In addition to proposed revisions to Article VI., Nominations and Elections; Article IX., Committees, Other Organizations, and Representatives; and Article X., Special Interest Sections of the AALL Bylaws, the Executive Board approved extensive proposed revisions to  our association’s Ethical Principles, which were last revised in 1999. The proposed revisions may be reviewed in mark-up format here. From the revised preamble:

“The following Ethical Principles are informed by longstanding best practices and in consideration of emerging ethical issues. They are not enforceable by AALL and they are not meant to govern specific situations. They are aspirational, constructive, and generally achievable principles meant to guide Association members in ethical reflection concerning their professional activities.”

According to AALL’s press release, all revisions to the AALL Bylaws and the AALL Ethical Principles will be voted on by rank and file membership. Voting will open on Monday, July 29, 2019 and will remain open through Thursday, August 29, 2019. The results of the vote will be announced on Friday, August 30, 2019.

End note: For comparison’s sake, see ALA’s Code of Ethics and SLA’s Professional Ethics Guidelines.

This year’s inductees are Paul George, associate dean for curriculum development and the Biddle Law Library at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Jolande Goldberg, senior cataloging policy specialist for law classification, policy & standards at the Library of Congress and Robert Oaks, retired chief library and records officer at Latham & Watkins LLP. Read the press release here.

Kudos to all

Excerpted from the press release:

John Palfrey, a respected educator, author, legal scholar, and innovator with expertise in how new media is changing learning, education, and other institutions, will serve as the sixth President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, effective September 1, MacArthur Board Chairman Dan Huttenlocher announced today. Since 2012, Palfrey has served as Head of School for Phillips Academy Andover. Before coming to Phillips Academy, he served as the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School. In that role, he expanded the Library’s reach and services, finding innovative ways to use digital technologies to enhance the school’s scholarship and teaching. Palfrey is the author or co-author of nine books, most focused on new media and learning, including Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education; Born Digital: How Children Grow Up in a Digital Age; and BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google. In the nonprofit sector, Palfrey was Executive Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society from 2002 to 2008, when it received MacArthur support. The organization seeks to explore and understand cyberspace. He was the founding board chair of the Digital Public Library of America.

H/T Gary Price’s InfoDocket post.

It would appear that SCOTUS clerk bonuses draw many more clerks to private practice than in past decades. Law.com’s Tony Mauro is reporting that the prevailing hiring bonus for Supreme Court clerks is $400,000—up from $300,000 in 2015. And that does not include salaries. If the trend continues, the clerk bonus will soon approach twice the annual salary of the justices they work for.

Jean O’Grady reports on widespread layoffs at Thomson Reuters Legal: “Over the past few weeks multiple sources have confirmed to me that executives, managers and staff across TR have been ‘invited to find new employers.’ Some of the people impacted have been fixtures in the legal publishing and tech industry for decades. … Next year many familiar TR faces will be absent from the conference rooms and exhibit halls at the ILTA, Legal Tech and AALL conferences. I guess we can all understand the need to ‘rightsize’ an organization but the timing … right before the holidays is brutal.”

Unfortunately “right before the holidays” a/k/a just ahead of Q4 and year-end financial results is not unusual. For details, see this Dewey B Strategic post.

“Today we are remaking how we cover the legal market,” wrote Bloomberg BNA editor in chief Cesca Antonelli in a recent email to employees announcing a major corporate reorganization and 46 staff layoffs. “The five groups that produce the bulk of Bloomberg Law news products will become two: one focused on beat reporting and one focused on what we are calling legal intelligence,” according to the email. As observed in Stumbling Toward Digital-only Legal Publishing, we have been dealing with the effects of the lead-up to this reorganization.

H/T to Jean O’Grady’s Dewey B Strategic post.

From the National Conference of State Legislatures announcement: The Maine State Law and Legislative Reference has created the Law and Legislative Digital Library (LLDL) and other digitization projects that has expanded and streamlined access to huge volumes of the library’s most requested information. These accomplishments demonstrate the library’s commitment to excellent service and its values of teamwork, resourcefulness, and creativity. Library staff follows well-documented, efficient processes and every staff member contributes.

The Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library has 12 staff members representing 159 years of service to the Maine Legislature that have made numerous contributions to professional library associations including the Law Librarians of New England, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Maine Library Association, the Maine State Bar Association, and the Law Librarians of New England. It has agreed to host the 2019 NCSL LRL professional development seminar and has sent participants to the seminar in 2015 and 2017. The library’s reference staff meets annually with visiting NCSL representatives and regularly contributes to the LRL listserv.

In a shake-up of Thomson Reuters Legal executive suite, TR Legal’s president Susan Taylor Martin is out at the end of this month, and Brian Peccarelli, president of Tax & Accounting, and Neil Materson, EVP and chief transformation officer, have been appointed Co-COOs. These changes are taking place in the context of TRI’s “plans to de-layer the business and reduce its cost base to reflect a smaller organization when it closes the sale of a 55% interest in its Financial & Risk business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone (expected in the second half of 2018).” Here’s the press release.

H/T to this LawSites post. — Joe

On Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Steven Schwinn wrote

The State of Illinois yesterday [May 30, 2018] became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, 45 years after Congress proposed it. This leave the ERA just one state short of the 38 (three-fourths of the states) required for amendment.

But Illinois’s vote comes well after the (already extended) congressional deadline of June 30, 1982. So does it count toward validation as an amendment? Given the deadline and putative ratification rescissions by five states, can the ERA come into force under any circumstances? Or does it need to be re-proposed, and re-ratified?

He then calls attention to this CRS report, The Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: Contemporary Ratification Issues (R42979, May 9, 2013), because it addresses the questions he posed. — Joe

President Donald Trump said Thursday he plans to issue a pardon to Dinesh D’Souza, a prominent conservative commentator and filmmaker who was convicted of making an illegal campaign contribution. In his tweet Trump adding that D’Souza “was treated very unfairly by our government!”

D’Souza pleaded guilty in 2014 to reimbursing two of his associates after causing them to contribute $10,000 each to the 2012 Senate campaign of Wendy Long. From the FBI’s Sept. 23, 2014 press release announcing the plea deal:

During the plea proceeding, D’SOUZA admitted before the Court that he caused two close associates to contribute $10,000 each to the Long Campaign with the understanding that he would reimburse them for their contributions and that he did reimburse them. D’SOUZA also admitted that he knew that what he was doing was wrong and something the law forbids.

At the time, D’Souza was sentenced to five years probation. — Joe

Kudos to the award winners. From AALL’s press release:

Courtney and the State Copyright Resource Center Team at Harvard University have created an innovative website that helps users easily access information about the copyright status of their state’s legal information. By offering an easy to navigate, free to use digital resource, the State Copyright Resource Center website educates the public on copyright law and policy and provides advocacy tools for open access advocates and libraries.

Visit the State Copyright Resource Center at Harvard University here. Very helpful. — Joe

Last Friday, the Trump Administration issued three executive orders that will make it easier for federal agencies to fire employees. Buzzfeed reports “the executive orders will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes for federal agencies to go through the process of firing a federal employee; reward ‘performance over seniority’; order agencies to work on renegotiating union contracts and publish them in a database; and require all federal employees to devote at least 75% of their work hours for agency purposes.

Resources:

— Joe

Newly released survey data from the American Bar Association on the nationwide population of lawyers indicates a total of 1,338,678 licensed, active attorneys in the United States. The total represents a 0.2 percent increase since last year and a 15.2 percent rise over the past decade in number of U.S. lawyers. Here’s the 2018 American Bar Association National Lawyer Population Survey. — Joe