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The AALL Spectrum® blog is published by the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from AALL members and other members of the legal community are highly encouraged. Opinions and editorial views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of AALL. AALL does not assume any responsibility for statements advanced by contributors. Previously, the AALL Spectrum Blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.

The AALL Spectrum blog is no longer published. Previous posts are archived on this page.
2/23/2014 10:53:31 AM

ALL-SIS Newsletter Now Available

The Winter issue of the ALL-SIS newsletter is now available. This issue is packed with inspiration and ideas.  It features an overview of the section's strategic plan and many articles summarizing new programs and services.  Kristen Moore writes about how the Stetson Law Library got students involved in decorating the law library for the holidays.  April Hathcock explains how the University of South Carolina Law Library updated new student orientation by including an augmented reality tour.  There are also articles about teaching online classes, promoting your library, helping students learn to master word processing, bluebook citations, flipped classrooms and more. 

Posted By Sara Sampson at 2/23/2014 10:53:31 AM  0 Comments
TOPICS: Newsletter
2/14/2014 10:56:54 AM

Book Review: Fashion Law and Business: Brands and Retailers

Lois F. Herzeca & Howard S. Hogan.  2013. Fashion Law and Business: Brands and Retailers.  Practising Law Institute: New York.  847 pages.  $185 from publisher; $145.48 from Amazon.com

While the subject hasn’t yet garnered the broad name recognition of practice areas like sports law and entertainment law, those familiar with the actual study and practice of fashion law understand that it’s about more than whether you should match your shoes to your belt (or even the Louboutin red soles case).   Fashion law encompasses a broad range of issues such as corporate law, international trade, labor and employment, real estate, and of course intellectual property.  And now, with Fashion Law and Business: Brands and Retailers, Lois F. Herzeca and Howard S. Hogan take fashion law a little further into the mainstream legal world.

If your library purchases only one book on fashion law, this should be it.  Now, admittedly, there are only a handful of books explicitly dedicated to fashion law currently in print, so the options are fairly limited.  But in my opinion, this book is by far the most helpful for students and practitioners alike.  As one might deduce from the publisher, the Practising Law Institute, this text is targeted more toward practitioners, and was in fact written by two attorneys who Co-Chair their firm’s Fashion, Retail and Consumer Products Practice Group.   The authors explain in the introduction, “[T]his book is structured on the presumption that fashion law can be best examined in the context of an understanding of the business and operations of the fashion industry.”  This is not a casebook, and it’s not written to be a textbook (although it would be helpful in a fashion law course).  It is the most comprehensive guide to fashion law that has been published so far, with 847 pages (more than twice the pages of the next longest text on fashion law), and accurately captures both the large and small issues of the subject. 

Other in-depth examinations of fashion law feature chapters written by different scholars and practitioners on various topics; this leads to some redundancy as similar ideas are reiterated in different contexts.  Fashion Law and Business benefits from a unified tone thanks to the treatment of each topic by the same two authors.  The finding aids are excellent, including a detailed table of contents, a 36-page index, and a table of authorities allowing the reader to focus on specific cases or statutes.  Cases are not reprinted but are discussed in some detail, and the authors wisely chose to incorporate not only overtly fashion law-oriented cases but also cases that do not involve fashion but are critical to understanding a given topic in fashion law; for example, the grey market is a major issue in fashion law, but a basic understanding of the grey market would be incomplete without John Wiley & Sons v. KirtsaengFashion Law and Business includes an explanation of that case alongside more clearly fashion-oriented cases like Abercrombie & Fitch v. Fashion Shops of Kentucky.

If I have one quibble with Fashion Law and Business, it’s that references are grouped at the end of each chapter as endnotes, instead of in footnotes on the relevant pages; flipping back and forth is a little bit bothersome for someone accustomed to the reference style of law reviews and journals.  But this is a minor issue, and the benefits of this text far outweigh that small irritation.  It’s also a comparatively good bargain—other fashion law texts are published in paperback and cost upwards of $80; at about $145 (prices via Amazon.com), this hardcover text delivers more content and promises to be more physically resilient.

I’ve followed the recent publication of fashion law books with great interest, and this is the first one I felt I could unreservedly recommend for the libraries of both law schools and law firms.  It is thorough, well-written, and may help your library’s patrons see that “fashion law” means something more than “leggings aren’t pants!”

Andrea Alexander is a reference librarian and assistant professor at Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law's Taggart Law Library.  She never wears leggings as pants.

Posted By Andrea Alexander at 2/14/2014 10:56:54 AM  0 Comments
2/12/2014 12:26:31 PM

Book Review: Disaster and Sociolegal Studies

Disaster and Sociolegal Studies. Edited by Susan Sterett. New Orleans: Quid Pro Quo Books, 2013. Co-published with Onati Socio-Legal Series, Volume 3, Number 2. 

Sociolegal studies addresses the areas where legal structures interfere with solutions to human problems. In a disaster situation where normal opportunities in society are unavailable, the legal structure can interfere with society as relief and recovery efforts begin. The 11 essays discuss actions within the context of legal processes. In an ideal world, the law can help solve problems. In reality, the law has the ability to replicate inequalities in disaster responses because of citizenship, property ownership, race or work history.

The analysis provides interesting reading, sometimes exasperating as the circumstances are revealed as corporate interests are promoted at the expense of individual damages. While legal structures usually come in to play to assist in human-caused disasters and natural disasters, sociolegal impediments need to be identified for mitigation and prevention of future problems.

As an example, in examining implications from the natural disaster Hurricane Katrina, Lisa Grow Sun looks at the snowballing social mechanisms that taint actions. Reported rumors of looting and rioting are taken as gospel truth and people respond to the situation accordingly. The resulting disaster mythology creates overreactions from those who are affected, decision makers and outside actors.

A second discussion by Arthur F. McEvoy  involves engineered natural disasters, where events like extracting resources and depletion of natural barriers comes into contact with a hurricane or similar event. The failure of oversight in such situations results in finger-pointing as the analysis of complex systems identifies institutional and individual failures. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is discussed extensively, as well as the California sardine fishery example, Sacramento Valley floods, and the more recent LaConchita event in 2005.

Some of the chapters and the table of contents are available at http://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/issue/view/14 for those who wish to delve more deeply into the realm.

Purchase of the hard copy of the book is suggested for academic law libraries that do not subscribe to the series. Use for readings and discussion in graduate level courses in development issues would be particularly useful. Law firm librarians would do well to read the introductory materials online to understand the impact on society.

David Rogers, Reference Librarian, Sidley Austin LLP, Chicago

Posted By Ashley St. John at 2/12/2014 12:26:31 PM  0 Comments
TOPICS: book reviews