News and information useful to Cleveland State College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for June, 2022


Is the U.S. Supreme Court Too Powerful?

A recent New York Times article (via Yahoo) titled A Powerful Court asks the question if the U.S. Supreme Court is too powerful and should the justices’ time on the bench be limited with a term of years or a specific retirement age.  U.S. Supreme Court justices have lifetime appointments to the bench.  However, many other countries including many common law countries have some limitation on how long a judge may serve.  High courts in such countries as Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Israel must retire at 70. Federal judges in Canada retire at age 75. The Philippines, a former U.S. territory. requires judges to retire at 70. Many U.S. state judiciaries have similar limits.

To assist researchers in finding out more on the topic, we have compiled a short non-exhaustive bibliography:

  1. Retiring Life Tenure: On Term Limits and Regular Appointments at the Supreme Court, by Tyler Cooper, Amanda Dworkin, Dylan Hosmer-Quint, and Amanda Pescovitz, 42 Cardozo L. Rev. 2763 (2021).
  2. Age and Tenure of the Justices and Productivity of the US Supreme Court: Are Term Limits Necessary?, by Joshua C. Teitelbaum, 34 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 161 (2006).
  3. The Unintended Consequences of Term Limits for Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: Lessons From a Comparative Study of the Indian Supreme Court, by Sital Kalantry, 30 Tul. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 43 (2022).
  4. The Policy Consequences of Term Limits on the U.S. Supreme Court, by Ryan C. Black and Amanda C. Bryan, 42 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 821 (2016).
  5. Ghosts of the Supreme Court: A Historical and Jurisdictional Analysis Justifying a Constitutional Amendment for Compulsory Medical Retirement, by Kristen E. Hahn, 54 Ind. L. Rev. 247 (2021).
  6. Designing Supreme Court Term Limits, by Shelby A. Mars, 13 Seton Hall Circuit Rev. 203 (2017).
  7. Term Limits for the Supreme Court: Life Tenure Reconsidered, by James Lindgren, 29 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 769 (2006).
  8. Why Justices Retire, by David Yalof, 88 Judicature 42 (2004).
  9. Reforming the Court : Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices, edited by Roger C. Cramton and Paul D. Carrington, (2006) (link to catalog).
  10. Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of The United States, Final Report (2021).

Comment 8: And Just Like That, Everything Got All Meta Pt.3

The ABA Rules of Professional Conduct, Model Rule 1.1 Comment 8 requires, “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer shall keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” To that end, we have developed this regular series to develop the competence and skills necessary to responsibly choose and use the best technologies for your educational and professional lives. If you have any questions, concerns, or topics you would like to see discussed, please reach out to e.koltonski@csuohio.edu.

 

In Part 1 we introduced the topic of metadata.

In Part 2 we looked at the usefulness of metadata.

Now we are going to examine when you may want to delete metadata and look at metadata in discovery.

 

Do I Delete?

The very aspects of metadata that makes it so useful, by helping to better organize and track changes in data, are the same things that may make it too useful for other people. For this reason, it is considered best practice to “scrub”—another word for delete—metadata whenever you are sharing a digital file with another person, organization, etc. This is important because you should only share what is necessary. For example, if you send a Word file then others may be able to go back and see all the changes you made to the document: including information that you decided not to share. Doing this could be bad for a regular user but inadvertent disclosure is devastating for those in the legal profession.

 

To better protect your metadata, it is possible to forego certain features or to get rid of things after the fact; however, that potentially makes Word less useful to you and adds extra time to your workflow. A simple best practice in to simply save your Word file as a Portable Document File (PDF) prior to sending it. A PDF is basically a snapshot of your document that does not include things like revisions, comments, and the like. If any metadata does transfer over to the PDF, simply open it in Adobe Acrobat then go to:

File > Properties > Then just delete anything you do not want to share in the Description tab > Then click “Additional Metadata” and delete anything else you wish to remove.

 

It is possible to accomplish the same thing with images. You can find a brief explanation here.

 

Metadata in Discovery

The ethical and legal issues surrounding metadata could probably fill an entire year’s worth of content in this series. At best we will be able to just touch on a few important aspects here, but I will include some suggested reading at the end and encourage you spend time understanding this topic.

 

The following are some common aspects of metadata in the legal profession, but you should check local laws and rules to know what is applicable to you:

 

  • Parties to litigation are obligated to preserve metadata. Be prepared to explain to your client what metadata is and why they need to preserve it.
  • When requesting materials from another party, you may need to word your request in a specific way to obtain “original” digital documents. In doing so be prepared to argue why it is important that you have access to the metadata.
  • Both the transmitting and receiving attorneys may have ethical responsibilities when it comes to metadata. It is vital that you understand both how to protect your client from metadata leaking and whether you are allowed to use metadata in received documents.

 

Suggested Reading

Shira A. Scheindlin, Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence in a Nutshell (2d ed. 2016)

Jeff Kerr, Why Native Files are Important in eDiscovery

The Sedona Principles, Third Edition, 19 SEDONA C ONF . J. 1

(2018). Link [PDF]

Dial 988 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Starting July 16, 2022, the three digit dialing code 988 will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Currently, some areas of the country may already be able to contact the Lifeline by dialing 988. After July 16, everyone in the U.S. will be able to use the three-digit code.

The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number – 1-800-273-8255 – will remain available, even after the 988 code launches nationwide.

Ohio’s 8/2/2022 Special/Primary Election and Legislative Maps

image of Seal of OhioOhio is having another primary election on Tuesday 8/2/2022, and the deadline for eligible voters to register to vote is Tuesday 7/5/2022.  One can register online or mail a paper form to one’s County Board of Elections.  The 8/2/2022 Special/Primary election will concern candidates for Ohio legislative positions.  The Ohio 5/3/2022 Primary Election concerned candidates for U.S. Senator, as well as candidates for Ohio Governor, Lieutenant Governor, several state executive positions, and several state and county judicial positions.  The 8/2/2022 Special/Primary election became necessary because of delays determining valid state legislative district maps.  On 2/7,  3/16 and 4/14, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected legislative maps drawn up by the Ohio Redistricting Commission (ORC), thereby preventing candidates for legislative positions from appearing on the 5/3 Primary Election ballot.  On 4/20, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division ruled that if legislative maps were not approved by the Ohio Supreme Court by 5/28, they would order a 8/2 special/primary election date using the 3rd set of maps drawn up by the ORC.  On 5/25, the Ohio Supreme Court again rejected the ORC maps, and the U.S. District Court ruling took effect on 5/28.

We Have PRIDE in Our Research Guide

Just in time for the end of PRIDE month is our recently updated Sexual Orientation & the Law Research Guide.  The guide covers books in our collection, journals, blogs, websites and databases.

Our newest database addition highlighted in the guide is HeinOnline’s LGBTQ+ Rights database. The database charts the gay rights movement in America and Includes government documents, case opinions, case briefs, books and pamphlets, as well as a curated scholarly article collection and interactive timeline.  Users can browse and search seven collections in the database: Marriage and Family; Employment Discrimination; AIDS and Health Care; Military service; Public Spaces and Society; Supreme Court Briefs; and Historical Attitudes and Analysis.