Jewish American Heritage Month
May is Jewish American Heritage Month, as proclaimed by President Obama . To learn more about the Jewish experience in America, visit the Jewish American Heritage Month website, hosted by the Library of Congress. Of particular interest is the "Stories" tab, with a link to the exhibition From Haven to Home - 350 Years of Jewish Life in America.
In honor of this month, the McKusick Law Library has compiled a display of items from its collection focusing on Jewish law and the connection between Jewish law and secular American Law. For example, in Defending the Human Spirit: Jewish Law's Vision for a Moral Society, Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein explores the values and unifying principles of Torah and Jewish tradition, and Jewish law's vision for a moral society. In Torah & Constitution: Essays on American Jewish Thought, Milton R. Konvitz addresses the connection between the Torah and the United States Constitution.
For those with a deep interest in original documents from Jewish American History, browse the digitized collections in Jews in America: Portal to American Jewish History. This website also allows searches by resource type, including photographs, portraits and correspondence.
And for ideas in entertainment, food and travel to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month, see the Arizona Jewish Post's 31 Things to Do During Jewish American Heritage Month. Cholent, anyone?
Posted at 04:50PM May 23, 2013 by Marsha Stacey in Displays and Observances |
Unleash the Power of Age - May is Older Americans Month
President Obama issued a proclamation recognizing May 2013 as Older Americans Month. As reflected in the Administration on Aging's History of Older Americans Month, the designation of May as the month "to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country" was first accomplished by President Kennedy in 1963. Unleash the Power of Age is the theme for the 2013 observance.
The Census Bureau Facts for Features: Older Americans Month 2013 highlights that older Americans make up a growing percentage of the U.S. population and projects that by 2056 the population 65 and older will outnumber people younger than 18.
In observance of the Month, the Law Library has prepared a display highlighting some of the elder law resources available through the Law Library. Included in the display are New Times, New Challenges: Law and Advice for Savvy Seniors and Their Families by Kenny Hegland and Robert Fleming, Medicare and Medicaid Claims and Procedures 4th edition by Harvey McCormick, and South Dakota Probate Forms Manual , published by the State Bar of South Dakota. Those researching elder law issues may also find the LibGuide prepared by the Law Library helpful.
Posted at 12:59PM May 22, 2013 by Darla Jackson in Displays and Observances |
Television & Movies Influence the Language of Legal Opinions
Star Trek has been both a television series and a movie with several sequels. Star Trek Into Darkness, the most recent sequel has earned $70.6 million dollars since its launch last week. Star Trek has done more than earn money for the networks and studios; it has worked its way into the language of the popular culture. Most people have likely heard phrases made famous by Star Trek such as "boldly go where no man has gone before" or "live long and prosper." But perhaps the most well-known phrase is Spock's assertion that it is logical that the "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." As a quick search of WestlawNext reveals, this phrase has made it into several court opinions, including the opinion in the Northern District of Indiana Bankruptcy decision of In Re Smith.
As indicated by the posting to this blog on February 25, 2013, the Law Library has begun to collect law related DVDs. While popular, the Star Trek movies would not likely have sufficient law related content to be included in the collection.
Posted at 08:54AM May 21, 2013 by Darla Jackson in General |
Sexual Assault in the Military Sparks Debate Regarding Reform of U.S. Military Justice System
Following a third incident of a military sex assault prevention chief facing misbehavior charges, Congress has begun to debate the need for reform of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in regards to sexual assault as well as other types of offenses.
For more detail on the recent debate read a Washington Post article on the topic. For additional research resources on the U.S. military justice system see the Law Library prepared research guide Law Library guide.
Posted at 06:21PM May 19, 2013 by Darla Jackson in Library Staff |
Patent Rights to Genetically Modified Seeds Validated
On May 13, 2013, in the case of Bowman v. Monsanto Co., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a farmer could not use Monsanto’s patented genetically altered soybeans to create subsequent crops without paying a fee.
Farmers who buy Monsanto’s patented seeds must generally sign a contract promising not to save seeds from the resulting crop, which means they must buy new seeds every year. The seeds are valuable because they are resistant to the herbicide Roundup, itself a Monsanto product.
Indiana farmer, Vernon Bowman, had signed a contract promising not to save seeds from crops produced with patented seeds purchased from Monsanto. However, Bowman believed he had discovered a loophole. For a second, riskier crop later in the growing season Bowman bought seeds from a grain elevator filled with a mix of seeds in the reasonable hope that many of them contained Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready gene.
Bowman acknowledged the general principle that there was no right to make a new product with Monsanto’s seeds; but argued that he had used the seeds precisely as they were intended to be used. The Court opined that accepting that theory would create an “unprecedented exception” to the patent exhaustion doctrine. The opinion states, “if simple copying were a protected use, a patent would plummet in value after the first sale of the item containing the invention.”
The competition and antitrust implications of transgenic seeds was one of the topics discussed at the USD Law Review's Antitrust & Competition in America's Heartland Symposium. For additional information see the Law Library prepared Symposium LibGuide.
Posted at 03:11AM May 17, 2013 by Darla Jackson in Legal News |
The YouTube Appeal and What It Means for Law Firms and Legal Information Vendors
On May 4th, Kevin O'Keefe's Real Lawyers Have Blogs, a blog that often focuses on law firm marketing and social media, included a post entitled Google’s Schmidt: YouTube Has Replaced TV. What’s It Mean for Law Firms?. Citing the statistic that more 18-34 year olds watch YouTube than cable television, the post reminds the legal community that it needs to engage in networking using video, regardless of whether the video is shared through YouTube, LinkedIn, or another source.
Bloomberg Law is already engaging audiences using video. Not only does Bloomberg Law provide training via YouTube video, it also provides news and other content via video. According to Law Librarian Blog while Bloomberg Law engagement with video is superior to other legal information providers shared folder technology, it is not enough for members of the "Google-YouTube generation," who will demand more from legal information providers.
A number of legal research databases are available via the Law Library. Due to licensing restrictions, access to some databases, including Bloomberg Law is limited to law students and law faculty.
Posted at 10:34PM May 15, 2013 by Darla Jackson in General |
Surprises Emerge Within U.S. Senate Candidates for Tim Johnson's Seat
With U.S. Senator Tim Johnson's seat opening in the next election speculation and rumor about who might vie for his seat have been rampant in South Dakota.
Former Governor Mike Rounds has announced his intentions within the Republican party, but this week KELO News broadcast the first announcement of a Democratic candidate.
In a surprise announcement, veteran politician Rick Weiland has declared his intention to run for the U.S. Senate spot. Speculation about other South Dakota Democrats remains in the news.
In the days ahead, political watchdogs await Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's promise to announce her intentions by month's end. Another surprise is that sources close to Brendan Johnson, Tim Johnson's son, say that Brendan does not intend to run. This important race will continue to attract much attention in the months ahead.
KELO News reported today, Monday May 13th, that Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has made her decision not to run in the Senate race. The article stated that she and her family are looking forward to more quality time with family and friends.
Whoever replaces Mr. Johnson must, by law, be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizens for at least nine years and must--at the time of their election--be a resident of South Dakota. Primary election information for the state of South Daktoa may be found on the Secretary of State's website. South Dakota laws governing Primary Elections are found at SDCL 12-6.
Posted at 03:25PM May 10, 2013 by Karyl Knodel in General |
Death Penalty Imposed in 2013
A request for a new hearing by Rodney Berget was denied by South Dakota's Second Circuit Judge Brad Zell on Tuesday, May 7th. Zell sentenced Berget to death in this newest ruling. KeloLand TV has more information on this ruling .Berget originally pled guilty in the fall of 2011 and was sentenced at that time. Later he asked for a new sentencing hearing, a new judge, and promised to bring forth new evidence showing that he had re-established a relationship with his estranged son. For more information see the Law Library LibGuide on Capital Punishment in South Dakota.
Posted at 11:36AM May 08, 2013 by Karyl Knodel in Legal News |
Vermillion Public Library Expansion Almost Complete
Only 10% is left to be completed on the expansion project of the Vermillion Public Library. Library Director, Jane Larson states "we doubled in size, we now have a total of 22,890 square feet and we had 11,000 square feet before."The library was only closed for two two-week periods while books and other materials were moved. A row of sky lights, a reading room with a fireplace and a bookstore are just a few of the new features for the public to enjoy. With summer approaching the public library is also a good resource for law students interested in lighter reading. See the article in the May 3rd edition of Vermillion's Plain Talk.
Posted at 10:04AM May 07, 2013 by Karyl Knodel in General |
In yesterday's blog post, I discussed Bad Law Bot, Fastcase's new addition to Authority Check. The following are some other Fastcase features you may want to use.
PACER Searching, using "Search Federal Filings": Fastcase, with Justia, has created a tool to allow you to search for cases across all federal district courts, all federal circuit courts or all district and circuit courts within a circuit at one time, rather than using PACER's court locator search option. From Justia, you will retrieve basic docket information for the case, including the case number and the nature of the suit. For more information, including the Docket Report and History/Documents (links to docket entries and documents) you will be directed to PACER and will need a PACER subscription.
Newspaper Searching: Fastcase, through NewsLibrary.com, offers searching, viewing results and summaries for free from many local newspapers across the nation. Individual articles may be purchased for $3. Although the newspaper may have its own free-access archives, the newspaper's website search capabilities may be limited. Use NewsLibrary.com to find the date of the article or title of the article and then access it directly from the newspaper's archives.
Mobile Sync: If you use Fastcase's free apps for iPhone, iPad and Android, you can use your desktop research, favorites and searches on your mobile device. Log in to Fastcase on your desktop, click on the tab "Options," then "Mobile Sync." Enter the email address you log in to your app. Fastcase will connect both your app and desktop accounts.
For information on additional Fastcase tools, see Ten Improved Fastcase Tools by Jim Calloway.
Posted at 02:20PM May 01, 2013 by Marsha Stacey in Databases |
May 1 is Law Day
May 1 is Law Day, a national observance to honor the importance of our country's legal and judicial systems. In recognition of Law Day, the Law Library is featuring a display which highlights information about Law Day, including this year's theme, Realizing the Dream: Equality for All. For more information on Law Day and the inspiration for the theme, visit the Law Day page on the ABA's website. The Library of Congress has also compiled a bibliography of Law Day resources, available here.
As part of the display, the library is offering a drawing contest for a piece of original artwork that best represents this year's theme. The winner will receive a Law Day T-shirt:
There are art materials included as part of the display to assist in creating your masterpieces. Just sign your creation with your name and bring it to the law library Circulation/Reference desk to enter it in the contest. A winner will be selected from submissions made prior to 4:00PM on May 2nd. For those that are still studying for finals, taking a few minutes out of your day to engage in a creative pursuit may actually boost your learning. See a recent blog post from Scientific American citing to studies showing the link between creativity and education.
Posted at 11:42AM May 01, 2013 by Sarah Kammer in Legal News |
After graduating from law school, you may be asked to provide pro bono service for the public from time to time. The South Dakota Bar's Ask-A-Lawyer Program is an example of such a service. For the next three nights people will be allowed to call in anonymously and ask lawyers for free legal help. The program begins tonight,April 30, and goes through Thursday evening,May 2nd. For detailed information see here .
Posted at 02:13PM Apr 30, 2013 by Karyl Knodel in Legal News |
Fastcase's "Bad Law Bot"
Here's a heads-up for those of you currently using Fastcase or who may be using Fastcase in your new job: "Bad Law Bot" is now included in the Fastcase toolbox. As a part of Authority Check, Bad Law Bot uses an algorithm to find cases that indicate negative citation history for a particular case. If Bad Law Bot (say that 3 times in a row!) finds that a court has negatively cited to your case, a red flag will appear by the name of the case in your search results. It is not intended to be a complete replacement for KeyCite or Shepards and does not tell you whether your case is still good law. For more information, watch the Fastcase video on Bad Law Bot. For additional comments on Bad Law Bot, read the Law Librarian Blog for April 26th.
Posted at 09:44AM Apr 30, 2013 by Marsha Stacey in Databases |
Preparing for the Big Event
This is an exciting time of year for our students and especially the 3L's who have diligently labored these last three years for a most worthy goal, the JD Degree. The Law School and Law Library are proud of the graduating class and wish you success in your chosen career.We want to continue to be of assistance to you as you embark on an exciting future and have prepared both a LibGuide online and a display of books you may find helpful as you prepare for the next big event, the Bar Exam. Be sure to check the new display set up directly inside the library, with selections from our collection, on preparing for the Bar Exam. Also, a LibGuide has been prepared to assist you with South Dakota Bar Exam basics and to provide information regarding the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), reciprocity, and surrounding state bar exams and admittance.
Posted at 11:48AM Apr 26, 2013 by Karyl Knodel in General |
And the Winners Are...
Nathan Chicoine and Nathan Chicoine! Nathan is the winner of both the M&M contest and the Legal Research Trivia contest sponsored by the Law Library for National Library Week. Nathan's M&M guess of 1112 was the closest of all the 58 entries to the number of candies in the jar, 1180, without going over. Nathan was one of three contestants to correctly answer all the Legal Research trivia questions, and his entry was randomly selected from the three eligible entries. Nathan and up to four friends will receive the grand prize of a study night with treats in the State Bar Room, courtesy of the Law Library staff. The library encourages greater participation in next year's trivia competition and will likely modify the contest elgibility rules to ensure more than one winner.
Congratulations to Nathan!
Posted at 09:44AM Apr 23, 2013 by Sarah Kammer in Library Staff |