What time is it? Llama time! deaconJust a reminder that the therapy pets make their return to student lounge tomorrow from 11a.m to 1p.m.

Four dogs and the aforementioned llama will be available. No sign-up required; drop by anytime.  Spouses, partners, and children are welcome.

consultationWhether you are working on a looming project or paper, or simply want to get a jump on developing the skills you might need for summer employment, research consultations are a great way to get prepared.

Get advice tailored to your research needs on:

  • Advanced research skills and strategies.
  • Jurisdictional sources.
  • Key resources in substantive practice areas.
  • And more!

Appointment forms are available at the circulation desk.

As classes end and we begin the exam period, access to the Law Library is restricted from Saturday, December 7, through Friday, December 20.  During restricted access periods the law library is open to law school affiliates, university faculty, and non-law students conducting legal research.  The law library continues to be sensitive to the needs of the university community during exams, and non-law students who need to retrieve books or obtain research assistance are welcome to visit the library for those purposes.

llama

Join the Law Library for pet therapy in the student lounge on Tuesday, December 10.  Four dogs and a llama (that’s right, a llama) will be available to all for relaxing companionship from 11am to 1pm – drop in any time!

This program is co-sponsored by the Cornell Law Library, Cornell Companions, a pet visitation program sponsored by the Cornell University veterinary community, and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Club, who will provide refreshments.

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Many people have their version of the White Whale, that thing they chase but can’t quite acquire or overcome.

For 3L Peter Cavallaro it came in form of Pope Benedict XVI. Well, not the man so much as his signature and the acquisition of it.

“It was very difficult” he said. “I wasn’t able to get it until about a month-and-a-half ago.”

It’s no surprise that Cavallaro would eventually track it down as he is an avid collector of autographs with over 300 hundred signatures from a variety of famous people. Replicas of a portion of his collection are currently on display in the Reading Room featuring figures from the last 50 years of American political and civil rights history. The autographed photos range from civil rights activist James Meredith to astronaut John Glenn and from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush.

Cavallaro said he’s been collecting over the last decade, some in person and some by mail. Regardless of method, he said the process is not unlike law school in that it requires research, planning and persistence in order to achieve success.

“The challenge is doing the research and looking for the right contact,” he said.”Ninety percent of the battle is just getting it in front of them.”

Nov. 27: 9a.m. – 5p.m.

Nov. 28-30: Closed

Dec. 1 : 10:30a.m.- 8p.m.

The Cornell E-Rulemaking Initiative (CeRI) has been exploring technological innovation as a supplement to formal Notice and Comment rulemaking provided by the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations.  Attorneys and professional associations frequently submit lengthy comments regarding important proposed rules but advocates for open government worry that participation by affected individuals is lacking.

A recent CeRI article by Cynthia R. Farina, Dmitry Epstein, Josiah Heidt, and Mary J. Newhart summarizes some of the CeRI findings: “Regulation Room: Getting ‘More, Better’ Civic Participation in Complex Government Policymaking.” CeRi’s ‘Regulation Room’ supported online participation for 5 proposed federal rules & then evaluated the impact in their recent paper.  The rules governed texting while driving, Electronic Onboard Recorders in trucks, airline passenger rights, airline kiosk and website accessibility, and consumer protections for home financing.  In addition to providing an opportunity to comment on particular sections of the proposals, CeRi members advertised the regulations on social media and then moderated comments by asking for more detailed information. The paper analyzed the effectiveness of the Regulation Room initiative by looking at the summary of the comments in the final rules as well as the type of comments forwarded to the agency.  Without the Regulation Room support, there is a participation literacy barrier: many members of the public don’t have the ability or inclination to devote a significant amount of time reading through lengthy proposed regulations, even if the proposal has a direct impact.

For more on the latest scholarly articles from CeRI and the rest of the law school faculty visit the repository at Scholarship@Cornell Law.

title page report

Check out what we’ve been up to the last 12 months with our 2012/2013 annual report. The report includes a message from our director, highlights of our Collections, Information Management, Reference and Research Services, and Access Services departments as well as updates on the professional activities of the staff and of various projects. Some of the features include the visit of Bitner Research Fellow Priya Rai, the return of ever-popular therapy animals, an update on the law school construction project and the award-winning Trial Pamphlets digitization project.

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This month marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. The speech is sometimes referred to as the greatest closing argument in history, in part because Lincoln himself spent his early career as a lawyer in Illinois.

The law library has numerous books available for checkout detailing Lincoln’s career as a lawyer and covering his skill as an orator. One of the more recent examples is Arthur Rizer’s Lincoln’s Counsel: Lessons from America’s Most Persuasive Speaker, published by the American Bar Association.

From the publisher’s website:

Before Abraham Lincoln was called “Mr. President,” he was called “counselor” and “esquire.” Some consider him to be one of the nation’s greatest attorneys and, at the very least, an enormously persuasive speaker. He spent more years practicing law than any other president, and his years in the legal profession were essential to his eventual election to the Presidency.

As a lawyer, Lincoln knew how to craft successful closing arguments. As a president–with his Gettysburg Address, perhaps the greatest closing argument in history–he knew how to persuade a bitterly divided country into ultimately doing what was right for all.

Through examples from Lincoln’s great speeches and closing arguments–included in their entirety are Lincoln’s First and Second Inaugural Speeches, the Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation and more–this book instructs you in the art of persuasion in two simple ways: by providing lessons from Lincoln’s career as a lawyer and politician, and then by analyzing those lessons and discussing how to apply them to your own life. Lincoln’s Counsel gives important advice about advocacy straight from the very best.

Also, due to Cornell possessing one of the original copies of the address, be sure to check out the commemorative events taking place around campus this month by visiting the university’s events calendar here.

 

Last month the Supreme Court announced it would address the issue of the death penalty and the mentally disabled. The scenario is one that Cornell Professor John Blume has published on frequently throughout his career and he has recently been quoted in media reports detailing the court’s decision to clarify its death penalty jurisprudence by granting cert in Hall v. Florida.

In Hall, the defendant faces the death penalty in Florida and the Court is considering whether his situation mirrors that of the Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) when the court held that executions of mentally disabled criminals are ‘cruel and unusual punishments’ prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.

The Scholarship@Cornell Law repository is featuring two of Blume’s publications dealing directly with Atkins and the issue of mental disability in death penalty cases.

The first, co-authored with Sheri Lynn Johnson and Christopher Seeds is titled An Empirical Look at Atkins v. Virginia and its Application in Capital Cases, 76 Tenn. L. Rev. 625 (2009). The article looks at data of decisions post-Atkins to examine the implications it has had on factually similar cases. The second, Of Atkins and Men: Deviations from Clinical Definitions of Mental Retardation in Death Penalty Cases, 18 Cornell J. L. & Pol’y 689 (2009) also co-authored with Johnson and Seeds, examines the cross-jurisdictional similarities and differences of how states’ define mental disability post-Atkins.

For more on the latest scholarly articles from Professor Blume and the rest of the law school faculty visit the repository at Scholarship@Cornell Law.

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