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Archive for ‘Reading’

Death to Needlessly Prolix Citation Guides – Judge Posner’s Alternative

The latest issue of the Yale Law Journal contains a supremely sane and caustic attack by Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on the tendency of the Blue Book (Uniform System of Citation) to proliferate increasing thickets of rules and increasingly trivial sub-rules.

In an earlier essay, Goodbye to the Bluebook, 53 University of Chicago Law Review 1343 (1986), Judge Posner suggested four principles to guide the design of such a system:

“to spare the writer or editor from having to think about citation form,”

“to economize on space and the reader’s time,”


. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading: Recommended

The Language of Statutes: A New Book on Statutory Interpretation

If you enjoy worrying the ambiguous spaces in legislation, or shaking your head at the foolishness of those who are wrongheaded about interpretation, you might like Lawrence Solan’s new book, The Language of Statutes, Laws and their Interpretation (University of Chicago Press, 2010, ISBN: 9780226767963—also available as an e-book, including what appears to be a 30-day “rental” for $7). His is a balanced, pragmatic view of statutory interpretation and the role of the courts, welcome, I’d say, in a U.S. climate where otherwise reasonable people can say that judges should simply apply laws mechanically and leave the creativity to . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading

Bibliotype—a Simple Kit for Publishing Text on Tablets

Slaw has always had an interest in publishing and in technology, so I’m using this track record as an excuse for telling you about Bibliotype, even though it has nothing whatever to do with law. My deeper reason is that we’re all in this together, and anything that might help improve the experience of reading materials online should interest lawyers. So much for the prolegomenon.

Bibliotype is the work of the niftily-named Craig Mod, a writer and book designer. I came across it because of Mod’s article in the online web designer’s publication, A List Apart. There he . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology

Instapaper – the Way to Read It Later

If you’re not familiar with Instapaper, may I suggest you take a moment now to click on that link and get acquainted? Too busy? See, that’s the whole point. Instapaper is for you because you’re too busy — too busy now, at least. It’s a way to lodge the text of an interesting web find in a personal archive so that later, when you do have the time, you’ll be able to read it. It’s free and it’s easy.

And when “later” comes, you can read your saved gems in your computer (iPad, iPod, laptop), of course, or on . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology: Internet

Philosophy of Law and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

If you’re ever in the mood to drop back a good few yards to get some perspective, you might want to take a look at the Philosophy of Law section of the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP). You’ll have almost a dozen essays to choose from:

The essay on Philosophy of Law might be a good place to start, as it does a tour d’horizon of various theories of jurisprudence: analytical, normative, and critical.

The IEP . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading

The Year’s Best Reading?

There is a wonderful spin-off magazine from the Economist called More Intelligent Life.

Like most other magazines, it does a year-end review of the best books of 2010.

But someone at the magazine didn’t quite check the clipart that accompanies that page:

Who actually thought that the Pacific Reporter was worth a plug? And thought that caselaw might be enhanced by snow?

Happy New Year – and a Guid Hogmanay. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended

A Conversation About Secrecy and Privacy

There’s an interesting conversation over at Edge — not the legal consulting company, but the foundation that holds colloquiums on important issues in science, philosophy, and art. This discussion is entitled Who Gets to Keep Secrets? and the question was posed by Daniel Hillis, a computer scientist, who amplified it thus:

The question of secrecy in the information age is clearly a deep social (and mathematical) problem, and well worth paying attention to.

When does my right to privacy trump your need for security? Should a democratic government be allowed to practice secret diplomacy? Would we rather live in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Justice, With Eyes Wide Open

Here’s a book for the lawyer on your Christmas gift list: Representing Justice, by Judith Resnik and Dennis E. Curtis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010). From the blurb:

By mapping the remarkable run of the icon of Justice, a woman with scales and sword, and by tracing the development of public spaces dedicated to justice—courthouses—the authors explore the evolution of adjudication into its modern form as well as the intimate relationship between the courts and democracy.

From the review in the New York Times, we learn:

Lady Justice’s familiar blindfold did not become an accessory until well

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The Relaunched Canadian Law Blogs List

Stem Legal has relaunched the Canadian Law Blogs List at started by Steve Matthews in September 2005. The List is an open directory of Canadian blogging lawyers, law librarians, marketers, IT professionals and paralegals (essentially anyone blogging in the legal industry in Canada).

Along with a new look, the new site features:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law: Marketing, Reading, Technology

Law and Humanities Blog

We’ve not yet mentioned on Slaw the Law & Humanities Blog, “A blog about law, literature, and the humanities,” run by Christine Corcos, a law prof at Louisiana State. (Daniel Solove, a GWU law prof and author of The Future of Reputation, among other books, is nominally a member but, so far as I can tell, wrote one post a long time ago.)

The main focus seems to be on literature, and the posts typically point to recent publications, such as:

  • Stephen R. Alton, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, has published The Game is Afoot!:
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading