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If you haven’t discovered Reith Lectures (BBC, Radio 4), here is your chance. Topics vary and this year’s (2019) lecturer was Jonathan Sumption. The lectures and Q&A that follow are enlightening and entertaining. (It’s a 5-part series.)

“2019: Jonathan Sumption

The Reith Lectures

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Every federal employee knows about the Hatch Act, which dates back to 1939:

Wikipedia Hatch Act article

You can Google the following searches to find out more about the Hatch Act:

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There are print versions of the April 18, 2019, Mueller Report (“Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election“) in the marketplace (although one publication has virtually unreadable tiny print) and there are multiple online versions so take your pick.

Many public libraries have the e-book and some may have the print.

Link to a PDF copy of the report from, among other places, the Wikipedia Mueller Report article, e.g. from the “External links” section of the article.

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I heard 3 people last week (and countless others before last week) on radio news and podcasts make erroneous statements about what Metro does.

This is nothing new. I’ve heard these mangled Metro descriptions for almost 2 decades. There is zero excuse for this. There is even a not-bad Metro Wikipedia article for heaven’s sake.

So, Metro Homework for You Radio / Podcast / TV People:

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Hat tip to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio (via the Google Play app) where I first read / heard about this 2019 documentary.

How a missing Wikipedia entry for Who Let the Dogs Out led to a nine-year hunt for answers,” CBC Radio, Posted: Apr 25, 2019:

‘I found myself really thinking about who actually let the dogs out,’ says director Brent Hodge …” [Link to CBC story.]

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Golden Rule of Legal Writing: Never, ever cite to anything you haven’t read carefully.

There is a reason law librarians try to drill that rule into the heads of lawyers and law students (and journalists):

“Is it a “Good” Case? Can You Rely on BCite, KeyCite, and Shepard’s to Tell You?,” by Kristina Niedringhaus, JOTWELL (April 22, 2019) (reviewing Paul Hellyer, Evaluating Shepard’s, KeyCite, and BCite for Case Validation Accuracy, 110 Law Libr. J. 449 (2018)).

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Without access to a library that subscribes to a Congressional documents database (or that has retained the print), you will have a devil of a time finding many Congressional documents, especially those before the 94th Congress (1975-76) or after 1865. (See the LOC Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation, the National Archives, or the GPO Congressional Documents database.)

You might want to try Congress dot gov, where you’ll find bills and resolutions and, hmmm – no reports.

Let’s say you want to find this document, which is a “report.”

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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.