Monday, February 20, 2017

Law Library Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism

Whether you are writing a brief or a seminar paper, take care to avoid plagiarism. Your legal readers, from judges to fellow scholars, expect to be able to identify which words and ideas are yours and which come from others, in part to evaluate the evidence underlying your arguments.

The Moritz Law Library offers resources on identifying and avoiding plagiarism in the guide to Legal Writing and Research Success. Here are a few tips:
  • Keep track of your research. Use a research log to note useful resources, identify proper citations for each source, and trace your process.
  • Put quotation marks around quoted language as you work. It is too easy to copy and paste and forget to cite later.  
  • Do not worry about overciting. In both practical and academic legal writing, because all nonoriginal content must be credited, you will see more citation than often appears in the work of other disciplines.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Research Tip: What is “Permanent” Online?

Websites “disappear” for any number of reasons. Presidential transitions, general link rot, or site design errors can all contribute to Internet content vanishing. What’s a researcher to do? Consider whether you can find a permanent url (also referred to as a “purl”) for the website; adding them to citations is becoming an increasingly common practice for authors who cite online content. In fact, the Moritz Law Library provides access to, a tool for creating an archived document with a permanent url. If you are reading a law review article, for example, and it links to content that seems to no longer exist, consider searching Lexis Advance, Westlaw, or HeinOnline for the source/URL to see whether another scholar used to preserve the web page’s content. If you are curious about using for your own scholarship, please speak with one of the law librarians.

Here is an example of the use of (a “purl”) in a law review citation:
  • See Kathleen Short, U.S. Census Bureau, The Research Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2010, at 12 tbl.5 (2011), available at http://, archived at (finding the supplemental poverty measures for Latinos at 28.2%, blacks at 25.4%, and whites at 14.3%).
Second, you can also use the Internet Archive to find content that is no longer available. For example, here is a document that formerly appeared on “A Historic Commitment to Protecting the Environment and Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change.” Though now gone, the document was archived a number of times, including on January 20, 2017. Copy and paste the url in question into the search bar to see available archive dates. If you’d like to explore archived government websites, see the End of Term Web Archive.

Finally, if you’ve had your fill of the Internet’s ephemerality altogether and just want good old fashioned news (but still can’t quite take subscribing to a print newspaper), consider consulting Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, a digital archive of U.S. newspapers from 1789-1924, and the product of a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. Of particular local interest, you can consult a variety of old Ohio newspapers including The Organ of the Temperance Reform, The Toiler, or Spirit of the Times.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Research International Arbitration or Intellectual Property Using New Law Library Databases

As we begin a new semester, you might be interested in checking out two of the Moritz Law Library’s newer databases: Kluwer Arbitration and Kluwer IP Law. Kluwer Arbitration has resources on international arbitration, offering both primary sources and commentary by experts. These include full-text books and journals, as well as practice tools that can narrow research based on jurisdiction and topic. Full-text books and journals can also be found on Kluwer IP Law, along with selected U.S. trade secret cases and “smart charts” to compare specific aspects of IP law across jurisdictions. The two databases have near-identical interfaces. You can find access (including off-campus access) to both of them at the A-Z list of databases at the Law Library website.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Try Interactive CALI Lessons for Studying and Class Prep

The Moritz Law Library offers students access to web-based legal tutorials and other resources through the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), a non-profit consortium. CALI provides law students at member schools access to nearly 1000 interactive, web-based “lessons” in many subject areas including first-year topics like torts, criminal law, and contracts. These lessons, created by law professors and librarians at U.S. law schools, are useful as a supplemental learning tool. CALI also features a growing ebook collection, which now includes casebooks, rules of procedure and evidence, and law-related coloring books.

To access CALI lessons, new Moritz users must first click the “Register” link in the upper right corner of the site and enter the Moritz student code. Use your OSU email address when registering. Please contact a Moritz reference librarian if you need assistance, or if you have questions about additional study aids in print or online.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Law Library Tips for Seminar Paper Research

Do you need a jump start on your seminar paper this semester? The Moritz Law Library has created a list of resources relevant to this process, including books on academic legal writing, scholarly research tools, and more.

Here are a few research tips for academic legal writing:
  • Sign up for a research consultation with a reference librarian at any stage, from topic selection to developing background research.
  • Explore the world beyond Google. The Moritz Law Library and the OSU Libraries offer a wide range of databases, books, and journals.
  • Keep track of your research process so that you don’t repeat steps and so that you can cite sources properly.
  • Synthesize sources. Academic legal writing draws on many supporting sources rather than only a few.
  • As you read law review articles, take note of the range and frequency of citations as a model for your own work.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Windows on Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, just a five-minute walk from the law school, is currently exhibiting over 70 works of art by famous American political cartoonists and death row inmates. Political cartoonist Patrick Chappatte and journalist Anne-Frederique Widmann curated the exhibit, Windows on Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls, which they intend to stimulate conversations around “politics, race, morality, and the question of equality under the law.”

What can you expect to see at the exhibit? According to The Political Cartoon, political (also known as editorial) cartoons should demonstrate artistic quality; genuine sentiment; fresh, uncomplicated imagery; and lasting importance. In other words, don’t expect to laugh, but do expect some dry, complex wit and exceptional artistic talent. The inmates’ works are more diverse in form and medium, yet each convey something about daily prison life, the criminal justice system, or the experience of lifelong incarceration with death as the most likely outcome (whether through execution or otherwise while in prison).

Many of the works can be viewed online if you are unable to make it to the Cartoon Library to see the images in person.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Foreign and Comparative Law Resources at the Moritz Law Library

Do you need to research how U.S. law compares to the law of a foreign jurisdiction? Check out the Moritz Law Library’s foreign law databases, listed alongside the international law databases on the Legal Research Databases page. Two noteworthy offerings in this group are the International Encyclopaedia of Laws and vLex Global. The International Encyclopaedia of Laws offers English explanations of foreign law on various topics including constitutional law, contracts, corporations, criminal law, cyber law, energy law, environmental law and more. This resource can be a good starting point for locating relevant primary law in a foreign jurisdiction. vLex Global offers a variety of both primary and secondary sources in foreign jurisdictions, with a particular emphasis on Spanish language materials. Contact a Moritz reference librarian for any assistance using these resources or for more general assistance researching non-U.S. law.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

“What Is a Looseleaf and How Can It Possibly Help Me De-Stress During Finals?”

The answer can be found in the Study Break area in the Moritz Law Library, located between the reference desk and the public access computers on the 2nd floor.
Turn off your brain for a while.

In this area you’ll find materials for a number of activities to help you take a short break from the stress of studying for finals. Activities materials include colored pencils and pages from the coloring book, What Color is Your C.F.R.?, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards, and old looseleaf pages to cut into snowflakes like this:
These can get pretty elaborate.
A looseleaf service is so called because it is made up of pages or pamphlets filed in looseleaf binders. This format allows current information to be easily added to the existing materials, removing out-of-date pages and replacing them with up-to-date information. The ease of updating the binders allows supplementation to be added frequently, even weekly in some cases. Most looseleafs are now available online. Only out-of date looseleaf pages and duplicate issues of law journals are being used to make snowflakes.

In addition to de-stressing activities, feel free to take packets of tea and hot chocolate and check out some of the books recommended by the librarians and staff of the Moritz Law Library for your post-finals leisure reading or holiday gift-giving needs.

So have some fun, let your mind refresh itself, and be ready to return to your outlines. Good luck on your exams!

Monday, November 07, 2016

The Trial of Queen Caroline – A New Addition to the Moritz Law Library’s Stotter Collection

During a recent visit to the Moritz College of Law, Moritz alum Lawrence H. Stotter ’58 presented the Moritz Law Library with a new addition to the Law Library’s Stotter Collection: five volumes comprising the full report of The Trial of Queen Caroline, published in 1820.

Title page and frontispiece, the latter depicting the House of Lords during the Queen's Trial
The Moritz Law Library’s Stotter Collection originated in 2006 as a donation of over 200 volumes on family and domestic law that Stotter, a prominent trial attorney and family law specialist, had carefully selected and curated over the course of several decades. The Collection contains works ranging from the 17th century to the 20th, serving, as a whole, to depict the historical development of this area of practice.

Queen Caroline was the wife of King George IV of the United Kingdom, whose reign began in 1820. Prior to his coronation, George requested that Parliament dissolve their marriage. The newly-gifted volumes contain the full report of the proceedings of the ensuing trial in Parliament, including the evidence presented and the opening and closing remarks of the parties’ attorneys.

An in-depth discussion of the trial can be found in Lawrence Stotter’s own work on the history of family law, To Put Asunder: The Laws of Matrimonial Strife. More information on the Stotter Collection can be found in archived articles from All Rise and in a 2015 article for AALL Spectrum written by Sara Sampson, Assistant Dean for Information Services and Director of the Moritz Law Library.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Study Aids and Interactive Lessons at the Moritz Law Library

As we enter the final months of the semester, consider checking out the print and online study aids available through the Moritz Law Library. West Academic's online Study Aids collection includes over 500 titles, including Nutshells, Hornbooks, and outlines, on subjects ranging from criminal law to trusts and estates. Moritz students and faculty can also search for – and access – West Academic’s e-books through the OSU University Libraries Catalog.

Another helpful exam prep tool is the set of online tutorials on the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) site. To access CALI lessons, new Moritz users must first click the “Register” link in the upper right corner of the site and enter the Moritz student code. Use your OSU email address when registering.

The Moritz Law Library also maintains a large collection of print study aids in the Reserve Room on the second floor. For a full description of the library’s study aids collection and other academic success materials, see the library’s research guide on this topic.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Dive into Federal Regulatory History with Regulatory Insight

ProQuest’s Regulatory Insight provides federal compiled regulatory histories from 1975-2015. The collection will eventually include regulatory histories from 1936-1974 as well. Regulatory Insight enables researchers to quickly find and view all publications (in PDF format) in the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register related to a public law. Because the Moritz Law Library also subscribes to ProQuest’s Legislative Insight, it’s possible to link back and forth between the legislative documents associated with the public law and statutes as well.

The database is set up to enable searching by agency (e.g., Department of State, National Cemetery Administration), public law number, popular names (e.g., the Dewey F. Bartlett Post Office Act), subjects (e.g., diseases and disorders), keywords, and citations to the Code of Federal Regulations and Federal Register. The search functionality is fairly straightforward, but don’t be surprised if you receive no search results when looking for regulatory histories associated with laws enacted by the 88th Congress or earlier: recall that coverage only goes back to the mid-1970s. Coverage should expand rapidly, and a research guide (located here) will give you the latest information on what you’ll find in the database. Note that the database is limited to capturing materials produced from agencies’ rulemaking functions rather than their adjudicative functions.

If you need any assistance using ProQuest’s Regulatory Insight, with administrative law research, or have any other research needs, contact us at the reference desk or schedule a Research Consultation.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Moritz Librarians Present Programs at Annual Meeting of Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries

Last week law librarians from the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio gathered in Dayton, Ohio for the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries. A number of the Moritz Law Library's reference librarians, as well as the Director of the Law Library, participated in the Meeting:
  • Ingrid Mattson was a panelist at the “Mini-Conference for New ORALLians: An Essential Program for First-Time Conference Attendees and Newish Law Librarians.
  • Sara Sampson was the organizer and a speaker at “Researching ORALL States: Building on the Basics.”
  • Matt Cooper and Paul Gatz presented “Make Research Great Again: Building Resources and Skills for Researching Election Law.”
  • Sara Sampson, Matt Cooper, Stephanie Ziegler, and Ingrid Mattson presented “Building Skills to Teach Outside the Research Box: Law Librarians Teaching Legal Writing to 1Ls.”
  • Ingrid Mattson was elected VP/President-Elect of the Association.
  • Stephanie Ziegler continues in her role as a member of the Association’s executive board for the next year.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Career Resources at the Moritz Law Library

Take advantage of the career resources and materials at the Moritz Law Library to gain insight on how to find and land the law job of your dreams. The Moritz Law Library’s Career Resources Guide will direct you to websites, journals, and books that can aid in the job search and interview process, as well as databases that can help you research potential employers and interviewers. The Job Resources shelves in the Law Library’s Reserve Room display our most recent books about job searching, interviewing, and practice areas. Other books on legal careers can be found throughout the Law Library by searching the library catalog.

Of course, do not forget to check out the Career Services Office website and the Career Services Handbook for invaluable information and guidance on how to find the best law job for you.

Please ask at the reference desk if you have questions about the Law Library’s career resources.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Research the Personal Papers of the Founders with the American Founding Era Collection

The Moritz Law Library now offers access to the American Founding Era Collection from the University of Virginia Press. The database contains digital versions of the papers of some of the major players in the early republic, including Alexander Hamilton, James and Dolley Madison, and the Adams family. In total, there are more than 165,000 documents, including over 16,000 diary entries, as well as letters, military orders, and memoranda. Each collection has a full-text search option, and is also browsable via a unique navigation “compass” at the top of the page. The collections are also annotated with historical and other explanatory notes, providing historical and social context and other explanations, as well as links to other documents in the collection to get multiple perspectives on the issues. A few collections, like the Adams collection, also have links to teacher resources and other projects. Moritz faculty, students, and staff can access the collections here and learn more about navigation and the compass feature here.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

The Law Library’s New Election Law Research Guide

As the November general election approaches, be prepared to explore the issues and topics surrounding election law by using the Moritz Law Library’s new Election Law Research Guide. The guide contains links and guidance on a wealth of election law resources, including primary sources, books and journals, data and statistics, blogs and websites, and interdisciplinary resources. The primary sources section provides helpful tips for locating relevant state and federal statutes as well as cases on particular election law topics. The books and journals portion lists key secondary sources on topics such as voting rights, election administration, and campaign finance. Included among the data and statistics are links to information on election results, redistricting maps, and lobbying and campaign finance disclosures. The guide draws on much of the material gathered by Dean Sara Sampson in the Election Law Research Guide that appears as an appendix to the casebook of Lowenstein, Hasen, and Tokaji.