Thursday, December 29, 2016

Lights Out for

On December 31, 2016, Law School access to the original interface will be phased out. Beginning on January 1, all Law School research will be through Lexis Advance, the interface which debuted in 2011. (Recently, was only accessible via a pull-down menu within Lexis Advance, but soon that option will be removed.) 100% of content has migrated into Advance, making the long-term upkeep of parallel research systems unnecessary. (Law firm and other commercial users of will have an additional 12 months to get up to speed on Lexis Advance while retaining access to

Lexis has created a " Migration Center" (login required) with handouts and training videos to help users learn more about the Advance interface and content. In particular, the PDF handout "The Research Tasks You Do Most: Here's How at Lexis Advance" is a handy primer to the most popular research needs. Additionally, the LexisNexis Legal YouTube channel for Lexis Advance Training on the Go contains more than 60 videos on various research topics.

Law school researchers are no strangers to changing legal research platforms: in July 2014, Westlaw's "Classic" site was phased out in favor of its WestlawNext interface (now known as Thomson Reuters Westlaw). Like the planned Lexis transition, Westlaw retired the Classic interface from law school users a full year before the sunset date for commercial subscribers: August 31, 2015.

For help with getting up to speed on Lexis Advance, Westlaw, or any other legal research resource, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Charity Checkups

The end of the calendar year often sees an increase in solicitations from non-profit organizations. Whether you feel compelled to give back or are just calculating charitable deductions for next year's tax return, it's helpful to research tax-exempt organizations to learn more about where your dollars are being spent, and to avoid sending money to fraudulent organizations.

The Internal Revenue Service's Exempt Organization Select Check provides quick information about particular non-profit organizations, and the general deductibility level of contributions. For more detailed financial data regarding tax-exempt organizations, the best source is the annual Form 990 filed with the IRS. Form 990 archives are available through a number of sources:
  • Duke University community members have access to GuideStar, a leading source of reliable nonprofit information and backfiles of Form 990.
  • Charity Navigator is another option to review ratings of charitable organizations, including percentages of revenue spent on actual programs and services versus overhead.
  • ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer also includes basic financials and free 990 downloads.
The growth of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo has also affected charitable giving. It's common to see GoFundMe, YouCaring, or other fundraising sites set up to raise medical expenses, funeral expenses, or other needs. However, the Better Business Bureau has warned of fraudulent fundraising sites being created in the aftermath of tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing and the Orlando nightclub shooting. For its part, GoFundMe offers both donors and beneficiaries protection in the event of fraud, and YouCaring provides tips for avoiding fraudulent fundraising campaigns. But as with traditional charities, donors should research carefully to ensure that their money reaches the intended source.

For more information about charitable organizations and tax law, check out the resources listed in the research guide to Federal Tax or Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Remembering Gary Slapper

Last night, the Times of London's Twitter account noted the passing of its longtime "Weird Cases" columnist, Gary Slapper:
Slapper's name should be familiar to many legal researchers, as the author of several leading textbooks on the law of England: The English Legal System and How the Law Works. As the legal news website Legal Cheek noted today, he was also a prolific humorist, in his Times column and on social media. In addition to several editions of Slapper's seminal textbooks, the Goodson Law Library collection also contains Slapper's collection of Weird Cases: Comic and Bizarre Cases from Courtrooms Around the World. To see which of his works are available in the Goodson Law Library collection, try a search of the Duke University Libraries catalog for the author's name.

An obituary for Gary Slapper is available at the Times Gazette. Memorials are also being posted on Twitter, with many readers highlighting Slapper's 2012 column, "Is Studying Law Boring?", as a personal inspiration for their law studies. There, Slapper enthused about the unique adaptability of a law degree, and highlighted law's importance to every aspect of daily life:
Although law is sometimes portrayed as a dull discipline pursued by ethically dubious practitioners, it is a spellbindingly vivid and varied subject which affects every part of human life. Physics, history, Spanish, business, architecture, and other subjects are all vital disciplines but law permeates into every cell of social life. Law governs everything from the embryo to exhumation. Law regulates the air we breathe, the food and drink that we consume, our travel, sexuality, family relationships, our property, sport, science, employment, education, and health, everything in fact from neighbour disputes to war…

Professor Slapper's words – and works on the English legal system – will have the same enduring impact as the legal precedent he highlighted in his writings.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Federal Rules: What's New For December 2016

On December 1, changes to the federal rules of general application become effective, if they are adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court and submitted to Congress before May 1. This year, the U.S. Supreme Court has adopted amendments to selected Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Appellate Procedure, and Bankruptcy.

One of the highest-profile changes this year involved Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which expanded the scope of warrants to search computers. As the December 1 effective date drew closer, civil liberties groups and members of Congress expressed concerns about extending government "hacking" powers, but last-minute efforts to delay Rule 41 from taking effect were unsuccessful.

The U.S. Courts website Current Rules of Practice & Procedure outlines all of the changes adopted in late April, and includes the amended rule text in various formats. Online sources for the federal rule text (such as subscription research services like Westlaw, or the free Legal Information Institute) have already incorporated these 2016 changes to their text. Printed sources in the library, such as annual handbooks or looseleaf services which reprint the federal rules, may have a slight lag time before updating. Researchers should be aware of the annual December changes to the various federal rules.

Additional commentary on the changes is available at the following sources:

For help locating the updated federal rules, or more information about federal rules in general, visit the Goodson Law Library research guide to Court Rules or Ask a Librarian.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Judge for Yourself

Data analytics are a rapidly-growing feature in legal research services. From the intellectual property predictive analysis in Lex Machina (now owned by LexisNexis) to the recently-unveiled Bloomberg Law Litigation Analytics, many legal research services are offering their users charts, tables, and other information about the connections between court opinions and orders, lawyers, judges, and companies.

Judges are a particularly interesting use case. Most research services provide a basic biographical profile of current judges, along with links to their full-text opinions and orders. However, some research services provide a bit more analysis and examination of individual judges.

The Judge Analytics module of  Ravel Law, featured in Forbes earlier this year, is one example of the possibilities. Duke Law students, faculty, and staff may request an Educational Account. Judge Analytics' coverage includes current and historical federal judges, as well as current state appellate court judges. Type a judge's name into the main Ravel search box and select their name from the "Judges" auto-suggest in order to view a dashboard. The "Opinions" tab provides quick access to the judge’s authored opinions. The "Analytics" tab includes lists of their most-cited opinions, judges, and courts. The "About" tab links to biographical information and available news articles.

Westlaw Profiler and Lexis Advance Litigation Profile Suite both include basic biographical information for state and federal judges, as well as links to opinions, court filings, and secondary sources, such as news. Westlaw and Lexis also include selected charts and tables, where available, of topics like ruling history and judicial reversal rates.

Bloomberg Law's Litigation Analytics module is currently limited to U.S. District Court judges, but includes profiles and analysis of opinions and orders, such as frequently-cited opinions, motion and appeal outcomes, and average length of case.

For more sources of information about judges, including access for the always-illuminating anonymous lawyer survey comments in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, visit the Goodson Law Library research guide to Directories of Courts and Judges or Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Indecent Exposure

This weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live sounded a little different to viewers in the Raleigh-Durham market served by NBC affiliate WRAL-TV. Host Dave Chappelle's monologue featured several ten-second audio drops, omitting entire sentences and joke punchlines. The periodic audio interruptions continued into several SNL sketches. (Twitter user Nathania Johnson compared her local DVR recording to video clips from the national broadcast on Hulu. The WRAL interruptions are described in detail at her Medium post, 10 times NBC affiliate WRAL censored Dave Chappelle-hosted SNL last night.)

Raleigh's News & Observer confirmed that the local network affiliate had elected to provide additional local censorship of language, even though several pre-taped sketches already featured bleeping from the national broadcast feed. In an official statement released on Sunday, WRAL said,
"WRAL-TV has a station obscenity, decency and profanity policy that outlines 10 specific words that will not be broadcast on our air. This policy is based on our own standards in combination with FCC guidelines. Our broadcast operators have a 10-second delay button they can choose to use. During Saturday Night Live on NBC, guest host Dave Chappell [sic] used 2 of those words on 9 different occasions and they were silenced. Obviously, SNL is a live show so we had no prior indication about what would be said during the broadcast. We understand this caused disruption during the program. We wanted our audience to know this was a station decision, not the network's, and why we made that choice."

Later, in response to viewer complaints and increasing press coverage, WRAL apologized "for impeding the full flow and message of Dave Chappelle's monologue. It was not our intention to censor his message. We followed policies and procedures that have been in place for many years for programming of any kind," and pledged to review the internal policy while considering viewer input. Variety noted that the station had heard "from many viewers" about the local language censorship, and also had a history of refusing to air certain national programs during its time as a CBS affiliate.

In its statement about the local obscenity, decency and profanity station policy, WRAL mentions national "FCC guidelines" as well. The Federal Communications Commission regulates broadcast television and radio, and does indeed provide guidelines about obscene, indecent, and profane content. Obscene content falls outside First Amendment protection and is prohibited at all times; indecent and profane content is prohibited between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., "when there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the audience." Saturday Night Live airs from 11:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

In the 1970s, the decade when Saturday Night Live debuted, comedian George Carlin’s famous "Seven Dirty Words" routine landed before the U.S. Supreme Court, which considered FCC indecency and profanity standards in the case of Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978). In the Pacifica case, a 5-4 Court upheld the FCC's finding that a radio broadcast of Carlin's routine constituted indecent speech.

The current federal standard for what constitutes indecent or profane content is discussed in the FCC's "Golden Globes order" of 2004, 19 FCC Rcd. 4975, available on the FCC's website. In the "Golden Globes order" (so named for the awards ceremony where singer Bono uttered a "fleeting expletive" in the live broadcast), the Commission cited an earlier internal policy document, Industry Guidance on the Commission's Case Law Interpreting 18 U.S.C. §1464 and Enforcement Policies Regarding Broadcast Indecency ("Indecency Policy Statement"), 16 FCC Rcd 7999. This policy statement outlined more clearly what factors the Commission weighs in determine whether content is indecent.

For more information on broadcast standards and the FCC, try a search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject heading "Broadcasting -- Law and legislation -- United States." You’ll find titles like Rodney Smolla's treatise Rights and Liabilities in Media Content: Internet, Broadcast, and Print (KF2750 .M472 & online in Westlaw) as well as historical works on broadcast regulation and indecency. For more information about the FCC's operations, check out the agency directories listed in the Goodson Law Library guide to Federal Administrative Law or Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers and Law Students

It's that time of year again! Since 2009, the Goodson Blogson has compiled holiday gift ideas for the law students or lawyers in your life. We are proud to stand alongside long-time lawyer gift guide authors like Reid Trautz of Reid My Blog (which, sadly, seems to have ceased updating after its 2015 gift guide) and the ABA Journal. This year, we are getting a head start on our holiday shopping plans, with our earliest gift guide ever.

The gift shops of federal museums and other D.C.-area tourist attractions remain a great place to locate unique law-themed items. If you can't make it to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture (where advanced tickets quickly sold out until 2017), you can browse some of its souvenirs available in the Smithsonian Store, including books on African-American and civil rights history, t-shirts, and jewelry. The Supreme Court Historical Society Gift Shop and White House Gift Shop are also perennial favorites for legal and political-themed knickknacks, jewelry, and even jigsaw puzzles.

Since last year's gift guide, the National Archives and Records Administration store has expanded its inventory. Patent Prints now include a number of sports-themed patent artwork (e.g., basketball nets, golf ball cores, and soccer shoes) as well as musical instruments, toys, and vehicle parts. The Bill of Rights comes emblazoned on lunch bags, t-shirts, and coffee mugs. The Kitchen collection includes dishware and glassware featuring the Declaration of Independence, D.C. government landmarks, and a 1974 "cocktail construction chart" drawn by a former employee of the U.S. Forest Service.

Private museums and attractions are another great source for unusual law gifts. Ralph Nader's American Museum of Tort Law in Connecticut also hosts a small online shop, featuring t-shirts depicting the Brown v. Kendall "reasonable person" case, the exploding Pinto automobile which inspired Nader's classic book Unsafe at Any Speed, and the famous flaming rat (don't ask).

Online retailer Uncommon Goods offers The Devil's Dictionary Law Glasses, a pair of tumblers featuring humorous definitions of "proof" and "justice" straight from Ambrose Bierce's 1906 satirical Devil's Dictionary. (Similar glassware pairs are available for finance and medicine.) For less-sarcastic drinkers, the site also offers glasses featuring the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

In September, Florida became the first state to require a minimum number of continuing legal education hours in technology, a change which will take effect on January 1. Florida's recent rule change also made them the 25th state to adopt an ethical duty for lawyers to stay current with technology. With technology's importance to the law profession increasing by the day, gadgets make great gifts for law students and lawyers alike! Some ideas at various price points include:
  • Electronic organizers like Grid-It offer affordable options for safely storing cables, chargers, headphones, and other tech accessories.
  • Speaking of chargers, ThinkGeek's Electronics section includes several whimsical charging devices, such as Star Wars-themed USB chargers, and a Back to the Future flux capacitor car charger.
  • Noise-canceling headphones are a higher-end purchase, but can vastly improve study time in the law library as well as air travel. CNET recommends The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2016 at prices ranging from $165 to $440.
  • Tablets are a great option for the mobile lawyer or law student. Consumer Reports offers a Tablet Buying Guide to help users navigate the growing amount of choices on the market.
  • Virtual reality headsets don't come cheap, with the exception of Google Cardboard's introductory offering. But for gamers and budding geeks, virtual reality is undeniably appealing. CNET rounds up available options, including Samsung Gear and Oculus Rift. Be warned, though – Microsoft has just announced plans to develop a new $299 VR headset in 2017, meaning this year's gift might need an upgrade in the not-too-distant future.

When shopping online, be mindful to calculate the cost of sales tax (if applicable) and shipping to your purchase. Free shipping may be available from retailers with a specific purchase amount. There's also Free Shipping Day, in which online retailers offer no-minimum free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve. Free Shipping Day isn't until December 16, when desired items might be out of stock – so keep an eye out for shipping deals between now and then, such as "Cyber Monday" (the Monday following Thanksgiving).

Finally, don't forget to stop in at your local independent retailers. Yes, prices may be slightly lower at online giants like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, but shipping costs can often even that score, or even cost more in the long run. Local retailers may also carry unique merchandise not available on other sites, such as Runaway Clothes' popular "Durm Bull" t-shirts. Sustain-a-Bull is Durham's alliance of more than 175 independent local businesses, many of which are retail stores offering unique local items.

All of us at Goodson Blogson HQ wish our readers a happy and safe holiday season.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New HeinOnline Library on the History of Slavery

The Goodson Law Library's HeinOnline subscription now includes the new library Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law. Edited by Paul Finkelman of Albany Law School, Duke's Fall 2012 John Hope Franklin Visiting Professor of American Legal History, the collection compiles slavery-related treatises, law review articles, case law, and statutes into a single place, which is described as "all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world."

The collection includes such seminal historical works as Catterall's Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro, a five-volume digest of early American case law concerning slaves. More modern works on slavery can also be found in the "Articles" tab as well as the "UNC Press" tab, featuring more recent e-books from the University of North Carolina Press.

The collection may be browsed or searched. For example, researchers who wish to learn more about the 1831 Nat Turner rebellion in Virginia (the subject of the current Hollywood film The Birth of a Nation) might search across this library for "Nat Turner." Results will include a reprinted pamphlet, Confession of Nat Turner, Leader of the Negro Insurrection in Southampton County. Results also include several 19th and 20th-century treatises on the topic, such as William Sidney Drewry's The Southampton Insurrection (1900), a compilation of interviews with surviving eyewitnesses. (Nate Parker, the writer/director/star of the 2016 film, has cited Drewry's work as important source material.)

The new Hein library now appears in the Duke University Libraries' HeinOnline landing page. Library users may access this library from anywhere on Duke's campus; Duke University students, faculty, and staff may also access HeinOnline from off-campus with a NetID and password. However, readers who are unaffiliated with Duke, or unable to visit a subscribing library in person, may also register directly with HeinOnline for free access to the Slavery in America and the World library. As noted in its October 5 press release, "The crisis revolving around race relations in America and the recent events surrounding this crisis have made the Hein Company rethink the idea of financially profiting from the sale of a collection on slavery."

To locate additional works in the Goodson Law Library about slavery and the law, consult the Duke Libraries Catalog or Ask a Librarian.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Federal Rulemaking, In Case of Emergency

Over the last few weeks, you have probably heard about Samsung's Galaxy Note 7, which was recalled by its manufacturer after numerous reports of spontaneous battery fires. Last week, the company announced that it had ceased production of the Android phone, now under one of the largest recalls ever issued for consumer electronics. Late last week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced a ban of the devices on all U.S. flights, via an emergency order to be published in the Federal Register later this week.

The ban, officially known as Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order No. FAA-2016-9288, took effect at noon on Saturday. It now prohibits passengers and crew from carrying the banned Galaxy devices "on their person, in carry-on baggage, in checked baggage, or as cargo." Passengers caught carrying the device will be denied boarding of the aircraft. If a person accidentally does bring the Galaxy Note 7 on board, the device must be immediately powered off, with activation prevented for the remainder of the flight. Violators are subject to "civil penalties of up to $179,933 for each violation" and may be criminally prosecuted, as well. The order will remain in effect until the Secretary of Transportation "determines that an imminent hazard no longer exists or a change in applicable statute or federal regulation occurs that supersedes the requirements of this Order, in which case the Secretary will issue a Rescission Order."

This news serves as a reminder that not every federal agency rule is subject to the notice and comment (informal) rulemaking process outlined by the Administrative Procedure Act. Under the APA, proposed agency rules are published in the Federal Register with an opportunity for the public to submit comments on the proposal, and rules are eventually republished in final form along with a summary of the comments and any agency response. 5 U.S.C. § 553(B) provides that agencies may skip the more protracted public comment process "when the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest." The FAA's emergency order notes that federal statutes give the Secretary of Transportation jurisdiction to regulate transport of lithium ion batteries, and also allows for emergency restrictions when needed "to abate the imminent hazard."

On the Federal Register website, emergency notices like the FAA's Galaxy Note 7 ban appear on the online Public Inspection Desk as a "Special Filing." As a reminder, the Public Inspection Desk allows readers to preview recently-released administrative rules and other documents before they appear in the printed edition of the daily Federal Register. also allows users to search or browse issues of the Federal Register back to 1994.

Regulations.Gov is another important federal rulemaking bookmark, which provides access to proposed rules during their comment period, and allows users to submit or review comments to the agency. For more information about the federal rulemaking process, and options for researching pending or enacted federal regulations, check out the Goodson Law Library research guide to Federal Administrative Law or Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On the Ballot

For obvious reasons, interest in election law spikes every four years. But even in non-presidential election years, laws related to the electoral process have a huge impact on citizens. They dictate the boundaries of election districts (such as the North Carolina redistricting at issue in the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case, McCrory v. Harris) , create requirements for voter eligibility (such as North Carolina's controversial voter ID law, partially invalidated by the 4th Circuit in July; a deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant a petition for review, leaving the 4th Circuit precedent in place), and even determine the order in which candidates' names appear (such as the 2016 North Carolina legislative change, favoring the party of the current Governor).

Election laws are complex and vary widely by state. The National Survey of State Legislatures website offers a free roundup of Election Laws and Procedures, providing 50-state surveys on topics like voter ID requirements, registration rules, and maintenance of voter rolls. (For Law School community members, both Westlaw and Lexis Advance offer similar 50-state surveys on election law topics. On Westlaw, the SURVEYS database includes a Statutory Survey on Election Law; in Lexis Advance, follow the path Secondary Sources > LexisNexis® 50-State Surveys, Statutes & Regulations > Governments to view available election-related topics.)

For more information and the latest news about election law developments, check out Election Law Blog, Ballot Access News, and the CQ Voting and Elections Collection (available through Duke University). To locate books or other materials in the Goodson Law Library, try a search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject heading "Election Law -- United States" or Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

100 Years of First Monday

Still missing a ninth justice after the death of Antonin Scalia in February, the eight remaining members of the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments on Tuesday, October 4. But it is Monday, October 3, which marks the official beginning of the Court's October Term 2016 – for the last century, the "first Monday in October" has been the start date of the U.S. Supreme Court's annual term, thanks to Public Law No. 64-258.

The treatise Supreme Court Practice (10th ed. 2013), section 1.2(f) (KF9057 .S8 2013 & on Bloomberg Law) describes the long history behind the Supreme Court's now-famous start date:
In the First Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, Congress mandated that the Court hold two sessions a year, "the one commencing the first Monday of February, and the other the first Monday of August." The provision for two sessions was apparently inspired in large part by a desire to allow the Justices to perform their time-consuming circuit-riding functions in the temperate spring and autumn weather. Subsequent term changes were made as the Court's business increased and the circuit-riding duties began a slow decline. During the nineteenth century, Congress reduced the number of sessions to one, while changing the opening day first to the second Monday in January, then to the first Monday in December, and then to the second Monday in October. Finally, in 1916, Congress fixed the opening day as the "first Monday in October." And the "first Monday in October" has remained to this day as the opening session of the Court's annual term.
The 1916 law came just a few days too late to be applicable in October 1916; the statute passed on September 6 with an effective date of 30 days. So the Court commenced for one last time on the second Monday in October 1916. The first "First Monday" term took place in October 1917.

In The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (Ref KF8742.A35 O93 2005 & in Oxford Reference Online), Duke Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Law Peter G. Fish noted that the earliest First Mondays were typically ceremonial in nature, featuring new admissions to the Supreme Court Bar, tributes to deceased justices and court officers, and (until the start of World War II) "adjournment for a White House visit." Oral arguments did not occur on First Monday until 1964, and have been scheduled regularly since 1975. This year, though, the Court will begin with a non-argument day.

What's in store for the Court in this new term? SCOTUSblog is a helpful resource for keeping up with the latest petition grants, oral arguments, and (eventually) opinions. The American Bar Association Supreme Court Preview includes briefs and other materials from upcoming cases.

With Justice Scalia's seat still vacant, pending congressional action on the March nomination of Merrick Garland, the Court continues to face the possibility of a 4-4 tie in controversial cases. As the nation was reminded last spring, a 4-4 Supreme Court results in a per curiam opinion which upholds the lower court's ruling "by an equally divided Court." (For more on the subject, see a 2002 article from the William & Mary Law Review, "Ties in the Supreme Court of the United States.")

For more information about the history and operations of the nation's highest court, visit the Goodson Law Library research guide to the U.S. Supreme Court  or Ask a Librarian.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Constitution Day 2016

How well do you know the U.S. Constitution? Today is the official observance of Constitution Day, a national holiday commemorating the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787. If it's been a while since you last reviewed the Constitution's seven articles and 27 amendments, take a moment to re-read this founding document. Considering its monumental importance to the American government and its legal system, it is a surprisingly short and simple read.

You can pick up a pocket-sized Constitution at the Goodson Law Library service desk, courtesy of either LexisNexis or Westlaw. You can also print your own mini-Constitution from House Document 112-129 -- be sure to choose the "booklet" option when printing! Alternatively, the text of the Constitution is available online through the U.S. Senate, the National Archives, and at the start of every print or online version of the United States Code, as part of the "Organic Laws."

Think you know the Constitution pretty well? Test your mettle with the Constitution IQ Quiz, the ABA's 2015 Constitution trivia and the Washington Post's 2015 Constitution Day quiz.

To delve into more detailed constitutional history tidbits and trivia, search the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject heading "Constitutional history – United states." The Goodson Law Library owns more than 1000 titles with this subject heading, and more than 2400 with the subject "Constitutional law – United States." For help navigating our large constitutional law collection, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Directories of Governments and Non-Governmental Organizations

Pop quiz: which book in the library contains an organization chart for the U.S. Coast Guard, lists of current congressional committees and their membership, and contact information for the National Pasta Association? You'll probably never need all three of those things at once, but you should know that you can find them all in the Washington Information Directory, whose 2016-2017 edition has just landed in the Reference Collection on level 3.

Published since 1975, the Washington Information Directory compiles contact information and descriptive summaries about governmental and non-governmental organizations in and around the nation's capital. Organized by topics (such as Law and Justice) and subtopics (such as Criminal Law, or Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties), each subsection includes lists of government agencies and non-governmental organizations, along with a brief description of their missions and public contact information. The directory is an interesting way to discover relevant governmental, professional, and non-governmental organizations in a particular area of interest. The Goodson Law Library keeps only the current year of this directory, although historical editions are available elsewhere on campus.

Duke University provides access to other directories of government agencies and non-governmental organizations. For federal government agencies, some excellent sources to review are:
  • The United States Government Manual (Ref Docs. AE 2.108/2: or online)
  • Federal Regulatory Directory (Ref. JK610 .F29).
  • State governments often publish directories of their agencies and offices as well. Although not always the official title, these are often nicknamed "Blue Books" (not to be confused with the legal citation manual). The American Library Association's Government Documents Round Table has compiled a helpful list of State Government Blue Books and Encyclopedias, which can be invaluable sources of information about state government offices.

Another helpful source for locating contact information about organizations is the Leadership Library on the Internet, available to current members of the Duke University community with NetID and password. The online Leadership Library contains updated versions of the popular "Yellow Book" print directory series (e.g., Federal Yellow Book, Judicial Yellow Book). Leadership Library provides more detail about members of an organization than other general directories, including personal email addresses and direct telephone extensions.

For non-governmental organizations, another great starting place is the Encyclopedia of Associations, available online in the Gale Directory Library. This set is published in three volumes: National Organizations of the U.S., International Organizations, and Regional, State and Local Organizations. A search of all three for "pasta" would return the same National Pasta Association in the Washington Information Directory, as well as four additional organizations in the United Kingdom, Spain, and – where else? – Italy.

Need help finding information about a government agency or a non-governmental organization? Be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Finding Images Online

Need to punch up a presentation with some visual interest? Duke University's Visual Studies Librarian Lee Sorensen has created a new online portal to help you with Finding Images, along with tips for using them without running afoul of copyright laws.

The guide includes tips for locating images and maps online, such as through many of Duke's subscription databases like the AP Image Archive. Links also include copyright-free resources like Creative Commons images on the photo-sharing site Flickr or Google Advanced Image Search.

However, as the guide sagely notes, the copyright status of images found online is often unclear. Sorensen states two basic rules of image-finding on the Internet:
  1. Assume an image is copyrighted unless there is an explicit indication that it is copyright free.
  2. People and institutions frequently claim ownership to images they don’t own.
The Finding Images guide includes information about Copyright and Fair Use. Many educational uses of copyrighted material should fall under non-profit fair use, for which no additional permission is needed (although the guide notes best practices for citing even copyright-free images). For additional information about copyright clearance, or "permissions," to use images or other copyrighted material in commercial works, consult the Duke Libraries Catalog for works on copyright. Results will include Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off.

For help with either image searching or locating information about copyright law, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Research Guide to Business Associations

Confused by corporations law? Take some time to learn more about this essential law school subject. Business Associations courses are a foundation for many upper-level law school classes in corporate and financial law topics, and will also be tested on bar examinations (including the jurisdictions which have adopted the Uniform Bar Examination).

The amount of treatises and other research materials on business and corporate law topics can be overwhelming to a BA beginner. Fortunately, the Goodson Law Library is here to help. Reference Librarian Laura Scott has created a new research guide to Business Associations, now available on the library website. The new guide covers both primary law (statutes, regulations, company filings, and case law) and secondary sources. The guide details both print and electronic resources for business associations in general, as well as specific subtopics like corporate governance, Delaware law, and the roles and responsibilities of corporate officers and directors.

Of particular note are the guides to practice area resources within Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, Westlaw, and Intelliconnect. These online research services offer handy "practice center" landing pages which compile frequently-accessed resources on corporate law topics. While the available treatises, forms, and checklists will vary across services due to publisher copyright licensing, the dedicated practice area of your favorite research service can be a great starting place for your business-related research.

The new Business Associations guide is just one of many detailed research guides available from the Goodson Law Library. If your research topic isn't listed (such as a research guide to the law of a state outside of North Carolina), try a search of CALI's Law School custom search engine to locate research guides from other U.S. law school libraries, or Ask a Librarian to show you the way.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Lawyers at the Movies

Summer is traditionally Hollywood blockbuster season, and even the ABA Journal is getting in on the fun. This month's cover story includes a colorful round-up of The Six Types of Lawyer Movies, illustrated with "trading cards" for each category. The six types, and a famous example of each, include:
  1. The Crusading Lawyer (To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch)
  2. The Heroic Lawyer (Jimmy Stewart's character in Anatomy of a Murder)
  3. The Obtuse Lawyer (John Travolta's character in A Civil Action)
  4. The Disillusioned Lawyer (George Clooney as the titular Michael Clayton)
  5. The Vengeful Lawyer (the legal team in Runaway Jury)
  6. Buffoons in Law (Vinny Gambino in My Cousin Vinny)
The online version of the story also includes a quiz to determine Which Movie Lawyer are You? You'll need to answer a few questions to ID your Hollywood alter ego; the results also list a few other recommended movie titles in your genre.

While the Goodson Law Library doesn't own every film title which is mentioned in the article, the Legal DVDs collection on level 3 includes a sizeable majority. DVDs in this collection of law-related films and television series may be borrowed for a 3-day loan by bringing the empty case to the Circulation/Reserve desk. View a list of Legal DVD titles from newest to oldest or by Most Popular. You can also search for particular film titles in the Duke Libraries Catalog. (Are we missing a favorite legal movie? Let us know in the online Suggestion Box.) For help with locating a legal DVD, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Constitution in Your Pocket

At last week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the United States Constitution made an unexpected guest appearance. Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who was killed in Iraq, appeared on stage after a moving video tribute to their late son. In remarks that followed, Mr. Khan, an immigration lawyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his proposed immigration ban on Muslims. Khan noted that not only would a religious bar to immigration be fundamentally unconstitutional, it would have also prevented the Khans' son from coming to America at age 2, later joining the U.S. Army, and ultimately sacrificing his life to save his fellow soldiers from a car bomber in 2004. Captain Humayun Khan was one of 14 American Muslim members of the armed forces who have died in service to their country since September 11, 2001.

In a particularly emotional moment, Mr. Khan asked Donald Trump, "Have you even read the United States Constitution?" He then pulled a pocket-sized copy from his suit jacket and held it up to the crowd, adding, "I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words 'liberty' and 'equal protection of law.'"

The speech resonated with viewers, and propelled one version of a pocket Constitution to be the number 2 bestseller on Amazon this weekend, behind only the new Harry Potter book. Did Mr. Khan inspire you to carry a copy in your pocket or glove compartment?
  • Visitors to the Goodson Law Library already know that free pocket constitutions are available at our service desk, courtesy of Lexis and Westlaw.
  • If you can't make it to the Goodson Law Library in person, the American Civil Liberties Union is offering free copies of its own pocket Constitution from now until Election Day with the coupon code POCKETRIGHTS. (Response has been so overwhelming that the ACLU copies are on backorder.)
  • Other political organizations sell their own pocket Constitutions, such as the Cato Institute's for $4.95.
  • If you'd prefer a version of the Constitution with no corporate or political branding, the U.S. Government Publishing Office sells copies of a pocket Constitution (including the Declaration of Independence) for $1.50 at its bookstore.
To learn more about the United States Constitution, search the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject heading "Constitutional law – United States" and "United States. Constitution". For help navigating our large constitutional law collection, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Copycatwalks: Fashion & The Law

Earlier this week, Los Angeles-based artist Tuesday Bassen accused international clothing retailer Zara of stealing several of her designs for its clothing and jewelry. Her Instagram post featured side-by-side comparisons of Bassen's art next to Zara's designs, which incorporated suspiciously similar elements. Bassen was incensed by the company's response, which denied any legal wrongdoing and insinuated that Bassen is not well-known enough for the public to confuse Zara's designs for hers. In a follow-up social media post, Bassen noted that she had retained "an aggressive lawyer" and is pursuing litigation.

In fashion, runway "knockoffs" are nothing new – many clothing companies produce low-cost variations on high-end designer duds, usually taking sufficient steps to change the design enough to avoid legal problems. But lesser-known clothing designers and independent artists sometimes find their work emblazoned on an international retailer's latest designs without attribution or payment. As Zara's response indicates, it can be difficult and expensive for unknown designers to fight back against multinational corporations, particularly with no guarantee of success. Bassen lamented on her Instagram post about Zara's dismissive reply that "[just] to have a lawyer get this LETTER has cost me $2k so far."

But litigation is frequent, particularly against repeat offenders like Zara, which the Guardian noted has been the target of similar accusations in the past. (Adam J. Kurtz, another artist who has complained that Zara appropriated his designs, created the website Shop the Stolen Art, which provides links to buy the original designs directly from the affected independent artists.) Forever 21 is another retailer which often comes under fire for appropriating work by other designers and independent artists. Late last year, artist Sam Larson accused the chain of copying his artwork for a very similar t-shirt design; press coverage noted how frequently that chain, too, has been accused of fashion plagiarism.

Fashion law is a fascinating topic of legal research, which includes a number of intellectual property and other issues. For background information, try a search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for the phrase "fashion law" to see available titles, like 2013's The Little Book of Fashion Law or 2014's Fashion Law: A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives, and Attorneys. Although more general in their coverage, many intellectual property treatises also include some discussion of fashion design; consult our research guide to Intellectual Property for additional resources.

There are also a number of excellent and up-to-date blogs dedicated to fashion law. The Fashion Law was created by Julie Zerbo, who also co-authored a chapter in Fashion Law: A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives, and Attorneys. Sheppard Mullin maintains The Fashion & Apparel Law Blog. Arent Fox also maintains Fashion Counsel. All three blogs provide regular updates on recent litigation and fashion law news.

For help locating these or other fashion law resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pokemon Court?

Are you one of the millions of users who downloaded the Pokémon GO app in its first week of release? Or have you spent the last few days confused by your friends' sudden stream of social media references to "PokéStops," "Poké Balls," and "Pidgeys"? For the uninitiated, Pokémon GO is an augmented-reality game, available in the US on iPhone or Android mobile devices, which encourages players to head outdoors in search of computer-generated creatures which pop up on your screen. Users catch the Pokémon by throwing a virtual ball, then engage in competitive battles with other users' Pokémon.

The game was an instant cultural phenomenon, capitalizing on nostalgia for the Pokémon cartoons of the early 2000s and the prevalence of smartphones. Almost immediately, users began to flood public spaces which have been designated as Pokémon "Gyms" (including many churches, parks, and even the White House). Despite safety warnings from municipal police departments and gamemakers, users began to drive around in search of Pokémon (hopefully as passengers). Some enterprising armed robbers used the game's location data to rob victims before being caught by police. A Wyoming teenager even discovered a dead body while collecting creatures near a river.

Many commentators began to remark on potential legal issues related to the game: negligence of players, including those behind the wheel of a car; concerns about game-players innocently engaging in what looks like "suspicious activity" to police; and questions about the collection of data by the game creators and its potential value as a target for hackers. The University of Pittsburgh's Barco Law Library blog highlights today's ABA Journal article on these and other legal issues related to Pokémon GO and other virtual reality games. Certainly, more potential issues, and potential law school exam hypotheticals, will develop as the game continues to grow in popularity.

By the way -- this adorable creature was captured yesterday on Duke Law's official Instagram.

A photo posted by Duke Law (@dukelaw) on

We're not sure how many Pokémon might be lurking in the Goodson Law Library, but we hope our users will watch their step when walking in augmented reality!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

In Praise of Microform

During library tours for new law students, there is usually a brief stop in the Microforms Room on level 1. It's not the most attractive space in the library, with its rows of metal cabinets, but it's a good place to pause the tour for some quick commentary before moving into the more-populated quiet study areas of level 1. Tour leaders sometimes ask if any students have ever used microfilm (reels) or its flat cousin, microfiche (cards) in the past. Usually, only one or two hands are raised in response.

Could you get through three years of law school without ever using microforms? Probably, since so many collections which are commonly found on microformats have been digitized, or have moved to entirely electronic publication formats. Your risk factor increases, though, with membership on a student-edited journal, work as a faculty research assistant, or in-depth research on a historical topic. Some individual journal titles, record and brief collections from certain time periods, and other valuable pieces of research interest remain available only in space-saving microformats.

Earlier this summer, the library's Microforms Room reader/printer machine stopped working after many years of service. A new ScanPro scanner has been installed in the Microforms Room to allow users to read, save digital copies, and/or print from our microfilm and microfiche collections. For assistance with using the new scanner, please see the library service desk staff on level 3.

Want to know more about microformats? Last month, Atlas Obscura published "The Strange History of Microfilm, Which Will Be With Us for Centuries." The fascinating (and illustrated) story traces microfilm's invention in the 19th century to its wide adoption as a preservation option in the 1930s, to its various pros and cons. Those cons, including clunky reading machinery and low-quality source material, have led to some prominent detractors of the format. In 2001, novelist Nicholson Baker published Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, an impassioned critique of libraries' destruction of historical newspapers and books in favor of microformat, which Baker finds to be an inferior substitute.

But microfilm and microfiche are (by design) here to stay, and you may encounter references to "[Microform]" or "[microfiche serial]" in the Duke Libraries Catalog. For help determining whether a particular microform title has been digitized or if you too need to join the ranks of the microform users, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit, Stage Right

Yesterday, voters in the United Kingdom narrowly opted to leave the European Union, an unprecedented political move which set world markets on edge and prompted the immediate resignation announcement of Prime Minister David Cameron, who will step down in the fall. The contentious "Brexit" referendum's vote was split 51.9% to 48.1% across the UK, with a record-high 71.8% turnout. The BBC's information page contains interactive maps and breakdowns by geography and age groups.

What happens now? At the moment, the referendum results are not legally binding until the UK invokes Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. As Time notes, the UK Parliament could nullify the referendum if asked, although Cameron has stated that the choice of the voters will be honored. Because citizens of Scotland voted largely in favor of remaining, there is also a possibility that the Scottish independence movement will be revived in an effort to keep Scotland in the EU.

It's estimated that negotiations for the UK's withdrawal from the EU could take nearly two years to complete. NBC News has outlined many of the key steps. EU leaders are expected to work quickly to prevent other potential withdrawal actions, and to determine next steps with the United Kingdom's exit.

The Goodson Law Library has just received a timely new title, Britain Alone! The Implications and Consequences of United Kingdom Exit from the E.U., which explores many of the ramifications related to a withdrawal.

For more information about European Union membership and withdrawal procedures, try a search of the Duke University Libraries catalog for European Union – membership, consult the European Union research guide, or Ask a Librarian.

Monday, June 13, 2016

ICLR Online for UK Legal Research

For more than a century, law students around the world have learned about the Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, a British corporation which advertised its nasal spray as a surefire preventive measure against influenza. The makers of Carbolic Smoke Ball even advertised a £100 reward (approximately $10,000 in today's dollars) to consumers who used it as directed but contracted the flu. When one disappointed user, Louisa Elizabeth Carlill, became ill, she attempted to claim the reward, with assistance from her solicitor husband. In response, the company first accused her of using the product incorrectly, then denied that their advertised reward constituted a "contract" with the user. Mrs. Carlill prevailed at both trial and appeal, and the rest is contract law history.

Carbolic Smoke Ball advertisement, circa 1892.

Outside of contract law casebooks, where can you read the full text of Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co., [1893] 1 QB 256? As it turns out, the list of answers is in the process of shrinking. The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales (ICLR) is beginning to remove its official case law publications from international licensees. By January 2017, its Law Reports and Weekly Law Reports will disappear from Westlaw (UK case law reports were removed from Lexis in October 2015). Its own ICLR Online database will be the main subscription-based source for UK case law.

In preparation for the removal of UK materials from Westlaw, the Goodson Law Library has recently subscribed to ICLR Online. This database includes case law from the Superior and Appellate Courts in England and Wales, as well as case summaries, a citator service, access to legislation, and individual profiles in order to manage complex research. Members of the Duke University community may access ICLR Online remotely with a NetID and password; visitors may also use the database on-site at any of the campus libraries.

Keep in mind that other options for UK case law research still exist – most notably BAILII, a free source for British and Irish legal material which includes HTML and PDF versions of UK case law, including Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. (PDF). Individual courts, such as the UK Supreme Court, also include direct access to decisions and judgments, although generally only back to the early 2000s.

The Goodson Law Library's research guide to English Law will soon be updated to reflect this new database, as well as the removal of UK case law from Lexis Advance and the future removal from Westlaw. In the meantime, ICLR Online can be accessed via the Legal Databases & Links page or the online catalog. For help with accessing British legal materials, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Judges' Working Papers: Research Behind the Closed Door

In this guest post, Reference Librarian and Senior Lecturing Fellow Marguerite Most explores a new option for researching judges' working papers, and discusses the legal issues surrounding personal archives.

Judicial working papers are materials written as a case is decided and may include internal draft memos, conference notes and correspondence, and vote sheets. The official record in a case could include briefs, motions, transcripts of hearings, and the final opinion in a case. The Presidential Records Act of 1978 shifted presidential records from private to public ownership. However, chamber papers and other records of federal judges are considered the personal property of the judge who created them, and have never been subject to a defined policy of collection and preservation, unlike official court records.

In 1964, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter announced his intent to law professor Alexander M. Bickel that "all my private papers pertaining to my work as an Associate Justice are eventually to go into your keeping for ultimate permanent deposit in the Harvard Law School." Frankfurter's papers became the nucleus of the Harvard Law School Library's Modern Manuscripts Collection and more recently, the nucleus of ProQuest's "Law and Society since the Civil War: American Legal Manuscripts from the Harvard Law School Library" module in the ProQuest History Vault database. Goodson Law Library recently added the "Law and Society" module to the campus-wide History Vault database, which is available to the Duke University community with a NetID and password. The collection includes working papers and other primary materials of three U.S. Supreme Court justices: Felix Frankfurter, Louis Brandeis, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., as well as selected papers of other federal judges and law professors associated with Harvard Law School.

The Frankfurter collection covers the Court's terms from 1938 through 1961; the Brandeis collection includes papers from 1916 until his retirement in 1939; and the Holmes collection, which dates from 1861-1935, includes a few court papers and many more personal papers: letters and diaries Holmes wrote during the Civil War, his friendships, and his intellectual life. Other collections in the "Law and Society" module include papers of William Henry Hastie, Jr., the first African-American to serve as Governor of the United States Virgin Island and a federal appellate judge on the Third Circuit, as well as a collection of his papers concerned with civil rights, racial discrimination and segregation; and papers of Albert Levitt, a long-time law professor at Washington and Lee and a US District Court judge

The History Vault database allows searching across modules for multiple perspectives on a subject. For example, a researcher can search the papers of Judge Hastie in the "Law and Society" module for his correspondence on civil rights and school integration, and simultaneously search the "Federal Government: Records of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division" module for the files of assistant attorney general W. Wilson White for his reports on desegregation.

"The Great Paper Caper," a 2014 article in The New Yorker, recalls the discovery in 1972 of the theft of working papers of Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter from the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, "including Frankfurter's correspondence with Lyndon B. Johnson, Charles Evans Hughes, McGeorge Bundy, and Hugo Black, and seven years' worth of Frankfurter's diaries." The case was never solved. The article addresses why working papers are still considered proprietary and some of the in-court squabbles by some past and present members to keep them that way.

Because judicial ownership of working papers is private, judges decide what happens to their papers: What is available? When it is available? Available to whom? The answers vary considerably and have resulted in tremendous inconsistency. Some justices have donated their papers to several entities. Although some of Justice Brandeis' papers at Harvard are included in the "Law and Society" module, Brandeis also donated papers to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in Louisville, Kentucky, and several other repositories.

Donors can and do restrict access for specified lengths of time. The papers of Justice Warren Burger at the College of William & Mary are closed to researchers until 2026. The papers of Justice David H. Souter, which he donated to the New Hampshire Historical Society, are closed for 50 years. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's papers at the Library of Congress are to open upon her death, but individual case files will remain closed "during the service of any justice who participated in the case." Justice Thurgood Marshall provided for public access two years after he donated his collection to the Library of Congress.

The papers of many Supreme Court justices and some federal judges at the appellate and district court levels can be found in repositories including the Library of Congress, academic libraries and historical associations nationwide. (For example, the Goodson Law Library collection includes a multi-volume print set The Papers of John Marshall, which collects his correspondence, papers and legal documents. An author search for a judge's name will identify other paper sets in our collection.) Some papers have disappeared over the years, some have been deliberately destroyed, and some may be stored in a relative's attic and yet to be discovered. Not many have been digitized. Examining judicial working papers can mean a visit to the holding archive or library and a search through file boxes, sometimes with the help of a finding aid, other times slowly one piece at a time.

Researchers interested in studying a judge's working papers often must begin by identify holding archives and libraries. The Federal Judicial Center Directory of Manuscript Collections Related to Federal Judges, 1789-1997 lists archival materials in court historical societies and repositories, as well as the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Manuscript Division of Library of Congress. Repositories singled out as holding extensive collections include Harvard Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law and Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas. The Center's Biographical Directory of Federal Judges updates the earlier directory as well as providing brief biographical information about sitting, retired and deceased federal judges. For example, a search of the Judicial Center's directory identifies Harvard Law Library as the major repository for the papers of Henry Jacob Friendly, Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge from 1959 – 1986. The current directory also links to collections researchers might otherwise fail to consider. For example, Samuel J. Ervin, III was a North Carolina senator known for his role as chair of the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities in the Watergate scandal. Ervin was later appointed to the Fourth Circuit. A 1993 "Interview with Sam J. Ervin III" is available in the Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina.

Presidential Libraries can be another source of materials related to judges appointed by the President. Some collections can be identified by searching records in other divisions of the government – records of the Department of State contain materials related to the appointment and service of judges from 1789-1888; records of the Department of Justice include materials related to judicial appointments. Accessing the Papers of Supreme Court Justices: Online & Other Resources, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 22, 2013) is a post by Ronald Collins in which he identified online papers of these Supreme Court Justices: Harry Blackmun, Warren Burger, Tom Clark, John Jay, Lewis Powell, Joseph Story and Earl Warren; online finding aids to printed materials in many other collections; and some collections with no online access. Collins also cited several articles and books in which the work of the Court is discussed, including The Supreme Court in Conference (1940-1985): The Private Discussions Behind Nearly 300 Supreme Court Decisions. Del Dickson, the editor of The Supreme Court in Conference, combed through handwritten conference notes from working papers of eight justices and in some instances referred to multiple sources for the cases in his book. Dickson aimed not only to explore inside the Court, but also to combine what he found in these justices' notes with the historical setting in which the cases were decided.

For anyone not sure what to do about the boxes of Great-Aunt Mildred's judicial working papers stored in the attic, the Federal Judicial Center provides a "Guide to Preservation of Judges' Papers." If you are interested in how conservators care for their collections, a recent post on the Law Library of Congress blog In Custodia Legis includes photographs of the repair of a manuscript of handwritten notes by signer of the Declaration of Independence and Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase.
For Further Reading
--Marguerite Most, Reference Librarian and Senior Lecturing Fellow

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Field Guide to Hater Judges

Over the holiday weekend, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spent 12 minutes of an hour-long speech in San Diego criticizing a sitting federal judge. Gonzalo Curiel (biography) of the Southern District of California is presiding over a fraud lawsuit against the candidate's now-defunct Trump University, filed in 2010 and scheduled for trial in late November. The Wall Street Journal published excerpts of Trump's speech, which is also available at C-SPAN in video and full transcript:
"I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He's a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel […] He is not doing the right thing. [...] The judge was appointed by Barack Obama, federal judge. Frankly, he should recuse himself because he's given us ruling after ruling after ruling, negative, negative, negative. […] I'm telling you, this court system, judges in this court system, federal court, they ought to look into Judge Curiel. Because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace, OK?"
Trump also remarked upon Curiel's ethnicity: "the judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that's fine." In his appearance on a Sunday news program, he unpacked that comment further, connecting Curiel's alleged distaste for Trump to the candidate's campaign pledges about border security and immigration: "I think it has to do with perhaps the fact that I'm very, very strong on the border […] Now he is Hispanic, I believe. He is a very hostile judge to me."

Hours later, Judge Curiel issued an order to unseal selected exhibits in the Trump University suit, including Trump University "playbooks" which the defendants claimed contain trade secrets. The order noted that Donald Trump "has placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue," referencing several published interviews. (A staff member at the court told the Wall Street Journal that the judge could not respond directly to the speech's allegations, citing the Judicial Code of Conduct.)

Should Trump's legal team wish to file a bias complaint against Curiel, they might have a tough road ahead. Judicial discipline at the federal level is outlined in the U.S. Code and complaints are handled at the level of the appropriate U.S. Court of Appeals. (For more details, see the 2011 Congressional Research Service report Judicial Discipline Process: An Overview.) The Ninth Circuit, which includes California federal courts, offers an information page for judicial misconduct, but notes that "Congress has created a procedure that permits any person to file a complaint in the courts about the behavior of federal judges—but not about the decisions federal judges make in deciding cases. […] Almost all complaints in recent years have been dismissed because they do not follow the law about such complaints."

Trump's allegations of bias seem out of step with Curiel's evaluations in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary (AFJ) (Duke NetID required for link), a long-running directory of sitting federal judges which includes comments from lawyers who have appeared before that judge. The anonymous comments in AFJ can occasionally be blistering, but Curiel garnered praise across the board for his fairness ("he listens to both sides and tries to judge fairly"), his courteous courtroom demeanor ("I have nothing negative to say about him"), and his lack of apparent leanings ("He's not naturally inclined towards plaintiffs but he doesn't have leanings"). Members of the Duke University community may access the AFJ in Intelliconnect; current Law School community members can also access AFJ within Westlaw.

To locate other sources of information about judges, check out the Goodson Law Library Directories of Courts & Judges research guide. To track the Low v. Trump University lawsuit developments, try the research guide to Court Records & Briefs. For other legal research questions, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Oh Yay: Oyez Stays!

Earlier this spring, it seemed like last call for Oyez (pronounced oh-yay), the repository of U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcripts and audio recordings, currently hosted by the Chicago-Kent School of Law. As creator Jerry Goldman neared retirement after a long career as a law professor, he announced that the site would be shuttered at the end of this month unless a buyer was willing to commit to both the six-figure annual operating costs and a buyout for Goldman's two decades of helming the site.

Fortunately for Supreme Court researchers, Oyez has just announced its new home, at Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute. As reported late yesterday in the National Law Journal and on Bob Ambrogi's Law Sites, the shift to Oyez's new host is expected to be in place by the beginning of the Court's next October term. Free Law partner website Justia will provide additional support.

Since its debut in 1996, Oyez has grown to a massive archive of U.S. Supreme Court case information and audio recordings. Audio is available back to 1955, and selected case summaries back to 1793. Audio recordings breathe new life into landmark Supreme Court cases, such as the emotional appeal during oral argument for 1967's Loving v. Virginia, after which the Court unanimously struck down anti-miscegenation laws: "No matter how we articulate this, no matter which theory of the due process clause or which emphasis we attach to, no one can articulate it better than Richard Loving when he said to me, 'Mr. Cohen, tell the Court I love my wife and it is just unfair that I can't live with her in Virginia.'"

Additional research resources for accessing U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcripts, opinions, and case summaries are listed in the Goodson Law Library research guide. These include SCOTUSblog, with case materials back to 2007, and the American Bar Association Supreme Court Preview, which archives merits and amicus briefs back to 2003. For help locating other U.S. Supreme Court materials, be sure to Ask a Librarian.