From the Archives: Water Law and Water Resources in Eastern Africa

JuergensmeyerAs many of you undoubtedly know, Professor Julian Juergensmeyer has had a long, distinguished career in the law. This past year, he celebrated 50 years teaching law. He’s a renowned scholar of land use and planning law not only in the United States, but around the world; during his career, he’s both conducted research and taught in Ethiopia, France, Poland, Brazil, and Denmark, for example.

In the early 1970s, Professor Juergensmeyer and his friend and colleague, the late Professor James Wadley, received a grant to research water law in eastern Africa, a subject which at that time had garnered little scholarly attention. That grant resulted in the writing of a book draft, Water Law and Water Resources in Eastern Africa. However, this book went unpublished, and the record of the important work that Professors Juergensmeyer and Wadley did in tracing the development of water law in east Africa was lost.

Until now. This past academic year the College of Law launched a new online repository, the Reading Room, and we discovered that we had the opportunity to finally make the results of the research done by Professors Juergensmeyer and Wadley over 40 years ago available to the world. We recently posted the full text of Water Law and Water Resources in Eastern Africa in the Reading Room. It’s a fascinating work, weaving together African history, culture, geography, and law, illustrating how the regulation of water resources in eastern Africa was affected by both custom and the history of colonization in the region. We’re glad that Professor Juergensmeyer held onto it until now, and we’re excited to be able to make it available to all of you.

Easier access to Google Scholar

Do you use Google Scholar to search for articles or cases? If you do, and you use Chrome as your browser of choice, check out the newly launched Google Scholar Button extension. The extension adds a simple button next to the URL/search bar, which you can use to either search Google Scholar for text highlighted on the page or for other text you enter into a pop-up window.

Definitely easier than going to a whole different website!

Book Signing Today: Bill Usery

Photograph of W.J. Usery, Jr.

Photograph of W.J. Usery, Jr., courtesy of the Georgia State University Library.

Today (March 10th) at 4 p.m., the Law Library will host a talk and book signing with a notable guest, Bill Usery. Mr. Usery will be speaking about his distinguished career as a labor activist, mediator, and public servant on the occasion of the release of his memoirs, Laboring for America. He will be signing copies of his book following the talk.

Born in 1923 in Baldwin County, Georgia, Mr. Usery started his career in labor activism when he joined the International Association of Machinists. After holding several positions in the IAM, he moved on to serve in high ranking positions in several Presidential administrations, most notably as Secretary of Labor under President Gerald Ford. As a noted mediator, he helped resolve several major labor disputes, including a public school teacher’s strike in Philadelphia, disputes between airline pilots and airlines such as TWA and United, and a threatened nationwide strike by the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen.

Looking for more information on Bill Usery before this afternoon? Check out the following resources:

  • An interview with former Secretary Usery posted by the Department of Labor.
  • The W.J. Usery, Jr. papers, held in Special Collections at the Georgia State University Library.
  • A biography and timeline of Mr. Usery’s life and career, posted by the University Library.

Please join us for the important occasion at 4 p.m. in the upper level of the Law Library.

The Law Library, RFID, and You

Photo of RFID shelf reader.

Photo by Michael Porter.

Starting tomorrow, January 14th, workers will be going around the library, taking books off of shelves, hopefully not making all that much noise, and in general just doing, well, stuff in the library. What are they doing?

As a part of our move to the new College of Law building, the Law Library is implementing a new system of keeping track of our books using RFID. RFID (which stands for “radio frequency identification”) involves marking each book with a tag that contains a small memory chip. The tag contains information unique to each book that can be read using specialized equipment.

What does this mean for you? Well, many things on the surface won’t change – you’ll still need to check books out at Circulation, and the gates will make noises if you go through them with a book that wasn’t checked out. But an RFID system will help us keep track of what we have more efficiently, particularly if something gets misplaced. For example, if a book isn’t where it’s supposed to be on the shelf (which, yes, does happen, despite our best efforts), we will be able to use a scanner to scan the shelves for the book. We can also check the shelves more efficiently to make sure that everything is where it’s supposed to be. The result is a library where everything is more organized and easier to find. And isn’t that the way a library should be?

We’re aware that this project will result in a bit of noise, but we believe it will be minimal and confined to relatively small areas of the library at any given time. Have questions? Feel free to ask Terrance Manion, the College of Law’s Director of Information Technology.

A Landmark Day for Civil Rights

President Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

President Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the signing of the Civil Rights Act. Image from the LBJ Presidential Library.

On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger stood on the balcony of a house in Galveston, Texas, and read out the text of General Order No. 3, informing the people of Texas of the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation. Annual celebration of Juneteenth (a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth”) began the next year; although celebration of the day declined in the early 20th century and was primarily centered in Texas, in more recent years recognition of the day has increased and spread. Juneteenth was officially recognized as a state holiday in Texas in 1980. Today, 43 states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth through legislation.

The reading of General Order No. 3 is not the only significant event in civil rights history to occur on this day. 98 years after Maj. Gen. Granger read out the order, President Kennedy called for the passage of comprehensive civil rights legislation, and legislation that would later become the Civil Rights Act was introduced in Congress. Exactly one year later, on June 19, 1964, the Senate passed the Civil Rights Act (H.R.7152).

The Consequences of Snow Days

snowWe’ve gotten through another bout with snow, and K-12 students have missed another several days of school. In Georgia, as in many states, the minimum length of the school year is set by statute at 180 days. Although some wiggle room is built into the school calendars, when snow days start to add up, school districts have to scramble to make up the missed days. In Georgia, there is currently a proposal on the table to allow school districts to not make up some days. Other days may be made up in a variety of ways, from adding days onto the school year to adding hours to the remaining school days. Spring break may even be shortened (or eliminated).

One recent idea is to hold “virtual” school days, where students aren’t required to venture out to school, but instead attend classes online. However, this requires students to have computers and internet access, and so may not be feasible for many students.

Your Lottery Winner: Anonymous

Picture by The Reboot

Picture by The Reboot

It’s been all over the news today: one of the winning Mega Millions tickets was sold in Buckhead. And now we know the Georgia winner’s name and where she lives, because Georgia is in the majority of states in requiring that the names of lottery winners be public. In a minority of states the winner can remain anonymous; one of those states is South Carolina, where a recent Powerball winner chose anonymity.

Whether a lottery winner should be able to remain anonymous is debated; financial advisers recommend it, but lotteries argue against it. Pennsylvania is currently considering legislation to allow for anonymity, and other legislation was recently proposed in Michigan and New Jersey.

However, even if the winner has to come forward, there may still be a way to protect anonymity by using a trust; this was the option taken by a recent winner in Houston, who created a trust (with the attorney as trustee) to receive the winnings.