SCOTUS Will Not Rule On Alameda County Drug Return Program

The Supreme Court of the United States will not rule on case involving an Alameda County program that requires pharmaceutical companies to pay for the safe disposal of unused prescription drugs.

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a petition for a writ of certoriari in the case of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America v. County of Alameda, Case No. 14-751, filed in December by lawyers for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and other trade groups opposed to the Alameda County program that requires pharmaceutical companies to pay for safe disposal of unused prescription drugs.  The case was seen as a test for local government policies that embrace extended producer responsibility, or, the concept that manufacturers should be on the hook for mitigating the environmental impact of their products.

Discussion of case from SCOTUSblog.

Copy of the petition.

There is an article in May 26th Recorder.  [Subscription is required for on-line access]  or the paper edition is available at the Alameda County Law Library.


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ByTheNumbers — Source For California Local Government Data is a new open data platform recently launched by the California State Controller’s Office (SCO).  This site provides information on local California governments’ financial data.  The format allows for information to be viewed, downloaded, and converted into graphs and charts.

What kind of questions can be answered with the information found on this new website?

  • How much did employees contribute to fund their pensions for each of the past 10 years?
  • Which special districts have the largest revenues and expenditures?
  • How much in federal funds did your city receive last year?

With the transition to open data, the SCO is no longer publishing seven of its local governments’ annuals reports including Cities Annual Report and Public Retirement Systems Annual Report.

Attorneys who practice in the area of municipal law or citizens interested in monitoring government revenues and expenses might want to bookmark this new site for future research.

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Mark Estes, Director, ACLL — YouTube Interview About The History Of Law Librarianship

 An Oral History of Law Librarianship: Mark Estes, Director, Alameda County Law Library

ACLL‘s own — Mark Estes’ interview is featured this week as part of a series on the history of law librarianship developed by the legal publisher, HeinOnline.   Interviews are made available each month as part of the series, An Oral History of Law Librarianship, at Spinelli’s Law Library Reference Shelf.

The videos contain interviews of active and retired law librarians and others who made an impact on the profession.  This series showcases the individuals as they discuss and reflect on their experiences.

These full video collection is available via our HeinOnline YouTube Channel.

This week they are featuring Mark on the HeinOnline site but you can watch his full interview is below.



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Library Outreach : Senior Health and Wellness Resource Fair 2015

On Thursday, May 7, 2015, Amy Stabler and I staffed a table at the 9th Annual Senior Health and Wellness Resource Fair at the Kenneth C. Aiken Senior and Community Center in Castro Valley. It was a wonderful outreach opportunity for us.  I counted 52 people coming to the ACLL table.Senior Health and Wellness Fair

Some popular items were: our pens, bookmarks and the California State Bar pamphlets with information on “Seniors and the law”, elder abuse, estate planning and living trusts. We also gave out Lawyer in the Library schedules, flyers on local legal resources, forms for Uniform Powers of Attorney and Advanced Care Directives, conference room flyers and Resources guides about conservatorship and elder abuse.

Some of the questions or comments included: “…glad I ran into you”, “What is the difference between a will and a living trust?”, “Thank you for being here” and “I never knew about you” (just the reason we were there).

We did discover that the Spanish versions of the State Bar pamphlets were not as popular but because of the good attendance of the Asian-American community, pamphlets in Chinese would be better for next year. Overall, the day was another excellent way to get the word out about who we are and all the valuable services we provide to public with the added bonus of connecting with other local agencies.

Berkeley — New Ordinance Requiring Notice With Cell Phone Purchase

In Alameda County, Berkeley is requiring notice concerning radio frequency exposure of cell phones.  The ordinance requires cell phone retailers in Berkeley to provide a notice with every sale or lease of a cell phone that warns customers to maintain a minimum separation between their
bodies and their cell phones.

Adding Berkeley Municipal Code Chapter 9.96, text can be read here:

2015-05-12 berkeley cell phones requiring notice

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Using Google Scholar For Case Research

Over at the website, LLRX, Nicole L. Black has two posts on how you can do free court case research on the Internet using Google Scholar.


Part 1 – the Basics, including setting up case cite alerts

Part 2 – Advanced searching techniques and creating research folders

Ms. Black writes —

Google Scholar allows you to search and read published opinions of US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791. In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) which are not yet online or publicly available.

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Alameda County Superior Court– Interpreters In Civil Matters — ALA-INT-001

The Alameda County Law Library recently received this notice:

To attorneys and all interested persons:

The Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, recently received approval from the Chair of the Judicial Council to adopt a new local form, ALA-INT-001, to take effect as of May 1, 2015. A copy of the order authorizing the off-cycle adoption of the form is attached, as is a copy of ALA-INT-001.

The form is used for requesting an interpreter in a civil matter, and the Court will be translating the form into a number of additional languages for ease of use. The translated versions of the form will be posted on the Court’s web site as they are completed.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Chad Finke
General Counsel
Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
1225 Fallon Street Room 209
Oakland, CA 94612
510-891-6273 phone; 510-891-6276 fax

Here is a link to a file with the new form.  An image and instructions follow in this post.


ALA-INT-001 (eff  May 1 2015)_1 (3)


ALA-INT-001 (eff  May 1 2015)_Instructions (2)

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