Category Archives: Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Meet Our New Reference Librarian

Meet Marie Templo-Capule, our new reference librarian.

She has more than 10 years of experience in law library public services. Before joining TJSL, she was the Collection Development and Reference Librarian at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan. She also served as the Tax Research Specialist for the Taxation LL.M. program. She has taught print and electronic legal research for Research and Writing, Advanced Research and Writing, Scholarly Writing, Moot Court, Pre-Trials Skills, Estate Planning, and Tax Research.

She received her Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and earned an LL.M. in Taxation at NYU School of Law. While working as the Tax Research Specialist in Cooley, she decided to pursue her Masters of Library and Information Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She is an active member of the California and Michigan Bars.

Aside from helping faculty and students with their research and reference questions, she will teach the Advanced Legal Research class. She also looks forward to working closely with the Graduate Program at TJSL.

If you don’t see her at the reference desk, please stop by in her office, Room 455, she is available to help you with your legal research.

What’s New in the Library? Research Classes & Noise Report

What’s New in the Library

Legal Research Classes

Upcoming Mini-Classes at the Library 4th Floor Learning Center

mini-classes Sept 2012

Lexis Advance Training

Enjoy free lunch while learning how to use Lexis Advance.

Sept. 26 @ noon

Rm. 320

* Space & food is limited so please pre-register at http://www.lexisnexis.com/lawschool

* All who attend will also receive 400 points (equivalent to a $5 Amazon/iTunes/Starbucks gift card)

Library Noise

Reminder! Please be respectful of your fellow students and maintain silence in  Library on the 5th floor.

5th floor noise map

Welcome and Welcome Back!

Hello from the library. We would like to welcome the new 1Ls and welcome back our 2Ls and 3Ls. Click the image above to see a larger version.

Please view this presentation as a reminder of what is available to you in the library and whom to contact about research, jobs and general inquiries (Leigh Inman, Interim Director).

To help you along your path to success, this semester, we have new mini-classes for you. The schedule is shown below. Please sign-up for mini-classes on the Legal Research Training TWEN page. Click on the schedule below to see a larger version.

Image

Please be aware of our new noise policy. The noise map will show you where you can expect to find quiet study space (Tip: It’s towards the rear of the library on the 5th floor). Click on the noise map below to see a larger version.

Library Noise Level Map. 5th floor quiet, 4th floor noisy

Library Highlights: Law & Technology

I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy
Lori Andrews
HM851 .A66 2011
From the Publisher: Social networks are the defining cultural movement of our time, empowering us in constantly evolving ways. We can all now be reporters, alerting the world to breaking news, participating in crowd-sourced scientific research, and helping the police solve crimes. Social networks have even helped to bring down governments, but they have also greatly accelerated the erosion of our personal privacy rights. As leading expert on social networks and privacy Lori Andrews shows through ground- breaking in-depth research and a host of stunning stories of abuses, as we work and chat and shop and date (and even sometimes have sex) over the Web, we are opening ourselves up to increasingly intrusive, relentless, and anonymous surveillance—by employers, schools, lawyers, the police, and aggressive data aggregator services that compile an astonishing amount of information about us and sell it to any and all takers. But the legal system cannot be counted on to protect us—in the thousands of cases brought to trial by those whose rights have been violated, judges have most often ruled against them. That is why in addition to providing the best expert advice about protecting ourselves, Andrews pro- poses that we must all become supporters of a Constitution for the Web, which she has drafted and introduces in this book. Now is the time to join her and take action—the very future of privacy is at stake.

Legal Aspects of Managing Technology
Lee B. Burgunder
KF1890.H53 B87 2011
From the Publisher: This book is designed for businesspersons working with technological innovations in any field, including business, management, computer science, engineering, architecture, biology, or law. It focuses on integral technology law topics with substantial attention paid to the wide range of controversial issues regarding intellectual property rights, and coverage of all other key topics such as e-commerce, privacy, antitrust, and biotechnology. Its goal is not to make readers legal experts; rather it is too allow managers to understand the fundamental legal issues pertinent to technology management so that they can competently create strategic plans in consultation with their attorneys.

That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back
Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
BF408 .F747 2011
From the Publisher: In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in in- formation technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption— and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China’s educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which “that used to be us.” They explain how the paralysis of our political sys- tem and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.

The Real ID Act: Privacy and Government Surveillance
William Eyre
KF4791 .E97 2011
From the Publisher: Civil society in the United States in the 21st century has seen the abandonment of American concepts of individual freedom, privacy, expression and autonomy. Eyre ex- amines the Real ID Act in this context, as an example of laws passed since September 2001 restricting civil liberties. The Real ID Act facilitates the current and future surveillance regime. Real IDs and the database(s) to which they are linked represent a de facto national ID system facilitating monitoring citizens’ movements, speech and political activities when fully operational. The Real ID Act is examined as an unfunded mandate and vehicle for unconstitutional abridgement of First Amendment guarantees including political expression.

Computer Games and Virtual Worlds: a New Frontier in Intellectual Property Law
Ross A. Dannenberg … [et al.], editors.
KF3024.C6 C625 2010
From the Publisher: As the uses and ubiquity of video games and virtual worlds expand, the legal issues they raise grow more complex and commonplace. These issues include the traditional areas of intellectual property law, namely, copyright, trademark, patent and trade secrets, as affected by contractual issues arising from the end user licensing agreements (EULA) and terms of service (ToS) promulgated by each video game and virtual world proprietor. This book explores and discusses how to obtain these traditional rights in the non-traditional settings of video game and virtual world environments, and serves as a primer for legal practitioners researching these emerging legal issues. Each chapter addresses, in order, end user license agreements, copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, as addressed by U.S. law. The book also includes a commentary on international legal issues stemming from the multi-national user-base and foreign operation of many virtual worlds.

Principles of Cybercrime
Jonathan Clough, Monash University, Victoria
K5215 .C58 2010
From the Publisher: We live in a digital age. The proliferation of digital technology, and the convergence of computing and communication devices, has transformed the way in which we socialize and do business. While overwhelmingly positive, there has also been a dark side to these developments. Proving the maxim that crime follows opportunity, virtually every advance has been accompanied by a corresponding niche to be exploited for criminal purposes; so-called ‘cybercrimes’. Whether it be fraud, child pornography, stalking, criminal copyright infringement or attacks on computers themselves, criminals will find ways to exploit new technology. The challenge for all countries is to ensure their criminal laws keep pace. The challenge is a global one, and much can be learned from the experience of other jurisdictions. Focusing on Australia, Canada, the UK and the US, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the legal principles that apply to the prosecution of cybercrimes.

Research Tips: Top five tips for selecting a paper topic

Right around now, many of you are trying to choose paper topics for your final papers or for law review. Once you have a topic, you will be doing preemption checks to ensure that no one else has written on your topic. You will also want to do a literature review  to find everything written on your topic.

Some people have come to get extra training in legal research to help with this paper writing process. Find the Legal Research Training page on TWEN and use the sign-up sheets to sign up for a training session. Email reference librarian Catherine Deane with any questions.

Here are my top five tips for finding a paper topic:

  1. Check to see if there is a Research Guide  on your topic that provides links to relevant news sources
  2. Know where the Databases  are on the TJSL Library Home Page, log in with your network ID and check to see if there are any BNA databases that cover your subject: Hint: Look for circuit splits eg in BNA United States Law Week  
  3. Check out ABA Blawgs  and read any frequently and recently updated blogs on your topic
  4. Check out reputable news sources such as: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, NPR News
  5. Check out the websites of relevant organizations and look for recent reports, eg. United Nations, International Labor Organization, Amnesty International

Once you have selected a topic, you will want to find all relevant literature  on your topic. This is partly so that you  can make sure no one else has written exactly on your topic, and partly to have a body of literature to build on when you make your own argument.

Consider using a model like the Steven Toulmin Model   to analyze the articles and organize your argument.

 

How to Succeed on Law School Exams

The law library’s guide, Exam Study Materials at TJSL  lists books on exam taking, and lists study aids available in the library for various courses such as Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility and Torts.

Law school exam advice from the blogosphere:

Exam Prep Made Simple: Organize Your Thoughts – The Girl’s Guide to Law School
It’s Thanksgiving, Should You Be Flipping Out About Exams? – The Girl’s Guide to Law School
Common Errors in Exam Study – Amy Jarmon, Law School Academic Support Blog
Some Quotes to Keep in Mind - Law School Academic Support Blog

Law School Exam Tips – Law School Academic Support Blog

Legal Research Training Opportunities at TJSL

Photo Courtesy Alexander Henning Drachmann

You can have a say in how and when you learn how to conduct legal research.

Check out this new 10 question survey prepared by the TJSL librarians.

Let your voice be heard on when, where, and how you would like to learn how to do legal research?

Do you want a mini-class right a few weeks before your final paper is due?

Do you want a legal research boot camp over the break?

Do you want to wait until you are an alumni, doing research for your new boss?

When would you like to learn legal research skills?

Tell us!

Library Tips for 1Ls

Why do you need the law library?

It’s where the law librarians are.

They are experts in legal research and are happy to help you and guide you. Students have already come in asking for help with finding the statutes they need to read for class, and for studying tips.

1. Ask the Reference Librarians . . . ANYTHING…um, but if you want to know where the bathrooms are in the library, you might want to consult the building map on the touchscreens.

Your full-time Reference Librarian, and several of the other librarians, have been to Law School, so they know what you are going through. If we can’t answer your question we will point to someone who can.

2. Use the same info to log into Westlaw as you use for TWEN.

3. You can get Reference help using chat, telephone and email .

4. Students and alumni can get into the Library 7am to midnight. See library user guide for more info.

5. Take a Library Tour to find out where study aids and course reserve materials are located.

6. Read this Blog regularly for tips, tricks, Library info and new research guides. Subscribe to this blog. Put your email in the box to the right.

7. Check out the Library’s web site for more information, and anouncements.

Understand the Legal System, Find the Law

This is the first in a series of blog posts based on the Law Student Research Competency Principles as developed by the American Association of Law Libraries.

The first principle is:

Principle I: A successful researcher should possess fundamental research skills.

  • Law students should have an understanding of the complexities of the legal system. They should know the processes and the hierarchical relationships between the three branches of government and the legislation, regulations, and case law they yield.” http://researchcompetency.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/26/

Although the above legal research principle only mentions three branches of government, it is slightly more complicated than that.

The three branches referred to are:

  • The judicial branch
  • The legislative branch
  • The executive branch

But there are actually more like 6 branches for any given U.S. state, since these branches exist for both Federal and State Law.

So, now we have the:

1. Federal Judiary– This consists of the federal courts:

2.  Federal Legislative Branch – This consists of the U.S. Congress

3. Federal Executive Branch – The law that is produced by this branch, is referred to as administrative law, and is generated largely by federal agencies. It is called administrative law.

At the State Level, for California, the three branches of government are:

4. The California Judicial branch – this refers to the California Courts,

5. The California legislative branch – This includes the California State Assembly and the State Senate

6. The California  executive branch – The law that is produced by this branch, is generated largely by the California agencies such as the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). It is called administrative law.

Beyond these six branches of Government, it is important to be aware of two other levels of government that affect you and your potential clients. The county government and the city government.

For San Diego Law students, we are looking at:

San Diego County Government: The County Government generates government documents, many of which are available online at the San Diego County Website.

City of San Diego – Mayor and other City Officials. Government documents produced by the  city government officials are in the care of the City Clerk. These documents include City Attorney Legal Documents.

By analogy to state government and the legal documents generated by the state government, what would be called statutes, generated by the California State Assembly, are at the city level, known as Ordinances and are adopted by the City Council.

Similarly, at the state level, administrative law refers to state regulations that are generated by state agencies such as the CPUC. At the city level, it is the city agencies such as the City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency, that produces administrative law in the form of agency resolutions that are adopted by a particular agency.

The judicial branch at the city level is the City Attorney’s Office. The Mayor, the City Council, or any of the City Agencies or City Officials may ask the City Attorney’s Office a legal question either on a specific or more general issue, and the documents generated are analagous to the Case Law produced by State Courts.

It is important for attorneys to understand how government entities are related to each other and to the government information that they produce. Competent legal research goes beyond merely plugging in key words into database search boxes.

One fundamental research skill is the ability to think methodically about which government entity or entities creates the law that covers a particular issue, and to determine where to look to most cost effectively locate the relevant law. Sometimes, it will be freely available on the government website, and sometimes, it will be easy to quickly search the government website for that information.

At other times, it may be more cost effective to use the search tools available on a commercial database such as Westlaw or Lexis, but whether you need to find the right database first as you would with Classic Westlaw or Lexis, or search first and limit your results afterwards to the documents published by the right branch of government, having an awareness of the interrelation of government bodies and government information is essential to conducting legal research in a competent manner.

In general, Federal law preempts state law, State law preempts County codes, and County Codes preempt city codes. A recent example of this in the news lately is that San Francisco is not permitted to consider a local regulation banning circumcision of male babies because it would violate a state law.

The table below provides links to the freely accessible law produced by each of the government entities described in this blog post.

For researching legislative history materials at the federal and state level, there will be separate blog post.

Law Online

Jurisdiction Judicial branch Legislative branch Executive branch
Opinions Rules
Library of Congress Research Help On Finding Federal Court DecisionsFind State Court Decisions Federal Court Rules – Compiled by Cornell Legal Information Institute Find Federal Statutes Find Federal Administrative Law
Federal:
Highest Court
U.S. Supreme Court Opinions U.S. Supreme Court, Court Rules U.S. Code Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (not official)
Federal:
Appellate Courts
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Opinions and Orders United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Rules of PracticeFederal rules of practice, procedure and evidence
Federal:
Appellate Courts with jurisdiction over CA
Federal 9th Circuit Courts
Published Opinions (Posted 01/03/05 +)Published Opinions (Posted prior to 01/09/2009)Unpublished Opinions (11/10/2009 +)Unpublished Opinions (12/08/2008 – 11/10/2009)

Unpublished Opinions (Prior to 12/08/2008)

Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (FRAP), Ninth Circuit Rules
Federal Trial Courts Opinions are not generally available online for free California Southern District (Federal Trial Court for San Diego), Local Court Rules
California – Highest court and appellate courts CA Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Opinions CA Rules of Court CA Statutes (Browse or Search) CA Code of Regulations (Browse or Search)
California – Trial Court (San Diego) Opinions are not generally available online for free San Diego County Superior Court Rules
San Diego County San Diego County Counsel Other San Diego County Government Documents (Not an exact analogous mapping onto Court Rules) County Ordinances Code of Administrative Ordinances & Code of Regulatory Ordinances
San Diego City City Attorney Legal OpinionsCity Attorney Memorandum of Law City Attorney Legal Documents (Not an exact analogous mapping onto Court Rules) City of San Diego Municipal CodeCity Council Resolutions and Ordinances Agency Resolutions and Ordinances

Responsibilities of a Lawyer: Complete, up-to-date legal research

“As advisor, a lawyer provides a client with an informed understanding of the client’s legal rights and obligations and explains their practical implications” (Preamble:  A Lawyer’s Responsibilities,  Model Rules of Professional Conduct).

The primary task of a lawyer is to explain to clients how the law applies to their case.

After passing the Bar Exam, and becoming a lawyer, how will you know the practical implications “of the client’s legal rights and obligations” (MRPC)? You will have to research it. In order to be sure that you are correct in your assertions to the client, you need to be sure that you know all the law applicable to the situation. This could mean finding a statute and the relevant cases interpreting it, and then ensuring that the information is complete and up-to-date.

How will you know whether the research you have done is complete and up-to-date?

Research Strategy and Research logs

You need to have a research strategy and a research log so that you can tell what research you have done, and what you still need to do to be sure your research is complete and up to date. For billing purposes, you will want to log the time spent doing research, in addition to the cost of the legal research. For cases that take place over a long period of time, it helps to log the date of your research, so that you will know when enough time has passed that you may need to update your research.

Ways to Improve Research Skills

There are several ways to build your legal research skills. One way is to do an internship with a law firm, often partners will give you legal research tasks related to actual cases. It is a good idea to consult reference librarians to get help with your research.

At TJSL, the law librarians teach brief workshops and full length courses that you can take to improve your legal research skills. Look for advertisements for these brief classes at the Fourth Floor Circulation Desk, in the Advisor and on the touch screens.

  • June Mac Leod’s mini-classes
  • Hadas Livnat’s – Working Tour of Library Resources
  • Catherine Deane’s – General Tour of the Library

TJSL also offers an Advanced Legal Research course for two credits. It will be offered this Fall 2011, and the sections will be taught by Interim Director Patrick Meyer, and Reference Librarian Catherine Deane.

If you are unable to attend any of these classes, you can still brush up on your legal research skills by taking CALI Quizzes. These Quizzes vary in length, and cover a wide range of topics. Maybe pick a short one to start with, some are as brief as 20 minutes. Start to work this into your routine. For instance, when you are working on something challenging and you want to switch to something else while still being productive, do a short Quiz on a legal research topic and improve your skills. Alternatively, you could set aside one hour a week to take a quiz or two on a legal research topic.

Email Reference Librarian Catherine Deane to get the Student Registration Code to access the CALI Quizzes.

 

Which class will you work into your schedule to improve your legal research skills?

 

The Next Mini-Classes are offered on Tuesday July 19th at 10:30 am and cover:

  • How to Research

And

  • How to Find Cases