Features and Columns — September, 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

World leading online privacy law library gets big increase in capacity

The International Privacy Law Library on WorldLII has been expanded. The Library's 32 databases include about 3,600 decisions of 13 privacy and data protection authorities, from New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, Korea, Macau, Mauritius, the United States and the European Union. — Published May 28, 2014

Legal Loop: 8 handy gadgets for the mobile lawyer office

For the 21st century lawyer, mobility is key, since a mobile law practice makes it easier than ever for lawyers to practice law no matter where they happen to be. That's why, according to the American Bar Association's 2013 Legal Technology Survey, more lawyers are going mobile than ever before, with nearly 91 percent of lawyers surveyed reporting that they have used smartphones in their practices and 48 percent of lawyers surveyed reported using a tablet at work. Nicole Black explains why you need to have the right accessories to be effectively mobile. — Published May 18, 2014

Unwarranted DNA Sampling: The Legacy of Maryland v. King

Criminal law expert Ken Strutin's article addresses how DNA forensics is about information, privacy and the presumption of innocence. It has become the determinant for identification, solving cold cases and exonerating the innocent. Strutin describes that at its core, it is an inestimable library of personal data. Due to the increasingly important role of Personally identifiable information (PII), courts and legislatures have been attempting to balance the interests of the individual in protecting their genetic information with the usefulness and necessity of that same data for criminal investigation. Strutin notes clearly that any DNA or forensic database is a composite of intertwined informational and legal values that pose competing and conflicting questions about the analytics (accuracy, reliability and validity) of the data and the lawfulness (constitutionality) of its gathering. His article collects recent notable decisions and scholarship appearing in the aftermath of Maryland v. King. — Published May 11, 2014

April, 2014

Fargo Brings An Outliner to Your Browser

Elmer Masters explains the pragmatic as well as technological value of Dave Winer's new full featured outliner, Fargo. Fargo runs in your web browser and stores your data in your Dropbox folder. According to Masters, this combination of browser and cloud puts the outliner everywhere, making it a good choice for anyone looking for ubiquitous note taking and writing capabilities. That includes just about all of us! — Published April 30, 2014

Personal Task Management for Legal Professionals

Brad Edmondson searched for the right task management app throughout much of his time attending law school. He finally found and recommends in this article one that he chose for individual use: Todoist. The app - it’s really more of a service - operates on the “freemium” model, and Brad signed up for the premium version three months ago. He compares and contrasts this app to others for Mac and Android platforms in this best practices guide. — Published April 27, 2014

The limits of 'Hack the library': Don't aim for too much more with too much less--and try harder for more

David Rothman notes that less than 12 percent of U.S. public library spending goes for books and other items. So he is very much in favor of the "hack the library" movement reinventing libraries. At the same time, Rothman warns that all the technical ingenuity and creativity in the world is no substitute for sufficient funding in areas ranging from content to data security. The public's needs, not the interests of techie volunteers, should count most of all. — Published April 27, 2014

eCommerce Resources on the Internet

Marcus P. Zillman's guide is a comprehensive, diverse and wide ranging listing of eCommerce Resources on the Web. These resources include those in a wide range of areas such as: associations, indexes, search engines as well as individual websites. — Published April 13, 2014

March, 2014

3D Printing: The Manufactory of Knowledge

Ken Strutin's article addresses the increasing use and impact, social and legal, of the emerging and high visibility technology known as 3D printing. The technology's use in a wide range of sectors - including education, manufacturing, firearms, robotics and medical devices, as well as in the home - is raising a plethora of patent, trademark and intellectual property issues. In addition, libraries and museums are beginning to embrace 3D technologies for archiving and collection development. And the widespread ability to create three-dimensional objects via technology is transforming information collection, storage and communication across a spectrum of fields. — Published March 29, 2014

Using Raspberry Pi and Open Source to Understand Technology

Elmer Masters, Director of Internet Development at the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, has a new column which he had graciously agreed to share with LLRX readers. In this article he examines the concept of using the open nature of a Linux powered Raspberry Pi to better understand some of the tech tools we use all the time. He describes Raspberry Pi as an excellent little computer and a great tool for learning programming, learning about Linux, prototyping interesting things, and more. Thanks Elmer and Slaw! — Published March 23, 2014