From Queen Padmé Amidala To Ruth Bader Ginsburg . . .
Every now and then we get the irresistible urge to blog about something that has nothing whatsoever to do with mediation and arbitration. Today, the “off topic” item comes from Amy Howe’s Monday round up on SCOTUSblog, reporting Natalie Portman is about to take on the role of another powerful woman:
“Perhaps the biggest Court-related news at the end of last week was that actress Natalie Portman will play Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a movie about Ginsburg’s career as an advocate for women’s rights. Coverage comes from Lily Karlin and Sam Levine in The Huffington Post, from Andrea Towers for Entertainment Weekly, and from Deadline Hollywood.”
Jill Lepore, Professor of American History at Harvard, has written a fascinating article in the January 26, 2015 edition of the The New Yorker. Her subject, which interests and plagues every blogger, is archiving the Internet before the information vanishes into cyberspace.
If you have been reading this blog, or the other blog to which I contribute with my colleague Mike Hensley, California Attorney’s Fees, or any other blog, you are familiar with the problem. All the hyperlinks degrade over time and become useless. You click on a hyperlink, and you get an annoying message: “Page Not Found” (“link rot”). Or the page has been overwritten. Or the page has moved, and something else appears in its place (“content shift”). These are examples of “reference rot.”
This problem should be of particular concern to attorneys, because an astounding number of legal footnotes relying on web addresses now rely on invalid addresses, a problem that includes footnote references in SCOTUS opinions.
The sheer petabyte volume of Internet information makes the archiving problem a Sisyphean task. There are, however, some constructive efforts to ameliorate the problem.
There is, of course, the famous internet archive “Wayback Machine,” a valuable Internet resource for people searching for old information on the Internet. “Wayback Machine” alludes to Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s fictional “WABAC Machine”, allowing time travel through Peabody’s Improbable History, a feature of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show.
There is also a nifty patch, currently in Beta development phase, for the legal footnote problem. Perma.cc has been developed by the Harvard Library Innovation Lab as a way to create a permanent link (“permalink”) for legal footnotes. Perma.cc is powered by various libraries, and now used by the Michigan Supreme Court, as well as the Harvard Law Review. A Perma.cc account allows you to “create links to archived versions of web pages cited in your work.” Cool!
Even Perma.cc won’t guarantee that the permalink it creates to reference a source will last as long as a diamond. However, Perma.cc does claim that a permalink will last for two years, with the possibility of renewal, and that it may last longer for a person, such as a legal librarian, who is given “vesting rights.”
I note that most of the links on my blog are to newly filed California appellate opinions. Those links become stale after a few months. However, if the case is of lasting interest, you should be able to find it on LexisNexis, on Westlaw, or on Google Scholar with the case information provided in my post.
HAT TIP to Deborah Tint, librarian, artist, and Wonder Woman fan, who pointed me to Jill Lepore’s article. Professor Lepore is also the author of the wonderful new book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman.
The Article Is About Two Extraordinary Cases In Which Judges Exercised The Summary Contempt Power.
Thanks to the generous permission of California Litigation, The Journal of The Litigation Section, State Bar of California, “Summary Contempt and Due Process: England, 1631, California, 1888” is now available on my website by clicking here.
An abbreviated version of this article appeared earlier as an August 6, 2014 post on California Attorney’s Fees, a blawg to which I co-contribute.
I know, I know, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject of my blawg. And yet I couldn’t resist passing on this tidbit to you from one of yesterday’s unpublished cases decided by our local Court of Appeal:
“There is one matter that requires minor modification of the judgment. The judgment includes an order that, literally, imposes a lien on a human being. In this case, the trial judge put a constructive trust lien on Tran’s father, Tom Tran. We can find no authority for a lien on a human being so we hereby strike from the judgment the provision putting a constructive trust lien on Tom Tran personally.”
Vu v. Tran, Case No. G04587 (4th Dist. Div. 3 May 29, 2014) (Bedsworth, Rylaarsdam, Moore) (unpublished).
The California State Bar offers a useful collection of “Arbitration Advisories” that I wanted to share with my readers. These advisories come with the following disclaimer:
“Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. They have not been adopted or endorsed by the State Bar’s Board of Trustees and do not constitute the official position or policy of the State Bar of California.”
2012-03 Handling Legal Malpractice Claims and Ethical Issues During Arbitration