Friday, October 31, 2014

History of Halloween

Enjoy the History Channel's History of Halloween!

From its ancient origins to spooky superstitions, this page also features videos on candy corn, famous ghosts in American history, pumpkin carving, witches, and Halloween around the world.

Let's keep the good times rolling by looking forward to punkin chunkin!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bike Sharing and Helmet Mandates

Seattle's new bike-sharing program, Pronto, recently launched. Currently, there are 500 bikes available to rent from 50 stations located in the neighborhoods of Capitol Hill, Belltown, South Lake Union, and the University District, among others. In fact, a Pronto station is located just steps away from the Gallagher Law Library, between William H. Gates Hall and Burke Museum of Natural History. That station has 12 docks for bikes, and, as of this writing, there are 7 bikes available to rent.
Map of Pronto bike stations
Map of Pronto stations

With the launch of Pronto, Seattle joins other cities in the United States, like Boston, Chicago, the District of Columbia, and New York City, with bike-sharing programs. However, Seattle is unique among those cities insofar as Seattle, and all of King County, require that cyclists wear helmets. Although Seattle is the first U.S. city to try to implement bike sharing while mandating helmets, cities outside of the United States have faced the same issue. For instance, Vancouver, Canada, has been engaged in a years-long and oft-delayed effort to implement bike sharing. Critics contend that the delays are largely attributable to British Columbia’s bike helmet mandate. Currently, Vancouver is anticipating a launch date in 2015. Melbourne, Australia, implemented a bike-sharing program alongside a mandatory helmet law. That system, despite an available government subsidy for users to purchase a helmet, has not had the success enjoyed by other cities with bike-sharing that do not mandate helmets. Notably, as of August 2014, no fatalities have been recorded in the United States among bike-share users since the launch of the first program in 2007.

For an in depth look at bicycle helmet statutes across the United States, see John B. Egberts et al., Bicycle Helmet Statutes: An Analysis of State Legislation, 23 J. Legal Aspects of Sport 36 (2013). In that article, the authors discovered that nine states that mandate bike helmets provided in their statutes that failure to wear a helmet would not be admissible at trial as evidence of a cyclist’s negligence. See id. at 41-42.

Image of unicyclists racing
Unicyclists racing
The Municipal Research and Services Center, which is an excellent source of Washington state city and county codes, has a subject guide on Bicycle Regulations and Operations. That subject guide includes relevant sections of the Revised Code of Washington and local government bicycle regulations, including a link to a table listing bicycle helmet requirements in Washington. Exploring local bicycle regulations on the Municipal Research and Services Center, I learned that Walla Walla's municipal code provides that a bicycle includes the term “unicycle” and “adult-size three-wheel cycle.” Walla Walla, Washington, Municipal Code § 10.19.020. Consequently, it is illegal to race unicycles on city streets in Walla Walla without a permit, which is required for "any bicycle race." Walla Walla, Washington, Municipal Code § 10.19.090.
Map image from
Unicycle race picture from

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Legal Theory Lexicon

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832).
See Legal Theory Lexicon 008: Utilitarianism
When you study law, you come across legal theory terms  (often drawn from economics, philosophy, or political science). If you aren't fluent in this language, it can be a bit bewildering. And if you are familiar with these concepts, you might be hungry for more depth.

Georgetown law professor Lawrence B. Solum has created the Legal Theory Lexicon to help you out. Entries explain concepts and provide bibliographies for further reading.

Some of the entries will be especially helpful to first-year students, e.g.:

By the way, Prof. Solum's latest article was in the Washington Law Review's symposium, Artificial Intelligence and the Law. See Lawrence B. Solum, Artificial Meaning, 89 Wash. L. Rev. 69 (2014).

Graphic credit: engraving by W. H. Worthington, from Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation 10 (1823 ed.), available in British Library's Photostream.

Writing Tips from Bryan Garner

Care about your writing? You should!

One easy step you can take is to read Bryan Garner's regular usage tips. Either sign up for email (see the lower right corner of his Law Prose homepage) or follow Garner's blog.

The email service is convenient because it just comes to you. But the blog is nice because you have the archive to browse or search. Try searching for "hyphen" or "whether" or "contracts."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Supreme Court Videos—with Dogs!

On the HBO program Last Week Tonight, John Oliver observed that without video Supreme Court oral arguments are pretty dry, even with courtroom sketches as backdrops. So he proposed that the audio be livened up with video. What video? Dogs!

Clip from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oct. 19, 2014.

Oliver and his team didn't stop with a cute video of their own. They went further, posting clips of nine canine justices and two lawyers that others could mash up with oral argument recordings. Some of the casting is apt: Justice Ginsburg, played by a Chihuahua, is petite; Justice Scalia, played by a Bulldog, is assertive and jowly.

The YouTube community has responded. Just a few days after the original broadcast, you can now watch the canine Court hear arguments in:
. . . and more!

I can't be alone in finding these amusing (otherwise, why would so many people have gone to the trouble of making the mash-ups?). Love the dogs. I also like the court reporter pecking at her stenotpe machine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fashion and Congress Do a Little Turn on the Legislative Catwalk

Piracy in fashion is nothing new, we've blogged about it many times before:

It is no shock to hear when a new lawsuit is filed over blatant infringement.  The most recently discussed would be Converse's (owned by Nike) complaints against 31 companies (including Skechers, Wal-Mart, Ed Hardy, Ralph Lauren, and K-Mart) for trademark infringement.  Articles discussing the details of the lawsuit can be found herehere, here and here.  Dockets as well as copies of the complaints can be accessed on Bloomberg Law by UW law students (if you'd like to learn how, stop by the Reference Office or ask us here and a reference librarian can show you!).

Photo Credit:

Piracy in fashion is so last season but the lack of any real legal protection provided to fashion designers (and consumers who are unaware that they are purchasing counterfeits) keeps the piracy trend alive and thriving.  The recently proposed Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act has some hoping that protection for fashion designers (and consumers) may be imminent.  See a recent student note, Eyes off the Runway: How to Prevent Piracy in Fashion in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review Online for an in-depth discussion of the IDPPPA.

While we wait for legislators to recognize fashion's need for protection, perhaps counterfeiters and copycats should heed the sage words of the late, great Oscar De La Renta:
Style is more about being yourself.
Rest in peace Oscar.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Former Washington Supreme Court Justice Robert Utter Dies

Justice Robert Utter, a UW Law grad '54, and former Justice on the Washington State Supreme Court, passed yesterday at 84.

Justice Utter served on the King County Superior Court (1959-69), the Washington Court of Appeals (1969-71), and the Washington Supreme Court (1971-95). He resigned from the Supreme Court to protest the death penalty.

Justice Utter also co-authored two books on the Washington Constitution with visiting UW Law professor Hugh Spitzer.

For more information about Justice Utter, see the Law Library's memorial page.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Street Harassment is NOT Okay!

Have you ever experienced being groped or harassed while on public transit, in a crowd or maybe even just walking down a sidewalk in broad daylight?  If so, did you report it?

Sadly, many victims of harassment are hesitant to report their harassers either because they are difficult to identify (in a crowd or in the dark), because they are ashamed, because they feel it is unsafe, or because street harassment and groping are sometimes not taken seriously by authorities.  (The list for not reporting is tragically long).

This past weekend, one Seattle woman, Julia Marquand found herself groped by a complete stranger in the middle of the day while walking into a store.  She confronted her harasser and even caught a photo of him with her phone.  Marquand visited the Seattle Police Department to file a police report to an officer who was unfortunately uninterested in the incident and the photo.  Marquand was informed that it was unlikely that the man could be charged.

Marquand decided to post the photo to her Twitter and Facebook accounts:
Fortunately, the tweet seemed to motivate some action by the Seattle Police Department who assigned Marquand's case to a detective:

Marquand's story has been covered by many outlets, read more at the Seattle Times, King5, SF Gate, and the Washington Times. If you would like more information about street harassment, read Huffington Post's Things You Can Do to Stop Street Harassment or check out a couple of organizations dedicated to ending street harassment:


Update (Oct. 16, 2014)
According to the Seattle Times, the alleged groper photographed by Julia Marquand is a level 3 sex offender (who among many other sexual assault crimes, was arrested by UW police for indecent liberties). The man is now being investigated in connection with groping!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Indigenous Peoples' Day

By unanimous resolution last week, the Seattle City Council declared the second Monday in October (that's today!) Indigenous Peoples' Day in Seattle. See Seattle Swaps Columbus Day For "Indigenous Peoples' Day", NPR, Oct. 12, 2014; Seattle to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day, Seattle, Oct. 6, 2014.

Of course, your interest in indigenous peoples is not limited to one day. And we support that interest: you can use our Indian & Tribal Law Research guide 365 days a year.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bestlaw – Improving WestlawNext Citations and Functionality

Have you ever been searching in Westlaw or Lexis and experienced that wonderful moment when you finally locate the perfect case for your argument or the best law review for further research?  Whether that moment occurred two minutes or a couple hours into your search, relief should set in, but all too often the most difficult and stressful part of research and writing has only begun: citing to your source in proper Bluebook format!

Well, fear no more!  Your citation needs have finally been answered, or so touts Bestlaw designer Joe Mornin, a law student at UC Berkeley School of Law.  Bestlaw is a Google Chrome extension, which can be installed from their site.  Bestlaw adds functionality and citation assistance for WestlawNext. 

The Bestlaw toolbar is located just below the "Return to list" tab on left side of the screen.

Over the past few days, I have utilized this extension and realize there is great potential for this free support product, but that there are currently many limitations that prevent this from being truly revolutionary.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What does a law librarian do?

Do you know what a law librarian does? There are so many things, it is impossible to list them all! You may already have some basic knowledge about what we can do for you:

  • If you're a frequent law library visitor, you probably see the reference librarians in the Reference Office helping visitors either in person, on the phone, or via email.  Do you wonder what we are doing in there - come on in and see for yourself!  
  • If you've worked on a research paper, or are a RA, you may have had an individual appointment where a reference librarian provided you with directed guidance and suggestions on how to tackle your work. Do you need some extra help with your research?  UW law students are welcome to sign up for an appointment!
  • Outside the law library, you have seen us visiting your classes where we teach you about resources and techniques that will help you in your coursework and hopefully, in your eventual practice of law. 
  • You may have become familiar with other law librarians at firms, courts, and other organizations as you've gained experience at internships, summer associate positions, clerkships etc.
Did you know that some law librarians are consulted at national and international levels based on their expertise?  Our very own Cheryl Nyberg will be speaking at a joint meeting of two sections of the National Conference of State Legislatures next week!  Cheryl is widely regarded as a preeminent expert in researching 50-state information and will be on presenting on compiling 50 state information.  In case you weren't aware, Cheryl's Subject Compilations of State Laws is published annually and has been hailed as being "unique, priceless and irreplaceable"!

Curious about what else law librarians are doing?  Feel free to visit us to find out more!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Printing to the Library Printers from Your Laptop

Printing to the Library Printers from Your Laptop

If you would like to send print jobs to the law library printers, here is some information that will likely come in handy for you:

How do I print from my laptop?

You need to download the printer driver software. Here's how you do that:

1. Go to the DawgPrints site: You first need to download the printer driver software from the University of Washington Creative Communications Department website. Here is a link to their printer locations page.

2. Find your printer: Scroll down the list to "Gates Law School" and download the software for L111 or L114 (once you download it for one of them, you'll be able to print to both).

3. Choose your OS: Be sure to select the appropriate software for the kind of computer and operating system that you are running.

4. Install the software: be sure to allow popups from the Dawgprints site, save the software to your computer, and install it.

I tried to download the drivers but something's not working! What do I do?

Here is a link to the DawgPrints troubleshooting page with some suggestions. If you still can't fix the problem, email Creative Communications with your question:

How much does it cost to print?

It costs $.12 per page (you can print either double-sided or single-sided) to print in the library. It's $.75 per page to print in color, which you can only do in the alcove next to the law student lounge. You pay for printing with funds that you have added to your Husky Card

Where does my document print out?

There are two printers in the law library in our two Copy Alcoves. We have a new copy alcove in the Reference Area between the Circulation Desk and the microfiche cabinets. The other is next to the Law Student Lounge.

Where can I find even more information about printing and scanning in the law library?

Check out the library's Printing and Scanning page for a wealth of information about printing and scanning in the library.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Commemorate Constitution Day!

September 17 is Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, to "commemorate the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution and recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens" (36 USC 106).

Because UW is not in session in mid-September, our public commemoration, a complete reading of the Constitution will be held on October 2, 2014, outside the Suzzallo Library 3rd floor Reading Room. You can find more information about the reading and sign up to be a reader here. It's fun, it's moving, it's quietly dramatic. Definitely worth a lunch hour!

If you are interested in something really big in the meantime, take a look at The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation. This massive 2,789 page volume includes an analysis of cases decided by the Supreme Court to June 28, 2012. The digital version on GPO'sFDsys includes cases decided through July 1, 2014.

For more information on the Constitution and its commemorative day, see:
  • Library of Congress American Memory's Today in History for September 17.
  • Law Library of Congress Constitution Day and Citizenship Day guide.
  • Gallagher Law Library guide to the U.S. Constitution & Related Sources.
And for a bit of fun, test your knowledge and take a short Constitution quiz or find out 'which founding father are you?'

The Law of Cheese

If you're a new 1L at UW Law, you likely visited the law library for some pizza earlier this week.  As you munched on your cheesy pizza while surrounded by legal resources, did you stop to think about how the law and cheese might interact?  Either way, today's Westlaw Headnote of the Day might be illuminating in this regard:

Sale of cheese of "excellent" quality implies no special warranty, and purchaser must rely upon his implied warranty that it is merchantable.Maggioros v. Edson Bros., 164 N.Y.S. 377, (N.Y. Sup., 1917)

 We've blogged about Westlaw's Headnote of the Day before but would like to point it out to our new 1Ls!  Have an excellent year!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Careers, Careers, Careers!

What sort of law do you want to practice? And what's the practice of law like, anyway?

We have just updated our guides, Learning About Legal Careers & the Job Search and Learning About Legal Specialties & Practice Areas, highlighting recent books on those topics. Check 'em out!

From Lemons to Lemonade in the New Legal Job Market:
Winning Job Search Strategies for Entry-Level Attorneys
by Richard L. Hermann,
Gallagher Law Library Classified Stacks (KF297 .H437 2012)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Screen Star or Social Media Trainwreck?

How do you present yourself online: insightful and professional? or not so much?

To help you use email and social media to advance your career rather than derail it, NALP (the leading association of legal career specialists) has created e-guides on e-professionalism for law students and lawyers:

Social media sites displayed on a PC, two iPads, and an iPhone.
You can connect with the Gallagher Law Library on this blog, of course. We're also on Twitter and (less actively) Facebook and Instagram.

Photo credit: Grace Feldman

Monday, September 8, 2014

Leisure Reading for You!

Did you stay up late reading when you were a kid? Did you get totally absorbed in terrific books? Do you still? Good books are still out there for you, if you just pick them up.

The Good Reads section of the Gallagher Law Library, just west of
the Student Lounge. Note that this area doesn't include all of our "good reads":
we have thousands of books that might fit your interests.
Kendra Albert, now a 2L at Harvard, tried to recapture her enthusiasm for reading in the months before she started law school. You can hear her describe "The Great Book Project of 2013" at the Boston Quantified Self Meetup here. She discusses books, technology, and more in her blog, Lawspeak for L33t Speakers. (If you aren't enough of a techie to know what L33t speak is, see this Urban Dictionary entry.)

Albert's top nonfiction recommendation from her book project is The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander. I thought it was great too. See this blog post.

Even though the workload in law school precludes reading huge stacks of unassigned books, many people still find it helpful to keep a book or two going—either to offer a break from all the other reading or to complement it. I could go on and on about this. Oh, wait! I already have! See Good Reads in the Law Library?, 93 Law Libr. J. 517 (2003) and Bitten by the Reading Bug, 105 Law Libr. J. 113 (2013).

And our library has a variety of lists to get you started. See, e.g.,

A few of the books from our Good Reads section:
  • Gordon S. Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic,
    catalog record
  • Stephen L. Carter, The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln: A Novel,
    catalog record
  • Bradley Glenn Shreve, Red Power Rising: The National Indian
    Youth Council and the Origins of Native Activism
    , catalog record
  • Bonnie J. Rough, Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA,
    catalog record
  • James C. Freund, Smell Test: Stories and Advice on Lawyering,
    catalog record
  • Rodney R. Jones & Gerald F. Uelman, Supreme Folly: Hilarious
    Excerpts from Actual Court Cases
    , catalog record
Photo credit: Mary Whisner

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Free Advice: Succeeding in Law School

Who doesn't want to do well in law school? No one! But there's a lot to figure out, from how to manage your time to how to tackle exams. Law School Materials for Success, by Barbara Glesner Fines, is a short (89 pages in PDF) book that is packed with tips and advice. Even better: it's free, from CALI! (It's free in various ebook formats. You can buy a paperback copy for $5.14.)

Law School Materials for Success cover
The first year of law school is, for many people, one of the most significant transitions of their adult life. Law school demands a lot as it helps you make the transition from your prior identity as student (or as some other occupational role) to your new identity as an attorney. To meet the demands of law school, it is often helpful to have the big picture before you begin – a sense of what it is you are trying to do as you prepare for classes, participate in those classes, review and prepare for exams, take exams, and then begin the cycle once again.

Law School Materials for Success is designed to give you the essentials of that process. It is purposefully brief – most law students do not have the time for an extensive examination of the study of law school. Rather, they need a source for some basic, critical advice and some pointers on where to go for more if necessary. That is what this book and the accompanying podcasts are designed to provide. 
The podcasts are available from

Monday, August 25, 2014

Reference Office Closures

Although the Law Library will be open Tuesday, August. 26, the Reference Office will be closed.

The Reference Office will re-open at 9am on Wednesday, August 27.

And one more reminder, in observance of the Labor Day holiday, the Law Library and Reference Office will be closed Friday, August. 29 through Monday, September 1st.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Legality of Prisoner-for-Hostage Swap

Congressional Republican leaders asked the Government Accountability Office to review the Department of Defense's actions in releasing five prisoners from Guantanamo to Qatar in exchange for the Taliban releasing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

In a report released yesterday, the GAO concluded that the actions violated a section of the Defense Appropriations Act and the Antideficiency Act. News coverage:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Environmental Rights in Constitutions

A lot of countries have constitutional provisions establishing a right to a clean and healthy environment. Which ones? And what language do they use?

A political science and public policy professor has put together information from several sources to create Envirorights Map, an interactive page that answers these questions.

Map of Africa shows which countries have environmental provisions
in their constitutions. Blue marker indicates Kenya,
and pop-up quotes the beginning of relevant provision in
the Constitution of Kenya (2010) with a link for more.
The map has nothing for the United States, since our federal constitution does not have such a provision. Montana's state constitution, though, devotes an entire article to Environment and Natural Resources. And other states also have environmental provisions in their constitutions. See James May & William Romanowicz, Environmental Rights in State Constitutions, in Principles of Constitutional Environmental Law 305 (James R. May ed., 2011). (The link is to the chapter on SSRN. The book is at Classified Stacks (KF3775 .P748 2011). The catalog record lists the chapters, most discussing federal constitutional law.)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Conflicts Among Wash. Court of Appeals Divisions

Unlike the federal circuits, the Washington Court of Appeals is a "unitary system"—one court that sits in three divisions, not three separate courts. But sometimes panels from two divisions disagree with each other, so there can be conflicting precedent. What's a trial judge to do? And how should counsel frame their arguments to the trial court?

Learn more about the problem and possible solutions in: Mark DeForrest, In the Groove or in a Rut? Resolving Conflicts Between the Divisions of the Washington State Court of Appeals at the Trial Court Level, 48 Gonz. L. Rev. 431 (2013).

Map of Washington Court of Appeals divisions from Washington Courts website
For practical help on working with precedent in Washington, see Kelly Kunsch, Stare Decisis—Everything You Never Realized You Need to Know, 52 Wash. St. B. News, Oct. 1998, at 31, HeinOnline

Monday, August 4, 2014

Upcoming Library Hours Changes

When School of Law summer quarter exams end this Friday, August 8th, the Law Library and the Reference Office will begin interim hours of operation.

The Library will be open weekdays, Monday through Friday, 8am - 5pm.
The Reference Office will be open weekdays, 9am - 12noon and 1 - 5pm.

The Library and the Reference Office will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition, the Library and Reference Office will be closed on Monday, August 11th, and from Friday through Monday, August 29th through September 1st, for Labor Day.

These hours will be continue from Saturday, August 9th, through Sunday, September 21st.

Reference librarians will respond to questions submitted through the Ask Us link on the Law Library website when the Reference Office is open.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

History of Securities Regulation

Check out the Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society, a virtual museum with lots of fascinating content: a timeline, original documents, oral histories, and more. It even includes film clips, such as a newsreel of SEC chairman Joseph Patrick Kennedy (1934) and an educational film, "What Is a Corporation?" (1949).

SEC Commission congratulations Commissioner William O. Douglas on his nomination to U.S. Supreme Court (March 20, 1939). Standing, left to right: Robert E. Healy, Jerome Frank, Edward C. Eicher, and George C. Mathews.
From SEC Historical Society.

Thursday, July 24, at 2 pm Eastern time, 11 am Pacific time, the site will broadcast a live audio program on the roles of women in securities regulation.