Monthly Archives: April 2012

Is a Facebook “Like” Protected Speech?

A recent case in Virginia, Bland v. Roberts, 2012, saw employees of the Hampton, Virginia Sheriff’s department fired “for cost cutting purposes”, though the employees believed they were actually terminated for “liking” their boss’s opponent for re-election.

They sued, saying that their First Amendment Rights were violated, but lost the case when the court concluded that “liking” a facebook page is insufficient speech to qualify for constitutional protection.  In this Ars Technica article, lawyer Venkat Balasubramani and law professor Eric Goldman argue that this interpretation of the First Amendment fails recognize the ways that political activism has changed in the past few years, as well as analyzing exactly what a Facebook “like” can mean.

Avoiding an Interview Faux Pas

Mispronouncing the name of the law firm you are interviewing at likely will not impress your prospective employer.  To avoid a pronunciation faux pas, Georgetown Law has developed a Law Firm Pronunciation Guide which contains audio clips of the pronunciation of the names of many large law firms across the country.

Other resource that can help you brush up on your interview etiquette include the Career Services guide Preparing for the Interview, which is available online to ASU Law students, and the books Maximize Your Lawyer Potential: Professionalism and Business Etiquette for Law Students and Lawyers and Knock ‘em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide, both available in the Law Library’s Study Skills Collection.   These resources addresses telephone interviews, how to dress for an interview, responding to interview questions, appropriate interview follow-up, and more.

We wish you the best in your upcoming interviews!

Using Physics to Beat a Traffic Ticket

 

Lacking a legal argument to get out of your traffic ticket?  Try physics.  Dmitri Krioukov, a UC San Diego physicist, submitted a four-page physics paper to a city traffic commissioner arguing that three coincidences occurred at the same time, making a nearby police officer believe that he had seen him run a red light, when really he had not.  Krioukov writes in the paper, “We show that if a car stops at a stop sign, an observer, e.g., a police officer, located at a certain distance perpendicular to the car trajectory, must have an illusion that the car does not stop, if the following three conditions are satisfied: (1) the observer measures not the linear but angular speed of the car; (2) the car decelerates and subsequently accelerates relatively fast; and (3) there is a short-time obstruction of the observer’s view of the car by an external object, e.g., another car, at the moment when both cars are near the stop sign.”

You can read the paper Krioukov submitted to the court, “The Proof of Innocence,” here.

In the end Krioukov did get out of his ticket.  However, the San Diego Superior Court commissioner who heard the case, Karen  Riley, states that it was not the physics argument that was persuasive, but the fact that the police officer was not close enough to the intersection to have a good view of the light.

Read more about the case on the San Diego Union-Tribune website.

Preparing for the First Day of Exams

Monday marks the first day of Spring 2012 exams, with Criminal Law kicking things off at 8:30am and Evidence getting underway at 1pm.  Check out these new Evidence study skills books and browse through the library catalog for Criminal Law titles which will help you get ready for Day 1 of testing!

Also, if you are looking for ways to use your time during reading week wisely and be more productive as you prepare for exams, read through the study tips on the Law School Academic Support Blog.

Evidence in a Nutshell
The Nutshell series of study skills books offer compact yet comprehensive reviews of major areas of law.  Evidence in Nutshell contains the newest version of the Federal Rules of Evidence, as well as notes on significant cases in evidence law and developments in expert and scientific evidence.
Law Study Skills Collection KF8935.Z9 R6 2012

Evidence: Examples and Explanations
The Evidence E&E provides a good introduction to the concepts of the Federal Rules of Evidence and helps develop reader understanding through its case examples and detailed explanations.  Particularly useful aspects of this book are the “plain language” version of the Rules of Evidence and a flow-chart that demonstrates how to analyze relevance and hearsay exceptions applied to out-of-court statements.
                                       Law Study Skills Collection KF8935.Z9 B48 2009

Handbook of Federal Evidence
This eight volume set contains the Federal Rules of Evidence and materials designed to help aid understanding and application of them.  It is written for trial attorneys and judges, but provides clear and precise statements of evidence law which are helpful for students as well.  Please note that this set can only be used in the library.
Law Treatises KF8935 .G73 2012

 

 

Extreme Weight Loss – Law Library Edition

What’s that? We look lighter? Thanks for noticing, we have lost a few pounds. Over 78,000 pounds, actually!

If you were around last week, you may have noticed we were getting rid of a few books. And by “a few,” we mean over 13,000! According to ASU Recycling (our superstar partners in this project), the total weight of the books we discarded was 78,785 lbs (just under 40 tons!). The Law Library and Recycling staff certainly built some muscle as we shed this weight – what a workout! And speaking of ASU Recycling, we’d like to give a huge thank-you for their help with this project – we could not have done it without them! We’re so happy the books were able to be recycled instead of ending up in a landfill.

This “spring cleaning” was part of an effort to reorganize and consolidate space in order to make the Law Library a more user-friendly space. We cleared out some items from the basement, but most of what we discarded were volumes of Regional Reporters from Reserve Reading Room (say that three times fast!). We had duplicate copies of these Reporters and the other sets we discarded, and we stopped updating the sets in the Reserve Reading Room ages ago. So, you shouldn’t miss them. If you need a Regional Reporter, you can find up-to-date sets in the Core area of the Law Library, or access them online.

So, what will the free space be used for? We’ve got several ideas under consideration – stay tuned to the blog for announcements!

National Library Week – Celebrating Our Staff!

Happy National Library Week! Established in 1958, “National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use.”

We thought we’d take a moment to celebrate our very own Ross-Blakley Law Library, and in particular, the contributions of all the wonderful folks who keep this place running. So who are all these people, anyway?

Public Services
Circulation: If you’re a regular library visitor, you probably know these folks the best. At the front desk, our Circulation staff check out books, request materials from other libraries, handle study room and carrel reservations and much more. Their duties extend beyond the front desk as well – throughout the library and into cyberspace! They make sure the books are in the right spots on the shelves; they manage course reserves, past exams , and the Faculty Scholarship Repository too. And sometimes they’ll give you candy, “just because!”
Reference: Our Reference staff is here to help you find the tools you need and guide you through the process of legal research, so don’t be afraid to Ask a Librarian! They help library users find resources, work on projects for faculty, and write our wonderfully helpful research guides.

Technical Services
Much of the work these folks do is behind-the scenes, but we’d come to a screeching halt without them. They are super-shoppers who figure out what to buy and where to get the best price. They are super-organizers who put each item into the library catalog so you’ll be able to find and use it. They label and repair books, and make sure all those legal materials that constantly need updating are the most current version (looseleafs and pocket parts, anyone?). A sub-unit of Tech Services, our Government Documents staff, manages the publications we receive from the United States Congress, the Office of the President, and major regulatory agencies, making sure these publications are accessible to the public as part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP).

 Administration
Otherwise known as the “business end of the library.” From the big stuff to the little stuff, our Admin folks make sure the doors stay open, the lights stay on, and the bills get paid.  

 

While the Law Library is made up of several departments, we all work together to make sure you have what you need, when you need it. Whether we’re supporting faculty research, cheering on law students, or helping out the public, we’re all here for you! Some of our super-savvy staff are even cross-trained between departments so they can pitch in anywhere at a moment’s notice.

Happy National Library Week and a big hip-hip-hooray to all folks who keep the Law Library running smoothly!

4th Annual Edward J. Shoen Leading Scholars Lecture

Jack Goldsmith

This Thursday the College of Law will host Jack Goldsmith, who is delivering the 4th annual Edward J. Shoen Leading Scholars Lecture. Goldsmith will be speaking on presidential accountability post-9/11. The Shoen Lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are encouraged.

Goldsmith is the Harry J. Shattuck Professor at Harvard Law School, a position he has held since 2005. He served as the Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel from October 2003 through July 2004, and as Special Counsel to the U.S. Department of Defense from September 2002 through June 2003. You can read more about Goldsmith on the College of Law News webpage.

If you are interested in reading some of Goldsmith’s scholarship, be sure to check out one of the following books from the Law Library collection: The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgement Inside the Bush Administration (2007), Who Controls the Internet?  Illusions of a Borderless World (2006), The Limits of International Law (2005); or download one of his many journal articles from HeinOnline.

ROTC Training Exercise on the SRC Field Thursday

An ROTC Training exercise will be held on the SRC Field Thursday, April 12, 2012.

The Army ROTC will be landing 2 Blackhawk Helicopters on the SRC East Field on April 12, 2012.   The first will land at 7:30am and the second at 10:00am.  Each pick-up usually last 10-15 minutes.

The noise from the helicopters may carry to the Law Library.  Be sure to ask for earplugs at the front desk!

Some interesting English Legal News

If English Law or English Legal History is among your interests, you may want to check out this amusing article from the South Devon Western Morning News detailing a few of the quirky old laws that are on the books there, and their current questionable status.   Some such old laws, dating from the 16th century and earlier, are the target of a repeals bill, intended to “[rid] the statute book of meaningless provisions from days days gone by and [make] sure [the] laws are relevant to the modern world,” according to the chairman of the Law Commission for England and Wales, Sir James Munby.