Features and Columns — October, 2014

Clients and Suicide: The Lawyer's Dilemma

Ken Strutin's article discusses an increasingly visible issue, suicide, here in the specific context of criminal law. He reviews how the stress of prosecution or litigation, whether it means risking a prison term, unemployment, bankruptcy, eviction, broken family relations, isolation, or other serious consequences can create or exacerbate a vulnerable and dangerous state of mind in a client. Client suicidal thoughts, attempts or actions expose the intimacies of human autonomy and test the limits of the attorney-client relationship. They cross a range of legal, moral and medical contexts: professional responsibility, client confidentiality, effective assistance of counsel, legal malpractice, criminal liability, and end of life issues. So it is that attorneys confronted with signs of suicidal intentions in their clients need to be conscious of their legal and ethical responsibilities. Strutin's article is a significant guide for researchers, as it collects notable materials on this complex and sensitive topic, including ethics opinions, law reviews, bibliographies and other resources. — Published October 11, 2014

Student Research Resources Library

Marcus P. Zillman developed this Student Research Resources Library to provide researchers with a comprehensive listing of reliable topical resources and sites available on the Internet. — Published October 11, 2014

Internet-of-Things (IOT) Resources

This is a comprehensive listing of Internet-of-Things (IOT) research resources and sites available on the Internet. Marcus P. Zillman developed this guide with the goal of highlighting the most current and actionable research resources available on this topic. — Published October 11, 2014

September, 2014

Cyclists, Motorists, and the Theory of Move Over Laws

Fay Wein is an avid bicycle-rider, content and communication specialist, and director of marketing at a New York firm. She examines the increasingly contentious arena in which cyclists and motorists are increasingly clashing, on city streets and rural roads, with dangerous consequences. — Published September 19, 2014

How cell phone book clubs could help get young people reading and change their lives

Journalist and SF/fantasy novelist Bertel King, Jr. talks about effective methods and programs to engage young people in the enjoyment and value of reading as soon and as often as possible. He discusses how removing as many roadblocks and inconveniences as possible associated with reading can making this learning and joyful experience increasingly attractive to young folks who are often ridiculed for reading print books. He provides actionable information on cell phone book clubs, which are affordable and can encourage reading using devices that children already own. Take the time to read this article, and you will learn as I did, how the voices, ideas and efforts of a new generation of writers and readers are impacting the future of how we share knowledge more widely and equitably. — Published September 19, 2014

How to read e-books on a $20 cell phone: Tips for the cash-strapped and plain adventurous

The LG Optimus Dynamic Android Phone, aka the LG 38c or the LGL38C, is a smartphone that David Rothman bought new on Amazon for $20, excluding shipping. Rothman calls out the importance of this device in relationship to its potential impact among among racial minorities and young families with children that also experience high poverty rates. He contends that low-end smartphones like the 38c may be a way to bring e-books to many low-income people in America and elsewhere, including the U.K., where so many libraries have closed. Rothman discusses the objective to inform librarians, tech-savvy volunteers and nonprofits to the possibilities, in terms of training and motivation and the creation of community groups, to promote smartphone technology for literacy and self-improvement. For the underserved who already own smartphones, David details the need to install the right e-reading software to expand capabilities of the devices for accessing e-books. — Published September 19, 2014

Online tools to streamline your email

Nicole Black talks about email add-ons to assist busy lawyers respond more effectively to a continuous avalanche of communications that require sorting, prioritizing, tagging and timely actions. She highlights several effective online tools designed to solve these problems by integrating with your Gmail account and other programs as well. — Published September 7, 2014

Will Lawyers Embrace Wearable Tech, And The Future?

Nicole Black predicts that smartwatches will soon be very popular with lawyers as they offer an easy and unobtrusive way to filter only the most important information received on your smartphone. So if you’re expecting a priority email or phone call, you can program your phone to forward it to your smartwatch so that you’ll receive a subtle vibration on your wrist. This will come in handy when you’re in court, for example. So instead of causing a disruption in the proceedings, you can leave the room quietly and tend to the matter in the hallway with no one else the wiser. — Published September 7, 2014

Tech goals for solo and small-firm lawyers

Nicole Black review the highlights of results of two legal technology surveys about lawyers’ plans to use legal technology in their law practices. They offer a glimpse into the businesses of solo and small firm lawyers and provide indications of their assessments of the value that different types of technologies will bring to their law practices. — Published September 7, 2014

How to choose Web-based legal software

More and more lawyers are moving to Web-based legal software because it’s convenient, provides 24/7 on-the-go-access to case-related information, and is affordable. Lawyer and legal tech expert Nicole Black says the good news is now that cloud computing is becoming more familiar and accepted, new platforms are being introduced into the legal marketplace at record speed. She explains how to make effective business choices when determining how and what cloud based applications to use. — Published September 1, 2014

How to start a cell phone book club — for your library, school, neighborhood, workplace or other purposes

David Rothman believes that the cell phone book club idea is timely right now. Salon has even published an article titled “War and Peace” on the subway: How your iPhone is saving literature. A headline writer can dream, right? Still, the potential is there in less dramatic form. Most U.S. teenagers own smartphones, capable of displaying e-books. And phone screens keep getting bigger and sharper. Apple is expected to introduce a phone with a 5.5-inch screen, and companies like Samsung sell six-inch models. The tips that David provides include advice even for people without cell phones right now, or the usual WiFi connections. And he highlights that book-capable phones running the Android operating system can sell for less than $20 without shipping. — Published September 1, 2014

On tablets, summer reading and parental role models for young readers: How schools and libraries can together connect the dots

David Rothman discusses how his Washington, D.C. suburb and in countless other places, U.S. schools are buying tablets for students, and each city could potentially be a test bed for the ideas in this commentary. We’re talking about a partial solution to a national reading divide; well-off kids actually can make gains over the summer. Regardless of family income, however, more reading is likely to help. All the more reason to increase coordination between schools and public libraries to exploit e-book-related technology to the max! — Published September 1, 2014

August, 2014

Privacy and Data Security Violations: What’s the Harm?

Daniel J. Solove is a Law professor at George Washington University Law School, an expert in information privacy law, and founder of TeachPrivacy, a privacy and security training company. In the first of a four part series, Prof. Solove's article focuses on the ramifications of increasingly common instances of personal data theft or improper data disclosure, and the subsequent ramifications for those compromised. — Published August 22, 2014

Why the Law Often Doesn’t Recognize Privacy and Data Security Harms

In the second article of a four part series, Daniel J. Solove explains how the law is struggling to deal with privacy and data security harms. — Published August 22, 2014

Do Privacy Violations and Data Breaches Cause Harm?

In his third article in a four part series, Daniel J. Solove explores two issues that frequently emerge in privacy and data security cases: (a) the future risk of harm; and (b) individual vs. social harm. — Published August 22, 2014

How Should the Law Handle Privacy and Data Security Harms?

In his fourth article in a four part series, Daniel J. Solove discusses how the law should handle privacy and security harms. — Published August 19, 2014

Case Law in an Era of Heightened Scrutiny

Ken Strutin's documents the scope of sources that encompass a critical issue that has recently repeatedly surfaced in mass media and the legal press - the fact that judicial decisions are believed to embody legal reasoning, societal values and support the foundations of our legal system. For scholars, lawyers and librarians there are three essential components: decision-making, opinion writing and publication. Recently, scrutiny of Supreme Court opinions and the work habits of the courts in general has been drawing attention to the entirety of judicial work that is at the heart of precedent. This article collects a range of pertinent guides, manuals, treatises, law reviews, studies and newsworthy mentions that address significant issues in judicial decision-making, opinion writing and case law publishing. — Published August 18, 2014

How to Cook Lemon Fish

Writer David Barker introduces us to a quick, easy recipe for a delicious dish called Lemon Fish. As he says, there is actually no such fish as a lemon fish. David is rather referring to a grilling method he learned after moving to the Pacific Northwest. He provides step-by-step instructions - enjoy! — Published August 17, 2014

Competitive Intelligence - A Selective Resource Guide - Completely Updated - August 2014

Sabrina I. Pacifici's comprehensive current awareness guide focuses on leveraging a selected but wide range of reliable, topical, predominantly free websites and resources. The goal is to support an effective research process to search, discover, access, monitor, analyze and review current and historical data, news, reports, statistics and profiles on companies, markets, countries, people and issues, from a national and a global perspective. Sabrina’s guide is a “best of the Web” resource that encompasses search engines, portals, government sponsored open source databases, alerts, data archives, publisher specific services and applications. All of her recommendations are accompanied by links to trusted content targeted sources that are produced by top media and publishing companies, business, government, academe, IGOs and NGOs. — Published August 8, 2014

July, 2014

Cell phone book club vision excites school librarian Njabulo Tazibona in Zimbabwe: How he can make it reality

A follow-up from David Rothman's article earlier this month, Cell phone book clubs: A new way for libraries to promote literacy, technology, family and community - he shares that while U.S. librarians mull over LibraryCity's proposal for cell phone book clubs, an African librarian already is embracing the possibilities if he can win over his stakeholders. — Published July 30, 2014

Cell phone book clubs: A new way for libraries to promote literacy, technology, family and community

Young people are heavy users of cell phones, but most do not know they can read library e-books for free on their phones. In this cutting-edge essay, David Rothman tells how libraries could use "cell phone book clubs" to reach out both to young cell phone users and their families, including low-income people and members of racial and ethnic minorities. The clubs would not only foster literacy, but also leverage technology and strengthen the connections between families and communities. — Published July 27, 2014

What Does the Hathitrust Decision Mean For Libraries?

The library community welcomed the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust. The decision has implications for libraries that go far beyond the specific facts of the case. This paper by Jonathan Band offers some preliminary thoughts on what these implications may be. — Published July 27, 2014

Information Quality Resources

Marcus P. Zillman's guide focuses on the increasingly important topic of identifying reliable and actionable Information resources on the internet, a task specifically critical for researchers in all sectors. With the proliferation of non attributable, un-vetted, un-sourced information churning 24/7 through a spectrum of social media sites, getting it right takes time and skill, but is well worth the effort. — Published July 18, 2014

June, 2014

Fourteen LinkedIn Tips for (the Rest of) 2014

With over 300 million users, LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for business and professional use, and attorneys Dennis Kennedy and Allison C. Shields clearly and concisely outline how to leverage this space with smart, targeted and effective ways that positively identify you in communities of best practice, proactively communicate with peers and potential clients, and expand your business reach. — Published June 29, 2014

Comforting Witnesses, Discomforting Due Process

Many of us are aware of, and have had contact with various types of therapy dogs, in places that range from the workplace to our public transportation systems. But we may not be aware of the growing use and integration into the legal system of therapeutic "comfort dogs" or therapy dogs in several aspects of criminal proceedings, including victim-offender mediation. Ken Strutin lays the groundwork for analysis of how "dog therapy" techniques are well suited to this type of mediation by discussing the psychological dynamics of victim-offender mediation, including how the mediator must confront and deal with them. Of special interest and importance is the changing role of the mediator, who is often called upon to wear different hats. Of importance in this article are the jobs of "therapist" and "magician." Strutin describes the "therapist" role as it focuses on the therapeutic effect that a dog's presence will have on victim-offender mediation, namely the psychological benefits for the participants. He explores the "magician" role through a discussion of how the mediator will use the dog's presence to aid in the process of discussing and resolving conflict, with both parties' emotional needs receiving equal attention. And finally, Strutin discusses the training required by mediators who wish to employ therapy dogs in their practice. These new "mediator-handlers," as these types of mediators are known, will have a challenging task in specializing in this type of mediation, but one that can be truly rewarding." The research and commentary provided here are seminal to understanding how dogs are engaged in increasingly critical roles in the lives of people in many facets of social and legal interaction with critical implications for all involved. — Published June 29, 2014

National Digital Library Endowment Plan Makes New York Times of Philanthropy

David Rothman encourages Librarians and friends to think like Willie Sutton, who supposedly said he robbed banks because "That's where the money is." Rothman is quick to say the quote in fact is iffy, but he wants us to focus on the logic behind supporting a national digital library endowment. — Published June 29, 2014

The sad reasons why Amazon's #1 reading city doesn't belong on the list

In this article David Rothman highlights the backstory on Amazon's new list of America's "Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities," based on its sales of  books, magazines and newspapers. As has been the case previously, the winner is Alexandria, Virginia, his hometown, which should be able to afford a book-rich public library system. This scenic Washington suburb on the Potomac River pays the city manager $245K a year. Yet the Alexandria library's budget for books and other materials is well below the national average despite the needs of the city's many African-Americans, Hispanics and and low-income people. Around half of Alexandria's students qualify for free school lunches. Simply put, we're talking about two different realities--Amazon's and the actual Alexandria's. — Published June 22, 2014

May, 2014

Gates Global Libraries Program is Winding Down: Time for a National Digital library Endowment to Fill the Vacuum

David Rothman informs us that out of several billion a year in grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, just tens of millions go for public libraries in the U.S. and overseas. But as all funding is critical, the news that the foundation is phasing out the Global Libraries program over the next three-five years brings libraries full circle, in search of new mentors and significant financial support. — Published May 28, 2014

Why the DPLA should focus on being a stellar ACADEMIC library: Check out these statistics

David Rothman acknowledges the attributes of the expanding DPLA program but highlights that it is lacking key components to make it a truly comprehensive academic digital library, including collection and business strategies. Rothman states that "DPLAers" keep insisting that the organization is a public library even though the academic and archival content in the catalog is just a subset of what a true general public library collection would offer. He recommends actionable next steps to widen the scope of access to digitized works. — Published May 28, 2014

Social Media #FTW!: The Influence of Social Media on American Politics

Thesis submitted to Johns Hopkins University in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Government by Kenneth Scott Ames

Abstract:

"Social media has transformed politics in America. Its effect has impacted the way candidates campaign for the presidency, Members of Congress operate their offices, and advocacy organizations communicate with policymakers and supporters. Social media allows politicians and organizations a method to connect directly and without filters with people across the country, assemble a constituency, and solicit their support at a reduced cost and greater reach than traditional media. Social media is not simply the next in a line of communications technologies: it has changed everyday activities and connected people in a manner never before possible. The rise of smartphone technology has enabled this trend since people can access the Internet almost anywhere making a mobile device a potential organizing and fundraising tool. Social media has transformed politics in America because it creates an instantaneous multi-directional public dialogue that offers the ability to rapidly analyze the data and learn from the findings on an unprecedented scope."

— Published May 28, 2014