Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wal-Mart v. Dukes

One of the most highly-publicized cases at the Supreme Court this term, Wal-Mart v. Dukes, had oral argument on Tuesday morning. The largest gender discrimination case in history, the issue before the Court was not whether Wal-Mart discriminated against women, but about the class-action of the lawsuit itself.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Google Book Settlement Info.

A federal judge in New York recently issued an opinion rejecting a settlement agreement between Google and the Authors Guild regarding the digitization of a vast amount of books still under copyright protection. The Public Index provides numerous resources on the recently rejected settlement and Google's controversial book digitization project. The site is a project of the Public-Interest Book Search Initiative and New York Law School's Institute for Information Law and Policy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

International Death Penalty Statistics

Hat tip to Sentencing Law and Policy... Amnesty International collects death penalty statistics from all over the world, and The Guardian recently summarized the information into charts and graphs, showing number of death sentences and number of executions. Not all countries provide Amnesty International with precise figures, but The Guardian's charts do show that fewer countries than ever before are using the death penalty. Amnesty International's death penalty data

Monday, March 28, 2011

Health Reform Quiz

It has now been over a year since Congress' passage of health care reform legislation. Test your knowledge of the law by taking a brief quiz created by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Also check out the foundation's timeline of changes showing when different portions of the health care law will be implemented over the next several years.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tom Brady v. N.F.L.

As has been widely reported, a group of National Football League players has filed a class action lawsuit against the league and its teams. The complaint, filed in Minnesota federal district court, alleges that the league has violated federal antitrust laws as well as state contract and tort laws. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog provides a helpful Q & A with Vermont Law Professor and Sports Illustrated's Sports and the Law columnist Michael McCann. Of course, at the heart of the dispute is how to divide the billions of dollars of annual N.F.L. revenue.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Settlement in Hurricane Katrina Hospital Deaths Case

A settlement was reached yesterday in a class-action case over deaths at a News Orleans hospital following Hurricane Katrina.

About 2,000 patients and hospital workers were stranded at Memorial Medical Center (later renamed Ochsner Baptist Medical Center), with the hospital's lower level under ten feet of water. 45 bodies were eventually recovered from the hospital, more than from any other hospital in New Orleans. The suit was brought by patients and familes of patients who died at Memorial, claiming that the hospital did not have an adequate emergency plan for the storm.

New York Times

Bloomberg Businessweek

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dog Therapy at Yale Law Library

Yale law library will soon allow law students to check out a dog named Monty from the circulation desk for 30 minutes at a time. The law library hopes that providing access to Monty will increase the happiness, calmness, and overall emotional well-being of often-stressed students. The dog pictured with the article is not Monty. Further details about Monty, including what type of dog he is, are not yet available.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Is a Photocopying Machine?

Hat tip to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog:

A deposition for a public records case at the Ohio Supreme Court went on for ten pages, trying to establish what the term "photocopying machine" really meant.

Also: ABA Journal

Monday, March 21, 2011

NBA Ref Sues Reporter Over Tweet

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports that a veteran NBA basketball referee has sued an AP reporter for defamation based on the content of the reporter's tweet. According to the tweet, the referee told Minnesota Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis he would "get it back" after making a call the Minnesota coach disliked, implying that he would later make a false call against the other team. In the referee's complaint filed in federal district court, he denies making any such statement and claims to have honestly officiated NBA games for over 22 years.

Friday, March 18, 2011

George Mason Student Cleared in Library Study Carrel Incident

George Mason University officials recently announced that all charges have been dropped against student Abdirashid Dahir in an incident involving a library study carrel. Campus police had arrested Dahir and charged him with abduction for allegedly locking a female student in a carrel during a dispute over who could use the carrel. Dahir claimed that the female student fabricated the story and made negative comments about immigrants. Dahir is of Somali heritage. See the Washington Post for initial coverage and an update on the dropped charges.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Preschool Lawsuit

A Manhattan mother has sued her daughter's preschool for the nonrefundable $19,000 tuition, claiming that the school was failing to adequately prepare the child for an Ivy League education.

The New York Times

Wall Street Journal Law Blog

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Free e-Casebooks from CALI's eLangdell Project (eventually)

CALI has been at the forefront of a move toward e-casebooks compatible with smart phones and digital readers. As part of its eLangdell Stimulus Project, CALI is calling for law school faculty to send proposals for e-casebook chapters. If accepted, CALI will pay a $500 stipend per chapter. Instructors will eventually be able to create customized e-casebooks and course packets from materials available through eLangdell. According to CALI, law students will be able to access eLangdell materials for free. Thanks to Boston College's Legal Eagle for its initial coverage of CALI's strides toward free e-casebooks.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Opinions...on the Justices

As a new crop of SCOTUS opinions comes out, commentary on the Justices, their writing, and their oral argument habits is also prevalent:

PrawfsBlog: "Chief Justice Roberts and the Ostensibly Boring First Amendment"

Opinionator at The New York Times: "Justice Scalia Objects"

The National Law Journal: "Clarence Thomas Hits Five Years without Asking a Question"

National Journal: "Sonia Sotomeyer on Dating, Deciding, and Being the Newest Supreme Court Justice"

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Facebook-Divorce Link

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal examines the often reported claim that Facebook contributes to 1 in 5 divorces. While some divorce attorneys see a connection, the article gives reason to doubt claims of a causal link.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Law Student Resources on OSBA Website

Law students may want to be aware of the resources available on the Ohio State Bar Association website including the OSBA Report Online. The report includes recent Ohio cases as well as classified advertisements and job boards. Law students can view jobs and upload their resumes to the OSBA's site for viewing by potential employers. Additional career resources are available under the "Law Student Hub" heading on the left side of the OSBA main page. Law student membership in OSBA is free and includes access to Casemaker, the OSBA's legal research database. Casecheck, Casemaker's new Shepards-like updating service, is also available to law student members for free. Thanks to C-M for passing along this information.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Here is a recent interview of UVA Professor of Media Studies Siva Vaidhyanathan about his new book, The Googlization of Everything. In the interview, Vaidhyanathan calls Google "dangerous" and says that we have not yet come to terms with Google's effects on our "habits, perspectives, judgments, transactions, and imaginations." See also the webcast of his talk last month at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Happy Birthday, Justice Holmes

Today is the birthday of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935). Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1902-1932, he was the oldest Justice in the history of the Court (retiring at the age of 90), and known for his very concise and often-controversial opinions.

Some of his most famous opinions include:

Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905), (dissenting)

Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919)

Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919), (dissenting)

Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Ohio Local Court Rules

The Ohio Supreme Court has created a page on its website to access local court rules for all Ohio trial-level courts. The local rules for a majority of Ohio trial courts are now accessible, mostly via external hyperlinks to court websites. See the Ohio Supreme Court's recent announcement and the web page.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Baron Cut-and-Paste

Plagiarism is apparently not just an undergraduate problem. German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg recently resigned in the wake of claims that he lifted large portions of his 2006 Doctor of Laws thesis from others' works. A Bremen University law professor reportedly made the discovery after reviewing the thesis with the aid of the Internet. The popular German press has dubbed the former minister "Baron Cut-and-Paste" and "Dr. Googleberg." See coverage from the BBC via Barco 2.0.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

iPad 2 Debut

For those of you interested in the latest in tablet news, the iPad 2 will be released next week.

Here are some advance reviews:

Computerworld: "Hands on with the iPad 2"

Wall Street Journal: "What the iPad 2 Means for Your Wallet"

The iPad Fan: "iPad 2: Thinner, Lighter, Faster, Available March 11"

cnet: "Five Things the iPad 2 Didn't Get"

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Foreclosing on Wells Fargo

In case you missed this recent story, here is a link to the details of a Philadelphia man's efforts to foreclose on a Wells Fargo bank branch. See also updates to the original story here and here.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Supreme Court News

Today, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Alford v. Greene (combined with Camreta v. Greene), on the question of whether law enforcement and child welfare officials need a court order or parental permission before interviewing a child they suspect is being abused.

Read the briefs (including amicus briefs) here.

Commentary at Huffington Post, Ohio Family Law Blog, and The Rutherford Institute.

In other SCOTUS news, opinions came out today for three cases, including FCC v. AT&T, ruling (8-0) that corporations do not have a right of personal privacy under Exemption 7(C) of the Freedom of Information Act. Read the opinion here.

Staub v. Proctor Hospital and Henderson v. Shinseki were also decided.