Thursday, November 27, 2008

School Rank and GPA Aren’t the Best Predictors of BigLaw Success

The ABA Journal recently had an article entitled "School Rank and GPA Aren’t the Best Predictors of BigLaw Success" that I wanted to share with you. I have had many a conversation with students about issues such as this and thought you might find it interesting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Career Related Article

Wanted to share a good, short ABA Journal article entitled: Is a Law Degree a Liability for Nonlaw Job Seekers?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mac Buyers

as I walk through the library I see many students with Mac's and talk to others who want to buy Mac's and here is a handy resource for you: the MacRumors Buyers Guide.

MacRumors is a generally a good place to go for Mac info but now this buyers guide can help you purchase something that is not going out of style.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Election Revisited

In addition to the state judicial elections what may be next most important regarding the election for readers of this blog are presidential appointments. The Clarion Ledger printed a story this morning that has a good recap of some of the impact a President Obama will have on appointments in Mississippi regarding federal judges and federal district attorneys.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Unpublished Opinions

Every year in 1L Legal Research we discuss unpublished opinions very quickly and it seems that every year I have an upperclassmen who kind of knows about it but isn't very clear on them. HERE is an excellent blog post from the Law Librarian Blog discussing unpublished opinions in much more detail than we go into in Legal Research and what the book, at least the version we are currently using, goes into. Below are a couple of excerpts:

Q: What specifically are we talking about when we say “unpublished opinions”?
A: “Unpublished opinions” refers to court opinions that the court withholds from formal publication in the official reporter. In the era before official reporters and universal publication of opinions, from about the thirteenth century to the start of the twentieth century, many court opinions went unpublished. These opinions could still be brought to the court’s attention, though, as evidence of the common law and precedent. Then, for much of the twentieth century, commercial publishers endeavored to publish every appellate opinion, which proved expensive, both from the perspective of the judicial time investment in writing opinions and in the storing, indexing, and researching those opinions. So an attempt was made to limit those expenses by creating a class of opinions that would be designated “unpublished.” The federal circuit courts for example enacted rules limiting the citation of these unpublished opinions and (in most circuits) limiting their precedential value.

Q: What about the idea that some cases make law and should be published, and other cases, which only apply law, need not be published?
A: That notion is plainly mistaken. Every case, even one exactly the same as a prior case adds to the body of precedent. It tells the reader that the rule announced is a current one, a robust one, and one that was not the product of an errant judge or panel. It is these “piles” of cases, as Karl Llewellyn called them, that make up the common law. But most cases differ from other cases in at least some small way, and it is the decision as to whether these differences change the outcome that tells us the contours of the law. It is this process of repeated application of the law that Lord Coke viewed as giving weight and ever greater precision to the law. All decisions have some precedential value in establishing the state of the law. In addition, the idea that a court can determine at the time of decision (or under the present system at the time of filing) whether a case would be of precedential value in a future case makes no sense. The value of court’s decision as precedent is a question for a later court considering whether to apply, distinguish, or overrule the precedent. And on top of these jurisprudential problems, there is a practical problem that this ex ante determination hasn’t worked very well in practice. Courts frequently issue unpublished opinions in cases that are not the easy cases, involving the mere application of the law cases. Many such opinions contain concurrences or dissents, are heard by en banc panels, and are reversed on appeal or upheld by opinions that are dissented from. All of which suggests that these are far from the easy cases and that these are decisions that expand or contract the law and ought to be precedent.

Monday, November 10, 2008

FOIA requests

In the practice of law some of you may find the occassion to submit a FOIA request. Here is a page that serves as guidance for how agencies are supposed to comply with FOIA and redacting. There are even a couple of examples at the end. If they do not substantially comply with this with regards to your request this could be fairly handy with its statutory references and DOJ publication.

Friday, November 7, 2008


The first floor of the library will be off-limits to general patrons tomorrow morning as it is being used to give the Ethics bar tomorrow morning.

We thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Orders now available from the MS Supreme Court

I'll cut and paste a piece from the MS Bar e-Newsletter you might find interesting:

Orders of the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals filed on or after Sept. 25, 2008, can be viewed via the Internet. Access to copies of court orders is available from the General Docket page on the Court's web site. Go to

Cases are searchable by cause number, party name or attorney name. Point-and-click access to court orders will not be available directly from the weekly hand down lists of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Gaining access to the full text of orders will require one to pull up the docket sheet for the individual case from the General Docket, then click on the link for the order. Orders will be available via the Internet on the day after they are filed. The web site is updated each evening. Appellate court orders filed from Sept. 25, 2008, forward, will be available as digital images. The Court does not plan to link to orders entered before that date.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Windows 7

If you are reading this blog as an MCSOL student it probably means you are at least a bit tech savvy so I wanted to share with you news that the new Windows OS is around the corner, below is a post of mine for another blog you might find of interest:

In the ever annoying advertising battle between Apple and Windows it appears that Windows is not spending all that money on advertising as the commercials imply. Some of it appears to have been spent on Windows 7 which is on the horizon and is nearer than many had thought. This Gizmodo article talks about some of the new features and includes screen caps and even a couple of short videos concerning start-up and shutdown timing. I believe this is the same version that has been referred to as Windows Blackcomb in some reports. This release may even hit the market before the late 2009 date that had been discussed earlier this year.

Nod to David Pogue's blog Pogue's Post where I first found this. For those of you who attended the AALL conference in Portland this past year David was the keynote speaker.