Thursday, March 30, 2006

Podcasts from the U.S. Government

A long list of podcasts available from the U.S. Government can be found on FirstGov, the government's official Web portal. Included are podcasts of military news from the Pentagon, President Bush's speeches and remarks, science feature stories from NASA, and homeland security research news from the EPA.

SOURCE: Moritz Legal Information Blog

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Are You Happy?

Not if you're an English lawyer, at least according to a new poll of the happiest workers in the UK, to which we are alerted by Robert Ambrogi's Lawsites. In the "Happiest Workers" list of the City and Guild's Happiness Index, lawyers are listed as 27 out of 28 (only pharmicists are less happy). For the curious, topping the list are beauticians, followed by clergy and florists. However, all is not lost--in the "Workers with the best work/life balance" list, lawyers fare much better (6 of 28). Whose at the top: would you believe DJs?

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Hours Behind Your Billable Hours

How long does it really take to reach an annual target of 1800 billable hours? According to the Yale Law School Career Development Office's "The Truth about the Billable Hour" page, something on the order of more than 2400 hours! According to the site, "[t]he purpose of this handout is to help you understand the billable hour expectations most law firms have for associates, and the impact of those expectations on your lifestyle." (emphasis added) The site estimates the number of hours you will spend actually on the job if you have a "full time job" (target 1800 billable hours) or an "overtime job" (target 2200 billable hours).

SOURCE: FSU College of Law Library Blog via Moritz Legal Information Blog

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Law Dog of the Week

This week's SIU Law Dog is Gracie, a 240-pound English Mastiff. She lives with Marsha Wood, who works in the law library.

Join us next week for another Law Dog of the Week. We will feature a dog each week until we run out of photos.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Law Dog of the Week

This week's SIU Law Dog is Maggie, an Australian Shepherd puppy. She lives with Amy Campbell, a first-year student.

Join us next week for another Law Dog of the Week. We will feature a dog each week until we run out of photos.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Legal Aspects of Blogging

Check out an article in the March 2006 issue of the Wisconsin Lawyer for an article exploring "The Shifting Legal Landscape of Blogging." Author Jennifer L. Peterson, a Wisconsin attorney, reviews some of the "challenging legal issues, including ones involving defamation, privacy, and copyright law," that are raised in the brave new world of blogging.

SOURCE: WisBlawg

70th Anniversary of the Federal Register

A recent press release from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) reminds us that the Federal Register, "the daily newspaper of the Federal government," turned seventy years old on March 14. The Federal Register contains: Federal Agency Regulations, Proposed Rules and Notices, Executive Orders, Proclamations, and other Presidential Documents. The release reminds us that

"Since rulemaking has a direct impact on most Americans, what appears in the Federal Register daily is very important to the American people. Evidence of this can be found in the fact that over the past two years, the public has downloaded almost 200 million Federal Register documents each year. During each of the past ten years, the Federal Register has published more than 70 thousand pages of rulemaking documents. In 1936, the Register published 2620 pages for the entire year. Today, the Register publishes that many pages in a typical week."

SOURCE: beSpacific

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Law Dog of the Week

photo of law dog of the week

This week's SIU Law Dog is Daisy. She is shown here kayaking with Prof. Trish McCubbin.

Join us next week for another Law Dog of the Week. We will feature a dog each week until we run out of photos.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Congratulations to SIU Moot Court Board Members

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The 3L team of Jason Caraway, Doug Hoffman, and John Wilkinson was one of the four regional finalists in the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition. They advance to the National Competition to be held in Chicago next month. The team's brief placed fifth in the region and Doug Hoffman was named tenth best oralist. The 2L team, Laura Birchfield, Neel Mookerjee, and Christopher Polillo, also competed.

In the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition, the 2L team of Nate Baily, Marty Offutt, and Erica Stanmar were awarded Best Brief. The team also won four straight rounds before being eliminated in the quarterfinal round by the team that went on to win the competition. The 3L team of Stacy Campbell, Mollie Nolan, and Nate Strickler also competed, and won all three of their preliminary rounds on orals with the eleventh ranked brief.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Guide to Public Records Research

The University of Baltimore Law Library Weblog alerts us to Genie Tyburski's very useful guide to "The Art of Public Records Research," available now on the Virtual Chase but originally published in the Nov./Dec. 2005 issue of The CyberSkeptic's Guide to Internet Research. The guide "explains important differences between public records, public information and private information [and] . . . introduces select public records databases and search techniques." Among other topics, it covers "finding federal court filings" and "finding clues in public filings."

Tutorial on Business Research

The "Beginner’s Guide to Business Research" is an information literacy tutorial developed in conjunction with Baruch College of the City University of New York by Kognito Solutions LLC. It "provides students with hands-on, self-paced instruction on where and how to find the best, most accurate information via the Web when conducting business research [and] . . . includes interactive activities, library database simulations, and an interactive quiz with customized feedback."

SOURCES: Moritz Legal Information Blog and Law Librarian Blog

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Congratulations to the Following Students

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Newly-named student editors for 2006-07:

  • Journal of Legal Medicine Commentary Editor in Chief: John Castronova
  • Journal of Legal Medicine Associate Commentary Editor in Chief: Nicole Kaufman
  • Legal Medicine Perspectives Student Managing Editor: Hanna Kelley
  • Legal Medicine Perspectives Associate Student Managing Editor: Sam Wright

Making Sense of Acronyms and Abbreviations

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Do you sometimes find yourself mystified by government abbreviations? Does a document littered with unfamiliar government acronyms make about as much sense as a bowl of alphabet soup?

Help is as close as the nearest internet browser. The University Library at IUPUI has a list of Abbreviations & Acronyms of the U.S. Government with the full names of the agency or program to which they refer. Most entries link to the official website. There is also a page for Military Acronyms and Glossaries.

For abbreviations in legal citations, check out the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations.

For help deciphering medical records, see Berman JJ. Pathology abbreviations and acronyms. May 18, 2001.

Thanks to Moritz Legal Information Blog, South Carolina Trial Law Blog, and Internet Legal Research Weekly for the links.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Congratulations to the Following Students

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The newly elected 2006-07 executive committee of the Southern Illinois University Law Journal:

  • Editor in Chief - Jeremy Tillman
  • Managing Editor - Caroline Borden
  • Survey Editor - Joanne Olson

Another SIU Law Professor Begins Blogging

Professor Greg Duhl, who currently teaches Property II and Agency and Partnership at SIU School of Law, has joined the ranks of blogging law professors. He is the Blog Editor for the new Unincorporated Business Law Prof Blog, a member of the Law Professor Blogs Network and the official blog of the AALS Section on Agency, Partnership, LLCs, and Unincorporated Business Associations.

Subscribe to the Unincorporated Business Law Prof Blog Atom feed or RDF feed.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Law Dog of the Week

photo of law dog of the week

This week's SIU Law Dog is Max. He is Sarah Fript's study buddy. Sarah is a 2nd-year law student.

Join us next week for another Law Dog of the Week. We will feature a dog each week until we run out of photos.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Best Newspaper Blogs

According to a study conducted by the Blue Plate Special team from NYU (fifteen undergraduates in journalism, two grad students, and one professor), "the top blogging newspaper in the U.S. among major dailies . . . [is] the Houston Chronicle. By a mile." The State of Blogging at America's 100 Largest Newspapers presents their data in chart form, including information on the topics covered by each paper's blog, as well as providing the blog's URL. But not to prolong the suspense, the Specials, as they call themselves, identified six standout newspaper blogs and two honorable mentions:

Top Blogging Newspapers:

  1. Houston Chronicle
  2. Washington Post
  3. USA Today
  4. St. Petersburg Times
  5. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  6. San Antonio Express-News

Honorable Mention:

  • New Orleans Times-Picayune
  • The Oklahoman

SOURCE: beSpacific

Tutorial on Adding Graphics to Word Documents

From inter alia by way of the BarclayBlog comes a tip about the free online tutorial provided by Microsoft for adding graphics to Word documents. According to its introduction, you can use the tutorial to "[l]earn how to insert many types of graphics into your Microsoft Word document and position them exactly where and how you want, including inside or alongside a block of text." Its goals are to enable you to:

  • Identify a variety of graphic types that you can use in a document.
  • Insert those graphics.
  • Resize, group, and rotate graphics.
  • Precisely position a graphic on the page.
  • Align a graphic with text, including wrapping text around it.
  • Keep a graphic in place by using an anchor.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Congratulations to the Following Students

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The following 2L members of the Southern Illinois University Law Journal had their casenotes chosen for future publication in the Journal.


Collin Richmond, “Promissory Estoppel: Only a Shield, Not a Sword? Analysis of DeWitt v. Fleming.”


Elizabeth Wieneke, “Secured or Unsecured?: Conflicting Requirements of the Notice Filing Systems of the Uniform Commercial Code and the Tax Code Lead Creditors to a False Sense of Security, United States v. Crestmark Bank”

Michelle Sanders, “To Serve and Protect? Supporting Polic Inaction over Domestic Violence Victim Protection in Castle Rock v. Gonzales”

Erin Doyle, “Endangering the Great Divide: Challenges to the Establishment Clause in Van Orden v. Perry”

Stephanie Lindsay, “Dirty Water on a Daily Basis: Friends of the Earth v. Environmental Protection Agency”

Natalie Kussart, “Paid Bills v. Charged Bills: Insurance and the Collateral Source Rule, Arthur v. Catour”


Chris Frericks, “The Need for Speedy Trial Reform in Southern Illinois: People v. Workman”

Dane Kurth, “Corporate Decision-Making and the Lack of Invovlement frm the Board of Directors: In re The Walt Disney Co. Derivative Litigation”

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Scamming You by Phone

Individuals identifying themselves as AT&T Service technicians are calling private residences and informing individuals that they are conducting tests on the telephone lines, and that in order to complete these tests, the owner needs to press the following keys: nine (9), zero (0), the pound sign (#), and then hang up.

PLEASE BEWARE! By pressing this sequence of keys and hanging up, you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line which enables them to place long distance calls that are billed to your home phone number.

Apparently this scam has been originating from many local jails/prisons. This information is from a very reliable source and was verified with UCB Telecom, Pacific Bell, MCI, Bell Atlantic and GTE. Please beware and pass this information on ...

DO NOT Press 90# for ANYONE.

Update: The 90# scam is only is a problem with large, organizational phone systems, and not personal residences. There is more information on this matter at: TruthOrFiction.

However AT&T warns of a similar call-forwarding scam in which automated messages are left on residential phones directing people to dial a 2-digit code preceded or followed by the * or # key in order to claim a prize or money. The AT&T Consumer Tips site has more tips for protecting yourself from scams involving residential and cell phones.

Remember, if it sounds fishy, it probably is. Don't press * or # for anyone. Just hang up.