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.

Students, please be aware that the CALI website will be down for scheduled maintenance on Sunday, September 2 from 8:00 am to Noon, Eastern Time.  This maintenance will affect all components of the site.  After 12, everything will return to full operation.

Dear Students:

Be sure to check out the new scanner (next to the printer) in the reading room during your next trip to the library. Please try it out and let us know what you think.

Features of the BookEdge Plus KIC Scanner

KIC BookEdge Plus embodies state-of-the-art walk-up scanning solutions for students and faculty.  Using a touch screen, scan in black and white or color and at resolutions up to 600dpi and output to a variety of formats including searchable PDF, JPEG, TIFF, PNG, even MP3 audio files.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Scan/copy up to 24×17 inch bound or unbound material at twice the speed of a high-speed copier
  • Create full color electronic images and/or paper copies with a single touch
  • Review large electronic images at nearly full-size before printing copies
  • Electronically collate and print copies
  • C r e a t e searchable PDF, JPEG, TIFF, PNG and editable text files
  • Create audio files from text for MP3 players, including iPods
  • Create, collate, and print reports with title pages and style templates
  • Go ‘green’. Promote minimal use of paper and ink

KIC has many ways to store, send and print information.

  • USB drive
  • E-mail, FTP
  • PDF and searchable PDF
  • Audio Podcast
  • Local or Network Printer

All the best,

Library Staff

Have you ever come across a great journal article or database for your research, but were denied access? And then you had to practically start your research all over to try to find that article or database through the University Library web site? … Passkey can relieve your frustrations!
Passkey will make you a more efficient researcher, both on and off campus. It allows you to connect to databases and journals licensed to Cornell University without having to go through the University Library web site. Install Passkey and gain access simply by signing in with your NetID!

How do you get Passkey on your computer? From the Cornell University Library homepage, under ‘Library Services,’ select ‘Cool Tools’. Follow the installation instructions from there.

On the go and needing simplicity? Connect to the new mobile version of the law library website using your smartphone or i-Pod. It puts core information at your fingertips, including hours, contact information, and library news. One may also access the library catalog, query our legal research engine, schedule a research consultation with a librarian, keep up with our blog, and more.

Many thanks to Webmaster Sasha Skenderija for developing the mobile interface, and Librarians Iantha Haight and Jean Callihan for organizing the content.

Have you ever shown up for class, or come to the library to do research, only to discover that you didn’t bring your laptop with you? No need to resort to taking notes by hand! The Law Library has two laptops ready to loan out should you find yourself in this predicament. The laptops may be checked out to law students for three hours at a time, for use within Myron Taylor Hall. The laptops have secure wi-fi access to the Internet and are loaded with the Microsoft Office suite of programs. The Law Library also has available for loan: headphones and earbuds (loan period three hours), a flash drive (loan period three hours), and five digital audio recorders (useful for recording lectures; loan period one week). Students must have a note from their professor in order to check out one of the recorders. Equipment can be checked out at the circulation desk in the Reading Room – just ask!

You may have noticed that QR Codes are popping up everywhere, and the law library is no exception. QR stands for Quick Response. Originally created by Denso-Wave, these two-dimensional codes can be scanned by a camera phone to link directly to online information. The phone must be equipped with a QR Code reader; various readers are available for different phones and may be downloaded for free (a few phones come with a reader pre-installed). Here is an example of what a QR Code looks like. This one links directly to our list of online resources:

Here in the law library, QR Codes are useful to students and faculty who want to make a quick transition from a print item located on the shelf to an electronic version of the same material. They are especially helpful in circumstances where the most current material is needed. Accordingly, you will start to see more of these codes posted throughout the library as we move into the fall semester.

It’s tempting and convenient to use free Wi-Fi networks in public places like airports and coffee shops when you’re on the move, but did you know that such networks are prime targets for hackers looking to steal sensitive information from Wi-Fi users?  Apart from security concerns, maybe you’d just like to use your mobile device or laptop in an environment that’s more conducive to quiet concentration, but where?

On May 23, 2011 Cornell Information Technologies (CIT) rolled out “eduroam,” a secure Wi-Fi service, available at all RedRover locations on campus, and at participating institutions of higher learning around the world.  According to CIT Network and Communication Services, “eduroam is a secure, world-wide roaming access service for the research and education community.   It allows students, researchers, faculty and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity at their home institution, or when visiting other participating institutions.”   Eduroam is secure because it encrypts the Wi-Fi portions of data transmission; Cornell users log on using their Cornell net id and its associated password.  Tulane, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago are among the currently participating eduroam institutions.  Penn State, Yale, and UC Davis are beta-testing eduroam for eventual implementation.  Canadian universities using eduroam include McGill University and the University of Toronto.

To get started using eduroam, visit CIT’s “How to Set Up eduroam” page at: http://www.cit.cornell.edu/services/redrover/howto/eduroam/setup/index.cfm.  You’ll need to register your device and and install the SecureW2 software (Windows) or the configuration profile (Mac OS X and iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad).   There’s also a FAQ page at: http://www.cit.cornell.edu/services/redrover/faq.cfm#eduroam.  More information about eduroam, including information about participating member institutions, is available at: http://www.eduroam.org/.

Map of EritreaCongratulations to Luwam Dirar, Cornell JSD student, who recently published the research guide for Eritrea she co-authored with Kibrom Tesfagabir. The guide, entitled Introduction to Eritrean Legal System and Research, includes the following sections:

  • Constitutionalism
  • Government (National Assembly, Executive, Judiciary)
  • Court structure (regular courts, military courts, Sharia courts, etc.)
  • Legal education
  • Resources for researchers

The guide is published by Globalex, an online collection of research tools for foreign and international law hosted by the Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU Law. Globalex publishes research guides for many countries, and these are a great, free place to help familiarize yourself with that country’s legal system and legal publications, including Web sites. The foreign law guides are generally written by lawyers who have studied and practiced in these countries. Globalex also publishes research guides about international law and comparative law.

U.S. Supreme CourtWhen members of the legal community think about legal scholarship, what typically comes to mind is the concept of a print law journal (e.g., the Cornell Law Review, the Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy, the Cornell International Law Journal, etc.).  These works undoubtedly serve a very important function, but I wanted to write a bit about another relevant legal journal sited at Cornell Law School: the LII Supreme Court Bulletin.  I am fairly familiar with this Web site, having served as an LII editor during the 2009-10 academic year (my now-outdated biography is viewable here).  The LII Supreme Court Bulletin (“Liibulletin”) contains previews of cases on the Supreme Court’s (“SCOTUS”) docket.  Because the previews are written with recourse to the relevant parties’ submitted briefs (the full versions of which are usually available here) and are published before the decisions are handed down, the previews generally reflect a balanced view of the legal issues unaffected by the bias of hindsight.

Liibulletin is a fantastic resource for people who are interested in keeping abreast of SCOTUS cases, but don’t have tons of free time to do so (e.g., law students who have more than enough assigned reading for courses).  But one of the really neat things about LII bulletin is that it is particularly comprehensible and may be utilized by people without legal educations or backgrounds.  In order to ensure that LII previews remain accessible to lay persons, all the previews contain hyperlinks to a free legal dictionary and encyclopedia called Wex.  You will also note, by the way, that this dictionary, although frequently embedded within Liibulletin, is its own free-standing resource.

Each preview contains the following sections:

(1) A few key subject areas and descriptive terms.  These lists of terms are useful since anyone can perform a subject-matter search in Liibulletin across SCOTUS terms.

(2) An executive summary.  This section, which is emailed to all Liibulletin subscribers, succinctly identifies the relevant facts, issues, and arguments of the case.  It also generally addresses the legal (and, if relevant, nonlegal) significance(s) of the case.

(3) Itemized questions presented. These are copied verbatim as provided on the Supreme Court’s case schedule.

(4) Itemized issues.  As I mentioned earlier, Liibulletin is published with the underlying goal of making the law accessible to the public.  In this way, this section can be thought of as a simplification of the questions presented section.

(5) Factual narrative.  Predictably, this section tells a balanced story of the case and discusses facts pertinent to the controversy before the Court.

(6) Discussion.  This is the section that focuses on the greater picture.  It calls into question the consequences of the case from largely a policy perspective.  This section more or less explains the importance of the case.

(7) Analysis.  The analysis section is a detailed and balanced analysis and explanation of the legal issues before the Court.  It typically goes beyond summarizing the parties’ briefs and actually synthesizes the lower courts’ opinions and the briefs submitted by amici curiae.

(8) Conclusion.  The conclusion essentially restates the executive summary by tying everything together.  Once in a while, LII editors will include their own opinions about how the Court should rule.

(9) Additional Sources.  Each preview concludes with a list of additional legal sources that discuss the case.

I absolutely encourage anyone (or better yet, everyone) with an interest in learning about the Supreme Court’s docket to peruse the previews. If you’d like to have the previews sent directly to your email address, you can subscribe to Liibulletin here.

Daniel Shatz, Cornell Law School 3L Student

Photo courtesy of dbking’s Flickr stream.

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