Tag Archives: law

The Securities and Exchange Commission in pictures

The SEC has a Pinterest page! Great historical photos from the Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society. Hat tip to the Conglomerate blog – until I saw their post, it had never occurred to me to think of the SEC and Pinterest in the same sentence. Enjoy, for the holiday weekend….

The Refugee CaseLaw Site

The Refugee Caselaw database contains jurisprudence from 31 jurisdictions.  It includes a “Core Collection” of decisions selected, summarized, and indexed by James C. Hathaway, from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.  Researchers can find cases by browsing by country, doing a keyword/Boolean Quick Search, or using a Guided Search.  This last feature enables field searches for refugee cases by asylum country, court, claimant’s country of origin, date, “Hathaway” number, concepts (such as “torture” or “gender persecution”), and case name. The site also includes excerpts from Professor Hathaway’s The Law of Refugee Status (1991).

International Law News 2.0: Blogs

Piratesskullandbones Do "child pirates" have rights?  Would Oregon legislation banning plastic bags raise WTO issues?  Should a lawful permanent resident on the FBI "No Fly List" have the human right to return home to the U.S. from a turbulent Egypt?  You have many Web 2.0 options for monitoring international legal developments for possible substantial paper or comment topic ideas.  You can set up Google Reader feeds for top international law blogs such as Opinio Juris, IntLawGrrls, the International Law Prof Blog, and the International Economic Law and Policy Blog.  The International Law Reporter edited by Jacob Katz Cogan is particularly useful for keeping track of new books, law journal articles, and conferences in the field.  Justia Blawgsearch list about 70 international law blogs and about 20 international trade ones. 

The International Encyclopaedia of Laws (IEL)

If you’re looking for book-length, English-language, expert commentary on a particular country’s law, check the International Encyclopaedia of Laws (Kluwer Law International).  The IEL series goes beyond an encyclopedia to provide detailed coverage of major areas of foreign law.  The Law Library owns most of the sets in the series.  The IEL is continually updated, and each IEL set includes different countries.  For example, IEL sets cover Chinese intellectual property and labor law, but not energy, property, and trust law.  The list of “Published Monographs” indicates which countries are in each IEL set.  For Greece, look under “Hellas”.  The IEL series includes 25 legal topics so far.  The International Encyclopaedia of Laws is a great starting point for comparative law research. Check it out!:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Commercial and Economic Law
  • Competition Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Corporations and Partnerships
  • Criminal Law
  • Cyber Law
  • Energy Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Family and Succession Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Intergovernmental Organisations
  • Labour Law and Industrial Relations
  • Media Law
  • Medical Law
  • Migration Law
  • Private International Law
  • Property and Trust Law
  • Religion
  • Social Security Law
  • Sports Law
  • Tort Law
  • Transport Law


Chicago Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and His Legacy

MLKDay2011 "We are tied in a single garment of destiny." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 17, 2011, is the 25th anniversary of the first Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.  The University commemorated Dr. King's work with programs listed in the MLK Week scheduleJudith Jamison, the Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, delivered the keynote speech.  The University designated today as a day of community service to acknowledge the important role of civic engagement in Reverend King's message.  Sunday, the University will host a musical and liturgical celebration of Dr. King's legacy at Rockefeller Chapel.  

The Chicago Sinfonietta is also holding its annual MLK, Jr. tribute concert, A Dream Unfolds (Jan. 15-17).  Other tributes to the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. are taking place elsewhere in Chicago and nationwide.

Martin Luther King, Jr. worked for peace and justice throughout the world.  As he said, "Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere."  He influenced international legal reforms, and popular movements for peace, civil rights, and human rights worldwide.  The following bibliographies list works that focus on Dr. King's continuing legacy.


The following list supplements the bibliographies:

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Free Access to Law: Legal Information Institute (LII) of India

LIIofIndia The Legal Information Institute (LII) of India (<http://liiofindia.org/>) is a free source of Indian case-law (including Supreme Court decisions from 1950-date), legislation (1856-date), treaties (1947-date), law reform commission reports, and law journal articles.  It includes a citator function.  LII of India opened for public access on November 25, 2010 and will formally launch in March 2011.  It was developed by four Indian law schools (NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad; National Law School of India University, Bangalore; National Law University, Delhi; Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, Indian Institute of Technology – Khargpur), and AustLII.  For more information about LII of India, check the related brochure and user guide.

Knock It Off: Intellectual Property Law Issues in the Fashion Industry

HellsAngelsMcQueen1 Fashion is a hot legal topic.  Lawyers took note when a Brazilian college briefly expelled a student for wearing a mini-dress and lawyers debated whether a woman lawyer should wear open-toed shoes in court.  Hell’s Angels sued Alexander McQueen’s design firm for misusing their trademarked "death's head" skull and wings logo (Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation v. Alexander McQueen Trading Limited, No. 10-08029 (C.D. Cal., complaint filed October 25, 2010))(another report is here). The lawsuit settlement  requires recall and destruction of items with the Hell's Angels design on them.  NPR covered copying in the fashion industry in an October 26, 2010 PlanetMoney podcast, Stealing Our Way to a T-Shirt.   A recent photoshoot (Hot Models Get Busy in Brooklyn Law Library), which played off the connection between fashion and the law, drew more media attention.

Fashion became more prominent in popular culture when Project Runway launched in 2004.  We’ve also had America’s Next Top Model, Make Me a Supermodel, the documentary series Signé Chanel (focusing on Karl Lagerfeld), and most recently, The Fashion Show.   Movies like The Devil Wears Prada, Sex and the City, and Zoolander have further raised the profile of the fashion industry.

Project Runway in particular has highlighted some of the IP issues related to the fashion industry.  Did a designer copy someone else’s design or design element?  Did the designer use an exact copy of an established pattern?  Doesn’t this dress look just like the "Derelicte" fashion in Zoolander? 

Knock-offs have generated popular interest and captured the attention of some lawyers.

How to Spot a Fake (MSNBC video)

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The United States Senate is considering a new bill, named the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (IDPPPA), S. 3728 (introduced August 5, 2010, 111th Cong., 2d sess.), which would restrict knock-offs.  See The Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act – Fashion Industry Friend or Faux? (Louis S. Ederer & Maxwell Preston, August 25, 2010).   The bill follows a previous failed attempt, called the Design Piracy Prohibition Act (DPPA).  The Freakonomics blog included a post about the bill (Copying Fashion:  Who Gains?  August 30, 2010; Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman guest blogging on “The Private Interest in Public Law”). 

Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman also authored “The Piracy Paradox: Innovation and Intellectual Property in Fashion Design “, 92 Va. L. Rev. 1687 (2006).  Professor Randy Picker responded to Raustiala and Sprigman (Randal C. Picker, Of Pirates and Puffy Shirts, Va. L. Rev. In Brief (2007)), and other commentators debated the merits of the proposed bill.  Check our Law Journals page to find other law review commentary on intellectual property issues in the fashion industry. 

Very few books focus exclusively on legal aspects of the fashion industry.  David Zarfes and Tony Bangs, in their luxury retailing course, used Fashion Law:  A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives, and Attorneys (Guillermo C. Jimenez & Barbara Kolsun eds., New York:  Fairchild Books, 2010).  Fashion Law includes an overview of the legal issues in the fashion industry and has special chapters on intellectual property protection, counterfeiting, licensing, employment, commercial operations, marketing, advertising, retail leasing, and international aspects of the fashion business.  The book has a companion blog, Fashion Law Center, which summarizes each chapter and links to related resources.  Other resources include the “Fashion Designs” chapter in Global Issues on Copyright Law 18 (2009), and a brief CRS report:  Copyright Protection for Fashion Design (2009)(legal analysis of the DPPA).

 Related websites:

Banned: Hiding Your Face in a French Public Place

FaceWear5 The French Senate passed a bill (no. 161), 246-1, banning concealed faces from public spaces on September 14, 2010 – Projet de loi interdisant la dissimulation du visage dans l'espace public.  Violators face fines of up to 150 euros (about $190) and they may be required to complete a French citizenship course (Penal code, article 131-16). The law also prohibits forcing someone to hide his or her face in public on the basis of gender, with an added penalty for forcing minors to conceal their faces.  Those who force others to hide their faces encounter harsh penalties, including fines of up to 60,000 euros, and up to two years of jail time.  The French National Assembly approved the bill 336-1 on July 13, 2010.

The ban does not apply to facial attire prescribed or authorized by law, or for such attire required for health or professional purposes.  Nor does the ban apply to attire that conceals faces in sports, during holidays, or at artistic performances or traditional events.  More information about the bill is available via its legislative dossier (in French). 

The Constitutional Council has a month to review the bill for constitutionality. Should the bill bridge unconstitutionality and implementation hurdles, who could be affected?  Official statements indicate the the new law targets Muslim women wearing burqas, niqabs, or other full face veils, but the bill does not expressly mention the Islamic veil.  Are there other types of face coverings banned?  And what must a woman feel like when a police officer orders her to unveil in public?

There are varying reactions to the ban (see To Ban the Burqa, Or Not?), including a pro-ban idea of a basic norm that face-to-face interactions are necessary in public spaces.  To participate in public life, "we need to be able to recognize others and be recognizable in turn (and not just by way of biometric scanners".  On the anti-ban side, the bill could violate Muslim women's human rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

There are no official translations yet, but there is an unofficial translation of the bill from a "French burka ban is fine by me" blogger, Glomarization, Esq.

Muslim Headscarves (BBC News) 

U.S. v. Said: Who Is a Pirate?


Pirate waiting for the CTA bus (photo by Lyonette Louis-Jacques)

U.S. v. Said (E.D. Va., Aug. 17, 2010) has sparked interest in the law of piracy. Alleged Somali pirates in a small skiff fired on the USS Ashland in the Gulf of Aden.  The U.S. Navy ship returned fire, burning the skiff, and killing one of its passengers.  The U.S. crew took into custody the remaining Somali nationals aboard the skiff.  Prosecutors charged the Somalis with piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651.  The judge dismissed the piracy charges, citing U.S. v. Smith, 18 U.S. (5 Wheat.) 153 (1820)[Google Scholar] [HeinOnline].  As the Somalis did not rob the USS Ashland or its crew, the government failed to establish that their acts constituted piracy on the high seas as defined under the law of nations as of 1819, when Congress enacted the statute outlawing piracy (ch. 77, 3 Stat. 511)[HeinOnline].  The court reasoned that persons affected by the law could not know of any new definition of piracy, and therefore due process disallowed reference to the current law of nations as the standard for defining piracy. Several charges other than piracy remained viable against the Somalis.

Selected blog posts and news stories that address the Said case and the issue of Who is a pirate?:  

Several commentators cite Article 15 of the 1958 Geneva Convention on the High Seas as the source for the authoritative definition of "who is a pirate" under the law of nations.  Article 15 states that "any illegal acts of violence, detention or any act of depredation" committed by a crew on ship directed at another ship on the high seas constitutes piracy.  Thus, the Geneva Convention does not require robbery for acts to count as piracy.

For additional information on the law of piracy, check Yvonne M. Dutton's Bringing Pirates to Justice (CJIL, Summer 2010), Eugene Kontorovich's "A Guantanamo on the Sea":  The Difficulty of Prosecuting Pirates and Terrorists,  International Legal Responses to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (ASIL Insights),  Piracy and International Law and  recent articles, Peter T. Leeson's Rationality, Pirates, and the Law, Alfred P. Rubin's The Law of Piracy (2d ed., 1998), and Ivan Shearer's Piracy article in the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law Online.  See also the Law Library of Congress' collection of digitized books on pre-1923 piracy trials from various nations.

Mobile Apps for Law

Can’t get enough of Judge Posner?  There’s an app for that!  The Little Book of Plagiarism by Richard A. Posner for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad (I’m still waiting for The Quotable Judge Posner app).

Flummoxed by “noscitur a sociis”, “uberrimae fidei”,  “nulla poena sine lege”, or writs of “scire facias” or “capias in withernam”*?  There’s an app for that!  For a mere $49.99, you can get West’s Black’s Law Dictionary for iPhone for quick and handy access to legal definitions.

Need the Constitutional provision dealing with quartering of soldiers?  There’s an app for that!  The Constitution of the United States for 99 cents.  (But Professor David Currie reading the U.S. Constitution?  Priceless!)

Other law-related apps (mostly for iPhone) include Fastcase for iPhone (the app is free, but you need to register an account), LexisNexis Get Cases and Shepardize, Westlaw, WestlawNextSum and Substance study aids for constitutional law, contracts, and criminal law, ABAJournal (FREE), Legal News, Nolo’s Plain English Law Dictionary (FREE), LawStack: a legal library in your pocket (FREE), Social Science Research Network (SSRN), including the Legal Scholarship Network (LSN)(FREE), and PocketJustice FULL (U.S. Supreme Court decisions, audio files, voting alignments, biographies of justices, and a FREE version).

Law apps for BlackBerry include the Law Pod’s federal rules and BEIKS Bouvier’s Law Dictionary.

For Android, there’s the DroidLaw legal reference app.

There are mobile apps for federal, state, and local government information, including for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of State, Congress, and the White House.

Additionally, Mobile Applications for Law Students and Lawyers lists apps for productivity, fun (Pandora!), as well as more BlackBerry and Android apps.

iPhoneJD identified 60 iPhone apps for lawyers recently, among them some fun ones like “More Cowbell”.

And, if you, like me, have been missing the Vuvuzela sound, there are iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android apps for that!  

Wired reviews four Vuvuzela apps for iPhone with Annoyance ratings included, and links to a video on the history of the Vuvuzela.  Vuvuzela 2010 (has ads) and PocketVuvu both have their charms.  And there’s even a way to Vuvuzela-ize websites you visit, so everywhere you go, it’s Vuvuzela Time!  See e.g.:


You can check out our D’Angelo Law Library research guides and feel like you’re at a soccer/football game at the same time! 

*See J. Duncan M. Derrett, “Withernam:  A Legal Practical Joke of Sir Thomas More,” 7 Cath. Law. 211 (1961).