Monday, October 31, 2011

Is Legal Education in Crisis?

Last week the National Law Journal launched Law School Review, "an online forum examining the current state and future of legal education."
We want to address the question, "Are law schools in crisis?" If the answer is yes, what are the most pressing problems and how should educators and regulators address them? If the answer is no, what is it that law schools are doing right? Is this enough to ensure their future viability? We have assembled a panel of experts to share their thoughts on the subject [noted law school deans and law professors], and we hope to create a robust dialogue and exchange of ideas.
If you're interested in what law schools do (and why wouldn't you be?), this is worth a look.

Halloween Treats

Its Halloween, but don't panic!
We've found litigation Satanic.

U. S. ex rel. Mayo v. Satan and his Staff, 54 F.R.D. 282 (1971).
Plaintiff, alleging jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 241, 28 U.S.C. § 1343, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 prays for leave to file a complaint for violation of his civil rights in forma pauperis. He alleges that Satan has on numerous occasions caused plaintiff misery and unwarranted threats, against the will of plaintiff, that Satan has placed deliberate obstacles in his path and has caused plaintiff's downfall.

Plaintiff alleges that by reason of these acts Satan has deprived him of his constitutional rights.

We feel that the application to file and proceed in forma pauperis must be denied. Even if plaintiff's complaint reveals a prima facie recital of the infringement of the civil rights of a citizen of the United States, the Court has serious doubts that the complaint reveals a cause of action upon which relief can be granted by the court. We question whether plaintiff may obtain personal jurisdiction over the defendant in this judicial district. The complaint contains no allegation of residence in this district.

While the official reports disclose no case where this defendant has appeared as defendant there is an unofficial account of a trial in New Hampshire where this defendant filed an action of mortgage foreclosure as plaintiff. The defendant in that action was represented by the preeminent advocate of that day, and raised the defense that the plaintiff was a foreign prince with no standing to sue in an American Court. This defense was overcome by overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Whether or not this would raise an estoppel in the present case we are unable to determine at this time.

If such action were to be allowed we would also face the question of whether it may be maintained as a class action. It appears to meet the requirements of Fed.R. of Civ. P. 23 that the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable, there are questions of law and fact common to the class, and the claims of the representative party is typical of the claims of the class. We cannot now determine if the representative party will fairly protect the interests of the class.

We note that the plaintiff has failed to include with his complaint the required form of instructions for the United States Marshal for directions as to service of process.

For the foregoing reasons we must exercise our discretion to refuse the prayer of plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis.

From the Gallagher guide on Judicial Humor.

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Faculty Publication: Helen Anderson on Revising Harmless Error

Helen A. Anderson, Revising Harmless Error: Making Innocence Relevant to Direct Appeals, 17 Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 391 (2011), available at

Professor Anderson’s latest article explores the history and development of harmless error. Describing findings from the Innocence Project, she examines how harmless error analysis is applied in cases where the likely causes of wrongful conviction are implicated.

She proposes guidelines and changes that can be made to reinvigorate harmless error analysis so that courts recognize and take seriously the possibility of innocence, writing:

It is time for a better-informed harmless error standard that incorporates the lessons of the last three decades about the realities of criminal justice.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Law Professor's Memoir of Schizophrenia

Elyn Saks opens her memoir, The Center Cannot Hold, with a scene every law student can identify with: three students working in the law library on a weekend night, trying to get a moot court brief done. But the action moves to something most students don't experience, hallucinations that lead her onto the law school's roof and, eventually, to the state mental hospital, where anti-psychotic medications are forced on her.

The memoir offers a gripping inside look at mental illness and its treatment. Saks was hospitalized in both England (when she was studying at Oxford) and the United States (when she was studying at Yale), and the contrast between the two mental hospitals is striking. Although many psychiatrists think that schizophrenia can only be treated with drugs, Saks has found benefit from a combination of talk therapy and medication.

The book's call number is RC464.S25 A3 2007 at Good Reads. Links: Publisher's page; WorldCat; Amazon.

Saks has not only lived with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, she has also been very successful professionally. Despite that incident on the roof, she finished law school and became an expert in mental health law.

She is the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California. When she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, she used the award to establish the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics at USC.

(This is another post in our series for Disability History Awareness Month.)

Living Voters Guide

From UW Today:
"The Living Voters Guide is powered for the Nov. 8 election, updated with the three statewide ballot initiatives, two state constitutional amendments and 120 local and regional measures.

Actually, the guide is powered by citizens. It’s a website that helps ordinary voters form and share their opinions with other people, together producing a citizen-written voters’ guide. The guide was created for the 2010 ballot initiatives, but this year, regional and local measures have been added along with additional means for sharing opinions."

The general election voters guide (and much more) is at the Secretary of State's Elections and Voting page.

Monday, October 24, 2011

United Nations Day

Today marks the anniversary of the United Nations coming into existence—the day when a majority of the original 51 signatories of the UN charter had ratified it. (Today there are 191 member states.)
For a quick overview of the UN, see The United Nations: An Introduction for Students.  More detail about this large and complex organization is here.

The UN system includes a number of specialized agencies, such as:

If you want to observe Disability History Awareness month as you observe United Nations Day, check out the FAQs for the UN Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Graphic: mw

Friday, October 21, 2011

There's an App for . . . HeinOnline

HeinOnline--the go-to source for PDF images of law reviews--now offers an iPhone/iPad app!

It offers
image-based PDFs, access content by citation, browse by volume, navigate a volume with the electronic table of contents, and use full advanced searching techniques.
Correction: When you download the app, you will be asked to authenticate your access. The authentication will last for 30 days, at which time you will be asked to re-authenticate. So you don't need to use the Library's Off-Campus Access login as was first mentioned. Thanks to Mary Whisner for the correction.

Cameras in the Federal Courts

Since July, fourteen federal courts have been participating in a trial program [pun intended] for videotaping court proceedings. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington is one of the participants.

The Cameras in the Courts webpage identifies the courts,  provides an overview of the pilot program, links to the program's guidelines, and links to the videos. Currently the site provides videos of seven civil trials. No video from the Western District is available yet.

Three Degrees Project at UW School of Law

A think tank housed at The University of Washington School of Law is dedicated to promoting climate justice worldwide. Employing human rights discourse as a framework for addressing the problems of environmental degradation, Three Degrees Project “harnesses the power of the academy and the law to promote fair and equitable adaptation strategies in regions most vulnerable to climate impacts.”

Three Degrees was founded by Co-Executive Directors and former UW law students Jeni Barcelos and Jennifer Marlow. This leading climate justice center stemmed from a 2009 Conference at the UW School of Law that included a lecture by Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland and the former United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights. The mission of Three Degrees is to “design future institutions capable of addressing the human impacts of climate change and to assist climate-impacted communities in seeking compensation for climate harms.”

In borrowing from environmental and human rights law, Three Degrees has not only gone on speaking tours around the world, but has also implemented the following projects:
  • Cambodia Project: Working with photojournalists Michael Harris and Kevin Ely, and the staff of Wildlife Alliance, Three Degrees produced a short video about the Southern Cardamom forest and the long-term threats posed by a titanium mine. 
  • Climate Justice Seminar: Open to twenty-five students from across the UW, the course examines predicted climate futures in locations around the world where climate change is likely to harm marginalized populations, and to understand the limitations and strengths of international and domestic legal and policy systems to alleviate these impacts.
  • Simulation Summits: Bringing local people together with scientists, legal experts, artists, and public health practitioners, Simulation Summits empower impacted communities to analyze climate threats specific to them. Simulation Summits identify responses to legal and policy barriers, which may include litigation, developing new fiscal mechanisms for supporting adaptation, creating international and domestic institutions for hearing climate claims, and increasing access to local legal and technical resources. 
In the near future, Three Degrees will be speaking at the Global Washington Conference: Opportunities and Obstacles in Turbulent Times located at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, WA on October 31 and at the World Affairs Council Forum in Juneau, Alaska in mid-November.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finding Historic Newspaper Articles

From time to time, you may need to find a news article as it appeared in its original format. It may seem like a challenging endeavor when the news article you are trying to locate is from 1911, instead of 2011!

There are many excellent sources for historical news. One resource you may want to try is the ProQuest Historical Newspapers database (UW Restricted).

Current coverage includes major newspaper such as The New York Times (1851 – 2007), The Wall Street Journal (1889 – 1993), the Los Angeles Times (1881 – 1987), and the Chicago Defender (1910 – 1975). Full-text articles are available in PDF format.

To find this database, go to the UW Libraries website (when you are working off-campus, be sure to log in with your UW NetID and password before connecting to a UW Restricted database).

Then, on the left side under "Find It," click on Subject Guides. The subject guides provide access to resources (article databases, catalogs, background information, web sites, and more) organized by topic, and are created by the librarians responsible for the areas of study listed.

Under "N," is a link to a subject guide for News. One of the choices on this page is a link to “News, pre-1990.” Look for the section on "Historical Newspapers," where you will see links to a number of news sources, including those mentioned above.

For historic news originating in Washington, see the Gallagher Law Library research guide Washington State News Sources Online.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lawyers with Disabilities

How many lawyers with disabilities are there? What challenges do they face? What accommodations are offered in the workplace? See The Second National Conference on the Employment of Lawyers with Disabilities: A Report from the American Bar Association for the Legal Profession (2009) (99-page PDF).
Check out the Lawyers with Disabilities portal on the American Bar Association's website.
The ABA's Commission on Mental and Physical Disabilities offers a mentor program that "pairs prospective law students, law students, and recent law school graduates with disabilities with a mentor."
Prof. Donald Stone has studied several aspects of lawyers with disabilites, such as accommodations in taking the bar exam and mental health screening in bar admissions. His most recent work looks at the workplace:
This Article proceeds in seven parts. Part I briefly outlines the ADA's position on reasonable accommodations. Part II addresses how law firms are reacting and responding to the fact that they employ lawyers with mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder, attorneys with learning disabilities, and individuals with alcohol or drug addiction. What disabilities are most often represented? Are lawyers with disabilities apt to receive work modifications to accommodate their disability? Are attorneys with mental illness provided with less stressful case assignments? Are lawyers with substance use disorders and alcohol or drug addiction assigned co-counsel to monitor or offer support to the disabled individual?

Part III of this Article outlines the annual ABA report on lawyers with disabilities, which includes recommendations as to how employers should accommodate disabled persons from the hiring process through employment. A fundamental concern underlying the provision of reasonable accommodations within the law firm is the potentially negative impact on client representation. Part IV of this Article analyzes the balancing act of providing reasonable accommodations to the disabled lawyer and the importance of providing competent representation to the client. Part V examines attorney disciplinary proceedings pursuant to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct in order to shed light on the issues related to the disabled lawyer. Part VI discusses and analyzes court decisions in the area of reasonable accommodations in the workplace to note the impact of the ADA and the direction in which courts are heading as they tackle this challenging and significant area of law.
Empirical data contained in this Article serves as a backdrop for purposes of elaboration and comparison of these and other questions. Attorneys from fifty law firms in nine states were surveyed to obtain data and their opinions on questions relating to employment accommodations by law firms. Because of the significant number of disabled lawyers entering the workforce and seeking modifications and accommodations, such an inquiry is well warranted. Law firms are beginning to grapple with the disabled lawyer's claim for fair and equitable treatment, while still serving their clients to the best of their ability. Part VII presents and analyzes this empirical data. In conclusion, this Article offers recommendations regarding fair and equitable reasonable accommodations for disabled lawyers in the workplace.
For more of his work, see Prof. Stone's SSRN page.

Happy Disability History Awareness Month!

Film and Discussion: Civil Rights in 1961 and 2011

Organizers of the National Immigrant Integration Conference, taking place Oct. 24-26, invite the public to an evening event on Tues., Oct. 25: Connecting Across Movements and Generations 50 Years Later
Acclaimed film maker and Emmy-winning MacArthur "genius" fellow Stanley Nelson will share clips from his documentary "Freedom Riders," an inspiring documentary of the more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives to end legal segregation in the Deep South.
The Freedom Riders endured savage beatings and imprisonment to assert their humanity and to challenge the federal government to intervene on the side of justice. Today, our country desperately needs fresh energy from diverse people working together to enlarge social and economic justice. DREAM activists - undocumented young people who have been "coming out" by the hundreds - have been called the Freedom Riders of our day. Together with people of all ages and backgrounds, they are taking profound risks in standing up for immigrants and refugees as integral members of American society. 
Join us a rare and inspiring dialogue between civil rights activists and participants in the immigrant rights' movement as they exchange stories and lessons.
This event is free and open to the public. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30-8 pm, Westin Hotel Grand Ballroom.

You can watch "Freedom Riders" here:

Watch Freedom Riders on PBS. See more from American Experience.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ginsburg's Advice to Judges: Dare to Disagree

At the National Association of Women Judges conference in Newark last week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg "offered a piece of advice: Dare to disagree."
"It is a subject that I have had the occasion to talk on quite often," Ginsburg said to laughter, referring to her long career on the bench and the many Supreme Court cases in which she has sided with the dissenting opinion.

. . .

The petite, 78-year-old jurist, who was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993, traced the history of dissension in the courts, starting as early as Justice Benjamin Curtis’ 1857 dissent in the Dred Scott Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers advice to female Newark judgesCase. In the infamous ruling, the Supreme Court’s majority opinion said that people of African descent in the United States could not become citizens.

"On rare occasions, a dissent turns the court and becomes the opinion of the court," Ginsburg said last night.

She noted that often a well articulated opinion can spark action, as occurred after her dissent in the 2007 Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. case.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers advice to female Newark judgesN.J. Star-Ledger, Oct. 16, 2011.

Justice Ginsburg has been interested in the role of dissents for some time. In 1989, when she was still on the D.C. Circuit, she spoke on the topic at UW Law. See Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Remarks on Writing Separately, 65 Wash. L. Rev. 133 (1990), HeinOnline, WLR archive.

You can see Prof. Schnapper's interview of Lily Ledbetter, the plaintiff in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., on UW Law's Multimedia Gallery.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Juvenile Crime in Seattle

A new report from the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention focuses on Hot Spots of Juvenile Crime: Findings from Seattle.

This study is "the first to identify where juveniles commit crimes and how these places differ from hot spots of adult crime. Over a 14-year period from 1989 to 2002, researchers mapped all crime incidents in Seattle in which a juvenile between ages 8 and 17 was arrested. They located juvenile crime hot spots, determined juvenile crime trends, and identified risk factors for juvenile crime."

Disability History Awareness Month

A few years ago, the Washington legislature found that
annually recognizing disability history throughout our entire public educational system, from kindergarten through grade twelve and at our colleges and universities, during the month of October will help to increase awareness and understanding of the contributions that people with disabilities in our state, nation, and the world have made to our society.
Lawmakers also hoped to "increase respect and promote acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities" and to "inspire students with disabilities to feel a greater sense of pride, reduce harassment and bullying, and help keep students with disabilities in school." Laws of 2008, ch. 167, § 2.  See RCW 28A.230.158 (K-12) and 28B.10.918 (higher ed).

Our Disability History Month blog posts began with a global perspective, looking at the World Report on Disability.  Watch for more posts over the next couple of weeks.

Middle Eastern & Islamic Resources

If you need Middle Eastern and Islamic resources for your research the Gallagher Law Library has access to the rich collection of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). Through the UW Libraries’ membership in CRL we can request materials owned by this specialized library. Send your requests to our Resource Sharing Librarian at

To find out more about some of the resources and how researchers have benefited from the resources at CRL read the current issue of Focus on Global Resources which features Middle Eastern and Islamic resources. One of the types of resources that CRL collects are dissertations from countries outside the United States. Doing a quick search for “Islamic law” yielded a number of results ranging from The Journal of Islamic Law to dissertations such as The role of islamic law in commercial litigation in North Yemen [microform] / Isam Muhammad Ghanem (1987, University of London doctoral thesis).

Focus on Global Resources, Fall 2011, v.31, no.1, Middle Eastern & Islamic Resources:

HeinOnline's History of Bankruptcy & the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit Come to UW Law

In nearly every modern State the situation of a trader who has ceased to pay his debts as they mature in the ordinary course of business is regulated by special provisions of law... the public interest is so closely involved, by reason of the plurality of creditors who have claims against the debtor, that in most countries the intervention of a public authority has been thought necessary to adjust the conflicting rights, and to discover and punish any wrong-doing.
S. Whitney Dunscomb, Bankruptcy; A Study in Comparative Legislation 9 (1893).

The tradition of regulating the reorganization of assets and liabilities of insolvents with special provisions of law has continued since before Dunscomb's time to the present. Today, bankruptcies are heard by federal bankruptcy district courts and bankruptcy appeals in the Ninth Circuit are usually referred to the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) of the Ninth Circuit for disposition. The Law School will be hosting the BAP of the Ninth Circuit on Friday, October 21, 2011 while the panel holds hearings for four appeals.

Coincidentally, the Law Library just began a subscription to a new HeinOnline library; HeinOnline's History of Bankruptcy is considered Part III of Taxation and Economic Reform in America. If you happen to be one of the fortunate students or faculty attending the luncheon with the BAP after their hearings, you may want to impress your colleagues and the BAP by browsing and sharing information from one of the resources provided in the History of Bankruptcy Library. It includes legislative histories, treatises, documents and more related to bankruptcy law in America. It also includes classic books dating back to the late 1800s and links to scholarly articles that are related to the study of bankruptcy in America.

Photo Credit: Preservation Virginia
This small brick structure located in Accomac, Virginia was originally built in 1782 as a jailer's residence until 1824 when iron bars, oak doors, and locks were added and it was used as a debtors' prison until 1849.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Video: How to Use FDsys

The University of Colorado, Boulder, released another informative video, "How to Use FDsys."

FDsys, the Government Printing Office's Federal Digital System, provides free access to official federal government publications. Collections include the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register; Congressional Record; Compilation of Presidential Documents; public and private laws; the United States Code; and congressional bills, reports, and some hearings.

How to Use FDsys is a companion to an earlier, quite entertaining video, "What is FDsys?"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

World Report on Disability

The World Health Organization and World Bank jointly issued the World Report on Disability earlier this year. The purpose of the report, as stated in the preface is:
. . . to provide the evidence for innovative policies and programmes that can improve the lives of people with disabilities, and facilitate implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which came into force in May 2008. This landmark international treaty reinforced our understanding of disability as a human rights and development priority.
The World Report on Disability suggests steps for all stakeholders – including governments, civil society organizations and disabled people’s organizations – to create enabling environments, develop rehabilitation and support services, ensure adequate social protection, create inclusive policies and programmes, and enforce new and existing standards and legislation, to the benefit of people with disabilities and the wider community.

The 350-page PDF report is here. For supplementary information, see: WHO, Disabilities and rehabilitation.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Albert D. Rosellini, Former Gov and UW Law Grad

Former Gov. Rosellini dies at 101,, Oct. 10, 2011.

To learn more, see Payton Smith, Rosellini: Immigrants' Son and Progressive Governor, F895.22.R67 S65 1997 at Classified Stacks. Publisher's page.

More than any other person, Rosellini was responsible for the long overdue restructuring of the state's prison and mental health systems, introducing both fiscal and human accountability. His interest in transportation led to the Evergreen Point, Hood Canal, Astoria-Megler, and Goldendale bridges as well as an expanded highway system. His reforms in state budgeting brought the state's financial decisions into the daylight, making detailed scrutiny and accountability possible for the first time, while his work on commerce and trade helped bring the state into its modern position as a player in the Pacific Rim economies. He was a legislative father of the University of Washington's medical/dental schools, and his support of higher education enriched the state's universities and colleges and created a sound, comprehensive junior college system.

Rosellini was the first Italian-American and the first Catholic governor west of the Mississippi. The only son of immigrant parents, he worked to support his family while finishing high school in three years and then passed the bar exam at age twenty-three. Six years later he was elected to the Washington State Senate as its youngest member. One of the New Deal Democratic majority, he quickly gained an insight into the legislative process that served him throughout his career.

Friday, October 7, 2011

UW Reads the Constitution Nov.1

The annual UW Reads the Constitution will be Tuesday, November 1, from 12:00-1:15, outside the Suzzallo Library Main Reading Room (3rd floor).

Readers are needed (and a crowd to listen). It's an interesting and inspirational event.

You can find more information here. And the sign up here. If you are not affiliated with the UW, you are still welcome. Use the ProtectNetwork option or e-mail

Don't want to read? Just come and listen - you may be surprised!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Derrick Bell, Pioneering Harvard Law Professor, Dies at 80 -

Confronting Authority book jacket
Derrick Bell, a legal scholar who saw persistent racism in America and sought to expose it through books, articles and provocative career moves — he gave up a Harvard Law School professorship to protest the school’s hiring practices — died on Wednesday in Manhattan.
Derrick Bell, Pioneering Harvard Law Professor, Dies at 80 -, Oct. 6, 2011.

Check out some of Bell's work:

  • The Derrick Bell Reader (Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic eds.) KF4755 .B45 2005 at Classified Stacks
  • And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice, E185.615 .B39 1987 at Classified Stacks
  • Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform, KF4155 .B38 2004 at Good Reads
  • Confronting Authority: Reflections of an Ardent Protester, KF292.H325 B35 1994 at Classified Stacks
  • Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism, E185.615 .B395 1992 at Classified Stacks
  • And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice, E185.615 .B39 1987 at Classified Stacks
  • Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth (2002) (available from Summit libraries)

Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012

A new edition of the annual factbook has been released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web. Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apple Products in Law Practice

In honor of Steve Jobs, who died this afternoon (Steve Jobs dies; Apple Computer co-founder was 56, Wash. Post, Oct. 5, 2011), here are some blogs for lawyers who use Apple products:
Mobile Apps for Law Students and Lawyers is a great guide by our colleagues at UCLA's law library, listing apps for iPhones, iPads—and also Android, Blackberry, Palm, and other devices.

Civil Rights Leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth Dies

Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, who was a leader in Birmingham's civil rights community through the 1950s and 1960s, has died at age 88. See (or hear) Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Civil Rights Pioneer, Dies, All Things Considered, NPR, Oct. 5, 2011.

The protests in Birmingham organized by Rev. Shuttlesworth and his colleague Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whom he invited to the city, were significant in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See David Benjamin Oppenheimer, Kennedy, King, Shuttlesworth and Walker: The Events Leading to the Introduction of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 29 U. S.F. L. Rev. 645 (1995), available at

For more, see:
Nick Kotz, Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Laws That Changed America, E847 .K67 2005 at Good Reads. Publisher's page.
Judgment Days book jacket
Alexander Tsesis, We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and the Law, JC599.U5 T74 2008 at Classified Stacks (currently checked out, but you could request it). Publisher's page.
We Shall Overcome book jacket
And for a look at the local story, see Joan Singler et al., Seattle in Black and White: The Congress of Racial Equality and the Fight for Equal Opportunity, F899.S49 N464 2011 at Classified Stacks. Publisher's page.

Seattle in Black and White book jacket

Monday, October 3, 2011

Global Mondays

To raise awareness and dialogue regarding foreign, comparative, and international law, the UW School of Law presents Global Mondays this year, which will take place every Monday from 12:30pm to 1:20pm in Room 117 of William Gates Hall. The weekly event will continue throughout the school year as a forum that examines the “intersection of law, policy and the role of legal professionals in our increasingly complex and interconnected world.” Global Mondays is an invaluable learning experience for those of us seeking to explore an array of subjects ranging from climate change in Indonesia to women lawyers in Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan.

This week, the Asian Law Center hosted the Law Through Global Eyes Lecture. Dr. Myoung Ung Lee, a UW LL.M. candidate in Asian Law and former UW Visiting Scholar, gave a fascinating lecture titled Comparing Judicial Review: U.S. v. South Korea (A European Model).

Dr. Lee demystified the concept of judicial review in different civil and common law systems around the world by detailing its history in the U.S., Europe, and East Asia. He then praised the merits and cautioned against the faults of the various countries’ standards of review, procedure, effects of decisions, and judicial independence in relation to judicial review.

For further reading on the subject, consult Miguel Schor, Mapping Comparative Judicial Review, 7 Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 257 (2008), available at, and Adam M. Dodek, A Tale of Two Maps: The Limits of Universalism in Comparative Judicial Review, 47 Osgoode Hall L.J. 287 (2009), available at

Next week’s presentation, hosted by the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, will feature the research of two globally engaged UW J.D. candidates:
  • Andrew Van Winkle will present Separation of Religion and State in Japan: A Pragmatic Interpretation of Articles 20 and 89 of the Japanese Constitution
  • Greg Chiarella will present Sources of law, Sources of Authority: The Failure of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines.
Over the course of the year, students from around the globe will come together to share their unique insights of law in the world.

Session Laws Online

Session laws are the laws published in the order they were passed during legislative sessions. We have a complete set for Washington, of course, but for other states, we've had to rely on microfiche in combination with print. Microfiche is a whole lot better than no access at all, but it can be cumbersome to deal with session laws in fiche, especially if you're trying to trace multiple amendments to a statute over the years.

HeinOnline has been building its Session Laws Library for a few years. And in its September newsletter the company announced that the files now go all the way back to inception for each state. So on HeinOnline you can find, e.g., all the Illinois session laws 1809-2010. For many states, the library even includes territorial session laws. Washington's coverage includes territorial laws, 1854-1888, as well as state laws, 1889- .

Here in Washington, we are fortunate that the legislature has loaded a lot of material on its website. Until recently, you could get session laws back to about 1997—and now the Laws of Washington are available in PDF all the way back to 1889! (The Illinois General Assembly's site has public acts beginning in 1997.)

Many law students turn first to LexisNexis and Westlaw for most of their research. Those systems do have a lot of great content, but in this case, you'd be better off with HeinOnline or the legislature's site if you're looking for anything older than 1988. For instance, on Westlaw, the backfiles of the legislative services for Illinois (IL-LEGIS-OLD) and Washington (WA-LEGIS-OLD) start in 1988. On LexisNexis, the Washington Advance Legislative Service (WAALS) and the Illinois Advance Legislative Service (ILALS) both cover 1989-present.

Update (Oct. 3, 2011): I didn't want to have all my examples be Washington, so I chose Illinois arbitrarily. Today, through my colleague Peggy, I learned that the Western Illinois University Libraries and the Illinois State Library have a project to digitize Illinois laws. The project is incomplete, but you can already see all the laws from the Northwest Territory days through 1920. You can read the laws from when Abe Lincoln was practicing!

This reinforces my point: don't rest with LexisNexis and Westlaw: check to see what other resources are out there!

Photo credit: Microsoft clip art of Illinois license plate

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Faculty Publication: Craig Allen on Teaching Admiralty Law at the UW

Perhaps no other legal topic conjures richer historical images than admiralty law. One can imagine the wooden ships on the high seas, sails in the wind, crashing through the waves.

In spite of the images, admiralty law is far from being a historical relic. In Getting the "Story" out: Teaching Admiralty at the University of Washington, St. Louis Univ. L. J. 621-32 (2011), Professor Craig Allen points out that admiralty touches a number of current legal issues.

Through the article, Professor Allen introduces admiralty as a highly relevant and engaging subject. Though not directly tested on the Washington State Bar, Professor Allen points out that many third year students find the course to be invaluable in bar preparation. Many bar-tested issues are reviewed through the admiralty course, including concepts in constitutional law, torts, and civil procedure.

In addition to unique subject matter, the admiralty course at the UW is taught in an innovative fashion. Shunning the traditional law school model, admiralty is taught as a “mastery course.” In contrast to traditional law courses, mastery courses emphasize more practical problem-solving skills. Rather than a single essay exam, students are given a number of written assignments over the quarter that require them to answer strategic questions that lead to an ultimate outcome.

Admiralty Law courses at the UW are currently offered in alternating years. Sadly, two courses, International Law of the Sea and the Marine Law and Policy Seminar will not be offered this year. However, U.S. Coastal and Ocean Law will be offered in the Spring.