“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to.” —  Microsoft’s 12,000-word Windows 10 Service Agreement

For details, see Zach Epstein’s Windows 10 is spying on almost everything you do – here’s how to opt out. — Joe

Somewhere in my collection of old pBooks is a copy of the first edition of Lakoff & Johnson’s now classic Metaphors We Live By. The law library as the lawyer’s laboratory was not covered there. Dick Danner has in his forthcoming LLJ article, Law Libraries and Laboratories: The Legacies of Langdell and His Metaphor [SSRN]. Here’s the abstract for this highly recommended analysis.

Law Librarians and others have often referred to Harvard Law School Dean C.C. Langdell’s statements that the law library is the lawyer’s laboratory. Professor Danner examines the context of what Langdell through his other writings, the educational environment at Harvard in the late nineteenth century, and the changing perceptions of university libraries generally. He then considers how the “laboratory metaphor” has been applied by librarians and legal scholars during the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. The article closes with thoughts on Langdell’s legacy for law librarians and the usefulness of the laboratory metaphor.

— Joe

Kudos to the Fastcase 50 Class of 2015:

Hon. Ann Aiken, Chief Judge, United States District Court of Oregon
Michelle Alexander, Author; Associate Professor of Law, Ohio State University
Pablo Arredondo, Vice President of Legal Research, Casetext
Rich Barton, Founder of Expedia; Co-Founder of Zillow, Glassdoor
Howard Bashman, Appellate lawyer; Author, How Appealing blog
Laura Calloway, Director, Practice Management Assistance Program at Alabama State Bar
Jeena Cho, Partner at JC Law Group PC; Author; Mindfulness Instructor
Jared Correia, Assistant Director and Senior Law Practice Advisor at LOMAP
Scott Forman, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson; Founder of Littler CaseSmart
JoAnna Forshee, CEO, InsideLegal.com and Envision Agency
Abe Geiger, Founder and CEO, Shake
Eric Goldman, Co-Director, High Tech Law Institute; Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law; Blogger, Forbes’ Tertium Quid Blog and Technology & Marketing Law Blog
Oliver Goodenough, Director, Center of Legal Innovation; Professor of Law, Vermont Law School; Faculty Associate, The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University
Hon. Paul Grewal, United States Magistrate Judge for Northern District of California
Nick Holmes, Managing Director, Infolaw
Margaret Hagan, Fellow at the Center on the Legal Profession; Lecturer at the Stanford Institute of Design
William C. Hubbard, President, American Bar Association
Rubsun Ho, Co-Founder and Partner, Cognition LLP
Michelle Hunter, Executive Director of the State Bar of Texas
Natalie Kelly, Director, Law Practice Management Program, The State Bar of Georgia
Sheldon Krantz, Author; Senior Fellow, Georgetown Center for the Study of the Legal Profession; Executive Director of The DC Affordable Law Firm
Dan LaBert, Executive Director of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA)
Dan Lear, Director of Industry Relations, Avvo
Joshua Lenon, Lawyer-in-Residence at Clio
Daniel Linna, Assistant Dean of Career Development & Professor of Law in Residence, Michigan State College of Law; Adjunct Professor, University of Michigan Law
Lisa Linsky, Partner-in-Charge of Firm-wide Diversity and Partner-in-Charge of LGBT Diversity and Inclusion, McDermott, Will & Emery
Hon. Goodwin Liu, Associate Justice, California Supreme Court
Chris Manos, Executive Director, State Bar of Montana
David Mao, Deputy Librarian of Congress, Library of Congress
Kate Martin, Law Librarian, Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland; President, Law Librarians of Maryland
Garry Mathiason, Shareholder and Chair, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Automation Industry Group; Littler Mendelson
Ryan McClead, ‎Legal Technology Innovation Architect, Norton Rose Fulbright
Gavin McGrane, CEO and Founder, PacerPro
Joe Milstone, Co-Founder and CEO, Cognition LLP
Joe Mornin, Founder, Bestlaw
Jason Moyse, Chief Legal Provocateur, Lawmade.com; Industry Lead, MaRS LegalX; Manager, Legal Business Solutions at Elevate Services
Pat Nester, Assistant Deputy Director, State Bar Of Texas; Director, TexasBarCLE; Executive Director, Texas Bar College
Andrew Perlman, Dean, Suffolk Law School; Director, Institute on Law Practice Technology and Innovation; Director, Legal Technology and Innovation Concentration
William (Bill) Raftery, Knowledge and Information Services Analyst, National Center for State Courts
Trisha Ryan, Principal, Trisha L. Ryan, P.A.
Lynn Schmidt Walters, Co-Founder of JD Mentor; Founder, Lux Law Advising
 Brendan Schulman, Special Counsel, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Matt Sellers, CEO and Founder, Quimbee
 Aron Solomon, Chief Innovation Operative, Lawmade.com; Innovation Lead for the LegalX cluster; Senior Advisor for education technology at MaRS
David Sparks, Founder of Sparks Law; Blogger, MacSparky.com
Ben Stevens, Senior Partner, The Stevens Law Firm; The Mac Lawyer
John Suh, CEO, Legal Zoom
Donald Verrilli, Solicitor General of the United States
Andy Wilson, CEO and Founder, Logikcull
Daniel Yaniv, Principal, Yaniv & Associates PC

View the 2015 winners

— Joe.

From the press release:

The Fastcase 50 highlights entrepreneurs, innovators, and trailblazers — people who have charted a new course for the delivery of legal services. In law firms with new delivery models, legal tech startups, and even inside some of the nation’s largest law firms and legal publishers, these pioneers are giving the world a first look at what’s next for law and technology.

“The Fastcase 50 is one of our company’s favorite events,” said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. “There is a wonderful community of friends, past winners, bar partners, law librarians, and software developers who recommend their heroes for the award. Every year we’re inspired by the stories, and we especially enjoy celebrating some people who aren’t always in the limelight, but who are quietly transforming the law and legal services.”

Congrats to all recipients including but certainly not limited to Rich Leiter (University of Nebraska College of Law Library), Scott Meiser (LexisNexis), Tina Gheen (Law Library of Congress) and law bloggers Simon Fodden, (Slaw), Tom Goldstein (SCOTUSBlog), Eugene Volokh and Orin Kerr (both, Volokh Conspiracy). — Joe

Yesterday the Washington Post-Volokh Conspirarcy joint venture was officially launched. Eugene Volokh explains this new chapter in his 12 year old blog:

We’re now trying what might be the most ambitious experiment yet: a joint venture with the Washington Post. The Post will host our blog, and pass along its content to Post readers (for instance, by occasionally linking to our stories from the online front page). We will continue to write the blog, and Volokh.com will still take you here.

We will also retain full editorial control over what we write. And this full editorial control will be made easy by the facts that we have (1) day jobs, (2) continued ownership of our trademark and the volokh.com domain, and (3) plenty of happy experience blogging on our own, should the need arise to return to that.

The main difference will be that the blog, like the other Washingtonpost.com material, will be placed behind the Post’s rather permeable paywall. We realize that this may cause some inconvenience for some existing readers — we are sorry about that, and we tried to negotiate around it, but that’s the Post’s current approach.

Joe

That is the question Gary Lawson (Boston Univ. School of Law) attempts to offer an answer in One(?) Nation Over-Extended [SSRN]. Here’s the abstract:

The conventional wisdom prior to the founding was that republics needed to be small. The conventional wisdom today is that James Madison, and the example of the United States, proves this to be mistaken. But what if Madison was actually wrong and Montesquieu was right? In this article, I consider whether the United States has gotten too big for its Constitution, whether this massive size contributes to political dysfunction, and what might be done to remedy the problem if there is indeed a problem. I suggest that size can increase rather than decrease the dangers of faction because the increased returns from control over a large territory can swamp the transaction costs of building a winning coalition. The obvious solutions are a decrease in the size of the national government, an increase in the costs of constructing winning factional coalitions, or a breakup of the United States into smaller, more manageable units. The first and second options are unfeasible, and the third (secession) is unconstitutional even if feasible.

Interesting. — Joe

Releasing the University of Florida’s list of 24 law school dean candidates churned up the issue of the possible harm that was done by the list’s disclosure on The Faculty Lounge. For details, including a link to applicants’ CVs and letters, see Dan Filler’s Battling To Keep The Florida Law School Dean Search Open and the post’s comment trail. In a comment to the post, Orin Kerr wrote “The letters are actually pretty fascinating, given how different candidates pitch their strengths.” — Joe

CRIV has published Lori Hedstrom’s (TR Legal’s National Manager for Library Relations) response about the transitioning of titles from Thomson Reuters to West Academic:

During the transition, we have worked closely with West Academic to provide information to customers regarding their individual accounts. Any new orders placed through Thomson Reuters for West Academic titles prior to Dec. 31, 2013 have been or will be fulfilled by Thomson Reuters. Orders placed on or after Jan. 1, 2014 have been or will be fulfilled by West Academic.

We have spoken with Chris Parton, president and CEO of West Academic, and as the product owner, West Academic can answer the specific questions about their products, structure of accounts and any discontinuation of products. For questions related to West Academic, customers may contact their representative at (800) 782-1272 or inquiries@westacademic.com. For questions related to Thomson Reuters, customers may call us at 1-800-328-4880.

I think that sums up TR’s interest in the academic law library market for print resources, don’t you. Building “upon the century-plus heritage of West Publishing,” Lori Hedstrom did, however, provide this link to a complete list of divested West Academic titles. — Joe

William Mitchell has been granted a variance from the ABA’s distance learning rule. The ABA’s decision allows the “law school for the real world” to offer approximately 50% of its curriculum via online classes. From the press release:

Students who enroll in the new hybrid program will be on campus for at least one week each semester participating in 56 intensive hours of realistic simulations and other coursework. Students will prepare for their on-campus work through an e-learning curriculum designed by William Mitchell faculty to integrate legal doctrine with practical legal skills. In addition, students will have the opportunity to complete externships in their communities under the supervision of practicing attorneys. This innovative hybrid of on-campus and online learning will provide new access to those seeking a rigorous, experiential J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school.

William Mitchell claims “[t]he variance is the first of its kind and comes on the heels of a draft recommendation by the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education that law schools be permitted to experiment and innovate.”

Hat tip to Alfred Brophy’s ABA Approves William Mitchell’s 50% on-line JD on The Faculty Lounge. — Joe

From the January 6, 2014 notice sent to academic law library subscribers:

We’re writing to ensure you are aware of a change regarding access to BNA (Bureau of National Affairs) publications available through LexisNexis®.  BNA was acquired by a new publisher and at their request, BNA sources will no longer be available on Lexis Advance® and lexis.com® after December 31, 2013. BNA documents saved to a folder or included in an Alert on Lexis Advance, will no longer be accessible.

We understand the value of this content which is why I’m thrilled to inform you that we’re providing access to Law360 content at no additional charge under your current LexisNexis subscription.  Law360 content will be available within Lexis Advance in late January.  Law360 is a premier current awareness publisher providing legal professionals with non-stop coverage of high-stakes litigation across  35+ practice areas. Faculty and students will benefit from the latest news and developments on topics and cases of interest.

In addition to Law360, Lexis Advance continues to have one of the largest collections of secondary content to meet your research needs including

[Yadda yadda]

And there you have it. Really, this isn’t a surprise, right? — Joe

LexisNexis and Fastcase announced that Collier TopForm & File will now be provided exclusively by Fastcase, and will be known simply as TopForm. From the press release:

The exclusive license will bring together the editorial expertise of LexisNexis, a leading provider of content and technology solutions, and the focused product development of Fastcase, an award winning legal software company. LexisNexis will continue editorial updates to the service through 2017, with Fastcase focusing on product development, especially a Web version of the TopForm software tightly integrated with Fastcase’s legal research service. The combination will produce the most authoritative, powerful bankruptcy software on the market.

Under LexisNexis, TopForm has been a CD-Rom product that only works on PCs. With this exclusive agreement, Fastcase will be taking TopForm to the web, adding new features, and essentially refreshing TopForm with smarter tools and technology. See product details at TopForm™ by Fastcase.

Also from the press release:

“This will offer a valuable benefit for professionals in the bankruptcy community,” said Fastcase President Phil Rosenthal. “Integrating the editorial expertise of LexisNexis and one of the industry’s best filing and form systems with Fastcase’s technology and online database will provide every TopForm subscriber with more access and helpful tools than ever before.”

— Joe

“In the spirit of collecting the wisdom of colleagues, I thought it would be interesting to do a poll on what we started or stopped in 2013 and on what we plan to start or stop in 2014. What products did we stop using? what new ones will we adopt in 2014?” — Jean O’Grady, On Firmer Ground

Jean has launched a brief Start/Stop 2013/2014 survey to collect your answers. She will report the findings after the survey closes on January 15th. — Joe

Legal and other professional publishers act as if they believe they have all the content they need. Hence the current goal is to repurpose the content they already have. In Ever Cuddled an Aardvark? Ever Studied Zymurgy? (Slaw), Robert McKay reviews this repurposing trend. Highly recommended.

Of course, what this means is that legal and other professional publishers do not want to spend money to acquire new content (and, in some cases, do not have the editorial staff to develop it). — Joe

“If you live in Canada, January 1st 2014 would be the day when the writings of Robert Frost, W.E.B. Du Bois, C.S. Lewis, Sylvia Plath, and even Aldous Huxley enter the public domain. “O Brave New World, that has such treasures in’t!” In Europe, the works of Fats Waller, Nikola Tesla, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Elinor Glyn, and hundreds of others will emerge into the public domain – where they are freely available for anyone to perform, translate, or republish. All of these public domain works can be freely digitized and archived, so that anyone can find and use them. Canadians can stage their own Chronicles of Narnia, and Europeans can set Tesla’s autobiography to Rachmaninoff’s most intricate passages, all without asking permission or violating the law.”

And what if you live in the US? See Duke University’s annual report, Public Domain Day: January 1, 2014 — The Road NOT Taken, for the answer. — Joe