Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The 21st Century Law Library

[Update 11/7: Listen to the archived webcast of this event at . RealPlayer is required.]

As part of Building Dedication Week, Senior Associate Dean for Information Services Dick Danner will host a panel discussion on the scholarly role of the modern law library.

The 21st Century Law Library
Thursday, November 6, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Room 3041

The panel will also include S. Blair Kauffman, Librarian and Professor of Law at Yale's Lillian Goldman Law Library, and John G. Palfrey, the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean of Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law Library.

Immediately following the discussion will be a reception in the library to honor J. Michael Goodson, for whom the renovated library has been renamed. For a full list of Dedication Week events, see the online schedule.

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Communications Regulation" Now Available Online

For decades, Pike & Fischer Communications Regulation (previously known as Pike & Fischer Radio Regulation) has assisted legal researchers with its compilation and analysis of Federal Communications Commission rules, agency and court decisions, and related statutes and regulations. Previously available at Duke in loose-leaf binder format, the Library has recently transitioned to the electronic version (access with NetID and password at The older print editions of the loose-leaf will be preserved in the library's collection, but are no longer being updated with new pages.

The electronic version of Communications Regulation offers:
  • Current FCC rules, updated daily
  • Cases from the FCC and selected communications cases from other courts (including a growing PDF archive of the FCC Record)
  • Relevant statutes and regulations, including an archive of proposed FCC rules and requests for comment back to 1964
  • Pike & Fischer news and analysis articles
  • FCC Phone Directory search
Connect to the electronic version of Pike & Fischer Communications Regulation through the online catalog record or the database link:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

When Star Paging Just Won't Do

If you read court opinions on Lexis and Westlaw, the star paging feature will help you to determine where the page breaks appear in each of the parallel print reporter citations. This makes it simple to quickly generate pinpoint citations which are appropriate for Bluebook format.

Occasionally, though, legal researchers require the original page image of a particular case. Although PDFs of the National Reporter System are available on Westlaw back to 1920, locating page images of official state reporters can be more difficult. The library does own most American reporters in print, although many state reporters are housed off-site at the Library Service Center (these can be requested for delivery to the Law Library through the online catalog with a NetID and password). Fortunately, an increasing number of online sources are also providing PDFs of state cases.

As mentioned above, Westlaw offers PDFs of its regional reporters (view map) dating back to their first volumes in 1920. More recently, Lexis has joined the party by offering cases from selected Lexis-published reporters (such as California Reports) in PDF. When available on Lexis and Westlaw, PDFs will be linked at the top of the case.

For reporters not covered in Lexis or Westlaw, LLMC Digital is the logical next step. This database offers digitized case reporters from all fifty states, with an emphasis on historical volumes (although new volumes will be added as digitization continues). To view the scanned volumes for a particular set of reporters, be sure to click the red link labeled “Available Online”.

Finally, HeinOnline offers a solution for locating PDFs of executive agency decisions in its new Federal Agency Library. This collection offers complete scans of the official reporters from such executive agencies as the Securities Exchange Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Labor Relations Board, and many others.

For more information about locating legal materials in PDF, consult the library's recently-updated Research Guide.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cox Legal Fiction: Make Time for a Good Book

Everyone needs an occasional break from the rigors of law school. Fortunately, the Law Library offers an oasis from statutes and casebooks, right by the window wall in the Reading Room.

The Cox Legal Fiction Collection offers hundreds of law-related novels (in addition to scholarly examinations of law and literature). The collection features the usual best-selling suspects (such as John Grisham and David Baldacci) as well as classic literature (To Kill a Mockingbird) and first-time novelists with a legal bent (Saira Rao's Chambermaid and Jonathan Blachman's Anonymous Lawyer, to name a few). Students may borrow Cox Collection titles with a DukeCard for up to 4 weeks-- plenty of time to sneak a chapter of "fun" into nightly reading assignments.

Visit this page for a sampling of the latest additions to the Cox Collection. Many entries include plot summaries, and some even include previews of the first chapter in Google Books: there's surely something to please even the most finicky reader.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The United Nations' Yearbook Free-for-all

Since 1946, the Yearbook of the United Nations has remained a critically important publication for researchers of the international organization. The Yearbook provides a detailed history of the activities of the United Nations, arranged by topic and offering several useful appendices.

For decades, the Yearbook was available only in print (it can be found in the Law Library's Periodicals collection, Level 4), although a CD-ROM version was introduced in the 1990s. However, the United Nations announced last week that it has digitized the complete series of the Yearbook, and posted it for free at The online version allows researchers to browse or search all available issues of the Yearbook, which currently spans 1946-2005. International law researchers should bookmark this valuable free online resource.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

National Moot Court Competition available in HeinOnline

Every year since 1950, the National Moot Court Competition attracts top talent from the nation's law schools. Teams who have advanced from regional competitions argue before a panel of legal professionals, who evaluate participants based upon their written briefs and oral arguments. This prestigious competition allows students to develop their legal writing and oral argument skills-- essential for most legal professionals.

New moot court participants often look to the winning briefs of past years in order to determine the competition's preferred writing styles and arguments. The winning materials are published each year in a book series, National Moot Court Competition (available in the library 1991-present at the call number KF8918 .N38). The entire series, from 1950-present, has just been digitized in the HeinOnline database, and is now available at Duke. From the main HeinOnline screen, choose "National Moot Court Competition" to search or browse the available volumes.

The National Moot Court Competition library joins another important moot court series which was already available in Hein: the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Compendium (1960-present; part of Hein's "Philip C. Jessup Library"). Anyone interested in moot court competitions should make note of these useful resources.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Open Access Day at Duke

Open Access (OA) is a growing international movement that uses the Internet to throw open the locked doors that once hid knowledge. It encourages the unrestricted sharing of research results with everyone, everywhere, for the advancement and enjoyment of science and society.

Tuesday, October 14 marks the first international Open Access Day, which aims to broaden awareness of the OA movement through educational events around the world. The Duke Libraries will host two events on Tuesday, October 14, the first of which includes discussion by two Duke Law faculty members:

Duke Talks about Open Access
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Perkins Library (Room 217)
Featuring James Boyle, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law, Chairman of the Board, Creative Commons.
Professor Boyle will focus on Creative Commons, an organization which is working to facilitate the free availability of art, scholarly and creative materials through online licenses that authors can attach to their work.

His talk will be followed by a panel of speakers from the Duke community who will share their perspectives and their activities within the Open Access arena:
  • Melanie Dunshee, JD, AMLS, Assistant Dean for Library Services, Duke Law Library
  • Ricardo Pietrobon, MD, PhD, MBA, Associate Vice Chair and Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery Duke University Health System
  • Josh Sommer, fellow in Duke’s Program on Global Health and Technology Access, co-founder Chordoma Foundation

Open Access Webcast
7-8 p.m., Perkins Link and/or Medical Center Library (Room 104)
The international Open Access Day Webcast features:
  • Sir Richard Roberts, Nobel laureate, Chief Scientific Officer at New England Biolabs, US, and a member of the PLoS Biology Editorial Board
  • Philip E. Bourne, Ph.D. founding editor-in-chief of PLoS Computational Biology, Professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the UC San Diego, Assoc. Dir. of the RCSB Protein Data Bank, Senior Advisor to the San Diego Supercomputer Center, Adjunct Professor at the Burnham Institute, and Co-Founder of SciVee
Both speakers will discuss how Open Access impacts research and will answer questions on this topic from participating campuses.

Throughout the day on October 14, the Duke University Libraries will feature short video clips on open access, provide handouts about author rights, access to research, and copyright available, and distribute OA Day buttons. The Law Library will provide a handout on Open Access initiatives at Duke Law, as well as sample contract language to preserve author's rights to redistribute published works.

For more information on Open Access Day, visit the Facebook events page for Open Access Day @ Duke University or

Monday, October 6, 2008

Library Hours for Fall Break

The Law Library will operate under reduced staffing hours during the Law School's Fall Break, October 11-18.

Saturday & Sunday Oct. 11-12 CLOSED
Monday - Friday Oct. 13-17 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday Oct. 18 CLOSED
Sunday Oct. 19 Regular hours resume

During the break, Law students, faculty and staff retain 24-hour access to the Law School and Law Library with a DukeCard.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

First Monday Madness

It’s that time of year again. "First Monday", October 6, marks the beginning of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008-2009 term. What issues will be tackled by our nation’s highest court? A number of online resources have the answers.

  • The Supreme Court’s own web site offers its Argument Calendars for the upcoming term. Argument transcripts should be posted within the same day at

  • The American Bar Association’s annual Supreme Court Preview provides copies of all merit and amicus briefs for the Court’s upcoming term, and a “Supreme Court Primer” of procedures.

  • The popular SCOTUSblog offers running (often live) commentary and analysis on the new term’s cases. Its SCOTUSwiki feature presents OT2008 cases in argument order, with links to briefs, commentary and analysis; following arguments, SCOTUSblog volunteers will post “Oral Argument Recaps” and “Opinion Analysis”, making this an excellent place to begin researching a Supreme Court case of interest.

  • For quick summaries of the day’s activity in the U.S. Supreme Court, many attorneys rely on U.S. Law Week’s Supreme Court Today, which is available to the Law School community at (click “U.S. Law Week” at the bottom of the page; then choose “Supreme Court Today” from the menu at the left).

  • To learn more about the U.S. Supreme Court, visit the library’s online research guide for more links as well as print resources.