Articles Posted in Legal Self-help Community

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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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While there are many excellent legal self-help initiatives, there are few studies that evaluate those self-help programs after the fact, i.e. after the self-represented litigant has used the software or the court forms and system (e.g. in small claims court) to resolve a problem or right a wrong.

But the surveys that do exist can be helpful to others. See, for example, this report, which you can find at the SRLN Stories page – and here is the direct link:

Orange County, CA and the State of Texas Conduct User Experience Research and Learn that SRLs in Civil Cases Can E-File (News 2016)

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You can find Multnomah County Family Law Forms at their Circuit Court website. These include Sex Change forms for an adult, Sex and Name Change forms for an adult, and Sex Change forms for minor children.

Residents of other Oregon counties should check with their own County Circuit Courts. There is a Court Finder locator at the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) website.

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A2J = Access to Justice: Words and Names Matter

The Law Librarians at the State Of Wisconsin Law Library know that the difference between a Legal Resource Center or a Legal Information Center and a Law Library matters to Law Library patrons, whether they are lawyers or self-represented litigants. Read this article from their WSLL Newsletter, February 2016 issue:

Wisconsin State Law Library Year in Review – Julie Tessmer, State Law Librarian:

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This a joint initiative of the Minnesota State Law Library and the Appellate Practice Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

New self-help clinic helps Minnesotans navigate appeals process,” posted Monday, February 8, 2016, at the Minnesota Judicial Branch website:

A new self-help clinic at the Minnesota State Law Library provides free assistance to individuals seeking to file an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals or the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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Whether you donate money or in-kind to a charity or nonprofit directly (through their website, in cash, or by check), through “fraudsters” (the FTC  word), or through donation clearinghouses like Willamette Week’s Give Guide or the Oregonian’s Season of Sharing ….

Make Sure Your Donation is Doing What You Want it to Do – and learn a little about the nonprofit and fundraising world while you’re at it:

The Oregon Department of Justice Charitable Activities website is a good place to begin your research. Find these topics and more:

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The State of Oregon Law Library (SOLL) is providing statewide access to 2 valuable legal research databases, previously unavailable for remote access to non-attorney Oregonians. (No legal research database is cheap, but pooling resources and making Really Good Value legal research databases available to everyone supports “access to justice” goals: to educate students, voters, and anyone else with an abiding lifelong intellectual curiosity about law, lawmaking, judicial process, legal rights, government, and politics.)

Link to EBSCO and Fastcase, from the SOLL Legal Resources webpage:

“1) EBSCO Legal Information Reference Center

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If you haven’t seen these 2 articles in your news feeds then you’re not doing your consumer law education reading:

New York Times articles, by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael Corkery, November 2015:

Beware the Fine Print, Part I: Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice