Thursday, March 31, 2011
In this podcast, Brooklyn Law School Professor Elizabeth M. Schneider talks about her recently published book Women and the Law Stories (Call #KF478..A5. W642 2011) which she co-edited with Prof. Stephanie M. Wildman and for which they wrote the Introduction. The book looks at landmark cases establishing women's legal rights, and tells the stories of the litigants, history, parties, strategies, and theoretical implications. Prof. Schneider uses the book in her Women and the Law course to give students the human stories behind the cases. The subject areas of the book include history, constitutional law, reproductive freedom, the workplace, the family, and women in the legal profession as well as domestic violence and rape. Prof. Schneider teaches Civil Procedure, Domestic Violence and the Law, Women and the Law and a Federal Civil Litigation, Public Law and Justice Seminar. Her extensive list of publications is available here.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
There are separate program flyers for students and for attorneys. Here are the direct links to those materials in a PDF (fillable) format: for Law Students; for Attorneys; and for Library Students. There are also versions of the forms in Word at the website.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
BLS students looking for a study aid on sports law can review Sports Law in a Nutshell by Walter T. Champion (Call #KF3989.Z9 C48 2009) on reserve at the circulation desk. The nutshell simplifies the complex world of sports law and provides a road map to issues such as contracts, torts, antitrust, liabilities, constitutional implications, labor law, and taxes. Sports Law Practice, a two-volume looseleaf set by Martin J. Greenberg (Call #KF3989 .G74 2009),is a more useful resource for the attorney or agent in the arena of sports law with sample forms, checklists, and examples that provide invaluable assistance in drafting contracts. Contractual analysis assists in understanding contract provisions and how to structure contracts and addendums.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Brooklyn Law School Library collection has Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It by Robert Jerome Glennon (Call #TD223 .G578 2009) which shows that the water crisis is not confined to the third world. This book has frightening and comical examples of how Americanws waste water from manufactured snow for tourists in Atlanta to trillions of gallons flushed down the toilet each year. State and local governments diverts supplies from one area to another to keep water flowing from the tap. Some time soon, water shortages will threaten not only the environment, but every aspect of American life: we face shuttered power plants and jobless workers, decimated fisheries and contaminated drinking water. New demands for water needed for ethanol and energy production, will only worsen the crisis. This book proposes market-based solutions that value water as both a commodity and a fundamental human right. When we recognize how valuable water is, we will begin to conserve it.
Friday, March 18, 2011
A task force formed by the governor, the Medicaid Reform Team, suggested the cap as one of a number of ways to address the state’s $15 billion-a-year Medicaid program. See the New York Law Journal article State Bar Blasts Proposal to Cap Medical Malpractice Awards. The governor included all the task force's recommendations in his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year. Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, also opposed a cap on non-economic losses for pain and suffering, arguing that it would deprive deserving plaintiffs of their day in court.
Several state courts have abolished their medical malpractice caps, allowing injured patients to receive the full compensation that a judge or jury of their peers might award to them. Last year, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hosp., 930 N.E.2d 895 (2010), that the a state cap law violated the state Constitution's "separation of powers" clause because it took away power that should rest solely with judges. In Oliver v. Magnolia Clinic, 51 So.3d 874 (La. App. 3 Cir., 2010), a Louisiana state appeals court ruled the state's limit on medical malpractice awards unconstitutional and included a review of case law showing that when courts have considered similar malpractice caps in response to state constitutional challenges by severely or catastrophically injured victims, they have been troubled by the disparate impact caps have on this group. See the ALR Annotation discussing statutory recovery caps by Carol A. Crocca, Validity, Construction, and Application of State Statutory Provisions Limiting Amount of Recovery in Medical Malpractice Claims, 26 A.L.R.5th 245 (2001) (password required).
As states grapple with budgetary crises, large medical malpractice awards will remain tempting targets for legislators and tort reform proponents. Courts will also continue to have a say on limiting claims. The Brooklyn Law School Library has in its NY collection Medical Malpractice in New York by Robert Devine (Call #KFN6028.M35 M43 2009) in its third edition.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
St. Patrick’s Day brings to mind shamrocks, Irish heritage, green beer, leprechauns, and perhaps most notably the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade. Dating back to March 17, 1762, the parade is associated with Guinness and other potent potables often drunk to excess. A NY Daily News article reported that, earlier this month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg faced boos and jeers at the Rockaway Queens St. Patrick's Day Parade, the second-largest St. Patrick's Day celebration in the city, for his comment last month at the Upper East Side headquarters of the American Irish Historical Society: "Normally, when I walk by this building there are a bunch of people that are totally inebriated hanging out the window waving." He later apologized but still faced taunts from the crowd perhaps due to plans to lay off 4,600 teachers.
Another Queens Parade, the “St. Pats Parade for All,” began in March 2000 as the city's only parade to welcome lesbian and gay contingents after the Manhattan St. Patrick's Day Parade organizers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, banned the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO) from marching as a group. ILGO, after several unsuccessful efforts to participate in the parade, sued and lost a court action seeking a permit to march. See Irish Lesbian & Gay Org. v. Giuliani, 143 F.3d 638 (2d Cir. 1998) citing the US Supreme Court decision in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group, 515 U.S. 557 (1995).
The story of the Irish is more than controversies about public intoxication and the exclusion of gays and lesbians. The Brooklyn Law School Library has in its collection a short easily readable book, How The Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe by Thomas Cahill (Call # DA930.5 .C34 1995), which starts with the fall of Rome and the ensuing chaos that it unleashed. As the barbarian hordes were overrunning the remains of the Western Roman Empire, it was not just knowledge of the ancients that was lost. Cahill argues that people did not have time to think on great things. But along came the Irish from the wilds of Hibernia, where barbarians dared not go as the Celts were dangerous. They abducted foreigners into slavery most famously a young Romanized Briton named Patricius. After escaping, the future St. Patrick returned as a missionary to bring Christianity to the Emerald Isle.
The book shows that Christianity brought civilization and a strong sense of peace to the warring Celts of Ireland. It argues that Christianity, a faith that objected to violence as the solution to problems, created the space for study and knowledge. Early Irish Christians (as well as the Jewish nation) preserved the written word to keep civilization alive, saving the works of the ancient Greek and Roman pagans as well as their own literature. Without that effort, much would have been lost forever. The story of how we almost lost the foundations of Western Civilization and how a small group of Irish monks kept the light burning with the world plunged in the Dark Ages is worth reading on St. Patrick's Day.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Last month, the City Council enacted a series of three laws requiring police to provide monthly reports of traffic accidents and summonses. The legislation requires the information to be posted on the DOT website. The three bills are Intro 0370-2010 (in relation to pedestrian safety reporting), Intro 0374-2010 (in relation to requiring the compilation of bicycle crash data), and Intro 0377-2010 (in relation to traffic study determinations). Brooklyn Law School Adjunct Associate Professor of Law Brad S. Lander, a City Council Member representing Park Slope, supported the three bills which require New York City’s Department of Transportation to begin annual reporting on the number of bike and pedestrian crashes broken down by police precincts. The Bloomberg administration worked with the City Council to produce bills that made sense of the crash data. The mayor signed all three bills into law on February 22. The local law relating to the compilations of bicycle crash data became effective immediately upon enactment.
The information collected from the new city bike-crash data law, aside from helping those injured in accidents, will be of use to both friends and foes of bike lanes as both sides think the data will support their views. A January 2011 report by the NYC DOT on the Prospect Park West bike lane shows that it has made the neighborhood safer for drivers and for cyclists. Data showed that crashes were down 16 %; those that occurred were half as likely to include an injury; cars were much more likely to drive at or below the speed limit; and no pedestrian injuries or pedestrian-cyclist crashes occurred since the lane was installed last June. The controvery over the Prospect Park West bike lane has local political implications as well as ones that go beyond Brooklyn. See this article (How one New York bike lane could affect the future of cycling worldwide) from the Guardian in the UK.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The Woman Advocate by Abbe Fletman and Evelyn Storch (Call #KF299.W6 W642 2010) with first-hand accounts by successful women lawyers of their experiences at all stages of career development. In the four parts of the book- Where We Are; How We Got There; What Our Environment Is Like; and Where We're Going-the contributors provide reflections, advice, guidance, and, of course, war stories in lively, entertaining and insightful prose.
Women Attorneys Speak Out! How Practicing Law Is Different For Women Than For Men (and Tips on How to Handle The Biggest Frustrations) by Judi Craig (Call #KF299.W6 C73 2008) where a cross-section of women attorneys in a variety of practice areas share their experiences, frustrations, and advice with those considering or currently practicing law. They discuss how they perceive the present state of legal practice for female attorneys, provide their favorite tips for achieving a work-life balance, and discuss a variety of solutions to work-life balance issues.
Women at Law: Lessons Learned Along the Pathways to Success by Phyllis Horn Epstein (Call #KF299.W6 E67 2004) a guide whose author interviewed more than 100 women lawyers of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyle in a wide variety of practice settings in the nation to find out how women lawyers define success.
Sisters-in-Law by Lisa Sherman, Jill Schecter and Deborah Turchiano (Call #KF299.W6 S54 2004) a humorous guide about the nuts and bolts of practicing law, finding a specialty that suits a woman lawyer's talents and moving from one firm to another while addressing the varied demands of being single woman, facing motherhood and managing a family.
Gender on Trial: Sexual Stereotypes and Work/Life Balance in the Legal Workplace by Holly English (Call #KF299.W6 E54 2003) which examines gender stereotypes that continue to plague both women and men in the legal workplace in the form of male-only executive teams and management committees; sexist jokes; women resenting other ambitious women; men being unable to work reduced hours; and firms remaining hesitant to hire women fearing they might leave the firm to start a family.
Women's History Month celebrates the achievements of American women. It began in 1981 with Congress' passage of Pub. L. 97-28. The Law Library of Congress' page for Women's History Month has legislative history. March 8 marked the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day which was first celebrated on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies to demand for women the right to vote and to hold public office, women's rights to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job. See more at the UN International Women's Day website.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Despite concerns that the Court would expand its ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, recognizing the First Amendment rights of corporations, to broader contexts such as the FOIA, the Court disagreed with AT&T. The case did not address constitutional issues but used plain language in statutory interpretation. Chief Justice John Roberts’ 15 page opinion, reversing the Third Circuit opinion in 582 F.3d 490 (2009), used other adjectives to demonstrate that an adjective does not always reflect the same meaning as the corresponding noun as shown in this passage:
Adjectives typically reflect the meaning of corresponding nouns, but not always. Sometimes they acquire distinct meanings of their own. The noun “crab” refers variously to a crustacean and a type of apple, while the related adjective “crabbed” can refer to handwriting that is “difficult to read,” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 527 (2002); “corny” can mean “using familiar and stereotyped formulas believed to appeal to the unsophisticated,” id., at 509, which has little to do with “corn,” id., at 507 (“the seeds of any of the cereal grasses used for food”); and while “crank” is “a part of anaxis bent at right angles,” “cranky” can mean “given to fretful fussiness.In conclusion, Justice Roberts wrote perhaps the wryest closing sentence in the history of the Court: "The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations. We trust that AT&T will not take it personally."
With statutes being most of the relevant law heard in federal courts, judicial interpretation of those statutes has been the subject of great attention and dispute over the years. The Theory and Practice of Statutory Interpretation by Frank B. Cross (Call #KF425 .C76 2009) in the Brooklyn Law School Library has insights into the theory and practice of statutory interpretation by courts.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
This podcast features Robert Malesko, Brooklyn Law School Class of 2011, discussing his career as a law librarian in the California court system before coming to BLS. He talks as well about his legal research studies this semester and last at Brooklyn Law School where the law librarians teach courses in Advanced Legal Research. Rob is also working on a special project with Law Library Director Victoria Szymczak for the law school’s new LLM program for Foreign Trained-Lawyers. In addition, he tells of his upcoming work in the California court system in San Diego after graduation. For more about Rob, see an earlier post here.