Category «United States Law»

Does 3D Printing Pose a Challenge to the Patent System?

3D printing is a growth market – for vendors, consumers, and for public libraries (providing them in combination with maker spaces – “a shared work area where people build things collaboratively.”) Within the sphere of this innovative technology there is growing recognition that 3D printing can produce objects covered by specific particular patents. This new area of copyright infringement is the focus of Alan Rothman’s article.

Subjects: Copyright, Intellectual Property

Bens Guide to the U.S. Government: Free, Educational Content from GPO for Children and Adults of all Ages

Kelly Seifert gives us a tour of Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government, a service of the U.S. Government Publishing Office that presents educational content for children and adults of all ages on the workings of the U.S. Government and U.S. history, with a focus on civics. Recently redesigned, the site features all new site content, a device-friendly infrastructure, and a modernized look and feel that has been optimized for an intuitive learning experience.

Subjects: Business Research, Government Resources, Library Marketing, Reference Resources, Search Engines

Solitary Confinement: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Ken Strutin’s article surveys notable legal developments, new scholarship, and recent scientific research concerning the administration and effects of solitary confinement. Strutin describes solitary confinement as punishment’s punishment. He states that solitary is where the mind is worn out by pacing the same floor, viewing the same walls, tuning in to the same sounds without relief. He documents how extreme isolation has devastating psychological and physical consequences, collectively described as “SHU syndrome.” Strutin delivers illumination to the heart of legal challenges and legislative reforms now supported by an expanding body of research into the harmfulness of prolonged human isolation.

Subjects: Civil Liberties, Criminal Law, Legal Research

Bitcoin Derivatives – Independent Study Report

Financial analyst Ryan Davis describes the landscape of exchanges based in and outside of the U.S. that have begun to offer trading in bitcoin derivatives. TeraExchange completed the first bitcoin derivative trade on a regulated exchange in the U.S. on October 8, 2014 with its Bitcoin Non-Deliverable Forward (NDF) contracts. More recently, LedgerX has submitted applications to become the first regulated bitcoin options exchange in the U.S. Additionally, some exchanges are based outside of the U.S. but may have significant customer bases in the U.S. Bitcoin derivatives offered on these exchanges include futures, forwards, and options.

Subjects: Government Resources, Legal Technology

A Matter of Trust: Why the Time is Right to Adopt the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA) in Florida

In this article, Law Librarian Patricia Morgan brings our attention to a group of prominently related issues on electronic legal research whose application are critical for attorneys, librarians and courts. In an era where cost-cutting has become increasingly important, there already exists an untapped resource related to legal research. More and more resources exist online (some exclusively). It has been a long time since the introduction of the Internet, but it is finally going to prove instrumental in reducing the cost of legal research. It is time to come to terms with the fact that most legal material should be readily available electronically and that there must be a way to verify that the material is authentic. As Morgan queries and answers – Uniform Law, Anyone?

Subjects: Government Resources, Legal Education, Legal Research, Legal Technology, LEXIS, Online Legal Research Services, Westlaw

Wearable tech data as evidence in the courtroom

Nicole Black discusses how data downloaded from wearable technology has entered into the discovery phase of personal injury cases. A wealth of data can be collected about the direct activities of individuals who are using wearable devices while exercising, as well as conducting routine and regular activities such as walking. The implications of this concept may have considerable implications on par with those pertaining to the use of social media.

Subjects: Courts & Technology, E-Discovery, Mobile Technology, Social Media

Vermonts Legislature is Considering Support for Blockchain Technology and Smart Contracts

Bitcoin is a significant disruptive technology with a growing impact on the financial sector and legal sectors, around the world. Alan Rothman expertly educates us on new legislation from Vermont that is intended to move the state towards using blockchain technology for “records, smart contracts and other applications”. One of the key distinctions Rothman highlights is that Vermont is not in any manner approving or adopting Bitcoin, but rather, the state is diversifying and adapting the underlying blockchain technology that supports it.

Subjects: Business Research, Intellectual Property, Internet Trends, Legal Education, Legal Technology, Legislative, Technology Trends

Animal Rights on the Road to Personhood

Ken Strutin’s paper addresses a seminal issue that has been an integral part of the personal and collective ethic of diverse peoples around the world. As Strutin states, when life is classified biologically, it is also defined legally. Thus is formed the tension between the natural and juridical worlds. Whether animal rights can ever fall within the ambit of personhood will depend as much on the findings of cognitive science as on the evolution of legal remedies. Indeed, the foundations for nonhuman personhood are being laid in a growing body of litigation and scholarship at the borderlands of science and civil justice.

Subjects: Animals and the Law, Ethics, Human Rights, Legal Ethics, Legal Research

Cut and Paste Opinions: A Turing Test for Judicial Decision-Making

Ken Strutin argues that cut-and-paste is a laudable method for reducing transcription errors in copying citations and quotations. However, he identifies that a problem arises when it is used to lift verbatim sections of a party’s arguments into a case decision. Stipulations and proposed orders from counsel for both parties might be enviable and practicable, but judgment and fact-finding are solely in the province of the court. This has been a long standing issue that has spanned technologies from shears and paste-pot to typewriters and computers, and which might culminate in a Turing Test for case law.

Subjects: Case Management, Court Resources, Courts & Technology, KM, Legal Profession

Recent Visualization Projects Involving US Law and The Supreme Court

Examples of the use of visualizations and graphical representations of data and documents in the legal arena are increasing. Alan Rothman’s article includes examples from the public and private sectors as well as academia.

Subjects: Court Resources, Courts & Technology, Intellectual Property, Privacy
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