by Erin Hoffrance
I had the opportunity to attend the 2011 LLOPS Professional Development Workshop held at the Seattle University School of Law Annex. And I have to say, what a great location! It was also the first time in two years that I was able to enjoy the program without the stress of being a member of the Professional Development Committee. The first session, Mining SEC Documents, was led by Elizabeth Osborne, who is very knowledgeable about the world of the SEC, filings, documents, etc. Her handout listed definitions of the most common SEC documents, and she discussed the types of information you can find within each type of document. This is truly great information for those reference requests I receive to research public companies. For instance, the 8-K has unusual events, so it might be beneficial to monitor those for any types of changes that occur between 10-K and 10-Q filings. The Workshop attendees had many questions for Elizabeth, and she answered them all quickly with her wealth of knowledge and handy tips.
Next up were Merrill Chertok and Julie Fontenelle from the Microsoft Library. Their topic was Managing Electronic Resources, and they showcased their wonderfulSharePoint internal site with us. Julie’s current big project was bringing the Legal Library under the same umbrella as the general Microsoft Library. From the way they spoke, it seemed this undertaking has so far been well-received. Merrill spent the rest of the session speaking about e-books and the highs and lows of the transition to providing this format for their patrons. For those interested in moving toward providing e-books in their library, Merrill emphasized the importance of understanding the various formats that e-books come in and the readers that work with said formats.
The first session after a yummy and filling Taco Salad Bar lunchwas Alvin Ziontz’s Lawyering in Indian County: the Struggle for Indian Sovereignty in the Northwest. Alvin was a truly informative and knowledgeable speaker. Not only did hespeak about Indian law, but also about ethnocentrism, the Boldt Decision and his meetings with Marlon Brando. He is retired now, but has published a memoir called A Lawyer in Indian Country.
The last speaker of the day, and the session I was really looking forward to, was Denis Stearns who spoke about Food Safety/Food Product Liability Litigation. It was easy to see that Denis is truly invested in this aspect of his work. He sure does have a passion for it, and listening to him speak, I could see why. Denis played a few minutes of a video from KCTS 9 Connects to give us a little background on the Jack-in-the-Box case he was involved in back in the early 1990’s. When he worked on this case, right out of law school, he was actually on the side of Jack-in-the-Box. He also spoke about where food product liability issues are today and the struggle between the meat industries and government organizations like the USDA and the FDA. If you’re wondering, yes, Denis still eats meat – he’s just pretty picky about where his meat comes from. Denis has also published an article in the Journal of Food Law & Policy, entitled, “Preempting Food Safety: An Examination of USDA Rulemaking and its E. coli O157:H7 Policy in Light of Estate of Kriefall ex rel. Kriefall v. Excel Corporation.”
A hat tip to the Professional Development Committee for a well-rounded 2011 program! And a big thank you to the Grants Committee for assisting me in attending this great workshop!