The $9,650 “In Dog We Trust Rug”

He’s not much of a legal mind, but boy can he proofread….

It’s that time again to visit the bitter, twisted, and hilarious Justice Bedsworth: “March 2015 – In Dog We Trust,” by Justice William W. Bedsworth. (You can read the Judge’s April 2015 “A Criminal Waste of Space” column, too.)

And if you want to see the yes, it’s a true story, rug, just search Google Image for these words: pinellas county sheriff’s office rug in dog we trust

April Fool, or Not: The Oregon State Bar is Looking for Lawyer Poets

Calling all Poets (from the OSB Legal Pubs blog)

But if you’re going to write haiku, please, please, please do it right. (Sigh.) Haiku isn’t what you wrote in 5th grade (or even for your first love or your first legal newsletter submission, no matter how much you were patted on the head for your, um, creativity.) Haiku is creative writing, but there are Rules, just like brief writing. (Sorry.)

My favorite for beginners “how to write haiku” book is this one by David Coomler, but there are others (including websites) and don’t forget Senryu, which can be described as Japanese satirical poems. (Senryu can be very, very funny or simply a gurgle of amusement.)

“Hokku : writing traditional haiku in English : the gift to be simple,” by David Coomler

For fun: Baseball Haiku

And, lest you think Haiku is there for the taking (or the re-printing), from our favorite lawyer-poet there is this: Haiku and the Fair Use Doctrine

Don’t Be a Legal Self-Help DIY April Fool

There is a lot of legal self-help you can do that really is DIY (do it yourself), but if there is a lot of money at stake, property, children, parents, dependents, your credit rating, your reputation, your heirs or inheritance, or anything else that matters to you, please be a smart legal self-helper by doing thorough legal research or consulting a lawyer. (Or both!)

You may need only to consult a lawyer or find one to coach you through your case. And you need to find the right lawyer, so take the time and read about how to find and work with lawyers.

But it’s worth taking the time to find that lawyer. You never know when you might need to consult a lawyer again, on a debt problem, a business start-up, a neighbor dispute, a landlord-tenant problem, an estate plan, or a family legal problem.

The Oregon State Bar Information and Referral Service has a toll free number to call to get names of attorneys in your area; call their referral service at 503-684-3763 or 1-800-452-7636. More information about their services is available at their website.

There are other ways to find a lawyer including search engines and asking friends and relatives – or visit the law library and ask for lawyer referral resources.

20 Access to Legal Services and Information Apps

From the ABA Journal: “20 apps to help provide easier access to legal help,” by Joe Dysart, April 1, 2015.

Words to the Wise: DIY Lawyering can be risky – and expensive – if you have to pay a lawyer later to fix what you could have done correctly, and cost effectively, from the start. If you need to respond to a summons, draft a lease, a power of attorney, a contract, or a will, or take any legal action that requires you to know not only how to research the law, which rules of procedure to follow, and how the courts interpret the law, please consult an attorney. As a very wise lawyer/librarian says:

“If you read only what is written in the statutes, the cases, and the constitutions you will be absolutely wrong about what the law is.”

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for research purposes only. We do not provide legal advice, nor do we endorse any person, product, or company.

The Oregon State Bar Information and Referral Service has a toll free number to call to get names of attorneys in your area; call their referral service at 503-684-3763 or 1-800-452-7636. More information about their services is available at their website.

My, My, My: Auntie Mame Would Have Made a Hoot of a Law Librarian

Every working stiff needs a laugh and a boost on Friday-Eve morning (better known as Thursday morning) and we are no exception to that truth. So, we often turn to the Legal Research is Easy blogger who never fails to tickle our funny bones – and he’s willing to spill the beans about his patrons. What more could you want?! We all have these public law library patrons, but who can tell their stories with such humor and exasperation – and with excellent legal research tips!

(Public libraries everywhere have these patrons. If you don’t believe me, read Unshelved and the “Black Belt Librarian” author who thought he knew everything about libraries and security until he actually started working in one.)

The latest Legal Research is Easy posts (and previous ones for that matter) are hilarious AND interesting AND smart AND the facts described would elicit a my, my, my from our favorite Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell). (The rest of us fall about laughing. Auntie Mame was nothing if not a classy dame.)

Start with these if you dare or catch up with all the LRiE posts.

Mirror, Mirror: watch out for smooth talking losers when the police show up

I did not know that: can your landlord hold your stuff for ransom?

Dockets and other Court Records Databases in Oregon Public Law Libraries: Update

This is an update to the previous 10/14 blog post: OJIN and OECI Access in Oregon County Law Libraries

The following Oregon public law libraries have in-library public, or staff-assisted, access to OJIN, OECI, or ACMS (court dockets). (But, these locations do not necessarily have access to any or all full-text filed documents. You may need visit Circuit Court records offices for those documents.)

Contact information for all Oregon county law libraries can be found at the OCCLL directory.

State of Oregon Law Library (ACMS & OJIN & OECI): 503.986.5640
Clackamas (OJIN & OECI): 503-655-8248
Josephine (OJIN & OECI): 541-474-5488
Lane (OJIN & OECI): 541-682-4337
Marion (OJIN & OECI & ACMS): 503-588-5090
Multnomah (OJIN & OECI): 503-988-3394

The other county law libraries do not have these court records databases, which is not to say you can’t ask your court’s Trial Court Administrator or Presiding Judge to allow access from your county law library.

For more information, link to OJCIN OnLine (Oregon Judicial Case Information Network) and the OJD eCourt homepage.

Law Practice: Ethical Duty of Technology Competence

“13 States Have Adopted Ethical Duty of Technology Competence,” by Robert Ambrogi, 3/16/15:

“In 2012, something happened that I called a sea change in the legal profession: The American Bar Association formally approved a change to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to make clear that lawyers have a duty to be competent not only in the law and its practice, but also in technology….” [Link to full blog post.]

Law Technology Products / Processes Starts and Stops 2014-2015: Bloomberg to Uber

From Dewy B Strategic:

What’s the best NEW PRODUCT you became aware of in 2014?
What was the BEST FEATURE/FUNCTION added to an information resource in 2014?
What PRODUCT did your department/organization STOP using in 2014?

More? Read on:

Products Started/Stopped:
The 2014-15 Start Stop Survey Results: The Products. Out with the Old. In With the Innovative: Lex Machina Best New Product. Fastcase/HeinOnline Best Innovation

Processes Started/Stopped:
The Start Stop Poll Results 2014-2015: Processes and Initiatives. Workflow Improvement In, Print Continues Its Freefall

Are Law-Lib Archives 35 years old in March 2015? Happy Birthday!

Law Librarians Rock and Rule!

I was checking the Law-Lib archives recently and noticed that the first archived Law-Lib email message appeared in March 1980. There was another one in January 1988, but the archiving didn’t pick up speed until August 1991. (Visit the Law-Lib FAQ for Law-Lib instructions.)

Can 3,564 dedicated subscribers (on 3/23/15) be wrong? Well, yes, they can! But not when it comes to crowd-sourcing our patrons’ legal research needs. The accumulated knowledge, kindness, and humor on law-lib is still awesome.

So, say Happy Birthday to your (our!) People and have a moment of reflection about how things have changed, or not, since 1980 in the law library world.

In any event, law-lib is way past infancy and heading on to middle-age. (For the record, even Jane Austen, way back when, referred to a man in his 50’s as middle-aged. And if Jane Says, then it is so.)

Law-Lib FAQ

And thank-you x 1,000 to Christopher Noe, the Keeper of the FAQ, and Judy Janes at UC-Davis for hosting all these years.