Intellectual Property Casebook: Free Creative Commons Download

From beSpacific: “Open Intellectual Property Casebook“:

Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain is announcing the publication of Intellectual Property: Law & the Information Society—Cases and Materials by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins. This book, the first in a series of Duke Open Coursebooks, is available for free download under a Creative Commons license. It can also be purchased in a glossy paperback print edition for $29.99, $130 cheaper than other intellectual property casebooks. This book is an introduction to intellectual property law, the set of private legal rights that allows individuals and corporations to control intangible creations and marks—from logos to novels to drug formulae—and the exceptions and limitations that define those rights. It focuses on the three main forms of US federal intellectual property—trademark, copyright and patent—but many of the ideas discussed here apply far beyond those legal areas and far beyond the law of the United States….” [Link to beSpacific post.]

‘All jokes aside, when and why does a person “Take the fifth”?’

The Martindale dot com Legal Library is a source of many types of legal documents, including articles like this one:

“Taking the Fifth – A quick reference,” by Charles M. Farano, attorney.

Excerpt: “All jokes aside, when and why does a person ‘Take the fifth’?

We make jokes about it at parties and with our friends when we are confronted with uncomfortable situations, comments or questions, but it can be a serious consideration when you find yourself on the edge of a criminal investigation. Under what circumstances should a person actually consult a lawyer regarding something we joke about despite its importance?

Basic Right Stated

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution says that no person can be compelled in a criminal proceeding to testify against him or herself. This right can be asserted in any proceeding, civil or criminal, administrative or judicial, investigatory or adjudicatory, and it protects against any disclosures that a person reasonably believes could be used in a criminal prosecution or that could lead to evidence that might be used in or might lead to the filing of an indictment . The United States Supreme Court has been zealous to safeguard the values of that underlying the privilege. It can be asserted in any proceeding in which the witness reasonably believes that information or testimony sought, could be used in a subsequent state or federal criminal proceeding….” [Link to full Martindale dot com article.]

Model Legal Templates: NVCA Model Venture Capital Financing Documents

Jim Calloway (Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program) poses (and channels) the question:

“What if the clients decided to provide the templates for their legal work?”

Link to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) for more, e.g.:

‘A “template” set of model legal documents for venture capital investments put together by a group of leading venture capital attorneys. The model venture capital financing documents consist of:

  • Term Sheet
  • Stock Purchase Agreement
  • Certificate Of Incorporation
  • Investor Rights Agreement
  • Voting Agreement
  • Right of First Refusal and Co-Sale Agreement
  • Management Rights Letter
  • Indemnification Agreement
  • Model Legal Opinion...” [from NVCA Model Legal Templates]

High Legal Research Cool Factor: wellsettled dot com

Hat tip to Bob Ambrogi’s LawSites blog post: WellSettled.com Mines Cases for Established Principles,” which introduces us to wellsettled dot com: “It is well settled…

I bet you can’t search just one (word or phrase), but this “one” is a non-hedonic hyperphagia compulsion, so enjoy.

“Only 15 percent of the unique volumes in U.S. law libraries have been digitized …”

Rent a Law Book? Want to get App App Appy?

Read: “Legal Research Revolutionized,” by Dan Giancaterino, in GP Solo, Vol. 31 No. 3:

“…. Law libraries will survive, and even thrive, in the future. An article in the May 2013 issue of ABA Journal estimated that only 15 percent of the unique volumes in U.S. law libraries have been digitized….

Legal Books as Apps

We’ve all seen the typical legal advertisement on the Internet, on TV, or even on the covers of telephone books (remember them?): an image of an attorney sitting in front of a wall of legal books. It impresses potential clients. And it implies that the attorney is continually consulting the accumulated wisdom of legal scholars throughout the ages.

But the truth is you need most legal sources for only a few days or weeks. The rest of the time they just sit on your shelf looking impressive but presenting you with challenges:

They’re expensive.
They take up office space, which is a fixed cost you need to minimize as much as possible.
They need upkeep. You must file updated pages or pocket parts or you risk committing legal malpractice by relying on outdated materials….”  [Link to full article.]

(The 15% article: “Are digitization and budget cuts compromising history?”  Hollee Schwartz Temple, ABA Journal, May 1, 2013.)

How to Find State Law Comparisons, Surveys, and Compilations

This is a quick and dirty guide to free and not-free (usually subscription) databases for this kind of research; it is not a comprehensive list. (And novice researchers should be reminded that the same statutory language is not always used across states to accomplish the same purpose.)

FREE:

NOT FREE, but priceless if you require thorough and fast research results:

  • The best and most comprehensive collection is Nyberg / Boast: “Subject Compilations of State Laws.” This collection is available in print (at some law libraries) and is now available online (HeinOnline), though not generally to mere mortals unless they have database privileges at a large law library or large law firm that subscribes. (But your local public librarian may be able to ask another librarian to run a search on a specific topic.)
  • There was also a book, not recently updated, but still useful, and maybe at your local libraries: “National Survey of State Laws,” by Richard Leiter (not updated regularly).