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You may or may not use a serial comma wherever (or nowhere) else you want, but woe to the person who leaves the serial comma out of legal documents, including contracts, legal opinions, statutes, regulations, and any other legal agreement or law that will be interpreted literally (and I mean literally, literally) by parties to the agreement or by a judge – or even, mercy, by a legislator or government lawyer.

Honestly now: Do you really want to pay lawyer(s!) bills and court costs when lawyers, judges, and clients end up doing battle over the meaning of a sentence when the presence of a comma would have allowed everyone to go home to supper and a peaceful night’s sleep?

Lawyers, legislators, drafters of laws, and judges have enough trouble writing clearly without adding to their own and their readers’ woes. Use the serial comma, please. It will save all of us time and money.

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Hilarious April 2019 story out of England, via the BBC:

Judge asked to be relieved of jury duty – because he was the judge in the case.

But it gets worse! The Jury Central Summoning Bureau first told him, no, you’ll have to serve. Ha ha ha. Read the story:

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Library school student, librarian, and other information professional survey makers: this post is for you.

Most of us want to help you out, especially if your survey results may help us out, but even if it’s just to support a student or a colleague.

We’re happy to take your survey … IF you follow some basic rules, which most of you never do:

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Questions about MAX 8 & 9 safety, the Three Hour Rule, and the Passenger Bill of Rights?

FlyersRights dot org is a non-profit organization that advocates for commercial airline passengers. It supports a Flyers Rights Hotline.

From Flyers Rights About page:

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If you want to make a stab at trying to understand why con-men succeed, listen to Episode 7 (“For a small investment …”) of The Grift (podcast), which includes some Jimmy Breslin wisdom. (Warning: the last 10 minutes may leave you speechless.)

Among many other books on the topic: “Swindling and Selling,” (1976) by Arthur Allen Leff and Harry M. Markopolos’ 2010 book about Bernie Madoff, “No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller.

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Is there a journalist reporting on the (not yet released except to Barr, selected Rs and pundits, selected West Wingers, and others?) Mueller Report who has read the Special Counsel regulations (28 CFR 600 et seq)? Did you read the authority (5 U.S.C. 301; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 515-519) for and the source of those regulations (64 FR 37042, July 9, 1999 ….)?

Do you know the difference between evidence and proof, levels of proof needed for indictment versus conviction versus impeachment, standards (or levels or burdens) of proof, collusion and conspiracy, etc., etc., etc.?

It’s OK if you don’t know – if you’re willing to learn. If you want a 51 tweet long education in the above (except, you’ll have to read the special counsel regulations yourself), read Seth Abramson’s 51 tweet thread from 3/26/19 (and previous and subsequent threads, for that matter).

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In an effort to make law library services more widely available, a law librarian is now on duty to provide assistance on a walk-in basis at both the Beaverton City Main Library and Tigard Public Library, once each month. The law librarian can help find legal resources and documents, as well as assist in using online legal research tools unique to the Law Library. Although they cannot offer legal advice, law librarians can refer people to agencies or organizations that might be able to provide some assistance.

Regularly scheduled hours are as follows:

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The Legal Services Corporation recently highlighted their 2016 Library Initiative White Paper. The article points out that

“[t]here are more than 16,000 public libraries in the United States, offering free public access to computers, the internet, and to trained staff equipped to help library patrons access information.

Therefore, libraries have untapped potential to help low-income individuals who need assistance with civil legal problems. With the proper training and support, librarians could provide information to a significant number of Americans who quality for LSC-funded legal aid but are turned away due to a lack of resources.”

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The Oregonian’s 4-part series (starting 2/22/19) on money in Oregon politics:

Polluted by Money: How corporate cash corrupted one of the greenest states in America:

Part One of Four was published on Feb. 22, 2019.

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A Layperson’s Guide to Legal Research and Self-Help Law Books,” by Kendall Svengalis (author and publisher of the extraordinary and invaluable “Legal Information Buyer’s Guide & Reference Manual,” which has been published annually since 1996).

From the publisher NE Law Press website, “A Layperson’s Guide …”:

“Unlike previous bibliographies of self-help law books, this book adopts a new approach. Each subject-specific bibliography is prefaced by commentary on the nature of the law of that field, together with links to online sources for further information, including legal research guides. The intent is to give laypersons some broader context in which to comprehend the nature of the specialty of their concern.