Thursday, March 25, 2010

FBI Releases 2009 Bank Crime Statistics

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released the bank crime statistics for the year 2009. You can read the release here and you access the report here.

The FBI released bank crime statistics for calendar year 2009. Between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009, there were 5,943 robberies, 100 burglaries, and three extortions of financial institutions reported to law enforcement. The total 6,065 reported violations represents a decrease from 2008 during which 6,857 violations of the Federal Bank Robbery and Incidental Crimes Statute were reported.

These statistics were recorded as of February 22, 2010. Note that not all bank crimes are reported to the FBI, and therefore the report is not a complete statistical compilation of all bank cries that occurred in the United States.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Health Care Legislation

You can see the text of the new Health Care Reform legislation, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, along with the transcript of the debate and the roll-call vote, at the Government Printing Office's Federal Digital System (FDsys) website.

The White House has posted a "Putting Americans in Control of Their Healthcare" article to explain the effects of the new law. More information is also available on the White House blog on Health Care.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Legal Theory Lexicon: Standards of Review

This post, from Lawrence B. Solum at the Legal Theory Blog, offers a basic introduction to the concept of the standard of review.
Law students begin to encounter the concept of a "standard of review" earlier in the first year. That's not surprising. First-year law students read appellate cases, and every appellate decision explicitly or implicitly includes a standard of appellate review--a rule that defines the relationship between the appellate and trial court. For example, the standard of appellate review on questions of law is "de novo." . . .

As always, the Legal Theory Lexicon is aimed at law students, especially first-year law students, with an interest in legal theory. All the usual caveats apply, this is a very basic introduction that emphasizes theoretical issues--it is not intended as a review of the various legal doctrines that are discussed.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Supreme Court's new website

This press release has details of the new Supreme Court website, which debuted yesterday. The web address changed from to, and the Supreme Court took over administration of the site from the GPO.

Dockets, oral arguments, opinions, and order remain available, along with enhanced historical information. The search capabilities have been improved, and overall the updated design is more user friendly.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ulysses S. Grant Digital Collection

Mississippi State University has digitized a collection consisting of 31 volumes of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant.

The Ulysses S. Grant Collection housed at Mississippi State University Libraries consists of some 15, 000 liner feet of correspondence, research notes, artifacts, photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia and includes information on Grant's childhood from his birth in 1822, his later military career, Civil War triumphs, tenure as commanding general after the war, presidency, and his post-White House years until his death in 1885. There are also 4,000 published monographs on various aspects of Grant's life and times.

Users can browse or search the collection.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

C-Span Video Archive

C-Span has made its entire video archive available for free here. It offers over 20 years of political history, and is searchable by keyword and browseable by program. It includes tabs for most recent, most watched, and most shared videos. It also features Supreme Court oral arguments, including Citizens United. A search for Pace University Law School retrieves videos with President Stephen Friedman, Professor Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Professor Nicholas Robinson.

Prof. Ben-Asher Is Featured On Legal Theory Blog

Article titled Legal Holes by Professor Noa Ben-Asher, Professor of Law at Pace University School of Law is featured on the Legal Theory Blog.

Emergencies are flash points for debates about the nature of law. In the years that followed the event of September 11, 2001, a debate crystallized between those who think that "legal grey and black holes" - which I call "legal holes" - are necessary and integral to U.S. law and those who think that they are dangerous and should be abolished. This essay argues that the debate regarding the desirability of legal holes is not new. It reflects a deep historical conflict between two competing attitudes toward law. The first tends to view the legal order as a scientific-like system, and the second as a theistic-like system. The first seeks a wholeness and completeness of law through the abolition of legal holes, and the second views completeness as impossible and legal holes as necessary and even salutary. Under the first, the legal order can be viewed as a roll, and under the second, the legal order can be viewed as a bagel. By explaining the legal holes debate via the lens of science and theology, the essay offers two main insights. First, although the legal holes debate is often understood as simply about executive measures in emergencies, the debate should also be seen as implicating a broader jurisprudential dispute about the very nature of the legal system. Second, the two approaches bear several surprising similarities - their skepticism of judges, their skepticism of legislators, and, most notably, their use of law-preserving violence.

The article is published in Unbound (Harvard Journal of Legal Left), Vol. 5, Page 1, Winter 2009.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cloud Computing For Lawyers

Published on March 6, 2010, by (Law and technology resources for legal professionals), has put together a summary outlining what is cloud computing, particularly cloud computing for lawyers.

[C]loud computing makes it possible for your data and software platforms and services to be stored offsite, in the "cloud".

Online services of this type, which include software as a system (SaaS) and platforms as a system (PaaS), are becoming increasingly common and, for many lawyers, are an attractive alternative to the traditional law practice management software installed and maintained on a local server within a law office.

Friday, March 12, 2010

DNA Identification Evidence in Criminal Prosecutions

Published on March 7, 2010, by (Law and technology resources for legal professionals), Ken Strutin has put together a guide to DNA Identification Evidence in Criminal Prosecutions.

In criminal cases, there have been challenges on sufficiency grounds and concerns over the use of forensic DNA evidence as the sole or primary proof of guilt. Uncorroborated DNA matching might not be enough to satisfy the burden of establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The reliability of forensic DNA testing results might be questioned for any number of reasons, e.g., laboratory error, cross-contamination, interpretive bias or fraud, etc. See generally Tarnish On the 'Gold Standard': Recent Problems in Forensic DNA Testing, Champion, Jan./Feb. 2006, at 10.

Studies, standards and case reviews have highlighted the types of miscalculations that can occur and undermine confidence in evidence derived from genetic matching. Every kind of problem from mathematical errors to laboratory mishaps to fakery can plague the presumptive efficacy of DNA testing. This article highlights recent publications that underscore the need for closer scrutiny and weighing of DNA profiling when it is offered as the principal or exclusive evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Representing Juvenile Status Offenders by ABA

The American Bar Association published a 2010 guide for advocating juvenile status offenders. This 160 page document provides assistance, guidance, and available resources to assist attorneys who represent juvenile offenders.

There are few training resources for attorneys representing juvenile status offenders or youth who are truant, runaways, or beyond their parent’s control. Yet representing this population of children, who often fall between the cracks of child welfare and juvenile justice, can be challenging. Often, few community or court resources are devoted to these families in crisis, making advocacy for appropriate services and alternatives to detention difficult.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Free Legal Resarch Product From Your State Bar

Authors of 3 Geeks and a Law Blog has assembled an interactive map of the United States displaying what free legal research product is offered by bar associations of individual states. Check it out here.

Prof. Rosenblum on CEDAW

Pace Law Professor Darren Rosenblum's latest article Unsex Cedaw: What's Wrong with Women's Rights, recently posted on SSRN, is featured in a March 8 blog post on the Reproductive Rights Prof Blog. The abstract of Prof. Rosenblum's article follows:

This Article argues that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW” or the “Convention”) has failed to create equality for women or gender equality because its scope remains limited to women. CEDAW’s focus on women enshrines an understanding of sex as a binary of men/women and a consequent presumption of their relationship as perpetrator/victim. The Convention is also the preeminent treaty on gender inequality, and cannot succeed in creating gender equality if it continues to focus so narrowly and exclusively on women.Instead of focusing on “women” as part of a binary, CEDAW should seek the elimination of the categories themselves. CEDAW’s very title is its mistaken diagnosis. CEDAW’s focus on the category “women” reifies rather than undermines gender disparities. This Article argues that CEDAW should reframe its target to focus on sex or gender discrimination rather than women as its sole particular victims. CEDAW represents men as the comparator for women’s equality and the implicit perpetrator of their inequality. Rather than be in CEDAW’s periphery, men should be central, along with women, to any rectification of gender inequality. Beyond men, CEDAW should protect people of all genders. Gender or sex must replace the identitarian category of “women” in international law. This reinterpretation must occur for the future of this crucial international Convention.

Prof. Rosenblum's article will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Earn CLE Credit For Listening to Lawyer2Lawyer

Via Robert Ambrogi's LawSites,

I am pleased to announce that you can now earn CLE credit for listening to Lawyer2Lawyer, the weekly legal-affairs podcast I cohost with J. Craig Williams. Our podcast and all 15 of the podcasts produced by the Legal Talk Network are now available through the West LegalEdcenter.

Skype Available On Nokia Phones

Via, Nokia users can now make free Skype to Skype calls on their handsets.

The Skype application is available as a free download from Nokia's Ovi store, and can run on more than 200 million phones around the world. Users will be able to make free Skype calls to other Skype users, and will also be able to make cheaper calls to landlines and other mobile phones, even when they're abroad. It will also allow users to easily share pictures and video files without the need for a computer.

PILSO Auction

Only two days left to bid in the PILSO auction. PILSO, the Public Interest Law Scholarship Organization, under the umbrella of Public Interest Law Center at Pace Law School, is hosting a silent online auction. The auction will run until March 11, 2010, at 9:00 am. The proceeds will fund grants to law students for unpaid public interest summer internships in direct legal services, prosecution, environmental law, government work, and civil rights. Click here to bid to get sports tickets and memorabilia, spa and travel packages, fine dining and more!

Our Twitter Makeover

Our Twitter profile had a makeover! Check it out here.

Law Library Newsletter for March

Click here or the picture to the right for the latest issue of D-Brief, the Pace Law Library Newsletter. Gail Whitemore, reference and special collections librarian, writes about the U.S. Supreme Court, the First Amendment, and campaign contributions; new credit card rules; Bookbag to Briefcase program offered at Pace Law School to students, and she reminds us of the library hours and about fun things to do out and about.