Tuesday, May 31, 2016

(Re)learning Legal Citation


There are many systems of legal citation, beyond The Bluebook and ALWD.  While the systems are fairly similar, transitioning from one to  another may be challenging.  Maybe you learned how to cite with ALWD during your 1L year and then became a research assistant for a professor who needs citations conforming to The Bluebook.  Maybe you learned how to use The Bluebook, but at your summer firm, you need to use Ohio’s citation method, as described in the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Writing Manual:  a Guide to Citations, Style, and Judicial Opinion Writing.
 
Here are a few tools to help you navigate this transition:

  • Peter W. Martin, Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (online ed. 2015).  This ebook includes examples from ALWD, The Bluebook, and some state court citation styles.  It concludes with cross reference tables addressing ALWD and The Bluebook as well as a state citation chart. 
  • The Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) offers correlation tables, one from The Bluebook to ALWD and the other from ALWD to The Bluebook.  If you know the relevant rule in one system for pinpoint pages, you can use these tables to locate the relevant rule in the other system.
  • If you are just getting to know The Bluebook, take a look at Linda J. Barris’s Understanding and mastering the Bluebook: a guide for students and practitioners.  The Moritz Law Library has several copies of this book, which describes itself as a “survival manual.”  It includes lots of tips, examples, and tables.
  • Practice citation with online lessons.  LexisNexis offers the Interactive Citation Workstation, with exercises for both ALWD and The Bluebook.  CALI offers lessons on Ohio Citation (as well as for several other states).
While Judge Richard A. Posner declares The Bluebook560 pages of rubbish,” adhering to your citation style, whether The Bluebook or not, is a vital part of legal writing. Use these resources to make sure your writing doesn’t end up in the wastebasket!
 

    Monday, May 09, 2016

    CBA Summer Associate Legal Research Seminar on June 3

    If you are a law student working in Columbus this summer, be sure to ask your employer about attending the Summer Associate Legal Research Seminar, presented by the Legal Research and Information Resources Committee of the Columbus Bar Association. The seminar will be on Friday June 3, from 8:30am to 2:30pm at the Columbus Bar Association.

    Presenters will include Moritz law librarians Paul Gatz and Ingrid Mattson and Assistant Dean Sara Sampson.

    The seminar is free, but you must register by May 26.

    Thursday, May 05, 2016

    Moritz Librarians Win National Award for Paper

    Two of Moritz Law Library's reference librarians, Susan Azyndar and Ingrid Mattson, won an American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)/LexisNexis Call for Papers award for their short paper, Show and Tell in the Legal Research Classroom: Screencasting as an Effective Presentation Format. In their paper, they discuss the use of the screencasting software, Jing, as a way to assess student learning in two advanced legal research courses. Azyndar and Mattson recently shared their work at a Moritz Teaching Innovation Group brown bag, and will present their paper at the July AALL annual meeting in Chicago.

    Thursday, April 21, 2016

    Need Summer Access to Legal Research Databases?

    Do your summer plans include legal research? Whether you are on a journal, taking summer classes, or working at a law firm, you must follow certain steps to ensure access to the materials you need. Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and Thomson Reuters Westlaw all permit summer use, at least for certain purposes. Bloomberg does not have an “academic use only” policy and encourages use for any summer research. Lexis also does not have an “academic use only” policy and will continue to provide free printing. Westlaw permits limited use for education-related purposes, and also requires registration for either summer access. For more details, see the Moritz Law Library’s Research Assistant Resources Guide or ask a reference librarian.

    Fastcase is another legal research option for summer use. Fastcase provides a quick and easy way to search federal and state cases and statutes, state constitutions, administrative opinions, regulations, law reviews, and legal forms. Moritz has an institutional account, which you can access here.

    Thursday, April 14, 2016

    Law Library and IT Benefits for Graduating Law Students

    As a reminder for those of you who will soon be graduating from the Moritz College of Law: many Law Library and IT resources and services that you currently use as students will still be available to you as alumni. Your access to the secure OSU wireless network will extend to two years after graduation. You will continue to have 24-hour access to Drinko Hall and the Law Library through July, 2016. Even after the bar exam, you will, of course, always be welcome to visit the Law Library, and you will always be able to check out books from our collection. And whether you are in Columbus or not, you can always rely on legal research assistance from our reference librarians (whether by phone, e-mail, chat, or in-person).

    Your access to major legal databases will extend beyond graduation as well, although not indefinitely. Generally, your access to Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and Thomson Reuters Westlaw will continue for six months after graduation, although extension procedures and restrictions differ across the three databases. For more information, check out the Moritz Law Library’s Research Assistant Resources Guide or ask a reference librarian.

    Thursday, April 07, 2016

    Congressional Resources in the Moritz Law Library

    Are you eager to find more information about the legislative process and the inside workings of Congress after attending this month’s Congressional Conversations with U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)? Or maybe your current research involves legislative history or bill tracking? If so, you may find it helpful to check out some of the Congressional Resources available through the Moritz Law Library.

    ProQuest Congressional is the go-to source for federal legislative history research, including in its databases the full text of bills and laws going back to 1789, hearings, debates, reports, and compiled legislative histories. The CQ Electronic Library brings together a number of different resources on Congress and American government, covering everything from current bill statuses and roll-call votes to historical election and voting data.

    Congressional information can also be found on federal government websites, although these sites are generally limited to legislative information from the past 20 years. The official source for federal legislative information is Congress.gov, which includes bills, legislative history, committee information, and member profiles. The U.S. Government Publishing Office provides access to authenticated government documents from all three branches through its FDSys site as well as its new beta site, govinfo.

    Finally, GovTrack.us, an open government project, is a helpful online tool for tracking bills and other legislative activity and has made its database of legislative information available as a bulk download or through an API.

    Thursday, March 31, 2016

    Prepare for Exams with Study Aids and Interactive Lessons at the Moritz Law Library

    With finals just around the corner, don’t forget that the Moritz Law Library subscribes to West Academic's online Study Aids collection, which includes over 470 titles on subjects ranging from criminal law to trusts and estates. The collection is accessible from the Westlaw law school main page by clicking the “Study Aids Subscription” banner.

    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 cali.org 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 main level. 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.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    Remembering and Researching Justice Scalia: New Law Library Research Guide

    In recognition of Justice Antonin Scalia’s distinguished and influential career on the United States Supreme Court, the Moritz Law Library has created a new Research Guide to assist students, faculty, and others in researching the life and work of Justice Scalia, the operations of the Supreme Court, and the history and process of Supreme Court nominations. The Guide is available at http://moritzlaw.osu.libguides.com/scotus, and contains links and references to selected books, journal articles, databases, and resources on Scalia and the Supreme Court.

    The Guide collects in one place a selection of books and articles by and about Justice Scalia, as well as links to hearings and other documents related to the nomination of Justice Scalia and other members of the Court. The Law Library intends to continue to update the Guide as the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland proceeds.

    Monday, March 21, 2016

    HeinOnline's New Collection: Animal Studies

    The Moritz Law Library now has access to an eclectic new collection of legal and historical materials on HeinOnline: Animal Studies: Law, Welfare and Rights (off-campus access). With a specific focus on the emerging area of animal law, this collection brings together government documents, conference materials, and bibliographies related to the rights and welfare of animals, along with relevant laws, regulations, and legislative histories.

    The subject matter of this collection has been conceived broadly, encompassing works not only on animals of the furry, feathered, and scaled variety, but also on the welfare, rights, and morality of our favorite species of featherless bipeds. Historic works by Schopenhauer, Darwin, and Descartes, among others, are also available in electronic format in this collection.

    This is a valuable addition to our collection that will aid students and faculty researching the law and intellectual foundations of animal rights and welfare.

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

    Wireless Printing from Anywhere in the Law School

    Got just one page to print and can’t bear the thought of getting set up in the computer lab, opening your document, printing, and waiting for your print job? Wouldn’t it be easier just to hit “Print” from your laptop while sitting in Lou’s CafĂ© and pick the page up from the law library later? You can—and it’s very easy. Simply download the printer driver software to your laptop, and you’re good to go.

    Full instructions are located on OSU’s UniPrint page here. Click on the law school location (Drinko Hall, #6), then choose the software for a Mac or PC depending on your laptop type. Your print jobs will come out in the computer lab, and all you have to do is swing by and pick them up. If you have any questions or issues along the way, contact the phone number 8HELP (614 688-4357) or email 8help@osu.edu.

    Monday, March 07, 2016

    The Research Consultation: Law Library Offers Customized Research Help for Law Students


    Researching a complicated legal issue, like a topic for a law journal note or seminar paper? Consider meeting with a Moritz Law Library reference librarian for a research consultation. These individual meetings are scheduled in advance to give the librarians time to prepare useful research strategies and sources for your particular issue or topic.

    To request a research consultation, go to http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/lib/research/request-a-research-consultation/ and fill out the online form with a description of your research project and the times you are available to meet.

    Generally, research consultations are only available for Moritz students.Other OSU students and members of the public are encouraged to contact the Reference Desk with their research needs.

    Reference librarians are available to meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, typically within 2-3 business days after your request is submitted. If you need research assistance sooner, please stop by the Reference Desk. Reference Desk hours and contact info can be found on the Ask a Librarian page.

    Thursday, March 03, 2016

    Check Out a Law-Themed Movie from the Moritz Law Library

    Spring Break is on the horizon, a time of some relaxation before thinking about final exams. So why not take advantage of the Moritz Law Library’s selection of legal movies? We have something for every taste:
    Still not sure? The Moritz librarians have some recommendations…of very different movies:
    • Stephanie Ziegler recommends Suspect, a mystery set during a murder trial in which a public defender (Cher) represents a homeless Vietnam veteran (Liam Neeson). Law students might enjoy spotting the ethical violations committed by multiple characters, but it’s still a fun and suspenseful ride. She is also a fan of Witness for the Prosecution, based on the short story by Agatha Christie.
    • Paul Gatz recommends A Man for All Seasons, a classic retelling of the conflict between Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) and Henry VIII (Robert Shaw), regarding the King’s divorce from his first (of six!) wives. The film won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and was ranked #43 on the British Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 British Films. 
    • Susan Azyndar recommends Woman in Gold, the very recent film about a Jewish refugee (Helen Mirren) who attempts to recover her family’s painting, which was stolen by the Nazis, with the help of her lawyer (Ryan Reynolds). Mirren was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance.
    • Matt Cooper recommends the crime drama series The Wire, which had been nominated for multiple Emmy and NAACP Image awards for writing and acting. The library just ordered the complete series…it should be here soon! He also recommends Electoral Dysfunction, a nonpartisan documentary hosted by political humorist Mo Rocca.

    Tuesday, March 01, 2016

    Supreme Court Citation Network Tool on CourtListener



    The above visualization graphs the network of cases linking Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), displaying 32 U.S. Supreme Court cases that cite Buckley and are cited by Citizens United.

    This visualization graph was created using the new Supreme Court Citation Network tool at CourtListener. This online tool is free to use, but it will require you to register first.

    The Supreme Court Citation Network tool was jointly developed by Professor Colin Starger from the University of Baltimore School of Law and the Free Law Project. Check out this recent blogpost from the Free Law Project for more information on the Citation Network tool.

    Monday, February 29, 2016

    Moritz Alum's OSLJ Note Cited in SCOTUS Opinion

    An opinion issued today by the United States Supreme Court cited a student note from the Ohio State Law Journal written by Moritz alum Conrad Bower ('13). The opinion was a concurrence to a cert denial in the case of Taylor v. Yee, written by Justice Alito and joined by Justice Thomas. The opinion is currently available on the Supreme Court's website. Mr. Bower's note, Inequitable Escheat?: Reflecting on Unclaimed Property Law and the Supreme Court's Interstate Escheat Framework, 74 Ohio St. L.J. 515 (2013), along with the entire run of the Ohio State Law Journal, can be found on OSU's open access institutional repository, the Knowledge Bank.

    For Moritz students currently working on notes, seminar papers, and other writing projects, be sure to check out the T.C. Williams Legal Essay Contest Catalog, compiled by the University of Richmond School of Law, to find out about legal writing competitions.

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

    The Return of the Moritz Legal Information Blog


    After a hiatus during which three of our librarians each taught a section of LAWI, one of us gave birth, and one of us moved here from West Texas, the Moritz Law Librarians are pleased to announce the return of our Legal Information Blog!

    We plan on writing regular Blog posts to provide you with updates on new Law Library resources, policies, and technologies, along with other helpful legal research tips and news.

    If you'd like to know when updates are posted to the Blog, you can sign up to receive email notifications by submitting your email address under "Follow by Email" on the right or find the Moritz Law Library on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MoritzLawLibrary/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/moritzlawlib?lang=en).