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Library Legal News

ABA Puts Off Decision on Strengthening Bar Passage Standards for Law Schools

Posted Mar 15, 2019

The ABA Journal reports that the ABA’s legal education council has delayed a decision on a proposal for stricter bar passage accreditation standards. The current standard requires a bar passage rate of 75% within five years of graduation. The proposed standard would shorten the time period to two years. According to the Wall Street Journal, nineteen schools would have failed to meet the proposed standard. Although the ABA’s House of Delegates has previously rejected the proposal two times, the legal education council has the authority to pass a new standard on its own. Critics have expressed concerns that the proposal would negatively impact diversity at both law schools and in the profession. The proposal will be before the council again at its May meeting. See Ward, ABA Journal


Supreme Court Vacates Ninth Circuit Decision issued after Judge’s Death

Posted Mar 15, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court  has overturned a Ninth Circuit en banc decision because the vote was taken after the death of Judge Stephen Reinhardt. Reinhardt authored the en banc decision, Rizo v. Yovino , which held that under the Equal Pay Act, “past salary may not be used as a factor in initial wage setting, alone or in conjunction with less invidious factors.” The opinion was issued eleven days after his death. In an unsigned opinion, the Supreme Court concluded that the practice “effectively allowed a deceased judge to exercise the judicial power of the United States after his death.” See LA Times, Washington Post.


Judge Rules Dr. Seuss/Star Trek Parody is Fair Use

Posted Mar 15, 2019

A judge has deemed the crowd-funded mash-up of Dr. Seuss and Star Trek, Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! to be fair use and not an infringement of copyright. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Judge Janis L. Sammartino, Southern District of California, dismissed the lawsuit of the Dr. Seuss estate, ruling there was not sufficient evidence of market harm because the work was clearly not a children’s book.” The judge also determined that although the creators borrowed liberally from the Seuss book, Oh the Places You’ll Go, the “elements borrowed were always adapted or transformed,” and therefore the work was “highly transformative.” See Above the Law.