequently, you may miss a few familiar faces around the law library over the next several days. The blog will also be on vacation during this time.

But we hope to bring back to you new ideas to deliver great service to the law school faculty and students. See you next week!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Discrimination Against Smokers?

The ABA Journal reports Toledo's may plans to ban the hiring of smokers. "Banning smokers has become common in the health-care industry and is spreading to governmental employment, Governing Magazine reported in an op-ed last year."

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Job Prospects: Beer and Wine Law

From beSpacific, U.S. Breweries are Booming According to Census Bureau. Columbus is helping the cause with dozens and dozens of craft breweries around the state. And it's not just craft breweries that are big business in Ohio, Anheuser-Busch has over one million square feet of space for its facility in Columbus.

And where there is business, there are attorneys! Some firms have whole practice areas dedicated to the beverage industry. Interested in learning more? Check out these books in our collection:

The Little Red Book of Wine Law
Wine in America: Law and Policy
Hospitality Law

Monday, June 30, 2014

Solo Practice

Looking for insights into solo practice? Try reading The site has tips on starting your own practice including information you may not have considered, like the difference between your firm trademark and corporate names and whether solo practitioners are eligible for loan forgiveness.

For more comprehensive guidance, check out these books in our collection:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Help for Law Students

Two stories provide an unfortunate reminder that lawyers (and law students) may have a higher-than-average instance of substance abuse. One story frames the fears of a new, drug-addicted attorney who doesn't know how to tell his firm he needs to go to rehab. The other is the incredibly moving story of an attorney's recovery and reinstatement to the practice of law following disbarment.

Paired together, the narrative for law students is that if you have a substance abuse problem (or frankly a mental health issue or other troubles), getting help doesn't have to mean the end of your career.

Ohio has an excellent Lawyers Assistance Program and Moritz provides links to a variety of resources that may help you get back on track.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Internet Archive - Not Just for Old Websites!

Attending the CALI Conference last week, I heard Jason Scott of Internet Archive talk about his work preserving everything you put online as a stopgap against start-ups that delete your digital identity without much thought to whether that digital content is the very only photo you have of your baby's first steps or your law school graduation, or an audio file of your great grandmother's last interview.

As an aside, Jason also mentioned the Internet Archive's television preservation project, which enables you to run keyword searches to find news clips from all US TV news for the last 3.5 years. Curious about whether a witness or a client made headlines you didn't see? Interested to know if that product you claim is defective has been mentioned for the same reasons in another state? Search the Internet Archive's television archive to find out.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tracking Changes in Supreme Court Opinions

Recently, we posted about the Supreme Court's invisible red pen.  If the Court's opinions change to revise mistakes, how do you keep track of these edits? 

As the ABA Journal reported, one lawyer has developed a solution.  David Zvenyach, general counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia, crawls the opinions and posts changes to Twitter.  If you'd like to receive updates, here's the address to follow:  @Scotus_servo