Jan 27
8:49 PM

National Taxpayer Advocate Delivers Annual Report to Congress

IRC Sec. 7803(c)(2)(B)(ii) requires the Advocate's Annual Report to Congress to identify at least 20 of the most serious problems encountered by taxpayers and make recommendations to mitigate those problems.  The Executive Summary is available here and the complete report is available here.  The Advocate identifies the most serious problem as being the complexity of the IRC–no surprise there–and that the time for reform is now.  Good luck on that one.  Perhaps more surprisingly, the Advocate identifies another major problem as being the change of the traditional IRS mission of enforcement, to its increasing responsibilities for administering social benefits programs, such as contained in the health care legislation.  Also identified is the IRS' performance measure which puts a premium on taking quick action which the Advocate says may result in taxpayers facing inaccurate audit determinations or unwarranted collection actions.  [BB]

Jan 27
12:47 PM

Report on the Causes of the Financial Crisis Released

Media Advisory: Crisis Inquiry Commission Releases Report on the Causes of the Financial Crisis

This Crisis was Avoidable – a Result of Human Actions, Inactions and Misjudgments; Warning Signs Were Ignored

(Washington, DC) – Today the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission delivered the results of its investigation into the causes of the financial and economic crisis. The Commission concluded that the crisis was avoidable and was caused by:

  • Widespread failures in financial regulation, including the Federal Reserve’s failure to stem the tide of toxic mortgages;
  • Dramatic breakdowns in corporate governance including too many financial firms acting recklessly and taking on too much risk;
  • An explosive mix of excessive borrowing and risk by households and Wall Street that put the financial system on a collision course with crisis;
  • Key policy makers ill prepared for the crisis, lacking a full understanding of the financial system they oversaw;
  • And systemic breaches in accountability and ethics at all levels.

Read more of the Media Advisory or download the Full Report. JML

Jan 26
1:03 PM
Jan 24
3:47 PM

20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web

Written in the style of a children's book, this explanation of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, cloud computing, apps, and online security and privacy issues is fun and accessible for all. From the Foreward:

20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web” is a short guide for anyone who’s curious about the basics of browsers and the web. Here’s what you’ll find here:

First we’ll look at the Internet, the very backbone that allows the web to exist. We’ll also take a look at how the web is used today, through cloud computing and web apps.

Then, we’ll introduce the building blocks of web pages like HTML and JavaScript, and review how their invention and evolution have changed the websites you visit every day. We’ll also take a look at the modern browser and how it helps users browse the web more safely and securely.

Finally, we’ll look ahead to the exciting innovations in browsers and web technologies that we believe will give us all even faster and more immersive online experiences in the future.

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog. [JML]

Jan 20
9:38 AM
Jan 20
9:32 AM

Warrantless Searches Extended to Cell Phones in California

"We granted review in this case to decide whether the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution permits law enforcement officers, approximately 90 minutes after lawfully arresting a suspect and transporting him to a detention facility, to conduct a warrantless search of the text message folder of a cell phone they take from his person after the arrest. " Read the entire case. RL

Jan 19
11:46 AM

Southwestern Journal of International Law Symposium – 2021: International Law Ten Years From Now

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Presented by the Southwestern Journal of International Law:

"2021: International Law Ten Years From Now will examine a broad range of legal areas that are coping with and adjusting to the challenges of conflict, technology, and globalization in the modern era.  Panels will identify significant developments or issues related to a specific area of international law and analyze their potential impacts in shaping the future of international law. Topics will include international arbitration and litigation, international finance, international transactions, international trade, international human rights, climate change and international environmental law, international criminal law and legal developments of note in Latin America or Asia."

For more information, including a complete schedule, registration details and hotel information, click here. MF

Jan 19
11:15 AM

Kindle Editions of Law Reviews

Yesterday, Prof. Orin Kerr (GWU Law) posted about the inevitability of Kindle editions of law reviews, following Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy’s Kindle offering. Prof. Orin Bainbridge’s (UCLA Law) rejoinder lists the many reasons that the Kindle platform is less than convenient (or even adequate) for law review articles, including Kindle's problem with footnotes.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen many posts about the adequacy of Kindles, iPads, as well as other e-readers and e-tablets, for lawyers, academics, and law students. Here are just a few:


Jan 13
9:55 AM

NY Times Editorial: “Problems of Democracy”

On the first day of law school, my constitutional law professor gave the class a homework assignment: go home tonight and read the Constitution. That didn’t take long. Nor that night did the Constitution seem especially complicated, at least compared with the old English cases we were assigned to read in other first-year courses like torts and contracts. … Of course, we spent the ensuing semester — and, for many, the intervening years — trying to fathom the mysteries of what had seemed so straightforward on that first night.

Linda GreenhouseLinda Greenhouse on the Supreme Court and the law. RL

Jan 12
9:10 AM