Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Article by Professor Danne Johnson

OCU Law Professor Danne Johnson recently published Seeking Meaningful Nonprofit Reform in a Post Sarbanes-Oxley World: Saint Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 54, p. 187, Fall 2009. Access this article in OCU Law Faculty Scholarship Repository and Westlaw.

Monday, March 29, 2010

On This Day in Legal History: March 29th

March 29th, 1951: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage in the United States. They were executed two years later.

March 29th, 1971: Lt. William Calley was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison for his roll in the Mai Lai Massacre.

March 29th, 1999: Hanratty Family receives the right to appeal the case of James Hanratty, convicted and executed for the murder of a scientist and his lab assistant.

March 29th, 1961: The 23rd Amendment to the Constitution is ratified by the states, allowing residents of the District of Columbia to vote for President of the United States.

Will the iPad Change the Way Lawyers Conduct Meetings?

A few months ago, Apple announced the upcoming release of their new gadget, the iPad. A lot of buzz followed the announcement- both positive and negative.

When we think about the way smart phones have changed the way we do business, from lawyers to librarians to doctors and students, it's easy to think that the iPad will only continue the trend.

Imagine that you're sitting with your client, and they have a question about a recent court case. Currently, you might go for your iPhone or other smart phone. What if you had a larger screen to share information with your client?

If you're interested in this topic of discussion, there is a great conversation concerning the use of smart technology while meeting with clients over on

A demonstration of the iPad can be found here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Challenge of Wisconsin Diploma Privilege by OCU Alumni Dismissed

The suit filed by OCU Alumni Christopher Wiesmueller challenging Wisconsin's diploma privilege has been dismissed. The suit, based on a claim that the privilege violates the federal Commerce Clause, was settled by State attorneys for $7,500.

Hat tip to WisBlawg - from the UW Law Library.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

$18.9 Million Copyright Infringement Verdict Reinstated

What may have seemed like a small infringement to some has not resulted in a small award. In June 2006, in the suit of Graham Co. v. Haughey, the jury concluded that Haughey, a former employee of the plaintiff, had taken two company manuals to his new employer, USI MidAtlantic Inc. USI MidAtlantic, ignoring the copyright notice, had then included material from the manuals in its own sales proposals. The jury also heard evidence that after the initial filing of the suit, USI shredded between 12 and 20 boxes of financial records. An almost $18.9 million award was entered in the case. Upon remand from the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Harvey Bartle III, the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, has reinstated the initial $18.9 million award.

To read more about the case visit the article.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Brennan Lecture

Restoring Lost Connections: Land Use, Policing, and Urban Vitality is the topic of the 2010 Brennan Lecture to be presented April 8, 2010 at 5 p.m. in the Homsey Family Moot Courtroom.

Nicole Garnett is a Notre Dame University Law Professor and the Author of Ordering the City: Land Use, Policing, and Restoration of Urban America.

Additional publications by Professor Garnett are available for review outside the Reference Office in the Law Library.

Monday, March 22, 2010

US Supreme Court's Updated Website

On March 18, 2010, the US Supreme Court unveiled its newly developed website. The Court's site was previously hosted by the Government Printing Office (GPO). According to the Court's release, the newly unveiled site is hosted in-house and is designed to "enable the Court to integrate the Web site with the Court's other operations, improve the quality of the site, and expand services for the public benefit."

Hat tip to The BLT: The Blog of the LegalTimes

Sunday, March 21, 2010

C-Span Video Archive Available

Last week C-SPAN launched video archives of its programming. According to the C-Span Video Library Blog,

The C-SPAN Archives records, indexes, and archives all C-SPAN programming for historical, educational, research, and archival uses, Every C-SPAN program aired since 1987, now totaling over 157,000 hours, is contained in the C-SPAN Archives and immediately accessible through the database and electronic archival systems developed and maintained by the C-SPAN Archives.

As pointed out by Law Librarian Blog, C-SPAN programming, including congressional sessions and committee hearings, can serve as an excellent unofficial source of legislative history.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Increased Access To Federal Court Materials

The Judicial Conference of the Untied States approved measures aimed at increasing access to federal court materials. Approved actions include:

1. Modification of the fee schedule for Public Access to Electronic Court Records (PACER) to allow free access up to $10 per quarter (rather than $10 per year).

2. Establishment of a pilot program under which up to 12 courts may publish court opinions via the Government Printing Office's (GPO) Federal Digital System (FDsys).

3. Modification of the program to make audio recordings of court hearings available. (Previously such recordings were available via the court clerk's office via CD for a substantial fee. Audio will now be available via PACER for a fee of $2.40.)

For additional information see the news release of the U.S. Courts.

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog and The BLT: The Blog of LegalTimes

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Ground Zero Settlement- $657 million?

"A federal judge said Friday he will hold a hearing in a week to let people weigh in on a settlement that would pay up to $657 million to a group of people who became ill after spending hundreds of hours in the ruins of the World Trade Center."

Continue reading the article on NPR.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Clinton to receive Reflections of Hope award in Oklahoma City

From NewsOK: "Today, it was announced that the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum will honor President Clinton "for his work in helping Oklahoma City transform after the bombing of the federal building almost 15 years ago and for his international peace work during his presidency and over the past decade."

Read more about this honor here.

In this photo: Bill Clinton
Photo: Pool/Getty Images
Apr 19, 2005

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Patent Reform Act of 2010

Are you interested to the changes proposed in the Patent Reform Act of 2010?

Click here to read an excellent overview of just what the legislation will state.

Read about the first-to-file statute here.

If you are interested in patents, and would like to read about a recent invention involving "air bags for birds," I suggest you take a look at the Patent Librarian's Notebook and his post on the subject.

Image retrieved from Patent Number 2008/0298962 A1

February Acquisition List

A list of the OCU Law Library's acquisitions during the month of February is now available on our website. See the new scholarship in your field.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Open Information Societies

"FROM antiquity to modern times, the nation has always been a product of information management. The ability to impose taxes, promulgate laws, count citizens and raise an army lies at the heart of statehood. Yet something new is afoot. These days democratic openness means more than that citizens can vote at regular intervals in free and fair elections. They also expect to have access to government data.

The state has long been the biggest generator, collector and user of data. It keeps records on every birth, marriage and death, compiles figures on all aspects of the economy and keeps statistics on licences, laws and the weather. Yet until recently all these data have been locked tight. Even when publicly accessible they were hard to find, and aggregating lots of printed information is notoriously difficult."

Read more, at The Economist.

As discussed on Legal Research Plus, governments are now becoming more open and information transparent.

The above articles discuss how this has had an impact on state, national, and international governments.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mayor Mick Cornett re-elected to third term

"Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was re-elected Tuesday to a historic third term. Mayor Cornett defeated Steve Hunt 58.3 to 41.7 percent. The City’s 35th Mayor, Cornett became just the fourth mayor in the City’s history to secure a third term. Mayor Cornett will begin his third, four year term on Tuesday, April 13."

From The City of Oklahoma News.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Smart Phones and Public Records

Many of us remember the news surrounding Barack Obama the Candidate and his beloved Blackberry smart phone. Most of the concern focused on the ability to track each and every communication going into or out of the smart phone, creating a logistics nightmare. As mentioned in the link above, President Obama has been allowed to keep his Blackberry...even though it is a, let's say, rare model.

NPR recently highlighted a story coming out of Florida concerning public records laws and the increased use of technology:

"State leaders in Florida are in a battle with technology: new forms of communications that make it difficult for public officials to follow the law.

The state has one of the best government public record laws in the country. Virtually every public document is accessible to the public. And though the state is embracing the perks of advanced technology — the Legislature just started piloting the use of electronic meeting packets, instead of printing them on paper — the use of cell phones and BlackBerrys is causing concern. It's simply too difficult to archive all communications."

Listen to the story or read more here.

Photo Credit: Jae C Hong/AP

March is National Women's History Month

In observance of National Women's History Month, the Law Library has created a display of materials on Women in the Legal Profession. The display features Leading the Way: A Look at Oklahoma's Pioneering Women Lawyers, a project of the Oklahoma Bar Association Women in Law Committee.