Friday, July 29, 2011

U. of Chicago's "Bibliodome"

A recent Chronicle of Higher Education article describes the University of Chicago's new high-tech library, where a robotic crane retrieves books from a subterranean storage space beneath a large, glass-domed reading room. A YouTube video explains how it works. See also this exterior view.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Death Sentence Upheld for Man Convicted of Two Murders

Today, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of State v. Short. In 2006, Duane Short was found guilty of the murders of his estranged wife and her friend.

Opinion here.

Dayton Daily News

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Update on Man Who Barked at Dog

Update: The man who barked at a police dog in Mason, Ohio, argued that the barking was free speech. On Friday, a municipal judge ruled that Ryan Stephens had no First Amendment right to bark at the dog.

More news and commentary:

Lowering the Bar

Wall Street Journal Law Blog

The Volokh Conspiracy (With link to decision)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Justice Ginsburg on the 2010-2011 Term

Check out Constitutional Law Prof Blog for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's take on the 2010-2011 SCOTUS term. At an event in Cooperstown, NY, Justice Ginsburg makes a good faith effort to overcome her perhaps undeserved reputation as "the least funny Justice who talks."

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Look for CALI Lessons

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) recently announced a new look for its lessons, which will be accessible from iPads and iPhones. Student scores will automatically be saved into an account profile. Copying and pasting will also be possible. Law school students and faculty can now access the new lesson viewer from the beta link within each lesson. A July 13 webcast about the new lessons interface is available on CALI's YouTube Channel.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Michigan Men Accused of Stealing Flattened Alligator

Three Michigan men are accused of stealing a dead, flattened alligator from a barn, strapping it to a truck, then going mud bogging with it.

The owner is credited with photographing the suspicious tire tracks near his barn, finding the suspects, questioning them, then alerting the authorities.

The victim forwarded the photographs he took as well as filed a theft report with a Livingston County sheriff's deputy, who eventually spoke with one of the suspects.

That person told the deputy that his "friend Douglas Ward" got the alligator and when the deputy asked the speaker his name, he replied, "Douglas Ward," Bezotte said.

-The Detroit Free Press

Authorities suspect alcohol was involved in the incident.


The Flint Journal (

Hat tip: Lowering the Bar

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Slogan Lawsuit

More news of fast food lawsuits: Wendy's, headquartered in Dublin, is being sued by Pincher's Crab Shack, a seafood restaurant chain in Florida.

At issue: the slogan, "You can't fake fresh." Pincher's applied to register the slogan in 2009, and it was registered in 2010. The suit alleges that Wendy's used the same slogan in commercials, and is deceiving the public.

The Columbus Dispatch

Naples Daily News

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lawyer Facing Suspension for Craigslist Ad

An Illinois attorney provides a great example of how not to advertise for a support staff position.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Supreme Court of Ohio: Sex Offender Ruling

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Ohio released its opinion in the case of State v. Williams.

The Opinion Summary from the Office for Public Information states:

The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled today that imposing enhanced sex offender registration and community notification requirements included in the 2007 Ohio Adam Walsh Act (AWA) against defendants whose crimes were committed before the effective date of that law violates Section 28, Article II of the Ohio Constitution, which prohibits the General Assembly from enacting retroactive laws.

More from the Supreme Court:


Video of oral argument


Columbus Dispatch


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Caylee's Law(s)

In the aftermath of the Casey Anthony verdict, several states, including Massachusetts and Missouri, have begun discussing enacting "Caylee's Law," which would make it a crime not to report the death or disappearance of a child.

An Ohio Representative has also proposed a Caylee's Law for Ohio, under which parents would be required to report the death of a child within one hour of discovery, or the disappearance of a child within 24 hours.

More news and commentary:

Huffington Post

Volokh Conspiracy

Washington Post

Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ohio Texting Bill

Two weeks ago, a bill banning texting-while-driving in Ohio passed the House of Representatives. It would allow texting drivers to be fined up to $150. The bill allows exceptions for emergencies, and for entering or receiving phone calls.

House Bill 99

News and commentary:

The News-Messenger

The Columbus Dispatch

The Republic

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Chief Justice and Law Reviews

Hat tip: Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Chief Justice John Roberts renewed the debate on the purpose and utility of law review articles in recent comments at the Annual Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Conference. (C-SPAN's video coverage here.)

Roberts said:

Pick up a copy of any law review that you see, and the first article is likely to be, you know, the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th Century Bulgaria, or something, which I’m sure was of great interest to the academic that wrote it, but isn’t of much help to the bar.

Sherrilyn Ifill responded to the remarks at Concurring Opinions.

More coverage:

ABA Journal

American Constitution Society Blog

Friday, July 08, 2011

Roger Clemens Trial Information

Jury selection is underway for the trial of former baseball star Roger Clemens on various criminal counts including perjury. Michael McCann, Sports Law Institute director at Vermont Law School and writer for, provides a synopses of the case and an idea of what to expect.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Anthony Sentencing

Casey Anthony was sentenced today to four years in jail, one year for each count of lying to law enforcement officers, sentences to run consecutively. However, with credit for time served and good behavior, she will be released in six days, on July 13. She has also been fined $1,000 for each count, as well as court costs and fees.

Section 837.05, Fla. Stat. (2010): False reports to law enforcement authorities

More news and commentary:


Wall Street Journal Blog

Sentencing Law and Policy Blog

Central Florida News 13

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


For nearly ten years, has released memos detailing the statistics of each Term. The new memo for the October 2010 Term can be found here, and features statistical analyses of opinion authorship and level of agreement between pairs of justices.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Casey Anthony Verdict

In the case that has kept much of the country riveted, Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her two-year-old daughter, Caylee.

After 10 hours of deliberation, the jury found Anthony guilty of four counts of giving false information to law enforcement officers. Anthony will be sentenced on Thursday.

News and commentary on the verdict:



Central Florida News

Wall Street Journal Law Blog

Huffington Post

Friday, July 01, 2011

SCOTUS Justices on Legal Writing

A couple related resources: (1) Bryan Garner's video interviews of eight U.S. Supreme Court Justices about their thoughts on legal writing and advocacy (2) transcripts of these interviews in the most recent issue of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing.

See also coverage by Law Librarian Blog and Legal Writing Prof Blog.