Tuesday, February 28, 2017

International Encyclopaedia of Laws Online

Need a quick overview of a country's law and practice on a particular topic? We've previously written about the helpfulness of Foreign Law Guide and GlobaLex as starting places to locate legal information from non-U.S. countries. A secondary source set which is frequently cited in those resources is the International Encyclopaedia of Laws (IEL).

IEL volumes are published for 25 topics, including Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Intellectual Property, Commercial and Economic Law, Sports Law, Competition (antitrust), and Environmental Law. Formerly available at Duke as looseleaf print publications (which are no longer updated at the Goodson Law Library), the series is maintained electronically for the Duke community and on-site visitors via the International Encyclopaedia of Laws database. (Individual IEL titles will also be directly linked in the Duke Libraries Catalog with a keyword search for the appropriate topic. For example, a catalog search for international environmental law will return a result for the IEL Environmental Law volume.)

All IEL volumes and chapters are edited by experts in the field. Most topics begin with an introductory overview of the topic, before presenting "National Monographs" featuring a country-by-country analysis of that subject. (Some, like Environmental Law, also include regional or intergovernmental chapters, such as on European aspect of the topic.) Individual IEL volumes vary widely in the number of countries included, but even the smaller titles can be a helpful source for information in English about a particular country's current laws. National Monographs often include translations of statutes as well as references to relevant case law. The online volumes are divided into easily-downloadable individual PDFs.

When you see references to IEL volumes in Foreign Law Guide or the Duke Libraries Catalog, give IEL online a try! For help with foreign law research, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Legal Research At Sea

Many law students will never take a class on admiralty and maritime law, but it is a complex and specialized area of law which presents some research challenges. Not to be confused with law of the sea (focused on broader public international law issues), admiralty and maritime law focuses on commercial activity or navigation at sea. Developed not from the common-law tradition but from historical customs related to shipping, admiralty and maritime law has a long history, a unique terminology, and many dedicated resources. Fortunately, there are several research guides to help you navigate these unfamiliar waters.

The brand-new Admiralty and Maritime Law: A Legal Research Guide (KF1096 .T63 2017) will point readers to relevant primary and secondary resources. Additional help can be found in Chapter 7 of Specialized Legal Research, 2d ed. 2014 (Ref Desk KF240 .S642), which is devoted to Admiralty and Maritime Law resources.

Key secondary sources which are available to the Duke Law community include:
  • Benedict on Admiralty (online in Lexis Advance; library's print copy no longer updated): a leading multi-volume treatise on all aspects of admiralty and maritime law. Volume 10 is dedicated to legal issues related to cruise ships, including injuries to passengers, gaming regulations, and at-sea medical malpractice claims.
  • The Law of Seamen (5th ed., online in Westlaw): focuses more on the maritime law rights of merchant seamen, including labor and employment concerns, criminal procedure, determination of a ship's seaworthiness, and even "Loss of clothing and personal effects."

Admiralty and maritime content can also be found in chapters of the American Jurisprudence 2d encyclopedia (on Westlaw, Lexis, and campus-wide in LexisNexis Academic, and in the federal practice treatises Moore's Federal Practice (Practice & Procedure KF8840 .M663 & online in Lexis Advance) and Wright & Miller's Federal Practice and Procedure (Practice & Procedure KF9619 .W7 2008 4th & online in Westlaw).

For more help with locating admiralty and maritime law resources, search the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject heading "Maritime law - - United States" or Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

All About Clerkships

Working toward a judicial clerkship opportunity, or just want to learn more about the possibilities? The Goodson Law Library has just received the new title Behind the Bench: The Guide to Judicial Clerkships, 2d ed. 2016. Author Debra M. Strauss, a lawyer and former judicial clerk, outlines the types of work that clerks will do, and provides advice on the application and interviewing process. Chapters describe the different types of clerkships in both state and federal court systems, and give tips for choosing the court and judge that will suit you best. Interview advice, and sample questions, are also included.

There's also a chapter of research tools for learning more about an individual judge. Additional resources on judge analytics can be found in the recent Goodson Blogson post Judge for Yourself. For more information about researching clerkship opportunities or individual judges, check out the library's research guide to Directories of Courts and Judges or Ask a Librarian.