From the blurb for National Survey of State Laws, 8th edition, edited by Richard Leiter:

The National Survey of State Laws (NSSL) is a print and online resource that provides an overall view of some of the most-asked about and controversial legal topics in the United States. This database is derived from Richard Leiter’s National Survey of State Laws print editions. Presented in chart format, NSSL allows users to make basic state-by-state comparisons of current state laws. The database is updated regularly as new laws are passed or updated.

The current 8th edition, along with the 7th, 6th and 5th editions, are included in database format, which allows users to compare the same laws as they existed in 2005, 2008, 2015 and 2018, and to make more current comparisons with laws added or updated in the database since 2018. All print editions are included in HeinOnline’ s image-based, fully searchable, user-friendly platform.

The resource is available from Hein here.

From the abstract for Tara Leigh Grove, The Supreme Court’s Legitimacy Dilemma 124 Harv. L. Rev. ___ forthcoming 2019:

The past few years have not been good for the Supreme Court. In the wake of divisive confirmation battles, there are cries that the Court is no longer a “legitimate” institution and growing calls for court-curbing measures like jurisdiction stripping, impeachment, and—most commonly—“packing” the Court with additional members. This Essay, which reviews Richard Fallon’s Law and Legitimacy in the Supreme Court, takes stock of these attacks on the Court. Building on Fallon’s work, as well as political science research and history, the Essay argues that in politically charged moments like today, the Justices may face a dilemma. In order to preserve the Court’s public reputation (its sociological legitimacy)—and thereby stave off court-curbing measures—one or more Justices may feel pressure to modify their constitutional jurisprudence. That is, some Justices may sacrifice the legal legitimacy of their decisions in order to save the Court as a whole. This recurring tension—between sociological and legal legitimacy—is the heart of the Supreme Court’s legitimacy dilemma.

From the abstract for Alexa Chew, Stylish Legal Citation, Arkansas Law Review, Vol. 71, Forthcoming:

Can legal citations be stylish? Is that even a thing? Yes, and this Article explains why and how. The usual approach to writing citations is as a separate, inferior part of the writing process, a perfunctory task that satisfies a convention but isn’t worth the attention that stylish writers spend on the “real” words in their documents. This Article argues that the usual approach is wrong. Instead, legal writers should strive to write stylish legal citations — citations that are fully integrated with the prose to convey information in a readable way to a legal audience. Prominent legal style expert Bryan Garner and others have repeatedly pinned legal style problems on citations. For example, Garner has argued that in-line (or textual) citations supposedly interrupt the prose and cause writers to ignore “unshapely” paragraphs and poor flow between sentences. Garner’s cause célèbre has been to persuade lawyers and judges to move their citations into footnotes, which he asserts will fix the stylistic problems caused by citations. This Article proposes both a different explanation for unstylish citations and a different solution. The explanation is that legal style experts don’t address citation as a component of legal style, leaving practitioners with little guidance about how to write stylish citations or even what they look like. This Article summarizes the citation-writing advice offered to practitioners in legal-style books like Plain English for Lawyers. Spoiler alert: it’s not much. The solution is to restructure the revision and editing processes to incorporate citations and treat them like “real” words, too. Rather than cordoning off citations from the rest of the prose, writers should embrace them as integral to the text as a whole. This Article describes a method for writing citations that goes well beyond “Bluebooking.” This method should be useful to any legal writer — from first-semester 1Ls to judicial clerks to experienced appellate practitioners.

From the introduction to Frequently Asked Questions about the Julian Assange Charges (LSB10291, Apr. 22, 2019):

After spending nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Julian Assange was arrested by British police, was convicted for violating the terms of his bail in the U.K., and had an indictment against him unsealed in the United States — all in a single day. Despite the swiftness of the recent action, the charges against Assange raise a host of complex questions that are unlikely to be resolved in the near future. This Sidebar examines the international and domestic legal issues implicated in the criminal cases against Assange.

If 2017 was a good year for law firms, 2018 was better. On the heels of a year considered to be the strongest for the Am Law 100 since the Great Recession, the nation’s top law firms took their performance a step further. On aggregate, revenue grew at a muscular 8 percent clip over the last year, hitting a record $98.7 billion. That’s well past the 5.5 percent growth rate from 2017, the previous high-water mark in the post-recession new normal. See this review article and here’s the link to the 2019 Am Law 100 (Available exclusively through Legal Compass).

H/T to beSpacific for calling attention to Kristina Niedringhaus’ Is it a “Good” Case? Can You Rely on BCite, KeyCite, and Shepard’s to Tell You?, JOTWELL (April 22, 2019) (reviewing Paul Hellyer, Evaluating Shepard’s, KeyCite, and BCite for Case Validation Accuracy, 110 Law Libr. J. 449 (2018)). Here’s a snip:

Hellyer’s article is an important read for anyone who relies on a citator for case validation or, determining whether a case is still “good” law. The results are fascinating and his methodology is thorough and detailed. Before delving into his findings, Hellyer reviews previous studies and explains his process in detail. His dataset is available upon request. The article has additional value because Hellyer shared his results with the three vendors prior to publication and describes and responds to some of their criticisms in his article, allowing the reader to make their own assessment of the critique.

From the abstract for Lawrence Solum, Originalism versus Living Constitutionalism: The Conceptual Structure of the Great Debate  Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 113, No. 6, 2019:

This Essay explores the conceptual structure of the great debate about “originalism” and “living constitutionalism.” The core of the great debate is substantive and addresses the normative question, “What is the best theory of constitutional interpretation and construction?” That question leads to others, including questions about the various forms and variations of originalism and living constitutionalism. Originalists argue that the meaning of the constitutional text is fixed and that it should bind constitutional actors. Living constitutionalists contend that constitutional law can and should evolve in response to changing circumstances and values. This Essay advances a metalinguistic proposal for classifying theories as originalist or living constitutionalist and suggests that some constitutional theories are hybrids, combining elements of both theories.

From the abstract for Peter Margulies, Lifeboat Lawyering and the Ship of State: The Unstable Course of Legal Advice in the Trump Administration, Fordham Law Review, Forthcoming:

To cope with their mercurial client, senior Trump administration lawyers have resorted to what this Article calls “lifeboat lawyering.” This model can promote compliance with longstanding norms such as prosecutorial independence. However, lifeboat lawyering also carries special risks.

Lifeboat lawyering entails slow-walking presidential decisions and performing triage between especially damaging decisions and those that are less harmful. In some cases, such as ex-White House Counsel Don McGahn’s heading off a massive disclosure of data related to the inner workings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, lifeboat lawyering can be useful. But lifeboat lawyers’ triage is neither transparent nor accountable. The public has no way to judge whether the rash decisions that lifeboat lawyering prevents outweigh the many other unsound decisions in which administration lawyers acquiesce.

Moreover, lifeboat lawyers such as McGahn may overestimate their value in office and underestimate the salutary effects of a resignation that highlights the administration’s flaws. Admittedly, these risks are present in virtually every administration, and much lawyering in the Trump administration is far more conventional. However, this administration has featured more agonizing dilemmas than its predecessors.

The Article illustrates the promise and perils of lifeboat lawyering with an analysis of Don McGahn’s role in releasing a congressional report on the 2016 application of the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to investigate former Trump consultant Carter Page’s Russia ties. Release of this FISA material was unprecedented. Moreover, the McGahn letter was insufficiently precise about the congressional report’s distortions of DOJ’s FISA request. Yet McGahn’s approach also contained language that could have alerted attentive readers to the problems with the congressional report. That double effect reflects both lifeboat lawyering’s value and its dangers.

From the abstract for Benjamin Pomerance, Inside a House Divided: Recent Alliances on the United States Supreme Court, Albany Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 2, 2018:

When the United States Supreme Court re-convened at the beginning of October 2016, observers focused on the absence of Justice Antonin Scalia, the recently deceased spokesperson for the Court’s conservative wing. Attention also centered on the political standoff that resulted from President Barack Obama’s attempt to replace Scalia with Judge Merrick Garland, a battle that ended with the Senate refusing to vote on the nominee. By contrast, commentators paid little attention to the docket of cases that this shorthanded Court would consider.

This article fills this gap, examining the jurisprudential and political impacts of what turned out to be an extremely eventful and revealing term for the Court. It studies the work of the eight-member Court, a group that reached consensus at a record rate and handed down more unanimous decisions than had been seen from any term in recent memory. It examines the shifts that occurred after Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the Court’s bench during this term, sparking a return to the political partisanship in divided cases that has more typically characterized the Court’s recent behavior. It studies the alliances formed among the justices of the Court during this term, revealing some surprising partnerships in both criminal and civil decisions. Perhaps most revealingly of all, it demonstrates the possible arrival of a new “swing vote” on the Court: Chief Justice John Roberts, a jurist whose voting record crossed party lines throughout this term, perhaps setting himself up to someday replace Justice Anthony Kennedy as the least-predictable voter on the federal judiciary’s highest bench.

From the abstract for Ed Walters, The Model Rules of Autonomous Conduct: Ethical Responsibilities of Lawyers and Artificial Intelligence, Georgia State University Law Review, Forthcoming:

Lawyers are increasingly using software tools and artificial intelligence to augment their provision of legal services. This paper reviews the professional responsibilities of those lawyers under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and previews how the rules might apply to AI software not yet developed but just on the horizon. Although lawyers frequently use their professional responsibility as a brake on innovation, the Model Rules in many cases actually require them to adopt new methods of delivering legal services. The paper also surveys ways that the Model Rules might be changed to protect consumers in the near future as AI tools grow in scope.

From the blurb for John Oller, White Shoe: How a New Breed of Wall Street Lawyers Changed Big Business and the American Century (Dutton, March 19, 2019):

The fascinating true story of how a group of visionary attorneys helped make American business synonymous with Big Business, and Wall Street the center of the financial world

The legal profession once operated on a smaller scale—folksy lawyers arguing for fairness and justice before a judge and jury. But by the year 1900, a new type of lawyer was born, one who understood business as well as the law. Working hand in glove with their clients, over the next two decades these New York City “white shoe” lawyers devised and implemented legal strategies that would drive the business world throughout the twentieth century. These lawyers were architects of the monopolistic new corporations so despised by many, and acted as guardians who helped the kings of industry fend off government overreaching. Yet they also quietly steered their robber baron clients away from a “public be damned” attitude toward more enlightened corporate behavior during a period of progressive, turbulent change in America.

Author John Oller, himself a former Wall Street lawyer, gives us a richly-written glimpse of turn-of-the-century New York, from the grandeur of private mansions and elegant hotels and the city’s early skyscrapers and transportation systems, to the depths of its deplorable tenement housing conditions. Some of the biggest names of the era are featured, including business titans J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, lawyer-statesmen Elihu Root and Charles Evans Hughes, and presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson.

Among the colorful, high-powered lawyers vividly portrayed, White Shoe focuses on three: Paul Cravath, who guided his client George Westinghouse in his war against Thomas Edison and launched a new model of law firm management—the “Cravath system”; Frank Stetson, the “attorney general” for financier J. P. Morgan who fiercely defended against government lawsuits to break up Morgan’s business empires; and William Nelson Cromwell, the lawyer “who taught the robber barons how to rob,” and was best known for his instrumental role in creating the Panama Canal.

In White Shoe, the story of this small but influential band of Wall Street lawyers who created Big Business is fully told for the first time.

From the introduction to the 2019 World Press Index:

The RSF Index, which evaluates the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories every year shows that an intense climate of fear has been triggered — one that is prejudicial to a safe reporting environment. The hostility towards journalists expressed by political leaders in many countries has incited increasingly serious and frequent acts of violence that have fuelled an unprecedented level of fear and danger for journalists.

Norway is ranked first in the 2019 Index for the third year running while Finland (up two places) has taken second place from the Netherlands (down one at 4th), where two reporters who cover organized crime have had to live under permanent police protection. An increase in cyber-harassment caused Sweden (third) to lose one place. In Africa, the rankings of Ethiopia (up 40 at 110th) and Gambia (up 30 at 92nd) have significantly improved from last year’s Index.

H/T Gary Price’s InfoDocket.

From the introduction:

Two years ago, Republicans and Democrats had similar views of the fairness of the tax system. Today, 64% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the present tax system is very or moderately fair; just half as many Democrats and Democratic leaners (32%) view the tax system as fair. The share of Republicans who say the tax system is fair has increased 21 percentage points since 2017. Over this period, the share of Democrats viewing the tax system as fair has declined nine points.

Overall views of tax law little changed; fewer Republicans ‘strongly approve’ The survey by Pew Research Center, conducted March 20-25 among 1,503 adults, finds that more than a year after the new tax law was enacted, public approval remains relatively unchanged (36% approve of the tax law, while 49% disapprove). However, fewer Republicans strongly approve of the law than did so in January 2018.

From the abstract for Ilan Wurman, The Origins of Substantive Due Process, University of Chicago Law Review, Forthcoming:

In the antebellum nineteenth century, courts often voided legislative acts for substantive unreasonableness or for exceeding the scope of legitimate police powers. Contrary to the assertions of a number of modern scholars, however, this tradition does not support the concept of economic substantive due process. Courts voided municipal acts exceeding the scope of legitimate police powers on two grounds — the law of delegation and the law of municipal corporations — that did not apply to acts of state legislatures. The states themselves were limited to reasonable exercises of the police power only when their asserted authority came into potential collision with federal constitutional requirements, namely the commerce and contracts clauses.

It was only late in the century, after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, that a police-power version of substantive due process emerged as a limitation on state legislatures as courts began conflating, under the guise of “due process of law,” earlier doctrines that had used a similar vocabulary but for distinct purposes. Police-power limitations on state legislatures regulating purely internal matters therefore probably cannot be justified by any antebellum legal conception of due process of law. It is possible, however, that such limitations could find support in the privileges or immunities clause by analogy to antebellum commerce clause and contracts clause jurisprudence.

From the introduction to Presidential Terms and Tenure: Perspectives and Proposals for Change (R40864, Apr. 15, 2019):

The length of the President’s term and the question of whether Presidents should be eligible for reelection were extensively debated in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention. Late in the proceedings, the delegates settled on a four-year term for both President and Vice President but did not place a limit on the number of terms a President could serve.