Friday, April 30, 2010

Massachusetts Passes Anti-Bullying Law

Yesterday, the Massachusetts House and Senate unanimously passed Senate No. 2404, a bill which broadly prohibits bullying on school property, on property adjacent to school grounds, on school buses and at school-related activities. The bill also prohibits bullying at other locations if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school or disrupts the educational process. The new anti-bullying law will be codified primarily at General Laws Chapter 71, Section 37O. Governor Patrick is expected to sign the bill into law today. Click on the title to this blog entry to view a pdf image of Senate No. 2404.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Associates' inefficient Westlaw searching costing their firm

One big law firm has instituted required training for associates in the "best practices" of Westlaw searching in order to curb escalating Westlaw bills. Law firm librarians were scheduled to conduct the best practices training. The excerpted training directive appears on the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Research Courses at Boston College Law School

Legal Information Librarians at BC Law Library will be offering 10 classes during the 2010-2011 academic year. These upper-level classes are designed to focus students' research interests and develop research skills within a practice area such as Environmental Law Research, International Legal Research, Insurance and Civil Litigation Research.

WestlawNext - A Review

WestlawNext is the topic of a review posted by Ryan Harrington of Yale Law School Library. Harrington notes that he expereineced the most success using WestlawNext for primary law research. He concludes that secondary sources, headnotes and Westlaw's citator service, KeyCite, are not presented strongly in the WestlawNext interface.

9 Things that Annoy Clients Most

The ABA Law Practice Management Section recently published a new book of pragmatic advice on how to successfully manage a law practice, The Busy Lawyer's Guide to Success: Essential Tips to Power Your Practice, by Dan Pennington and Reid F. Trautz. One of the tips on successful law practice management is to keep clients happy. Here is the book's list of the Top 9 Things that Annoy Clients:

  1. Not returning phone calls or emails
  2. Making clients wait in the reception area
  3. Staff rudeness
  4. Name-dropping
  5. Legal jargon
  6. Not delivering on promised outcome
  7. Not communicating during long period of inactivity
  8. Lack of preparation
  9. Sending large bill without warning

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lawyers Without Rights

From April 13 - 17, 2010 at the spring meeting of the ABA International Law Section in New York City, and from August 5 - 10, 2010 at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the ABA will present an exhibit "Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich". The exhibit was first presented by the regional bar of Berlin in 1998 and has been exhibited in more than 80 cities since then, with each local or regional bar association adding to the exhibit. This is the first time the exhibit is being presented in the United States. "It's a graphic historical demonstration of the need to protect lawyers around the world -- and what happens when nobody does that," says Aaron Schildhaus, former chair of the Section of International Law.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Noncitizen's constitutional right to a fair trial

Yesterday, SCOTUS decided that a noncitizen who is given bad advice concerning the consequences of a plea bargain upon his or her immigration status has been denied a fair trial through ineffective assistance of counsel. The title to this blog entry links to a pdf of yesterday's slip opinion in Padilla v. Kentucky, Case No. 08-651.