Tag Archives: lawyers

Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — September 15, 2014

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NYPL Sees Success with #Ireadeverywhere Initiative

On August 5, the New York Public Library (NYPL) launched a social media initiative using the hashtag #Ireadeverywhere. Participants post pictures of themselves on social media reading something—books, e-readers, magazines—in whatever location they want using the designated hashtag.

Lawyer Forms a National Group to Link Food Truck Associations

In 2009, Matt Geller got a call from a friend who was part of the burgeoning Los Angeles food truck industry. The truck had been shut down for violating a local ordinance requiring bathroom access, and his friend was losing thousands of dollars.  Geller, a 2008 UCLA School of Law graduate, wasn’t a practicing lawyer (he wanted to pursue politics), but he had years of experience in the restaurant business and had also done a summer in a city councilman’s office.  Eventually, Geller determined that the shutdown order was bogus—and that bogus enforcement was common. “I got together with some food truck operators and listened to their stories, and they were all pretty bad,” Geller says. “There were regulations that were being enforced that no longer existed.”  And suddenly Geller was a leader in the food truck movement.

What Happened to the Information Removed from PACER?

UNC has compiled the following to let you know how you would access the information previously available, but now removed, from PACER. We include below both the information for requesting the information directly from the courts affected and also availability of information on commercial databases.

Why Everyone should Read Harry Potter

Tales of the young wizard instill empathy, a study finds

Do Stand Up Comedians Take Knowledge Management More Seriously than the Average Lawyer?

Apparently Milton Berle and George Carlin had also developed sophisticated systems for organizing and retrieving their jokes. Bob Hope had what was called a “joke vault.” Lawyers like stand up comics live by their wits and have to be prepared with their “best material” in every context. The average 21st Century lawyer has the advantage of access to sophisticated technology, yet they remain largely adverse to contributing even the most basic descriptive  attributes (e.g. a meaningful  title beyond the word “memo” or ” contract”)  for documents they may have invested weeks in drafting.

Despite Higher Costs, Charlotte Streetcar Moves Ahead

Despite concerns over escalating costs, the Charlotte City Council on Monday approved a plan to build a $150 million streetcar extension, with the federal government to pay for half of the cost if the city secures a grant.

What Apple’s Changing After Massive Celeb Hack

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke with the Wall Street Journal about some changes the company is making in response to the massive celeb hacking of 2014.

Top Signs You Are a Gunner

Are you a gunner? Here’s a Bitter Lawyer reference guide to help determine if you are one—or to confirm the gunner status of any Eugenes in your professional or personal life.

Montaigne and the Double Meaning of Meditation

“There is no exercise that is either feeble or more strenuous … than that of conversing with one’s own thoughts.”

A Neutral Guide to Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality has been the topic of intense conversation recently, as the FCC solicits and considers public comments about how to regulate Internet traffic. We’ve put together the overview below to help you understand the issues and players that influence the way we use the Internet daily for business, research, entertainment, and social activities.

Two Top Democrats Push Back against FCC’s Net Neutrality Plan

Two senior congressional Democrats have taken steps to push back against the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality plan, bringing high-profile opposition to the proposal by President Barack Obama’s top telecommunications regulator.

Caffeine: The Silent Killer of Success

This week’s tip for improving your performance is the most simple and straightforward method I’ve provided thus far. For many people, this tip has the potential to have a bigger impact than any other single action. The catch? You have to cut down on caffeine, and as any caffeine drinker can attest, this is easier said than done.

In Cheeky Pushback, Colleges Razz Rate My Professors

The Internet can be a nasty place, as academics know well from Rate My Professors. … Many professors assail the website and anything that might give it credence. But at least some faculty members have recently concluded that the best way to challenge the site and its unsubstantiated ratings is to mock it without mercy.  Lehigh University became the latest institution to use the website as fodder for comedy. Taking a cue from a popular late-night comedy trope in which celebrities read cruel tweets about them, Lehigh filmed faculty members reading negative comments about themselves from Rate My Professors, and posted the videos online.

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — April 21, 2014

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Law Professor on Cannon’s Search & Seizure Warrant Receipts

Guns, cash, bank statements and computers – just some of the items taken from Ex-Mayor Patrick Cannon’s home, office and business.  How will this evidence play out in court? Former Assistant District Attorney and Charlotte School of Law professor Mindy Sanchez says the briefcase will be the most crucial piece of evidence in the case for the prosecution.  Sanchez is also taking a look at how the FBI is linking the serial numbers on the cash to the bribery charges.

Things You Never Hear Successful People Say

Why are some people more successful than others? Why some feel accomplished while others feel like they are stuck in career rut? The answer is – their vocabulary. Though, granted, your vocabulary is heavily dependent on your mentality and the way you see your life, both personal and professional.  Here are the things you will probably never hear successful people say and the reasons why that’s the case.

What the Heck is Boolean Searching?

A quick explanation of Boolean keyword searching. Make your searches more effective!

Geocache: The Word that Won Scrabble’s New-Word Contest Is Totally Useless in Scrabble

When Hasbro last week revealed the 16 finalists in its add-a-word-to-Scrabble contest, devotees of geocaching—the game in which people hunt for hidden treasures using GPS-enabled devices—noticed that geocache was among the contenders…

Will the Reason for My Termination Turn Up in a Background Check?

A reader left this question in the comments to my post Loss Prevention is Lying to You.  Hey Donna, would you know if for example LP fired a person from a company, would other companies that person applies for be able to see everything that happened between him and the company he got fired from?  One of the very common statements I hear is, “I know they aren’t allowed to say that in a reference.” This statement usually comes from someone who is shocked (shocked!) to find out that their former employer gave them a very bad reference. Many people think employers can only give out dates of employment and job titles.  That’s dead wrong. At least here in Florida, an employer can say pretty much any darned thing they want in a reference. There’s a statute saying that employers can’t be sued for giving truthful information in a reference here and in many other states.

Observer Cartoonist Kevin Siers Wins Pulitzer Prize

Editorial cartoonist Kevin Siers, who for the past quarter century has skewered political egos across the Carolinas with the soft tip of a paintbrush, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize Monday.

The Authors Guild Files Brief in Google Books Appeal & Proposes That Congress Establish a National Digital Library

The Authors Guild proposes that Congress establish a collective management organization, similar to ASCAP, to license digital rights to out-of-print books. Authors, publishers and other rights holders would be paid for the use of their works, and they would have the right to exclude their books from any or all uses. The collective management organization’s authority would be strictly limited, however. It would not license e-book or print book rights (only the author or other rights holder could do that), and it wouldn’t collect its administrative fee until it paid the rights holder.

Stephen Colbert’s Best Bookish Moments

It was announced last week that Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report will be taking over The Late Show after David Letterman retires. While I’m sure he’ll do a great job, this news kind of gives me a sad. The Colbert Report is so smart and funny and whenever it’s off the air for more than three days I start going into withdrawals. Now it will be off the air forever! Where am I going to get my sharply sarcastic commentary on literature and art?  Fortunately, videos of the show will remain on the internet for a while (hopefully), so we can all go back and watch our favorite moments, like when Stephen makes fun of books. This happens A LOT. We’ve already covered his best author interviews, but here are a few skits that were played just for laughs, and brilliantly done.

Amazon Buys ComiXology, the Biggest Digital Comics Retailer

It might not be as exciting as flying robot delivery drones, but Amazon’s latest announcement is the purchase of digital comics retailer comiXology. If you’re not familiar with it,comiXology is a digital storefront for comics from almost every publisher. Once users buy their comics, they can read them online or through the iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire apps. ComiXology is the most-used platform for digital comics and was one of the top 20 highest grossing apps on iTunes last year. So it’s not really a surprise Amazon wanted to snatch them up.

5 LinkedIn Privacy Tips Every Lawyer Should Know

Elyse Hackney (@ecoopers), a customer success executive at Hearsay Social, recently shared 5 LinkedIn privacy tips for financial advisors. After I shared her tips on Twitter, Hackney was kind enough to allow me to share, liberally, her advice with you.  Like financial services, the legal profession places a premium on privacy. At the same time, lawyers ought not be so protective so as to be invisible and ineffective networking on LinkedIn.  Here’s five LinkedIn privacy settings you ought to take a look at…

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — March 17, 2014

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Want a Better Work/Life Balance?  How to Spend More Time Chilling When You’re Done Billing

As any practicing lawyer learns within about a week of beginning her career, the concept of the work/life balance is sort of a fiction. Practically speaking, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to achieve any sort of actual, equal balance between your life and your work.

SCOTUSblog Internship

The principal focus of the internship (which is a paid one) will be assisting Tom with the “Petition of the day” and “Petitions to watch” features on the blog and maintaining the case pages. This will require roughly ten to twenty hours of work a week on a flexible work schedule, which can be accomplished remotely.  The position will begin in April, and the expected commitment would be through December 2014.

Historians Unravel the Mystery of Cryptic Lincoln Note

Historians believe they’ve unraveled the mystery of a cryptic note Lincoln penned that doesn’t identify the recipient by name and has a section clipped out. Researchers at the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project concluded Lincoln was writing to an ally to ask him to maintain a secret relationship with a political insider during the 1860 election campaign. Lincoln asked his cohort to “keep up a correspondence” with the person. The use of that phrase gave researchers their best clue. They ran it through a searchable database they are compiling of Lincoln’s papers and found several matches.

IRS Produces YouTube Video for Same-Sex Couples

The Internal Revenue Service has created a new video for YouTube that aims to provide useful tax tips for married same-sex couples.  The video is the latest addition to the IRS’s YouTube channel containing short instructional videos covering more than 100 topics, ranging from tips for victims of identity theft to taking advantage of the new simplified home office deduction. The videos have been viewed more than 5 million times.

Why Edward Snowden Chose SXSW for His First Live Video Appearance

Edward Snowden isn’t ready to come back to the U.S. in person yet, but on Monday, he will be here virtually. The NSA whistleblower will be on a South by Southwest panel with his lawyer, Ben Wizner, and ACLU technologist Chris Soghoian. Every news network in the world is salivating for a one-on-one interview with Snowden, but he instead chose to talk to a room full of technophiles in Austin.

Magna Carta is Coming to the Library of Congress

Today, the Library of Congress announced officially that Magna Carta is coming to the Library!  Lincoln Cathedral inLincoln, England, is loaning the Library its exemplification of a 1215 King John Magna Carta.  The historical document will be part of the exhibition, Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor, which opens November 6, 2014 and continues through January 19, 2015.  The Law Library’s very own Nathan Dorn is the curator for the exhibition.

12 Historic Bars Every Book Nerd Needs to Visit

Channel your inner literary lush by drinking where the greats drank.

U-M Law Student Diana Peloquin Talks about Her Win on ‘Jeopardy!’

U-M law and social work grad student Diana Peloquin played David to “Jeopardy!”‘s most recent incarnation of Goliath, 11 time champion Arthur Chu, on an episode that aired Wednesday night.

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Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln — The Epic Struggle to Get the 13th Amendment Passed by Congress

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Abraham Lincoln understood that neither the Emancipation Proclamation nor the end of the Civil War would be enough to abolish slavery; hence, the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution would have to be enacted in order to outlaw the ownership of slaves.

Amendment XIII

Section 1.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Lincoln believed that ending the Civil War would not guarantee an end of slavery and believed a permanent legal solution would be necessary. Lincoln proposed adding the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but knew there would be political resistance to getting this law approved by Congress. The majority of the movie dealt with Lincoln’s struggle to get the 13th Amendment enacted and passed by the U.S. Congress. Much of the deal making to get enough votes to pass this amendment to the Constitution was well documented in Doris Kern’s book, A Team of Rivals and was incorporated into the script of the movie. What humor there was in this film was based on all the deal making tactics that Lincoln’s surrogates used to get various politicians to vote for the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Spielberg’s Lincoln tried to show Lincoln as a real man, a realist and as a real politician. In a New York Times’ movie review written by A.O. Scott, the author says that “the legislative process-the linchpin of our system of checks and balances-is often treated with lofty contempt masquerading as populist indignation, an attitude typified by the aw-shucks antipolitics of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. (N.Y.Times, A.O. Scott, November 8, 2012)

Roger Ebert, the movie critic, gave this movie a 4 star rating and I too would give the movie a high rating because of the excellent script written by Kushner, as well as the terrific cinematography done by Janusz Kaminski and good acting performances given by Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones and Daniel Day-Lewis. The movie is rated PG-13 and lasts for 149 minutes, which could be a little long for some children.  Buy some popcorn and enjoy this legal thriller.

~Jane Fraytet~

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From Law Office to Oval Office

Every four years, Americans go to the polls to elect the individual who will serve as our chief executive officer, commander in chief of the armed forces, head of state, and who, since the Truman administration, is known by the acronym, POTUS – President of the United States.  These individuals have brought numerous skills and diverse experiences to our highest office.  These experiences have included: architect, soldier, diplomat, Secretary of State, governor, postmaster, ordained Minister, school teacher, sheriff, journalist, U.S. Solicitor General, judge and vice president of the United States.

Significantly, of our 44 presidents (if one counts Grover Cleveland twice), there have been 25 individuals who were lawyers before becoming presidents, including William Howard Taft who became Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court after he served as President.  In addition to Taft, who argued before justices he had appointed, seven other lawyer-presidents have appeared before the United States Supreme Court.  The most recent lawyer-president to do so was Richard Nixon when he argued the case of Time v. Hill in 1966.

Some individuals actively practiced law.  John Adams combined a lengthy career as an attorney with major contributions to the founding of a new nation.  His son, John Quincy Adams, successfully argued that the kidnapped and sold-as-slaves Africans should be treated as free men and released in Amistad [Part of our audio/visual collection available on display].   Rutherford Hayes and Benjamin Harrison handled several high profile cases, including sensational murder trials.   Abraham Lincoln was involved in more than 5000 cases, spanning his 25 year career.   He was also a postmaster and a captain in the Black Hawk war.  Lincoln was a skilled draftsman.  He utilized this skill in crafting a legally binding executive order, the Emancipation Proclamation.

Some presidents studied the law to further political aspirations.  Some, such as Lincoln and James Garfield, set their own course of study and read the law before being admitted to the bar.  Garfield is better known as a teacher, college professor and president, soldier, congressman and a Minister of the Disciples of Christ.  Others took the more traditional approach and attended law schools.  President Gerald Ford, in fact, attended three including a summer spent at the University of North Carolina School of Law.  Norman Gross has profiled the men who were both lawyers and president of the United States in his treatise,  America’s Lawyer-Presidents: From Law Office to Oval Office [Available at on display - Call No. KF353 .A46 2004 ]

Test your knowledge of America’s Lawyer-Presidents by taking the quiz sponsored by the American Bar Association.

 – Susan Catterall -

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