Saturday, July 30, 2011

Subject Compilations of State Laws

More than 600 new entries were added to HeinOnline’s Subject Compilations of State Laws Database recently. These entries cover a diverse array of topics, including Bullies and Bullying, Climate Change, Credit Reports and Reporting, Data Security Breaches, Insurance Adjusters, Medical Waste, and Rent to Own. Subjects with the greatest number of entries are Bankruptcy, Corporate Directors and Officers, Corporations, Foreclosure, Marriage, Real Estate, Trusts and Trustees, and Whistleblowers.

The database covers 1960 - 2010. To access, go to the Law Library's website and click on the Databases / Indexes link on the left side to locate the HeinOnline database.

Adapted from Apr 21, 2011 entry from HeinOnline Blog ( by Miranda Rosati.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reduced Library Hours: 7/31 - 8/11

The Law Library will be on reduced hours starting Sunday, July 31 - Thursday, August 11. Good luck to everyone currently taking the bar exam and finishing up finals or papers for summer classes!

Reduced Library Hours:
Sunday, July 31 - Sunday, August 7
8am - 8pm

Monday, August 8 - Thursday, August 11
8am - 11pm

Normal Library Hours: (Resume on Friday, August 12)
Friday 7:30am - 10pm
Saturday 8am - 8pm
Sunday 8am - midnight
Monday - Thursday 7:30am - midnight

Summer Reference Assistance:
Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm

Monday, July 25, 2011

Juror Behavior in the Information Age

Interested in research into what goes on in jury decision-making? Take a look at this article which discusses use of the Internet &social media by modern day juries. Some issues discussed involve mistrials where jurors do their own Internet research on aspects of the case; post status updates on Facebook or exchange emails discussing aspects of the defense or prosecution. For more details on the implications of social networking on jury behavior, see 48 A.L.R. 6, Prejudicial Effect of Juror Misconduct Arising from Internet Usage.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Press v. Privacy

In most respects, the American system of law and the English system of law are similar. It only makes sense, of course, as the American legal system was developed by those who were, in fact, by and large English. Over the past 200+ years, however, there has been some marked divergence between the two systems. One area that is treated somewhat differently today is related to the freedom of the press.

To Americans, freedom of the press is very nearly sacrosanct. Especially with respect to public persons, the idea that the press be kept from reporting newsworthy events is in many ways contrary to the fundamental principles of our nation, as articulated in the First Amendmentof the U.S. Constitution. In England, however, the existence of something commonly known as “super-injunctions” can restrict such reporting. “Super-injunctions” essentially keep the press from reporting not only on items that might be deemed newsworthy, but also from mentioning the existence of the restriction itself. Most commonly applied with respect to the would-be-private lives of public persons in England, super-injunctions have come to the forefront of news coverage recently because they have come into conflict with technological advances, particularly Twitter.

The poster-child for super-injunctions has quickly become Ryan Giggs, a soccer superstar who plays for Manchester United. His now much-publicized affair with Welsh model and Big Brother star Imogen Thomas initially went unreported by the English press, due to the presence of one of these super-injunctions. Nevertheless, the news of the affair (along with other pieces of information being kept quiet by super-injunctions) was broken on Twitter on May 8, 2011 by an anonymous Twitter user posting under the pseudonym Billy Jones“Footballer Ryan Giggs had an extramarital affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas which lasted for 7 months. #superinjunction” Within a matter of hours, it had been re-tweeted thousands upon thousands of times, and was very much publicly known. And yet, the English press was nevertheless still bound by the super-injunction and was unable to report on the story. It was not until John Hemming, a British Member of Parliament, invoked Parliamentary privilege and publicly named Giggs as the soccer player [“footballer”] involved in the scandal that the English press reported on the Giggs-Thomas relationship.

In the meantime, Giggs – technically an anonymous plaintiff using the moniker CTB – has filed suit against Twitter based on its users breaking the injunction. Still pending, this case really may serve as a crossroads for English privacy law in the digital age. Some argue that this incident may portend the end of super-injunctions altogether, while others seem to believe their scope should be expanded to include newer news technologies. In either event, it bears following and serves as a striking reminder just how valued freedom of the press is in the U.S.

Further reading/watching:
Twitter Inc., Unknown Posters, Sued by ‘CTB’ at U.K. Court, Bloomberg Businessweek, May 20, 2011

Twitter faces legal action by footballer over privacy, The Guardian, May 20, 2011

Twitter sued for ‘breaking’ UK super injunction. Oh Yes., TechCrunch Europe, May 20, 2011

Twitter, The British Press, Super Injunctions And The Freedom Of Tweets, Mediabistro: All Twitter, the Unofficial Twitter Resource, May 23, 2011

Information wars: Twitter versus English privacy laws, Dangerous Minds, May 23, 2011

We will not be gagged, M'lud: As Ryan Giggs is named in Parliament as cheating star after weeks of legal farce, MPs launch a defiant message, The Daily Mail, May 24, 2011

Injunctions: was MP right to name Ryan Giggs, The First Post, May 24, 2011

Super Injunction Malfunction: Ryan Giggs and Britain’s Worst Kept Secret, The Faster Times, May 24, 2011

Death of the super-injunction, Aljazeera, May 25, 2011 (Video Report)

How Twitter is upending British privacy laws, The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2011

The Battle for Privacy, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, June 15, 2011 (Video Report)

Written by Marty Witt, Law Librarian Fellow

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Titles in Library

Check out some of the new titles at the Westminster Law Library. These materials were added to our collection from April - June 2011. You can see a list of all items or search by subject. Fill out our online form to have the list of new titles emailed to you when it is updated next quarter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Legal Resources for Businesses

The Library is pleased to announce the release of a new research guide, aimed at researchers who are delving into areas of law related to business organizations. The guide highlights general resources such as books, free online sites and CALI tutorials, as well as highlighting topical treatises and databases. Links are also provided to various business related legal forms specific to Colorado.