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.


Full text legal opinions on Google Scholar

The Official Google Blog reported today that “we’re enabling people everywhere to find and read full text legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts using Google Scholar.”

The Common Scold reported that “The Google database includes more than 80 years of federal case law, and 50+ years of state case law. Users can search full-text of the state and fed opinions, which are hyperlinked, so you can navigate from one opinion to the next.”   This blawg post includes the reactions of LexisNexis and West (Thomson Reuters) to the news.

A quick search revealed an easy to search result list with a brief synopsis of each case that included the official citations. There is even a “How Cited” citator service.


National Pro Bono Week in the AACPLL

This week, October 25 through October 31, 2009 is the  first annual National Pro Bono Celebration.  The  ABA Press Release of July 8, 2009 states that this Pro Bono Celebration will recognize the legal work done on behalf of the poor and underserved.’s “Celebrate Pro Bono” page describes this event, “sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service,”  as “a coordinated national effort to showcase the great difference pro bono lawyers make… The week is also dedicated to the quest for more pro bono volunteers to meet the ever-growing legal needs of this country’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The Anne Arundel County Public Law Library with the Anne Arundel Bar Association Pro Bono Committee will celebrate with the establishment of the “Ask a Lawyer in the Law Library” program.  On Wednesday, October 28, from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m., two attorneys will be in the library for two-hour shifts to answer legal questions.   The program will continue on every third Wednesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

In January the program will expand into the Anne Arundel County Public libraries for evening hours, beginning with the Maryland City Russet branch.  With more volunteers, the hours and dates can be increased at both locations.

There will be drop-in information sessions  on pro bono opportunities for Anne Arundel County attorneys everyday between 11:00 and 1:00 for Pro Bono week.  Cookies and coffee will be served   The AACPLL wiki, created to provide information on pro bono opportunities as well as resources to which attorneys can make referrals, will be highlighted during these sessions.  It is hoped that with this information, attorneys will find it easier to provide the pro bono service that is so needed.


Maryland Rule 9-206 amended

The Maryland Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure released a new rules order dated October 5, 2009 stating:

“This Court’s Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure having submitted to the Court a Letter Report dated September 23, 2009 recommending adoption on an emergency basis of proposed amendments to Rule 9-206”

The rule concerning child support guidelines was amended in order to add provisions concerning “cash medical support” to the worksheets.

The full text of the report can be found at the Rules Committee website.


Maryland Code receives updates

Most new Maryland laws go into effect October 1 so it is important that the 2009 pocket parts and supplements are received in time.  Both of the library’s sets, published by Thomson/West or LexisNexis/Michie have been received and filed.

For a review of what has gone into effect the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2009 Legislative Session, published by the Department of Legislative Services, provides a comprehensive discussion of  the new laws.  The report is  broken into 12 subject areas.  Each section contains a discussion of the majority of related bills passed.  It includes a table of major issues and an index of new bills.

There have also been some news reports on the new laws with the no texting while driving law getting a lot of press.  Here are just two links.

From WJZ: New Laws in Maryland Focus on Road Safety and in the Baltimore Sun: New Laws take effect Thursday: Drivers, gun owners among those affected