Law Library announcements, legal research updates from around the world, new and interesting research resources and web sites of interest to the faculty at the Syracuse University College of Law. Note: For easy navigation, right click on hyperlinks to open links in a new window.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Commentary on School Integration Case

Brian Leiter links to some interesting law faculty blog
commentary on Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle
School Dist. No. 1.

iPhone Mania

Many of us are drooling over the new iPhone, Apple's
elegant new handheld device that combines a phone
handset, a truly functional Internet navigator, and a
media player.

Want to know more? The Law Librarian Blog (6/29/2007)
has pulled together a list of links to online newspaper and
journal articles about this much-hyped and much coveted
new gizmo.

Gadgets for Legal Pros

Brett Burney (LLRX, 6/25/2007) once again
brings us an entertaining and practical look at
gadgets for legal pros.

In this installment, Burney anticipates summer
travel by recommending his favorite laptop bag
and a new line of compact (travel-friendly)
power strips.

Wall Street Journal Article on Law School Rankings

Betsy McKenzie (Out of the Jungle, 6/26/2007)
brings our attention to a recent Wall Street Journal
article that dissects the U.S. News Law School Rankings
and addresses popular alternative ranking sources.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

ABA Proposes Change to Accreditation Rules

From Inside Higher Ed (June 20, 2007):

"The American Bar Association on Tuesday proposed a
shift in the way accredited law schools demonstrate that a
sufficient portion of their graduates pass state bar exams.
Under one option, a law school would have to show that in at
least three of the most recent five years, in the jurisdiction
in which the largest proportion of the school’s graduates take
the bar exam for the first time, they pass the exam above, at
or no more than 10 points below the first-time bar passage
rates for graduates of ABA-approved law schools taking the
bar examination in that jurisdiction. For schools from which
more than 20 percent of graduates take their first bar
examination in a jurisdiction other than the primary one,
the schools also would be required to demonstrate that at
least 70 percent of those students passed their bar examination
over the two most recent bar exams. Law schools unable to
satisfy the first alternative still could comply by demonstrating
that 80 percent of all their graduates who take a bar
examination anywhere in the country pass a bar examination
within three sittings of the exam within three years of graduation."

The proposed rules are subject to a comment period before

The text of the ABA Memorandum of June 18, 2007,
may be found in PDF here.

Google Launches Public Policy Blog

The ever-expanding Google empire now includes
a Public Policy Blog. The blog will focus on
on issues such as privacy, child online safety,
copyright and trademark protection, content
regulation, reform of the patent system, and
broadband policy, all from Google's perspective.

Andrew McLaughlin, Google's Director of Public
Policy and Government Affairs, describes the
initiative. "We're seeking to do public policy
advocacy in a Googley way. Yes, we're a multinational
corporation that argues for our positions before officials,
legislators, and opinion leaders. At the same time, we
want our users to be part of the effort, to know what
we're saying and why, and to help us refine and improve
our policy positions and advocacy strategies."

The site includes clips from YouTube to support blog
post content. Very Googley, indeed.

Justice Department Reaches Agreement With Microsoft Over Google Complaint

The United States Department of Justice web site
has posted the most recent joint status report regarding
compliance with the final judgments entered in the
federal government action against Microsoft.

The DOJ has reached an agreement with Microsoft
to resolve a complaint by Google regarding Microsoft’s
desktop search function in Vista. According to the report,
"the Department, 17 state Attorneys General, and the
District of Columbia said that the agreement, which
aims to promote user choice, will resolve any issues
the complaint may raise under the final judgments.
The desktop search functionality in Vista, known
as 'Instant Search,' allows users to enter a search
query into a text box and receive a list of results
from the user’s hard drive that contain the search

Randy Picker blogs about the history and implications
of the dispute on the University of Chicago Law School
Faculty Blog (6/20/2007).

Monday, June 18, 2007

ABA Book Briefs Podcasts

Check out new ABA publications by listening
to ABA Book Briefs Podcasts.

From the ABA web site:

"The ABA Book Briefs Podcast is a series of audio files
containing interviews, discussions and readings from ABA
Books. Our Feature Podcasts are about 10 – 15 minutes
in length and will come out once a month. We will also
occasionally offer Special Podcasts that are shorter in length.
You can listen to each podcast individually or you can subscribe
to receive them automatically when they are released."

Hat tip to the Law Librarian Blog.

Attorney Sues Avvo's Lawyer Rating Service

On May 14, I posted an item about Avvo, a new
online legal service geared toward consumers.

Avvo's lawyer rating service has now come under fire.
According to a press release from the law firm Hagens
Berman Sobol Shapiro, Steve W. Berman (a managing
partner in the firm) has filed a class action lawsuit in U.S.
District Court in Seattle "alleging that the site violates
unfair methods of competition and deceptive acts in the
conduct of commerce as stated in the Washington
Consumer Protection Act."

From the press release:

"The complaint notes that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth
Bader Ginsburg and Samuel Alito each received three out of
five stars for trustworthiness when the site launched, awarding
them a 6.5 or "Good" rating, while giving Lynne Stewart the
exact same rating. Stewart is currently serving a prison term
for conspiracy to defraud the government, the suit contends."

Robert Ambrogi's LawSites (6/15/2007) links to a copy of the
complaint and quotes a colorful statement in response to the
complaint from Avvo's CEO Mark Britton.

This week's Lawyer2Lawyer podcast will address the lawsuit.
Details to follow!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yale Law Students Sue AutoAdmit

The Wall Street Journal (6/12/2007) reports that
two female Yale law students have sued Anthony Ciolli,
AutoAdmit's former “chief educational director,” and others
who "allegedly used pseudonyms and posted the students’
photos as well as defamatory and threatening remarks about
them on the online law-school discussion forum."

The WSJ article links to a copy of the complaint and to
WSJ Law Blog posts on the AutoAdmit controversy.

Should You be Using Ask.com3D?

The popular search engine,, has released its
new Ask.com3D. The upgrades are worth checking out.

From an IAC Press Release (6/5/2007):

"®, a leading search engine and wholly-owned
business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), today unveiled Ask3D,
a completely re-engineered and redesigned version of Ask3D includes powerful new search technology,
an innovative three-panel design, and unique new features
that give people what they need, faster. With the new version
of, people get the most relevant and customized
information they need from the best range of content available,
including videos and music clips, and makes it all immediately
accessible on one page. Ask3D replaces the previous version of and is now available at"

See the complete press release for more details on the
new search functions. Two of my favorite new features
are the "Query Expression" panel on the left side of
the screen for easy search refinement, and the "binocular"
feature that allows researchers to view a thumbnail of
search results from the results screen.

Hat tip to the Law Librarian Blog.

12 More Universities Contributing to Google Library Project

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education
(6/7/2006) says that Google has made a deal with twelve
universities to digitize 10 million books from their

According to the article, the universities are members of
the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium
of the institutions in the Big Ten Conference and the
University of Chicago (two other Big Ten members,
the University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin,
have already signed onto the Google project).

Google plans to offer the full-text of public-domain works and
'snippets' of copyrighted works, despite an ongoing lawsuit by
publishers against Google for making digital excerpts of their
books available without permission.

Monday, June 04, 2007

InSite Web Resources for June 4, 2007

This week's InSite (Cornell Law Library's electronic
current awareness service) provides details on the
following web resources:

Actual Innocence Awareness Database

National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA)
Research Clearinghouse

Tribal Justice and Safety in Indian Country

White House Project

Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law
(Think tank devoted to sexual orientation
law and policy)

Amnesty International Report 2007

The Amnesty International Report 2007 is now
available (HTML browse or PDF download) on
the organization's web site.

Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics

The United States Sentencing Commission has
published the eleventh edition of its Sourcebook
of Federal Sentencing Statistics. The Sourcebook
contains descriptive statistics on the application of
the federal sentencing guidelines and provides selected
district, circuit, and national sentencing data for
the fiscal year 2006 (October 1, 2005, through
September 30, 2006).

Hat tip to the beSpacific blog.