Tuesday, September 18, 2018

CRS Reports Now Available Online

The Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, has announced that Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports are now available to the public online. CRS reports provide authoritative and confidential research and analysis for Congress' deliberative use.

To search CRS reports, visit https://crsreports.congress.gov/

To read more from Carla Hayden about CRS reports becoming widely available online, visit https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2018/09/trending-congressional-research-service-reports-now-available-online/

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Change in Access Policy in the Chastek Library

This week, the Chastek Library implemented a new access policy. This change affects all users of the library, including the general public.

Our general public hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. We are closed to the general public on Saturday and Sunday.

Our hours for Gonzaga Law Students are Monday - Thursday 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, Friday 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. 

Each Monday through Thursday, at 6:00 pm we will be clearing out the library of all library users (general public, law students, undergraduate students, et al.) and only law students, faculty, and staff will be allowed back into the library. The front doors to the library will be locked and you will need your Gonzaga ID to enter the library.

Gonzaga Law alumni and attorneys who wish to have access to the Chastek Library should contact the Circulation Desk (509.313.5792) for information about access.

The primary reason the Chastek Library is implementing this new access policy is that we are committed to having a safe and secure building for Gonzaga Law School students, staff, and faculty.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Objection! From ClassicReload

TBT - Old School Video Games - Objection! from ClassicReload. This 1984 courtroom video game is available online for free at https://classicreload.com/objection.html

Step into the virtual courtroom with the Objection! game series. The first video game to ever become professionally certified. Increase your aptitude and speed in identifying objectionable questions. Fun for everyone from professionals looking to sharpen their skills, law students or anyone interested in law. There is usually less then a second from the time a prosecutor asks the question to when the witness answers. So speed and accuracy counts toward your score. Many states also offer professionals CLE credits where home study of continuing education is available.

In Objection! you deal with a murder trial. With your virtual consciousness at ease you know your client is innocent and have the opportunity to defend the prosecutor's line of questioning by using one of the 12 objectionable categories. The game is not based on memorization, but on learning to identify and understand the proper responses. Many questions are also legitimate and you specify that the question is proper in order to maintain your silence. After every question you can press x or z to get a legal explanation as to the ruling of your objection. They also keep a chalkboard reminder of important tips to remember. As seen below some questions are also worth partial or full credit because a variety of objections may be suitable for the situation. Rulings are regularly updated and it has correct rulings for all 50 states, dc and federal court. You also get the opportunity to cross examine the witness in level 2.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Professional Responsibility and E-Discovery

The American Bar Association’s Model Rule of Professional Responsibility 1.1 states: “a lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.” Additionally, the ABA revised the rule in 2012, and added comment 8 concerning maintaining competence and explaining that a lawyer should keep up with changes in the law, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology. Now, majority of the States have enacted rules requiring Lawyers to become familiar with technology that surrounds their practices. While this may sound easy to those of us who have grown up around technology, the rapid evolution of technology can create new problems. For example, client sensitive information may be inadvertently disclosed while using cloud technology or other data security platforms.[1]

 E-Discovery is also gaining popularity. The process was designed to cut costs and time during discovery by producing and collecting documents electronically. The technology uses key words to sort through massive amounts of documents; however, the documents often contain more sensitive information than a hardcopy would such as time-date stamps and author/recipient information. Additionally, increasing volumes of electronically stored information (ESI), evolving ediscovery case law, the automation of legal processes, changing ESI protocols and harsher judicial sanctions have created a need for ediscovery specialists. Some e-discovery attorneys work for corporate clients, while others have created specialty roles within the corporation or agency.[2]

Although it is clear that attorneys must remain up to date with current technology that impacts their practice the field of law is often slow to adapt changes, and it may be unclear to some lawyers how they will maintain this ethical duty. An opinion by the State Bar of California addressed an attorney’s ethical duties in the handling of discovery of electronically stored information, and states that when an attorney lacks the required competence for e-discovery issues, the attorney has three options: (1) acquire sufficient learning and skill before performance is required; (2) associate with or consult technical consultants or competent counsel; or (3) decline the client representation. [3]

Additionally, the Washington State Bar Association issued an Opinion in 2012, which outlined a lawyer’s obligations when storing confidential data online which is managed by third party vendors. The WSBA stated “It is impossible to give specific guidelines as to what security measures should be in place with a third-party service provider of online data storage in order to provide adequate protection of client material, because the technology is changing too rapidly, and any advice would be too quickly out of dat.” However, the WSBA also states the best practices for a lawyer who does not possess advanced technological knowledge which, among others, include: evaluating the providers practice’s, reputation, and history; familiarization with the potential risks of online data storage, and confirming provisions in the agreements that give the lawyer prompt notice of any nonauthorized access to the lawyer’s stored data.[4]

One Scholar predicts the e-discovery will be old technology by the year 2020. He bases this theory on Moore’s law, (the theory of doubling computing speeds every two years). Blair Janis also contends artificial intelligence will play a huge role in legal services.[5] It is hard to say which technology will impact a specific attorney though, because attorneys vary widely in the services they offer. It is easier to say, that whichever technology is relevant to an attorney’s field, there exists a duty upon that attorney to be aware of it and understand the risks involved.

[1] Sarah Andropoulos, Most States Now Require Tech Competence for Lawyers. What Does That Mean for You?, Legal Marketing and Technology Blog, (Feb. 9, 2017), https://onward.justia.com/2017/02/09/states-now-require-tech-competence-lawyers-mean/
[2] Sally A. Kane, Breaking into E-Discovery, Law Practice Today (Jan. 2012), https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/law_practice_today/breaking-into-e-discovery.authcheckdam.pdf
[3] State Bar of California Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct Formal Opinion No. 2015-193 (2015).
[4] WSBA Advisory Opinion No. 2215C
[5]  Blair Janis, How Technology Is Changing the Practice of Law, GPSolo Magazine Vol. 31 No. 3(May/June 2014), https://www.americanbar.org/publications/gp_solo/2014/may_june/how_technology_changing_practice_law.html

Monday, August 20, 2018

Fall 2018

Library Hours - Fall 2018

Fall library hours for Chastek Library can be found at http://libguides.law.gonzaga.edu/hours. Please note the difference between the "general public" hours and the Gonzaga law student hours.

New Procedure

For the safety and security of our guests and students, the library will be closing to the general public at 6pm, Monday through Friday. We will no longer offer weekend hours to members of the public. 

At 6pm, the front library doors will lock and all within the library will be asked to leave so the staff can do a sweep of the three floors. You will be asked to scan yourself back into the library with your student ID card. We also ask that you do not allow anyone behind you to enter without their ID. Please do not prop doors open.  

If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Sundin at sundin@gonzaga.edu or Sharalyn Williams at WilliamsS2@gonzaga.edu.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Protesting in Spokane

Last week, members of the Spokane community gathered at the Spokane County Courthouse for a rally against white supremacy. This came following the discovery that now former Spokane County GOP Chair Cecily Wright invited political commentator James Allsup to speak at a private event that took place in July. Citizens of the county saw this as an opportunity to voice their disagreement with this decision in a public forum. 

Thursday’s event was just one of a handful of protests that have taken place in Spokane this year; protests regarding immigration reform and reproductive rights have also taken place over the last few months. While most of these recent events have happened without problem, one in June 2014 led to the arrest of 12 protesters. These arrests were a direct cause of incorrect protesting on public property and could have been avoided with the use of proper permits. 

“Proper” Protesting

In order to protest on public property within the city limits of Spokane, a special event permit must be acquired at least 30 days prior to the proposed event. This permit requires a $50 administration fee, and for some, an added fee to the fire marshal. In addition, the city requires an insurance policy protecting the city from any damage. Spokane also reserves the right to charge up to $500 for the labor and use of Spokane municipal employees if the event requires the stoppage of traffic or setup/takedown assistance.

When asked about the permit fees in relation to the first amendment rights, the cities official response is, “[t]he City of Spokane recognizes that freedom of petition is an essential first amendment right. However, the potential disruptive effect that such a demonstration can have on others in the surrounding area will require a special events permit, and as long as the event does not require street closure, the costs will be limited to the $50 administrative fee.”

Permit applications and additional information on what events need a permit, as well as how that permit is acquired, can be found on the cities website: https://my.spokanecity.org/account/permits/

First Amendment

The ability for cities to require fees related to protesting would seem to limit or violate the protections created under the First Amendment. In Cox v. State of New Hampshire, the courts determined that cities are able to require fees related to protests or rallies so long as the required fee is nominal, typically less than $300. Forsyth County, GA v. Nationalist Movement states this fee is intended to be uniform, meaning that it cannot be adjusted because of the content, type, or reason for protest. Fees are waivable by the city without issue, but this is rarely done, only for special circumstances.


Cox v. State of New Hampshire, 312 U.S. 569, 61 S.Ct. 762 (1941)

Forsyth County, GA. v. Nationalist Movement, 505 U.S. 132. 112 S.Ct. 2395

Sokol, C. (2018, August 3). Spokane County GOP chairwoman was one of three to resign after

Spokane Police Department. (n.d.). 12 people arrested at immigration protest in downtown Spokane. KHQ 06. Retrieved from http://www.khq.com/story/23962267/12-people-arrested-at-immigration-protest-in-downtown-spokane

Monday, August 6, 2018

Zag Law Library News - July/August 2018

The Zag Law Library News newsletter for July and August was released today. To read up close, click each photo.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

On the Voelkers

Ishpeming, Michigan is a dying town, surrounded by forests ready to reclaim land lost in the Upper Peninsula mining boom. At the turn of the 19th century, however, Ishpeming was thriving. Miners tore through the surrounding hillsides, subsisting on copper country pasties and strong, black coffee.

Thursday night. George Voelker’s tavern is filled to the brim. The barback attempts to squeeze out from behind the bar through the sea of bodies to stoke the woodstove, to no avail. It doesn’t matter, the crowd keeps the barroom warm. 
It’s 1902. George wants to be fishing.

Sunday evening. George’s son John pens his first story. John sits at an old oak table that doesn’t sit quite right with his mother Annie across from him lesson planning for the school week ahead. George sits in a rocker by the fireplace smoking a loosely rolled cigarette and wiping down a fox trap. Blizzardy winds batter the Voelker townhouse. 

In the morning, George and John carry broad shovels out of a second-story window on to the roof overhanging the porch. George jumps from the roof into the sea of snow below, which takes him in with an audible crunch. He signals to John to follow. They dig a path to the barn out back well into the afternoon. 
It’s 1914. George and John want to be fishing.

Tuesday afternoon. Justice John D. Voelker of the Michigan Supreme Court is more often recognized as Robert Traver these days—author of the New York Time Bestseller Anatomy of a Murder—though today he sits in his chambers, penning a dissent in the defense of a colony of nudists. Vitriol flows through his pen onto a yellow legal pad, thinly-veiled under his brand of lyrical humor. “If nudism must go, it must go by right, not might,” he writes.

His dissent convinces Justice Edwards, swinging Justice Voelker’s opinion into the majority. “I dissent.” People v. Hildabridle, 92 N.W.2d 6.
It’s 1958. Justice Voelker just wants to be fishing.