Tag Archives: Technology

A Competent Lawyer Will Keep Current with Technology

Recently the American Bar Association revised its model rules, specifically addressing the need for an attorney to keep current with advances in technology.  The change in rules was proposed by the ABA’s Commission on Ethics 20/20 and was adopted during the annual meeting, held in Chicago, August 2-7. The affected Model Rule 1.1 speaks to the importance of an attorney understanding the “benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.”   As stated in the Report to the ABA House of Delegates, “[A] lawyer would have difficulty providing competent legal services in today’s environment without knowing how to use email or create an electronic document.”

The impetus behind the changes had everything to do with developing a set of guidances to assist attorneys in not only representing their clients, but in understanding how to maintain the confidentiality which corresponds to competent representation.  The American Bar Association has made practice resources available through its Legal Technology Resource Center.  Its Law Practice Management Section’s eLawyering Task Force has also provided resources.  The amended Model Rules have rounded back and have now imposed a duty on attorneys to embrace technology.

So how has Charlotte School of Law addressed the need to remain knowledgeable regarding technology and the practice of law?  In July, the library staff conducted two student focus groups which addressed how students were accessing legal resources.  Another purpose of the focus groups, moderated by Adjunct Professor and Reference Librarian, Cory Lenz, was to ascertain which legal apps students were accessing through mobile phones and tablet technology.  This evaluation has been continued into the fall semester by the Advanced Legal Research class.  As part of the class, every ALR student is evaluating a specific legal research app and will post the evaluation to the CSL Library blog.  So watch this space!  In the interim, please take a look at the “There’s an App for That”  research guide, created by Metadata & Serials Librarian, Ashley Moye, and available on the Library’s electronic resource page.

~ Susan Catterall ~

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Hidden Treasures: SciTech Lawyer

Welcome back to CharlotteLaw, dear students and faculty.  Now that orientation is complete and the spring semester is in full swing, its time again… to take moment to shine the spotlight on one of the many legal periodicals Charlotte Law has to offer!

Is it science and technology that fascinates you?  The SciTech Lawyer, a quarterly publication by the American Bar Association Section of Science & Technology Law, provides information about current developments at the intersection of law, science, medicine, and technology.

The mission of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law is to provide leadership on emerging issues at the intersection of law, science, and technology, to promote sound policy and public understanding on such issues and to enhance the professional development of its members.

This Section is widely recognized and sought after as the premier global authority on science and technology law.  The ABA, external organizations, and individuals routinely consult with the Section’s leaders for their expertise and insights.  The Section is viewed by ABA, the media, policymakers, judges, scientists, and technologists as the authoritative voice on science and technology law.

Charlotte Law’s print collection for this title has issues tracing back to its first volume, published in 2004, all the way to the present.  Not only does this journal feature articles on cutting edge controversies and events in the science and technology realm, but it also includes annual meeting session summaries and the B-Tech and E-Tech updates, quarterly columns with coverage of topics such as epigenetics and jailbreaking cellphones.

Here’s a selection of articles published in the latest issue, How the Earth Is Changing Environmental Law.  Online versions are available to Section members.

Reflections on the Deepwater Horizon Incident
Industry is responding to the spill by accelerating the engineering, construction, and deployment of equipment designed to improve capabilities to contain a potential future underwater blowout, and the government is finalizing new response plan standards to greatly enhance the ability to respond to a blowout in the future.
By Jonathan K. Waldron

The Gulf Oil Spill: Social Versus Legal Obligations Facing BP
Our society faces the task of recouping the costs of the oil spill. One must recognize, however, that any such efforts involve losses to BP’s shareholders. Our sense of fairness tempts us to ignore the desires of shareholders when thinking about how to deal with this disaster, but the law is on their side.
By Dr. Jean Helwege

Breaking New Ground: Legal Responses to the Challenges of Modern Mining
Modern hardrock mining operations produce metals and minerals on a vastly larger scale than in the past. As the methods and scale of mining have evolved, governments have varied their attempts to adapt legal and regulatory systems. This article examines three case studies demonstrating how legal systems have responded to modern mining.
By Paul E. Bailey, Elizabeth McCullough, Kerry Schlichting, and Terry Unger

Climate Change Law: Standards to Quantify, Monitor, Report, and Verify
There are two primary mechanisms involved with how businesses and organizations, responding to mandatory or voluntary climate change requirements, can adopt standards to quantify, monitor, report, and verify their greenhouse gas emissions and reduction/removal activities. This article discusses the use of international standards and independent verification.
By Thomas Shaw

The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Addressing International Climate Change
Governments around the world are increasingly cognizant of the need to develop policies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. All parties must benefit for an effective solution to the climate change problem to come to fruition.
By Sherin M. Rashedi

Who Owns Your Genes? The Myriad Genetics’ Breast Cancer Gene Patent Dispute
On March 29, 2010, a court in the Southern District of New York invalidated certain patents issued to Myriad Genetics, Inc., relating to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genes on the grounds that the genes were nonpatentable subject matter. This article describes the general background of the issues raised by this case, commonly referred to as Myriad Genetics.
By Angela Foster

Our latest issue is always on display in the popular journals area near reference and circulation and older issues are filed in the periodicals compact shelving.  Link to our catalog record at http://catalog.fcsl.edu/record=b377610 to see detailed holdings information and feel free to peruse our periodicals collection if you’re interested in the older print issues.  And as always, happy reading!!!

- Ashley Moye -

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*New* Charlotte School of Law Video Tour

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Public Interest 2.0 – Upcoming EJW Conference & Job Fair

The Equal Justice Works Conference & Job Fair, in Bethesda, MD, is coming up!  The EJW Conference & Job Fair is an excellent opportunity for public interest-minded law students to network, interview and learn about the latest happenings in the public sphere.  This year the conference is geared towards “Public Interest 2.0.” This year’s featured speaker is Professor Laurence Tribe, Senior Counselor, Access to Justice, Department of Justice , and is aimed at promoting “community, technology and collaboration. Throughout the conference, we are focusing on the creative ways that technology can be used to help build a stronger, more informed and vibrant public interest community. How is technology impacting the ways in which public interest law students are building community on campuses? How is social media being used to help with job searches? How is technology helping to build leadership for the future? These are just some of the topics that have been integrated into conference sessions, providing valuable opportunities for you to share what’s happening on your campus.”

On a side note, I went to the EJW Conference & Job Fair when I was in law school, and highly recommend it for those of you who have a significant interest in working in the public interest sector after graduation.  You will have the opportunity to meet a lot of people practicing in various public divisions, as well as go to presentations designed to address issues specific to public interest concerns and challenges.  I encourage you to seek out Sean Lew, Assistant Professor of Pro Bono, Charlotte School of Law, if you have any questions or need more information.  There is no charge for CSL students to register (through Career Services/Symplicity) but you would to be responsible for their own transportation to DC and overnight stay.

- Liz McCurry -

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CSL Mobile Reference

AIMJoin our Friends List: We’re available at CSLReference


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Top Five Myths Dispelled about Law Library Orientation

“I heard someone has TWEN access already! I need TWEN, Westlaw and Lexis access now!”

Don’t worry. No 1L students have access to Westlaw or Lexis until Sunday August 16th. In fact if you’ve never even heard of TWEN, Westlaw or Lexis you’re not behind.

“There are no computers to use since I don’t have my password yet”

There are 7 public computers on the second floor of the library. Please be courteous and limit your time to only email since these computers are also used by attorneys and members of the public.

“I don’t want to bother a librarian sitting at Circulation or Reference since he/she is too busy for my question”.

Please don’t hesitate to ask questions of the library staff. We may not have all of the all but we can direct you to do the right place.

“The library is just filled with books. Boring”.

Not so! The library contains sophisticated electronic databases, newspapers, magazines, legal fiction, microfiche, comfortable seating, study space, colorful displays, and much more!

“I have to whisper the entire time I am in the library.”

Although we do have a quiet section of the library, feel free to use a normal respectful tone of voice in the other portions of the library.

-Tom Hemstock-

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WAM: The New Web Access Management System

Recently, the law library began using Web Access Management as an authentication service.  This offers patrons simple and convenient remote use…  You may have noticed the change already when logging into our electronic databases from off campus.  If not, here’s the skinny:

Normally users accessing e-resources would be authenticated using IP authentication.  However, WAM allows you to connect to the e-resources we offer no matter what IP address you have, as long as you have a staff or student number.  With WAM, there is no client side setup: you don’t have to change any settings on your computer to use it.  Initially, you will go to the library website to access our electronic resources.  When you click on the links for a specific resource on the library website, a special URL sends a request to our server.  Then the authentication page appears, asking you for your login name and staff or student number.  After you’ve been authenticated, all your requests are sent via the server, meaning the server is IP authenticated and not the client machine.  At this point, you can browse and search our e-resources as usual.

Another fantastic feature of our new Web Access Management program is that we can produce user statistics on our e-resources…  which titles are accessed most and by whom.  This will allow us to make much more informed subscription decisions – resulting in a more effective collection for every one of you!

-Ashley Moye-

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What the Hulu!?!

Lately, you might have seen commercials where Alec Baldwin acts as the alien master-mind behind a new website, Hulu.  Well here’s the real deal.  Hulu is the product of a joint venture between News Corp. and NBC Universal, which provides premium TV and movie content free over the web.  Yes, it’s free.

Besides having a great price you can’t beat (again, it’s free), Hulu has two kinds of content.  Hulu has TV shows (FOX and NBC programming) and movies that come in either full episodes/movies or short 2- to 3- minute clips of memorable scenes or interviews with the cast or directors.  Not only does Hulu keep the content up-to-date with the latest episodes of the popular shows but the commercials are extremely minimal.

Newsweek recently ran an article about Hulu, and wrote “unlike YouTube, Hulu had legal access to great content—shows from NBC, Fox and others. And it had great technology—a clean, simple user interface and a smart search engine. Today, just one year after its launch, Hulu has gained the upper hand.”

Cancel your cable, stop buying TV for $2 a pop on iTunes, & go check out Hulu.  After you do, make sure to come back and tell us what you think!

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RFID tagging in a nutshell…

What do New Orleans, Seattle and Shenzhen, China have in common? They all have libraries that use RFID technology to track their book inventory.  Now we can add Charlotte to that list. 



Since late last fall, the Charlotte School of Law library staff have been quietly working to add RFID tags to our collection, beginning in treatises, moving to reference and beyond.  Before all is said and done, the entire library collection will be tagged.  According to 3M, 2% of libraries in the US use RFID, and 8% worldwide, so we are somewhat of an elite group at this point in time…




What is RFID?  In a nutshell, it is a wireless technology that is used to identify things… The tag itself consists of a microchip and a radio antenna.  The chip in the tag contains information about the item that it is either attached to or embedded in.  The tag transmits that information to the reader using radio signals.  A good overview can be found on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFID, although this may be a tad too technical for most readers.  A less technical description, directed at RFID use in libraries, can be found at http://www.biblio-tech.com/html/rfid.html


But perhaps a better question is ‘Why do I care?’  Well, these tags will allow us to inventory the collection with the wave of a wand (literally), find mis-shelved books and pull outdated materials, keep our more ‘popular’ materials (i.e. the ones that suspiciously walk away) here at home via the omnipresent security gates, and possibly even allow for self checkout. 




Sound interesting?  More questions?  Want to help?  Come find the technical services staff…  we’re always around and happy to chat!

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AIM at CharlotteLaw


In addition to in person, phone and email, CharlotteLaw reference librarians are available via AIM to answer your research questions in real time online chat. Just download AIM, create your own screenname and send a research question to the screenname “CSL Reference” during Monday to Thursday 9:00am to 7:00pm, Friday 9:00am to 6:00pm or Saturday & Sunday 12:00pm to 6:00pm. If a librarian is away from the desk there will be an away message posted. Please ask your question and a librarian will answer upon his/her return to the reference desk.


AIM is available for free download in Windows, Linux, or Apple format at aim.com.  For more information on using AIM see the official FAQ (frequently asked questions) here. IF you are having any difficulties please feel free to stop by the reference desk with your questions.


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