Category Archives: Technology

Researching the Wellerman

tiktok logo

TikTok logo

A New Zealand sea shanty with the refrain, “Soon may the Wellerman come to bring us sugar and tea and rum” has become unexpectedly popular on TikTok. https://www.vulture.com/2021/01/tiktok-sea-shanties-explained.html

The term “Wellerman” may refer to a resupply ship operated by an Australian shore-whaling company known as the Weller Brothers. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/entertainment/2021/01/tiktok-sea-shanty-nz-whaling-song-wellermen.html.

Not knowing whether the specific events of the song have any basis in fact or not, the question arose: has there ever been legal liability for a Wellerman failing to resupply a stranded whaling ship? If that answer proves difficult to pin down, then is it possible to find some historical cases worthy of their own sea shanties?

New Zealand Shore Whaling and the Law

Using the search term “Weller Brothers” on HeinOnline (UofSC login required) reveals two articles by Stuart Anderson:

Harris v. Fitzherbert: Customary Rights of Labour on a Shore Whaling Station, 42 Victoria U. Wellington L. Rev. 639 (2011).

Commercial Law on the Beach: Shore Whaling Litigation in Early Colonial New Zealand – Macfarlane v. Crummer (1845), 41 Victoria U. Wellington L. Rev. 453 (2010).

mountains, a few houses on a grassy plain, a beach

1907 watercolor by Walter Bowring depicting Jillett’s whaling station on Kāpiti Island in 1844

The facts of Macfarlane involve “clothing, tobacco, soap, flour, tea, sugar, calico and more” being delivered to a struggling whaling station. Anderson at 454, emphasis added. Could this delivery of provisions be the basis of the sea shanty, with some facts changed or exaggerated? There may be no way to know, but even assuming it were true, unfortunately Anderson informs us “there are no surviving court papers” from the Macfarlane case. Anderson at 470.

A Case for a Sea Shanty?

Wouldn’t it be great if the next popular sea shanty had a legal citation we could all link to?

The fact sections of many ship collision cases from past centuries somehow seem more poetic than the fact sections of modern automobile collision cases, with notable exceptions such as Fisher v. Lowe, 122 Mich. App. 418, 333 N.W.2d 67 (1983).

HeinOnline (UofSC login required) provides access to the sea-faring example below from English Reports

In re: H.M.S. Swallow, 166 Eng. Rep. 1002 (1856).

The "Leila," coal-laden, was bound to Cadiz; the "Swallow" was proceeding from Milford 
to Portsmouth, for the purpose of taking in her engines. The "Leila," it appeared, was
close hauled on the starboard tack; the "Swallow" was running right before the wind.
The night was foggy, and on the "Leila" descrying the "Swallow," [31] from her starboard
bow, making directly for her, she exhibited a lantern, and a fog-horn was loudly blown.
The light was answered by the "Swallow," and her helm slightly ported. The "Leila" kept
close to the wind until the last moment, when in order to ease the blow, her helm was put
hard a-port, and her head sheets let fly. The "Swallow" in her defence alleged that on
descrying the "Leila" she put her helm hard a-port; that the fog was so thick that the
two vessels could not see each other in time to avoid the collision, which was the result
of inevitable accident.

Hopefully, composers of shanties will consider case law as a potential source of inspiration.

Resource Review: HeinOnline’s New Search Tool

by guest author Dan Brackmann

Happy holidays and end of the semester. W.S. Hein sent us all a gift this year by improving HeinOnline’s searching functions.  Previously, we could search either one or all of their databases. Now, we can pre-filter our searches to as many or as few databases as needed!

To do so, first select the “All Databases” drop-down that now appears on the right of the search bar.  This brings up a list of databases where you can check the ones you want to search.

HeinOnline's search bar with the database selector at the right end of the bar circled.

The list of HeinOnline databases with check boxes to enable pre-search filtering.

Click “Submit,” type your search in the search bar, and voila! You still can refine with post-search filters too.

A sample search in the HeinOnline search bar

For more information and a video, take a look at Hein’s blog post on this new feature at: https://home.heinonline.org/blog/2020/11/its-here-the-heinonline-search-feature-youve-been-waiting-for/

Also see their post on their new Civil Rights and Social Justice database: https://home.heinonline.org/blog/2020/10/new-database-civil-rights-and-social-justice/

Resource Review: HeinOnline’s Electoral College Subcollection

by guest author Dan Brackmann

As the 2020 election hurtles towards us, HeinOnline has released a timely subcollection of Electoral College materials in its U.S. Presidential Library.  The subcollection includes hearings, committee prints, CRS and GAO reports, books, treatises and more on the Electoral College, explaining it, exploring it, and criticizing it throughout its history.

Dropdown menu from HeinOnline showing the U.S. Presidential Library and the Electoral College subcollectionTo access the subcollection, navigate to HeinOnline via the library web page, locate the U.S. Presidential Library in the list, and select the Electoral College subcollection. Browse the materials or use HeinOnline’s advanced search tools to perform targeted searching. (Make sure to select Electoral College as the document type.)

Some examples of the subcollection’s contents include:

  • Congressional hearings from the 91st Congress on constitutional changes to reform the Electoral College.
  • Contemporary analysis and perspectives on a contingent election if no candidate gets enough Electoral College votes.
  • Documents relating to other election issues, including election security and barriers to voting.

The opening menu of the Electoral College subcollection including the advanced search option.

Read more about it at: https://home.heinonline.org/blog/2020/10/new-addition-electoral-college/

Resource Review: HeinOnline, ORCID, & U.S. News Redux

by guest author Dan Brackmann

Emblems for ORCID; William S. Hein, Inc.; and U.S. News and World Report

Most of legal academia has heard by now that U.S. News is going to start publishing scholarly productivity rankings based on data imported from W.S. Hein. Previous editions of this publication have encouraged faculty members to set up HeinOnline Author Profiles and to get (and use) ORCID ID numbers. In the last few months, we have seen announcements that make it worthwhile to re-visit those topics.

ORCID is a unique identifying number for a scholar, basically a scholarship social security number. Associating this number with your scholarship helps ensure that you get credit for it

In August, Hein completed its integration with ORCID. That means Hein data on legal scholarship associated with ORCID IDs is exported to ORCID. It also means that Hein is importing data about an author’s works from ORCID!  This integration provides Hein with more data on non-journal legal scholarship by ORCID ID holders to pass on to U.S. News when the latter pulls data for its scholarly impact rankings.

Hein’s Author Profiles and ORCID were both low-hanging fruit before the integration, but now they are even better for making sure that both you and the law school get credit for your scholarship. The faculty administrative support staff can help you get them set up too.

Here is Hein’s announcement: https://home.heinonline.org/blog/2020/08/phase-ii-complete-orcid-records-appear-in-heinonline/

Here is a Wisconsin Law Blog on the topic in more detail: https://bit.ly/34fESwG

 

Resource Review: PlumX Metrics Come to Scholar Commons

by guest author Dan Brackmann

Scholar Commons is the University of South Carolina’s digital institutional repository, and many of our faculty have agreed to let us post copies of their scholarship in the law school’s portion of the repository.  Over the summer, a new tool called PlumX was integrated into Scholar Commons. PlumX was developed by Plum Analytics as an aggregation tool for impact metrics that tries to look beyond just citation counts published in journals to measure impact. Below is a snapshot of the PlumX report for our faculty publications page.

The PlumX Snapshot bar showing the five PlumX categories: Usage, Citations, Captures, Mentions, and Social Media

As you can see, among the things that PlumX tries to capture are statistics on how many times repository scholarship is mentioned on social media and if an article is cited by a policy document, both of which are impact measures often overlooked by more conventional impact metrics. PlumX also provides more detailed information for anyone wanting to drill down into the data a bit.

Here is information about PlumX metrics on Scholar Commons: https://bepress.com/reference_guide_dc/measuring-impact-plumx-metrics-digital-commons/

Moreover, authors can gain access to their “author dashboard,” allowing them to access their PlumX (and other) metrics for their articles.  To have an author dashboard you only need to have one article posted in Scholar Commons and linked to your official USC email address.

The vertical icon directory from the Scholar Commons Dashboard highlighting the third option which is the PlumX iconHere is a video telling you more about the Author Dashboard at USC: https://guides.library.sc.edu/scholarcommons/impact.  The video pre-dates PlumX, but to see your PlumX statistics, you only need to select the “plum” icon in the left-hand column as shown in the image to the left.

 

Free 5-Part Legal Research Webinar Series for Librarians

Law librarians at the University of South Carolina School of Law have presented a five-part webinar series designed to provide public librarians and academic librarians the knowledge and skills to help their patrons with basic legal research.

screenshot of https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCES4xRifDCfuNX9W6GbV01w

In partnership with the South Carolina Library Association (SCLA), law librarians recorded each webinar. The series is now available for free on SCLA’s YouTube channel.

screenshot of https://guides.law.sc.edu/CircuitRiders/UofSC Law Library’s Circuit Riders: Basic Legal Research Training guide includes additional context for the webinars.

Legal Research Series Part 1:
The Law and Legal Reference Interview
Terrye Conroy
Legal Research Series Part 2:
Secondary Sources & Topical Research Guides
Aaron Glenn
Legal Research Series Part 3:
Local, State, and Federal Codes
Eve Ross
Legal Research Series Part 4:
State and Federal Regulations
Rebekah Maxwell
Legal Research Series Part 5:
State & Federal Cases, Court Rules & Forms
Dan Brackmann

Professor Terrye Conroy pioneered the concept of law librarians training public librarians and academic librarians on legal research in order to compensate for gaps in legal information services to the public. Her work on the Circuit Riders Outreach Program began in 2007 with in-person workshops throughout the state of South Carolina, was sustained through many iterations including these five webinars in 2020, and continues in the Circuit Riders: Basic Legal Research Training guide on the UofSC Law Library website. Much gratitude goes to Professor Conroy, who retired June 30, 2020, for this tremendous legacy of education and service.

Resource Review: The (New) Library Catalog

by guest author Dan Brackmann

Recently we, along with a very large chunk of the other colleges and universities in South Carolina, made a major switch in the software that we use to manage and search our library holdings. You may think of it as our “catalog program.” This software includes a lot of new features and quirks, so this issue will be dedicated to highlighting some of them.

screenshot of Advanced Search view of the catalog (image is linked to the page shown)

Things to note include:

  • Always sign-in using your university login credentials and the light blue link in the upper-right corner. Signing-in allows you to request items (including from partner libraries), save searches, and more easily access electronic resources.

 

  • Search filters appear in a column to the left of results. The filter under Availability called “Held by Library” filters to show you only items in our print collection.

 

  • Unless you know the Library of Congress subject heading for your topic, browsing by subject is best done through the “New Search” tab in the top ribbon using keywords. Author and title browsing can be done through the “Browse” tab.

 

  • “UofSC Databases” in the top row of tabs means the databases supplied by the main campus library. Law Library-supplied databases are under “Law Databases.”

 

  • Boolean search operators must be placed in all-caps.

If you have any trouble with the new catalog, please reach out to our reference librarians for assistance. You can reach us at lawref@law.sc.edu, M-F 9AM-5PM.

If you have ideas for future Resource Reviews, please email Dan Brackmann.

Remotely Prepare for the Bar with UofSC Law Library

by guest author Melanie Griffin

Bar exam season is in full swing, but there’s no need to panic. We miss not hosting studiers in the library because it’s closed, but since South Carolina has not rescheduled its summer dates so far, we’re here online to help you find the perfect remote learning solutions for preparing.

Check out our Bar Prep library guide to start, and if you have any questions about bar prep, Alex Ruskell and the Academic Success office are set up to help you achieve!

  • Practice exams and questions: One way to study for a structured test such as the bar exam is to practice answering in its exact format. Fortunately, troves of old questions (and detailed answers) are available for free on the web. Academic publishers Quimbee, Barbri, Bar Prep Hero, and Kaplan all give you free access to practice questions (check out the Free Practice Questions for the Bar Exam tab in our Study Aids LibGuide). Both the Minnesota State Bar and the National Conference of Bar Examiners have free access to past questions and scored answers as well. Kaplan has a “start small” free access plan with a bar question of the day to ease into your studies.

 

  • Electronic study aids: Along with practice questions, UofSC law students can take advantage of several bigger-picture electronic bar exam study systems. Alex Ruskell of the Academic Success office is instrumental in helping with this. He’s given law students access to The Bar Prep TWEN bar prep web series to walk you through what to expect when taking the exam. And the 2020 Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements is now online as a PDF in the same layout as its physical study guide. In addition to its daily bar question, Kaplan gives you free access to 1L and 2L topic study guides for subjects you’d like to review from those years. Our Remote Services guide has all the details on which study guides are available in electronic form.

 

  • Financial help with prep courses: If you’re going into or are already working in public service law, Barbri offers a scholarship for its full bar exam prep package. It’s worth $1,995, and the deadline is June 15 for the summer exam. Read the application’s fine print to see if you qualify.

 

  • Specifics about South Carolina: The Course of Study on SC Law is not a suggestion but a requirement as part of your SC bar exam process. Fortunately, these eleven videos are excellent study aids as well. They discuss the details of how South Carolina law differs from regional or federal law in certain areas. They’re free, available on any computer with internet access, and you can go through them in any order you wish, as long as you correctly answer the three questions at the end of each video. Plus, the South Carolina Courts website has a section dedicated to the state bar and bar exam, which you should keep an eye on in the event that any details change for the July 2020 session.

Clean Up Your Inbox by Reducing Bulk Email

One way to clean up your inbox is to reduce your bulk email, such as newsletters and other recurring emails. Commercial email senders are required by law to give you a way to unsubscribe. 15 U.S.C. §7704(3)(a)(i). Sometimes email recipients benefit from more granular tools as well.

Gmail

In Gmail, you don’t have to look through a whole message to find the unsubscribe link buried in it. Gmail includes the “unsubscribe” link up top, next to the sender’s address. How to block or unsubscribe in Gmail.

Outlook

In Outlook, you can create a rule that automatically deletes email from particular senders. Alternatively, you may want to read certain newsletters at your leisure, but you don’t want them cluttering your inbox in the meantime. In that case, you can create a rule that sends those newsletters directly to a particular folder, not to the inbox. How to manage email with rules in Outlook.

Other Services and Confidentiality

Alternatively, various services are available that will let you unsubscribe from each commercial sender that you don’t want to receive email from, or view all your newsletters that you want to review at your leisure, in one place.

Be aware that, according to the New York Times, these services may locate data in your email about your purchasing habits, package that data, and sell it back to the companies you’re unsubscribing from, or their competitors.

Last month the Federal Register published analysis of a proposed consent agreement between the Federal Trade Commission and one such service. Unrollme Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 84 Fed. Reg. 43132 (Aug. 20, 2019).

For email accounts that are used for client communications, analyze whether it’s possible to meet a lawyer’s obligation of confidentiality while allowing an outside service to access the contents of the email account.

Malware, Big Fish, and Law School Gatherings

Q: What do malware, big fish, and law school gatherings have in common?
A: Cybersecurity.
Malware: Wolters Kluwer / CCH Outage

Wolters Kluwer Maintenance - We are currently undergoing unscheduled maintenance. Our technical teams are working as quickly as possible to restore systems. We appreciate your patience during this time.

Error message received from Wolters Kluwer

Customers of Wolters Kluwer (WK) have been notified that malware was discovered on the WK network. The law library subscribes to more than 800 searchable databases through WK, primarily in the area of tax law, and has experienced an outage in this service.

According to an email sent by WK and received by the law library this morning, WK is “in the process of scanning, testing, and restoring each service and application. . . . In short, the service interruptions you have experienced are primarily the result of [WK’s] aggressive, precautionary efforts to ensure the safety of your data. This is why at this time [WK is] confident that [they] see no indication of data loss or other effects, nor any potential risk to [their] customers’ data.”

The cybersecurity blog Krebs on Security has published and updated a post entitled What’s Behind the Wolters Kluwer Tax Outage? The law firm librarian blog Dewey B. Strategic has published several posts on the outage and the process of bringing the service back online, including Wolters Kluwer Responds …  and Wolters Kluwer … Posts Online Guide to Track Restored Features.

Big Fish: Aaron Glenn Publishes Phishing Update for SC Lawyers

BAR BYTES - Phishing Update - "A Whale of a Tale" By Aaron Glenn, JD, MLIS

Aaron Glenn’s anti-phishing article

Reference librarian Aaron Glenn has written a guest “Bar Bytes” column on page 14 in the May 2019 issue of South Carolina Lawyer magazine, entitled Phishing Update – “A Whale of a Tale.” The article’s goal is to enable lawyers and all employees of law offices to spot email messages that are designed to “trick recipients into revealing secrets and clicking on links or attached files that contain malware.”

The article is available free online. Also, the law library has several hard copies of the magazine near the circulation desk and at tables on the 3rd floor.

CYBERSECURITY - tabs Recent Books on Cybersecurity, Academic Journals, Practitioner Newsletters, Government reports, Task Forces and Institutes, How to Get These Books - book covers "The ABA Cybersecurity Handbook" and "Cybersecurity for the Home and Office"

UofSC Law Library’s cybersecurity guide – https://guides.law.sc.edu/cybersecurity

In the article, Professor Glenn encourages readers to explore the information and resources on the UofSC Law Library’s cybersecurity guide. This research guide provides curated links to recent books, articles, and more, to suit the needs of practicing lawyers or of academic legal researchers who recognize the need to learn more about cybersecurity.

Law School Gatherings: UofSCLaw Cybersecurity Institute

bookshelf containing books on cybersecurity

Cybersecurity book display at UofSC Law Library that was timed to coincide with the April 2019 Cybersecurity Institute

Highlights of South Carolina Law’s first Cybersecurity Institute appear in the newsletter Cyberinsecurity News. The first Institute was held April 4, 2019 at the School of Law in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The write-up concludes with an assurance that South Carolina Law has already begun planning for the 2020 Cybersecurity Institute, which will again provide helpful, updated insights from government and private security experts.