Report me and my cause aright
Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2

  The Catchline


Volume XXI, No. 2 February 2003


The Association's fall executive board meeting was held on November 21–22, 2002, in my conference room at the United States Supreme Court. Janette Bloom, Chris Fallon, Scott Henwood, Kathy Bann, Lloyd Hysan, and Toni Singleton attended in person, while Ed Jessen attended via a conference call. Many thanks are due all those who found time in their busy schedules to attend, and special thanks are owed Toni, whose efforts ensured a flawless meeting (and yummy refreshments!).

One of the main topics discussed at the meeting was membership. Chairperson Bann talked about her efforts to attract new members. We agreed that I would try to help out by sending a letter to our "absentees"—reporters who are not members and members who take no active part in ARJD activities—urging them to get involved. The letter will focus on the enhanced professional development, as well as the lasting personal friendships, that ARJD membership affords. As time permits, I will follow up the letter with phone calls to those who do not respond. Chairperson Henwood informed us that he wishes to have Bill Jones join him and Cliff Allen on the Electronic Publishing Committee and that the three of them are hungry for new challenges. Site Selector Hysan discussed progress thus far in choosing sites for the 2004 meeting in New York (Lloyd is working with Andy Ashe on that one), and the 2005 meeting in London (Lloyd is dealing with the British Tourist Information Bureau). At this point, at least, both cities seem to be affordable! Treasurer Tim Fuller sent us an interim report on our finances; Past President Bloom outlined amendments to the ARJD bylaws that she is proposing; the group discussed the addition of the membership directory to our Web site (thanks Kathy and Andy!); and we previewed, discussed, and unanimously approved Sheila D'Ambrosio's efforts as the new "L'editrissima" of The Catchline. Finally, activities and plans for the August 2003 meeting at the Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland were discussed. So far, Education Chair Chris Fallon contemplates a visit to the Oregon Supreme Court and an expert lecturer on Web site security. Several slots still remain on the program, and Chris solicits suggestions as to topics of interest to members.

Before closing, I want to formally acknowledge, with my warmest thanks, those who have agreed to chair committees for the current year:

The spring executive board meeting will be held, again, at my office in the Supreme Court of the United States, on the afternoon of Thursday, April 10, and the morning of Friday, April 11, 2003. All members are more than welcome to attend. We will even offer Verdery Knights' fabled tour of the Courthouse to any first-timer who chooses to venture to Washington!

I hope to see you all in Portland this summer. Save the dates—August 7 through 11. Details and registration materials and information will be in the spring issue.

Frank Wagner




The executive board's fall meeting was held at the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday and Friday, November 21 and 22, 2002. President Frank Wagner presided and called the meeting to order at approximately 1:10 p.m. on November 21. Janette Bloom was in attendance and Ed Jessen participated via teleconference. Also in attendance were committee chairs Kathyrn Bann, Chris Fallon, Scott Henwood, and Lloyd Hysan.

Spring 2003 Executive Board Minutes

Minutes from the spring 2002 executive board meeting were reviewed and unanimously approved without correction.

Treasurer's Report

By motion, the board unanimously approved Tim Fuller's written report showing a treasury balance of $12,060.92 on November 6, 2002.

Proposed Bylaws Amendments

The board discussed a proposal first raised by Janette Bloom at the 2002 annual meeting to amend the ARJD Bylaws and provide for a President-Elect to serve on the executive board and act as parliamentarian at executive board meetings and the annual meeting. After discussion, the proposed amendment was tabled for further discussion and consideration at the 2003 annual meeting.

Education Committee Report

Chris Fallon reported that she is working on the education program for the 2003 annual meeting, but there were no commitments or firm leads for the program.

Electronic Publishing Committee Report

Unanimous approval by the executive board was given to Scott Henwood's request to add Bill Jones to the committee in place of the retired Bill Haggerty. Cliff Allen also serves on the committee.

Scott Henwood stated that the committee was awaiting its revised charge from the executive board following the decision at the annual meeting that the committee should not be disbanded. The board unanimously approved, in verbal form, the following statement of the Electronic Publishing Committee's responsibility, which has been slightly revised from the verbal form for these minutes: "The Electronic Publishing Committee has responsibility for safeguarding the integrity, accuracy, utility, and advantages of official versions of opinions, including cite styles to those opinions, in all media of electronic publishing."

Membership Committee Report

Membership Committee Chairperson Kathryn Bann reported on recent activity to recruit new members. Plans to send the 2003 membership directory with the February Catchline were reviewed. President Frank Wagner stated that he will assist in recruiting new members.

Site Selection Committee Report

Site Selection Committee Chairperson Lloyd Hysan reported that a contract has been signed with the Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland, Oregon, for the 2003 annual meeting, which will run August 7 through 11 (room block assumes arrivals Aug. 6, with Sun., Aug. 10, as the last night).

Site selection work continues for the 2004 annual meeting in New York City; Andy Ashe is assisting Lloyd with the arrangements, and a site visit is planned before the spring 2003 executive board meeting.

Preliminary work is also underway for the 2005 meeting, tentatively planned for London, England. At this time, costs for the association and individual members seem to be affordable, including the airfare for west coast members of the ARJD. If London remains feasible, there was a consensus admonition to send members and vendors materials for the meeting quite early, compared to the usual timing for domestic meetings.

Kansas City, Kansas, was tentatively raised as the location for the 2006 annual meeting.

Adjourn, November 21; Reconvene, November 22

The meeting was adjourned on November 21, at approximately 4:15 p.m., and reconvened on November 22, at approximately 9:30 a.m.

Web site

General discussion was had concerning the ARJD's Web site.

By motion, after discussion, the board unanimously agreed that requests for links from the ARJD Web site to other Web sites require the President's approval, applying the same general standards used by the United States Supreme Court's Web site and consulting with the executive board as appropriate. And it was also agreed that any attempt to control links from other Web sites to the ARJD Web site would be futile and impractical to control.

Catchline Report

Sheila D'Ambrosio's new look for The Catchline received compliments from the executive board. The new look was devised by graphics staff for the Administrative Office of the Courts in California. The graphics staff was initially utilized only for reproduction, but they voluntarily offered the new look as an incident of that work.


The following opinion, In the Matter of Charlotte K., Age 15, was authored by Judge Daniel D. Leddy, Jr., of the Family Court of Richmond County, New York in 1980, and is reported at 427 N.Y.S.2d 370. The editor offers it as a consummate example of an opinion that expansively discusses the case at hand while simultaneously confining itself to a firm structure with compact phraseology. And yet the author seems to hold nothing back . . .

"Is a girdle a burglar's tool or is that stretching the plain meaning of Penal Law Sec. 140.35? This elastic issue of first impression arises out of a charge that the respondent shoplifted certain items from Macy's Department Store by dropping them into her girdle.

"Basically, Corporation Counsel argues that respondent used her girdle as a Kangaroo does her pouch, thus adapting it beyond its maiden form.

"The Law Guardian snaps back charging that with this artificial expansion of Sec. 140.35's meaning, the foundation of Corporation Counsel's argument plainly sags. The Law Guardian admits that respondent's tight security was an attempt to evade the store's own tight security. And yet, it was not a tool, instrument or other article adapted, designed or commonly used for committing or facilitating offenses involving larceny by physical taking. It was, instead, an article of clothing, which being worn under all, was, after all, a place to hide all. It was no more a burglar's tool than a pocket, or maybe even a kangaroo's pouch.

"The tools, instruments or other articles envisioned by Penal Law Sec. 140.35 are those used in taking an item and not in hiding it thereafter. They are the handy gadgets used to break in and pick up, and not the bags for carrying out. Such is the legislative intent of this section . . . .

"The Court has decided this issue mindful of the heavy burden that a contrary decision would place upon retail merchants. Thus is avoided the real bind of having customers check not only their packages, but their girdles too, at the department store's door.

"The Court must also wonder whether such a contrary decision would not create a spate of unreasonable bulges that would let loose the floodgates of stop and frisk cases, with the result of putting the squeeze on court resources already overextended in this era of trim governmental budgets.

"Accordingly, the instant allegation of possession of burglar's tools is dismissed."

AALL Prepares 2d Edition of Universal Citation Guide

The American Association of Law Libraries has prepared a new edition of its Universal Citation Guide.

The Association's Committee on Citation Formats has posted a draft of the new guide, dubbed "Version 2.1," on its Web site, and the Committee is soliciting public comment.

According to its Web site, the AALL Committee on Citation Formats is charged with, among other tasks, "To work with the judiciary, the bar, the ABA, The Bluebook editors, and other groups to promote uniformity of citation reform." The introduction to the proposed 2d edition notes, "As information managers, law librarians have a great professional stake in successful citation reform."

The Committee's Web site also contains a draft of a new rule for citation of administrative decisions.

The Committee's Web site is located at:


A copy of the 2003 ARJD Directory is included with this issue of The Catchline. Please advise Kathryn Bann of any updates or corrections.


Registration forms and information for the annual meeting to be held in Portland will be included in the May issue of The Catchline.

Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions

President: Frank D. Wagner
Reporter of Decisions
Supreme Court of the United States

Vice-President: Bilee Cauley
Reporter of Decisions
Alabama Appellate Courts

Secretary: Edward W. Jessen
Reporter of Decisions
Supreme Court of California

Treasurer: Tim Fuller
Reporter of Decisions
Washington Supreme Court

The Catchline

Editor: Sheila D'Ambrosio
Supreme Court of California
350 McAllister Street
San Francisco, California 94102

Vol. XXI, No. 2 February 2003

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