Friday, December 28, 2018

Shutdown Showdown

One week into the U.S. federal government shutdown, federal workers have begun receiving their final paychecks from the period before the December 22 lapse in appropriations. Yesterday, Congress adjourned without much progress on a new spending agreement, and will reconvene on Monday, December 31. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are either furloughed or working without pay for the duration of the shutdown, and many federal parks and other tourist attractions are closed until the shutdown ends.

The Northwestern University Libraries' research guide to Government Shutdown 2.0 outlines the agencies that will continue working without pay (including the TSA and the Department of Justice's Special Counsel office), agencies that will reduce or cease operations during the shutdown (including the Internal Revenue Service and NASA). Individual federal agency websites generally display a banner for the duration of a shutdown, explaining what services continue to function and whether websites are being updated during the shutdown period.

The Congressional Research Service report Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects outlines the effect of a shutdown on government operations, describes the employee furlough process and procedures for awarding back pay, and provides historical background on prior government shutdowns. For more news and analysis of the government shutdown and progress toward a solution, check out ProQuest Central for full-text access to major newspapers like the Washington Post and The New York Times. For other resources on government appropriations and congressional news, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Tax Analysts Database Now Available

The Goodson Law Library recently subscribed to the Federal Portfolio of Tax Analysts, a leading source for tax-related news and commentary. Current members of the Duke University community may register a username and password with their email address to obtain access.

Available publications include Tax Notes, Tax Notes Today, FATCA Expert, Exempt Organizations Expert, and Tax Practice Expert. Duke's subscription also includes access to the Federal Research Library tool, containing IRS documents, regulations and legislation. For quick access to research materials, use the Key Documents menu at the top of the screen. The Tax Topics menu allows quick access to stories on a particular subject.

Tax Analyst publications were previously available to the Law community in Lexis Advance and the campus community in Nexis Uni. Although these publications are currently still available full-text within Lexis research platforms, Tax Analyst titles will be removed from Lexis products after December 31, 2018. The Tax Analysts platform includes full text stories for available publications, as well as an option to download page-image PDF copies of the Tax Notes magazine.

Tax Analysts is just the latest addition to many electronic and print resources in the library's collection that will aid researchers in this complex area of law. To learn more, check out the library's research guide to Federal Tax or Ask a Librarian.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Exam Season Success

'Tis the season to succeed on Law School exams! Check out these tips to make your examination period run smoothly.
Library Access
Exam time brings a temporary change to the library's access policy, most notably in the evening hours. From now until the end of exams (Monday, December 17), access to the Goodson Law Library for study purposes will be limited to current Duke Law students, faculty and staff. Card-swipe access to the library entrance will be required after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.

Members of the Duke University community or general public who require access to the library for legal research purposes should contact the library service desk for assistance during reference service hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). Additional study space is available to all throughout the building, such as in the Star Commons.
The Technicalities
If you will use your laptop to take an exam, make sure you have installed Electronic Bluebook (EBB) well ahead of time, and practice using it to ensure that your test goes smoothly! Detailed instructions are available on the Academic Technologies' Software page. If you encounter problems while downloading the software, talk to the Academic Technologies' Help Desk staff.
Study Aids
The library's Reserve collection contains many current study aids, including selected subjects in the Examples and Explanations, Questions and Answers, Nutshell, Glannon Guides, Understanding, and Mastering series. For more information on available study aids, see the Law School Success guide.

What else can you find on reserve that might come in handy for exams? There are also limited quantities of calculators on reserve for four-hour loans, in addition to noise-canceling headphones and bookstands.
Old Exams or Sample Exams
A frequent question at the Reference Services desk during the reading and exam period is where to obtain copies of Law School exams from previous years. Past exams from your professors, when available, will be posted to your class's Sakai site. The library's Archives collection contains no Law School exams dated after 2001.

However, if your professors have chosen not to place past exams on Sakai, it may be helpful to review general law examination preparation guidebooks. These provide an overview of the most common formats for law school exams, and give strategies for studying and for writing successful answers. Often, these books also provide model exam questions and sample answers, along with explanations why a particular answer is more successful than others. Titles like Law School Exams in a Nutshell: A Guide to Studying Law and Taking Law School Exams can be found in the libraries' catalog with a subject search for "Law examinations—United States". A selected listing is provided in the "Exam Preparation" section of the library's Law School Success handout, along with a helpful page of recommended "Study Guides & Aids."
Anything Else?
As always, the library staff are here to help. Visit the Service Desk on level 3 with any questions. Good luck on your exams!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A New Context for Legal Analytics

Today, Lexis Advance launched its new Context product for legal analytics, currently featuring analysis for judges and expert witnesses. Lexis users at Duke Law can access this new tool from the grid in the top left corner of any Lexis Advance screen. (Be sure to choose "Context" and not "Litigation Profile Suite" – although the latter tool also includes profiles of judges and expert witnesses, these are separate products and do not appear to cross-link.) [Update: currently, Context access is available only to Law School faculty; student accounts will see the new product on January 2.]

If the Context report interface looks a bit familiar, you may have seen a similar version for judges on Ravel Law, the legal research start-up which Lexis acquired last year. Profiles for Judges include biographical information as well as "Analysis" data about motion outcomes, most-cited opinions and judges, and even the specific passages upon which the judge relies most heavily.

The Expert Witness portion of Context was not a feature previously offered in Ravel. Reports include biographical background as well as data on type of parties represented, amount of cases per year, and a "scorecard" for Daubert challenges. Currently available for federal courts, an expansion to state court expert witness data is planned for next year.

For more information on Context's release, and its availability for law firm customers, check out Bob Ambrogi's LawSites blog post. For help with using Lexis Advance or other legal analytics tools, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Legal Holiday Gift Guide

It's that time of year again! Since 2009, the Goodson Blogson has compiled a list of holiday gift suggestions for lawyers, law students, and anyone else with an interest in legal themes. (See past gift idea lists here.). The Goodson Blogson does not receive these items for review, or any payment for listing items in the annual gift guide.

Is your legally-minded loved one always on the go? Some travel-related gift ideas to consider include the Trtl Travel Pillow, a wrap-around scarf with built-in neck support designed to let wearers sleep comfortably on planes, trains, or anywhere else. After one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time, Baubax has just released version 2.0 of its popular travel jackets, which feature numerous hidden pockets and built-in features like an eye mask, corded eyeglass cleaning cloth, and a telescopic pen/stylus. Earlier this year, CNet reviewed The Best Travel Gadgets and Gear, offering practical suggestions for international outlet adapters, power banks, and headphones designed to make travel easier.

Gift box subscription services continue their explosive growth of the last five years, and can be a nice way to extend a gift well beyond a single holiday. We've previously written about Try the World's subscription service for international gourmet foods and snacks, but these days it seems like there is a gift box service for almost any interest. Some additional gift subscription services to consider include a membership to Flaviar's mail-order whiskey-tasting club, Birchbox for beauty products, and Craft Coffee samplers.

Any "Notorious RBG" fans on your gift list? Besides a DVD or Blu-Ray copy of the summer’s breakout documentary hit RBG, you might also consider a gift inspired by one of the film's most memorable sequences: octogenarian U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg working out with her longtime personal trainer, Bryant Johnson. Johnson has authored the 2017 book The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong...and You Can Too! (which you can review for yourself on level 1 of the library), and also sells replicas of the justice's "Super Diva!" workout sweatshirt, with proceeds from certain styles benefiting a cancer charity.

For someone who's never caught without a notebook to jot down ideas, try one of the lovely leather etched map notebooks from The Grommet, with maps available for nearly two dozen U.S. cities or three international cities. For a variation on this theme at a lower price point, Kaufmann Mercantile offers simple leather notebooks in two sizes and five colors. If your recipient isn't a fan of animal products, attractive personalized "vegan leather" journals are also available on Etsy.

For the foodie and/or entertainer on your list, Grant Achatz of Chicago's acclaimed Alinea restaurant has just released The Aviary Cocktail Book, available in both an $85 hardcover and a $135 boxed "reserve edition." Cocktail enthusiasts may also enjoy a sampling of Raleigh's own Crude Bitters, available in a small set of 6 or large set of 4. Another thoughtful gift for the entertainer are drink chillers that won't water down beverages: there are a number of varieties out there, but Uncommon Goods's On The Rocks Set is both affordable and stylish.

Finally, an annual reminder to also consider your locally-owned businesses, in addition to the online shopping options listed here. Saturday, November 24 is Small Business Saturday, an alternative to Black Friday online deals that supports your area merchants. We hope that you (and the lawyers and law students on your gift list) have a very happy holiday season!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

All About Faculty Authors

Last week, Duke Today published the fall installment of its Guide to Duke Author Books Series. The roundup of recent faculty book publications features several new titles by Duke Law faculty, including:
  • Joseph Blocher and Darrell A.H. Miller: The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller (watch video introduction)
  • Allen Buchanan: Institutionalizing the Just War
  • Charles T. Clotfelter: Big-Time Sports in American Universities, 2d ed.
  • Brandon L. Garrett, co-author: The Death Penalty
  • Laurence R. Helfer, co-editor: International Court Authority
  • Jack Knight, editor: Immigration, Emigration, and Migration

The Goodson Law Library has print or online access to these and hundreds of other publications by Duke Law faculty. The display case at the library entrance features book publications and article offprints from roughly the last two years; additional print copies of faculty books can be found in the library stacks. To locate call numbers and availability, search the Duke Libraries Catalog for authors or titles. Note that Faculty Collection copies have more limited circulation (and require staff assistance to retrieved from a locked area), while Stacks copies follow Standard Loan periods.

Want to read even more faculty publications? You can find more than 3,400 faculty-authored articles and book chapters in the Law School's open access Scholarship Repository. The repository can be browsed by date, author, or subject tag, and can also be keyword searched.

The Law Library and Office of the Dean also co-sponsor Faculty Author Celebrations throughout the academic year, highlighting selected book publications. You can watch video of past celebrations on the Duke Law YouTube playlist for Faculty Authors. Be on the lookout for more great celebrations in the spring 2019 semester.

For help with locating publications by Duke Law faculty members, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Design Thinking and Law

You may have seen the Duke Law Tech Hub on the third floor of the Law Library. The Tech Hub is a space to engage with and learn about different legal technology and tools. From virtual reality to analytics to design thinking, the Hub has a little bit of everything.

Wait. What is design thinking, you ask? In short, design thinking is a problem-solving methodology for innovation. Rooted in engineering, design thinking has permeated education, business, and legal practice. More and more law firms are looking into how design thinking can help make their practice more efficient, while others adopted it long ago.

With the growing popularity and curiosity around design thinking, the Tech Hub is hosting a lunch panel on Design Thinking and the Law this Monday, Oct 29th, with two leaders in the field: Camillo Sassano, IBM Design Principal & Kevin L Schultz, IBM Hardware Design Lead. IBM has been implementing design thinking into their business model for over a decade and did research into the method's economic impact. In addition to the lunch event, there will be a design thinking exercise and software available in the Tech Hub throughout the day.

If you want to learn more about design thinking and its application, there are many eBooks in the Duke Libraries catalog to get you started. With election season in full swing, you can see how design thinking can be used to rethink the way we vote or the rule of law. Design thinking can be applied to urban planning, catalyzing social change, and restructuring your life. Try a subject or keyword search for "design thinking" to see available resources, and Ask a Librarian for help searching or accessing titles.

--Cas Laskowski, Reference Librarian and Lecturing Fellow

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bar Association Research Benefits Reach State 50

Last week, Fastcase announced a new partnership with the California Lawyers Association. Beginning in 2019, CLA members will receive access to Fastcase as a benefit of bar association membership. This move means that bar associations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia now provide their members with access to at least one of the low-cost research services Fastcase and Casemaker. This fills in the State Bar Association Research Benefits map that the Goodson Blogson has been tracking for several years, updating a map originally developed by 3 Geeks and a Law Blog in March 2010.

Currently, 30 jurisdictions on the state-level list provide their members with free access to exclusively Fastcase; 20 states provide access to exclusively Casemaker. 1 state (Texas) provides its members with access to both services. In addition, a number of county and local bar associations have struck their own deals with the research services.

Both Fastcase and Casemaker contain U.S. federal and state case law, statutory and regulatory codes, court rules, and constitutions. Additional features vary within each service. Fastcase has increased its secondary source libraries in the last few years, offering access to publications by Loislaw and Carolina Academic Press while also launching its own Full Court Press publishing imprint. More recently, the company announced its acquisition of the Law Street Media legal news company. Casemaker partners include the CosmoLex practice management system, the memo bank, access to legal forms, and content from the vLex global law database, featuring primary and secondary legal material from more than 100 countries.

The Duke University community has access to an academic subscription version of Fastcase. Law students and faculty are also eligible to sign up for an educational version of Casemaker called CasemakerX. For information about other online research services, check out the library's research guide to Legal Research on the Web or Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Food For Fines: October 10-26

Even the most responsible library users can find themselves incurring the occasional late fee. Maybe you just needed one more day to finish that recalled book, or you were traveling, or the item was buried under a pile of other stuff. However that fine got there, if your Duke Libraries account shows an unpaid balance in the Fines/Credits/Fees section, we have some good news for you.

From Wednesday, October 10 through Friday, October 26, every library on East and West Campus at Duke University will accept "Food for Fines" to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC. Each unopened, unexpired, non-perishable food item (or household good) donated will remove $1 from your library fines (up to a $25 maximum per account). You can bring the items to any campus library during the food drive – no need to travel to the specific library that charged the fine.

The chart below details the most-needed food and household items for the Food Bank:

Food Drive Most Needed Items from Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC

A few important points to know for the donation drive:
  • Limit $25 in forgiven fines per person.
  • Each donated item counts toward $1 in fines, regardless of the item's actual cost.
  • We cannot accept items in glass containers, or any expired food.
  • Any fines that were already paid or transferred to the bursar cannot be waived.
  • Waived fines only apply to late fees. Charges for damaged or lost items cannot be waived.
  • All Duke libraries are participating in the drive, and can collect donation information in order to waive fines from other Duke libraries. Bring your donations to the library that is most convenient to you, even if it isn’t the library that charged the fine on your account.

If you don't have any fines on your account, you are still very welcome to donate needed items to the food drive. The Food Bank serves a network of more than 800 agencies across 34 counties in Central and Eastern North Carolina, including soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults. If you would prefer to donate cash to this very worthy cause, you can visit Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC to make a direct donation.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Preemptive Measures

Around this halfway point of the semester, many law students are thinking about potential topics for their seminar papers, law journal notes, and/or other scholarly writing projects. In the first year at Duke Law, professors determine the topic of LARW writing assignments – after that, students are largely on their own. This can be a difficult adjustment for many, since topic selection is a critical stage of the academic writing process. Authors must find a potential topic that is both interesting and novel, and examine it from an angle that has not previously been explored in great depth by prior publications. The associated process of preemption checking can seem frustrating and overwhelming, as it often results in false starts and discarded potential topics. Fortunately, the Goodson Law Library has resources to help students navigate the maze.

Some guidebooks on academic legal writing are available in the Reserve collection, and may be borrowed for four hours at a time:

These texts all stress the importance of not only finding an original angle on a topic, but also finding a topic that deeply interests you – the process of researching and drafting a scholarly-length article is time-consuming, and finding a topic about which you are passionate will help keep your momentum.

When you have a preliminary topic idea in mind, it is important to conduct a preemption check to ensure that another author has not already covered your planned approach to the topic. While the specific sources for a preemption check may vary depending upon the topic of your paper, the following categories of works should always be consulted:
  • Already-published articles can be found in a variety of sources, including the journal and law review databases on Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and LegalTrac (generally dating back to 1981). Google Scholar and Academic Search Complete are both good options for locating both legal and non-legal articles. For historical articles, try HeinOnline and JSTOR.
  • Pre-publication articles or working papers can be searched at SSRN and Bepress Digital Commons Network, both large repositories for authors to make their work publicly accessible.
  • Books and book chapters should also be a part of your search process. Try Google Books, WorldCat, and of course the Duke Libraries Catalog for your topic keywords.
  • Dissertations and theses might eventually be republished in book format, but you can also search for more than two million unpublished dissertations in the database ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Full-text PDFs are provided for many of the indexed titles.
  • General web searching should help uncover discussion of your topic in mainstream news publications, on various blogs, and other publicly-accessible websites. Remember that you will receive different results depending upon the order of your search terms and your chosen search engine. Explore the search engine's advanced features and help documentation for guidance on forming your search.
  • Specialized legal news sources like Law360,, and Bloomberg BNA publications will generally not appear in web search results, or if they do, you will see only an introductory snippet and a login prompt. But you can search these sources directly, as well as other specialized resources that may be applicable, via our Legal Databases & Links page.

Once you feel confident that your selected topic is workable, the research process doesn't stop – you'll need to keep your research up to date. You can set alerts on the legal research services, as well as Google Alerts, the Duke Libraries Catalog, and many other sources to stay informed of new developments. For help with that process, or with any other aspect of topic selection and preemption checking, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, September 21, 2018

A New Source for CRS Reports

As reported earlier this week by the Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports are now available at the new federal website CRS is a nonpartisan legislative research staff office within the Library of Congress that prepares research reports for legislative committees and individual members of Congress. Researchers have long prized CRS reports for their expert analysis on a variety of topics, but for many years the reports were difficult to obtain. Appropriations legislation expressly prevented CRS from making its research public, and researchers beyond the Hill needed to obtain copies from an insider.

By the 1990s, a CRS cottage industry had sprung up in the form of Penny Hill Press, a tiny family-run publisher in Maryland that obtained the reports and sold them for $20 apiece on its now-defunct website. As Penny Hill owner Walt Seager told the New York Times in 2009, "We wear out a lot of shoe leather and get cauliflower ear on the phone and use e-mail and every other trick we can, and we manage to get virtually all of the new C.R.S. documents."

Over the years, as fiscal watchdogs and government information advocates expressed dismay at the inaccessibility of this federally-funded office's important work, free sites were created to archive obtained CRS reports, including the University of North Texas Libraries' CRS Digital Library and EveryCRSReport. Commercial databases like ProQuest Congressional also developed and sold large backfiles of CRS reports to subscribing institutions.

Finally, after many failed legislative attempts to open CRS reports to the public, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 directed the Library of Congress to make CRS reports publicly available online. The new website at currently includes more than 600 reports from the past year, but plans are in the works to fill in a retrospective backfile as well. The library's research guide to Federal Legislative History will be updated soon to reflect the new option for CRS reports. In the meantime, for help with locating CRS reports or other federal publications, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Safety First

The Goodson Blogson usually focuses on legal research-related news and resources. But the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence on the Carolina coast later this week has us thinking about the safety of our community. Many new law students may never have experienced a hurricane, and even some longer-term residents haven’t seen a storm of this predicted magnitude hit the Triangle region in more than twenty years. Here are some resources to help you prepare for whatever comes at the end of this week.

Follow the forecast. The News & Observer is suspending its usual paywall in order to provide readers with full access to storm coverage. Other sources for updated local forecast information are WRAL and Spectrum News. Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and adjust your planning accordingly.

Prepare a supply kit. Bottled water is already disappearing from local store shelves. The federal government's supply kit checklist at recommends stocking up on water, non-perishable food, medications, and other supplies to last your household at least 72 hours; local sites are recommending a plan to be potentially without power for at least one week. It’s a good idea to fill gas tanks, and to charge mobile devices/laptops/backup power banks before Thursday. Please remember to stock up on supplies for your pets, as well.

Stay informed. If you haven’t already, sign up for the DukeALERT emergency text messaging service to receive notifications to your phone about University closures and campus conditions. Updates are also posted to for those with working internet connections. If the University invokes its Severe Weather Policy, the Law School will be closed and Law classes canceled as well. (Law community retains 24-hour DukeCard access, but use extreme caution if traveling to campus due to risk of downed trees, power lines, flooded roads, etc.)

Take precautions now to weather the storm safely!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Our Finest Reserve

The following guest post was written by Rachel Gordon, Head of Access and Collection Services.

You probably know by now that the Law Library keeps copies of Law School textbooks on Reserve, but did you know that we have other items as well? We have many current study aids, including selected subjects in the Examples and Explanations, Questions and Answers, Nutshell, Glannon Guides, Understanding, and Mastering series. For more information on available study aids, see the Law School Success guide, linked in the JD and LLM orientation packets.

We also have selected dictionaries, multiple copies of The Bluebook, popular legal movies and TV shows on DVD, and various Mac laptop chargers. New to the Reserve Collection this year are calculators, noise-cancelling headphones, and (coming soon) bookstands.

Reserve items are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be checked out for up to four hours, or overnight if checked out within four hours of closing. (After a Reserve item is returned, the most recent borrower will need to wait one hour before borrowing the same item again, in order to give others a chance to use the item.) We rely on students to return Reserve items on time to maximize their availability to others. Failure to return library items in a timely manner is a violation of Duke Law School Rule 5-2, and the Law Library may refer repeated late returns of Reserve items to the Office of Student Affairs.

If you have suggestions for Reserve purchases or other library ideas, please send them to the Library Suggestion Box.

--Rachel Gordon, Head of Access and Collection Services & Senior Lecturing Fellow

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

YMMV: Emoji in Legal Research

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit made headlines for using emoji in a published opinion. While they are not the first U.S. court to discuss or reference emoji, many commentators assert that Emerson v. Dart is the first time that emoji images have been embedded in the text of the opinion itself rather than described verbally. It also marks the judicial debut of the "poop emoji," a cartoonish depiction of a pile of excrement.

Emerson v. Dart involved a Title VII retaliation claim brought by a female corrections officer. During the course of the litigation, the plaintiff was sanctioned for making a threatening Facebook post to a group of fellow correctional employees:
To my fellow officers! DON’T GET IN A FIGHT THAT IS NOT, I REPEAT THAT IS NOT YOURS. I’VE JUST RECEIVED THE NAMES OF SOME PEOPLE THAT THE COUNTY IS ATTEMPTING TO USE AS WITNESSES, (1) IS A SGT, (2) OFFICERS, (1) OPR INVESTIGATOR, on the job 18mths, this fight is from 2009 & I’ve been off since 2012, sooooo do the math. Yes, I will definitely put your name out there in due time 😊. This is a PSA for those of you still believing that being a liar, brown noser will get you something. MESSING WITH ME WILL GET YOU YOUR OWN CERTIFIED MAIL. SO GLAD THAT THE ARROGANCE OF THIS EMPLOYER HAS THEM BELIEVING THEIR OWN 💩.

In upholding the sanctions against Emerson, the appellate court quoted her threatening message and reproduced the emoji images. As How Appealing blogger Howard Bashman noted, "The words 'poop' and 'emoji' don’t appear anywhere in the opinion, raising the question whether Westlaw, Lexis, and similar legal search engines will implement some method of searching for emojis in a judicial opinion."

But actually, as Fastcase CEO Ed Walters noted a few days later, the first hurdle for research services was not how users might search for the emoji, but how the research services would even display them:

Fastcase CEO Ed Walters Tweet (Aug. 17, 2018),
regarding how research services will handle emoji display

So how did the major online legal research services compare? The threatening Facebook message included both a smiley face emoticon and the notorious concluding emoji. Each service, as of August 20, displayed the images slightly differently.

First, a quick look at the Seventh Circuit opinion, available at the court's website and through PACER.

7th Circuit opinion, Emerson v. Dart (Aug. 14, 2018)

Westlaw's version of the opinion, at 2018 WL 3853761, appears to have copied and uploaded an image of the court's version of the emoji. Westlaw's smiley face is a bit hard to see until the font size is enlarged, but overall it is a fairly faithful replication of the Seventh Circuit's opinion.

Westlaw display of Emerson v. Dart emoji

Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law both displayed the smiley face, but their systems did not display anything in place of the other emoji image – leaving Emerson's quoted post to appear to trail off at the end.

Bloomberg Law display of Emerson v. Dart emoji

Lexis Advance display of Emerson v. Dart emoji

Fastcase, as its CEO indicated on Twitter, spent some time on the second emoji, inserting Unicode #128169 to the end of the transcribed Facebook message to ensure proper visual display. Unfortunately, they overlooked the smiley face, which appears (at least in two tested browsers) as a question mark.

Fastcase display of Emerson v. Dart emoji

Other court opinions that have referenced emoji generally describe their contents in writing, leaving the visuals to be found in the various exhibits filed with the trial court. Researchers can view the screenshot of Paula Emerson's original Facebook post in the trial court docket, where it was Exhibit A in a motion for sanctions. Since this case was in federal court, the motion can be accessed in or through Bloomberg Law's Litigation Intelligence Center. While the court filing best illustrates that none of the research services quite captured the smiley face, it has its own drawbacks in the loss of color and the poor reproduction quality.

Trial exhibit in Emerson v. Dart (N.D. Ill. 2016)
Online legal research services sometimes struggle with displaying other visual components of court opinions and articles, such as images, maps, and statistical tables. (As an example, compare the display of the Appendix maps in the U.S. Supreme Court opinion Easley v. Cromartie, 532 U.S. 234, in various research services. Westlaw displays the images for download, albeit sideways. Bloomberg Law and Fastcase contain a placeholder message that "Appendixes containing maps from appellees' and appellants' briefs follow this page." Lexis includes a more detailed placeholder message for the various maps, directing readers to the original source.) If courts continue to embed rather than describe emoji in opinions, emoji are likely to join this category of visual components whose online display will vary widely by research service.

In situations like these, it is worth comparing results if possible, or at least trying to track down the most "official" source for the opinion. For assistance with that process, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Self-Checkout Kiosk Now Available

While Duke Law students, faculty and staff have long enjoyed 24-hour access to both the Law School and Law Library, the Duke Law community didn't have a 24-hour service desk…until now. A Self-Checkout Station is now available at the Circulation/Reserve desk. If you need to check out a Law Library item after hours – or just feel like bypassing a line during the day – bring your items to the iPad kiosk at the service desk. Follow the instructions on the touch screen to log in with your NetID and password, use the camera to take photos of the item barcodes, and verify that the system has logged you out when you are finished.

Need to borrow items even faster? With the Duke Self-Checkout smartphone app, you can borrow Standard Loan library items right at the shelf. MeeScan Duke Self-Checkout apps for iPhone and Android devices are available at the App Store and on Google Play.

Note that this station offers checkout service only – to return items for check-in after hours, use the secure silver drop slot near the Law Library entrance. Self-checkout service is not available for items with "Library use only" restricted circulation (such as the Reference collection or federal and state codes), and is not available to users with blocks on their accounts (such as overdue recalled items).

Duke Self-Checkout stations and mobile app access are also available at the Perkins & Bostock Libraries on West Campus, as well as the Marine Lab Library in Beaufort. Please note that their kiosks differ slightly from the Law Library's, so be sure to follow the instructions on the screen at each location. More information about self-checkout can be found at the campus libraries' Duke Self-Checkout page.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Greatest Legal Movies Revisited

The ABA Journal's cover story this August updates its 2008 list of The 25 Greatest Legal Movies. The 2018 update expands the scope of the original list. More recent examples of award-winning courtroom dramas are here (such as Loving and Marshall), but the list also includes films whose subject matter intersects with the law (such as the investigative journalists in 2017's Spotlight) and legal documentaries (such as this summer's breakout hit RBG).

The 2018 list also makes a bit more room for laughs: 2001's law school comedy Legally Blonde has been added to the 2018 best-of list, and 1992's hilarious My Cousin Vinny retains its place on the list. An additional 25 Honorable Mentions are featured in the 2018 update as well. See the original 2008 list gallery and the 2018 update.

The Goodson Law Library has many of the original 25 films, as well as the new updates, in its Legal DVD collection on level 3. DVDs may be borrowed for 3-day loans; just bring the empty case to the Circulation/Reserve desk to receive the disc. Thousands of additional films are available in the Duke Libraries Catalog either through the Lilly Library on East Campus or through online databases, such as the Alexander Street Video Collection or NC Live Video. For help locating feature films or other video, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Highest Court in the Land

The U.S. Supreme Court and Sports Illustrated don't often intersect. But the July 30 issue of the popular sports magazine features a delightful story about the true "highest court in the land": the small basketball court above the U.S. Supreme Court's historic courtroom. You can read it online now, or look for the print edition in the Goodson Law Library's Leisure Reading collection soon.

Keeping with Court tradition, the story does not include actual photographs of the basketball court and its neighboring gym. As with the Court's longstanding ban on photography and video in the SCOTUS courtroom, the SI story instead features illustrations by sketch artist Arthur Lien.

The basketball court and gym began life as a Court storage room, before their transformation sometime in the 1940s. From that point on, Justices, clerks, and Court staff alike enjoy the facilities for games of basketball and other athletic pursuits – as long as the Court is not in session below, where noise from the basketball court and neighboring gym would rattle the walls of the building.

The SCOTUS basketball court has caused its share of injuries over the years. Justice Clarence Thomas tore his Achilles tendon in a 1992 pickup game with his clerks, who at the time included former Olympic athlete and NBA player Karl Tilleman. While clerking for former Justice Thurgood Marshall, current Justice Elena Kagan also sustained a leg injury from the court's unforgiving floor. Still, Kagan fondly recalls her basketball glory days, when teammates nicknamed her "Shorty" but ran plays that allowed the 5'3" now-Justice to score over much taller players.

To learn more fun facts about the history of the U.S. Supreme Court and its building, try a search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject United States Supreme Court – History. You'll find many titles, including the 1965 title Equal Justice Under Law: The Supreme Court in American Life that is referenced in the Sports Illustrated article. The library's research guide to the U.S. Supreme Court will also provide information about reference works on the Court’s history. For help with finding these resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Newspapers Off the Beaten Path

Researchers have many options for accessing historical full-text archives of major news publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post, or popular magazines like Time and Newsweek. (Search the Duke Libraries Catalog  to see your options in print, electronic, and microformats.) But if you are researching a topic of limited geographic reach, or just interested in finding a variety of perspectives, a search of more specialized news resources might be in order.

Two campus-wide databases provide access to alternative press publications:

Additional resources for searching current and historical news publications can be found in the Duke University Libraries research guide to Newspapers. Some additional databases that can provide valuable historical perspective include:
  • African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 spans more than 150 years of African-American newspapers and periodicals.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch covers 1959-present, and includes more than 400 newspapers, magazines and journals from the ethnic and minority press around the world.
  • GenderWatch dates back to 1970 and includes a mix of women's studies and gender studies newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals.
  • Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980 spans more than 150 years of publications in English, Spanish, and French, digitized from the University of Houston.
  • LGBT Life With Full Text includes magazines, newsletters, and newspapers focused on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues.

For help finding or using news databases – whether they are mainstream publications or a bit off the beaten path – be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Researching the SCOTUS Shortlist

When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his intent to retire from the Court earlier this week, speculation immediately began as to the identity of the next Court nominee. Back in November 2017, the White House released a list of 25 potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees from the federal and state benches, and the President confirmed this week that the next nominee would be a member of that shortlist. Online oddsmakers have been busily tracking the most likely nominees, with Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit and Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit as the current front-runners.

The Washington Post has written brief summaries of the likeliest nominees, but there are additional resources available to conduct research on these or any other judges. Many are listed in the library's guide to Directories of Courts & Judges. Highlights include:
  • Almanac of the Federal Judiciary (online in Westlaw & Wolters Kluwer): A unique biographical directory for federal judges that includes information about noteworthy rulings, media coverage, publications, and "lawyers' evaluation" comments on the judge's behavior and demeanor.
  • Ravel Law, Judge Analytics. Provides biographical profiles of federal and state judges, linked to analysis of opinions and orders. Analytics include most-cited opinions, judges, and courts. Duke Law students and professors are eligible for free Ravel access through the "Request Educational Account" link. (Lexis Advance, which purchased Ravel Law last year, is in the process of incorporating Ravel visualizations into its search results, but the Judge Analytics have not yet been incorporated into Lexis's own Litigation Profiles for judges.)

The guide also links to various tools for tracking judicial vacancies and nominations. For help navigating resources about judges and nominations, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Bitcoin Reaches SCOTUS

With only a few days left in the U.S. Supreme Court's term, all eyes have been on SCOTUSblog and other sources for news and analysis. Yesterday, the Court released four opinions, including the much-discussed "Internet sales tax" case South Dakota v. Wayfair, and Pereira v. Sessions, which interpreted rules regarding immigration removal notice and procedure.

Compared to those higher-profile opinions, Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States received less attention in yesterday's news media. A case determining that stock options are not taxable compensation under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act, this opinion is likely of greatest interest to tax professionals (or, presumably, retired railroad employees). But something notable lurks in the dissenting opinion by Justice Breyer: the Court’s first-ever reference to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin in its opinions.

Moreover, what we view as money has changed over time. Cowrie shells once were such a medium but no longer are, see J. Weatherford, The History of Money 24 (1997); our currency originally included gold coins and bullion, but, after 1934, gold could not be used as a medium of exchange, see Gold Reserve Act of 1934, ch. 6, § 2, 48 Stat. 337; perhaps one day employees will be paid in Bitcoin or some other type of cryptocurrency, see F. Martin, Money: The Unauthorized Biography—From Coinage to Cryptocurrencies 275–278 (1st Vintage Books ed.2015). Nothing in the statute suggests the meaning of this provision should be trapped in a monetary time warp, forever limited to those forms of money commonly used in the 1930's. (Breyer, J., dissenting)

Bitcoin is no stranger to other U.S. courts. The search term appears in more than 100 opinions on Westlaw, including a 2016 order in the asset-forfeiture case United States v. 50.44 Bitcoins. But yesterday's opinion is the highest court's first reference to Bitcoin, and to cryptocurrency more generally, in an opinion's text. As Breyer acknowledges, the evolving nature of currency suggests that such references will become more commonplace.

Want to learn more about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency? You can find about 30 titles in the Duke University Libraries catalog with a subject search for Bitcoin. (You can also find the Felix Martin title referenced by Justice Breyer in a separate search by title, or by the subject "Money -- History.") A few days before the SCOTUS opinion's release, the Bank for International Settlements released an annual economic report that includes a brief chapter on cryptocurrencies, which describes their history and development and is highly critical of their potential flaws. Bloomberg's Securities Law Daily analyzed that report in more detail.

For help with researching U.S. Supreme Court opinions, cryptocurrency, or any other legal topic, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Legal Research Bar Association Benefits

Why do lawyers join the American Bar Association and state or local voluntary bar associations? These organizations provide attorneys with a professional networking community, access to continuing legal education (CLE), and discounts on products and services. In 49 states and the District of Columbia, bar association membership also comes with the benefit of free access to an online legal research service: either Fastcase or Casemaker. (California is the only state bar association that does not provide statewide legal research access, but many local bar associations in California offer members a similar benefit.) Law firms with access to premium research services like Westlaw and Lexis may require their attorneys to consult these low-cost alternatives first; for other attorneys, the state bar research benefit may be their primary source for online legal research.

Both of these legal research services provide attorneys with access to case law, statutes, and regulations. Fastcase also includes access to law reviews (through a partnership with HeinOnline, and its own Full Court Press), treatises (through its acquisition of Loislaw and independent publishers), and selected state ethics opinions, CLE materials, and jury instructions (including North Carolina). Casemaker's additional features include foreign case law and legislation through a partnership with vLex, and integration with the CosmoLex practice management service.

Currently, Fastcase claims the majority of state bar partnerships, with Mississippi becoming the 30th state-level bar association to adopt its service on June 1. Casemaker is available as a benefit of 21 state bar associations. (Texas offers access to both Fastcase and Casemaker.) The Duke Law Library map of Legal Research via State Bar Associations has been updated to reflect the latest changes to state bar benefits.

Want to learn more about the legal research benefit in the state where you plan to practice? Current members of the Duke community may access an educational version of Fastcase with their NetID and password. Current Law students and faculty may create an account on CasemakerX. For access to other legal research resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

CLE: The Learning Never Stops

As reported in the ABA Journal this week, the North Carolina State Bar has proposed an amendment to its annual requirements for continuing legal education (CLE). Attorneys in North Carolina are already required to complete 12 credit hours of approved CLE each year; the proposal, if approved, would mandate that one of those hours be focused on "technology training" topics. (As outlined in the State Bar website, some of those hours must already focus on professional responsibility topics, including substance abuse awareness.)

Back in 2012, the American Bar Association amended Model Rule of Professional Responsibility 1.1 on competent representation, in order to include an understanding of technology within its scope. Comment 8 to the rule now reads, "To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject" (emphasis added). Since that time, 31 states have formally adopted a similar duty of technology competence for attorneys in their professional rules.

In 2016, Florida became the first state to require CLE credit hours focused specifically on technology topics. As noted in the ABA Journal this week, Pennsylvania is considering a similar update to its CLE requirements, and many more states will likely follow suit.

Continuing legal education requirements already vary widely by jurisdiction. The West LegalEdcenter maintains a helpful interactive map of required credit hours, with links to state bar websites for more information. CLE is mandatory in nearly all states, with the exceptions of Maryland, Massachusetts, and South Dakota (the District of Columbia bar likewise does not have mandatory CLE). Within mandatory CLE states, there is wide variety in the amount of credit hours required, the length of the reporting period, specialized topics required, and whether credit hours may be completed online. (Note: Current Duke Law faculty and staff who need to complete CLE credit hours can be added to the West LegalEdcenter.)

Beyond fulfilling professional education requirements, CLE publications can be useful legal research tools. Historical North Carolina CLE publications can be found in the online catalog. Current publications from North Carolina and other states can be found online:
  • Bloomberg Law: To browse CLE publications, follow the path All Legal Content Search > U.S. Secondary Sources > Books & Treatises to view titles. State CLE publications are available from Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJ ICLE), North Carolina Continuing Legal Education (NC CLE), and the Oregon State Bar.
  • Lexis Advance: Under Content Browse, select "Secondary Sources" to view publishers. Available state CLE publications include Continuing Education of the Bar (California), The Florida Bar, Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA), Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, North Carolina Continuing Legal Education, The Missouri Bar, State Bar of Arizona, South Carolina Bar, and CLE materials from the University of Kentucky.
  • Westlaw: Under Secondary Sources, click the Publication Type filter for "CLE & Seminar Materials" to view available titles. State CLE publishers in Westlaw include Maryland Continuing Legal Education, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, and the State Bar of Texas.

For help with locating a particular CLE publication, or with other questions about attorney professional responsibility requirements, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Library Summer Renovation Update

The start of summer always brings changes to the Law Library – most notably, access and service desk hours (now weekdays 8:00 am – 5:00 pm until the start of fall classes in August). But some important additional changes are taking place this summer, with accompanying moves to library collections and equipment.

The library's former Document Production Room on level 3 will be transformed into a new classroom and meeting space this summer. As a result, ePrint station 3A has moved to the end of the library service desk, along with one overhead scanner. The other overhead scanner, and color printer/photocopier device have moved to the Microforms Room on Level 1, where additional ePrint stations and a Lexis printer are already available. The document feed scanner/outbound fax device is temporarily located outside of the library entrance, next to printer 3C (it is expected to move back into the library Reading Room later this summer).

Changes are also coming to the four library alcoves on levels 2 and 3. New locations for the affected collections are listed below:
  • Christie Jurisprudence Collection: now located at the top of the stairs on Level 4. (The former alcove's wooden table and chairs, which were original to the 1930s Law Library, can now be found next to the Nixon portrait nearby.)
  • Walker North Carolina Area: former alcove contents now located in the Reading Room, at stack numbers 53-58. (The Practice & Procedure collection materials formerly shelved in this area, including form books and federal litigation treatises, can now be found nearby in Reference.)
  • Gann Tax Area and Thigpen Tax Collection: now located in call number order within the Level 2 stacks, with some titles in Superseded Tax and/or Government Documents on level 1.

Maps and directional signage throughout the library and in the Duke Libraries Catalog reflect the former locations of collections until updated floor plans are received. Please ask staff for assistance with locating items.

Renovation work may be noisy and disruptive at times. Foam earplugs (courtesy of CALI) are available upon request at the library service desk; headphones may also be borrowed at the Circulation/Reserve desk during library service hours. We apologize for any inconvenience as this work is completed over the summer.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Prestatehood Legal Materials Meet the 21st Century

[This guest post by Reference Librarian Wickliffe Shreve highlights the new digital version of Prestatehood Legal Materials in HeinOnline.]

Depending on your outlook, a request to do a legislative history or other legal historical research for a project can inspire dread, excitement – or perhaps a mixture of both. The Goodson Law Library's guide to Federal Legislative History helps get you started so that you don't have to reinvent the long as the question is, of course, one of federal law. If you need to do research on a state statute or regulation, not only will you have to learn the state's government structure and legislative process, you may have to cobble together sources from the state law library, state courts, and local law schools to be sure that you have covered all your bases (see, for instance, Indiana University's State Legislative History Research Guides Inventory).

But what if your research requires looking to sources of law that existed before the state was even a state? Before there was even a "United States"? This week, HeinOnline added Prestatehood Legal Materials to its database collection. This seminal 2005 research guide, edited by former Duke Law librarians Michael Chiorazzi and Marguerite Most, has previously only been available to the Duke community as a two-volume set in our print Reference Collection (Ref.
KF240 .P688 2005). Both versions provide a comprehensive collection of legal materials from the colonial period for all fifty states, as well as New York City and the District of Columbia.

The new database version allows users to access an interactive map, and by clicking on an individual state you can access its historical legal documents. Each "chapter" is compiled by a state expert and written in their own individual style. For instance, clicking on North Carolina will bring you to "North Carolina Colonial Legal Materials," co-authored by Duke Law's Interim Library Director Melanie J. Dunshee. It provides a historical background of the development of the state's laws, as well as descriptions of and sources to help locate its constitutions, organic acts, legislative materials, executive materials, and judicial materials. The new electronic interface allows users to link out directly to web resources. Most chapters include secondary sources for additional research as well as extensive bibliographies.

For help accessing or using the Prestatehood Legal Materials database, or for more information on state research, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

--Wickliffe Shreve, Reference Librarian