Greg Lambert eloquently gives voice to truth which has been delivered through action by many fellow professionals throughout the course of our respective (some decades long) careers – we are not “gatekeepers” nor do we impede the purchase and distribution of innovative, subject matter focused, effective, forward moving technologies, services and resources within our respective organizations. To the contrary, change and disruption are often associated with the work of law librarians, knowledge managers and research professionals in firms.
Most workplaces, whether public, private, academic – within the government, legal, education, news, or advocacy sectors – are increasingly focused on how to define, implement and position the use of ‘Big Data,’ data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and even robotics, into respective organizational missions that are under increasing pressure to innovate faster. Ken Strutin’s comprehensive, insightful and expertly documented article is a critical read to assist all of us in the legal environment, regardless of our role, in understanding key cases, issues, science, technology and applications, and potential as well as actual outcomes. As Strutin writes, the term “Mecha” envisions a futuristic artificial intelligence wrapped in human likeness and seamlessly woven into the activities of society. It represents a time when the aggrandizement of our species will depend on technology that looks and thinks like us. Today, the prototype of attorney mechas are emerging from advances in computer reasoning and big data. The demands of increasingly complex legal transactions, sophisticated consumers, and the momentum of technology are putting pressures on the practice of law that only computer assistance can relieve. This compilation of notable news articles, scientific studies and legal scholarship highlights the progress of rights, responsibilities and roles of legal professionals and thinking machines.
Deans of Virginia University Libraries to Chairman Goodlatte: First Do No Harm in Copyright Revision
UVA Director of Information Policy Brandon Butler explains the implications of the Copyright Office plan to to issue a total rewrite of Section 108 of the Copyright Act and provides context on such a decision, which protects library and archives’ copying for preservation and research. Libraries and archives have said they do not want this, but the Office seems to be determined to do it. So, a group of Deans and Directors of Virginia university libraries has sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to ensure he realizes the controversy and context that surrounds the Office’s proposed changes. If you are a concerned library or librarian, consider writing your representative, especially if they sit on the Judiciary Committee.
Lyonette Louis-Jacques expertly guides us with this pathfinder on the research required to comprehensively address the frequently asked foreign and comparative law research question – how do I to find a country’s civil code?. A researcher might not know they need a civil code, but they often do. A civil code is the key to accessing all types of private law for many civil law jurisdictions. Modeled after the Code Napoléon or Code civil des Français (1804), a civil code usually contains laws relating to personal status, contracts, torts, “delict”, “obligations”, real and personal property, inheritance and succession, marriage, divorce, family, parent and child, private international law (conflict of laws/choice of law).
Marcus Zillman’s guide is a comprehensive listing of green resources and sites on the Internet. These focused actionable resources will assist researchers to discover many subject and topic specific sources published and maintained by sectors and groups including: private, public, NGO, and advocacy communities.
Ken Strutin’s article is a survey of legal scholarship and medical research concerning the study of pain and its significance for the administration of civil and criminal justice. The complexity of pain’s impact on each individual’s life is increasingly relevant in the context of the administration of civil and criminal justice. Strutin’s subject matter expertise in issues of law and justice is further articulated in this this article as he undertakes a timely review of an increasingly relevant issue that impacts the lives of defendants and complainants alike.
Sarah Glassmeyer’s article and infographic document and visualize her perspective on what access to justice means, who participates, and what aspects of it can be improved via technology
Ron Friedmann discusses the potential, likely and unlikely impact of high profile disruptive technologies on Big Law – including Bid Data. blockchain, AI and bots.
Jeff Roberts of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition raises the question of expanding free public access to court documents in Colorado. Specifically, he identifies the only location where a non-lawyer can view and request copies of all civil court documents from ICCES, the Integrated Colorado Courts E-Filing System. This location is the Colorado Supreme Court’s law library in the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center in downtown Denver. Fees and access to PACER have been the topic of discussion in the legal community for many years. The urgency of this discussion and a resolution that ensures free public access to court filings is critically dependent upon the future of court law libraries.
Criminal law expert Ken Strutin’s new article is yet another research tour de force – a collection of recent and notable developments concerning DNA as forensic science, metric of guilt, herald of innocence, and its emerging place in the debate over privacy and surveillance. The increasing use of DNA evidence to support assumptions of an individual’s guilt and less frequently as a tool to prove the innocence of prisoners wrongly convicted, reflects many facets of the changing fabric of the American criminal justice, the role of the Fourth Amendment and the increasing collection of a wide range of biological evidence from crime scenes whose metadata then is searchable within the national DNA database.