Archive for February, 2009

Learn to Say No

Sometimes librarians must say “no.” Despite our strong service orientation there are limits to how much we can “do more with less.” “How to Say ‘No’ to a Partner” in the 2/27/09 issue of the Legal Intellinger offers some excellent suggestions.

- Mark

AALL Archived Webinars Available Online

AALL has made available four archived Webinars presented October 2008 – January 2009 in the Members Only Section of AALLNET:

The links above are available for AALL members only. Nonmembers can access the Webinars for $60.

March Issue of AALL Spectrum Online

The March issue of AALL Spectrum is available online in PDF format. This month’s articles feature:

The “Member to Member” responses offer perspectives on how the economy has changed the demands of jobs in law librarianship.

Paper copies will mail out to members on Wednesday, February 25, so look for them in your mailboxes soon.

March Webinar: Guided Tour of Your AALL Membership

So you’ve joined AALL (or are thinking about joining)—now what? Your Association has many membership benefits, services, and opportunities for you to explore. This free Webinar on March 17, from 12-1 p.m. EST, with help you navigate the landscape, learn how to make the most out of your membership, and introduce you to new members like yourself. Get a jump start and join us on a guided tour of your AALL membership. Register by March 13.

Ready, Set…TWEET!

AALL is now on Twitter. Get up-to-the-minute AALL news by joining the AALLNET Twitter. A separate 2009 Annual Meeting Twitter is dedicated to updates on this summer’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Sign up and stay connected! 

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Libraries in the news – 021709

Little tidbits like these may suggest a promotional idea or they may provide just enough conversational filler for you to find relevant response to the question from a key decision-maker, “What’s new in the library?”

The American Library Association and Women’s Day magazine are collecting stories from women about how libraries helped in tough economic times.  Law libraries should care about this because an IMLS study suggested that public library supporters were also good library users in the law firm or corporation.

USC’s Gould Law Library’s Lincoln Reading room got plugged by the LA Times.

The Fayette County Law Library’s art show got promoted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

-Mark

Review of Patent Claim Interpretation, Global Edition 2008/09.

Patent Claim Interpretation, Global Edition 2008/09. Edited by Edward D. Manzo 

Reviewed by Betsy McKenzie, Suffolk University Law School

I highly recommend this book for any law library with an Intellectual Property concentration. For practitioners or a law school alike, this would be a useful book to own. The book is, unfortunately, soft cover. It has a table of contents, with a good introduction, explaining patent claim interpretation, and how the nations and collaborators were chosen for inclusion in the book. There is not an index, but there is a table of cases, organized by section number, corresponding to each chapter or country. That is, the user who has a patent decision from, say, Argentina or the United States can look it up in the table of cases and be directed to the page or pages in which the book discusses the relevant material. There are 628 pages of text with a 28-page table of cases at the end of the book.  The Web site lists this book at $225, with free ground shipping.

Edward Manzo is a long-time practitioner in United States and international patent law in his own right.  He is a founding partner in the Chicago I.P. firm of Cook Alex. As editor of this book, he gathers a number of leading practitioners from around the world to contribute chapters on patent claim interpretation in many countries. The book provides a vitae of each contributor and the list is quite impressive.

Editor Manzo explains that he selected most of the nations represented in the book by listing the fifty countries with the highest gross domestic product. Most of Europe, Argentina and Brazil, China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam, Russia, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and the United States are among the countries represented. 

The chapters on common law nations tend to be the most in-depth, presumably because they have the most fully-elaborated systems of patent claim interpretation. By contrast, the chapters on France and Vietnam fully describe the system in place, but are much shorter than the chapters for Canada, Great Britain, or the United States.

None of the chapters try to follow a standard rubric, again, apparently because none of the nations’ laws follow a standard pattern. But the chapters are clearly written and seem to fully explain each country’s system of patent claim interpretation. Each chapter is written by one or more practitioner with long-term expertise in that country’s patent law regime. 

Patent claim interpretation is a key component of patent practice. This is the process by which the language of the patent is construed and applied in the world, perhaps translated even, from one language into another, as a patent filed in one country is interpreted in another. Even in the same language, there is a lot to argue about the boundaries of a patent’s coverage. Since 1996, in the United States, there is a separate pre-trial phase solely devoted to patent interpretation, making the judge the arbiter of patent claim construction here. The patent lawyer who writes a patent without considering how it may be read and interpreted has done the client a grave disservice. 

This book brings together excellent material that has been very difficult to locate before.  In the increasingly global world of intellectual property, a single volume that explains the methods of many nations is a valuable text indeed.  The procedures, law, and traditions vary a great deal from country to country. Indeed, some of the countries covered in the book have only recently begun to develop their own regime of patent claim interpretation, under pressure of global commerce. It appears from the title that Thomson does plan to bring out future editions. I suppose they need to add more nations and keep the information up-to-date as the law evolves.

Review of The Organized Lawyer

The Organized Lawyer. Kelly Lynn Anders. Carolina Academic Press, 2008, softcover, 155 pages, $20.00.

With innumerable responsibilities and countless demands on their time, developing and maintaining an organized workspace is a low priority for many lawyers. In her new book, The Organized Lawyer, Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Washburn University School of Law Kelly Lynn Anders rejects the premise that workplace organization is unimportant, articulating instead the many personal and professional benefits that attorneys derive from an organized workspace, and the dangers they face in ignoring or minimizing the importance of office organization. Written with the needs of lawyers in mind, in this brief 155-page work, Anders invites readers to identify their individual “organizational style,” and to use this information to make decisions about office layout, desk arrangements, storage, filing systems, and personal organizers. Attorneys who apply these suggestions can expect improvements in the functionality of their workspace. Though lacking in great specificity or detail, this book is a useful resource for attorneys interested in achieving a more organized and supportive work environment, and as such, is an appropriate addition to any law library.

Anders begins her book with an admission- she too was once a disorganized lawyer. Her office cluttered with piles of books and papers, she eventually realized that an attorney’s workspace can affect how they are perceived by others, and that a chaotic space might suggest to clients and colleagues that the attorney is overextended, overwhelmed, or even careless in their work. Worse still, a disorganized office can lead an attorney to make inadvertent mistakes or errors- missing filing deadlines, losing papers, or comingling funds- that can result in allegations of malpractice, sanctions, or disciplinary action by the bar. Anders contends that attorneys can guard against such mistakes, project an image of competence and control, and achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in their professional practice by maintaining an organized workspace.

In the second chapter, Anders identifies four distinct organizational styles- stackers, spreaders, free spirits, and pack rats- and presents readers with a quiz to identify their organizational style. Empowered by new found self-knowledge about how they relate to items in their environment, readers can now begin the process of getting organized. In the chapters that follow, the author offers recommendations concerning office layout, furniture placement, desk and file organization, storage systems, information management, home office design, and portable work spaces that best support the needs of each organizational style. Anders also suggests that attorneys can achieve greater organization in their professional lives by taking advantage of “personal services,” like dry cleaners, tailors, and barbers that offer pick-up and delivery, or in-office service.

Divided into fourteen brief chapters, the book is (not surprisingly) well-organized and easy to read. The author includes a “Chapter Checklist” at the end of each chapter to reiterate her main points, as well as a general index. My main criticism of the book is that though the author identifies the four organizational styles and makes recommendations for each type, her advice is still fairly general, offering readers guidance rather than explicit direction for how to achieve an organized workspace. Priced at a modest $20.00, The Organized Lawyer succeeds in reminding readers of the importance of maintaining an organized work environment and provides a general road map on the journey from clutter to order.

Reviewed by Emily Bergfeld, reference librarian at Alameda County Law Library in Oakland, CA

AALL and NELLCO Members Receive 50% Discount on Computers in Libraries 2009 Conference

The New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO)and InfoToday have teamed up to offer NELLCO and AALL members a 50 percent discount on the Computers in Libraries 2009 registration fee – $234, instead of $469 for the three-day conference. To take advantage of this offer, simply complete the registration formand fax or mail it back to NELLCO with payment.

Conference Date: March 30-April 1

Location: Arlington, Virginia

Tools for Success in Today’s Economy

tools-for-success-logoIn response to the U.S. recession and its impact on law libraries, AALL has created a wiki of Tools for Success in Today’s Economy. On the wiki you will find:

  • Tips for operating your law library with a tight budget
  • Advice on negotiating contracts with vendors
  • How to interview effectively for your next job
  • Resources for professional development
  • And much more

Any AALL member can add material to the wiki, so we encourage you to use the tools and share more resourcesthat will help our friends and colleagues in AALL.



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