Biall Conference 2015 - Call for Papers out now

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Biall Conference Committee have today launched the Call for Papers for the 2015 Conference.

Deadline for submissions: Friday 3rd October 2014.Event details: Hilton Metropole, Brighton Thursday 11th - Saturday 13th June, 2015.

We look forward to receiving your submissions. Please note this year there are 4 different session types available, from in-depth subject presentations, to workshops, to the more informal, short and punchy sessions.
Informal enquiries can be made to:
Programme Co-ordinator, Tracey Dennis at
or the Chair of the Conference Committee, Gillian Watt at
Examples of previous programmes, speaker biographies and session synopses may assist your thinking.

Abstracts should be submitted by email to and, no later than Friday 3rd October 2014.

With kind regards on behalf of the Conference Committee.

Posted by Sally Peat at 12:57 0 comments  

Surprising Criminal Defence Tactics

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Author Bio: Allison Harrison, is a writer who currently works freelance for Kilcoyne & Company Solicitors, who specialise in criminal law and defending complex crimes and high profile cases for many years. 

Most of us are well aware that the reality of criminal lawsuits is a far cry from the legal affairs portrayed on television and in the movies. Dramatic flourishes, last-minute reversals and surprise witnesses simply do not have a place in the courtrooms of the real world.

A dog judge Image credit: aussiegall, license Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Image source:, there have been some fairly unusual defence tactics used in criminal cases in recent history. We’re going to outline three of these tactics below. As you’ll see, these brazen claims of innocence are often attached to high-profile (read: wealthy) defendants. 

1. The defendant’s unreliability
This comes up more often in civil suits than in outright criminal cases; however, it still sheds light on an increasingly popular defence tactic. There have been a few prominent examples of this in the US lately, the most famous of which involves de-famed cyclist, Lance Armstrong. Winner of seven Tour de France titles (all of which have since been revoked), Armstrong was sued by his former sponsor, the US Postal Service.

After repeated denials, Armstrong later admitted to doping during his cycling career. The Postal Service’s suit (which was technically filed by a private citizen on the Postal Service’s behalf) claims that Armstrong deceived taxpayers when he accepted sponsorship from a government agency. His defence was quite simple and amounts to saying, “It was obvious that I really was doping, so you never should have believed me when I said I wasn’t.”

Apparently, if you are a bad enough liar, the false claims that you make cannot be held against you—at least in the opinion of some defence attorneys.

2. Gay Panic
This line of defence is rarely effective, but that doesn’t stop defendants from trying it out. It usually comes into play when the defendant is accused of assault or rape, and the victim is a homosexual.
Specifically, the defendant (who is straight) will claim that the victim made some sort of homosexual advances on them. This was so shocking, that it induced a form of hysteria or psychosis—i.e., gay panic. This state of mind is temporary but amounts to a form of insanity. In other words, the defendant wasn’t in a sound state of mind at the time of the crime.

As mentioned, this tactic rarely succeeds. Typically it is used to offset the spectre of hate crime allegations. In this sense, the gay panic defence may be deemed successful, in as much as it could be used to persuade juries or judges that the accused acted out of hysteria rather than cool, calculated hatred.          

3. Too many emails
In a case that has received plenty of press, hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors has been sued for failing to catch two of their portfolio managers who are currently embroiled in an insider trading scandal. In particular, the suit is aimed at founder Steve Cohen, who the prosecution states should have known what sort of shady business his underlings were getting up to.

This case draws its main thrust from Cohen’s email records. The prosecution states that the founder received plenty of suspicious information via email that would have sent up red flags for any reasonable person. In other words, Cohen knew what was going on and chose to do nothing about it.

In his defence, the billionaire’s attorneys state that the hedge fund founder simply receives too many emails to really read them all. They even attached a figure to this line of defence: 11 percent. That’s how many of his emails he usually reads. So, while it’s true that he did receive incriminating emails, his defence team believes his negligence in reading them should get him off the hook.

Many thanks to Allison Harrison, for her contribution.

Posted by Sally Peat at 12:36 0 comments  

25% discount on Internet Librarian International for BIALL members

Thursday, 7 August 2014

As part of our ongoing partnership with Internet Librarian International, BIALL has negotiated a 25% discount for members to attend the full conference, which takes place on 20 - 22 October at Olympia Conference Centre, London.

Internet Librarian International – the innovation and technology conference for information professionals – has recently announced its 2014 conference programme. View it here for an insight into how libraries can become future-ready, and what technologies and business models are currently emerging to impact our services, our roles and our users.

New for this year:

  • Conference theme - Positive change: creating real impact
  • Inspirational keynotes from Smithsonian Institute’s Michael Edson and Go ON UK's Rachel Neaman
  • Behind the scenes tour of the iconic British Library
  • 55 conference presentations (including over 40 case studies)
  • 70 global expert speakers
  • Networking, social events, prestigious industry awards
  • The latest product and service demos in the sponsor showcase

Internet Librarian International continues to attract global info industry recognition and support, with a marked increase in both attendance and sponsorship in recent years. BIALL members access their discount by entering priority code BIALL25 at online registration:

Contribulted byAnneli Sarkanen, Chair, BIALL PR & Promotions Committee

Posted by Sally Peat at 14:35 0 comments  

Bursaries for Legal Foundations 2014/15

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Two bursaries are available for BIALL members to cover the cost of the BIALL Legal Foundations Course 2014/15.  

The Legal Foundations Course is an online course providing a grounding in legal concepts for librarians and information workers with at least one year's experience in a law environment. It is run by BIALL's Professional Development Committee in conjunction with the University of Westminster Department of Professional Legal Studies. It is not a course in how to conduct legal research, but rather a way of getting to grips with the terminology used in the legal profession, providing you with a better understanding of the law in England and Wales, and of how it has been applied in various subject areas.

To apply for a bursary please visit the BIALL website and complete the application form.

The deadline for bursary applications is 11 August 2014. Applicants will be informed within 2 weeks whether or not they have been successful.

The adjudication panel will consider such factors as:

• the quality of the application
• whether or not an applicant has received a BIALL bursary in the last 5 years
• proven or potential contribution to and/or participation in the Association’s activities
• the ability to be a good ambassador for BIALL, including being prepared to participate in conference sessions and activities
• reasons for wishing to attend the course
• reasons for applying for a bursary
• how the course will benefit your current role.

 Legal Foundations Course  - For more information.

Posted by Sally Peat at 12:11 0 comments