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." (, 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.

Monday, October 19, 2015

World Statistics Day, Oct. 20

The second annual World Statistics Day will be recognized on Oct. 20, 2015.

The U.S. Census Bureau will join with the United Nations Statistics Division and other national statistics agencies to "highlight the role of official statistics and the many achievements of national statistical systems."

Infographic from U.S. Census Bureau. (Update, Oct. 3, 2019: that link is broken, but you can view it in the Internet Archive.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Free CALI eBooks--Federal Rules, IP Statutes, and More

Nothing suits a thrifty student's budget better than CALI eBooks: they're free! Most are available in a variety of formats--e.g., PDF, Kindle, or Word (great for copying and pasting into your outlines).

CALI eBooks includes texts prepared by faculty for use in class (e.g., The Ethics of Tax Lawyering, by UW Law Professor Michael Hatfield), sets of statutes and rules, and some classics of law and literature.

Rules and Statutes

If you frequently need to refer to, say, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Copyright Act, download a set:

Constitution and Related Documents

Law and Literature

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Trouble Printing from Your Laptop?

Printing from Macbooks was most common problem I saw yesterday in the Reference Office. The solution was to download an additional software application, which you can find on the Creative Communications Printing Troubleshooting site.

UW Creative Communications is the campus-wide department who controls all of the Dawg Prints printers in the law library. The best place to start if you're running into technical issues with printing is this troubleshooting page.

Instructions for printing from your laptop.

Come to the Reference Office or the Circulation Desk if you have any questions!

Monday, September 28, 2015

C-SPAN Series: Historic Supreme Court Cases

Although the Supreme Court still does not allow cameras in its courtroom, this year the First Monday in October brings a TV series from C-SPAN and the National Constitution Center exploring "the personalities, people, and constitutional dramas" of twelve famous cases.

Landmark Cases: Historic Supreme Court Decisions will run live on C-SPAN Monday evenings (9 pm ET is 6 pm here), Oct. 5 to Dec. 21. "A video-rich website will offer the series on-demand along with classroom materials."

The cases:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Upcoming Changes to Library Hours

It's that time of year again! The Library's interim hours end Friday, as the law school is back in session on Monday.

On Sunday, September 27, the library is open 11 am to 6 pm, and the Reference Office is open 1 pm to 6 pm. Please note that the Circulation Desk always closes fifteen minutes before the Library closes, so if you need to check out a book be sure to do so before 5:45.

Next week and until Veteran's Day, the Library is open Monday to Thursday, 8 am to 11 pm; Fridays 8 am to 8 am to 6 pm; closed Saturdays; open Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm. The Reference Office is open Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm; Fridays 9 am to 5 pm; closed Saturdays; open on Sundays from 1 pm to 6pm.

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

Friday, September 18, 2015

Listen Up: RBG the DJ, Music Suggestions, and a SCOTUS Opera

While in Chicago this Monday, September 21, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will join a live broadcast at Chicago's WFMT radio station to share a collection of her favorite music and discuss her love of opera. The classical music station has more information online here, which airs at 10am CST. Non-Chicago audiences can listen at

Interested in more of RBG's music suggestions? Check out Alex Ross's 2012 New Yorker article, My Favorite Records: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

For another SCOTUS-inspired opera event, check out Derrick Wang's Scalia/Ginsburg, a comic opera inspired by the opinions of Justices Anton Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which premiered this summer at the Castleton Festival.

Photograph by Karin Cooper/Liaison, via The New Yorker.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Constitution and Citizenship Day 2015

Today, September 17, we celebrate Constitution and Citizenship Day, commemorating the signing of the Constitution in 1787 and to "recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens."

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress
Because the University of Washington is not yet in session, our campus Constitution Read-Aloud will be held Thursday, October 15 at noon outside the Suzzallo Library Reading Room. You can sign up to be a reader here. It's a truly fun and inspiring experience to participate in a public reading of our nations' founding document.

If you can't wait for that and want to celebrate today, take a look at our guide to the U.S. Constitution, the Law Library of Congress' guide, or take the Washington Post quiz.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Closed on Labor Day

The Law Library and Reference Office will be closed on Sept. 7, Labor Day. Regular interim hours (Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm) will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Empirical Studies in Intellectual Property

The Center for Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has created an Empirical Studies Database.

drawing of microscope with (R), (c), and TM in view

You can sort by:
  • Lead author
  • Title
  • IP area (patent seems to have the most, but there are papers on copyright and trademark too)
  • Type of study
    • Experimental
    • Qualitative
    • Quantitative
You can only sort by one at a time: you can’t easily look for, say, qualitative studies of copyright. But you can sort on one factor and then either skim or use Find (Ctrl-F) to look for the other.

Graphic: image from ad for W.L.'s New Pattern Family Microscope, in 1884 pamphlet (John Bull's Neighbour in Her True Light), available on British Library's photostream. ®, ©, and ™ added by Mary Whisner.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Improve Your Professional Skills with Free NITA Videos

Getting ready for a new school year—and looking forward to a new career—you might benefit from some of NITA's free resources.
screen snip showing shopping cards and prices

NITA—the National Institute for Trial Advocacy—is famous for its intensive training programs in (you guessed it!) trial advocacy. NITA offers various fee-based programs, but it also offers some free webcasts each month, with an online library of past webcasts you can view anytime. Some address skills needed in trial practice, but some are useful for any lawyer (or law student!). For example,

And of course, NITA offers lots of webcasts on trial skills, such as witness preparation, jury selection, and cross-examination. Browse the list of webcasts. Look for the ones with "$0.00" under the shopping cart, and try them out!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tips for Wrapping up Your Summer Job or Externship

A career consultant suggests 3 things to do before you wrap up your summer job (Nat'l Jurist, July 20, 2015):

  1. Introduce yourself to key players you haven't met.
  2. Wrap up all your projects.
  3. Ask for references.
Let me add a few:
  • Reflect and write some notes about what you did
    • What did you like and not like? How will that affect the next job you seek?
    • What did you learn about yourself? about the practice of law? 
    • What will you put on your resume(s)? (Remember, you can have two or more resumes, tailored to different jobs you might apply for.)
  • Think about writing samples. Ask your supervisors whether you can use any of your memos, motions, or other documents as writing samples. What identifying information about clients should be redacted? Make a portfolio of your work.
  • Ask for advice. The attorneys you've worked for have gotten to know you. What would they recommend you do to help you move toward your long-term goals?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Changes to Law Library Hours Coming

With the end of School of Law summer classes this week, the Law Library will shift to an interim schedule:

Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm
Saturday & Sunday, closed

The Reference Office schedule during the interim period is 9am - 12noon and 1 - 5pm.

The Law Library will also be closed on Monday, July 27.

This schedule will be in effect from Saturday, July 25 through Saturday, Sept. 26.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Quickly Contact Members of Congress

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created an efficient tool for contacting your federal Senators and Representatives:

A process that used to take up to 15 steps using sites like Congressmerge,  ContactingtheCongress, or now takes 3 steps:

  1. Enter your address
  2. Select which Senators and/or Representative you want to send a message to
  3. Use the form to write and send your message
Participate in democracy by sharing your opinions and priorities with your elected members of Congress.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Independence for Law Library Staff

The Law Library will be closed from Friday, July 3d through Sunday, July 5th in observance of Independence Day. The Library resumes regular summer quarter hours on Monday, July 6th.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Post-Grad Privileges

Photo credit:
Now that the excitement of commencement has ebbed at bit, some UW Law grads may be wondering if they can still enter the Law Library with their Husky Cards when the Library is closed.

The answer is Yes!! Your Husky cards will work in the card readers until August 1st. You are welcome to use the Library as you study for the bar exam.

What about access to the big three commercial online legal research services? See the section on "Summer & Post-Graduation Use" in the guide on Access to BloombergLaw, LexisAdvance & Westlaw Next.

What other services does the Law Library offer to graduates? See our page on Library Services for Law School Alumni.

And congratulations on this tremendous achievement!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Upcoming Changes to Library Hours

With final exams ending for 1Ls, the Library moves to its interim hours.

The Library will be closed Saturday, June 13 through Tuesday, June 16.

Wednesday, June 17 through Friday, June 19 the Library will be open from 8am to 5pm and the Reference Office will be open from 9am to 12noon and from 1 to 5 pm.

The Library will be closed again the weekend of Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21.

When Summer Quarter classes begin on Monday, June 22, the Library will be open 8am until 7pm Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and from 8am until 5pm Thursdays and Fridays. The Library will be closed on Saturdays and open on Sundays from 12noon until 5pm.

The interim hours for the Reference Office will be from 9am until 5pm Mondays through Fridays and from 1 until 4pm on Sundays.

In addition, the Library will be closed Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5 for the Independence Day holiday.

For future hours changes, consult the Law Library Hours page.

UW Law students have before- and after-hours access to the Library with their Husky cards. Please don't allow anyone you don't personally know take the elevator with you to L1 or into the Library.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Emojis and the Law - the (ㆆ‿ㆆ) and the ( ˘︹˘ )

While I am no stranger to emojis, researching this blog post opened my eyes to their prevalence, as well as their potential gavel implications.
What is an emoji? Emoji is a Japanese word meaning picture (e) + letter (moji). Just how prevalent is the use of emojis? About 500 emojis are sent out to the the twittersphere every second! For a realtime view of emoji usage on twitter go to emojitracker. Watch with delight as emoji are rapidly highlighted and their use totals continue to soar. Even the seemingly innocent emoji can have legal implications. Recently, during the Silk Road Trial, featuring the Dread Pirate Roberts, Judge Forrest instructed the jury to pay attention to an emoji that a prosecutor withheld when reading text from an internet post. Technology resource Wired highlighted several other cases in which emojis were relevant. For example, a New Yorker was charged for using emoji to make threats against police. In another case, a Pennsylvania man argued that threats made on Facebook towards his ex-wife should not be taken seriously because they concluded with an emoji smiley face sticking its tongue out. Even the Senate Floor is getting in on the action; Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, recently introduced a shruggie when discussing health care reform. If you want to brush up on your emoji knowledge, you can skim an emoji dictionary or the emojisaurus. Also, you can visit the emoji governing body, the Unicode Consortium. Will you ever need to know about emojis when conducting legal research? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

P.S. Emojis and emoticons are fun to see, but they may present obstacles for those using screen readers. In addition to the emoji in the first paragraph of this post, the title has a smiling face and a frowning face, and there is a shruggie at the end of the post.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Gun Violence Awareness Day + New ProQuest Congressional Social Media Feature

A number of organizations have declared June 2 National Gun Violence Awareness Day, encouraging supporters to wear orange to symbolize the value of human life.

Media Matters (a partner in the campaign) reports on the National Rifle Association's reaction to the campaign:
The NRA's online magazine, America's 1st Freedom, lashed out at the campaign, calling it pointless in a May 30 post. On June 2, it encouraged readers to mark the day by buying a gun, saying, "If you see any friends or neighbors wearing orange, consider the possibility that they: a) don't support your right to self-defense; and b) have a rather naïve view of what constitutes real activism."
The ABA's Governmental Affairs office announced in this month's ABA Journal ABA joins medical organizations in advocating steps to curb gun violence. That position paper (joined by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of

NSA's Collection Activities  
A subject much in the news recently is the National Security Agency's "bulk collection of telephony metadata for domestic and international telephone calls."

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service considers the constitutionality of the authorizing provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act.

Note the URL below the image of the cover of the report. The report is found not on the website of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) or any other federal government website. Why? Because Congress has deliberately chosen not to make CRS reports available to the public.

Want to learn more? Check out the Gallagher guide on CRS Reports.

And what's up with the way that members of Congress often create acronyms and initialisms out of titles of statutes? Did you know that the full name of the USA PATRIOT Act is United and Strengthening American by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism?

Want to learn more about this phenomenon? My colleague reference librarian Mary Whisner wrote an interesting article on the topic. What's in a Statute Name?, 97 Law Libr. J. 557 (2005).

Friday, May 29, 2015

Obsessed with Serial?

Logo courtesy of

If you were obsessed with the podcast Serial, and want to hear more from a lawyer's perspective, check out the podcast Undisclosed: The State v. Adnan Syed. Three attorneys, Rabia Chaudry, Colin Miller, and Susan Simpson, have been following Adnan's case and ongoing appeal. In the podcast, they explore the case from an investigatory perspective in greater detail. Importantly, they provide us, the listeners, with all of the evidence they are aware of.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Woman in Gold: New Film Focuses on Nazi Art Theft

Woman in Gold is a new film focused on the true story of the famous portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt that was stolen by the Nazis during World War II. Adele Bloch-Bauer's niece, Maria Altmann, fought the Austrian government for years to reclaim the portrait, a legal battle that eventually culminated in the United States Supreme Court case Republic of Austria v. Altmann, 541 U.S. 677 (2004). You can find Seattle show times for this film here.

Interested in learning more about Nazi art theft and current repatriation efforts? Check out these great resources online and at the library.

The Lost Art Internet Database is the official German governmental resource for information on looted art. The site also has a news section to keep track of recent case developments.

The Rape of Europa is an award-winning documentary that details the extent of Nazi art looting across Europe.

The Lost Museum : the Nazi conspiracy to steal the world's greatest works of art by Hector Feliciano (Art Library Stacks, N8795.3.F8 F4613 1997) is a book that details the systematic looting of private art collections in Europe during World War II, focusing on the private collections of five families.

The History of Loot and Stolen Art From Antiquity Until the Present Day by Ivan Lindsay is a book about the history of stolen art, from Alexander the Great to the 21st century. This book is available online in eBook format.

Allied Looting in World War II by Kenneth Alford is a book that looks into the oft forgotten history of looting in World War II conducted by Allied forces. This book is available online in eBook format.

Photo Credit:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

RBG to get her own book and movie!

Photo courtesy of  Irin Carmon 

If you have been waiting to learn more about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you will not have to wait much longer. In October 2015, NOTORIOUS RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a book about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, will be published. If you have enough to read already, or want to know more, Natalie Portman will be playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On the Basis of Sex, a film following RBG's career. Production is scheduled to begin by the end of this year.
Natalie Portman and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Photo courtesy of Breuel-Bild—ABB/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images, Evan Vucci—AP

Monday, May 18, 2015

"POTUS" and "SCOTUS"--Recent Buzzwords

President Obama is now tweeting as @POTUS. This adds to the official @WhiteHouse account, the Vice President's @VP, and the First Lady's @FLOTUS. And you can follow even more White House Twitter accounts.

We might be used to thinking of the President of the United States as POTUS and the First Lady as FLOTUS, but these terms haven't always been in common parlance. As recently as 1999, the pilot of The West Wing could make it a punchline:
Laurie: Tell your friend POTUS he's got a funny name, and he should learn how to ride a bicycle.
Sam Seaborn: I would, but he's not my friend; he's my boss. It's not his name, it's his title.
Laurie: POTUS?
Sam Seaborn: President of the United States. I'll call ya.
And what about SCOTUS, for Supreme Court of the United States? It hasn't always been a common nickname. When I was in law school, back in the last century, we said "Supreme Court" (or, impertinently, "the Supremes") and wrote "SCt" in our notes.

SCOTUSblog, founded in 2002, quickly became a go-to source for information about the Supreme Court and its cases—and its name doubtless influenced the language, along with our texting, tweeting love of textual shortcuts.

In old law review articles in HeinOnline, you can find plenty of instances of "scotus"—but they are mostly references to the medieval philosopher, theologian, and (since 1993) saint, Duns Scotus. In fact, looking at search results in chronological order up through the 1990s, I saw hundreds of references to Duns Scotus and just a few to SCOTUS.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ABA's Silver Gavel Awards

The ABA has announced the winners (and honorable mentions) of its 2015 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts.


Nell Bernstein, Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison
available in print and online via UW Libraries
publisher's description
book cover Burning Down the House
Honorable mention:
Laurence Tribe & Joshua Matz, Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution
available in print: Gallagher Classified Stacks and Odegaard Stacks (KF4550 .T789 2014)
publisher's description
Uncertain Justice book cover

Pedalers Push WA to Number 1!

Washington State ranks Number 1 in the League of American Bicyclists' 2015 report card on Bike Friendly States.

 Scores are based on rankings in five categories:

  1. Policies and programs
  2. Legislation and enforcement
  3. Infrastructure and funding
  4. Education and encouragement
  5. Evaluation and planning
Keep biking!

Free Legal Research Tune-up

Is your legal research search engine a little rusty? Could you use the help of an experienced "mechanic?"

Then consider attending the free legal research tune-up session on Wednesday, May 20, from 9:30-11:30am at Seattle University School of Law's Sullivan Hall, Room 109.

Please RSVP here.
The workshop will cover state and federal legislative history, regulations, and practice materials using a problem-based approach. Students will have hands-on practice working through research scenarios.  Please bring your laptop.
This program is sponsored by the Seattle University Law Library and Lane Powell.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fair or Foul? New Index Provides Fair Use Case Results

Recently, the United States Copyright Office created a new resource for researching fair use opinions in the federal courts. The U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index provides a list of over 170 U.S. Supreme Court, circuit courts of appeal, and federal district court opinions that have made a ruling relating to the fair use doctrine.  Although the list is not exhaustive, the index includes a broad selection of cases. “The goal of the Index is to make the principles and application of fair use more accessible and understandable to the public by presenting a searchable database of court opinions, including by category and type of use . . .”

U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index
U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index

Friday, May 8, 2015

Stand-up Desks, Book Stands, and a Flying Disc

The Gallagher Law Library Circulation Desk provides lots of information and services: scanner and printer information, directions to bathrooms and water fountains, identifying book locations, and checking out library materials. As to materials available for loan, here a few items available at the Circulation Desk that you may not have been aware were offered for check out.

 Book stands are a popular item for students to check out. There are two kinds available: a faux wood style stand and a wire frame style. Set up is easy for both. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, proper use of a book stand or document holder "may reduce or eliminate risk factors such as awkward head and neck postures, fatigue, headaches, and eye strain."

Adjustable height laptop / reading stands are the newest addition to items available at circulation. These desks can be raised to a comfortable height allowing you to work on your feet. These stands are not as easy to set up as the book stands, but with a little patience they can be set to the desired height and incline. It is important to ensure that the stand is secure and level. Please test its stability before placing laptops or heavy items on the stands. This Youtube video demonstrates how to use adjustable stands.

Adjustable height reading stand

Circulation is not just about ergonomics! If you are in need of a break after a long period of maintaining a neutral body posture while studying, how about a game of flying disc? The Circulation Desk has a Frisbee brand flying disc available for check out. The flying disc may be the only library item that is available strictly for use outside of the library.

Flying disc
Speaking of discs, a disk drive is also available for check out from the Circulation Desk. Please note that this is a floppy disk drive, and not a flying disc drive.

Floppy disk drive
Hopefully these tools make your time in the library more productive, healthy, and enjoyable!