Friday, September 28, 2012

Intro to Supreme Court

book jacket
Noted Supreme Court journalist Linda Greenhouse has a new book, The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction (KF8742 .G744 2012 at Classified Stacks). Law professor Lee Epstein says in this review (JOTWELL, Sept. 28, 2012) that it is "sophisticated, yet accessible." Epstein concludes her enthusiastic review:
If your students—undergraduate, graduate, or law—are looking for a brief introduction to the Supreme Court, as mine often are, this is the book to recommend. In addition to the riveting textual material, it contains a well-edited (and annotated) appendix of further readings. As for you Supreme Court junkies: don’t make the mistake of discounting it. I’ve been studying the Court for nearly thirty years and still learned new things, whether small factoids or different ways to think about an institution that, as Greenhouse rightfully notes, continues to “occup[y] a place in the public imagination.” (p. 87).
Catalog record. Publisher's page.

Other books by Linda Greenhouse:
  • Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court journey (KF8745.B555 G74 2005 at Good Reads). Catalog record. Publisher's page.
  • Before Roe v. Wade: : voices that shaped the abortion debate before the Supreme Court's ruling (Linda Greenhouse & Reva B. Siegel eds., 2010). Catalog record.
 Check out the video or transcript of Prof. Stewart Jay's conversation with Linda Greenhouse when she was the Gates Public Service Law Speaker May 3, 2010.

screen shot from law school's Multimedia Gallery

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Latham & Watkins' Book of Jargon

The New York law firm, Latham & Watkins LLP, has published a series of practice area-specific glossaries that can be especially helpful to law school students and recent graduates.  Designed to assist members of the financial community in understanding terminology related to banking, capital markets and project finance, these searchable "books" are available both online and as iPhone apps.

Available titles include:

European Capital Markets and Bank Finance 
An Online Glossary of European-Specific Corporate Finance and Banking Terms

Global Restructuring
The Latham & Watkins Glossary of Global Restructuring Terminology

US Corporate and Bank Finance
 An Online Glossary of Corporate and Bank Finance Slang and Terminology

US Project Finance
An Online Glossary of Project Development, Acquisition and Finance Slang and Terminology

GAO Report Wins an Ig Noble Prize for Literature!

And now for some fun. An Ig Noble prize has been awarded to a government document:

LITERATURE PRIZE: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.
REFERENCE: "Actions Needed to Evaluate the Impact of Efforts to Estimate Costs of Reports and Studies," US Government General Accountability Office report GAO-12-480R, May 10, 2012.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Piracy Trials

Talk Like a Pirate Day has come and gone, but accounts of historic trials of pirates still exist. And now they are easily accessible, because the Library of Congress has digitized its collection of piracy trials from before 1923.  (Why 1923? That's the cutoff for material being out of copyright and therefore fair game for digitization.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pirates! Arrr!

Ahoy, me mateys! Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so pepper you speech with plenty of nautical terms, as well as the all-purpose "Arrr!" Of course, piracy is serious stuff. The organizers of Talk Like a Pirate Day point out:
Let's get this straight. Real pirates were and are bad people and are in no way worthy of emulating.

We, on the other hand, are thinking of movie pirates, the pirates of books, myth and legend. Think Long John Silver in "Treasure Island." Pretend pirates.

But Talk Like a Pretend Pirate Like Long John Silver was just too long to catch on.

So when we urge you to TALK like a pirate, we don't mean you should ACT like a pirate. The Pirate Guys are solidly against pillaging, plundering and slaughtering like pirates.

The "classic" era of pirates in the Caribbean—Blackbeard, Henry Morgan (now remembered as a dashing man who advertises rum), et al.—lasted from the mid-1500s to about 1720. In recent years, the piratical action has been near the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia. See this map (from the inside cover of D. R. Burgess, The World for Ransom: Piracy Is Terrorism, Terrorism Is Piracy (2010), G535 .B86 2010 at Classified Stacks). 

Significant Incidents of Piracy & Maritime Terrorism, 1961-2010
Our library has resources for studying either era:
  • Classic era:
    • The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates, by Peter T. Leeson, G535 .L44 2009 at Classified Stacks. Fascinating law and economics! Check out the publisher's webpage for the book: there's a funny video trailer. 
    • The Prize game: Lawful Looting on the High Seas in the Days of Fighting Sail, by Donald A. Petrie, KZ6610 .P48 1999 at Classified Stacks (this is privateering, not piracy)
  • Contemporary:
    • The Enemy of All: Piracy and the Law of Nations, by Daniel Heller-Roazen. HV6431 .H418 2009 at Classified Stacks; Publisher's page 
    • Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea, by Robin Geiss KZ7212 .G45 2011 at Classified Stacks; publisher's page 
    • Piracy in a Legal Context: Prosecution of Pirates Operating off the Somali Coast, by Annemarie Middelburg, KZ7212 .M53 2011 at Classified Stacks publisher's page 
    • Terror on the High Seas: From Piracy to Strategic Challenge, by Yonah Alexander & Tyler B. Richardson, K5277 .T47 2009 v. 1 and v. 2 at Classified Stacks, publisher's page 

What's that? You're not really in the mood for serious stuff and you'd like to enjoy some unrealistic pirates from Hollywood? See Eric Mills, Collector's Guide to Pirate Movie DVDs, Naval History Magazine, April 2009. Includes two movie trailers. (Also two links to YouTube videos that have been removed. So it goes.)

All for now, mateys!

Graphics credits: map from book cited; book jackets from publishers' websites; pirate ducky from collection of C. Nyberg, scanned on one of the new scanners in the copy alcoves. (Have you tried the scanners? They're even better with books than with duckies!)

The Library of Congress unveiled the initial beta release of, the successor to the very popular federal legislative site

According to About

The beta site contains legislation from the 107th Congress (2001) to the present, member of Congress profiles from the 93rd Congress (1973) to the present, and selected member profiles from the 80th through the 92nd Congresses (1947 to 1972). Over the next two years, will be adding information and features, eventually incorporating all of the information currently available on

What's New in

Improved Searching

•Ability to simultaneously search all content across all available years

•Ability to narrow and refine search results

•Easier identification of bill progress/status

•Links to House and Senate floor video, top searched bills and save/share features

User-Friendly Design

•Updated, easy-to-understand page designs for bills, members, and related items

•Clean search results display

•Responsive design for mobile devices

•Consistent, meaningful and permanent URLs


Each piece of legislation has a landing page with tabs to help users find key information for the bill including Summary and Text, Major Actions, Titles, Amendments, Cosponsors, Committees and Related Bills.

What Is the Timeline for New Releases to

Phase 1

This initial launch of the beta site includes bill status and summary data, as well as bill text from the 107th Congress (2001) to the present, member profiles from the 93rd Congress (1973) to the present, and some member profiles from the 80th through the 92nd Congresses (1947 to 1972).

Phase 2

Following the initial beta phase, subsequent releases will make additional data available, including the Congressional Record, Congressional reports, the Congressional Record Index, House and Senate Calendars, nominations and treaties.

Law Firm Blogs as a Current Awareness Tool

A useful, but often overlooked, source for legal research is blogs by law firms, such as Legal Health Information Exchange published by attorneys at Oscislawski LLC, which discusses legal issues relating to electronic health information exchanges.

Many law firms specialized in discrete areas of law and, while their blogs may be designed to serve as marketing tools for their expertise, they are also excellent as a current awareness tool.

To identify a relevant blog, you can always begin by checking the website of a law firm known for a particular area of law in which you are interested.

Another way to monitor blogs on a variety of subjects is to subscribe to another blog, such as Inter-Alia . Maintained by legal technology guru, Tom Mighell, every weekday you'll receive a “blawg of the day” that highlights a useful legal blog that you might want to monitor.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Slideshow for LL.M. & Ph.D. Orientation

Follow along with Trinie and Sherry's library orientation for new LL.M. and Ph.D. students.

Constitution Day 2012

225 years ago, on September 17, 1787, the final draft of the U.S. Constitution was signed by 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention. For an informative snapshot, see the Library of Congress American Memory’s Today in History: September 17.

See also the University of Washington’s Constitution Day 2012 site for more campus events and resources.

But don’t stop with a click or two! Mark your calendars for the annual UW Reads the Constitution. In honor of today’s anniversary – but recognizing that fall quarter is not quite underway – the entire, unabridged Constitution will be read aloud on Thursday, October 4 from noon to 1:15 pm in Suzzallo Library, just outside the 3rd floor reading room.

100 readers are needed, so please sign up! You can find information for readers and see photos of past readings here.

It’s a great experience. I have read every year since the first event in 2006 and each time, my ears (and brain) catch something new. My husband is a high school teacher and he tells his students that the Declaration of Independence is the world’s most famous break up letter and the Constitution is our country’s owner’s manual. I get what he means, but do think it’s a bit funny since I don’t read our car’s owners’ manual out loud and think “this is amazing!” and “how did they know!” But I often think both those things when I hear the United States of America’s owner’s manual. And I am always, always impressed with the combination of excitement and reverence which UW students, faculty, and staff bring to this reading.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Library Resources and Tour for FLS

For today's Library-related sessions in Foundations for Legal Study, students can follow along on their own laptops.

Library Resources, PowerPoint 2010 or PDF

Library Tour, PowerPoint 2010 or PDF

Also visit the 1L Wonderland for links to essential information on the UW Law and Law Library websites.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Northwest Detention Center

What happens when immigrants are held pending deportation proceedings? See Center of Detention, a major series in the News Tribune about the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

The series focuses on one man, Oscar Campos Estrada, and his family. "As a Mexican, a male and a minor offender, he represents the typical detainee who passes through the facility's reinforced doors." The website includes copies of legal documents and video interview with Estrada.  (By the way, Estrada's attorney, Amy Kratz, is a UW Law graduate.)

The series also has coverage of big-picture issues about the siting and management of the facility.  And a sidebar on the series page links to stories about five other immigrants.

Review the 2011-2012 Supreme Court Term

What cases did the Supreme Court decide last year? You could sit down and read them all (they're on the Supreme Court's website here). But for a quicker overview, check out Supreme Court: The Term in Review, a 90 minute video from the Federal Judicial Center.

SCOTUSblog is a great tool for keeping up with what's going on at the Court—petitions for cert, arguments, and trends, as well as decided cases.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to Print to Gates Hall Printers

You can print from library computers or from your own laptop. 

To print from a library computer:
  1. Click on the printer icon (or click File > Print).
  2. Fill in your name (e.g., "Beyonce" or "Justin Bieber").
  3. Name the print job (e.g., "memo 1" or "Hadley v Baxendale").
  4. Go to one of the Gates Hall printers.
  5. Swipe your Husky card or a Dawg Prints card.
  6. Choose your print job.
  7. Print.
  8. Your card will be charged 12 cents a page.
To print from your own laptop, you follow the same steps, but you first have to have the printer software installed. To get the software,

  1. Go to this list of Dawg Prints locations.
  2. Scroll down to GATES LAW SCHOOL.
  3. Choose the software for your computer (Mac, Windows, etc.).
    (Even though each printer is listed separately, you only have to download the software once.)
  4. Install.
Where are the Gates Hall printers? 
  • There are two printers in the law library, one in each copy alcove on L1. 
Map of Floor L1 showing copy alcoves
  • Law students may also use the printer in the law student computer lab (room 222). A law school Husky card is needed to enter that room.

Library Hours Change

The Law Library and the Reference Office will be closed from 11am - 2pm this Friday, Sept. 14.

Otherwise the Library will be on its regular interim schedule: open at 8am and closed at 5pm.