Author Archives: Alexa Robertson

9 Terms to Include in Your Privacy Policy

A privacy policy should disclose the types of information that a company collects, how that information is used, and with whom that information is shared.

The authors of Privacy Law Answer Book, edited by Jeremy Feigelson (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP), recommend, at a minimum, the following terms:

  1. A description of the personal information that will be collected—for example, a user’s name, email address, phone number, mailing address, or credit card number.
  2. When that personal information will be collected—for example, information may be collected when a user registers for an online account or places an order.
  3. A description of the non-personal information that will be collected—for example, a user’s browser information or IP (Internet Protocol) address.
  4. How that non-personal information will be collected—for example, through the use of cookies or web beacons.
  5. How the collected information will be used—for example, personal information may be used to send the user information about a company’s products or services, and non-personal information may be used to provide targeted advertising by displaying products or advertisements that may be of interest to the user.
  6. Whether the collection of any information is voluntary or mandatory for consumers— for example, if non-personal information is automatically collected via cookies, that is considered mandatory collection.
  7. The categories of third parties with whom the information is shared—for example, information may be shared with a company’s affiliates, outside vendors, or other third parties (this disclosure need not list each third party by name).
  8. Whether and how a user can review or change her personal information—for example, explaining how a user can update her profile or contact a company to request a change or request that information be deleted from the user’s records.
  9. A statement that the privacy policy should not be construed as establishing a contractual relationship.


Privacy Law Answer Book (2017 Edition) Edited by Jeremy Feigelson, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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7 Techniques for Speeding Up Your Patent Filing Process

Jeffrey G. Sheldon’s How to Write a Patent Application (Third Edition) provides expert insight and guidance on the full patent application process. Here are Sheldon’s 7 tips to speeding up the patent filing process:

  1. File the inventor’s original disclosure document or draft scientific paper as a patent “application” by adding an abstract and a single claim. Although such an application would be nowhere near the quality of an application prepared using the procedures of this book, assuming that the disclosure by the inventor satisfies the basic requirements of 35 U.S.C. § 112, at least a filing date will be obtained. Moreover, even if the application does not satisfy the U.S. disclosure requirements of 35 U.S.C. § 112, it may be sufficient for many foreign countries. This basic application can then be converted into a quality application by filing a continuation-in-part application as promptly as possible. Clearly this approach gets an early filing date. However, one disadvantage is the increased cost of filing two applications. Another disadvantage is that the one-year priority date for filing in foreign countries begins to run on the date of filing of the first application, which means that the decision of whether to file a foreign application needs to be made earlier, and costs associated with filing foreign applications are incurred earlier.
  2. During the initial meeting with the inventor, draft at least the broadest claim, and preferably some of the dependent claims. As discussed below, preparation of the claims is the most critical and difficult part of an application. It is efficient and effective to prepare the claims when the inventor is readily available to provide instant feedback and while the patent practitioner’s mind is freshly acquainted with the merits and novelty of the invention.
  3. Forego a novelty search, or have the novelty search done in parallel with drafting the application. As discussed in chapter 5 of the book, novelty searches are often ordered before preparing a patent application. However, when time is of the essence, it may be necessary to forego the novelty search, or conduct it in parallel with preparation of the application. When the novelty search is conducted while the application is being prepared, once the search results are available, the application can be polished and the claims modified as required, based on the search results.
  4. Order the drawings as soon as possible. Preparation of the drawings can be the longest lead-time item due to the schedule of draftsmen. Get the drawings on order promptly.
  5. Do not wait for the drawings to prepare the application. Many practitioners wait until the drawings are available before beginning the application. An advantage of this procedure is that the reference numbers can be placed on the drawings as the specification is prepared. However, when it is important to file promptly, rough sketches of the invention can serve the same purpose for preparation of the application. Although some time is lost when the reference numbers are added to the draftsman’s drawings, that lost time can be sacrificed when filing early is important.
  6. Use the inventor’s drawings or drawings prepared by the patent practitioner for filing. The inventor may have some drawings of the invention, or the patent practitioner may be a sufficiently skilled draftsman to prepare rough sketches. If those sketches are sufficient for filing, they can be used for that purpose when it is important to file early. Formal drawings can be prepared later by a skilled draftsman.
  7. File the application without the formal papers, including the declaration. A week or more can be lost while the inventor reviews the application and signs the declaration and other papers. It is possible to file without the declaration and formal papers. A disadvantage is that the Patent Office charges a surcharge for filing the application piecemeal. Another possible disadvantage is that the inventor or inventors may have problems with the application and not like it. If the claims are not satisfactory, it may become necessary to file a preliminary amendment under 37 C.F.R. § 1.115, which adds to the expense of filing the application. If something is incomplete or inaccurate in the specification, then it may become necessary to file a continuation-in-part application. In the latter instance, the original filing date may be lost, and thus the fees incurred for filing the first application would have been for naught.



How to Write a Patent Application (Third Edition) Jeffrey G. Sheldon (Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl, LLC)

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6 Temporary Detention Tips for Defense Attorneys

John L. Weinberg’s Federal Bail and Detention Handbook 2016 offers insightful advice on temporary detention. Below, find Judge Weinberg’s six temporary detention tips for Defense Attorneys:

  1. Prior to the initial appearance, gather as much information as possible as to whether the case is appropriate for entry of an order of temporary detention. Be prepared to argue these issues at the initial appearance. Determine also, if possible, whether the other court or INS intends to place a detainer or has already done so.
  2. If the U.S. Attorney moves for temporary detention at the initial appearance, be prepared to present any available challenge to its eligibility, under either half of Sec. 3142(d).
  3. Be prepared to propose and defend a specific duration of temporary detention. Whatever duration is set, ask the court to schedule a further hearing on release or detention for the day the temporary detention order expires.
  4. Decide whether you will move for pretrial detention, which extends beyond any period of temporary detention. If so, make this motion as well at the initial appearance. The court should set the hearing for the last day of the period of temporary detention.
  5. If at the initial appearance the court has ordered temporary detention, contact the other court or agency promptly thereafter. Attempt to persuade the other authority to decline to seek custody of defendant.
  6. If a detainer is lodged or if the other authority declines to proceed before the order of temporary detention expires, contact the court and attempt to reschedule the bail status hearing for an earlier date.



Federal Bail and Detention Handbook 2016 John L. Weinberg (U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Washington at Seattle)

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3 Elements of an FDA Recall Strategy

James P. Ellison and Anne K. Walsh’s FDA Deskbook: A Compliance and Enforcement Guide provides an in-depth discussion on recalls.

A firm conducting a recall must develop a recall strategy taking into account the results of the Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE), ease in identifying the product, the degree to which the product’s deficiency is obvious to the consumer or user, the degree to which the product remains unused in the marketplace, and the continued availability of essential products. FDA will review and approve the recall strategy of a recalling firm. The elements of a recall strategy are:

  1. Depth of Recall The depth of recall pertains to the level in the distribution chain to which the recall will be extended. This will depend on the product’s degree of hazard and extent of its distribution. For example, the recall could extend all the way to the consumer or user level, it could stop at the retail level, or it may not need to go beyond the wholesale level.
  2. Public Warning A public warning is intended to alert the public that “a product being recalled presents a serious hazard to health.” It is only used in urgent situations for which other means of preventing use of the product appear inadequate. FDA will usually issue the warning in consultation with the recalling firm. If the firm issues its own warning, it should submit the warning to FDA for review and comment prior to distribution, along with a plan for distribution. The recall strategy should indicate whether a public warning is needed and how it will be issued, for example, via general or specialized news media.
  3. Effectiveness Checks Effectiveness checks are required to confirm that all consignees at the specified recall depth received the notification. Consignees may be contacted by whatever means deemed appropriate by the recalling firm, including by letter, telephone calls, or a combination. It is recommended that a firm conduct at least the initial effectiveness check in writing, and may then follow up via telephone if no response is received. When a phone call is made, the firm should document the call and that documentation should be retained in the recall record. The recall strategy will specify the methods to be used and the level of effectiveness checks that will be conducted. Depending on the product involved and the health hazard presented by the product, a firm may be required to contact 100% of consignees, or may not be required to conduct an effectiveness check at all.



FDA Deskbook: A Compliance and Enforcement Guide Edited by James P. Ellison and Anne K. Walsh (Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C.)

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PLUS Advisory Council

Your feedback is requested!

We at PLI worked closely with the legal research community to develop our online legal research database. Now we have created the PLUS Advisory Council to continue to work with you as the product evolves.

The PLUS Advisory Council is an advisory group of Discover PLUS customer members that provides input to PLI on product direction for the PLUS legal research database. The Council submits and reviews enhancement requests, and determines the validity and value of each request. The Council then makes recommendations to PLI to help with future planning and better prioritize the enhancements made to the PLUS platform.

PLI will communicate primarily through email to accommodate members’ schedules. Participation is voluntary. If you are interested in participating, or would like additional information, please write

The Corporate Tax Practice Series and The Partnership Tax Practice Series: Archival versions now available on Discover PLUS

The Corporate Tax Practice Series with over 485 chapters written by more than 435 of the world’s leading tax practitioners, including former Internal Revenue Service and Department of Treasury officials, and The Partnership Tax Practice Series with more than 320 articles written by over 290 prominent partnership tax practitioners, are the most frequently accessed treatises on Discover PLUS.

These two titles started out as Course Handbooks and were converted to Treatise format in 2010; we are pleased to announce that we are adding the complete archive to Discover PLUS! The work on the Course Handbook archive has been underway and as of today, the Treatise archive is also available. This is a phased project – you’ll notice that we added the files back to 2012; the 2011 and 2010 files will be added before the end of the year.

How do I access this content?

If you are a Discover PLUS subscriber, you can click into the title and then click on the Related Items tab.

Click here to see The Corporate Tax Practice Series

Click here to see The Partnership Tax Practice Series

The Partnership Tax Practice Series Image for Blog Post

What’s new in Bankruptcy Law

The Bankruptcy Deskbook was recently supplemented. That means print subscribers as well as PLI Discover PLUS subscribers have access to updated materials. This update includes:

Patient Care Ombudsman

When the debtor in Chapter 7, 9, or 11 is a “health care business,” the court is required to order the appointment of a patient care ombudsman unless it makes a specific finding that it is unnecessary. Two recent cases help clarify the extensive definition of “health care business” and spell out a four-part test for determining whether a debtor qualifies as such. To learn more, see § 1:3.7 and Discover PLUS subscribers can click here to automatically be taken to Chapter 1.

Adjudication of “Stern Claims”

In Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that when a bankruptcy court is not permitted by Article III of the Constitution to enter a final judgment on a core bankruptcy claim, the bankruptcy court should follow the procedures of the statute and submit to the district court for de novo review proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. To learn more, see § 2:1.2[C][1] and Discover PLUS subscribers can click here to automatically be taken to Chapter 2.

Exemptions from Property of the Estate

Retirement funds may be exempted under both state and federal law. In Clark v. Rameker, the Supreme Court resolved a split between the Seventh Circuit and the Fifth Circuit and ruled that inherited IRAs are not retirement funds for purposes of section 522(b)(3)(C), thus affirming the Seventh Circuit’s decision that affirmed the bankruptcy court’s order sustaining a trustee’s objection to the debtor’s claimed exemption in such funds. To learn more, see § 7:4 and Discover PLUS subscribers can click here to automatically be taken to Chapter 7.


Now you can access PLI Discover PLUS with a Search Widget

The library team at PLI is happy to announce the addition of the Discover PLUS search box. This search widget can be embedded into any page you choose whether it’s your library’s intranet page or standard webpage. It’s our mission to deliver you the most up-to-date valuable information in the most efficient way possible. This new search box will allow your organization and patrons a direct line to over 4,000 segments of legal research. This simple and easy search box allows you to enter a search query without having to open a new window with our designated web address.

Interested in adding this to your webpage? Write us at and we’ll send you the code.
Or you can test drive the search from our blog.

Copyright News: Monkey Selfies

open_law_bookNature photographer David Slater asked the Wikimedia Commons website to take down photos he contends he owns the copyright too. The request was refused because the pictures in question were taken by a monkey who grabbed the camera and appeared to enjoy the sound of snapping photos. The monkey took hundreds of pictures, including selfies.

You can read more about the decision here: Monkey selfies do not qualify for copyright protection, US regulators say

You can also learn about copyright law in PLI Discover PLUS. We have books, forms and program transcripts covering the topic, including Substantial Similarity in Copyright Law, Advanced Copyright Law Annual Review 2014, and the Fundamentals of Copyright Law in the Data Era 2014.

Free 1-Hour Briefing on Competitive Intelligence in the Law Firm

PLI and LLAGNY have teamed up to offer free one-hour audio briefings for librarians, researchers, attorneys, and allied professionals.  This spring we are offering a two-part session on Competitive Intelligence.  Part 1 will be held on April 25th at 1:00 pm and Part 2 will be on May 9th at 1:00 pm.

As librarians we know how to find information, but historically we have been asked to provide raw data rather than an analytical report with business projections and actionable conclusions.

•Learn about the resources that are currently being used to perform competitive intelligence research

•Obtain or hone the skills needed to become an effective CI Researcher or Analyst

•Start a competitive intelligence project or program in your firm

•Create an analytical report from start to finish

What: What is CI?: An Introduction to Competitive Intelligence in the Law Firm Environment – Part I

When: The original one-hour briefing took place on April 25, 2012 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm EDT

Speakers: Jennifer Alexander ~ Business Analysis Manager, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Margaret T. Hennessey ~ Business Intelligence Analyst, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP


Please note this program has expired. If you are interested in current PLI Library Programs, please visit