From the abstract for Kwanghyuk David Yoo, Academic Law Libraries’ New Frontier–The Post Truth Cognitive Bias Challenge and Calls for Behavioral and Structural Reforms (2019):

This article recognizes the escalated concerns of the post-truth phenomenon over its robust play-out as an emerging impetus and catalyst for another level of cognitive bias distorting information behavior, and the reasoning process, of the general public. The article highlights the functional vulnerability of academic law libraries to the post-truth challenge and explores their new frontier in the data-driven era. The article suggests that academic law libraries endeavor to revamp themselves in behavioral and structural contexts. Thus, it maintains that the role of academic law libraries should be reoriented and reshaped as information activists and they should consider technological renovation, inter alia blockchain application, for enhanced Integrated Library System design.

The British North America Legislative Database includes characteristics of all the legislation passed by the pre-Confederation assemblies of eastern British North America: Nova Scotia (1758-1867); Cape Breton (1785-1820); Prince Edward Island (1768-1867); New Brunswick (1786-1867); Lower Canada (1792-1838); Upper Canada (1792-1840), the United Canadas (1841-1867); and Newfoundland (1832-1867).

From Executive Privilege and Individuals outside the Executive Branch (IN11177, October 9, 2019):

White House assertions of executive privilege for presidential communications have historically been confined to individuals who were executive branch employees when those communications occurred. While the idea that executive privilege could extend to individuals outside the executive branch predates the Trump Administration, it appears that recent testimony by Kris Kobach, former Kansas Secretary of State, and Corey Lewandowski, former manager of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, are likely the first times the executive branch has actually made such an assertion to Congress.

From the abstract of Jennifer L. Behrens, ‘Unknown Symbols’: Online Legal Research in the Age of Emoji, Forthcoming, 38 Legal Reference Services Quarterly ___ (2019):

Over the last decade, emoji and emoticons have made the leap from text messaging and social media to legal filings, court opinions, and law review articles. However, emoji and emoticons’ growth in popularity has tested the capability of online legal research systems to properly display and retrieve them in search results, posing challenges for future researchers of primary and secondary sources. This article examines current display practices on several of the most popular online legal research services (including Westlaw Edge, Lexis Advance, Bloomberg Law, Fastcase, HeinOnline, and Gale OneFile LegalTrac), and suggests effective workarounds for researchers.

From the introduction to The Impeachment Process in the House of Representatives (R45769, Updated October 10, 2019): “The House impeachment process generally proceeds in three phases: (1) initiation of the impeachment process; (2) Judiciary Committee investigation, hearings, and markup of articles of impeachment; and (3) full House consideration of the articles of impeachment.”

The AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers Committee is soliciting unpublished papers in four categories:

  1. Open Division: AALL members with 5 or more years of experience
  2. New Member Division: AALL members with less than 5 years of experience
  3. Short Division: All AALL members; Shorter-length articles
  4. Student Division: 2019-2020 Law School or Library School students

Deadlines: March 1, 2020 for Open, New, and Short Divisions; May 15, 2020 for the Student Division

For more information, please see the AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers Awards website at https://bit.ly/2TymOYk

Contact Committee Chair, Jamie Baker, with questions at jamie.baker(at)ttu.edu.

From the blurb for Rachel Maddow’s Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth (Crown, Oct. 1, 2019):

In 2010, the words “earthquake swarm” entered the lexicon in Oklahoma. That same year, a trove of Michael Jackson memorabilia—including his iconic crystal-encrusted white glove—was sold at auction for over $1 million to a guy who was, officially, just the lowly forestry minister of the tiny nation of Equatorial Guinea. And in 2014, Ukrainian revolutionaries raided the palace of their ousted president and found a zoo of peacocks, gilded toilets, and a floating restaurant modeled after a Spanish galleon. Unlikely as it might seem, there is a thread connecting these events, and Rachel Maddow follows it to its crooked source: the unimaginably lucrative and equally corrupting oil and gas industry.

With her trademark black humor, Maddow takes us on a switchback journey around the globe, revealing the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing a surprising conclusion about why the Russian government hacked the 2016 U.S. election. She deftly shows how Russia’s rich reserves of crude have, paradoxically, stunted its growth, forcing Putin to maintain his power by spreading Russia’s rot into its rivals, its neighbors, the West’s most important alliances, and the United States. Chevron, BP, and a host of other industry players get their star turn, most notably ExxonMobil and the deceptively well-behaved Rex Tillerson. The oil and gas industry has weakened democracies in developed and developing countries, fouled oceans and rivers, and propped up authoritarian thieves and killers. But being outraged at it is, according to Maddow, “like being indignant when a lion takes down and eats a gazelle. You can’t really blame the lion. It’s in her nature.”

Blowout is a call to contain the lion: to stop subsidizing the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world’s most destructive industry and its enablers. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, “Democracy either wins this one or disappears.”

From the abstract for Giovanni Abramo, Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo & Emanuela Reale, Peer review vs bibliometrics: which method better predicts the scholarly impact of publications?, Scientometrics, 121(1), 537-554 (2019):

In this work, we try to answer the question of which method, peer review vs bibliometrics, better predicts the future overall scholarly impact of scientific publications. We measure the agreement between peer review evaluations of Web of Science indexed publications submitted to the first Italian research assessment exercise and long-term citations of the same publications. We do the same for an early citation-based indicator. We find that the latter shows stronger predictive power, i.e., it more reliably predicts late citations in all the disciplinary areas examined, and for any citation time window starting one year after publication.

From the abstract for Andrew T. Hayashi (Virginia) & Gregory Mitchell (Virginia), Maintaining Scholarly Integrity in the Age of Bibliometrics, 68 J. Legal Educ. ___ (2019):

As quantitative measures of scholarly impact gain prominence in the legal academy, we should expect institutions and scholars to engage in a variety of tactics designed to inflate the apparent influence of their scholarly output. We identify these tactics and identify countermeasures that should be taken to prevent this manipulation. The rise of bibliometrics poses a significant risk to the scholarly endeavor but, with foresight, we can maintain scholarly integrity in the age of bibliometrics.

From the blurb for Neil Gorsuch, A Republic, If You Can Keep It (Crown Forum, Sept. 10, 2019):

Justice Neil Gorsuch reflects on his journey to the Supreme Court, the role of the judge under our Constitution, and the vital responsibility of each American to keep our republic strong.

As Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention, he was reportedly asked what kind of government the founders would propose. He replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” In this book, Justice Neil Gorsuch shares personal reflections, speeches, and essays that focus on the remarkable gift the framers left us in the Constitution.

Justice Gorsuch draws on his thirty-year career as a lawyer, teacher, judge, and justice to explore essential aspects our Constitution, its separation of powers, and the liberties it is designed to protect. He discusses the role of the judge in our constitutional order, and why he believes that originalism and textualism are the surest guides to interpreting our nation’s founding documents and protecting our freedoms. He explains, too, the importance of affordable access to the courts in realizing the promise of equal justice under law—while highlighting some of the challenges we face on this front today.

Along the way, Justice Gorsuch reveals some of the events that have shaped his life and outlook, from his upbringing in Colorado to his Supreme Court confirmation process. And he emphasizes the pivotal roles of civic education, civil discourse, and mutual respect in maintaining a healthy republic.

A Republic, If You Can Keep It offers compelling insights into Justice Gorsuch’s faith in America and its founding documents, his thoughts on our Constitution’s design and the judge’s place within it, and his beliefs about the responsibility each of us shares to sustain our distinctive republic of, by, and for “We the People.”

From the abstract for Mary Margaret Penrose, Goodbye to Concurring Opinions, Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy, Forthcoming:

Quick! List the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5 most impactful concurring opinions. Better yet, list the top 10. Do they readily come to mind? How long did it take you? Are these cases taught regularly? Have any more than the first 5 actually become the law? This article challenges the belief that separate opinions, particularly concurrences, are justified because they often become the law. That is factually untrue. And, it is even less likely for modern cases decided by the Burger, Rehnquist and Roberts’ Court.

From the abstract for J.B. Ruhl, Michael P. Vandenbergh & Sarah Dunaway, Total Scholarly Impact: Law Professor Citations in Non-Law Journals (Sept. 10, 2019):

This Article provides the first ranking of legal scholars and law faculties based on citations in non-law journals. Applying the methods, as much as possible, of the widely used Leiter-Sisk “Scholarly Impact Score,” which includes only citations in law publications, we calculate a “Interdisciplinary Scholarly Impact Score” from the non-law citations over a five-year period (2012-2018) to the work of tenured law faculty published in that period in non-law journals. We also provide the weighted scores for law faculty at the top 25 law schools as ranked by the US News rankings, a school-by-school ranking, and lists of the top five faculty by non-law citations at each school and of the top fifty scholars overall.

The work of legal scholars outside of law journals is not trivial. Over 600 faculty members from the 25 schools in our cohort published almost 3,000 articles in non-law journals from 2012-2018, and those articles received close to 21,000 citations in non-law journals. The faculties that rank in the top ten based on weighted scores for Interdisciplinary Scholarly Impact using the Leiter-Sisk weighting method (2x the mean + the median) for all faculty with at least one publication in the study period are: Minnesota, Stanford, Yale, Duke, Cal-Irvine, Georgetown, Boston University, USC, Vanderbilt, and George Washington. The rankings, although subject to limitations similar to those faced by the law journal citation studies, demonstrate that it is possible with reasonable effort to include citations in both law and non-law journals in rankings of legal scholars and law school faculties.

Legal scholars are cited in non-law journals for the work they publish in legal journals and, in many cases, for work they publish in non-law journals. Counting only their citations in law journals thus underestimates both the impact of their legal scholarship and their interdisciplinary impact. Non-law journals are widely read by law and policy scholars, scientists who influence legal scholarship, and policymakers, and publications and citations of legal scholars in non-law journals can be an indication of work that has transcended the conceptual frameworks, assumptions, or methods of legal research. Publications and citations in non-law journals thus provide an additional indication of the influence of legal scholars. Citations in non-law journals also provide an indication of the influence of legal scholars on the overall scholarly enterprise outside of law, and accounting for non-law citations in legal rankings can also encourage interdisciplinary scholarship. Scholars from non-law fields have made important contributions to legal scholarship, but the reverse should also be the case. Acceptance by other fields of legal scholars’ proposed legal reforms can play an important role in determining their success, which is made more likely when legal scholars are included in the work of other disciplines.

For these reasons, we suggest in the Article that future evaluations of legal scholars’ work include both the Law Scholarly Impact Score and the new Interdisciplinary Scholarly Impact Score, or combine the two into a Total Scholarly Impact Score. Although there is some mismatch in the citation engine capacities and the time frames for our non-law journal citation study and the most recent Sisk et al. law journal citation study, a combination of the two can provide a rough approximation of the Total Scholarly Impact Score. The top ten law faculties based on this combined measure are: Yale, Harvard, Chicago, NYU, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Cal-Berkeley, Pennsylvania, and Vanderbilt.

The databases used in the law and non-law studies and their search capacities differ, making it difficult to develop a citation study method that captures all of a faculty members’ law and non-law publications and all citations to them in defined time frames. We are working to improve the non-law citation study database and search capacity.

Following an introduction to the project, in Part I we discuss why accounting for legal scholars’ non-law publications and citations is important when assessing scholarly impact. Part II describes our methodology. Part III presents our results, and Part IV discusses the results.

From the abstract for David B. Wilkins and Maria J. Esteban Ferrer, The Integration of Law into Global Business Solutions: The Rise, Transformation, and Potential Future of the Big Four Accountancy Networks in the Global Legal Services Market (2017):

Using a unique data set comprised of original research of both the corporate Web sites of the Big Four—PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, and EY—and their affiliated law firms, as well as archival material from the legal and accountancy press, this article documents the rise and transformation of the Big Four legal service lines since the enactment of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. Moreover, it demonstrates that there are good reasons to believe that these sophisticated players will be even more successful in penetrating the corporate legal services market in the decades to come, as that market increasingly matures in a direction that favors the integration of law into a wider category of business solutions that these globally integrated multidisciplinary practices now champion. We conclude with some preliminary observations about the implications of the reemergence of the Big Four legal networks for the legal profession.

From the abstract for Ashley Deeks, The Judicial Demand for Explainable Artificial Intelligence, 119 Colum.L.Rev. ____ (Forthcoming 2019):

A recurrent concern about machine learning algorithms is that they operate as “black boxes,” making it difficult to identify how and why the algorithms reach particular decisions, recommendations, or predictions. Yet judges will confront machine learning algorithms with increasing frequency, including in criminal, administrative, and tort cases. This Essay argues that judges should demand explanations for these algorithmic outcomes. One way to address the “black box” problem is to design systems that explain how the algorithms reach their conclusions or predictions. If and as judges demand these explanations, they will play a seminal role in shaping the nature and form of “explainable artificial intelligence” (or “xAI”). Using the tools of the common law, courts can develop what xAI should mean in different legal contexts.

There are advantages to having courts to play this role: Judicial reasoning that builds from the bottom up, using case-by-case consideration of the facts to produce nuanced decisions, is a pragmatic way to develop rules for xAI. Further, courts are likely to stimulate the production of different forms of xAI that are responsive to distinct legal settings and audiences. More generally, we should favor the greater involvement of public actors in shaping xAI, which to date has largely been left in private hands.