Category Archives: Library Displays

Staff Recommendation Corner: “America Again”

America Again

Title: America again : Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t

Author: Stephen Colbert

Popular Reading Humor and Personal Improvement Display (Popular Reading Collection, 4th floor)

Reviewed by: Hadas Livnat

Review: A humorous, satirical look at current social and political issues in America, including healthcare, the economy, food, Wall Street and elections.

5/5 stars

Staff Recommendation Corner: “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture”

Cheap High Cost of Discount CultureTitle: Cheap : The High Cost of Discount Culture

Author: Ellen Ruppel Shell

HF5429.215.U6 S54 2009  (Popular Reading Collection, 4th floor)

Reviewed by: Hadas Livnat

Review: Ellen Ruppel Shell exposes how being able to obtain a lot of low-price stuff, whether it’s clothes, food, furnishing or any other items, comes at a heavy environmental and human costs. The pervasive notion that “more is better” and “cheaper is better” lowers the standard of living in the form of the excess of easily discarded (because cheaply made and easily broken) items. Food for thought.

4/5 stars

National Mediation Month

May is National Mediation Month.  Check out the mediation materials on display in the Library.

What is it to Mediate? According to


1. To resolve or settle (differences) by working with all the conflicting parties: mediate a labor-management dispute.

2. To bring about (a settlement, for example) by working with all the conflicting parties.

3. To effect or convey as an intermediate agent or mechanism. Verb.

1. To intervene between two or more disputants in order to bring about an agreement, a settlement, or a compromise.

2. To settle or reconcile differences.

3. To have a relation to two differing persons or things. Adjective.

1. Acting through, involving, or dependent on an intervening agency.

2. Being in a middle position.

The activity of mediation in itself appeared in very ancient times. Historians presume early cases in Phoenician commerce (but suppose its use in Babylon, too). The practice developed in Ancient Greece (which knew the non-marital mediator as a proxenetas), then in Roman civilization, (Roman law (starting from Justinian’s Digest of 530 – 533 CE) recognized mediation. The Romans called mediators by a variety of names, including internuncius, medium, intercessor, philantropus, interpolator, conciliator, interlocutor, interpres, and finally mediator. The Middle Ages regarded mediation differently, sometimes forbidding the practice or restricting its use to centralized authorities. Some cultures regarded the mediator as a sacred figure, worthy of particular respect; and the role partly overlapped with that of traditional wise men or tribal chief.

Mediation, in the modern legal sense, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or “appropriate dispute resolution”, aiming to assist two (or more) disputants in reaching an agreement. The parties themselves determine the conditions of any settlements reached – rather than accepting something imposed by a third party. The disputes may involve (as parties) states, organizations, communities, individuals or other representatives with a vested interest in the outcome. Mediators use appropriate techniques and/or skills to open and/or improve dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement (with concrete effects) on the disputed matter. Normally, all parties must view the mediator as impartial. Disputants may use mediation in a variety of disputes, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters. A third-party representative may contract and mediate between (say) unions and corporations. When a workers’ union goes on strike, a dispute takes place, and the corporation hires a third party to intervene in attempt to settle a contract or agreement between the union and the corporation.

Mediation offers a process by which two parties work towards an agreement with the aid of a neutral third party. Litigation, however, is a process in which the courts impose binding decisions on the disputing parties in a determinative process operating at the level of legal rights and obligations. These two processes sound completely different, but both are a form of dispute resolution. Litigation is conventionally used and conventionally accepted, but Mediation is slowly becoming more recognized as a successful tool in dispute resolution. Slowly these processes are becoming inter-dependent, as the Courts in some cases are now referring parties to Mediation. In saying this, there are distinct differences between the two processes. Mediation claims to resolve many of the problems associated with litigation, such as the high costs involved, the formality of the court system and the complexity of the court process. Mediation does not create binding agreements unless the parties consent to it, and the Mediator has no say in the outcome. Even though our court system and mediation have increasing connections, they still reflect different value assumptions and structural approaches towards dispute resolution.

In the field of resolving legal controversies, mediation offers an informal method of dispute resolution, in which a neutral third party, the mediator, attempts to assist the parties in finding resolution to their problem through the mediation process. Although mediation has no legal standing per se, the parties can (usually with assistance from legal counsel) commit agreed points to writing and sign this document, thus producing a legally binding contract in some jurisdiction specified therein. Mediation differs from most other conflict resolution processes by virtue of its simplicity, and in the clarity of its rules. It is employed at all scales from petty civil disputes to global peace talks. It is thus difficult to characterize it independently of these scales or specific jurisdictions – where ‘Mediation’ may in fact be formally defined and may in fact require specific licenses.


Women and the Law Conference and Ruth Bader Ginsberg Lecture Series Display

Come by the Library Lobby and look over our display of materials related to this year’s Women and the Law Conference and Ruth Bader Ginsberg Lecture Series. The conference, on campus Friday April 30, 2020, will examine the past, present and future of intersectionality. Speakers will discuss ways that intersectional analysis illuminate stories of marginalization in the lives of women of color and other groups; and will set out concrete and aspirational visions of what it means to use intersectional awareness to reshape social movements and advance social justice. The display  includes books and articles published by the distinguished conference speakers: Kimberle Crenshaw, Devon Carbado, Cheryl Harris, Saul Sarabia, and Russell Robinson as well as other relevant works.

California MCLE Collection for TJSL Alumni

The Library is now offering a small targeted collection of State Bar of California approved Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) course materials for use by our practicing attorney alumni and interested students. The collection is located in the Library Lobby on the column next to the 1st floor ThomCat online catalog terminal near the Reference Librarian’s Office.

The State Bar of California is the largest State Bar in the nation and its membership includes some of the most well known lawyers in the world. California is also home to some of the world’s largest law firms and corporate legal departments. The State Bar of California has a long and distinguished history of mandating and developing high quality continuing legal education for its members and the attorney population at large.

California attorneys must fulfill 25 hours of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) in each three year reporting cycle, including four (4) hours of Ethics training, one (1) hour of Detection/Prevention of Substance Abuse training, and one (1) hour of Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession training. Up to 12.5 hours may be “self-study” with the remaining 12.5 hours (minimum) being a “participatory” education activity where the course provider verifies the attorney’s participation in accordance with the State Bar of California Rules.

Women’s History Month

Check out the display of library materials in honor of Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month traces its beginnings to the first “International Women’s Day” in 1911.In 1981, Congress passed a resolution making “Women’s History Week” a national holiday. This week was well received, and soon after, schools across the country began to have their own local celebrations. Within a few years, thousands of schools and communities got on the bandwagon that was National Women’s History Week, with the support and encouragement from governors, city councils, school boards, and the U.S. Congress. Congress legally expanded the focus to a whole month in 1987. Since then, the National Women’s History Month Resolution has been approved with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

©2009 Wikipedia.’s_History_Month.

McDonald v. Chicago

U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments were held today in McDonald v. Chicago, a potentially landmark case concerning guns rights and regulations. Find the oral arguments transcript here.

Read what some of the legal pundits have to say following today’s oral arguments at the WSJ Law Blog, NYT, and SCOTUSblog.

Click here for more coverage of the case by SCOTUSwiki, including links to the briefs and more commentary.

Check out the TJSL Library Display of materials related to the case just to the right of the circulation desk (pictured above).

Here’s a brief summary of the case thus far from wikipedia:

McDonald v. Chicago is a lawsuit originally filed before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and for which a petition for certiorari was granted on Sept. 30, 2009, by the Supreme Court of the United States. The petitioners seek to overturn a handgun ban, and other aspects of gun registration regulations affecting rifles and shotguns, in Chicago, Illinois as unconstitutional. This was the first such lawsuit since the landmark Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), which held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protected an individual right to “keep and bear arms.” The case was filed by Alan Gura, who successfully argued Heller, and Chicago-area attorney David G. Sigale. The case is sponsored by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association on behalf of several Chicago residents, including retiree Otis McDonald.

The trial court entered judgment in favor of the City of Chicago on December 18, 2008. The decision was appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and combined with a similar case, NRA v. Chicago. Oral argument was May 26, 2009, and the court issued its opinion on June 2, 2009, affirming the trial court’s decision that the Chicago and Oak Park gun regulations pass constitutional muster.

The Second Amendment Foundation appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari on behalf of their plaintiffs. Certiorari for McDonald was granted on September 30, 2009.  Oral arguments are scheduled for March 2, 2010. The NRA has separately filed on behalf of their plaintiffs, and on January 25, 2010 the Supreme Court granted the NRA’s motion for divided argument.

Wikipedia ©2010.