Law and Legal
National Archives: “With billions of pages of records, there’s no question that the holdings of the National Archives are vast. The breadth can be intimidating to researchers and online users, especially first-time users, who may not have familiarity with the organization and management of archival material. One of NARA’s strategic objectives for improving access to our holdings is the development of new digital tools that help users navigate the universe of records held at the National Archives. That’s why we are excited to announce our first step in achieving this objective: the Record Group Explorer. This new pathway into NARA’s holdings provides an intuitive interface for users to understand the scale and organization of our holdings and to explore what is available online via the National Archives Catalog…”
How-to-Geek: “…There’s no way to connect to a fax machine directly over the Internet, as the fax machine is only connected to telephone lines. To perform a fax online, we’ll need some sort of gateway that accepts documents via the Internet and transmits the document to a fax machine. That’s where the below services come in. Give them a document and they’ll do the annoying work of dialing up the fax machine and sending your document over the telephone line….”
See also via LLRX – Collaborative Law Firm: The Fax is Dead, Long Live the Fax
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Executive Director Noah Bookbinder released the following statement: “Following our request yesterday for a temporary restraining order against President Trump and the Executive Office of the President mandating them to preserve records of the president’s communications and meetings with foreign leaders, the government has agreed to preserve all relevant records, including the records of conversations and meetings with foreign leaders, pending the outcome of our lawsuit. We believe the law is clear that these records need to be created and preserved. It is encouraging to know that those records that have been created will be preserved at least for the time being. We look forward to arguing our case in court to ensure that they always will be.”
Vox – “The Supreme Court will hear three cases next Tuesday that ask whether it is legal to fire workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That alone is enough to make them three of the most important employment discrimination cases in many years. But there are additional layers to these cases, layers that could imperil all workers regardless of whether or not they are LGBTQ. The defendants’ arguments would reopen long-settled legal arguments, potentially upending much of federal anti-discrimination law in the process. At the most fundamental level, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC are cases about whether the existing federal ban on sex discrimination forbids employment discrimination against LGBTQ workers. Zarda and Bostock involve Donald Zarda and Gerald Bostock, gay men who allege they were fired because of their sexual orientation. Harris Funeral Homes involves Aimee Stephens, a trans woman who was fired by a boss who claims that he would violate “G-d’s commands” if he allowed Stephens “to deny [her] sex while acting as a representative of [the] organization.”…”
The Marshall Project – “Most federal prisons have a designated area for inmates to pursue legal work: a legal library/typing room. Though we are in the 21st century and digital tech is everywhere, the Bureau of Prisons, or BOP, is dead set, come hell or high water, on keeping legal libraries/typing rooms firmly lodged in its halcyon days of glory: the 1980s, when Congress, in its infinite wisdom, created mass incarceration. Yes, there are computers. But they run on simplistic, primitive systems that may have been the cat’s meow 16 years ago, but are in desperate need of an upgrade. But the most striking anachronism in the legal library is the electric typewriter, a true icon and state-of-the-art staple of the 1980s. It’s always fun to watch the faces of criminal justice students touring the prison, wide-eyed and fearful. We are the wild beasts in the zoo that they’ve been told about and here we are in our natural habitat, here in the legal library fighting our cases on typewriters. They’re probably thinking, Good Lord! How do you edit? How do you copy/paste? How do you spell-check?…”
The New York Times – “For years, Google has kept a record of our internet searches by default. The company hoards that data so it can build detailed profiles on us, which helps it make personalized recommendations for content but also lets marketers better target us with ads. While there have been tools we can use to manually purge our Google search histories, few of us remember to do so. So I’m recommending that we all try Google’s new privacy tools. In May, the company introduced an option that lets us automatically delete data related to our Google searches, requests made with its virtual assistant and our location history…
Most of Google’s new privacy controls are in a web tool called My Activity. Once you get into the tool and click on Activity Controls, you will see an option called Web & App Activity. Click Manage Activity and then the button under the calendar icon. Here, you can set your activity history on several Google products to automatically erase itself after three months or after 18 months. This data includes searches made on Google.com, voice requests made with Google Assistant, destinations that you looked up on Maps and searches in Google’s Play app store…”
Vox/Recode: “Zulily is introducing a feature on Wednesday that aims to show online shoppers how much cheaper its prices are than Amazon’s and Walmart’s. The comparison will show up on thousands of Zulily product pages each day, as long as the exact item is also sold by either Amazon or Walmart.com. In testing, Zulily says it found it had a lower price than the two large competitors 97 percent of the time. One caveat: The majority of items that Zulily sells are still unique goods that aren’t sold on the bigger competitors’ sites, so shoppers will still often land on a Zulily product page that doesn’t have a comparison. And another: Zulily’s shipping fees start at $5.99, while Amazon and Walmart customers get free shipping on certain orders. Still, the move is a bold one since it’s unclear how Amazon or Walmart will respond. They could choose to start price-matching Zulily or, worse, they could undercut the smaller competitor simply to prove a point…”
Bloomberg: “Vinyl records, paper books, glossy magazines – all should be long dead, but they’re refusing to go away and even showing some surprising growth. It’s probably safe to assume that people will always consume content in some kind of physical shell – not just because we instinctively attach more value to physical goods than to digital ones, but because there’ll always be demand for independence from the huge corporations that push digital content on us.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl album sales grew 12.9% in dollar terms to $224 million and 6% in unit terms to 8.6 million in the first half of 2019, compared with the first six months of 2018. Compact disc sales held steady, and if the current dynamic holds, old-fashioned records will overtake CDs soon, offsetting the decline in other physical music sales. Streaming revenue grew faster for obvious reasons: It’s cheaper and more convenient. But people are clearly not about to give up a technology that hasn’t changed much since the 1960s…”
What does Caselaw Access Project do? The Caselaw Access Project is making all U.S. case law freely accessible online. With the Caselaw Access Project API (CAPAPI) and bulk data service, we can share 40 million pages of published U.S. court cases. Why does Caselaw Access Project exist?Access to our common law – the written decisions issued by our state and federal courts – supports equality and enables innovation in legal services.
Between 2013 and 2018, the Harvard Law School Library digitized over 40 million pages of U.S. court decisions in collaboration with legal startup Ravel Law, transforming them into a dataset of over 6.7 million cases that represent 360 years of U.S. legal history. The Caselaw Access Project API (CAPAPI) and bulk data service put this important dataset within the reach of researchers, members of the legal community, and the general public. Learn more about how Caselaw Access Project data is being used in our Gallery and CAP Examples repository on GitHub….”
ghacks.net: “The video streaming site YouTube keeps track of your activity on the site. If you are signed in to an account, it keeps a record of all videos that you watched, all your searches, all comments, and community activity including live chat and makes these available to you. The site uses the activity records for several purposes including its recommendation system; Google may use the activity to improve other Google products as well as it notes on the activity management page on YouTube. If you watch a lot of football, travel, or food videos, YouTube will recommend these videos more so than other video types to you when you visit the site. Recommendations are not everyone’s cup of tea on YouTube as the site may — and usually does — recommend inappropriate content or content that is of no interest. We have showed you how to remove individual channel recommendations on YouTube, how to block recommended videos on YouTube, and how to block endscreen video recommendations on the site in the past…”
Fortune: “A big problem with passwords is that people use the same one over and over. This means that hackers who steal a password for one website—like for a hotel reward program—can often use it in many other places—such as to unlock their bank account. As a result, compromised passwords can turn into a skeleton key for hackers break into many parts of a victim’s digital life.
To reduce this risk, Google is rolling out a nifty tool that warns users when they visit the website of a company that’s been the victim of a data breach, and warns them if their password has been compromised. Google announced the new tool on Wednesday, alongside a service where users can audit all of their passwords to see if any have been exposed to hackers….”
AALL Spectrum, September/October 2019 – Data-Driven Legal Services – New Roles for Information Professionals to Make Law Firms More Competitive by Ed Walter and Katherine Lowry.
House Cmte. on the Judiciary – The Federal Judiciary in the 21st Century: Ensuring the Public’s Right of Access to the Courts – September 26, 2019 – Documents
- Witness List
- A statement from Judge Steve Leben, Kansas Court of Appeals
- A letter from Judge Bridget Mary McCormack, Chief Justice, Michigan Supreme Court
- A letter from Judge Maureen O’Connor, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio
- A letter form Judge Elizabeth D. Walker, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Appeals, Charleston, WV
- A statement from National Press Photographers (NPPA)
- A letter from Americans for Prosperity
- A letter from the American Association of Law Libraries
- A letter from 16 organizations to Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member Collins
UPS press release: “UPS subsidiary UPS Flight Forward Inc. today announced it has received the U.S. government’s first full Part 135 Standard certification to operate a drone airline. The company will initially expand its drone delivery service further to support hospital campuses around the country, and to provide solutions for customers beyond those in the healthcare industry. UPS Flight Forward plans in the future to transport a variety of items for customers in many industries, and regularly fly drones beyond the operators’ visual line of sight. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded UPS Flight Forward a Part 135 Standard certification on Friday. The UPS subsidiary immediately launched the first drone delivery flight by any company under Part 135 Standard at WakeMed’s hospital campus in Raleigh, N.C. That flight, using a Matternet M2 quadcopter, was flown under a government exemption allowing for a “beyond visual line of sight” (BVLOS) operation, also a first in the U.S. for a regular revenue-generating delivery…”
Android Police – “We humans have always loved looking up to the stars, but for a few decades, the night sky hasn’t only been populated by natural phenomena. A plethora of satellites are orbiting our planet, and if you know just when to look up, you might even be able to see some flying over your head. Google graphics and computer vision engineer James Darpinian has developed a web app that helps you identify where to look to spot these objects by utilizing Street View and browser notifications as well as weather warnings.
The web app is accessible via James Darpinian’s website and is optimized for both mobile and desktop. Once you allow it to access your location, it shows your position on the globe plus a timeline of satellites flying over your position when it’s dark. You can click or tap each entry to preview the orbit. A huge button labeled “See where it will appear in your sky” takes you to a dimmed Street View point of view, letting you identify over which building or tree to look for to see the flying object…”
Via LLRX – Collaborative Law Firm: The Fax is Dead, Long Live the Fax – The long heralded death of fax machines has yet to materialize as doctors, pharmacists, state, local and federal government, to name just a few groups, continue to rely on systems that originated in the 19th century. Nicholas Moline, a member of Justia’s Engineering team identifies multiple ways that faxes continue to be used in law firms.
Yankovskiy, Roman M, Legal Design: New Thinking and New Challenges (May 15, 2019). R.M. Yankovskiy. Legal Design: New Challenges and New Opportunities // Zakon, 2019, №5, pp. 76—86. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3447215 – “This article is dedicated to the notion of “Legal Design” which generally applies to creative approaches to legal tasks. The method has spread widely with the development of legal technologies (legal tech) which improve the efficiency of everyday legal jobs (through aggregators, machine learning algorithms, distributed instruments. etc.). As developers of the new products must use design thinking (UX/UI design, prototyping, a/b testing, scaling) this approach is also being gradually adopted by the legal community.
When I started to write this article, I faced a dilemma: either to put it together using legal design methods (e.g. client-oriented approach, visualizations, simplifications) or mask the content under layers of pseudo-scientific jargon and sophisticated citations. I’ve chosen the first option in full accordance with Legal Design philosophy and I hope that readers find it useful…”
Inside Higher Education – A new report analyzing what students need the most found they often chose the library as a top destination for services. “A study released Monday by Ithaka S+R, the research arm of nonprofit Ithaka, found that students see libraries as a valuable space for services, including nonacademic services….”
“This article reviews ten notable financial applications where ML has moved beyond hype and proven its usefulness. This success does not mean that the use of ML in finance does not face important challenges. The main conclusion is that there is a strong case for applying ML to current financial problems, and that financial ML has a promising future ahead.”
Federal Workforce: Talent Management Strategies to Help Agencies Better Compete in a Tight Labor Market. GAO-19-723T: Published: Sep 25, 2019. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2019. “Technology, demographics, and attitudes toward work are evolving. But federal government employment policies were designed generations ago. As a result, the government may struggle to compete for talented workers—which is one reason why federal human capital management is on our High Risk list. We testified on talent management strategies. For example, agencies can:
- Assess skills gaps to ensure they’re getting and keeping the people with the skills they need
- Acquire talent through internships
- Use existing work-life balance incentives such as flexible scheduling
- Engage employees by involving them in decisions and developing them…”