Law Technology Products / Processes Starts and Stops 2014-2015: Bloomberg to Uber

From Dewy B Strategic:

What’s the best NEW PRODUCT you became aware of in 2014?
What was the BEST FEATURE/FUNCTION added to an information resource in 2014?
What PRODUCT did your department/organization STOP using in 2014?

More? Read on:

Products Started/Stopped:
The 2014-15 Start Stop Survey Results: The Products. Out with the Old. In With the Innovative: Lex Machina Best New Product. Fastcase/HeinOnline Best Innovation

Processes Started/Stopped:
The Start Stop Poll Results 2014-2015: Processes and Initiatives. Workflow Improvement In, Print Continues Its Freefall

ID Theft: A Tax Return Grab and Go (aka Hit and Run) at the Post Office

A few days ago a Trimet buddy told his fellow riders about an appalling tax return grab and go theft that happened at the downtown post office earlier this week. He was jostled from behind and when he turned the mail in his hand was grabbed, including, especially, the easily identifiable IRS tax return envelope.

He spent the remainder of the day, and week, doing the rounds of police, credit reporting agencies, IRS, and all the other ID theft checklist items, including a couple hours looking at security video, sadly to no avail.

Yes it’s a lesson to file electronically, but it’s also a lesson we all need to keep in mind – watch out for other people and not always strangers who invade your personal space. And keep those valuables out of sight!

There are lots of online scams, but the tried and true telephone, front door, and hit and run street perpetrators are still managing to make other people’s lives miserable.

Oregon Scam Alert Network (from the Oregon Department of Justice).

But don’t let your guard down about other types of scams and rip-offs: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Complaint Database

Oregon Beer Librarian and the Pro-Am (ages 70-95) Brewers of Machine Gun Maggie Imperial IPA

Mark Linder is a part-time librarian and a full-time beer nerd. He blogs at By the Barrel and is otherwise known as Bend Beer Librarian.”

Retirement Home Starts Brewing: Brew Crew’s Beer Raises Money for Alzheimer’s,” by Mark Lindner, for the Oregon Beer Growler Magazine (see February 2015 issue, page 6).

Excerpt: “Where else but in Bend would a retirement community team up with the local homebrew club and a local brewery to brew a professional-amateur (pro-am) beer to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association? ….

The members range in age from 70 to 95 and have brewed 30 to 40 beers to date….

Machine Gun Maggie is an Imperial IPA that the Brew Crew brewed with Worthy Brewing on their 5-barrel pilot system. Since they wanted to sell their beer to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association,they needed it done by a licensed brewery…..” [Link to full Oregon Beer Growler article.]

Link to the Oregon Beer Growler homepage and blog.


Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for research purposes only. We do not provide legal advice, nor do we endorse any person, product, or company.

These blog posts are snippets of news, research tips, and commentary. They are starting places for legal research, not full legal research strategies or results. Please talk to a lawyer or law librarian if you want to research your legal issue thoroughly.

Public Records Argle-Bargle at the University of Oregon Archives: Librarians on Hot Seat?

If you’ve not been following the news about the University of Oregon archives “leak,” now is the time to start catching up.

Library workers under scrutiny for leak of 22,000 UO documents: Meanwhile, documents leaked to a professor were not returned by the UO’s deadline,” by Diane Dietz, The Register-Guard, Jan. 23, 2015

The Oregonian and the Register Guard have been posting stories. So has U of O blogger, Professor Harbaugh, at his UO Matters: The Unofficial Organ of the University of Oregon blog, which has links to the news stories.

Make sure you know and understand all the facts, and the relevant law, before jumping to any conclusions. Remember:

The lesson of that first day in kindergarten was re-taught to me throughout my life: If you think you’re pretty smart, you’re not talking to enough people.” Cameron, Bruce, “The Smartest Guy in an Empty Room,” Funny Times, September 2013, p. 3.

Multnomah County Circuit Courthouse Project: Public Meetings (Jan & Feb 2015)

The Oregonian reports that: Multnomah County wants input for new courthouse project

This information is not yet posted at the Multnomah County Circuit Court website, but you can contact the Court if you have questions. From their Contact Us page:

Multnomah County Courthouse
1021 SW Fourth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204-1123
General Information Phone: 503.988.3957

Here are meeting dates/times as reported on 1/21/15 by Tony Hernandez at the Oregonian:

Residents will have a couple chances in upcoming weeks to give input about Multnomah County’s downtown courthouse project.

The Board of Commissioners in December approved two possible locations: an L-shaped lot at the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge and a surface lot between the KOIN Center and Marriott Hotel.

County officials will hold two events to collect comments and share information such as concept renderings and site characteristics:

Jan. 29: 5 to 7 p.m. in the boardroom of the Multnomah County Building, 501 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.

Feb. 5: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the county courthouse, 1020 S.W. Fourth Ave., Room 130….” [Link to full Oregonian article for more information or call the Court.]

The Meaning of the Word “Accompany” in 18 USC 2113 (SCOTUS)

From Willamette Law Online:  ‘Whitfield v. United States, Case #: 13-9026, Date Filed: January 13, 2015

Scalia, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Full Text Opinion: 

CRIMINAL LAW: The word “accompany” in 18 U.S.C. §2113, which creates increased penalties for actions taken during the commission of, or flight from, a bank robbery, means “to go with” even over short distances.

While eluding capture after a failed bank robbery, Petitioner entered the home of a 79-year-old woman. There he moved her a short distance into another room where she died of a heart attack. Federal law provides a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence when a bank robber “forces a person to accompany him” during the robbery or flight thereafter. After pleading not guilty, Petitioner was convicted by a jury. On appeal he argued that the severity of the punishment carried by this aggravating factor must require accompaniment over a substantial distance, and that it should not apply to his moving his victim into the next room. The Fourth Circuit disagreed, affirming the trial court.
The Supreme Court affirmed the lower courts holding that “accompany” means “to go with” even over short distances. The Court referred to newspaper articles, a wedding announcement, the dictionary, and British Literature classics to illustrate the clear meaning of the word “accompany.” In response to Petitioner’s argument regarding the severity of this aggravating factor the Court states, “It is simply not in accord with English usage to give ‘accompany’ a meaning that covers only large distances.”

Hat tip to Willamette Law Online for their case summaries; you can view and subscribe.

January 7, Paris: Law librarians and free press, free speech human rights advocates: Je suis Charlie

Judges, public interest lawyers, and law librarians have a special interest in this European equivalent to a First Amendment battle. We stand up every day for people who want their voices to be heard and their human rights respected.

This growing cartoon collection is one of the most moving images so far from January 7th:

Paris shooting: Cartoonists show Charlie Hebdo solidarity”

Je Suis Charlie

Your Big Brother eBook is Watching You: Big Data Equals Big Business

Your eBook (and its publisher) knows what pages you skipped, it knows what you write in the margins, it keeps track of when you read and when you shop … it knows all about you. It gets worse:

Pew Research Internet Project: The Future of Privacy: Digital Life in 2025: “George Orwell may have been an optimist”

‘”…. This report is a look into the future of privacy in light of the technological change, ever-growing monetization of digital encounters, and shifting relationship of citizens and their governments that is likely to extend through the next decade. “We are at a crossroads,” noted Vytautas Butrimas, the chief adviser to a major government’s ministry. He added a quip from a colleague who has watched the rise of surveillance in all forms, who proclaimed, “George Orwell may have been an optimist,” in imagining “Big Brother.”’ [page 5]

“…. Privacy and security are foundational issues of the digital world:

Our question seemed so apt to respondent Breanne Thomlison, the founder and president of BTx2 Communications, a marketing and strategies firm, that she predicted there will soon be a new job title called, “Online Public Safety and Corporate Monetization Director.” Its functions: to monitor, create, gain, and maintain trust on a global level, as well as manage expectations from each group. “Without this, innovation will not happen,” she predicted.

An executive at an Internet top-level domain name operator who preferred to remain anonymous replied, “Big data equals big business. Those special interests will continue to block any effective public policy work to ensure security, liberty, and privacy online….” [page 7] [Link to full report.]

Hat Tip to Library Link of the Day.

Volunteer with the Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline

Attorneys and other consumer law professionals: See the notice at the Oregon DOJ / AJ homepage.

“Are you interested in volunteering for DOJ? The Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline is staffed by a team of dedicated volunteers who personally field more than 30,000 calls a year. If you live in the Salem area and are interested in helping fellow Oregonians recover money from companies that break the law, please drop us a line at”