December 2018 New Resources

2018 dec new book

In December 2018, the Law Library added the following new resources to the collection to support the research and curricular needs of our faculty and students.

New Resources

Foreign  International Law Resources Database (Part VII:  International Human Rights Law Institute) – Contained within HeinOnline, the International Human Rights Law Institute is the newest section of this vast database focusing on foreign and international legal material.  Part VII contains publications from the International Human Rights Law Institute. Topics within this section include information on sex trafficking, Middle East legal issues, and international extradition among others.

New Books

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE

  1. Joseph F. Hoelscher, Texas Drunk Driving Law (2017).

HEALTH AND MENTAL WELLBEING

  1. Christopher M. Norris, The Complete Guide to Stretching (2015).

LEGISLATION

  1. Shambie Singer, Statutes and Statutory Construction (2018).

TRIAL PRACTICE

  1. Judge Robert R. Barton, Fundamentals of Texas Trial Practice: Civil and Criminal (2018).

All these resources are available from the Law Library.  If you would like to check out any of these titles, please contact the circulation desk at either 806-742-3957 or stop by the Circulation Desk.

All electronic databases are available through the Library’s webpage, http://www.depts.ttu.edu/law/lawlibrary/index.php

Error of the Day & Maintaining Integrity of Algorithmic Results

If you’re into algorithms, you should absolutely subscribe to the MIT Technology Review newsletter called The Algorithm.

Earlier this month, the folks at The Algorithm asked “what is AI, exactly?” The answer is reproduced below.

The question may seem basic, but the answer is kind of complicated. In the broadest sense, AI refers to machines that can learn, reason, and act for themselves. They can make their own decisions when faced with new situations, in the same way that humans and animals can.

As it currently stands, the vast majority of the AI advancements and applications you hear about refer to a category of algorithms known as machine learning. These algorithms use statistics to find patterns in massive amounts of data. They then use those patterns to make predictions on things like what shows you might like on Netflix, what you’re saying when you speak to Alexa, or whether you have cancer based on your MRI.

Machine learning, and its subset deep learning (basically machine learning on steroids), is incredibly powerful. It is the basis of many major breakthroughs, including facial recognitionhyper-realistic photo and voice synthesis, and AlphaGo, the program that beat the best human player in the complex game of Go. But it is also just a tiny fraction of what AI could be.

The grand idea is to develop something resembling human intelligence, which is often referred to as “artificial general intelligence,” or “AGI.” Some experts believe that machine learning and deep learning will eventually get us to AGI with enough data, but most would agree there are big missing pieces and it’s still a long way off. AI may have mastered Go, but in other ways it is still much dumber than a toddler.

In that sense, AI is also aspirational, and its definition is constantly evolving. What would have been considered AI in the past may not be considered AI today. 

Because of this, the boundaries of AI can get really confusing, and the term often gets mangled to include any kind of algorithm or computer program. We can thank Silicon Valley for constantly inflating the capabilities of AI for its own convenience.

It’s good to be reminded of this definition as we contend with the latest releases of the legal research databases as the databases continuously tweak their underlying algorithms — the latest being Westlaw Edge.

With Westlaw Edge comes a revised “WestSearch Plus.”

Introducing the next generation of legal search. Get superior predictive research suggestions as you start typing your legal query in the global search bar.

WestSearch Plus applies state-of-the-art AI technologies to help you quickly address legal questions for thousands of legal topics without needing to drill into a results list.

We’re starting to see a time when the Google Generation is already predisposed to not drill into a results list and now the databases are actively advocating for the users to blindly rely on the top result in the list.

Along with the consequences of fake news on algorithmic results when using Google, for example, we must also be aware of the errors within the legal research databases themselves. To that end, a fellow law librarian, Mary Matuszak, has been collecting the errors that she finds during the legal research process in the various databases and distributes them via the Law-Lib listerv as “Error of the Day.”

From October 30, 2018:

Error of the Day  A  Lexis typo (possibly scanning error) in  Excessiveness of Bail in State Cases, 7 A.L.R.6th 487.   The following group of letters is used six times throughout the document, CocainesepBail.   A quick look at the Westlaw version shows that it should be Cocaine – Bail

From November 5, 2018:

In the Case People v Kindell, 148 AD3d 456 (1st Dept 2017), Susan Axelrod is listed as both the counsel for the Appellant and the Respondent.   The official version, the print, does not list the attorneys.

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I confirmed with ADA Axelrod that she did not represent the defendant and opposing counsel was not someone with the same name.   I also checked the defendant’s brief and it lists Ms. Moser as counsel.

While these errors are seemingly minute individually, the consequences are greater in the aggregate.

My own mentor, a law librarian who had been in the profession for 40 years, kept a print file of the errors that he found in the databases while performing legal research. The file was overflowing by the time I saw it roughly 3 years before his retirement.

Because an algorithm’s results are only as good as the underlying data, as we move toward an algorithmic society that relies heavily on algorithmic decision making, these errors could have consequences on the development of the law.

Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and Climate Report: Exploring a Practitioner’s Insight

This is the last in a four part series blog post spotlighting Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and Climate Report.

On the right side of the home page, you can click on insight to get a practitioner’s insight on a particular issue in energy and climate law .

Below is a view of the practitioner’s insights page.

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Clicking on an insight, you will have similar features to clicking on an article in the news tab.

Below is a view of an article. The green boxes indicate the different features available in a practitioner’s insight.

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The box at the top shows where you can see the next insight. You can also view related articles to a particular insight. Finally, you can click on the blue terms within an insight and this will redirect you to further information related to the insight.

Access to the Climate and Energy Report’s database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

November 2018 Law Faculty Publications & News

Throughout the month of November, the Law Library received alerts for full-time TTU Law Faculty publications and news. Below is a compilation of those daily alerts for November 1 to November 30, 2018.

Book Chapters

1. Alyson M. Drake, Foreign Law in SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITIES, AND THE LAW: A RESEARCH BIBLIOGRAPHY 2006-2016 (AALL 2018).

2. Alyson M. Drake, Comparative Law in SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITIES, AND THE LAW: A RESEARCH BIBLIOGRAPHY 2006-2016 (AALL 2018).

3. Alyson M. Drake, International Law in in SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITIES, AND THE LAW: A RESEARCH BIBLIOGRAPHY 2006-2016 (AALL 2018).

Articles

1. Gerry W. Beyer, Wills & Trusts, 4 SMU ANN. SURV. 451 (2018).

2. Gerry W. Beyer, Keeping Current—Probate, 32 PROB. & PROP. 25 (2018).

3. Gerry W. Beyer, The Will Execution Ceremony: Should it be in Pictures?, 45 EST. PLAN. 25 (2018).

4. Gerry W. Beyer & Katherine Peters, Sign on the [Electronic] Dotted Line: The Rise of the Electronic Will, WILLS, TRUSTS, & EST. L. EJOURNAL (2018).

Op-Ed

1. Arnold Loewy & Charles Moster, It’s Debatable: Did misguided allegiance to president spur attempted bomber to act?, LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-J. (Nov. 4, 2018 12:19 a.m.), http://www.lubbockonline.com/news/20181104/its-debatable-did-misguided-allegiance-to-president-spur-attempted-bomber-to-act.

2. Arnold Loewy & Charles Moster, It’s Debatable: Did misguided allegiance to president spur attempted bomber to act?, LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-J. (Nov. 17, 2018 10:08 p.m.), https://www.lubbockonline.com/news/20181117/its-debatable-how-has-trump-done-so-far-as-president.

Citations

1. Prof. Murphy’s article Chenery Unmasked: Reasonable Limits on the Duty to Give Reasons is cited in the following article: Kathryn E. Kovacs, Rules About Rulemaking and the Rise of the Unitary Executive, 70 ADMIN. L. REV. 515 (2018).

2. Prof. Murphy’s article Arbitrariness Review Made Reasonable: Structural and Conceptual Reform of the “Hard Look” is cited in the following article: Kathryn E. Kovacs, Rules About Rulemaking and the Rise of the Unitary Executive, 70 ADMIN. L. REV. 515 (2018).

3. Prof. Murphy’s article Enhancing the Role of Public Interest Organizations in Rulemaking via Pre-Notice Transparency is cited in the following article: Kathryn E. Kovacs, Rules About Rulemaking and the Rise of the Unitary Executive, 70 ADMIN. L. REV. 515 (2018).

4. Prof. Casto’s book FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND THE CONSTITUTION IN THE AGE OF FIGHTING SAIL is cited in the following article: David Golove, The American Founding and Global Justice: Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian Approaches, 57 VA. J. INT’L L. 621, 623 (2018).

5. Prof. Metze’s article Speaking Truth to Power: The Obligation of the Courts to Enforce the Right to Counsel at Trial is cited in the following article: Chad G. Marzen, Inclusivity with Reciprocity: Permitting Law Teachers Outside of ABA-Accredited Law Schools Bar Admission Through Admission on Motion Rules, 43 U. DAYTON L. REV. 347 (2018).

6. Prof. Casto’s article Advising Presidents: Robert Jackson and the Destroyers-for-Bases Deal is cited in the following article: Harold Hongju Koh, Presidential Power to Terminate International Agreements, 128 YALE L.J. F. 432 (2018).

7. Professor Robert Sherwin’s article Clones, Thugs, ‘n (Eventual?) Harmony: Using the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to Simulate a Statutory Defamation Defense and Make the World Safe from Copyright Bullies is cited in the following article: Lauren Gorab, A Fair Use to Remember: Restoring Application of the Fair Use Doctrine to Strengthen Copyright Law and Disarm Abusive Copyright Litigation, 87 FORDHAM L. REV. 703 (2018).

8. Prof. Beyer’s book FAT CATS & LUCKY DOGS: HOW TO LEAVE (SOME OF) YOUR ESTATE TO YOUR PET is cited in the following article: Thomas E. Simmons, A Will for Willa Cather, 83 MO. L. REV. 641, 642 (2018).

9. Prof. Loewy’s article Why Roe v. Wade Should Be Overruled is cited in the following article: Clarke D. Forsythe & Bradley N. Kehr, A Road Map Through the Supreme Court’s Back Alley, 33 ISSUES L. & MED. 175 (2018).

10. Prof. Rosen’s article The “Especially Heinous” Aggravating Circumstance in Capital Cases–The Standardless Standard is cited in the following article: Emily V. Shaw et. al., Intellectual Disability, the Death Penalty, and Jurors, 58 JURIMETRICS J. 437 (2018).

11. Prof. Chiappinelli’s article How Delaware’s Corporate Law Monopoly Was Nearly Destroyed is cited in the following article: Brandon Mordue, The Revlon Divergence: Evolution of Judicial Review of Merger Litigation, 12 VA. L. & BUS. REV. 531 (2018).

12. Prof. Casto’s book FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND THE CONSTITUTION IN THE AGE OF THE FIGHTING SAIL is cited in the following article: John Harrison, The Constitution and the Law of Nations, 106 GEO. L.J. 1659 (2018).

Quotes

1. Prof. Camp is quoted in the following article: Alan K. Ota, Democrats ponder IRS whistleblowers on Trump tax returns, 18 MLEX US TAX WATCH 5 (2018).

News

1. Dean Victoria Sutton’s short documentary Apache Kid, U.S. Army Scout, was selected for the First Nations Film and Video Festival that has a focus on Native American women directors. The festival ran from November 1st to November 9th in Chicago, IL. A complete list of the film’s many festival selections and awards is located here.

2. Professor Tracy Pearl is the recipient of the 2019 Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Award for Texas Tech University. Established in 2001, the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards are presented to individuals who exemplify teaching or research excellence throughout the year. These are the highest honors given by the Texas Tech University System to faculty members at its component institutions. Winners of these awards have significantly advanced teaching or research efforts and are noted as leaders among colleagues and in their respective fields.

3. On November 2nd, Professor Gerry W. Beyer’s blog posting, Prince’s Estate Wants to Trademark the Color Purple, made Texas Bar Today’s list of top 10 blog posts for the week.

4. On November 2nd, Dean Victoria Sutton spoke at the first Health Law & Policy in Space Symposium at the University of Houston Law Center. Her talk centered upon biocontamination, human health, and planetary protection policy.

5. Also on November 2nd, Professor Brie Sherwin participated in a panel at Duke Law Environmental Law & Policy Forum’s Fall 2018 Symposium. The panel discussed the interactions between human health and climate change, policy tools needed to promote sustainable communities, and human resilience to pollution and climate change.

6. Professor Gerry W. Beyer’s blog, the Wills, Trusts, and Estates Prof Blog, is ranked #18 in all-time popularity, surpassing the SCOTUSblog for the first time ever. The ranking is out of the 4,479 blawgs monitored by Justia. His blog remains the #1 estate planning blog out of 245.

7. On November 14th, Professor Gerry W. Beyer was a speaker at the 39th Annual Inland Empire Estate Planning Seminar at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California. To a multi-disciplinary audience of over 110 attorneys, CPAs, trust officers, financial planners, and life insurance specialists, Prof. Beyer spoke about the interface between estate planning and weapon ownership and marijuana legalization in his presentation entitled Aiming High and Getting High: Estate Planning for Guns and Marijuana.

8. On November 16th, Professor DeLeith Gossett moderated a panel entitled “The Opioid Crisis: What Can Be Done for the Children” at the 2018 Silent Victims Conference at Duke University. The panel discussed the explosion in the number of children needing foster care due to the opioid crisis, as well as what the 1980’s drug epidemic can teach us about how best to help these children and their families.

9. Also on November 16th, Professor Brian Shannon moderated a panel entitled S.B. 1326, Competency Restoration Alternatives, Local Implementation, & a Look Ahead at the 2018 Texas Tech Mental Health Law Symposium.

9. The ABA Journal recently reaffirmed Professor Gerry W. Beyer’s blawg, The Wills, Trusts, & Estates Prof Blog, as a member of its Blawg 100 Hall of Fame.

10. Professor Gerry W. Beyer was the speaker at the November 27, 2018, meeting of the Probate, Trust, and Estates Section of the Houston Bar Association. His presentation and accompanying paper were entitled State Law Pitfalls: Don’t Step In It When Your Client Steps Across State Lines.

11. The State Bar of Texas recently informed Professor Gerry W. Beyer that his continuing legal education activities qualified him (for the thirty-second consecutive year) for membership in the State Bar College. The Texas Bar College is an honorary society of lawyers, chartered by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1981, to recognize and encourage lawyers who maintain and enhance their professional skills and the quality of their service to the public by completing at least double the required hours of continuing legal education each year.

Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and Climate Report: Insights

This is the third in a four part series blog post spotlighting Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and Climate Report.

At the top of the page and on the right hand side, you will find “insights”, which allows you to take a look at practitioners’ practical knowledge and proposals on a subject.

Below is a view of the home page. The green box indicates where Insights may be located.

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Clicking on Insights will allow you to explore practitioners’ takes on hot topics concerning energy and climate.

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Access to the Energy and Climate Report’s database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and Climate Report: Exploring an Article

This is the second in a four part series blog post spotlighting Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and Climate Report.

Today, we will explore an article from the homepage of the Energy and Climate Report.

Scrolling down the home page, the most recent news articles are shown, an article shown below, allows a reader to utilize many different features.

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At the top of the article, you can direct between the article immediately preceding the article being viewed or the one just after.

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You can also view related documents or articles to the one currently being viewed.

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Access to the Energy and Climate Report’s database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and Climate Report: What is it?

This is the first in a four part series blog post spotlighting Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and Climate Report.

The Energy and Climate Report is dedicated to providing real-time coverage of climate change and emissions trading developments, in-depth analysis, interviews with policy makers, background reports, and legislation, litigation coverage and court opinions, and videos.

The Energy and Climate Report home page provides a comprehensive update beginning with the latest news.

Below is a view of the home page.

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To stay updated on a specific topic of interest, check out the news on the homepage that can be filtered by topic.

Below is the view of topics that you can filter the most recent news through.

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For quick searches of the entire database, locate the search icon at the top right corner of the page. For advanced searches, select the search icon and then select “advanced search” to the right of the search box. The advanced search tool allows you to search by term, topic, tribunal and date.

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Access to the Energy and Climate Report’s database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.