Monthly Archives: September 2010

Keeping Up With Dodd-Frank

Since the Dodd-Frank Act was passed this summer, everyone is trying keep up with it.  Librarians and practitioners need to understand what the legislation means to their organization.  Here at PLI, our program attorneys have created a series of 1-hour briefings on the Dodd-Frank Act.  If you are looking for timely and up-to-date information you should check out these briefings.

Also, our PLI Securities Law Practice Center has been providing valuable insight.  For example, the Dodd-Frank Act increases whistleblower protections and outlines the bounty a whistleblower may receive.  This will encourage citizens to report wrongdoing and help shield them from retaliation.  The plan models similar IRS whistleblower protections which have proved successful.  Interested in learning more?  PLI’s Securities Law Practice Center blog addressed this topic.

POM & Advertising

Federal regulators sued the makers POM Wonderful LLC , which is the pomegranate fruit drink that comes in a distinctive double-bulb shaped bottle.  The government has been taking a hard look at the health benefits touted in food advertisements.  Over the past year, there were a series of actions taken to rein in cereal makers who seemed to imply their products were a bit more than just cereal.  But in those cases, the companies mostly ceded to the warnings.

 In the POM case, the makers are claiming the lawsuit is a violation of their constitutional rights, specifically their first amendment rights.  

While watching this case unfold, I was immediately reminded of PLI’s treatise on the subject.  Advertising and Commercial Speech: A First Amendment Guide is a treatise that examines the origin, meaning, and legal evolution of the Supreme Court’s commercial speech doctrine, focusing on how this central doctrine’s rights and restrictions affect advertising in nearly 50 industries and professions.  It’s a title that answers the questions:

When are advertisers especially vulnerable to lawsuits?

What legal protections do they enjoy?

What is the prevailing law in this volatile area?

If you are interested in learning more, there is a sample chapter available.  To order the title, click here or email

Why Ban Books?

And as a follow-up to the Banned Book Week announcement, here are The Top Ten Ludicrous Reasons To Ban A Book.


1. “Encourages children to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them.” ( A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstien)
2. “It caused a wave of rapes.” ( Arabian Nights, or One Thousand and One Nights)
3. “If there is a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it?” ( Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown)
4. “Tarzan was ‘living in sin’ with Jane.” ( Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs)
5. “It is a real ‘downer.’” ( Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank)
6. “The basket carried by Little Red Riding Hood contained a bottle of wine, which condones the use of alcohol.” ( Little Red Riding Hood, by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm K. Grimm)
7. “One bunny is white and the other is black and this ‘brainwashes’ readers into accepting miscegenation.” ( The Rabbit’s Wedding, by Garth Williams)
8. “It is a religious book and public funds should not be used to purchase religious books.” ( Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, by Walter A. Elwell, ed.)
9. “A female dog is called a bitch.” ( My Friend Flicka, by Mary O’Hara)
10. “An unofficial version of the story of Noah’s Ark will confuse children.” ( Many Waters, by Madeleine C. L’Engle)

Banned Book Week is September 25 – October 2, 2010

Banned Book Week was started in 1982 as a response to challenges to remove certain books from libraries, schools, and bookstores.   It is a week to celebrate and promote our freedom to read. 

Below is a list of the top ten most challenged books of 2009, according to the American Library Association.  Click here to read more about Banned Book week.

1. ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs

2. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality

3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide

4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence

8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

M&A on the rise

 The mergers and acquisitions market has been growing this year, as reported in the Legal Intelligencer here.

The recession forced corporations to implement cost-cutting measures resulting in increased liquidity.  This extra cash is one of the reasons attributed to the increase in M&A activity.  While the market is not near the levels that were seen in 2007, the increase is still notable.

If your firm or organization is involved in M&A, consider adding PLI’s upcoming treatise in your library: Mergers, Acquisitions & Tender Offers Law and Strategies. 

The author is Samuel C. Thompson, Jr., former head of the tax department of Schiff Hardin & Waite in Chicago, tax policy advisor, on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Tax Assistance Office and Attorney Fellow in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Merger and Acquisitions Office, previously taught at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law and was director of the UCLA Law Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions. He is the author of sixteen books and more than 75 articles on corporate and international tax, corporate governance, and antitrust law. 

The book will be available in November 2010 but you can preorder your copy here or by emailing

Protecting Books

Oregon law contained two sections that make it a crime to furnish children and teens with sexually explicit materials.  Yesterday the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law was too broad.  The sections were deemed too far reaching and would block age-appropriate books instead of specifically hard-core pornography, which the state said was the intention.  The law could be applied to libraries and bookstores that provide sex education books and novels that contain sexually explicit material.

You can read more here.

Midyear Law Firm Review

The Law Firm Group at Citi Private Bank released its midyear review of law firms.  Click here for the article in The American Lawyer entitled Trench Warfare: Citi’s Midyear Law Firm Review.

It is an interesting read.  For example, in the first half of 2010 revenue was flat compared to the same period in 2009.  Also, it’s notable that firms are accepting alternative billing methods.

Superman’s Day in Court

What are the rare books librarians at Yale University up to these days?  Showing us how much fun archives really can be. 

The library has a show on called “Superheroes in Court!  Lawyers, Law, and Comic Books.”  The exhibit shows  images of courtroom drama and congressional inquiries from comic books.

The New York Times wrote about the exhibit here.

Exhibit information: “Superheroes in Court! Lawyers, Law and Comic Books”, curated by Mark S. Zaid, Esq., and on display Sept. 4-Dec, 16, 2010 in the Rare Book Exhibition Gallery, Level L2, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School

Teachable Moments

As a librarian, don’t you just love a “teachable moment?” We all learned a major lesson  in library school—beware of internet sources.  The internet is a great place to find information, but it must be verified.  Well, apparently that’s a lesson Rush Limbaugh and his research staff recently learned.  The radio show was profiling Judge Roger Vinson.  The judge’s Wikipedia entry had false information in it which was reported on air according to the New York Times article here.   The judge took the incident in stride so there was no harm done and everyone learned a valuable lesson on source checking.