The end of one year and the begenning of a new one always seems to bring with it a trove of lists taking stock of the best and worst of the previous year. Never one to miss an opportunity to list things, we thought we'd highlight one of our own featuring the top ten most downloaded papers in the history of the Scholarship@Cornell Law Repository. Some on the list are more recent publications, while one others have been around for a decade or more.

Top Ten Downloads:

African Customary Law, Customs, and Women's Rights
Muna Ndulo

Basic Indian Legal Literature for Foreign Legal Professionals
Uma Narayan

Overview of Legal Systems in the Asia-Pacific Region: India
Navoneel Dayanand

Overview of Legal Systems in the Asia-Pacific Region: South Korea
Oh Seung Jin

Legal Education in China: English Language Materials
Roderick O'Brien

Legalization of Prostitution in Thailand: A Challenge to Feminism and Societal Conscience
Virada Somswasdi

A Study of Islamic Family Law in Malaysia: A Select Bibliography
Raihana Abdullah

Introduction to the Italian Legal System. The Allocation of Normative Powers: Issues In Law Finding
Marinella Baschiera

Larger Board Size and Decreasing Firm Value in Small Firms
Theodore Eisenberg, Stefan Sundgren, and Martin T. Wells

Legal Treatment of Cohabitation in the United States
Cynthia Grant Bowman

 

homeHeaderLogoImage_en_USThe Journal of Open Access to Law is making its official debut this week. The journal describes itself as "an open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal of international scope. Its purpose is to promote international research on the topic of open access to law."

The inaugural issue features articles discussing "the governance of new models of legal publishing, projects in open access to law, technical challenges and economic opportunities created by open access to law as well as trends and changes suggested by the globalization of access."

For a more detailed description of the journal and its aims head over to Legal Information Institute Director and journal co-editor Tom Bruce's blog B-Screeds.

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.

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.

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.

The law library has a new resource available designed to help researchers navigate international legislation and case law regarding the acquisition and ownership of artwork.

Art Law & Cultural Property from the International Foundation for Art Research contains resources and information covering legislation that governs the export and ownership of cultural property from dozens of countries with primarily a European focus. Additionally, it covers case law and hard-to-find out of court settlement documents pertaining to art ownership issues in the United States.

The database is available to all Cornell students, faculty, and staff both on and off campus with the link given above.

 

Ben Rudofsky (3L) is the winner of the Halloween Research Competition and will receive a $25 gift card to the Cornell Store. Congratulations to all of you who had the correct answer of Royal v. Grounds, 471 F. App'x 324 (5th Cir. 2012).

The lesson - as always - vampires DO NOT have civil rights...or something.

Having first-rate research skills is a necessity in today's legal job market. As you're registering for the spring semester consider developing those skills through some of the specialized research courses taught by the law librarians at the Cornell Law Library. Course descriptions and names of the instructors are listed below:

LAW 6085 Law Practice Technology
Spring, 1 credit. Instructors: Femi Cadmus, Dan Blackaby,  and Carissa Vogel
This course introduces and investigates the use of current technologies in law firm practice.

LAW 6514 International and Foreign Legal Research
Spring, 2 credits. Instructor: Thomas Mills
The practice of law continues to become ever more dependent upon a clear understanding of the global context in which it occurs. This course provides an overview of sources, methods, and strategies for researching international and foreign law. Topics to be covered include the various legal systems of the world, public and private international law, the European Union, and the United Nations. The course will be delivered through lectures and hands-on exercises. Selected readings will be available online and on reserve; there is no required textbook. There will be a series of assignments and a final research project in lieu of a final exam. Foreign language ability is not required.

LAW 6739 Online Legal Research and Resources
Spring, 1 credit. Instructor: Amy Emerson
Take your research skills beyond the basics of Lawyering. This course provides an overview of the resources, methods, and strategies necessary to conduct efficient and effective online legal research for upper level courses and employment. Students will learn when and how to use various databases while considering their relationship to each other and to traditional print sources. The course will be delivered through interactive lectures and hands- on exercises. Internet access will be provided in the classroom. Selected readings will be available through the course website and on reserve; there is no required textbook. There will be a series of assignments and a final research project tailored to students’ individual interests.

 

nosferatu

Enter our research competition to win a $25 gift card to the Cornell Store! The rules are easy: email the answer to the question below to mjw332@cornell.edu by midnight on October 31. We will draw a winner from the pool of correct answers next week and announce it on the blog.

The Problem:

Bill Compton, a Louisiana prisoner and vampire, is claiming the prison where he is serving his sentence is violating his civil rights. Compton asserts that as Vampire King of the State of Louisiana, he has been barred from practicing his religion related to his role as leader of the vampires, which includes access to necessary food items such as real human blood rather than the Tru Blood synthetic bottled version that the prison has provided him.

Compton’s civil rights suit was rejected in district court on summary judgment and he appealed that decision in a federal circuit court. That court subsequently dismissed his claim as frivolous and noted that the suit counted as a “strike” under 28. U.S.C. 1915.

Locate a factually similar case involving a self-proclaimed vampire that inspired the story above. Send in the name of the case and the citation to mjw332@cornell.edu by midnight, October 31 for a chance to win the $25 Cornell Store gift card.

Professor Robert C. Hockett has been exploring the idea of using eminent domain as a way to relieve underwater mortgages in several of his recent publications. The research is more than just theory, as the city of Richmond, California took steps this summer to put such a plan into action, while several other municipalities are exploring the idea as well.

The Scholarship@Cornell Law repository is featuring one of Professor Hockett's recent publications on this topic titled: "A Federalist Blessing in Disguise: From National Inaction to Local Action on Underwater Mortgages", originally appearing in the Harvard Law and Policy Review earlier this year and co-authored with John Vlahoplus of the advisory firm Mortgage Resolution Partners.

The abstract describes the paper as:

Taking "the measure of the national mortgage debt overhang problem as a cluster of local problems warranting local action. It then elaborates on one form of such action that the localized nature of the ongoing mortgage crisis justifies - use of municipal eminent domain authority to purchase underwater loans, then modify them in a manner that benefits debtors, creditors, and their communities alike."

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

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