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The Indiana Law Library Blog

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Prof. Fidler on the Swine Flu

Today at 11:45 the Washington Post will be moderating a discussion with our own Professor David Fidler on the H1N1 virus, the vaccine, and the government’s role in combating the disease.  Take a look!  You might want to ask a question, or just follow the discussion in general.

Weight Loss and Workers’ Compensation

Indiana has been in legal news recently because of the case of Adam Childers, an overweight man who has requested weight-loss surgery as part of a workers’ compensation claim.  Childers, a chef in a pizzeria, was hit in the back with a freezer door a few years ago, and was advised by his doctor that before any surgery to correct the back injury could be effective, he would need to lose some weight.  The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the pizzeria should pay for both operations. This mirrors an Oregon case in which an employee needed weight loss surgery before a knee replacement would be effective. Some are worried that this trend will make employers less likely to hire people with weight problems. Others feel that extra medical requirements are part of the responsibility of any employer, and are not specific to overweight employees.  What do you think?  More can be found on Law.com, or at the Indiana Law Blog.

Legal Rebels

A few months ago, the ABA Journal posted a Legal Rebels Manifesto.  The idea was a commitment to innovation in the legal profession. They have also been profiling legal rebels, and last week our own Professor Henderson was added to the list.  The article talks about Prof. Henderson’s empirical approach to the legal profession.  He has been studying the business side of law schools and firms.  If you are interested in learning more about his work you might want to take a look at the two blogs he edits—Empirical Legal Studies and the Legal Profession Blog.

A New Center on the Global Legal Profession

IU Maurer already has several top end centers and clinics, and now we can add a new one to our ranks.  Professors Henderson, Krishnan, Dau-Schmidt, and Sociology Prof. Ethan Michelson will be exploring the global workings of the legal profession.  The new Center on the Global Legal Profession will focus on understanding legal systems around the world, and how they can better work together.  If you would like to know more you can take a look at the official IU Press release.

Top State Government Websites

One of the best places to go when you are doing basic, state-level research, are state government websites.  Usually government websites are pretty good, but they all have their strengths and weaknesses.  Recently, Marc Holzer, Aroon Manoharan, Robert Shick, and Genie Stowers took stock of those strengths and weaknesses in the U.S. States E-Governance Report (2008)—An Assessment of State Government Websites. The report evaluates state government websites based on content, security, and usability.  The Indiana State website is a very useful resource, and in fact it ranks fifth on the list of overall best (After Maine, Oregon, Utah, and South Carolina).  We are first in the Midwest.  Take a look!  If you ever find yourself needing to look for state information, it’s good to know what kind of resources you have available to you.

Thanks to the beSpacific blog for posting this.

Happy Independence Day!

Today we celebrate the founding of the United States with food, flags, and fireworks.  We hope that you are having a safe and happy holiday, where ever you may be. As with many holidays, there is lots of good information available for the interested at the U.S. government website, USA.gov.  You can see important founding documents, make presidential recipes, learn about the U.S. flag, get safety tips, find the biggest fireworks displays in the country, and more.  More locally, you can check the local Herald-Times website for a map on where you can find fireworks displays in South Central Indiana. And don’t forget the parade!  You can find the route at the City of Bloomington website.  Have a wonderful Forth, all!

New Laws for the New (Fiscal) Year

July 1st is the traditional effective date for most new laws in Indiana.  This year Gov. Daniels signed about 180 bills into law.  The law that has been getting the most press, of course, is the state budget, which was came so close to the deadline for passage that some people were worried that there would be a state government shutdown.  It did pass, late yesterday.  There are other interesting laws newly minted today, though.  One of the big ones that is that teenagers may now no longer use their cell phones while driving, unless it is an emergency call. Other laws address school discipline, protections for homeowners, identity theft, feticide, and puppy mills, among others.  You can get highlights of the new laws from the IndyStar, the Tristate Homepage, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, or Indiana’s News Center.  If you are feeling particularly ambitious you could head over to IN.gov to look at their information on the new budget. Or just look at the IndyStar’s break down of biggest winners and losers.

Like Chocolate?

Bloomington is the home of a blog devoted to chocolate-the Chocolate Cult.  The Cult has been nominated for blogger’s choice awards for humor, food, and religion. Every Saturday the Chocolate Priestess writes a review of a new kind of chocolate. She’s got a rather involved tasting process, which means that you could never have to eat sub-par chocolate again.  In between Saturdays she has entries on anything and everything chocolate.  Monday, for example, was apparently National Chocolate Éclair Day.  At the moment the blog is even running a competition to find another reviewer-a Chocolate Coconut Acolyte.  Go take a look!  Chocolate is one of the many things that can help you survive law school.

Fiat Acquires Chrysler

Late yesterday the Supreme Court decided to allow the deal between Fiat and Chrysler, and this morning, with little ceremony, the deal went through.  The challenges brought by the three Indiana interests, funds for state police, construction workers, and teachers, have been set aside.  Is this a good move?  The IndyStar reports that, according to Richard Mourdock, who represents two of the interests, it is a gross miscarriage of justice, the interests lose nearly $5 million in debt (the brunt of that born by the teachers at about a $4.6 million loss).  On the other hand, the local Herald-Times quotes our own Prof. Long as saying that had the sale not been permitted to go through the losses would have been much higher.  What do you think?  For thoughts outside of Indiana you can also go look at the New York Times or the SCOTUSblog.

Info on Emerald Ash Borer

Purdue’s extension service has prepared a website on the emerald ash borer (an invasive species which damages and kills ash trees).  The links section in the lower left hand corner of this website also features connections to additional resources from other Midwestern land grant universities, the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Forest Service.

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