Articles Posted in General Legal Research Resources

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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:

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From the Law Librarian Blog (2): SCOTUS Style Manual Available for Purchase

Excerpt: “In Supreme Court’s Style Manual is Private No More, Tony Mauro reports that the US Supreme Court Style Guide, 2013 ed. can be purchased through Amazon without Court approval because a court aficionado named Jack Metzler is making it available for sale under his own imprint. Metzler reportedly photocopied the 200+ page long manual in the Supreme Court’s law library….” [Link to full LLB2 blog post.]

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Citing law back to Wheaton v. Peters, 33 U.S. (8 Pet.) 591 (1834), “Fastcase maintains that public law cannot be copyrighted ….” [Quoted from Ambrogi, Feb. 6, 2016, article.]

Wheaton v. Peters (read the case at Justia, via Wikipedia, or search the case name for other caselaw sources, e.g. Google Scholar or Cornell LII)

Track Fastcase v. Casemaker news developments at Law Sites Blog and other legal news sources:

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When you need legal research advice, turn to the legal research experts, professional law librarians, most of whom are able to share their expertise freely, or low-costly (so to speak), which is good value indeed when you need accurate, timely, and comprehensive information.

Great law librarians keep up with the vast world of legal research resources: dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of journals and websites and lawyer and law librarian listserves, networks, and professional associations (e.g. AALL). A Law Librarian’s Continuing Education also includes reading local, state, and national judicial, legislative, and regulatory news, and related news in the foreign and international legal world.

So, make sure the librarian you consult for legal research advice is Keeping Up With the Legal Research Joneses or, more to the point, Keeping Up With Opposing Counsel, whose access to legal research resources might be funded a whole lot better than yours:

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (see also this view of the TPP, among others) would become FEDERAL law, not STATE law, so you should start your research with your Oregon Congressional Delegation. This is not to say you shouldn’t also talk to your Oregon state representatives, who should be conversant on the subject of the TPP anyway, if only because any national trade laws will affect you locally, your business, you as consumer, and all of us (most of us) as taxpayers.

A brief tutorial:

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Wikipedia entry.

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You need to do a little research if you want to sound as if you know what you are talking about, or, as a comedian (more than once) said:

The lesson of that first day in kindergarten was re-taught to me throughout my life: If you think you’re pretty smart, you’re not talking to enough people.” Cameron, Bruce, “The Smartest Guy in an Empty Room,” Funny Times, September 2013, p. 3.

Onward to the All Writs Act:

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We are a country of federal, state, and local laws (and international treaties, for that matter). So when someone asks, “What’s the Law On …,” law librarians and lawyers need to show laypeople how to Find the Law(s).

NPR has done that for you with Body Cam Laws (but, note that laws change so you will need to update this research each time you need accurate data.)

“Piecing Together America’s Patchwork Quilt Of Body Cam Laws,” posted 2/25/16, at NPR’s All Tech Considered.

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Many of the people who glibly toss around the “disruptive” technology or innovation phrase are a lot like the people who toss around theKabuki theatre” phrase. The speaker or writer is usually unable in either instance to explain exactly WHY something is disruptive or Kabuki, or even “ish.”

The Harvard Business Review, December 2015 issue, may come to your rescue:

“What Is Disruptive Innovation?” by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor, Rory McDonald, HBR, Dec 2015

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LoisLaw is dead; long live Fastcase/Loislaw.

Research Tip: Good word searches won’t get you very far if you don’t update your research.

(And all good legal researchers know how to “update the law.”)