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Short of performing a bundy-ectomy (formerly reserved for Al or Ted), let’s get another view of this particular cathedral. Here is an old Law Librarian’s take on protest and occupation:

Read a Book, Read the Law:

The history of protest goes back to the beginning of human time (check out the Flintstones if you doubt me).

So, if you plan to protest, march, occupy or maybe sit-in (and I highly recommend someplace with a cafeteria, a library, public computers, showers, and good wifi), expect a lot of time on your hands. Here’s a reading list to help you while away those hours – and you’ll be a lot smarter and maybe even wiser in the end. (Remember this excellent short story? “A General in the library,” by Italo Calvino, which you can find, among other places, in this collection: “In the stacks: short stories about libraries and librarians,” edited by Michael Cart. Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 2002.)

Some useful background reading to start you off:

Then, how about a little History of the United States (and I recently read this riveting book, by Peter Stark: “Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival”) about truly fearless explorers who wanted to make the United States bigger and better.

You might also want to read about armed conflicts that lasted decades, centuries, and ended only with negotiated agreements, and the literature on terrorism and diplomacy. Remember, greater minds than yours (way, way, way greater) have struggled with this for eons, so listen up, read, and learn about: Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and many other armed conflicts that used to look the way current ones still do.

Perhaps you can start with the bibliography in this book, “How Terrorism Ends” or read and listen to Lawrence Wright, another highly readable war and peace scholar whose book and article bibliographies should remind you just how little you know now about what you think you know.

Now let’s move on to the literature of protest and law:

In addition to the usual suspects, Alinsky, Thoreau, and other memorable and creative practitioners of Civil Disobedience

  • FBI Crisis Intervention and Response LibGuide: Books, and a few other research tools, pertaining to all aspects of crisis intervention.
  • Burns Paiute Tribe: You need to know who really has a claim on the ground beneath you
  • Civil Disobedience and Protest literature. Search online: civil disobedience activism protest revolts civil rights, anarchy, revolution, etc.
  • Read federal and Oregon law, including statutes, cases, and regulations. (I recommend asking a law librarian for a tutorial if you’re not an experience legal researcher.)
  • The U.S. Constitution and constitutional law treatises. The Library of Congress has an annotated version, which will save you a lot of time.
  • Oregon and U.S. history, including pre-statehood materials. The State of Oregon Law Library is a good place to begin, but remember that not everything you need is online.
  • U.S. Supreme Court cases on the constitution and federal and states’ rights. Back to the Law Library since the U.S. S.Ct. doesn’t have a searchable database, at least not for the public.
  • Native American law and legal treatises. And again, back to the Law Library and professional Law Librarians. You can search for guides, like this one at Georgetown Law Library.
  • Sentencing law, especially the history and practice of sentencing guidelines. Learn how and who makes laws, especially, who wrote the sentencing guidelines. Guess what, it’s back to the Law Library.
  • Local government law, especially on sources of state and local government authority, including what home rule means. Back to the Law Library (there are some excellent treatises, not online of course, at least not unless you have a lot of money). For example, here’s a research guide from USC.
  • Local and national newspapers are running lots of interesting and informative articles about all of the above, written by people who did their homework and didn’t just make stuff up. You can go online for these, unless you need to do a thorough search, in which case you need a newspaper database. Start with the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Oregonian.
  • Some radio programs have interviews with experts, e.g. Jefferson Smith’s X-ray program on January 8, 2016, had an interesting interview with Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director with Audubon Society and Michael Blumm, Professor, Lewis & Clark Law School, during the 7:30-8 a.m. segment. And here’s a lecture given in Salem on the Willamette campus not long ago: 2015 Salem Peace Lecture, by Erica Chenoweth, on Nonviolent Resistance, who has also given a TED talk
  • Sorry, but we have to get back to The Law: Don’t forget tax law. If they don’t get you on the other stuff, when all else fails, there’s always those darn taxes, unless of course you are rich enough to hire the best tax lawyers in the country in which case you just pay them.
  • Let’s not leave out an entire body of federal criminal law, maybe also starting with the Oregon’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is where the Hammond re-sentencing appeal decision originated, under the mysteriously vanished and now vanquished former Oregon U.S. Attorney, Amanda Marshall.

Did I leave out anything? Huge amounts (did anyone say Legal Research is Easy?), but in the meantime settle in with these research, reading, and learning tips, grab a snack, and start taking notes. And don’t forget to call home once in a while in addition to keeping up with current international news. Lots of protesters, many of them children, in other countries are also on the march. It never hurts to put all humankind’s trials and tribulations into perspective.

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If you think this June 16, 2015, PFHT Open House sounds boring and you live in the Portland-metro area, you haven’t been paying attention to Sharing Economy news:

Portland’s Private For Hire Transportation (PFHT) Program and the Task Force Meeting Schedule.

From the Open House notification sent to NextDoor members:

Many of you have read in the paper about the arrival of peer to peer transportation companies like Uber and Lyft who have arrived in Portland. New regulations are being created this summer around this. It has been a controversial issue and the task-force of community members working on it are having a forum to hear from the public. There is still debate about if it should be allowed and what regulations need to be in place to make it work. This issue is particularly import for people with disabilities who have historically not had great access to private transportation. If you know of people in your neighborhood please pass this information on. I am including all the details I know below but please understand this is a Bureau of Transportation event so if you need an accommodation to attend or you would like more information about the forum or the issue contact Jody @ 503 823 1769 “

PFHT Community Open House
June 16; 4:00-7:30 pm
Meeting Room C, 2nd floor
Portland Building – 1120 SW 5th
4:30–5:00 General circulation
5:00 Plenary Session
– Welcome: Commissioner Novick, Chair Greenfield
– Overview of process
– Why are we here today; what input we’re seeking
– Format for open house
– Field limited number of questions about today’s event
5:20-5:30 Circulation
5:30. Subcommittee programs
– Introduction by convener to topics being addressed
– Set of questions to be developed for each subcommittee
7:00 Report outs
7:15 Wrap up and circulation
7:30 Adjourn
Jun 9 in General to all areas in City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement

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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) Orange County: Superior Court allows any person in the 50 United States to purchase some court documents online. Here in the Law Library we do not have access. Case name search is only available if the individual has set up an account.

3) 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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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U.S. Congress at Work:

18 U.S. Code § 2703:

(a) Contents of Wire or Electronic Communications in Electronic Storage.— A governmental entity may require the disclosure by a provider of electronic communication service of the contents of a wire or electronic communication, that is in electronic storage in an electronic communications system for one hundred and eighty days or less, only pursuant to a warrant issued using the procedures described in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (or, in the case of a State court, issued using State warrant procedures) by a court of competent jurisdiction….” [Link to the full text of 18 USC 2703 at the Cornell Legal Information website.]

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If you’re a member of an association of owners (aka HOA) and want to learn about how the Oregon Legislature makes laws, here are two bills just for you. You can track them on the Legislature’s website – no need to drive to Salem, unless you want to. And contact your State Legislator to ask about these bills. A Find Your Legislator” search tool is on the Legislature’s home page.

HB 2582: Prohibits association of owners for, or declarant of, planned community or condominium from prohibiting display of signs based on content of sign.

HB 2584: Prohibits association of owners for, or declarant of, planned community or condominium from making records of association confidential or exempt from disclosure to owners of real property in planned community or condominium.

A Public Hearing and Possible Work Session is scheduled for February 10th. Check OLIS for more information. Use the Bills search to locate your bill’s files and then enjoy your research.