One of our long-time law library staff members, Elizabeth Shivers, has a significant role in the new movie, "The Express - The Ernie Davis Story". You might have some trouble identifying Elizabeth since she plays Ernie Davis' grandmother (!) She has been active as an actress in Chicago theater for years. Last year we blogged about her nomination for her work in a production by the "eta Creative Arts Foundation".
The movie is based on the book, "Ernie Davis - The Elmira Express: the Story of a Heisman Trophy Winner " by Robert C. Gallagher that tells the story of the great Syracuse running back who also became a hero of the early civil rights movement in this country.
"Born and raised near Pittsburgh , Ernie was born into the poverty of the coal-belt. His father and mother separated shortly before his dad died in an accident. Raised in the nearby Pittsburgh industrial center of Uniontown by his grandparents, Davis moved to Elmira, New York at age 12 with his mom and new stepfather."
He became the first black athlete to be awarded the Heisman Trophy for the 1961 season during his senior year at Syracuse University. Elmira Star-Gazette sports writer, Al Mallette, coined the nickname for Davis, the "Elmira Express."
"Based on a true story, The Express follows the extraordinary life of college football hero Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. His fight for equality and respect forever changed the face of American sports, and his story continues to inspire new generations. Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania coal-mining country, Davis hurdled social and economic obstacles to become one of the greatest running backs in college football history. Under the guidance of legendary Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid), he became a hero who superseded Jim Brown’s achievements and set records that stand to this day.
As the growing civil rights movement divided the country in the ‘60s, Davis became a symbol for achievement that transcended race. Refusing to flinch from others’ prejudices, he achieved all his goals—until he faced a challenge that would make most men crumble. He joined the ranks of black pioneers by teaching a generation tolerance, inspiring a movement that smashed barriers on and off the field."
(Source: Express movie trailer)
The movie opens in theaters on October 10, 2008
From the Manchester Guardian:
Library fines could become a thing of the past if a group of librarians get their way. A fiery debate has been raging for the past week between librarians, with anti-fine campaigners describing the charges as punitive, old-fashioned and creating a negative impression of libraries.
"Libraries are facing competition from television, magazines, the internet, e-books, yet they have this archaic and mad idea of charging people money for being slightly late," said library consultant Frances Hendrix - a loud voice in the debate which has been taking place on an online forum for librarians. "It's all so negative, unprofessional and unbusinesslike; like any business, libraries need not to alienate their customers." Liz Dubber, director of programmes at reading charity The Reading Agency, agreed. "My personal view [is that] they're past their sell-by date because they do sustain a very old-fashioned image of libraries which is out of sync with today's modern library environment and the image libraries are trying to project - tolerant, responsive, flexible, stimulating," she said.
Here in the States, however, library patrons may not want to unilaterally ignore those overdue notices just yet:
The next time you forget to return a couple of library books (and ignore those annoying letters about the overdue status of said volumes), think of Heidi Dalibor. The Wisconsin woman, 20, was arrested earlier this month in connection with a pair of books overdue for several months. Dalibor, who made the mistake of ignoring a court citation issued after she failed to respond to letters and phone calls from the Grafton library, was busted August 6 for failing to return copies of Janet Fitch's best-seller "White Oleander" (a 1999 Oprah Book Club selection) and "Angels & Demons," author Dan Brown's precursor to "The Da Vinci Code." According to a police report, Dalibor was apprehended at her family's home, cuffed and stuffed in a cruiser, and booked for violating the "overdue library materials" ordinance. [...] Dalibor subsequently settled with the library by paying her overdue fines and reimbursing it for the cost of the two novels, which totaled around $180.
The Pope took full advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak out before the United Nations on behalf of human rights, giving it primacy over national sovereignty. The historic implications of this decision were analyzed by Father Dennis H. Holtschneider, President, DePaul University, during his remarks at a Center for Church/State Studies’ Breakfast Forum, held at the Union League Club, on July 9, 2008.
On April 18th, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI’s addressed the United Nations on the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. He spoke in support of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). In so doing, according to Father Holtschneider, he “made a notable contribution to the body of knowledge known as Catholic social teaching.”
R2P is one of the earliest products of 21st Century international legal thought. It contends that the world community has a moral duty to intervene in the affairs of a sovereign state when grave and widespread violations of human rights occur which the state itself can not contain. Father Holtschneider said a major point of the Pope’s U.N. address was his contention that, “national boundaries have their place, but they are not absolute.”
Holtschneider regards this view as a “stunning reversal,” of perspectives about the community of nations that goes all the way back to the Treaty of Westphalia. Signed in 1648, Holtschneider stated that, “the Treaty acknowledged a shift in the center of power from the physical body of the ruler to the land controlled by the ruler. With that comes an agreement to respect boundaries which has held since 1648.” R2P, according to Holtschneider, is emblematic of a “sea change,” about the need give primacy to human rights values over that boundary consciousness.
Father Holtschneider noted that Pope Benedict XVI’s speech to the United Nations was his first; and that, since he is 81 years old, likely his only opportunity to do so. But he made the most of it, advocating on behalf of R2P and, “putting the weight of the Catholic Church behind it.” The Pope offered a theological justification for his view, stating it is rooted in a recognition of the human family and of the innate dignity of every man and woman. Holtschneider said the Pope,” called on to the world to uphold the principle that “if we assert inviolable human rights, we are committed to act on their behalf.” At the same time, Holtschneider clarified that this was a statement of the Pope’s opinion and was not dogma. As he mentioned during a Q&A afterwards.“We are at a minimum watching an idea take hold in the church and the church is helping this idea take hold in the world.”
By Dan Ursini
See Dan Ursini's piece in the Winter 2008 issue of the Rinn Law Library Newsletter:
"Prof. David Scheffer Speaks on R2P at DePaul: A Personal Reaction by Dan Ursini"
Link to photos of Pope's visit
As a kid and young adult, Rich Lax loved learning and doing magic tricks. But this interest did not seem to provide a "viable career path" as far as his parents were concerned. So given a family history of lawyers, he conceded and was enrolled at the DePaul University Law school.
As well as his skills at magic, Rich Lax has considerable writing skill and has penned a wry and amusing book about his first year of law school, "Lawyer Boy: A Case Study on Growing Up".
As Kevin Underhill author of the blog "Lowering the Bar - Legal Humor. Seriously.", says about the book, "Lawyer Boy" is, more or less, a memoir of Lax's first year in law school at DePaul University in Chicago. It's a lot more entertaining than that might sound, though, even if you are not a lawyer, because the writing is clear and funny, frequently laugh-out-loud funny. No, not eyebrow-lift or even appreciative-nod funny, but the laugh-out-loud kind."
"There are also diagrams, comic strips, and other asides like bogus law-school-admission-denial letters and numerous comical footnotes explaining various legal concepts that have no business being funny." ...
Rich Lax will be appearing at a Discussion/Booksigning at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at the DePaul Center, 1 East Jackson Blvd. , on Wednesday August 27 at 5:30PM. Don't be surprised if there is also a magic show thrown into the mix.
In a column in the August,2008 LexisNexis InfoPro newsletter, Rachel Baarz, LexisNexis Librarian Relations Consultant and member of AALL (American Association of Law Libraries) and SLA (Special Library Association), has a short interview with librarian Andrew Zimmerman, author of the valuable online publication, Zimmerman’s Research Guide. The Guide was hosted at the LLRX site from 1999 to 2003 and is now available from LexisNexis. Never heard of Zimmerman’s Research Guide?
As Catherine Sanders Reach, an abanet staff member, says in a posting, " This online legal research encyclopedia offers the “little black book” of experienced law librarians, providing many “eureka!” moments to the frustrated legal researcher. "Zimmerman’s Guide is the brainchild of Andrew Zimmerman, a law librarian with 10+ years of research experience, along with help and input from a bevy of other law librarians."
" Continuously updated, the guide provides encyclopedic entries on everything from “Texas” to “Blue Sky Laws”. It covers states, federal jurisdictions, popular Acts, associations, practice areas, and much more. Replete with “see” and “see also” references, this heavily linked database offers a description, research resources, and helpful hints for each entry. ... Anytime a researcher is faced with tackling unfamiliar terrain, Zimmerman’s comes to the rescue! "
Andrew Zimmerman is the Director of Library Services at Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander LLC in Baltimore, Maryland. He has over ten years of research experience in large law firms including Dewey Ballantine LLP, Proskauer Rose LLP and Hogan & Hartson LLP. He previously worked as a legal writer in the Tax and Professional Practice division of Prentice Hall and served as Associate Editor of The Manhattan Review. He holds a B.A. (English) from Vassar College, a J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law and an M.L.I.S from the Pratt Institute. ( Source: http://www.lexisnexis.com/infopro/zimmerman/about.aspx )
Has anyone looked at Justia lately? The site now features public domain copies of the Federal Reporter going back to 1950, or 178 F2d. What's more remarkable is that the opinions are in citation order, making it a relatively free access version to the opinions of the federal appellate courts when citations are available. The opinions do not feature star paging, which would be a nice feature. Given the effort and imagination to mount the database in this form, however, that is not a complaint.
Let's hope that the effort continues with the reported opinions of the federal district courts and the state courts.
DePaul University, College of Law has received a grant of $100,000 to support legal analysis and policy research to reduce biological weapons dangers.
( Recent Grants ( International Peace and Security) MacArthur Foundation )
"With MacArthur Foundation support, three projects are engaged in international efforts to build awareness about the bioterror threat and lay the groundwork for responses ranging from prevention to enforcement. The project leaders are John Steinbruner, director of the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland; John Hamre, president and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.; and Barry Kellman, law professor at DePaul University in Chicago and director of DePaul’s International Weapons Control Center."
“What we’re trying to do in the realm of biological weapons is a microcosm of the enormous geopolitical change underway,” says Kellman. “We’re shifting from security being an issue among states to one that is international in the most literal sense — the international community working together to protect itself against the bad guys. It goes to the very core of what it means to live in a global society.”
( MacArthur Foundation Newsletter Spring 2004 )
Law Professor Andrea Lyon played an important role in getting a commutation of sentence from Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, for a woman, Kylleen Hargrave-Thomas, who was convicted of murder in 1991. In 2001 Professor Lyon, had re-investigated her case with the assistance of Michigan law students. They discovered grossly inadequate legal representation, lack of disclosure of exculpatory evidence by police, and no follow-up by police of other suspects. A disitrict court judge ordered a new trial in 2002 and freed her from prison. But four years later, a 2-1 decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, overturned that decision and put her back in prison. Her freedom will be returned to her when she is released from the Robert Scott Correctional facility on Sept. 2.
Granholm order to set convicted killer free Sept. 2
Woman had been sentenced to life
BY DAVID ASHENFELTER and KORIE WILKINS
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS • August 6, 2008
Freedom, finally - The story behind a woman's release from prison
By News Hits staff
Detroit Metrotimes, 6/6/2008
Hanging by a nail
A broken fingernail and a fleeting glance led to a murder conviction — and lingering doubts
By Katie Merx
Detroit Metrotimes, 4/25/2001
An excellent follow-up to the July 2008, AALL Spectrum article, "The Missing Lawyering Skill" , by Richard Lieter, can be found in a Town Hall program presented by Thompson West Publishing, at the recently concluded AALL (American Association of Law Libraries) Conference in Portland ,Oregon. Mr. Leiter focused on the seeming indifference to legal research instruction in the Carnegie Foundations report, "Educating Lawyers - Preparation For the Profession of Law ", which recommends basic changes to legal education in the U.S.
The Town Hall white paper, "Partnership and Solutions for Preparing Job-Ready Attorneys", examines why there is such a " gap between desired and actual research skills among new associates". It is based on a "survey conducted by Thomson West of 224 individuals, including law firm librarians, development directors, attorney supervisors and newer attorneys at organizations ranging from solo practitioners to large law firms."
In addition to the Carnegie report that Mr. Leiter discusses, the white paper also makes reference to a complimentary publication, "Best Practices for Legal Education—a Vision and a Road Map", by members of the Clinical Legal Education Association, which speak to the importance of teaching legal research as part of legal education.
"Best Practices is divided into chapters or groups of chapters that address goal setting, organization of a program of instruction, delivering that instruction, assessing the earning of the students during the instruction, and evaluating the success of the instruction after its completion. Legal research is mentioned quite often as a tool to be used in the doctrinal courses, as well as a skills course in its own right."
"Both Best Practices and the Carnegie Report recommend a more practicum-oriented approach to legal education: the introduction of practical matters in the heretofore rigidly doctrinal courses such as torts, property and contracts. There should be a component about how to find the law pertaining to these doctrinal courses, and such should be included in most of the doctrinal courses." ... (AALL White paper, p. 13-14 )
The views presented in the white paper are supplemented by two candid short videos of an interview with West key author Arthur Miller, in which he addresses what skills may be under-developed in today's graduates and why that may be the case.
Arthur Miller (Part 1): Legal research and writing training at law schools
Arthur Miller (Part 2): The "starting point" for legal research and use of technology for it
Professor Miller is the author of more than 40 books and many articles on civil procedure, copyright and unfair competition, remedies, and privacy. He has been appointed as a University Professor to the faculty of the NYU School of Law and the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies and he taught at the Harvard Law School for over 35 years.