Last Thoughts on Legislative Drafting and Poetry Month (April at the Law Library of Congress)

“The Unacknowledged Legislators of the World,” April 28, 2015 by Jennifer Davis (Law Library of Congress)

“…. The centrality of interpretation to law and poetry is also explored by Wallace Stevens, most markedly in his poem “Metaphors of a Magnifico“:

Twenty men crossing a bridge,
Into a village,
Are twenty men crossing twenty bridges,
Into twenty villages,
Or one man
Crossing a single bridge into a village….

[Link to full Library of Congress blog post.]

California Court Documents: Trial Court Documents and Appellate Court Briefs

California Superior (trial) Court documents note: availability and cost will vary from one Superior Court to another.

Visit the California Superior Court website where the case was filed and decided:

For example:

1) Alameda County: The Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, provides the public with online access to civil case records (documents and information) through Alameda County Court DomainWeb. Searching for dockets is free but retrieving documents is fee based and anyone with a credit card can create an account to retrieve documents. (Visit the Alameda County Law Library website.)

2) San Bernardino County: Most of the documents going back into at least the 1990s are available through the San Bernardino Superior Court website. The Court determines court document availability and cost, if any. As of the now, the Court does not charge for access. (Visit the San Bernardino County Law Library website.)

California Appellate Court briefs:

The Council of California County Law Librarians (CCCLL) has a guide to major collections of California appellate court briefs.

Other CCCLL law libraries may also have briefs in their print or digital collections.

California has an excellent family of county law librarians who work together through the Council of California County Law Librarians (CCCLL).

Oregon Supreme Court: PERS Decision (4/30/15)

Moro v. State of Oregon, 357 Or 167 (S061452) (2015)

“.... Before Balmer, Chief Justice, and Kistler, Walters, Linder, Brewer, and Baldwin, Justices, and Haselton, Chief Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals, Justice pro tempore.**

BALMER, C. J.
Brewer, J., concurred and filed an opinion. Oregon Laws 2013, chapter 53, sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, are declared unconstitutional under Article I, section 21, of the Oregon Constitution insofar as they affect retirement benefits earned before May 6, 2013. Oregon Laws 2013, chapter 2, sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (Special Session), are declared unconstitutional under Article I, section 21, of the Oregon Constitution insofar as they affect retirement benefits earned before October 8, 2013. Oregon Laws 2013, chapter 2, section 8 (Special Session) is declared void. Petitioners’ requests for relief challenging Oregon Laws 2013, chapter 53, sections 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17, are denied….” [Moro v State of Oregon]

Baltimore Libraries Stay Open Through Riots

Hat Tip to Library Link of the Day (4/29/15).

Baltimore Libraries Stay Open Through Riots, Because ‘The Community Needs Us: All library locations, including those at the epicenter of the riots, are welcoming patrons today,” by Kat Rosenfield 4/28/2015.

You can find more than books at the Baltimore public library today, as all branches remain open and fully staffed in the wake of protests and riots that have rocked the city.

With a state of emergency declared and schools closed citywide Tuesday morning, the Enoch Pratt Free Library has chosen to stay open, providing a hub of comfort and community to all Baltimore neighborhoods, including the ones most affected by the mayhem.

“It’s at times like this that the community needs us,” library Director of Communications Roswell Encina told MTV News. “That’s what the library has always been there for, from crises like this to a recession to the aftermath of severe weather. The library has been there. It happened in Ferguson; it’s happening here.[Link to full article.]

Preventing Link Rot: Lawyer and Librarian Friend Perma cc Wins Webby Award

From ABA News: “Site aiming to prevent ‘link rot’ for legal researchers wins 2015 Webby,” by Molly McDonough, 4/27/15:

Excerpt: “A service that enables courts and researchers to make permanent links to research found on the Web has won a Webby Award for best legal site of 2015.

Perma.cc, developed by the Harvard Law School Library and supported by a network of more than 60 law libraries, takes on the widespread problem of broken or defunct Web links, also known as “link rot,” which can that can undermine research by scholars and courts….” [Link to full ABA article.]

And don’t forget to save your websites to the Internet Archive for future reference.

It’s National County Government (and Poetry) Month

Hat tip to Gallagher blogs, the ever vigilant and ever playful, law librarians at the University of Washington.

“National County Government Month

April is the cruellest month,” wrote T. S. Eliot. If you’re a fan of Eliot, you might be celebrating April as National Poetry Month.

But April is also National County Government Month (declared by the National Association of Counties (NACo)), and as lawyers you’re more likely to deal with county government or even be a part of it than you are to be a professional poet, so let’s take a minute to think about county government….” [Link to Gallagher Blogs post.]

Note from the Oregon Legal Research blogger: don’t confuse their “Washington counties” references with our Washington County references. Eternal vigilance and all that.

If you need a, um, judicious poetry break, search The Google for lawyer poets and read some interesting lawyer-poetry tidbits. (There is also a lot of judicial poetry – more than you could imagine or even want to imagine – i.e. judges who write their opinions in verse; but we can save that topic for another blog post.)

New Multnomah Law Library Website: Services, Databases, Catalog and More

The library is a growing organism.” [Ranganathan, the fifth of “Five Laws of Library Science”]

Visit the new website of the Multnomah Law Library for your legal research adventures. Note that Saturday hours have returned, remote and in-library database access is expanding, and the online catalog will earn its keep as a time-saver.

And don’t forget the Oregon legal research databases I featured in last week’s blog posts, from the State Law Library and OSB.

(Note the absence of the the word “county” in the law library’s name. The Multnomah Law Library is a nonprofit organization, not a county department, unlike other county law libraries in Oregon.)

Oregon “Jury awards couple nearly $240K over neighbors’ barking dogs,”

“Oregon Jury awards couple nearly $240K over neighbors’ barking dogs, by Martha Neil, ABA Journal News, April 16, 2015

An Oregon jury has awarded nearly $240,000 to a Rogue River couple who said they had to listen to their neighbors’ dogs constant barking for over a decade.

Plaintiffs Dale and Debra Krein said in the Jackson County suit that John Updegraff and Karen Szewc began breeding Tibetan mastiffs in 2002. After that, the giant dogs began barking around 5 a.m. and continued all day, the Kreins contended. They said their neighbors did not attempt to keep the dogs quiet even after the two were cited more than a decade ago by county authorities for creating a nuisance, reports the Medford Mail Tribune….[Link to ABA article.]