Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — April 14, 2014

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Anti-SLAPP Victory in Oregon: Anti-Telemarketing Blog Wins Big with Pro Bono Help

Here’s a hard fact about free speech: vindicating it in American courts takes either money (and lots of it), or lawyers willing to provide pro bono help. Right is right, and law is law, but court is court — and winning in court generally requires competent representation, which is ruinously expensive for normal people. It’s not fair, it’s not right, but it’s true.  Therefore the vitality of the First Amendment depends not just on the law, but on the service of lawyers like Troy Sexton of Motschenbacher & Blattner LLP in Portland, Oregon.

Charlotte School of Law Hosts Clinic for Victims of Beazer Homes

If you bought a home from Beazer Homes between August 2001 and August 2007, you may be eligible for restitution payments.  Charlotte School of Law students will hold a free clinic Saturday, April 26, to help home buyers who were victims of Beazer’s mortgage practices.

Drone Killing Policy Withstands Challenge

The Obama administration’s use of unmanned drones to kill terrorism suspects overseas has withstood its strongest legal challenge — a constitutional lawsuit by the father of a U.S. citizen slain by a missile strike in Yemen nearly three years ago.  The case was dismissed on Friday in a forty-one-page decision by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., Rosemary M. Collyer.  Her ruling can be appealed.

N.C. Sen. Dan Clodfelter Named Charlotte Mayor

State Sen. Dan Clodfelter was named mayor of Charlotte Monday night, replacing Patrick Cannon, who resigned nearly two weeks ago after his arrest on federal corruption charges.

ABA Survey Finds 10% of Lawyers Have Blogs: I’m Not Buying It

LexisNexis’ Frank Strong (@Frank_Strong), reporting from last week’s ABA TechShow shares that per an ABA Technology Survey, 10% of lawyers have blogs.  The survey goes further in finding that 27% of law firms have legal blogs.  On first glance I liked those numbers. That would be a heck of a lot of lawyers providing insight and commentary on the law.  But you need to take a step back and take a critical look.

Thom Tillis Gets Cash Boost in North Carolina Senate Fight

Thom Tillis, one of the Republicans running against Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina, raised $1.3 million in the first three months of the year, according to a person familiar with his totals.  The first-quarter fundraising haul – his best since entering the race last spring – comes as congressional Republicans rally around Mr. Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina House, ahead of a crowded May 6 primary.

61% of US Adults Don’t Keep Track of Their Money

In case you didn’t mark it on your calendar, April is Financial Literacy Month.  That’s 30 days dedicated to educating consumers about the contents of their wallets, spearheaded by nonprofit credit counseling agency Money Management International.  And why do we need an entire month of learning? A survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling gives us a clue.

Lawyer iPhone and iPad Accessories

One of my favorite parts of ABA TECHSHOW a few weeks ago was a presentation that Ben Stevens and I gave on March 27, 2014 called iGadgets and iGear for the iLawyer.  In that session, Ben and I talked about and showed off some of our favorite iPhone and iPad accessories.

Happy Birthday, Maya Angelou: The Beloved Author Recites Her Poem “Phenomenal Woman”

From her extraordinary autobiographies to her beautiful essays to her lesser-known children’s verses, Angelou has served as an inspiration to generations. To generations of women in particular, her poem “Phenomenal Woman,” found in the sublime and soul-lifting 1978 poetry volume And Still I Rise (public library), became an anthem of empowerment, and nowhere does it come to life more beautifully than as it pours out from Angelou’s own lips, who recites her iconic poem in this rare recording…

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10 Historic Bars Every Book Nerd Needs To Visit

Express your inner literary passion by drinking where the greats drank.

~Brooke Rideout~

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ariannarebolini/bars-every-book-nerd-needs-to-visit

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ALR Student’s Corner: Law and the Multiverse: Superheroes, Supervillains, and the Law

What Happens When Real Law is Applied to Superheroes and Supervillians?

Today, I am taking a look at a blog called Law and the Multiverse: Superheroes, Supervillains, and the Law. While fighting villains, Hulk breaks anything in his way, Superman throws Ironman through a building, and the Avengers destroy a train while trying to contain Hulk. Have you ever wondered who pays for all of that damage? Well, two lawyers who are clearly superhero enthusiasts started this blog in an attempt to answer that question.

You might be asking yourself, “Who would read a blog like this?” Well, the answer to that are legal practitioners or others interested in the law who are also comic book nerds who like superheroes and have wondered who is liable for the collateral damage once the superheroes have saved the world…again. The goal of the authors is to provide a forum where real legal principles can be applied to fun fact patterns for the purpose of explaining legal concepts. Judging by the large numbers of comments for each article, which are almost as important and informational as the articles themselves, there are many readers who enjoy learning about the law in this way.

If you are an avid reader of comic books, you may have noticed that the storylines sometimes include legal questions. In an effort to make the characters appear more realistic, the ingenious writers of comic books add sometimes subtle and sometimes blatant legal issues to the storylines for our amusement. For those who have an interest in the law behind these legal issues, this blog attempts to answer those legal questions using the fictional scenarios created in the superhero stories. If you are saying to yourself, “Who cares?” – this blog is likely not for you. But, for the rest of us comic book readers and superhero movie watchers, who recognize these legal issues and wonder how they would be resolved, here is a forum where those questions can be answered!

The authors of the blog are attorneys currently practicing in the fields of intellectual property and insurance. There is a disclaimer stating that the information contained in the blog is not legal advice or analysis, but merely legal discourse based on fictitious scenarios. Most often, when analyzing a legal issue on behalf of their Superhero clients, the authors consider laws from across the various jurisdictions, rather than rely on a single state’s laws.

The authors also analyze the charges against Supervillians for stealing intangibles, such as a Superhero’s powers. In one post, the authors consider criminal charges against Yashida were he successful in stealing Wolverine’s healing ability, particularly since, without it, Wolverine becomes mortal and faces the possibility of death. Ultimately, the authors determine that, in the very least, Yashida could be charged with some type of theft or assault depending on the jurisdiction, and could also be sentenced to life in prison. Assault is a possibility because Yashida would have to extract Wolverine’s claws and bone marrow in order to steal his powers and turn him mortal.

The authors post anywhere from two to twenty nine articles every month. Those articles are archived, and the archives are easily accessible on the right side of the home page. A reader can also navigate and browse the articles by legal category.

Readers can easily share articles and stay current with the most recent posts by clicking on the Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ icon. In each article, there are hyperlinks to internal resources, such as Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses, and external resources, which become very useful when the reader is not completely aware of what character or story the blog is referencing.

~ Jennifer Morgan, L’14 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of Against the Grain – A Book Review

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For many information professionals, copyright fascinates and confounds. Copyright is glossed over in many classes, and librarians struggle to find clear answers to questions that arise in their practice. In the early days of a career, it is easy to blame youth for your befuddlement, but as years pass it becomes more and more difficult to plead ignorance. I have turned to a number of resources, including books, seminars, and massive online open courses, but all have skimmed over practical issues. For many librarians, copyright is simply a hurdle, not a concept to be lingered over, and swift resolutions to imperative questions are invaluable. Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of Against the Grain by Laura N. Gasaway goes a long way in fulfilling that need.

Gasaway, a recognized expert on copyright, has been wrangling with copyright problems for fifteen years now, answering questions from readers in a regular column in Against the Grain, the periodical offshoot of the Charleston Conferences. In her column, she addresses her audience of librarians, publishers, teachers, and authors, clearing the fog and replacing it with clear practicalities, one query at a time.

In her new offering, these questions and answers have been curated, updated, organized, and reassembled, giving readers access, in a single work, to Gasaway’s experience and expertise that was before scattered throughout her columns. Gasaway covers all the usual suspects, including fair use rights, library reserves, licensing, interlibrary loan, preservation, software, and digitization. Question-and-answer pairings are organized into topical chapters, and the book finishes with an emerging issues chapter providing current content on timely subjects such as HathiTrust and the first sale doctrine.

Each chapter features a brief introduction that provides context, but the value of the text lies in her answers to each questioner’s specific needs. While this idiosyncrasy does make the book poorly suited for cover-to-cover reading, it is perfect for quick reference. Other popular copyright texts use the question-and-answer format to show applications of broad concepts, but since the questions posed in this book are wide-ranging and true to life, it effectively provides applicable answers to specific questions. Unfortunately, this also means that when looking for concrete answers, there is no guarantee that guidance for a given question is present between the covers.

In this case, a comprehensive and exhaustive index holds the key to unlocking the precious wisdom inside this book. This is a weakness of the book. While a primarily question-and-answer format leads you to believe that this work would be well-suited for novices, specialized vocabulary or specific portions of the Copyright Acts are often indexed instead of the words used by the questioner. Underutilized cross references again hinder those without a strong knowledge base, and while excellent term definitions and clear, concise summaries of concepts are repeatedly provided throughout the text, the index does not easily lead a reader to them. Not having comprehensive keyword references may seem to avoid redundancy, but instead it limits usability. Readers will not be approaching this text with exact replicas of existing questions, but instead will need to glean their own answers through a careful reading of answers to similar inquires. Because the language of exact inquires is not carefully indexed, an e-book version of this work would be preferable, allowing readers to perform keyword searches and thus work with whatever vocabulary they have on hand.

While the index and other minor inconsistencies keep Gasaway’s content from shining as brightly as it should, Gasaway deserves great praise for her work’s greatest strength: her ability to strike a balance between handing out specific advice and teaching readers strategies to navigate the treacherous waters around best practices and general guidelines. Guidelines and fair use do not lend themselves to cut-and-dry answers, making many copyright texts full of generalizations. However, Gasaway brilliantly teaches her lessons through examples, focusing not only on the use of best practices, but also on the importance of careful risk assessment. She reminds readers that copyright is rarely a firm line, unfortunate though it seems. Instead, application of copyright law is often nebulous. Gasaway’s well-balanced advice guides readers in making their own choices, weighing their options, and choosing to overcome their copyright hurdles the way that is most appropriate for them. In this role, Gasaway is truly a master of her craft.

~Ashley Moye~

This book review first appeared in 106 Law Libr. J. 108-109 (2014).

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — April 7, 2014

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Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Discusses What’s Next for Cannon

The Patrick Cannon corruption investigation is continuing to unfold as FBI investigators gather more evidence. Former Assistant  U.S. Attorney and current professor at Charlotte School of Law has perspective on how the cases work.  Former Assistant  U.S. Attorney Scott Broyles says the FBI could be looking into others involved in the case.  Broyles is taking questions from our viewers, too. He weighs in on why it took so long to arrest Cannon and why the feds didn’t do it before the election.

10 Tips to Help You Decide What Type of Law to Practice

Please welcome back Jeena Cho with a follow up to her excellent post, The Art of the Hustle. Today, Jeena’s sharing 10 tips that will help you decide what type of law you’d like to practice.

Microsoft Releases Word (and Excel and PowerPoint) for iPad

I’m at ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago right now, and the big news on Thursday was that Microsoft released a version of Word (and Excel, and PowerPoint) for the iPad.  I have been kicking the tires on this app since it was released Thursday afternoon, and I am incredibly impressed.  Unlike Microsoft Office Mobile for iPhone released last year, the new Word app for the iPad has virtually every feature that lawyers want to use.  Every attorney who uses an iPad will want to get this app.

Grit and the Secret of Success

“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work,” Chuck Close scoffed.“A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood,”Tchaikovsky admonished. “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too,” Isabel Allende urged. “You have to finish things,” Neil Gaiman advised aspiring writers. But while our cultural history may brim with creators who intuited the importance of doggedness in success, it wasn’t until recently that psychologists were able to ascertain the science behind this intuitive observation. We now know that genius-level excellence takes enormous dedication and that the impetus to reboot from autopilot is crucial to reaching such a level, but arguably the most significant work in the field comes from pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth, who came up with the notion of “grit” — that very doggedness essential for success — and went on to receive a MacArthur Genius grant for her research.

The Lives and Deaths of Academic Library Staplers

This project was created by Jason Vance, librarian and assistant professor, to document the destruction of public staplers through their general use at the reference desk of Middle Tennessee State University’s James E. Walker Library.

Cited Today in Federal Court in Alabama: “literally as I say zombies”

In a decision dated today, March 31, 2014, the Federal Court in Alabama denied the death row petition of Bobby Wayne Waldrop, convicted of the murder of his grandparents in the late 1990s.  Today’s opinion is signed by Judge W. Keith Watkins, for the Middle District of Alabama, Eastern Division.

Library Consortium Tests Interlibrary Loans of e-Books

Duke University’s libraries lend printed books to students and faculty members at other institutions all the time via interlibrary loan. But the university’s 900,000 e-books are off limits to anyone beyond the campus…But lending e-books may soon get easier. This spring a pilot project called Occam’s Reader will test software custom-built to make it both easy and secure for libraries to share e-book files while keeping publishers happy—or so the software’s creators hope.

Libraries Test a Model for Setting Monographs Free

Librarians love to get free books into the hands of scholars and students who need them. Publishers love it when their books find readers—but they also need to cover the costs of turning an idea into a finished monograph. Now a nonprofit group called Knowledge Unlatched is trying out a new open-access model designed to make both librarians and publishers happy.

North Carolina Sorts Out Consequences of LLC Charging Orders

Courts continue to struggle with the effects of LLC charging orders. In a recent North Carolina case the question was whether the grant of a charging order constituted an assignment of the member’s interest and caused him to lose his management rights while the order was in effect.First Bank v. S & R Grandview, L.L.C., No. COA 13-838, 2014 WL 846671 (N.C. Ct. App. Mar. 4, 2014). The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, and held that the charging order did not carry out an assignment of the member’s interest and that the member retained his management rights.

8 Book Historians, Curators, Specialists and Librarians Who Are Killing It Online

When I was a research curator at the New York Public Library, I learned a valuable lesson: unfettered access and Boolean logic will only get you so far. You need someone on the inside. The specialists who work behind locked doors in temperature controlled archives don’t just know their collections – they love them.  And when we love something, how do we show it? We’re protective, of course, but we’re far too excited to keep it a secret. We post the best pictures of the object of our affection online, replete with the wittiest, most informative captions we can think of. We celebrate and tease in a way that only we can, because we know them best, and we care the most.

Federal Judge Rules Voter ID Correspondence, Emails Are Public Records

The North Carolina legislative leaders who led the crafting of the state’s new voter ID law will have to turn over some of their correspondence and email messages to voters and organizations challenging the wide-ranging amendments, according to a federal court ruling.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake issued a ruling on Thursday that addresses an attempt by lawmakers to quash subpoenas seeking email, correspondence and other documents exchanged while transforming the state’s voting process.

Reason to Celebrate: NC Beer Month

Poet T. S. Eliot said, “April is the cruelest month,” and he’s right. Here in North Carolina, April is N.C. Beer Month and it’s exceptionally cruel because I don’t have the ability to make it to all of the fantastic beer events – dinners, tastings, festivals, weekends and smorgasbords – going on across the state. Here’s a list of just a few of the events you can take in whether you find yourself thirsty on the coast, in the Piedmont, in the mountains or in one of our great cities.

Saxophonist Serenades Harry Reid in Senate

Few would confuse the august hallways of the Senate with a jazz club, but it briefly sounded like one on Thursday.  Saxophonist Mindi Abair serenaded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) with the George Gershwin tune “Summertime” after bumping into the top Senate Democrat in the hallway Thursday.

The Absolutely True Diary of Real-Time Book Censorship

In February 2014, a grandparent in Meridian, Idaho filed a formal complaint with the school district against including Sherman Alexie’s multiple-award winning YA novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in curriculum being taught to sophomores in a public high school. (The grandparent apparently took issue with the “cursing and sexual references” in Alexie’s highly acclaimed story about the life of a modern Native American teen.)  The complaint led to a public meeting of the school board on April 1st to discuss the issue and ultimately vote on whether or not to keep the book, which has been on “hold” since February, as part of the school’s supplemental curriculum.  This is not the first time Alexie’s work has been on the chopping block (you can read just a couple of examples here and here), and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but it IS the first time I saw with my very own eyes this kind of book censorship unfold in real time – thanks to a librarian on Twitter who believes in the power of public discourse.

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Resources for Professional Responsibility Courses and the MPRE

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If you are taking or preparing to take a Professional Responsibility course and/or the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), there are many helpful resources and materials at your fingertips.

The Charlotte School of Law Library has a number of professional responsibility treatises, legal periodicals, study aids, and more.  A part of the CSL Research Guide collection, Professional Responsibility outlines and describes the print treatises and e-books available to CSL students, faculty, and staff.  This collection includes major treatises, such as the Model Rules and the Restatement; study aids, including volumes from the Nutshell series; and several other popular resources.  This Guide also includes links to the CSL catalog, where users can click into full-text journals and electronic databases and search for items and articles of interest.*  The Carolinas tab includes jurisdiction-specific resources for present and future practitioners of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Another CSL Research Guide, Academic Success: Professional Responsibility, includes a listing of study materials, including Emanuel Outlines, CrunchTime, E&Es, Barbri Review, Q&As, and more.  It also provides a brief description of the different types of study aids so you can determine what may work best for you.  These items are available for check out in the CSL Law Library.

CSL students also have access to West’s Study Aids Subscription, which has 13 different e-books on the topic of legal ethics and professional responsibility.  A link to those Study Aids is available on your Westlaw homepage.  You may search by keyword or browse by subject.

Finally, on the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) MPRE website, studiers can view NCBE tips on preparing for the MPRE, a subject matter outline of the MPRE, sample test questions from the MPRE, and more.

*Off-campus access to these electronic journals and databases requires a username and password.  Your username is your Last Name, First Name (e.g., Reid, Shannon), and your password is your Library Bar Code Number, which is located on the sticker on the back of your ID badge.

~Shannon Reid~

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ALR Student’s Corner: Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Check out Real Lawyers Have Blogs for the Scoop on Social Media and the Legal Community

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Real Lawyers Have Blogs is a legal technology blog authored by Kevin O’Keefe, LexBlog’s CEO and publisher. Through this blog, Mr. O’Keefe encourages law firms to engage in online community building and business development. His posts often stem from Twitter discussions with legal professionals, as Mr. O’Keefe is a frequent tweeter himself.

The content on the blog suggests that its target audience is law firms and lawyers. The posts on the blog widely discuss issues related to lawyers and law firms and their involvement in the online community. For example, the blog discussions range from what lawyers should put in their online profiles to what clients expect in those profiles to what lawyers think about other lawyers who use social media.  Real Lawyers Have Blogs also provides great resources like blog posts about the 10 most popular stories Tweeted during the week and a section on the “Top 10 in Law Blogs,” each providing hyperlinks to the named external blogs.  Real Lawyers Have Blogs lets its users access much of its information through internal and external hyperlinks.

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Real Lawyers Have Blogs also allows its users to stay connected through various social networking sites, including Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Additionally, followers may subscribe to all posts via RSS feed or email. The blog organizes its older posts by month and year. For instance, if a user goes to the “Archives” and selects October 2013 from the drop-down menu, she gets all of the posts from the month of October 2013, starting with the most recent one. The “Archives” goes back 10 years to October 2003.  There are only three posts from that oldest archive, versus the near daily posts of the October 2013 archive, demonstrating the substantial growth of the blog and its readership over the past decade.

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Below the day’s blog posting, there is a section that displays other blog posts authored by Kevin O’Keefe. This area displays the date posted, the name of the original host site for the blog post, a link for further reading of the post’s full text, and a link to the comments posted. To the right of this section, Mr. O’Keefe populates the page with additional articles that would interest lawyers plugged into the online community.  Some of those articles are collected in a section entitled “Best In Law Blogs” which provides a featured blog article, its date and author, and a hyperlink to the “Best In Law Blog Archives” for additional reading. Additional articles can be found in sections entitled “Events” and “New to the Network,” each with its own archives. The format of these sections is clear and easy to read. The information provided here is also a good source of reference for users who enjoy following Mr. O’Keefe’s blogs.

The contact information (address, fax, and phone) for Real Lawyers Have Blogs is at the base of the home page, along with hyperlinks to the blog’s privacy policy and disclaimer information. At the bottom of the blog, there is a great feature that allows readers to quickly access the best and most read blog articles via hyperlink from “Best of Real Lawyers Have Blogs,” “Latest Across LXBN,” and “Most Read.”

There are several ways that users can participate in the blog’s community, particularly those who have mastered the use of social media.  They can post questions or comments through LexBlog or simply fill out the required fields and send their questions or comments from the blog’s home page. A user may also click the “LinkedIn Discussion Group” button to participate in the blog’s community via LinkedIn, or “Like” the blog on Facebook.

Lawyers and law firms alike should keep abreast of the to-dos within the social media community by staying connected to Real Lawyers Have Blogs via Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, RSS feed, or email. Doing so will give lawyers an edge on social media use within the legal profession.

~ Shantel Tatem, L’14 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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