Monday, January 30, 2023

In Memoriam: Public Papers of the Presidents (1957-2022)

The end of 2022 also marked the end of a long-running government publication series, when the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register published a rule announcing the discontinuation of the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States.

The Public Papers book series began in 1957, after the National Historical Publications Commission recommended the creation of an official government publication that brought together the various speeches, remarks, and writings for a particular presidential administration. Prior to the Public Papers, access to presidential materials was less consistent and less timely, with some materials published decades later at the direction of Congress (such as Richardson's 20-volume set A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789 – 1897), and other materials privately published (such as the Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin Delano Roosevelt). The Public Papers has covered the administration of every U.S. president from Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama (minus FDR, due to the private publication of his papers before the launch of the series). Effective with the rule on December 29, 2022, the Government Publishing Office noted that the final volume of the Obama series would be the publication's last.

It is somewhat fitting to cease the Public Papers with President Obama, as his administration also oversaw a shift in the Compilation of Presidential Documents publication whose contents form the corpus of the Public Papers. Formerly printed as the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, the Obama administration changed to an online-only Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents in 2009. In its final rule, the agency noted that the Daily Compilation access is timelier and enjoys wider reach than the printed Public Papers, which have been distributed for free to participating libraries (including Duke Law) through the Federal Depository Library Program for half a century.

What does this change mean for researchers? The current Bluebook prefers citation to Public Papers of the Presidents where available; going forward, it appears that the online Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents will become the preferred citation for most post-Obama presidential documents, and the Code of Federal Regulations will likely remain the preferred source for executive orders and presidential proclamations.

  • Historical editions of the Public Papers can be found in GovInfo, HeinOnline's U.S. Presidential Library, and in the Law Library's Documents collection Doc. AE 2.114.
  • Historical Compilations of Presidential Documents can be found on GovInfo (back to 1993) HeinOnline’s U.S. Presidential Library (back to 1965), and in the Law Library's Documents collection Doc. AE 2.109 (1965-2000).
  • Historical editions of the C.F.R. can be found in GovInfo (back to 1996); HeinOnline's Code of Federal Regulations Library (back to 1938), and in the Law Library's Documents collection Doc. AE 2.106/3. (Note that historical volumes of CFR Title 3, which contain the presidential materials, are shelved with the current CFR edition on Level 3, in the Stevens Federal Area.)

For more information about presidential materials and the administrative rulemaking process that ended the Public Papers, check out the library's research guide to Federal Administrative Law or Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

News You Can Use

"This content is available only to subscribers." "You have used your allotment of free articles this month." "Buy a day pass or subscribe to access this content." If you usually give up after you receive pop-ups like these on a news website, you might be missing out on alternative paths to accessing the full text of the stories you want through Duke's many subscription databases. While some sources do require pre-registration or a few additional steps to reach the same article, the access to the stories you want to read is often worth the extra effort.

First, be aware of the complimentary direct access that the Duke Law and Duke University community enjoys to several major news outlets: 

  • New York Times: Current members of the Duke Law community may join the Law School group account to receive complimentary access to content on the web and selected smartphone apps. Student accounts will last until December of their graduation year; faculty and staff accounts require renewals annually. Register or renew an account while connected to a networked computer in the Law School building (such as the library workstations) or remotely while connected to the Law School's VPN (be sure to select the Library Resources option at sign-in, rather than Default). Then type "Duke" under "Find School" and select "Duke University School of Law." 
  • Financial Times: Current members of the Duke Law community may join the Duke Law Library "group subscription" by registering an account at the Duke Law site for using their Duke email address. 
  • Wall Street Journal: Through a partnership between the Fuqua School of Business's Ford Library and the Goodson Law Library, individual account access to is available to all current Duke University students, faculty, and staff who register with a email address. Student accounts last for 90 days past graduation. To register, visit the Ford Library info page  and follow the instructions.

Third-party databases also offer alternative full-text access to the content of many of your favorite news sites. To locate options for reading a particular newspaper or magazine, try a search of the Duke University Libraries E-Journals list or Duke University Libraries Catalog. For example, Raleigh's News & Observer and the Durham Herald-Sun both offer their current contents in the America's News database, making those locked website stories just a few extra clicks away. (Note that the options in America's News may include both HTML text versions of stories as well as images of the actual newspaper in PDF; for these examples, the E-journal search results dating from 2018-present provide the image-based access. You can view the options for a particular title in the database by clicking "See Related sources.")

Other popular sources that you can access via this E-journals search method include The New Yorker and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

For the Law School community, also keep in mind that Lexis and Westlaw offer additional access to various newspapers and websites. For example, Westlaw offers the recent stories from Business Insider, while Lexis features the full text of Because these databases are only available to the Law School community, results from these services do not appear on the campus-wide E-journals list search, but it can be worth searching separately to see if a desired source appears in the legal research services. (Note that an E-journals search result in Nexis Uni, the campus-wide version of Lexis, is a good indicator that it will be available in the Law School version of Lexis as well.) 

For help with accessing the full text of other news resources when you hit a paywall, be sure to Ask a Librarian!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Winter Break Reading Recommendations

As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, winter break is a great time to curl up with a good book! We asked the staff of the Goodson Law Library to share some recommended reading – either books they've enjoyed recently or titles they're looking forward to reading next. If you need some inspiration for your to-be-read pile, check out our seven winter 2022 recommendations below.

What We Liked

Candice Millard, River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile (2022). (Request a print copy!): "A gripping account of adventure, personal rivalry, and innumerable obstacles in the search for the headwaters of the Nile by a formerly enslaved man, a British aristocrat, and the English translator of One Thousand and One Nights and the Kama Sutra. In this epic tale, Millard pulls together the history of British imperialism, literature, science, and geography (not to mention disguises, burrowing beetles, and Dr. Livingstone). I couldn't put it down!" – Laura Scott, Assistant Director for Reference, Clinics & Outreach and Senior Lecturing Fellow


Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (2011). (Request a print or Kindle copy!) "This book was such a pleasure to read. It is both a historical mystery story and a fascinating introduction to an ancient poem, Lucretius' On the Nature of Things, which was astonishingly ahead of its time." – Don Hopkins, Data Scientist


Erika Krouse, Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation (2022). (Request a print copy!) "This memoir of a rookie PI's work for an attorney on a Title IX lawsuit against a university athletics program reads more like a novel. It's a fascinating view into a part of legal practice that you don't hear much about in law school, vividly told by an author whose own past trauma informs her approach. (Content warnings: sexual assault & child abuse.)" – Jennifer L. Behrens, Associate Director for Administration & Scholarship and Senior Lecturing Fellow

Marlon James, Moon Witch, Spider King (2022)
. (Request a print or e-book copy!): "I'm currently reading the second novel in the Dark Star Trilogy. Set in ancient Africa, Moon Witch, Spider King dives into the origin story of Sogolon, the Moon Witch. I am excited to continue diving deeper into the fantasy world from the first novel in the trilogy, Black Leopard, Red Wolf.” –Julie Wooldridge, Research Services Librarian and Senior Lecturing Fellow


What We’re Excited to Read Next

Nina Totenberg, Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships (2022). (Get on the hold list!) "This book was written by someone I have a lot of admiration for, about someone I have a lot of admiration for. Haven't read it yet, but will do so one of these days, over dinner." – Jane Bahnson, Assistant Director for Research & Instruction and Senior Lecturing Fellow

Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere (1997)
. (Get on the hold list!): “I'm excited to start Neverwhere because I liked American Gods, and the reviews for this book are very good: it is one of NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy books of all time!” –Chelsey McKimmy, Research Services Librarian and Lecturing Fellow


Michelle Zauner, Crying in H Mart: A Memoir (2021). (Request a print or e-book copy!). "I would like to read this critically-acclaimed memoir by musician Michelle Zauner (of Japanese Breakfast), about reconnecting with her Korean heritage after the death of her mother. I think that her reflections on grief and loss will be relatable to a wide audience, although they (and I!) may want to save it until after the holiday season." – Alex Zhang, Archibald C. and Frances Fulk Rufty Research Professor of Law, Associate Dean of Information Services, and Director of the J. Michael Goodson Law Library

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Finals without Fear

Hard to believe that fall finals are just around the corner! As you prepare for a marathon of studying and essay-writing, fill in those outlines and clarify confusing concepts with the help of the Law Library. The Library offers access to hundreds of online study aids and supplements that can help you get ready for finals:

  • The West Academic Library Study Aids provides full-text access to hundreds of study aids, treatises, audio lectures, and flash card sets published by West Academic. Series available include Acing, Concepts and Insights, Hornbooks, Nutshells, Black Letter Outlines, Legalines, Sum and Substance audio, and many more.
  • The Aspen Learning Library (formerly known as Wolters Kluwer Study Aid Library) contains nearly 200 study aids published by Aspen Publishing. Available series include Examples & Explanations, Glannon Guides, Emanuel Law Outlines, and more.
  • Elgar Advanced Introductions to Law is a small but mighty collection of brief, accessible texts on over two dozen topics, particularly strong in comparative and international law.

Additional study aids are available in the library's print collection. Find titles and call number/locations by searching the Duke Libraries Catalog.

The Library collection also includes guides to studying for, and writing, law school examinations. The Law School Success handout in the online Orientation Packet describes a number of these titles in the Exam Preparation section. A catalog search for the subject heading "Law examinations -- United States" will return print and online book results with guidance for studying, outlining, and writing exam answers

Please note if borrowing print materials that items are subject to recall requests by other borrowers, and that demand is particularly high during exam period. As a result, your due date may be shortened, and you will be notified by email of any recall requests.

How else can the library help you prepare for exam period? Foam earplugs are available at the service desk to help you focus, courtesy of CALI. CALI also provides students with access to hundreds of online tutorials, free e-books, and other materials. Registration codes are available in Sidebar on level 3 (along with limited quantities of CALI's interlocking brick highlighters!), or via the download link with NetID and password.

For help with locating or accessing the materials described here, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers and Law Students 2022

Thirteen years after the very first Goodson Blogson holiday gift guide, one thing is certain: our readers seem to really enjoy looking at holiday gift inspiration from a law school library blog. Fortunately, we enjoy finding new recommendations each year! This list includes suggestions (at a variety of price points) for items that might be suitable for the law students and/or lawyers in your life.

Some gadget ideas that could be suitable for law students and lawyers alike include a stylish wireless charger (Wired breaks down 25 recommendations). Smartphone charger and UV sanitizer combos might also be welcomed. Noise-canceling headphones will likely be in use from law school final exams all the way to lawyer business travel (CNET recommends its top picks for 2022). While digital notebooks have been around for several years now, the brand recognition of Moleskine Smart might appeal to those who are just starting to make a transition toward paperless. (They also have some well-loved paper notebooks and planners for your more traditional friends.)

Maybe you can help your exhausted lawyerly loved ones by giving the gift of better sleep. The plush vegan blankets at UnHide are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and price points. For recipients with whom you have a close relationship (because this one could get pretty awkward otherwise), a nice set of cozy pajamas or a bathrobe might also be appreciated: The Cat's Pajamas offers a wide selection of styles and prints. If PJs would be a bit too intimate, a quality sleep mask may be appreciated by the jet-lagged practitioner. Nidra's Deep Rest Eye Mask is an affordable option that comes recommended by the New York Times Wirecutter blog, while Saatva offers a few higher-priced luxury options. Portable white noise machines can likewise improve sleep at home or on the road (see New York magazine's top 9 recommendations).

Alternatively, you could help your recipient stay awake with the gift of caffeine. Coffee subscriptions like Durham's own Little Waves, or the Atlas Coffee Club, can keep a variety of brews coming to your loved one for as long as you like. Or, you may want to share a specialty bag like Pappy & Co.'s Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coffee (aged in barrels that once held the elusive and coveted Pappy Van Winkle bourbon), or the unbelievably strong Death Wish Coffee. Does your loved one prefer tea? Atlas also offers a Tea of the Month Club, and tea box sets are available from vendors like Cup of Té and Ackroyd's Scottish Bakery.

Foodie friends and family members might also appreciate Maya-Camille Broussard's just-released cookbook Justice of the Pies: Sweet and Savory Pies, Quiches, and Tarts Plus Inspirational Stories from Exceptional People: A Baking Book. Broussard, known from Netflix's Bake Squad series, owns the Justice of the Pies bakery in Chicago, named in tribute to her late father, criminal defense attorney Stephen J. Broussard. (Other enduring law-themed cookbooks that we've previously recommended include the loving tribute Chef Supreme: Martin Ginsburg and Table for 9: Supreme Court Food Traditions and Recipes, both available from the Supreme Court Historical Society.) If your recipient would rather eat their holiday gift than read it, Chicago-area readers can pick up one of Broussard's pies at several partner locations, while others can have one shipped via Goldbelly.

Or, brighten up your law student’s nights and weekends with some fun and games. Jackbox Games offers a "Party Pack 5", featuring five of its popular online games which are played with smartphones and tablets as controllers. Guidance on purchasing other Jackbox games as gifts is available. For a little more nostalgic gaming experience, WS Game Company sells Vintage Bookshelf Games that fold into book-sized boxes, which could be tucked away discreetly on your favorite lawyer's shelves. Jigsaw puzzle fans might enjoy the 1000-piece Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution puzzles, available in the National Archives Store.

For the hobbyist lawyer whose office is in need of natural light, how about a LEGO Orchid, Succulents, or Bonsai Tree set? The artificial plants are fun to assemble, and could offer some cheerful decoration until that promotion to a window office comes through.

In pop culture news, AMC's Better Call Saul concluded its six-season run this summer, and a new Blu-Ray box set of the complete series is due out on December 6. Pre-orders of the masterful Breaking Bad prequel about shady lawyer Saul Goodman are available now on Amazon and Best Buy.

As much as we enjoy scouring the Internet for far-flung gift ideas, it's also important to support your local vendors and help keep your community thriving. For example, Durham's own Bright Black candle company offers a variety of scents, including a tobacco-forward one named for the company's hometown. Melina's Pasta offers cookbooks and pasta-making kits available for shipping, in addition to their fresh pastas and sauces available for local pickup. Julz's Creations features small-batch hot sauces and other condiments, including a Hot Sauce Gift Box whose spice level can be customized to your recipient’s tolerance for heat. To locate unique vendors in your own backyard, check out the listings for your local farmers' markets and/or flea markets.

Other sources to watch this November for law-themed gift ideas include Reid Trautz's Reid My Blog (whose gift guide returned in 2021 after a 5-year hiatus), Above the Law, and the ABA Gift Guide Galleries.

If you plan to do a lot of your own gift-scouting this year, please note that current members of the Duke University community can access the Consumer Reports Buying Guide from MasterFILE Premier (including recommendations and charts for air purifiers, headphones, fitness trackers, and computers). Consumer Reports magazine is also available through MasterFILE Premier as well as Nexis Uni, the campus-wide version of the Law School’s Lexis database (where Consumer Reports can also be found in full-text). For help with access to Consumer Reports or other e-journal sources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

On behalf of all of us at Goodson Blogson HQ, have a safe and happy holiday season!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Gimme a Chancery

As the legal fallout over Elon Musk's bid to purchase social network Twitter continues to unfurl, the Wall Street Journal recently explored the situation from an unusual perspective: what would Charles Dickens think of it all? In a story for the paper's humorous A-Hed section, Ellen Gamerman notes the parallels between Twitter v. Musk and Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, the all-consuming inheritance dispute at the center of Dickens's 1852 novel Bleak House (available to the Duke community in a variety of formats). Although Gamerman is careful to note that the lumbering Chancery Court of the Dickens tale (described at one point in the tale as "being ground to bits in a slow mill") bears little resemblance to Delaware's Court of Chancery today, she quotes a few fans and even one Dickens descendant who express amusement at the prospect of a modern-day chancery case playing out, should the parties fail to settle the dispute before the November trial date.

Gamerman briefly mentions the history of chancery courts in the Anglo-American legal system, describing their decline by the late 1800s in most jurisdictions. For the unfamiliar, though, a bit more detail would be helpful, such as the explainer on the Delaware Court of Chancery's own website. Courts of equity have deep roots in medieval English law, from a time when the King authorized his Chancellors with the discretionary authority to hear petitions and redress citizens' grievances outside the limitations of a court of law. Courts of law and courts of equity became parallel systems which handled different types of suits, depending on the remedies being sought. By the mid-19th century, both the English and American legal systems began to abolish separate courts of equity, in favor of reforming the courts of law as a single point for civil actions. Some states, like Delaware, retained their separate chancery courts for specific types of actions.

More information about Delaware's Court of Chancery, including its history, can be found in Wolfe & Pittenger, Corporate and Commercial Practice in the Delaware Court of Chancery, 2d ed. 2021 (online in Lexis). This extensive treatise discusses the history and practice before the Delaware Court of Chancery, with footnotes to relevant primary law. For more general information on chancery courts and the law of equity, check out some of these resources:

  • Principles of Remedies Law, 4th ed. 2022 (online in West Academic Study Aids Library): Includes a helpful overview to the development of courts of equity in chapter 2.
  • Law of Remedies: Damages, Equity, Restitution, 3d ed. 2018 (KF9010 .D6 2018 & online in West Academic Study Aids Library): This West Hornbook covers modern equitable remedies more generally, but includes some discussion of the history of chancery courts in chapter 2.
  • Equity and Law: Fusion and Fission, eds. Goldberg, Smith, and Turner, 2019 (Christie Collection K247 .E64 2019 & online): chapters explore various aspects of the history of equitable remedies in the US and UK.

Finally, if you wish to follow along with the Twitter litigation, the Delaware Chancery Court’s e-filing system requires registration to access filings on its website. However, current members of the Duke Law community can access the materials from Twitter v. Musk, Docket No. 2022-0613, via Bloomberg Law's docket search or Lexis CourtLink. Be warned that while Delaware's modern Court of Chancery may have little in common with Dickens's version, the volume of docket entries – more than 1,500 since July – gives the notoriously long Bleak House some stiff competition. (Fortunately, 21st-century researchers can use the "search within" features to speed up their reading.)

For help with accessing any of these resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Saving Time with 50-State Surveys

Monday, October 10 is a federal and state government holiday, although the holiday differs depending on your jurisdiction. While many states continue to call the second Monday in October "Columbus Day," a number of others have renamed the holiday a variation on "Native Americans' Day" or "Indigenous Peoples Day," or observe the newer holiday in addition to the old one.

Celebrations of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus's 1492 landfall in North America have occurred in various American locations as early as the eighteenth century, and October 12 (later moved to the second Monday in October) was established as a federal holiday in the 1930s. However, Columbus Day has sparked protests by Native American communities and others, who have highlighted the impact of colonization on indigenous people in the Americas, and the related history of violent conflict and forced assimilation.

As noted in Smithsonian Magazine, South Dakota was the first state to rename the holiday in 1990, to Native Americans' Day. (Hawaii had previously renamed the second Monday in October as "Discoverers' Day" in 1988, but also clarified that it is not an official state holiday.) Other states have co-observed the holidays, such as Alabama's addition of "American Indian Heritage Day" alongside "Columbus Day and Fraternal Day" in 2000 . Last year, the federal government followed a similar approach, with a presidential proclamation for Columbus Day as well as one for Indigenous Peoples Day – the first time the federal government had formally acknowledged the newer holiday.

Researching the legal holidays (or any other research topic) in all fifty states can be a time-consuming process. Fortunately, fifty-state surveys exist to help speed things up. These resources compile statutory or regulatory code citations on a particular topic for all U.S. jurisdictions. Even a slightly outdated fifty-state survey can be a helpful starting place to point researchers to the correct section or area of an individual state’s current code.

How, then, to find 50-state surveys? Both Lexis and Westlaw have collections of topical surveys from their secondary source menus, but other options also exist. The National Survey of State Laws (9th ed. 2022, online in HeinOnline) is a long-running publication that compiles 50-state surveys on selected topics, including one on "Legal Holidays" state-by-state. Charts include the relevant code section number and a summary of the state information.

Another useful database for locating 50-state surveys is the Subject Compilations of State Laws, 1960-2018 (online in HeinOnline). Drawn from the contents of another long-running book series, the Subject Compilations database will often point to the 50-state surveys contained in Lexis and Westlaw, and the state comparison charts in Bloomberg Law. For the topic of state holidays, one helpful result in this category is Lexis's Banking Law – Bank Activities: Legal & Bank Holidays chart (last updated May 2020). The Subject Compilations database may also point to footnotes in law review articles or court opinions that list various jurisdictions' laws on a topic, relevant treatise sections, and even web links to non-governmental organizations. (Because the latest edition of the Subject Compilations in the database is from 2018, it will also point to older editions of the National Survey of State Laws in HeinOnline.)

For help with locating, or guidance on compiling, relevant 50-state surveys on a topic, be sure to Ask a Librarian.