Carpet installation: Day 2

Carpet has been laid as far as the “reading room.”   It has been interesting providing service in the library today with most of the stacks wrapped in plastic.  Some still want nothing to do with online research and still want to hold that book in their hands.  Some books  could be retrieved from the stacks but some were just too wrapped up.   Many users were able to find what they needed using Westlaw or Lexis and others just decided to come back when it was all over.  The library certainly was not able to offer  the usual comfortable spot in which to work.  It was appreciated that we could at least  use the computer room  making it so we didn’t have to ration computer time.

It  is expected that it should all be finished by tomorrow so that the library can be back to normal sometime on Monday.

Old and New
Progress: Day 2
My office is ready.

Library is up and running on day #1 of carpet installation

Working in the temporary mini-library


 Services are limited to the reception area but so far we have been able to serve everyone who visited the library today.  There are only three public computers available today.  They are located in the reception area as you enter the law library.  Although we had users moving from one computer to another in order to accommodate others needing to access information only available on certain computers, it all worked out.  

The copy machine is accessible today and we hope that it will still be tomorrow.  

Access to the print collection is restricted but I should be able to see that you get anything that you need.  

I have moved my office to the small conference room.  

So far the new carpet has gone as far as the end of  the reference counter and half of the staff area behind the counter.    



Carpet installation begins

Today we moved the furniture out of the reception area and small conference room to get ready for the first night of the carpet installation.  All artwork hanging on library walls has been moved to the large conference room along with everything normally kept out on the desks and counters. 

The library will settle into the reception area and small conference room for the next two days and will be offering limited services with closed stacks and just  3 computers available for use.  Computers will have to be limited to legal research. Time at the computers will be limited as well.  Access to the collection will be restricted to library staff. 

We will being doing our best to meet everyone’s legal research needs during this time.


Anne Arundel County Attorneys and the AACPLL Partner to Provide Pro Bono Legal Services at the 3rd Annual Anne Arundel County Homeless Resource Day


Attorneys from the Anne Arundel Bar Association and the Anne Arundel County Chapter of the Maryland Women’s Bar Association  volunteered to provide free legal services to the county’s homeless (or those in danger of being homeless) on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at Glen Burnie High School for the 3rd Annual Anne Arundel County Homeless Resource Day.  A variety of services ranging from doctor visits to hair cuts were offered.  Clothing and food was distributed and lunch provided to all.  This was the second year that legal services were offered thanks to the Anne Arundel County volunteer attorneys.

There were twelve attorneys representing a wide range of legal backgrounds.  Bill Davis and Ginina Stevenson from the Public Defender’s Office with Anne Leitess of the Office of the State’s Attorney provided help with criminal issues.  Anita Bailey director of the Anne Arundel County Legal Aid Office with Sarah Frush who heads Legal Aid’s new District Court Self Help Center and Lisa Sarro of Legal Aid’s Elder Law Program had the perfect background to deal with the variety of civil issues presented as they see clients with many of the same issues as those attending Homeless Day on a daily basis.  Susan Wyckoff and Jessica Quincosa are family law attorneys.   Jessica also has experience with immigration issues and speaks Spanish.  Gloria Shelton, Kelly Kenney, and Jana Wiener of the WBA were able to cover a wide range of civil issues from consumer to employment.  Dan Andrews, AABA Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair, was able to draw from his experience as an Anne Arundel County Prosecutor and with Maryland administrative law.  I coordinated the event and provided back-up reference assistance to the attorneys.

Homeless Resource Day began at 8:30 a.m. and ended at 2:00 p.m.  Participants were provided transportation from various points around the county.  The morning proved to be the busiest with the number of visitors dropping after lunch.  30 of the 45 clients were seen before 12:15.  We will be able to plan accordingly for next year so that we have more attorneys for the morning shift rather than the afternoon shift like we did this year.

Almost 1/3 of the questions concerned criminal matters and the bulk of those questions involved expungement of criminal records.  The Maryland court form and brochure on expungement online were accessed and printed numerous times.   Family issues of divorce, custody, and visitation comprised the second largest number of questions.  Other issues for which assistance were sought included housing, motor vehicle insurance, employment, unemployment, estate taxes, disability, bankruptcy, debt relief, consumer, mortgages and veteran’s benefits.

All of the volunteer attorneys enjoyed the day and expressed a desire to participate next year.  It was clear that those who took advantage of their services were truly appreciative.

More photos on Flickr


Carpet update – new date

We are now expecting the work to begin Wednesday, April 7.


Carpet installation update

The new carpet installation date has been moved to March 31, 2010.  It will begin at 4:00 p.m. and work is expected to continue through Friday, April 2 after hours.

We may have some bare floors.  Shelves will be covered in plastic but we expect to be able to still access the books.  The law library will remain open.


New carpet to be installed this week

The library is scheduled for new carpeting.  The installation will begin tomorrow afternoon at around 4:00 p.m.  Depending on how it goes, the library may have to close at that time.

The work may result in plastic covered shelves and equipment but we should still be open for business.


Fun Judicial Opinions

I read a fun article, Judicial opinions that entertain by Ryan S. Perlin,  in the Daily Record Generation J.D. : A blog for young lawyers  about entertaining judicial opinions yesterday.  Examples of judicial opinions as detective novel and as poetry include an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts of the Supreme Court.  Of course, many quotes from movies and music lyrics are mentioned, too.

After reading the article above I tried a  Westlaw search of all state and federal cases for opinions mentioning Bob Dylan.  Some were actual cases involving Bob Dylan but many were quoting his song lyrics.

Most often quoted (13) is from Bob Dylan’s  Subterranean Homesick Blues (Columbia Records 1965): “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”.

Quoted only twice  was “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” Bob Dylan, Like A Rolling Stone, on Highway 61 Revisited (Columbia Records 1965).

Other Dylan songs mentioned were “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” “Hurricane,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times they are A’Changin,” and “Gotta Serve Somebody”.

In  U.S. v. Bullock, 454 F.3d 637, a discussion of the length of a prison sentence is illustrated by a long list of song lyrics in footnote 1 of the opinion:

“One hundred years is a long time-one year longer, in fact, than the standard lyrical shorthand for an unimaginably long sentence. See, e.g., Bruce Springsteen, “Johnny 99” (“Well the evidence is clear, gonna let the sentence, son, fit the crime / Prison for 98 and a year and we’ll call it even, Johnny 99.”); Bob Dylan, “Percy’s Song” (“It may be true he’s got a sentence to serve / But ninety-nine years, he just don’t deserve.”); Johnny Cash, “Cocaine Blues” (“The judge he smiled as he picked up his pen / Ninety-nine years in the Folsom pen / Ninety-nine years underneath that ground / I can’t forget the day I shot that bad bitch down.”); Ed Bruce, “Ninety-Seven More To Go” (“Ninety-nine years go so slow / When you still got ninety-seven more to go.”); Bill Anderson, “Ninety-Nine” (“The picture’s still in front of my eyes, the echo in my ears / When the jury said he’s guilty and the judge said ninety-nine years.”); Chloe Bain, “Ninety-Nine Years” (“The sentence was sharp, folks, it cut like a knife / For ninety-nine years, folks, is almost for life.”); Guy Mitchell, “Ninety-Nine Years” (“Ninety-nine years in the penitentiary, baby, baby, wait for me, around twenty-fifty-five we’ll get together dead or alive.”)”.

I tried searches with other musical artists but although there would be lots of  hits, for example when searching The Beatles, most were cases involving the music business.  A search for mentions of the Grateful Dead also brought up cases in which the suspect or defendant was wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt.


Maryland Library Day at the Legislature

Today was Maryland Library Day as proclaimed in the Maryland Senate chamber this morning.  Librarians came from across the state to participate in this Maryland Library Association event.  The message librarians hoped to get across was appreciation for the support Maryland public libraries have had through the years.

Issues of concern this year were that there not be a permanent freeze in state aid to libraries and that the state’s public library capital grant program be maintained at the full funding level.  Another issue raised by members of the Law Library Association of Maryland concerned bills in the House and Senate (HB111 and SB174) that proposed that counties whose codes were published on the Internet would not be required to furnish print copies to the Archives and the State Law Library and reduce the number from four to one for the Department of Legislative Services.  The House bill was amended to specify that printed copies be furnished to the Archives and State Law Library and restored the number to four for the Department of Legislative Services.  Members of the county delegation would receive notice of  a code published on the Internet instead of printed copies though.  The Senate bill was not similarly amended and so it was asked that the Committees accept the amendments as passed by the House

The day began here in the AACPLL where the Law Library Association of Maryland provided breakfast.  Joanne Colvin, Pat Behls and Janet Camillo were on hand to represent LLAM.  The breakfast program included a briefing by Gary Alexander of Alexander and Cleary of what is going on in the legislature this year.   After the information packets were assembled and candy distributed everyone headed to the State House Senate and House chambers where librarians were recognized.  From there the group spread out to meet with their delegates and senators armed with the information packets and candy.

The AACPLL acts as a central location where librarians can rest and recharge in between appointments throughout the day.   The day ended with a reception  held in the Miller Senate Office Building  which provided another opportunity for librarians to thank the legislators for past support and talk more about the value of  Maryland’s libraries.  The Maryland library quilt was on display. Photos of the many libraries built as a result of capital projects  hung about the room provided  evidence of funds well spent. A double screen slide show reinforced the value of funding libraries.

All in all it was a long but productive day.  The AACPLL looks forward to hosting Maryland Library Day again next year.


Social Media and the Courts : Information at the National Center for State Courts

In researching this topic further I found that the National Center for State Courts website contained a wealth of relevant information and links to actual examples.

Social Media and the Courts : Overview describes the issues from use by juries to use by the courts.

Social Media and the Courts : Resource Guide contains links to articles on such topics as the effects of jurors using social media during trials, use of social media by judges and attorneys, links to articles about court blogs as well as links to court blogs, and information on policy.

Social Media and the Courts : State Links examples of actual court use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.