Law and Legal
FT.com [paywall – but may be accessible as free for one time viewing] – Watchdog will have power to implement enforceable code of conduct. “The UK government will create a technology regulator next year to police companies such as Facebook and Google after Brexit, according to several people who were involved in the process. The regulator will be given powers to implement a range of new rules, including an enforceable code of conduct for the biggest groups and greater data accessibility for consumers. The move reflects the findings of a review led by Jason Furman, chief economic adviser to former US president Barack Obama, which looked into the “emergence of powerful new companies” in the tech sector and recommended a dedicated regulator..”
American Libraries – Lawyer-librarian fields legal questions – “Libraries across the country are busy preparing for the 2020 election. The special report “Democracy in Action” in our November/December issue offers strategies and resources for advocacy, civil discourse, and media literacy. In his debut as columnist, Tomas A. Lipinski weighs in on legal considerations around election-related issues ranging from fake news to meeting room policy…”
Via LLRX – When It Comes to Your Future: Who Do You Trust? – Global Speaker and Thought Leader, Best-Selling Author, and Futurist Bill Jensen reviews critical facets of human capital management through the lens of the much heralded arrival of the robot manager. One key take-away from this article – Trust is a people issue.
Via LLRX – Some Random Tips for Writing Better Blog Posts – Attorney, award winning legal blogger, legal journalist and legal technologist Robert Ambrogi shares his vast knowledge and insights for crafting effective blog postings. Every blogger will benefit from reading and applying his suggestions to improve content, format and overall value to effectively deliver accurate, reliable, relevant knowledge sharing and to leverage subject matter marketing expertise. shares his vast knowledge and insights for crafting effective blog postings. Every blogger will benefit from reading and applying his suggestions to improve content, format and overall value to effectively deliver accurate, reliable, relevant knowledge sharing and to leverage subject matter marketing expertise.
Bobek, Michal, Data Protection, Anonymity and Courts (September 1, 2019). 26 (2) Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law 183 (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3483543
“Is anonymisation of judicial decisions necessary for protection of personal data of the parties (physical persons)?”
Inside Higher Ed – The Biggest Movers Online – “Federal data show the colleges and universities with the most students enrolled online in 2018 — and which institutions grew and shrank from the year before. The Education Department’s annual release of data about postsecondary enrollments is a font of information — and we’ve already mined it for an article about the continuing (but slowing) rise in online enrollments in 2018. The proportion of all enrolled college students who took at least one online class continued to rise, edging up to 34.7 percent in fall 2018 from 33.1 percent the previous year. The rate of increase appears to be slowing ever so slightly, although online education remains the main driver of growth in postsecondary enrollments. Other organizations have published their own analyses of the federal data in recent days, including the Center for Distance Education Research on Monday. We’re going back to the well today, with a look at the 100 colleges and universities that had the most students who took at least one online course in fall 2018 — and which added or shed students from the previous fall. The names at the top of the table below will provide few surprises — they are dominated by the several high-profile private nonprofit and for-profit universities that have led the list for most of this decade, though in slightly different order. Western Governors University‘s aggressive expansion has catapulted it to the top. It is followed by Southern New Hampshire University, another fast grower (15.2 percent year-over-year growth and, like WGU, growing by nearly 73 percent over three years). Southern New Hampshire and Western Governors were early movers among nonprofit universities to challenge the for-profit colleges that had largely captured the online market for adult learners in the 1990s and 2000s…”
HBR – Paul J. Zak – “Companies are twisting themselves into knots to empower and challenge their employees. They’re anxious about the sad state of engagement, and rightly so, given the value they’re losing. Consider Gallup’s meta-analysis of decades’ worth of data: It shows that high engagement—defined largely as having a strong connection with one’s work and colleagues, feeling like a real contributor, and enjoying ample chances to learn—consistently leads to positive outcomes for both individuals and organizations. The rewards include higher productivity, better-quality products, and increased profitability. So it’s clear that creating an employee-centric culture can be good for business. But how do you do that effectively? Culture is typically designed in an ad hoc way around random perks like gourmet meals or “karaoke Fridays,” often in thrall to some psychological fad. And despite the evidence that you can’t buy higher job satisfaction, organizations still use golden handcuffs to keep good employees in place. While such efforts might boost workplace happiness in the short term, they fail to have any lasting effect on talent retention or performance.
In my research I’ve found that building a culture of trust is what makes a meaningful difference. Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance…”
WSJ.com [paywall – but includes a video that is free to watch] – You Might Be Buying Trash on Amazon—Literally. Dumpster divers say it’s easy to list discarded toys, electronics and books on the retailer’s platform. So we decided to try…”Just about anyone can open a store on Amazon.com and sell just about anything. Just ask the dumpster divers. These are among the dedicated cadre of sellers on Amazon who say they sort through other people’s rejects, including directly from the trash, clean them up and list them on Amazon.com’s platform. Many post their hunting accounts on YouTube. They are an elusive lot. Many The Wall Street Journal contacted wouldn’t give details about their listings, said they stopped selling dumpster finds or no longer listed them as new, didn’t respond to inquiries or stopped communicating. Some said they feared Amazon would close their stores. So the Journal set out to test whether these claims were true. Reporters went dumpster diving in several New Jersey towns and retrieved dozens of discards from the trash including a stencil set, scrapbook paper and a sealed jar of Trader Joe’s lemon curd. The Journal set up a store on Amazon to see if it could list some of its salvaged goods for sale as new. It turned out to be easy. Amazon’s stated rules didn’t explicitly prohibit items salvaged from the trash when the Journal disclosed the existence of its store to the company last month. The rules required that most goods be new and noted that sellers could offer used books and electronics, among other things, if they identified them as such…”
Politico – “On the eve of his likely impeachment, President Donald Trump has opted to act as his own defense lawyer. In a six-page, stream of consciousness diatribe sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and released by the White House on Tuesday afternoon, Trump denounced the Democrats’ two articles of impeachment—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress—as “not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory,” engaging with a process the White House had until now spurned in protest. Crafted more like one of his signature tweetstorms than a legal document, the letter was written “for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record,” according to the president. Replete with grammatical errors, odd capitalizations and language rarely seen in official White House documents, it castigates Pelosi for “declaring open war on American democracy” and “offending Americans of faith” in what Trump called an “election-nullification scheme.”…
Mary Nicol Bowman & Lisa Brodoff, Cracking Student Silos: Linking Legal Writing and Clinical Learning Through Transference, 25 Clinical L. Rev. 269 (2019) [via Mary Whisner] – “Why do highly competent and hard-working law students struggle to apply what they learn in legal writing to later clinical courses and law practice? The authors of this article are uniquely qualified to answer this question and to provide strategies for helping students overcome these common struggles.The authors direct the nationally renowned legal writing and clinical programs at Seattle University School of Law, where they have engaged in cutting-edge collaborative teaching projects for nearly a decade. Even so, their students, when faced with the messiness of real client representation, struggled with typical research and writing problems, even as the legal writing faculty exclaimed “We know we taught them that!” So, after extensively studying the educational literature on transference, the authors spent nearly two years taking each other’s courses to understand more deeply how we could help our students apply what is taught in each program to future client work.This article describes what we learned from these endeavors. It details the typical barriers to transference, most significantly the effects of course-dependent siloing of student learning. The article is the first to explore the ways in which faculty siloing of clinics and legal writing can exacerbate underlying transference issues. Finally, and most importantly, this article offers specific, extensive, and attainable strategies for both legal writing and clinical faculty to implement that can overcome these challenges, crack their students’ siloed learning,and help them become reflective practitioners engaged in the life-long learning necessary for excellent legal practice
Nov 2019 – 5 new articles and 4 new columns on LLRX.com® – the free web journal on law, technology, knowledge discovery and research for Librarians, Lawyers, Researchers, Academics, and Journalists. Founded in 1996,
- 2020 Guide to Web Data Extractors – This guide by Marcus P. Zillman is a comprehensive listing of web data extractors, screen, web scraping and crawling sources and sites for the Internet and the Deep Web. These sources are useful for professionals who focus on competitive intelligence, business intelligence and analysis, knowledge management and research that requires collecting, reviewing, monitoring and tracking data, metadata and text.
- Why Do Experienced Women Lawyers Leave Biglaw? Why Do We Care? – Carolyn Elefant, Energy Law Entrepreneur, Eminent Domain Lawyer and Data Scientist, offers insights in response to the ABA’s November 2019 report on gender equality at biglaw. Among other issues, Elefant focuses on the ABA’s persistent failure to recognize the role of women-owned law firms to advancing gender equality and diversity in the profession.
- Who Stole My Face? The Risks Of Law Enforcement Use Of Facial Recognition Software – Lawyer and Legal Technology Evangelist Nicole L. Black discusses the “reckless social experiment” that facial surveillance represents across all aspects of life in America. It is the norm on social media, in air travel, as a mechanism for state, local and federal governments to identify location and means of travel (car, train, bus), in banking and financial transactions (smile next time you use your ATM), and as a security feature to unlock your phone, to name but some of its applications. You cannot opt-out of the use of your data nor the multifaceted ways that it impacts your diminishing privacy and civil liberties.
- Website privacy options aren’t much of a choice since they’re hard to find and use – Hana Habib and Lorrie Cranor of Carnegie Mellon University discuss how many sites offer the ability to ‘opt out’ of targeted advertisements, and identify why doing so isn’t easy. They advocate for simplifying and standardizing opt-outs to help improve privacy on the web.
- Taxonomy 101: Presented at Taxonomy Boot Camp 2019 – This presentation delivers a detailed understanding of taxonomy definitions, taxonomy value (ROI), and taxonomy design methodologies and approaches. It was originally delivered by Zach Wahl and Tatiana Cakici of Enterprise Knowledge at Taxonomy Boot Camp 2019 in Washington, DC.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, November 23, 2019 – Four highlights from this week: Stop Using Public USB Ports to Charge Your Phone; Upgrading Your Phone? 4 Things You Should Do First; Who Stole My Face? The Risks Of Law Enforcement Use Of Facial Recognition Software; and How to Lock Down Your Health and Fitness Data.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, November 15, 2019 – Four highlights from this week: Google is collecting health data on millions of Americans; How to Protect Yourself From Unethical or Illegal Spying; Everything you need to know about Google Reverse Image Search; and Federal Court Rules Suspsiconless Searches of Travelers’ Phones and Laptops Unconstitutional.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, November 9, 2019 – Four highlights from this week: What Would Happen If the Internet Went Down … Forever?; Resources for Measuring Cybersecurity; For Better or Worse, Blockchain Birth Certificates Are Officially Here; and Apple Warns Older iPhones May Stop Working Sunday Without Software Upgrade.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, November 2, 2019 – Four highlights from this week: Americans and Digital Knowledge; 10 Tips to Avoid Leaving Tracks Around the Internet; Proving You’re You: How Federal Agencies Can Improve Online Verification; and New Report: “World’s First Deepfake Audit Counts Videos and Tools on the Open Web”.
Fast Company – “To save Neverland, Peter Pan fought the pirates. To save their childhood, youth today need us, their parents, to fight against our “sharenting” habits. Our kids need us to protect their privacy and, along with it, their protected space to play so that they can make mischief, make mistakes, and grow up better for having made them. “Sharenting” is so omnipresent that most of us don’t even realize we’re doing it. Typically, this term refers to what parents post on social media. But “sharenting” is about so much more than social. It’s about doing all the things on all the digital platforms, from apps to smartphones to iPads to smartwatches to digital assistants and beyond. More formally: “Sharenting” encompasses all those ways that parents (as well as grandparents, teachers, and other trusted adults) transmit, store, and otherwise use children’s intimate data via digital technologies. As a law professor and part of the Youth & Media team at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, I’ve spent years studying the ways that parents’ use of digital tech impacts kids…And all of this sharenting is perfectly legal. The United States does not have any federal law that provides comprehensive protection for youth data privacy. Our legal system permits parents to share their kids’ private data, unless doing so would violate criminal law or another law of general applicability. Despite its name, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) doesn’t provide blanket protection for kids’ online privacy because it doesn’t apply when parents share personal information about their kids—only when kids under 13 share personal information about themselves…”
Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues December 14 2019 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss, highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: Verizon kills email accounts of archivists trying to save Yahoo Groups history; Ransomware: Cybercriminals are adding a new twist to their demands; 988 will be the new 911 for suicide prevention—by sometime in 2021; Ring’s Hidden Data Let Us Map Amazon’s Sprawling Home Surveillance Network.
“The World Intellectual Property Organization has published the first edition in a new publication series collecting landmark intellectual property (IP) judgments from some of the most dynamic litigation jurisdictions around the world. The “WIPO Collection of Leading Judgments on Intellectual Property” series aims to illustrate IP adjudication approaches and trends, by jurisdiction or theme in each volume. The first title is a joint publication with the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) of the People’s Republic of China. It features 30 representative judgments rendered by the SPC between 2011 and 2018, presented in both Chinese and English. These decisions, selected by the SPC, exemplify recent judicial adjudication in the areas of copyright, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, new plant varieties, integrated circuit layout designs, monopoly and competition, and criminal enforcement of IP rights. The publication is part of WIPO’s efforts in the area of the judicial administration of IP, led by the WIPO Judicial Institute, to engage judges from around the world as they share experiences on the common challenges they face and discuss new subject matters and concepts. The new series was launched at the November 13-15 “2019 WIPO Intellectual Property Judges Forum,” attended by 128 judges from 74 countries at WIPO headquarters in Geneva…”
gizmodo: “Lonesome George, the last of the Pinta Island tortoises, died in 2012. George’s story is the perfect extinction story. It features a charismatic character with a recognizable face, an obvious villain, and the tireless efforts of naturalists. The population of the Pinta Island tortoise species was decimated by whalers hunting and eating them during the 19th century. Zoologist József Vágvölgyi discovered George in 1971 and brought him into captivity. No other Pinta Island Tortoises have since been found. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared the species extinct in the wild in 1996, while researchers attempted to breed George with other tortoises to at least preserve his genetic material. But George died—of natural causes—sparking news stories about his life and legacy, which media outlets continue to cover to this day. But George’s story is not a typical story. Perhaps a better mascot of the extinction crisis is Plectostoma sciaphilum; a small snail, called a “microjewel” for its beautiful, intricate shell, that inhabited a single limestone hill in Malaysia. During the 2000s, a cement company wiped the hill off the map for its valuable resources, rendering the “microjewel” snail extinct.
Scientists estimate that species are going extinct 1,000 times faster than they should be, and “literally dozens” go extinct each day. But these estimates aren’t made from stories about big, rare zoo attractions; most of those victims are likely invertebrates, plants, and other beings you may not think much about. Even figuring out the actual extent of the biodiversity crisis is difficult, given how hard it is to estimate what we don’t know. Earth might be home to anywhere from 5 million to 10 million species, or perhaps a trillion, according to disparate estimates, of which researchers have catalogued less than 2 million. The IUCN’s Red List names only a thousand extinct or extinct-in-the-wild species—but one paper estimated that 7 percent of the known extant species might be extinct, if you include estimates of invertebrate extinctions….we’ve compiled a list of the species that the IUCN declared extinct in the past decade (it does not include species still around but declared extinct in the wild). The list is contains only 160 species, many of which were last seen many years ago or only discovered recently…”
Vox – In memoriam: The brands we lost in the 2010s – RIP Blockbuster, Borders, and so many more. “The 2010s were a decade of extreme retail innovation. Instagrammy direct-to-consumer companies like Warby Parker and Everlane sprang up seemingly overnight; hulking businesses like Amazon permeated what felt like every aspect of our shopping lives. There’s a cost, of course, to such breakneck change, and that came in the form of what’s been called the “retail apocalypse.” Not just the result of these new upstarts and consolidated power (private equity certainly did its part); the death of many traditional retail chains left hundreds of thousands without jobs, and the shuttering of countless storefronts. We asked some of our favorite writers to eulogize the brands that meant a lot to them, which breathed their last in the past decade. (Since bankruptcy is so complicated — brands that file don’t always die, zombie companies resurrect themselves all the time — we allowed somewhat loose criteria here.) Here, a handful of remembrances for the retailers that shaped us…”
The New York Times – The Decade Tech Lost Its Way – An oral history of the 2010s – “When the decade began, tech meant promise — cars that could drive themselves, social networks that could take down dictators. It connected us in ways we could barely imagine. But somewhere along the way, the flaws of technology became abundantly clear. What happened? The people who brought us this decade explain: Mark Zuckerberg, Edward Snowden, Ellen Pao, Phil Schiller, Kevin Systrom, Brianna Wu, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Mike Judge, Jonah Peretti, Diane von Furstenberg, Alex From Target — and many more. (People’s titles in the interviews below, which have been edited for clarity, reflect the roles they had at the time.)…”
“In the last few years, the number of FOIA lawsuits has risen dramatically, much faster than the rise in FOIA requests. Anecdotal reports suggest that delays in receiving responses to FOIA requests may be increasing and a reason for rising litigation. TRAC’s FOIA Project, with the help of a talented summer legal intern, explored the possible impact that delays in receiving responses could be having. The study found that the number of suits challenging agencies substantive responses had not materially changed in the last four years. Their numbers remained relatively small. Instead, most litigation occurred when agencies failed to respond to FOIA requesters. Suits filed when agencies failed to respond to FOIA requesters have skyrocketed. In more than four out of every five suits the agency had failed to respond. The statute provides that agencies need to respond within 20 business days. However, in 2019 requesters waited an average of nearly six months (177 days) before filing suit when they failed to receive any response to their request. In addition to not jumping into court quickly when an agency didn’t respond, requesters actually waited an average of over 30 days longer before filing suit in 2019 than they had in 2015. Where agencies did provide a substantive response, average days between a request and the filing of a suit was even longer – over 11 months (339 days). This period also increased between 2015 and 2019…”
Robert Ambrogi – LawSites: The two legal research companies Fastcase and Casemaker have settled their three-year legal battle over Casemaker’s claims of copyright in Georgia administrative regulations. “In federal court in Atlanta, the two companies jointly filed a stipulated dismissal of the matter. The request did not not reveal the terms of the settlement, but the dismissal was “with prejudice,” meaning the matter cannot be refiled at a later date…The settlement comes just a week after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a similar case, Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., which involves Georgia’s claim of copyright in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. The legal battled between Fastcase and Casemaker started in 2016, when Fastcase sued Casemaker after Casemaker served it a written notice demanding that it remove Georgia administrative rules and regulations from its research collection. Casemaker’s parent company, Lawriter, has an agreement with the Georgia Secretary of State designating it as the exclusive publisher of the Georgia Rules and Regulations and giving it the right to license that content to other publishers. After the court dismissed that lawsuit without prejudice in January 2017, Fastcase filed a second complaint against Casemaker in February 2017. Casemaker filed a motion to dismiss that second lawsuit. In July 2017, the court granted the motion to dismiss, concluding that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because Casemaker had never registered a copyright in the Georgia regulations, and also concluding that it lacked jurisdiction because because Fastcase failed to satisfy the amount-in-controversy jurisdictional minimum of $75,000. Fastcase appealed, and in October 2018, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for Fastcase, finding that the lower court erroneously granted summary judgment in favor of Casemaker and remanding the case to the District Court for further proceedings…”
Visualizing The Data Behind Distracted Driving in the United States – “Bloomberg has created a series of data visualizations demonstrating the widespread use of phones by individuals driving vehicles. The visualizations show that half of all individuals use their phones while driving at least ten percent of the time. In addition, the visualizations illustrate that drivers in New York City called, texted, or used apps on their phones roughly 22 percent of the time they were driving during the summer of 2019. Bloomberg created the visualizations using data from TrueMotion, a smartphone-based platform that tracks phone usage while driving.”