Monthly Archives: August 2012

On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.

But at least one court has recognized a case for fraudulent misrepresentation, based on assumption of a false persona or personae on the Internet.  The Illinois Court of Appeals stated that the “[p]laintiff and “Jesse” began an on-line romantic relationship that lasted [from April 2005] until July 2006. In addition to e-mails, “Jesse” and plaintiff exchanged personal photos, handwritten letters, and gifts. They even spoke regularly on the telephone; plaintiff alleged that defendant used a voice-altering device to disguise her female voice. Defendant, under her own name, also maintained a relationship with plaintiff during this period. In addition, defendant created a universe of approximately 20 fictional on-line characters involved with “Jesse,” including an ex-wife, a son, various family members, a therapist, and friends living in the United States and abroad. These characters communicated with plaintiff from separate and distinct e-mail accounts and even sent photos, handwritten mail, and packages from different states and foreign countries. Plaintiff sent gifts worth over $10,000 to defendant, “Jesse,” and various other characters.”

To find the opinion and read it for yourself, search for Bonhomme & St. James as party names in the Illinois cases database of your favorite vendor.

Legal News of the Day: Texas Voter ID Bill Rejected

Yesterday, August 30th, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held that Texas failed to satisfy the requirement set forth by section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that Senate Bill 14, which would require in-person voters to present photo identification, won’t have a retrogressive effect on the right of minorities to vote.  Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has already announced his intention to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.  So far, 33 states have passed some form of voter ID legislation. It’s been a hot button issue in light of the upcoming 2012 election, with a state judge in Pennsylvania upholding PA’s strict voter ID law (this case has already been appealed to the state supreme court) and a state judge in Wisconsin holding that Wisconsin’s voter ID law is unconstitutional.  For much more on voter identification requirements, check out this page compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Hang In There–Fall Training Schedules Are Here!

Need a little extra help? Fall Training Schedules from Academic Success, Lexis & Westlaw are here. Sign up for a workshop (or go to all 22!)

Academic Success Workshops–Fall 2012

Each Workshop is given twice a week!

WEEK ONE – How to Succeed in Law School – Room 236

Tuesday, August 28 or Thursday, August 30 – 12:40-1:40

Photo courtesy http://meanderingmatriarch.com/2010/12/22/fun-facts-and-fotos-for-frog-fanciers/

An overview of the skills and habits you need to do your best in law school, including tips on time management, class participation, and planning for exams.  Pizza will be served!

WEEK TWO – Exam-Focused Reading, Notes, and Participation – Room 236

Tuesday, September 4 or Thursday, September 6 – 12:40-1:40

In college, reading, note-taking, and class attendance is usually passive – students read the textbook, go to class, listen to a lecture, take notes, and then regurgitate the information for the exam (and whoever remembers the most stuff gets the “A”).  Since law school exams reward legal analysis, not rote memorization, you need to learn how to read “like a lawyer” and “activate” your notes for your exams.

WEEK THREE – Outlines: Succeeding on Exams – Room 236

Tuesday, September 11 or Thursday, September 13 – 12:40-1:40

You’ll hear a lot about class outlines, and every year students say that they wished they had started them earlier.  This Workshop will teach you how to make an effective one.

LATER IN THE SEMESTER:

How to Write an Exam I (Basics), How to Write an Exam II (Walkthrough), and Simulated Exams – Work on law school questions under Simulated Exam conditions.

Tuesdays with Lexis

Sept. 4th “Lexpo” — Quick expo style intro to a variety of Lexis features demoed by fellow students

Sept. 11th  There’s An App For That: Researching Lexis on Mobile Apps

Sept. 18th State Statutes: TOC Search, Annotations, Shepards

Sept. 25th Legal Research Certification: Getting docs, running searches, secondary sources, cases, statutes, Shepards (all on Lexis Advance)

Oct. 2nd “Sheptober”: All about Shepards

Oct. 9th State Case Law: T&C search, Filters, Legal Issues Trail, Shepards

Oct. 16th Memo-Aid: Secondary sources, Topic Summaries, search strategies, filters, expanding research

Oct. 23rd Bar App Help: Lexis public records search

Oct. 30th Staying Organized: Folders, TOA, LMO, BriefCheck

Nov. 6th Exam Prep:  Case Summaries, Treatises, Outlines

Our Lexis rep, Carmela Orsini, is also available on Mondays for individual appointments, Lexis table days, and make-up sessions.

Westlaw

Tuesday, September 4th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Tools that help 1Ls Succeed in Law School

Tuesday, September 18th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Researching Statutes on Westlaw

Tuesday, October 2nd ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Researching Cases on Westlaw

Tuesday, October 9th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Updating Cases with Westlaw’s KeyCite

Tuesday, October 16th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Using Secondary Sources on Westlaw

Register for the sessions at:  http://lawschool.westlaw.com/calendar/trainingcalendar.aspx?view=list

As always, come visit us at the reference desk if you’ve got questions or need help with other library resources!

Legal News of the Day: Graphic Cigarette Labels Not Required

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down a Food and Drug Administration regulation requiring tobacco companies to display graphic images on cigarette packages.  In the opinion, the court held that the FDA’s requirements exceeded the agency’s authority and threatened the autonomy of manufacturers of products by forcing them to “go beyond making purely factual and accurate commercial disclosures.”

Legal News of the Day: Alaska the Latest to Challenge the Voting Rights Act

On Tuesday, the state of Alaska filed a suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claiming that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 infringes on state sovereignty.  The suit is centered around Section 5, also referred to as the preclearance requirement, which prevents certain states that have historically discriminated against minorities from amending their voting laws without gaining pre-approval from the Department of Justice or a panel of U.S. District Court judges.  For more on the VRA and Section 5, check out this op-ed.

What’s the nearest coffee shop to the law library?

Thanks for using covered beverage containers in the library

…and other important questions, like how to print to network printers or register your Westlaw and Lexis passwords, now answered in our latest LibGuide, Cocky’s Guide to the Law Library. Check it out and get answers to your questions on library resources and getting up and running at the law school at guides.law.sc.edu/lawlibraryorientation. Or stop by the reference desk between 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. Welcome back!

Legal News of the Day: AZ Governor’s Executive Order Limits Obama’s New Immigration Policy

This week, President Obama’s policy allowing young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to apply for a temporary stay of deportation and work permit went into effect.  In a quick response, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an executive order yesterday targeted at those workers.  Executive Order 2012-16, entitled Re-Affirming Intent of Arizona Law In Response to the Federal Government’s Deferred Action Program, states that being issued Deferred Action documents does not entitle these immigrants to any state or local public benefits or give them eligibility to obtain state identification.  For more information, go here.

Legal News of the Day: Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court to Uphold Affirmative Action Policy

On Monday, several members of the Obama administration submitted an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold an admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin that includes applicants’ race in its consideration of whether applicants should be admitted.  The petitioner claims that the university violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, alleging that she was denied admission on account of her race.  The Supreme Court will hear the arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin on October 10th, 2012.  For more information on the case and to access other briefs and documents submitted in this case, check out Scotusblog’s coverage here.

Bluebook Now Available as an App

We all love and hate our Bluebook. Now, the Bluebook is following the electronic herd and making the rules available as an app for all Apple IOS devices. On August 10th, 2012, the Bluebook editors announced that the rulebook app published by Ready Reference Apps would be the official and excusive app for Bluebook. The mobile version of the Bluebook is now available for sale at the App store for all Apple IOS devices for $40.00 from the App Store via the rulebook app. You have to download and install the free rulebook app and then select, download, and install The Bluebook

BUT Wait… the good news is that the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Bankruptcy Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure and Evidence rules may be downloaded at no charge onto the rulebook app on August 22, 2012.  The free 2012 versions of the federal laws “will be kept current through the end of the year,” states Gregory Hoole, president of Ready Reference Apps. Unfortunately, there are no immediate plan for an android version of the app. Too bad all of you android users.  However, for the apple user law students this app is something to look into when making your book purchases. [David]

Is your “burn phone” data private? Maybe not.

On Tuesday, August 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that there is no expectation of privacy in data from a disposable cellphone. At issue in the case was the DEA’s use of GPS data from the defendant’s “burn phone,” which the defendant attempted to frame as a warrantless search. The Court was not persuaded, noting that “Because authorities tracked a known number that was voluntarily used while traveling on public thoroughfares, Skinner did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the GPS data and location of his cell phone.” Get the whole scoop here.