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 wheel...as 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