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Category Archives: Legal Research

Privacy and security risks with genetic tests like 23andMe, Ancestry

Business Insider – After you spit into a tube for a DNA test like 23andMe, experts say you shouldn’t assume your data will stay private forever “It may be getting easier to link your private and anonymized DNA data to your identity. That means the genetic data you share with a testing company — which… Continue Reading

ISDA Publishes Guidelines for Smart Derivatives Contracts

Perkins Coie – “The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) has published the first in a series of guidelines for what it colloquially refers to as “smart derivatives contracts” (the Guidelines).* A smart derivatives contract is a derivative that incorporates software code to automate aspects of the derivative transaction and operates on a distributed ledger,… Continue Reading

How Brexit Is Creating New Political Factions

The Guardian Data Visualization – How Brexit has created four new political factions – Analysis of Commons voting patterns show how Europhobe and Europhile rebels from both main parties are forming new parliamentary blocs “Our study clusters MPs by the similarity of their voting patterns: if two MPs always vote the same way, the chart… Continue Reading

The median gender pay gap: It’s time to tell the whole story

Quartz: “There are gender pay gaps … and then there are median gender pay gaps. Understanding the difference between the two may determine just how much progress women make in terms of fairer compensation in the next decade. So first, the definitions: “Equal pay” gap: What women are paid versus their direct male peers, statistically… Continue Reading

AALL Calls on Congress to Improve Access to Electronic Records of Federal Court System

“The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is advocating for the passage of the Electronic Court Records Reform Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus. This legislation would, for the first time, allow… Continue Reading

Congress.gov New, Tip, and Top for February 2019

In Custodia Legis – “In January, Robert announced the first version of the new Committee Schedule that we have been working on.  It is a great way to see quickly which meetings and hearings the House and Senate committees have scheduled for the week…” Continue Reading

The 8 Most Common 2019 Tax Return Questions, Answered by Experts

The New York Times – The most important changes to the tax code in decades have taken effect — and filers are confused. We asked CPAs and other tax-prep pros to simplify things “Some level of bafflement attends tax-filing season every year. But in 2019, as Americans examine their returns for the first time under the… Continue Reading

Most Online ‘Terms of Service’ Are Incomprehensible to Adults, Study Finds

Motherboard – Reading the terms and conditions of online consumer contracts requires, on average, more than 14 years of education. Two law professors analyzed the sign-in terms and conditions of 500 popular US websites, including Google and Facebook, and found that more than 99 percent of them were “unreadable,” far exceeding the level most American… Continue Reading

Left to Their Own Devices, Pricing Algorithms Resort to Collusion

Popular Mechanics: “When you’re browsing online, who sets the prices? An algorithm, most likely. A study from 2015 showed that a third of all items on Amazon had prices set by an algorithm, and chances are that percentage has only risen. A new study shows how easy it would be for price-setting algorithms to learn… Continue Reading

Senate passed biggest public lands package in a decade – it is not all positive

The Washington Post – “The Senate on Tuesday passed the most sweeping conservation legislation in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land and hundreds of miles of wild rivers across the country and establishing four new national monuments honoring heroes including Civil War soldiers and a civil rights icon. The 662-page measure [S.47, Natural… Continue Reading

Chinese Telecommunications Device Manufacturer and US Affiliate Indicted for Theft of Trade Secrets

DOJ news release: Huawei Corporate Entities Conspired to Steal Trade Secret Technology and Offered Bonus to Workers who Stole Confidential Information from Companies Around the World A 10-count Indictment unsealed [January 28, 2019] in the Western District of Washington State charges Huawei Device Co., Ltd. and Huawei Device Co. USA with theft of trade secrets… Continue Reading

A New Americanism Why a Nation Needs a National Story

Foreign Affairs – Jill Lepore: “…The United States is different from other nations—every nation is different from every other—and its nationalism is different, too. To review: a nation is a people with common origins, and a state is a political community governed by laws. A nation-state is a political community governed by laws that unites… Continue Reading