Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Library Closed for Presidents' Day

Gallagher Law Library will be closed to the public this upcoming Monday, February 15, for the Presidents' Day Holiday. The Reference Office will also be closed.

The Library will reopen per our usual schedule on Tuesday at 8:00 am.

More information about our hours can be found here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Low-income Washingtonians Need Legal Help

This fall the state Office of Civil Legal Aid published a new report (commissioned by the Supreme Court and prepared by a team at WSU) describing the frequency and type of legal needs of low-income state residents: 2015 Washington State Civil Legal Needs Study Update (Oct. 2015).

The picture is not rosy.
More than 70% of the state's low-income households experience at least one civil legal problem each year on matters affecting the most fundamental aspects of their daily lives, including accessible and affordable health care; the ability to get and keep a job; the right to financial services and protection from consumer exploitation; and the security of safe and stable housing. (p. 3)
And it's worse than it was: "The average number of problems per household increased from 3.3 in 2003 to 9.3 in the latest, 2014 survey." Id.

Next Wednesday the Washington Supreme Court will hear presentations about the report. The event is open to the public. It will probably be available on TVW.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Data Privacy Day

Today is Data Privacy Day. According to Wikipedia, it began in Europe, with the Council of Europe's Data Protection Day. The date was chosen to mark the anniversary of the Council of Europe's Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Jan. 28, 1981).

Learn more on the Data Privacy pages from Stay Safe Online (from the National Cyber Security Alliance). The group is tweeting @DataPrivacyDay.

Several U.S. agencies are marking Data Privacy Day 2016, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy. Check out Twitter at noon (Pacific time) for the Federal Trade Commission's Data Privacy Day 2016 Twitter Chat.

Here in Washington, Attorney General Rob McKenna and King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg are asking businesses to reinforce their work to protect consumer data.

It's Data Privacy Day. Do you know where your data is?, C|Net, Jan. 28, 2016, discusses a study that was able to match up "anonymous" health data from Washington State with identified people. See Latanya Sweeney, Only You, Your Doctor, and Many Others May Know, Journal of Technology Science (JOTS), Sept. 29, 2015. The good news? "This study resulted in Washington State increasing the anonymization protocols of the health records including limiting fields used for the re-identification study."

Want some tips for your own online data? Reporter Julia Angwin lists what she did: I Ramped Up My Internet Security, and You Should Too, ProPublica, Jan. 20, 2016.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Law Firm Search Engine

Need information about local law firms? Looking for a source of free legal research? Try the new Law Firm Search Engine!


Developed by librarian Jeffrey H. Buckley, this search engine allows you to search across more than 4,500 law firm websites. This is a useful resource for free legal information, as law firms are constantly publishing insightful commentaries and legal memos on their websites.

The Law Firm Search Engine's other features include:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Genetics and the Law

Issues involving genetics can be found in many areas of the law, from employment discrimination to insurance to criminal procedure to international trade. If you're interested in this area, check out our newly updated guide, Genetics & the Law.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Researching professional responsibility

Professional responsibility is one subject that affects every law student. You'll have to pass a test in professional responsibility to become a member of the bar—and then you'll have to live by those rules throughout your career. To help you with this important area, we have a new guide listing resources, both national and Washington State.

Tribes and Tribal Law in Washington State

There are currently 29 federally-recognized tribes in Washington State.

The concept of tribal sovereignty is recognized in the U.S. Constitution, perhaps most famously in the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8): "Congress shall have the power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes." U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshal fleshed out the legal concept of tribal sovereignty in the three seminal cases of Johnson v. M'Intosh (21 U.S. 543), Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, (30 U.S. 1), and Worcester v. Georgia (31 U.S. 515). Congress also protected the rights of federally-recognized tribes in the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. As "domestic dependent nations," many federally-recognized tribes have their own constitutions, codes, and courts.

Map of federally-recognized Washington State tribes (Washingtontribes.org):

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Titles in the Gallagher Law Library

The first 2016 installment of the bimonthly New Titles List is now available.

Noteworthy additions include:

Climate change and human rights: an international and comparative law perspective / Classified Stacks (K3585.5 .C5497 2016)

Dying with dignity: a legal approach to assisted death / Classified Stacks (K3611.E95 L67 2015)

Enduring conviction: Fred Korematsu and his quest for justice / Classified Stacks (KF228.K59 B36 2015)

The guide to U.S. legal analysis and communication / Reference Area (KF250 .M377 2015)

Public spaces, marketplaces, and the Constitution: shopping malls and the First Amendment /  Classified Stacks (KF4770 .M36 2015)

Check out these and other titles that have recently been added to the Library's collection.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Library Hours During the Holidays

We are nearing the end of Fall Quarter and will be on our interim schedule. In addition, we're going to be closed for a few days. 

Sunday, December 20: closed

Monday and Tuesday, December 21st-22nd: closed

Wednesday, December 23: The library is open 8 am to 5 pm. The Reference Office is open 9 am to noon; 1 pm to 5 pm

Thursday, December 24: The library is open 8 am to 12 pm. The Reference Office is open 9 am to noon.

Friday, December 25: closed for Christmas holiday

Sunday, December 27: closed for interim

Monday, December 28 to Wednesday, December 30: The library is open 8 am to 5 pm. The Reference Office is open 9 am to noon; 1 pm to 5 pm. 

Thursday, December 31: The library is open 8 am to noon. The Reference Office is open 9 am to noon. 

Friday, January 1: closed for New Year's Day

Sunday, January 3: closed for interim
Please see our hours page for additional hours information.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Human Rights Day 2015

December 10 is Human Rights Day! It commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to serve as a comprehensive list of basic individual rights and freedoms that all nations should strive to protect. It is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, along with the more detailed and legally-binding International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966).

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Updated Guide on Court Briefs & Oral Arguments

The Gallagher Law Library's guide to finding Court Briefs & Oral Arguments has been updated.

This extensive guide identifies free websites, commercial services, and print and microfiche collections available in the Law Library. It provides comprehensive lists for the following courts:

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Washington Supreme Court
  • Washington Court of Appeals
Links are also available for many other federal and state courts. 

If you are aware of other online collections of briefs and oral arguments, please contact Cheryl Nyberg with the information. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

60th Anniversary of Rosa Park's Arrest

The U.S. Courts website features a short video of Rosa Park's arrest and how it led to several important civil rights decisions.

The video, drawing on interviews with U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson and lawyer Fred Gray, notes that Parks was not the first woman arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white patron. But when Parks’ arrest—on Dec. 1, 1955—sparked a citywide bus boycott, Gray enlisted four previously arrested women to file a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court. 
A yearlong boycott ended after the Supreme Court affirmed in Browder v. Gayle that segregated buses are unconstitutional. 

The Law Library website has a guide on Brown v. Board of Education, with links to websites and books available in the Library.

The Place Where the Boy Got His Fingers Pinched

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its first decision of the October 2015 term, OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs. The case involved an attempt to sue the Austrian national railroad. However, I am not interested in discussing the nuances of sovereign immunity. I want to highlight one of the letters/books cited in Chief Justice Robert's unanimous opinion of the court: Holmes and Frankfurter: their correspondence, 1912-1934. Here's how it was used:
A century ago, in a letter to then-Professor Frankfurter, Justice Holmes wrote that the “essentials” of a personal injury narrative will be found at the “point of contact”— “the place where the boy got his fingers pinched.” Letter (Dec. 19, 1915), in Holmes and Frankfurter: Their Correspondence, 1912–1934, p. 40 (R. Mennel & C. Compston eds. 1996). At least in this case, that insight holds true. Regardless of whether Sachs seeks relief under claims for negligence, strict liability for failure to warn, or breach of implied warranty, the “essentials” of her suit for purposes of §1605(a)(2) are found in Austria.
OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs, No. 13–1067, slip op. at 9 (U.S. Dec. 1, 2015).
If you're interested in reading more of this letter or other letters between Justice Holmes and then-Professor Frankfurter, we have this book at the Gallagher Law Library. It's available in the Classified Stacks at KF8745.H6 A433 1996. Here's the publisher's description of the book:
Nearly four hundred previously unpublished letters capture the essence of an extraordinary and in some ways unlikely friendship between one of America's preeminent jurists and a younger, reform-minded colleague who would himself one day ascend to the Supreme Court. Oliver Wendell Holmes was seventy-one when he was introduced to fiery, effervescent Felix Frankfurter, who had come to Washington at age thirty to serve President Taft. The two couldn't have had more different backgrounds: Holmes was a Civil War hero of Boston Brahmin stock, while Frankfurter was a Jewish immigrant whose reformist views would lead him to help found the American Civil Liberties Union and act as key advisor to Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal.  
With an introduction that provides historical background and annotations that supply context for cases mentioned, this unique collection illuminates a strong and mutually satisfying personal and professional relationship between two men whose exchanges on the meaning of law in general and American law in particular, the editors write, "found expression in their work and influenced legal and political change in their own lifetimes and in ours as well."
I'm not sure when Chief Justice Roberts, his clerks, or another member of the Court read the letter. It wasn't referenced in any of the briefs of this case. Maybe one read the book over the summer; the possibilities are endless. I could only find a couple references to the letter in law review articles, one from a book review of a Holmes biography (33 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1219) and the other from an article by Robert C. Post, Dean of Yale Law School. Here is the reference made in the latter:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Washington, the 42nd State

November 11 marks the anniversary of Washington joining the Union in 1889 as the 42nd state! Here are some resources related to this momentous event.

The United States Constitution outlines the legal process by which new states are created. Article IV Section 3 says: "New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union." You can find an official copy of the United States Constitution in Title 1 of the United States Code, which can be found in the Gallagher Law Library Reference Area at KF62. Or you can read the text on the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) webpage.

Washington's origins can be traced to the Monticello Convention Petition of 1852. Settlers in the then massive Oregon Territory sent a letter to the federal government asking for the creation of a separate territory. You can find a copy of this petition in the Suzzallo-Allen Libraries Special Collections-Manuscripts collection. The Washington Secretary of State also has a webpage providing more information about this petition.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Terrorism and the Law: Books and Articles at the Gallagher Law Library

In 2005, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan stated at the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism, and Security that terrorism is a direct attack on the core values of the United Nations: "the rule of law; the protection of civilians; mutual respect between people of different faiths and cultures; and peaceful resolution of conflicts." In fighting terrorism, he continued, "human rights and the rule of law must always be respected." (UN.org, Mar. 10, 2005)

Following the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, news outlets worldwide have questioned the effectiveness of current international law in preventing and addressing terrorism. In the past several months, several nations have put forth new laws in attempts to counter these kinds of attacks, but many of these laws have been criticized as too broadly defining terrorism or too harshly treating perpetrators of these acts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Law Library in your Pocket

Have you ever wanted to carry a law library in your pocket? Now you can!

LawLibe is a free app on the iTunes App Store available for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

LawLibe is powered by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. LawLibe includes the U.S. Constitution, and you can download additional legal content such as the U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, and State Statutes. You can then access these materials offline. Other features of this app include full-text searching, in-text highlighting, font-size adjusting, and frequent updating.

Thanksgiving Library Closures

The library will be closed to the public at 5 pm on Wednesday, November 25, for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Reference Office will also close at this time.

The library will remained closed from Thursday, November 26 until 8 am Monday, November 30.

Please see our hours page for additional hours information.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Daylight Saving Time and the Law

On November 1, at the stroke of 2:00 AM, Washingtonian clocks collectively rolled back to 1:00 AM (providing many of us an extra hour of much needed sleep). The popular saying “spring forward, fall back” reminds us that it is once again Daylight Saving Time (DST) in Washington State. As we adjust to later sunrises and sunsets, we might reflect on the laws that make DST a reality, and on efforts to change those laws.

In 1960, Washington became the 15th state to adopt DST when 51.7% of voters approved Ballot Initiative 210.  In the official voter pamphlet, the initiative promised “154 more hours of daylight each year.”

page from voter's guide summarizing initiative 210

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Shortened Library Hours for Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 11 is Veteran's Day and is a University of Washington holiday. Gallagher Law Library will be open but with shorter hours. 

The library will be open 8 am to 5 pm. The Reference Office will be open from 1 pm to 4 pm. 

Please take a look at our hours page for more information.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

National Love Your Lawyer Day

You have several days to plan how you will celebrate National Love Your Lawyer Day, Nov. 6.

Wait - - - what? There is a National Love Your Lawyer Day?

Yes, the American Bar Association's Law Practice Division has declared the first Friday in November as a day:

  • for the public to celebrate lawyers and express their gratitude to them for their affirmative contributions to the public good and the administration of justice
  • for lawyers to help promote a positive and more respected image of lawyers and their contributions to society.
The resolution notes that the American Lawyers Public Image Association initiated the day in 2001.

An article in today's National Law Journal (subscription required) provides additional information about this commemoration, observing that the founder of ALPIA created the organization after hearing one too many nasty lawyer jokes. It also mentions a self-published book called Comebacks for Lawyer Jokes: The Restatement of Retorts ($9.95 from Amazon). The author, Malcolm Kushner, is quoted as saying: “The real thing about the lawyer joke isn’t so much they’re mean, it’s that they’re cultural carriers of bad images of lawyers.”

So plan to convey expressions of affection and appreciation for the lawyers in your life on Friday. And if you are a self-respecting lawyer or lawyer-to-be, give yourself credit for the work you do to promote justice.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SCOTUS to Combat Link Rot

At the beginning of the October 2015 Term, the Supreme Court announced on its website's "What's New" section that it will host internet material cited in the Court’s opinions from the 2005 Term forward.

Image of "What's New" section on Supreme Court Website

It's a good idea that the Court chose to do this. When we rely on something, we want others to know what we relied on. As the Court explains, “Because some URLs cited in the Court's opinions may change over time or disappear altogether, an attempt is made to capture, as closely as possible, the material cited in an opinion at the time of its release. Capture dates, when they appear on the material, may not match the ‘as visited’ date contained in an opinion's citation to that material.”

Below is a funny example of the potential trouble with citing to a website:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Thoughts on Legal Writing (#WhyIWrite)

To celebrate National Day on Writing, we took a look at the legal writing section of The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations. Here's a sampling:
In the third year of law school, they ought to teach English as a Second Language.
Stephen Wermiel, quoted in Tom Goldstein and Jethro K. Lieberman, The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well 80 (1989). Read a later edition of the book as an e-book or in print.
Legal writing is one of those rare creatures, like the rat and the cockroach, that would attract little sympathy even as an endangered species. 
Richard Hyland, A Defense of Legal Writing, 134 U. Pa. L. Rev. 599, 600 (1986).
There are only two cures for the long sentence: (1) Say less; (2) Put a period in the middle. Neither expedient has taken hold in the law.  

National Day on Writing (#WhyIWrite)

How are you marking the National Day on Writing?

The New York Times, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project others encourage people to share their reasons for writing by posting on Twitter with the hash tag #WhyIWrite. Here are a few of the many Tweets:

Because I'm a magician and words are spells. So to spellcast, I use terms and sentences to sentence you to terms of enchantment.

Because I want to read a story with a black space detective. Only 18 hours left.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ― Benjamin Franklin

To serve our clients

Dogs, Cats, and Numbers

Since this is both Adopt a Shelter Dog Month (ASPCA) and World Statistics Day, let's look at some numbers.

In March, the Census Bureau released the Where Are the Animal Companions? infographic below. Seattle is just above average among cities in percentage of households with at least one pet.

infographic ranks metro areas by percent of households with pets

An accompanying press release explained that the American Housing Survey asked about pets for emergency preparedness.

If you've been around Seattle awhile, you might have heard that we have more dogs than kids. Gene Balk, the Seattle Times's "FYI Guy" (and news librarian) checked the stats and discovered In Seattle, it’s cats, dogs and kids — in that order (Feb. 1, 2013). To see other interesting local stats, browse the paper's data page.