The Pace Law School Class of 2013 honored Pace Law Library with the Outstanding Departmental Award during commencement on May 14, 2013. Marie Stefanini Newman (pictured), Professor of Law and Library Director, accepted the award on behalf of the Library staff. We thank the Class of 2013 for this honor.
Internet for Lawyers, an online CLE hub providing continuing education for lawyers, has made available their 2012 comparison of citators that compares the citator service capability of Google Scholar, Fastcase, Casemaker, LexisNexis, WestlawNext, and Bloomberg Law. The report is accompanied by screenshots and description of each service, and it concludes
[s]o, what’s a legal researcher to do if they don’t have access to LexisNexis, WestlawNext, or Bloomberg’s citator services? While we recommend NOT relying entirely on any of the citator services provided by Google Scholar, Fastcase, or Casemaker, legal researchers can still use these databases to learn if their cases are still good law by taking the extra step to run a search using the party names as keywords…. This will find all opinions with those same party names. You’ll need to read the resulting cases (but only those decided after your case was decided) and then discern for yourself how the subsequent cases treated your case.
One should keep in mind that although Google Scholar, Fastcase, and Casemaker are improving and continuously providing better “citator-like” service, they are not comprehensive citators (yet?).
Related Readings and Instructional Videos
- Fastcase’s ‘Authority Check’ Now Flags Bad Law by Robert Ambrogi (Apr. 25, 2013).
- Finding Significant Citations for Legal Opinions by Google Scholar Blog (Mar. 8, 2012).
- A First Look at the Newest Casemaker by Robert Ambrogi (Mr. 4, 2012).
- CaseCheck+: Casemaker’s Negative Treatment Citator by Casemaker Legal Videos (Sept. 20, 2012).
- Module 6: Precedential Analysis Using the Legal Citator on My LexisNexis by LexisNexis South Africa (Oct. 2, 2012).
- WestlawNext: Using KeyCite to Verify and Expand Your Research by WestlawInsider (Nov. 14, 2011).
- BCite in Bloomberg Law by GSU Law Library (Jun 29, 2012).
- Introducing Bad Law Bot from Fastcase by Vastcase Video (Apr. 24, 2013).
Arbitrage (Lionsgate presents; Green Room Films and TreeHouse Pictures present; a co-production of Parlay Films, LB Productions, Artina Films; a film by Nicholas Jarecki; written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki; produced by Laura Bickford … [et. al.]) [PN1997.2 .A73 2012 DVD] – “Robert Miller is a New York hedge-fund magnate who appears to have it all: money, power, a loving wife, and a devoted daughter working by his side. But behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is running on borrowed time, trying to unload his crippled trading company before his frauds are revealed. A deadly error throws Miller’s life into a tailspin, raising the suspicions of a detective and threatening the future of his financial empire.”
A lawyer walks into a bar (Camel’s Back Films presents; directed and produced by Eric Chaiken; producer, Tasha Oldham) [KF300 .L35 2008 DVD] – “Documentary explores the influence of the law and its practitioners on American culture, while following six characters as they do whatever it takes to become lawyers. This film features cameos by legal luminaries, politicians, well-known comedians, celebrity lawyers and other notables.”
The bungalows of Rockaway: small houses and big dreams on Gotham’s shore (a film by Jennifer Callahan) [F129.R8 B86 2010 DVD] – “New York City is known for its skyscrapers, tenements, brownstones, apartment buildings and … bungalows? Thousands of bungalows once lined the city’s Atlantic shore, providing summers by the sea for working-class families. Today, present-day residents fight to save the remaining few. This is the story of the popular resort that flourished for much of the 20th century along the southeastern edge of the city.”
One more dead fish (Interpositive Media presents; a Lonach Films production; produced by Peripheral Visions, Inc.; directed by Allan Forbes, Stefan Forbes) [HD8039.F66 C36 2006 DVD] – “Six Nova Scotia fisherman barricade themselves inside a Federal building to protest government policies towards the fishing industry.”
Silent choices (New Day Films; produced and directed by Faith Pennick; an Organized Chaos Mediaworks production) [HQ767.5.U5 S48 2007 DVD] – “Illustrates the abortion issue through the lives of African American women, with both interviews and dramatic content. Features the personal experiences of several such women, some of whom chose to have abortions, and some who are staunchly pro-life. The film also brings in others active in the African American community on abortion issues, as well as juxtaposing African American viewpoints to those of white Americans, all combined and contrasted with the larger economic, political, and social pressures that are faced by the African-American community in general.”
The greatest good (U.S. Forest Service centennial film; producer/director, David Steinke and Steven Dunsky; writers, Steven Dunsky and Stephen Most) [SD565 .G73 2006 DVD] – The narrator, Charles Osgood, tells the story of the U.S. Forest Service ‘s struggle to use and maintain the nation’s resources in the face of natural disasters, economic demands, and political controversy. Looks at the service’s effort’s to balance delivering the most benefits to the most people while remaining a good steward of the land. Explores the legacy of conservation visionaries Gifford Pinchot, Bob Marshall, and Aldo Leopold and their ideas for the “wise use” of resources, the preservation of wilderness, and a “land ethic.” Examines conflicts relating to public lands and the use of natural resources, covering topics such as grazing, fire, wilderness, wildlife, watershed protection, recreation, and timber. Features archival footage and photographs, as well as scenes of American forests from the Adirondack Mountains to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.
Grow! (Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson) [S605.5 .G76 2011 DVD] - Documentary filmed on 12 farms throughout Georgia demonstrating organic and sustainable farming.
Punctuation – the commas, periods, apostrophes, hyphens, columns and semi-columns are all often the source of a headache. The topic of punctuation is certain to be part of the 1L writing instruction. It is not only the writing instructors emphasizing the need to pay attention to detail and use punctuation correctly, but it is also the courts reinforcing the same idea.
The first post titled Ambiguous punctuation leads to loss of attorney’s fees (or is it attorneys’ fees?) brings brings the readers’ attention to the case Bradshaw v. Boynton-JCP Assocs., Ltd., No. 4D11-4242 (Fla. App. 4th Dist. Apr. 10, 2013), in which the Florida Appellate Court reversed “the award of attorney’s fees pursuant to an offer of judgement because ambiguities in the offer prevent its enforceability.”
The offer was apostrophe-challenged, creating ambiguities as to whether the drafter intended references to singular or plural defendants or plaintiffs. The offer, entitled “Defendant’s Joint Proposal for Settlement,” also appears to have been adopted from a form without sufficient editing; it requires “Plaintiff’(s)” to “execute a stipulation,” and “Plaintiff(s)” to “execute a general release of “Defendant(s).”
The second blog post titled For punctuation geeks, an interesting decision by the U.S. 2nd Circuit highlights AIG v. Bank of America, No. 12-1640-cv (2d Cir. Apr. 19, 2013), in which the Second Circuit Court addressed the use of modifying phrase following a list of nouns or phrases.
Defendants, in their effort to support removal jurisdiction, argue for an interpretation of § 632 which not only violates grammatical rules, but also would result in an arbitrary and illogical meaning. Citing a principle of construction which favors reading a “limiting clause or phrase . . . as modifying only the noun or phrase that it immediately follows,” Barnhart v. Thomas, 540 U.S. 20, 26 (2003), Defendants argue that the phrase “either directly or through the agency, ownership, or control of branches or local institutions in dependencies or insular possessions of the United States or in foreign countries” should be read to modify only the immediately preceding clause, “arising . . . out of other international or foreign financial operations,” and not as modifying the other preceding clauses specifying suits that arise out of “transactions involving international or foreign banking, or banking in a dependency or insular possession of the United States.” We can see no merit, grammatical or otherwise, to the argument.
The Court analyzes that
[o]ne of the methods by which a writer indicates whether a modifier that follows a list of nouns or phrases is intended to modify the entire list, or only the immediate antecedent, is by punctuation—specifically by whether the list is separated from the subsequent modifier by a comma. When there is no comma, as in the statute considered in Barnhart, the subsequent modifier is ordinarily understood to apply only to its last antecedent. When a comma is included, as in the Edge Act provision, the modifier is generally understood to apply to the entire series.
The Court continues by applying the rule to an example
[T]he statement, “This basketball team has a seven-foot center, a huge power forward, and two large guards, who do spectacular dunks,” differs from the statement, “This basketball team has a seven-foot center, a huge power forward, and two large guards who do spectacular dunks.” The first statement conveys that all four players do spectacular dunks. The latter statement conveys that only the guards do so.
And the lesson learned? Punctuation Matters!
Medicare Provider Charge Data provided by the Centers for Medicare and Madicaid Services provide hospital-specific charges for the more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals that receive Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) payments for the top 100 most frequently billed discharges, paid under Medicare based on a rate per discharge using the Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Group (MS-DRG) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. These DRGs represent almost 7 million discharges or 60 percent of total Medicare IPPS discharges.
Hospitals determine what they will charge for items and services provided to patients and these charges are the amount the hospital bills for an item or service. The Total Payment amount includes the MS-DRG amount, bill total per diem, beneficiary primary payer claim payment amount, beneficiary Part A coinsurance amount, beneficiary deductible amount, beneficiary blood deducible amount and DRG outlier amount.
For these DRGs, average charges and average Medicare payments are calculated at the individual hospital level. Users will be able to make comparisons between the amount charged by individual hospitals within local markets, and nationwide, for services that might be furnished in connection with a particular inpatient stay.
The changing national role in health system governance. A case-based study of 11 European countries and Australia
May 1st, 2013 by Jack McNeill
This study, The changing national role in health system governance. A case-based study of 11 European countries and Australia, is from European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and studies 12 countries providing an overview of recent changes in national governments’ role in the governance of health systems, focusing on efforts to reconfigure responsibilities for health policy, regulation and management; the resultant policy priorities; and the initial impact.
The shift in responsibilities shows little uniform direction: a number of countries have centralized certain areas of decision-making or regulation but decentralized others. The study reviews common trends, based on the country cases, and assesses potential future developments.
Apr 25th, 2013 by Jack McNeill
The U.S. Department of Justice has recently issued a revised edition of the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations. In the nine years since the protocol was initially released, there have been marked improvements in the “state of the art” for forensic medical examinations. The revised edition maintains the same standardization, quality, and best practice as the first SAFE Protocol. The revised edition has been updated with improvements to reflect current technology and practice.
“The revised SAFE Protocol reflects the many important improvements that can help increase the quality of the services victims receive. There is information on populations with special needs, such as victims with limited English proficiency, victims with disabilities, American Indian and Alaska Native victims, victims in the Military, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims. The new version also provides more information on topics such as drug and alcohol facilitated sexual assault, pregnancy, confidentiality, and alternative reporting procedures. The revised version also increases the emphasis on victim-centered care and collaboration, including offering victims an informed choice about participating in the criminal justice system.”
Apr 17th, 2013 by Jack McNeill
Apr 16th, 2013 by Jack McNeill
From the summary: “Over the past 10 years, 278 new drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, according to data from the InnoThink Center for Research in Biomedical Innovation. One hundred-and-seventy-five of them, or 63% of those approvals, came from 41 companies that had at least two new drugs approved during that time period.” Here is the article with links to the underlying data.