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Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002
Updated: 1 hour 41 min ago

LC Law Day 2019 Event: “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society”

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 14:06

“On May 1, 2019 at 1:30 p.m., the Law Library of Congress will present its annual Law Day event. Join Law Librarian of Congress, Jane Sánchez, in a conversation with American Bar Association President, Bob Carlson, for a discussion on this year’s Law Day topic, “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.”  Please register for this event via Eventbrite. The discussion will take place in Room LJ-119, located on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. In addition, a collections display featuring items from the Law Library of Congress and the Serials and Government Document Division will be open at LJ-113 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Held annually on May 1, Law Day is a national day to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. Law Day also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in democracy and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts. This program is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required but registration is highly recommended. For additional event information, please contact the Office of External Relations at”

Categories: Law and Legal

Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 13:47

Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report. “View the current snapshot of people’s positive and negative daily experiences based on more than 151,000 interviews with adults in over 140 countries in 2018. Representing the views of citizens from more than 140 countries and areas, this study measures life’s intangibles — feelings and emotions — that traditional economic indicators such as GDP were never intended to capture. Each index equips global leaders with insights into the health of their societies that they cannot gather from economic measures alone…”

Read the U.S. results – Americans’ Stress, Worry and Anger Intensified in 2018 – Asked about their feelings the previous day, the majority of Americans (55%) in 2018 said they had experienced stress during a lot of the day, nearly half (45%) said they felt worried a lot and more than one in five (22%) said they felt anger a lot…Younger Americans between the ages of 15 and 49 are among the most stressed, worried and angry in the U.S. Roughly two in three of those younger than 50 said they experienced stress a lot, about half said they felt worried a lot and at least one in four or more felt anger a lot…”

Categories: Law and Legal

New Site Is Comprehensive Resource for Federal and State Jury Instructions

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 13:38

LawSites – “A new website, Trialdex, is a comprehensive resource for finding and comparing federal and state jury instructions. Formally launched yesterday, the site provides a searchable collection all official or quasi-official federal civil and criminal instructions and annotations, as well as an index of 20,000 legal terms, statutes, CFRs and Supreme Court cases referenced in jury instructions. The index includes every reference in a federal instruction or annotation to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, a U.S. Code statute, a C.F.R. provision, and a federal rule. The site does not index state instructions, but provides links to all state instructions that are posted online and uses a Google search integration to enable full-text search of all state instructions. The site also offers a selection of “Trialdex tools,” which are flowcharts and Q&As that help a user analyze causes of action and other complex legal problems…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Chrome extension simplifies Gmail interface to the bare minimum

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 12:48

Declutter and Simplify Gmail – “A Chrome extension that brings the simplicity of Google Inbox to Gmail. WHO MADE THIS? Simplify was made by me, Michael Leggett (, with some help from friends. I was Gmail’s lead designer from 2008 to 2012 and co-founded Google Inbox. I’ve been writing Chrome extensions for years to simplify the apps I use but have only ever shared them with friends. With the unfortunate demise of Google Inbox, I wanted bring the simplified email experience to Gmail. IS IT SAFE? I’m glad you asked. You should always be super careful what extensions or apps you use with your email. Simplify is mostly some CSS plus a little Javascript to apply the CSS. There are no trackers. No data is sent or shared. No ads ever. Promise. And all the code can be inspected on Github:

Categories: Law and Legal

CIA now has an Instagram account

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 12:33

Axios: “The CIA, one of the rare government entities known for its social media savvy, is now on Instagram to give users another look into the secretive agency, Axios’ Marisa Fernandez writes.

  • The new account is another online vehicle to “spark the curiosity of Instagram users” and find recruits, CIA press secretary Timothy Barrett said.
  • He noted that its first photo — captioned “I spy with my little eye…” — includes the original 1985 badge photo for CIA director Gina Haspel, as well as an open notebook with Arabic writing that reads: “Share what we can, protect what we must.”
Categories: Law and Legal

Artificial Intelligence Will Change E-Discovery in the Next Three Years

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 21:31

Law Technology Today: “…According to Andrew Ng, Co-Founder of Coursera and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, artificial intelligence (AI) is the new electricity. “Just as electricity transformed almost everything 100 years ago,” he explains, “today I actually have a hard time thinking of an industry that I don’t think AI will transform in the next several years.” Ng is not alone. Consumers’ lives, tastes, and habits have been profoundly altered by artificial intelligence, with companies like Amazon, Google, Netflix, Spotify, and Uber (to name a few) disrupting well-established industries. Legal technology including e-discovery (and software as a service in general) will not be spared. No less an authority than Gartner estimates that 80% of emerging technologies will be built on a foundation of artificial intelligence by 2021…AI facilitates e-discovery by playing a number of roles in the process: curator, advisor, and orchestrator. Both curator and advisor roles are familiar to e-discovery professionals. AI can recommend documents for deeper review (much like Netflix recommends a new movie or TV show), or it can advise a project manager on scoping custodian lists or collection criteria (as it can suggest a response to a text message or email). But newer AIs can also function as an orchestrator of the entire e-discovery process, learning from past actions and results, and coordinating tasks across multiple channels…”

Categories: Law and Legal

“Sanctuary” Jurisdictions: Federal, State, and Local Policies and Related Litigation

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 21:09

EveryCRSReport – “Sanctuary” Jurisdictions: Federal, State, and Local Policies and Related Litigation, April 16, 2019.

“There is no official or agreed-upon definition of what constitutes a “sanctuary” jurisdiction, and there has been debate as to whether the term applies to particular states and localities. Moreover, state and local jurisdictions have varied reasons for opting not to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts, including reasons not necessarily motivated by disagreement with federal policies, such as concern about potential civil liability or the costs associated with assisting federal efforts. But traditional sanctuary policies are often described as falling under one of three categories. First, so-called “don’t enforce” policies generally bar state or local police from assisting federal immigration authorities. Second, “don’t ask” policies generally bar certain state or local officials from inquiring into a person’s immigration status. Third, “don’t tell” policies typically restrict information sharing between state or local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Lawyers, law students’ signatures needed for SCOTUS amicus brief in favor of publishing the law

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 20:47

BoingBoing: “Attentive reader will note that rogue archivist Carl Malamud (previously) published the laws of Georgia — including the paywalled annotations to the state laws — in 2015, prompting the state to sue him and literally call him a terrorist; Malamud countersued in 2015 and won a huge victory in 2018, when the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that the law could not be copyrighted. Now, the State of Georgia wants to go to the Supreme Court to argue for its right to charge the people of Georgia to know which laws they are supposed to be following. There’s a lot at stake: Malamud has been threatened by Idaho, Oregon, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia for posting state laws and is being sued by six plaintiffs in DC for posting public safety laws, and has received a dozen more takedowns from Standards Development Organizations whose standards have been incorporated into state law.

Malamud and his counsel (Elizabeth Rader and Tom Goldstein and Eric Citron of Goldstein & Russell), are responding to Georgia’s petition and they are seeking amici: if you are a law student or practicioner they would like you to sign onto this amicus brief prepared by Jeff Pearlman by filling in this form…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Study identifies 80% of journalists falling for false online info

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 20:38

Poynter – “In a new study conducted by the Institute for the Future, a California-based nonprofit think tank, researchers found more than 80% of journalists admitted to falling for false information online. The data was based on a survey of 1,018 journalists at regional and national publications in the United States. Perhaps more concerning: Only 14.9% of journalists surveyed said they had been trained on how to best report on misinformation…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Adult Children Are Costing Many Parents Their Retirement Saving

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 19:02

Bankrate: “Parents are responsible for taking care of their children, and that means emotionally, physically — and financially. But how old is too old to be receiving money from mom and dad? A new Bankrate survey on financial independence looked into the average age Americans think individuals should start paying for their own bills, including car payments, cell phone bills and student loans. The journey to independence has changed in recent years as “helicopter parenting” and prolonged education continue to create more co-dependent financial relationships between parents and children. But the data from this new survey reveals an alarming trend: 50 percent of Americans say they have sacrificed or are sacrificing their own retirement savings in order to help their adult children financially…”

Categories: Law and Legal

41% of voice assistant users have concerns about trust and privacy

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 18:43

TechCrunch: “Forty-one percent of voice assistant users are concerned about trust, privacy and passive listening, according to a new report from Microsoft focused on consumer adoption of voice and digital assistants. And perhaps people should be concerned — all the major voice assistants, including those from Google, Amazon, Apple and Samsung, as well as Microsoft, employ humans who review the voice data collected from end users…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Is Shakespeare’s DNA Hiding in the Folger Library’s Vault?

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 16:29

Washingtonian – “Project Dustbunny” Aims to Find Out – That extremely unlikely outcome is just one aspect of an intriguing scientific effort – “The Folger Shakespeare Library’s underground storage facility stretches a full block beneath the building, protected by a nine-inch-thick steel bank-vault door. It houses about 260,000 historically significant books, along with manuscripts, documents, and even costumes saved from 19th-century productions. But could the Capitol Hill research library—the largest collection devoted to the Bard in the world—also contain, quite literally, Shakespeare himself? That possibility is the longest of long shots, but it’s one potential outcome of an ongoing effort at the Folger dubbed Project Dustbunny—so named because it involves analyzing human DNA and proteins harvested from dirt inside the Folger’s old books…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Draft UN Report – One million species risk extinction due to humans

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 15:02

Agence France Presse: “Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP that painstakingly catalogues how humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends. The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, CO2-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves — to name but a few of the dwindling services rendered by Nature — poses no less of a threat than climate change, says the report, set to be unveiled May 6.

Indeed, biodiversity loss and global warming are closely linked, according to the 44-page Summary for Policy Makers, which distills a 1,800-page UN assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature. Delegates from 130 nations meeting in Paris from April 29 will vet the executive summary line-by-line…Deforestation and agriculture, including livestock production, account for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and have wreaked havoc on natural ecosystems as well.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report warns of “an imminent rapid acceleration in the global rate of species extinction.” The pace of loss “is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years,” it notes…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The State of the Air 2019

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 21:47

American Lung Association: “The “State of the Air” 2019 found that, in 2015-2017, more cities had high days of ozone and short-term particle pollution compared to 2014-2016 and many cities measured increased levels of year-round particle pollution.

The “State of the Air” 2019 report shows that too many cities [enter your zip code for the data] across the nation increased the number of days when particle pollution, often called “soot,” soared to often record-breaking levels. More cities suffered from higher numbers of days when ground-level ozone, also known as “smog,” reached unhealthy levels. Many cities saw their year-round levels of particle pollution increase as well.

The “State of the Air” 2019 report adds to the evidence that a changing climate is making it harder to protect human health. The three years covered in this report ranked as the hottest years on record globally. High ozone days and spikes in particle pollution zoomed, putting millions more people at risk and adding challenges to the work cities are doing across the nation to clean up…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Pew – 10 percent of Twitter users create 80 percent of tweets

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 21:34

“We know from Pew Research Center surveys that 22% of U.S. adults use Twitter. But surveys can only tell us so much about how these Americans actually use the platform. A new Pew Research Center study goes a step further. First, we asked survey respondents whether they use Twitter and, if so, for permission to look at their Twitter accounts. After reviewing each account, we quantified these Americans’ tweets, likes, followers and followings. The result is the Center’s first study of Twitter behavior that’s based on a representative sample of U.S. adults who use the platform.

Among U.S. adults, Twitter discourse is dominated by a small share of tweeters. The most prolific tweeters – those in the top 10% by number of tweets – are responsible for 80% of all tweets created by U.S. adults. That includes all types of tweets: original tweets, retweets and quote tweets…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Sliding Backward on Tech? There Are Benefits

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 21:07

Pamela Paul, editor of The New York Times Book Review, decided to downgrade her tech two years ago. “It has worked out, with paper and DVDs instead of the latest apps and gizmos…Strictly in terms of review process, our desk hasn’t changed much — because the vast majority of our editors and reviewers prefer to work in print. It’s easier for an editor to assess a book without reading it in its entirety by dipping in and out. Reviewers like to mark up their galleys, which are early review copies. That said, PDFs make fact-checking far easier and speed our process for embargoed books. We can also see early editions of visual books that aren’t available in galleys (the printing costs are too high) without having to wait for finished physical copies. And we can more readily get access to audiobooks digitally than we ever could with CDs. [Note – there are many professionals in all sectors who are tech literate and yet gadget and gizmo averse.]

Categories: Law and Legal

You Can Virtually Visit 31 National Parks This Week With Google Earth

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 20:38

Adventure Journal: “In honor of National Parks Week, which runs through April 28, Google Earth has launched a stunning virtual tour of 31 parks. Obviously, you’d rather be in those parks, but if you can’t, this is a pretty novel use of eye-opening technology to bring you there. The tours are part of Google Earth’s “Voyager” project, and in addition to a sort of fly-through overview of the parks, there are guided virtual tour videos of some favorite places of the national park’s rangers. The program is easily navigable; just click on the park you’d like to visit and the software plops you right down on the trail. Well, your computer, anyway, not physically you. The ranger tours are in videos in which you click and drag for 360-degree views of the cave or rock formation they’re showing off. A cool diversion from your workday.”

Categories: Law and Legal

MIT Technology Review dedicates entire issue to global climate change

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 18:43

May/June 2019 issue: “Welcome to climate change – Time to start talking less about the technology for preventing global warming and more about the technology we’ll need to live with it….This issue of MIT Technology Review rests on the premise that while one should never give up on mitigation, it’s time to start talking more about adaptation and suffering—about the technologies the human race will need in a catastrophically altered world, and about the economic, political, and social realities of living in it…”

See also The New Yorker – “Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old climate activist, says that all she wants is for adults to behave like adults, and to act on the terrifying information that is all around us.”

Categories: Law and Legal

WH may seek to prevent McGahn from complying with House subpoena

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 18:08

CNN – “…Apparently recognizing the potentially devastating impact of McGahn’s testimony, the White House reportedly may assert executive privilege in an effort to block it. But executive privilege — the notion that certain communications between the President and his advisers should remain confidential — seems inapplicable here. First, under the legal “crime-fraud exception,” testimonial privileges do not apply to conversations that occurred in the course of committing a crime — here, at least arguably, obstruction. Second, the White House likely has given up, or “waived,” the privilege by permitting McGahn to speak to Mueller about the communications and then by allowing McGahn’s testimony to not be redacted in the final report. Typically, once a privilege is waived, it cannot then be un-waived later…” [Note – nothing about these events is typical]

Categories: Law and Legal

U.S. War Costs Casualties and Personnel Levels Since 9/11

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 15:24

CRS report via FAS – U.S. War Costs Casualties and Personnel Levels Since 9/11, April 18, 2019

“Seventeen years have passed since the U.S. initiated major military operations following the September 11, 2001,terrorist attacks. In the intervening period, operations first classified as Global War on Terror (GWOT) and later Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) have varied in scope. Though primarily focused on locations in Afghanistan and Iraq, they have also included territories throughout Central and Southeastern Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. This In Focus summarizes major expenditures on U.S. war operations, reconstruction assistance, troop levels and casualties, and ongoing issues for Congress.This analysis narrowly defines war/non-war costs as OCO-designated appropriated funds associated with overseas operations as designated in DOD’s official“Cost of War (CoW)” report. Other observers may define war operations or costs more broadly…”

Categories: Law and Legal