Articles Posted in General Legal Research Resources

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Lawyers in large law firms usually have databases, couriers, professional law librarians and money to help them locate full-text copies of court documents quickly. What are mere mortals to do? There is actually quite a bit.

Mere mortals who want Oregon appellate court documents have their own “points of access” and it’s going to get better:

1) How to Find Oregon Appellate Court Briefs research guide, which will be updated shortly

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First: Librarians, please do not make legal decisions, copyright or otherwise, for your employer (or your own business for that matter) if there is possible litigation down the road. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish. Your library employer has, or should have, a lawyer who is paid for making these decisions that will keep you and the institution from getting sued. Keep in mind that it is not just a matter of right or wrong, lawful or unlawful, win or lose. It takes time and money to defend yourself in a lawsuit, frivolous or not. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time and money on services for your library’s patrons?

Now, on to those Copyright Tools for Librarians, from the February 2016 Legal Research Plus blog post, and their link to the ALA Copyright Tools website.

Hat tip to Legal Research Plus for this and many other research tips (and for their Law Library blog).

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“Fully Loaded: How America’s 10 biggest gunmakers do business,” by Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones, June 2016

Do you want to do more research?

Sample searches: see note below about how to control and limit your wildly random Internet searches:

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If your latest novel, or dinner table conversation, includes a duel, here’s a useful and humorous blog post for you from In Custodia Legis, a Law Librarians of Congress blog:

“So, you’ve been challenged to a duel. What are the rules?,” June 2, 2016 by Robert Brammer.

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Is the water in your home, at work, in your town’s public buildings, and in your schools safe to drink? Assume nothing, but don’t panic either (yet):

You can link to this “Ripple Effect” article from (the excellent and addictive) Longform, or directly from the June 2016 issue of Wired:

“Ripple Effect: To obsessed water engineer Marc Edwards, the lead crisis in Flint is just the beginning of an epidemic, by Ben Paynter,” Wired dot com, June 2016.

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LawSites continues to be at the top of my list for Keeping Up With Interesting Legal Tech News. There are so many reasons so many of us link back to it. (There are other sites that will keep you abreast of the latest SCOTUS, Law and …, legal scholarship,and legal research news.)

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“State Legal Information Census: An Analysis of Primary State Legal Information,” by Sarah Glassmeyer, Published on February 21, 2016.

Sarah Glassmeyer, is a Research Fellow with the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Excerpt: “.… Findings indicate that there exist at least 14 barriers to accessing legal information. These barriers exist for both the individual user of a resource for personal research as well as an institutional user that would seek to republish or transform the information. Details about the types of barriers and the quantity of their existence can be found under “Barriers to Access.” At the time of the census, no state provided barrier-free access to their legal information….” [Link to full LLRX article.]

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Espresso Machines are Lousy Substitutes for Law Library Leadership (3 Geeks and a Law Blog 4/22/16 blog post):

“…. Law Librarianship is not about the number of books on the shelf. It is not about turning shelves into collaboration spaces or coffee bars. It is about positioning the firm in a manner that aligns resources, internal and external; human and information, in a way that puts the firm on a better competitive footing. It’s about risk-management. It’s about negotiating the best deals with very expensive vendors. It’s about evaluating what is, and what is not needed to support the practices of the firm. It takes a strong leader, one with vision of where the law library fits in the strategic goals of the firm, in order to guide the firm on the correct path. Leaving these leadership positions empty, or eliminating them altogether may have short-term financial gains, but long-term repercussions that will plague firms for many years to come….” [Link to full article.]

Read more law librarian / law firm / client management posts from 3 Geeks and a Law Blog and other ABA Law Blawgs.

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Do you ever notice that new words come to one’s attention in waves?

I’ve run across this word several times in the past few weeks – and it’s not one to trip off the tongue, so to speak, with any regularity, although maybe it should: misprision

Wikipedia entry: “Misprision (from Old French: mesprendre, modern French: se méprendre, “to misunderstand”) is a term of English law used to describe certain kinds of offence. Writers on criminal law usually divide misprision into two kinds, negative or positive….

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The Equal Justice Library is now located at the Georgetown Law School Library:

The National Equal Justice Library (NEJL) is the first and only institution dedicated to documenting and preserving the legal profession’s history of providing counsel for those unable to afford it….” [Link to National Equal Justice Library homepage.]

Their collection includes oral histories, like this one about the early history of the Legal Services Corporation in Arkansas: