Thursday, December 29, 2016

Prof. Ziff Reflects on The Bluebook

cartoon of the Bluebook as a monsterMaybe you're a little scared of The Bluebook. Nothing to be ashamed of: lots of people are.

But you can conquer your fear. One step toward that might be understanding it better. To that end, check out David Ziff's thoughtful (and entertaining!) review essay, The Worst System of Citation Except for All the Others, forthcoming in the Journal of Legal Education. 

One of the authors of The Complete Legal Writer blog gave Prof. Ziff's review a big thumbs up yesterday. She also insightfully observed:
I’d argue that the hardest part of learning legal citation is not mastering The Bluebook, not learning the italics and the abbreviations and the periods. Rather, it’s learning the judgment required to know what to cite, and when, and for what purpose. After all, as a system of communication that is built upon precedent, legal writing in the Anglo-American legal system depends on citation in ways that other fields do not and never will. Citation is integral to how our meaning gets made.
Amen to that. Sure, you need to figure out the rules for citing law review articles, treatises, cases, and the rest. But that's just a matter of looking up the rules and following examples. The harder task if figuring out when to cite a law review article, a treatise, or a case.

For some help with The Bluebook, check out our guide, Bluebook 101.

Graphic by Mary Whisner

Law Professors & Other Law School Folks Meet in SF

The Association of American Law Schools is the professional association for law teachers and administrators. It's been around a long time: next week (Jan. 3-7) it hold its 111th annual meeting, in San Francisco, led by this year's president, Dean Kellye Y. Testy of UW Law.

UW Law activities at the meeting include:

  • Helen A. Anderson, William S. Bailey, Benjamin S. Halasz, and Kathleen McGinnis will speak on experiential learning in legal writing programs.
  • Jennifer S. Fan will speak on corporate venture capital; Prof. Fan is also participating in a discussion on why transactional law matters.
  • Anita K. Krug is the chair-elect of the Section on Securities Regulation. 
  • Aline Carton Listfjeld and Hugh Spitzer will participate in a discussion on leadership in the law school curriculum.
  • Emily McReynolds will speak on a panel about using technology to increase access to justice and law school engagement. Michele Storms, now at the ACLU of Washington, will moderate that panel; she's finishing up her term as chair-elect of the Section on Pro-Bono and Public Service Opportunities. 
  • Peter Nicolas will speak on LGBT legal issues after Obergefell.
  • Dean Testy is all over the meeting in her role as president. She's also speaking on a panel on the future of corporate governance.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Indian Fishing in the Northwest

Some members of the Yakama Nation still fish for salmon using traditional 30-foot-long dip nets at Lyle Falls in the Columbia River Gorge (KUOW, Dec. 16, 2016).  To learn more about that history, check out a book coauthored by Prof. Bill Rodgers that chronicles the legal battles around the centuries-old Indian fishery at Celilo Falls, lost when a dam destroyed the waterfall:

book jacket - The Si'lailo Way
The Si'lailo Way: Indians, Salmon and Law on the Columbia River, by Joseph C. Dupris, Kathleen S. Hill &William H. Rodgers Jr.  See publisher's page.

For more on fishing controversies in the Northwest, see:

Messages from Frank's Landing: A Story of Salmon, Treaties, and the Indian Way, by Charles F. Wilkinson (2000)

Where the Salmon Run: The Life and Legacy of Billy Frank Jr. , by Trova Heffernan (2012)

Empty Nets: Indians, Dams, and the Columbia River, by Roberta Ulrich (1999) The nature of borders : salmon, boundaries, and bandits on the Salish Sea, by Lissa K. Wadewitz (2012)

You can also stream a documentary through UW Libraries subscriptions: River People: Behind the Case of David Sohappy (1991)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Interim and Holiday Library Hours

Fall Quarter ends today, December 16. Winter Quarter begins Tuesday, January 3. 

The library is on interim hours between now and January 3. This means that the library will be closed on the weekends and Monday, and open 8-5 Tuesday to Friday.

Please visit our hours page for more information.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A bruised Georgia Peach: the legal and ethical concerns surrounding football players' health

The Huskies are going to the Peach Bowl!  As a long time sports fan, I find this a very exciting time to be in the Seattle area.  Football to me is family, either bundled up and braving the cold to witness a game in person or gathered around the television, enjoying warm chili from the comforts of home.

But recent revelations in the medical community regarding players' health and well-being have raised ethical and legal considerations around the sport I love.  You may have seen the Will Smith driven biopic Concussion  this time last year, or noticed the Congressional hearings held this past March.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mark Twain's Birthday, Huckleberry Finn, IP, and the Nevada Constitution

Mark Twain (Nov. 30, 1835—April 21, 1910) was a prolific writer and social critic. This blog post from HeinOnline in honor of his birthday shows how to find Twain references in HeinOnline's vast resources. It also mentions a book published by Hein: Mark Twain vs. Lawyers, Lawmakers, and Lawbreakers: Humorous Observations (Kenneth Bresler ed. 2014).

Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) postage stamp, 1940.
Hi-res scan of postage stamp by Gwillhickers. Wikipedia.
A number of the recent law review articles discuss Twain in the context of race and education. What does it do to children of color and to white children to tell them that Huckleberry Finn is a literary classic? Is the book racist? How should it be taught? Should it be taught?
Toni Morrison said her 8th grade experience with the book "provoked a feeling I can only describe now as muffled rage, as though appreciation of the work required my complicity in and sanction of something shaming." Ernest Hemingway praised the book so highly that he claimed "all modern American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn."
Sharon E. Rush, Emotional Segregation: Huckleberry Finn in the Modern Classroom, 36 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 305, 305-06 (2003) (footnotes omitted). That juxtaposition of comments from two American Nobel laureates sums up the conflict. For further discussion, see:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Electoral College and its Possible Alternatives

You may have heard that Donald Trump won the Electoral College on Tuesday, but most likely lost the national popular vote. It is the fifth time in history that this has happened. This has sparked a renewed interest in the merits of the electoral college and possible alternatives to it. For example, see this November 17, 2016 NPR article.

You might not know how the Electoral College works. Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution requires each state to appoint a number of electors equal to that state’s congressional delegation. The state can appoint those electors however it sees fit. When a person votes for president, she is not actually voting for the president. Instead, she is voting for the electors chosen by the state that she voted in. Those electors then vote for president, overwhelmingly voting according to the popular vote of the state that they represent. If you want to know more about electors, you might find this National Archives site helpful.

Some have expressed dissatisfaction with the Electoral College and have made efforts to align it more closely with the popular vote. One approach would be to amend the constitution to remove the Electoral College. This would be very difficult, as Article Five of the United States Constitution requires 3/4 of the states to ratify any amendment. The process is so onerous that Justice Antonin Scalia once listed it as the one thing that he would change about the United States Constitution in a C-Span interview. With that said, attempts at amendment are not unheard of. This CQ Almanac article recounts a 1969 attempt to replace the Electoral College with a plurality system with a runoff for elections in which no candidate received 40% of the vote that passed the house but failed to pass the Senate.

Barring a constitutional amendment, any change in the system will occur at the state level. Two states, Nebraska and Maine, divide their electoral votes proportionately, with the state winner receiving two electors and the winner of each congressional district receiving one elector.

A third option is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, discussed by its founders here. Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution allows states to enter agreements or compacts with other states so long as they have Congressional approval. The Court has deemed congressional approval necessary when those agreements increase the power of the states at the expense of the federal government (Virginia v. Tennessee, 148 U.S. 503 (1893)). The Compact would require each member state to allocate its electoral votes according to the national popular vote, rather than the popular vote of their state. The Compact would not become binding until states containing 270 electoral votes had joined. Currently only states representing 168 Electoral Votes have joined the compact.

Efforts to challenge the Electoral College are almost as old as the College itself, and these new attempts are unlikely to succeed on a national level given the increasingly partisan nature of the electoral college debate, as discussed here on FiveThirtyEight. Still, it is worth thinking about these sorts of institutions and what sort of alternatives may exist to them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Presidential Clemency

You might have heard: Obama Commutes Sentences For 72 More Federal Inmates, All Things Considered, NPR, Nov. 5, 2016. But you might be a little shaky on the whole commutation thing. Is Obama's action unusual? What's the difference between commutation and pardon? How does it all work?

President Obama has commuted more sentences than all the presidents since Truman, combined.

chart shows Obama's commutations greatly outnumbering other Presidents'
Graph comparing commutations by 12 presidents.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Public Reading of the U.S. Constitution

For the eleventh year in a row, the UW Suzzallo & Allen Libraries are hosting a campus-wide, 75-minute public reading of the U.S.Constitution.  Please consider joining in as a reader (of just a few sentences) or as a listener. It’s inspirational and educational, solemn yet spirited. No need to stay for the entire event – you may come and go as need be. Readers and listeners alike are also welcome to take a small, folding pocket Constitution.

What: Constitution Read-Aloud.
When: Friday, October 7, 2016, 12:00 - 1:15pm.
Where: Outside the Suzzallo Library Main Reading Room (3rd Floor).
Sign up to read here!

Monday, September 26, 2016

In Memoriam: Professor Marjorie Rombauer, 1929 - 2016

Professor Marjorie D. Rombauer, who served on the UW Law faculty for 30 years, died on Friday. She was widely heralded as the "Mother of the Field of Legal Writing Education."

Prof. Rombauer was a Husky through and through. She earned both her B.A. and her J.D. at the University of Washington and spent her entire professional career here. She began working at UW Law as an instructor, hired for a single year. But her appointment was renewed several times and she moved up the ladder until she became the first female tenured faculty member *. She was the Acting Dean in 1991, again the first woman to hold that position.

Her book on Legal Problem Solving: Analysis, Research, and Writing was the first of its kind, written at a time before most law schools even offered courses on those subjects. She published the first edition locally, after West Publishing declined to publish it because they didn't believe there was a market for books on that topic. West, however, went on to publish the book from the 2d through the 5th editions.

Among her other contributions were serving on the Washington Law Revision Commission for ten years and writing more books and articles (including three editions of Legal Writing in a Nutshell). Her efforts were recognized with awards and honors from organizations such as the Association of American Law Schools, Association of Legal Writing Directors,  UW Law, and the Washington State Bar Association.

You can learn more about Prof. Rombauer at the Law Library's memorial page.

* Note: Prof. Rombauer was the first tenured woman on the teaching faculty. The first tenured woman at the University of Washington School of Law in any capacity was Marian Gould Gallagher, who served as director of the Law Library.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Slips of the Pen in the Constitution

Have you ever wondered about the scribe who wrote out the famous parchment copy of the Constitution? It was a Jacob Shallus, assistant clerk of the Pennsylvania legislature, who had a weekend to make a good copy of what the Constitutional Convention had hammered out. It was a hard weekend's work, with quill pens and no spellcheck.
Constitution, from National Archives
Jacob Shallus, being only human, made a few mistakes. He corrected many of them with insertions. Sometimes he scraped the ink off the parchment to make a change (a bit more laborious than the ctrl-x I routinely employ).

After the handwritten copy, there were a number of privately printed versions, which had their own variants. In 1847, 60 years after the Constitutional Convention, there was finally a printed Consitution certified by the Secretary of State (James Buchanan) to be "correct, in text, letter, & punctuation."

You can read more in Henry Bain, Errors in the Constitution—Typographical and Congressional, Prologue (the magazine of the National Archives), Fall 2012.

Hat tip to Orin Kerr (@OrinKerr) who tweeted the link on Sept. 18. Like Prof. Kerr, we don't think that celebrations of the Constitution should be limited to Constitution Day (Sept. 17). We hope you enjoyed living under the Constitution on Sunday and continue to value our founding document.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Roald Dahl in the law

Author Roald Dahl was born 100 years ago today. To learn more about the author and his work, check out the official Roald Dahl website.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory illustration from

In 1965 an elementary school student wrote to Dahl's literary agent asking for permission for her sixth grade class to put on a play based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The agent's stuffy reply led to a marvelous response by their attorney, who took the case pro bono ("as a matter of principle, and in no snese because my daughter sits in the third row center"). See Re: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 14 Green Bag 2d. 171 (2011).

See also Sarah Segal, Note, Keeping It in the Kitchen: An Analysis of Intellectual Property Protection Through Trade Secrets in the Restaurant Industry, 37 Cardozo L. Rev. 1534 (2016), which begins with a discussion of Willy Wonka's fierce protection of his secret recipes. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Star Trek Turns 50: #LLAP50

Since today marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, I took a few minutes to check out Star Trek scholarship on HeinOnline. You might be surprised that there's a fair amount. See, e.g.:
Star Trek logo
Star Trek 50 logo from

John G. Browning, To  Boldly Go Where Few Judges Have Gone before: How the Bench Is Using a Pop-Culture Sci-Fi Classic to Explain Its Decisions76 Tex. B.J. 765 (2013)

Paul Joseph & Sharon Carton, The Law of the Federation: Images of Law, Lawyers, and the Legal System in Star Trek, the Next Generation  24 U. Tol. L. Rev. 43 (1992)

Richard J. Peltz, On a Wagon Train to Afghanistan: Limitations on Star Trek's Prime Directive,
25 UALR L. Rev. 635 (2003)

Lawrence D. Roberts, The Interstellar Relations of the Federation: International Law and Star Trek - The Next Generation, 25 U. Tol. L. Rev. 577 (1994)

Thomas C. Wingfield, Lillich on Interstellar Law: U.S. Naval Regulations, Star Trek, and the Use of Force in Space46 S.D. L. Rev. 72 (2001)

What are the property rights of a global entertainment franchise like Star Trek or Harry Potter? See Kathy Bowrey, The New Intellectual Property: Celebrity, Fans and the Properties of the Entertainment Franchise 20 Griffith L. Rev. 188 (2011)

And if you read French, see:

Fabrice Defferrard, Star Trek: Paradigme Juridique et Laboratoire du Droit
45 Rev. Gen. 613 (2015)

We librarians can't beam you up from a sticky situation or pilot a starship at warp speed. But we do provide you with lots of great resources (like HeinOnline) and we can help you explore the information universe.

(The hash tag #LLAP50 evokes to the classic salutation "Live long and prosper."

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Keeping up is hard to do. The library can help!

Keeping up with new developments in law (and related fields) might be hard, but we have lots of tools to help. To learn about them, see our guide, Staying Current.

This summer we set up "GallagherFYI" lists to help us send out current awareness items to groups of people. We have lists for children's issues, criminal justice, environmental law, health law, IP and technology, international development, legal profession, social justice, and writing.

The lists aren't meant to be comprehensive; they're just a convenient way for us to share information that we think will be interesting and useful to you. Each message is clearly labeled with the list name--e.g., [GallagherFYI-SocialJustice]--to help you triage your inbox. If you're interested, we'll be happy to subscribe you.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Justice Charles Z. Smith Memorial Page

Former Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, Charles Z. Smith passed away on August 29,2016.

During his long and distinguished career Justice Smith worked as a Superior Court judge, a prosecuting attorney, and professor and associate dean of the University of Washington School of Law.

Learn more about Justice Smith at the Gallagher Law Library's memorial page.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Miranda at 50

Marking Miranda v. Arizona's anniversary, has a slideshow, 50 Years of Miranda in Popular Culture, compiled by Brenan Sharp.

collage showing TV police officers, from Dragnet, CHiPs, Miami Vice, and other shows
Photo collage by Brenan Sharp

For an overview, see the pages on Miranda  in the U.S. Courts' materials for schools.

Here are some of our recent books on confessions:
As you might imagine, Miranda has been cited a lot. A whole heck of a lot. KeyCite shows 116,042 citing references, including 59,453 cases and 9,452 secondary sources. Within the secondary sources, there are 6,998 law reviews.

How could you choose which law review articles to start with?

Here's a neat trick in HeinOnline. I searched for articles with confess* in the title (the asterisk makes the search include variants, like "confessing" and "confessions").  Result: 1,207 items.

I sorted them to show the articles that have been cited the most at the top of the list.

The most cited was Developments in the Law: Confessions, 79 Harv. L. Rev. 935 (1966), a big survey (nearly 200 pages!) published in March 1966, three months before the Supreme Court decided Miranda.

Next are a couple of works looking at false confessions: Steven A. Drizin & Richard A. Leo, The Problem of False Confessions in the Post-DNA World, 82 N.C. L. Rev. 891 (2004); Richard A. Leo & Richard J. Ofshe, Consequences of False Confessions: Deprivations of Liberty and Miscarriages of Justice in the Age of Psychological Interrogation, 88 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 429 (1998).

If you want to know the latest developments, you can sort to see the most recent article first: John C. Sheldon, Common Sense and the Law of Voluntary Confessions: An Essay, 68 Me. L. Rev. 119 (2016).

Searching for "confess*" in the title was very simple. You can put together more complex searches, too. E.g., if you search for "McMurtrie" as an author and "false" within five words of "confession*" in the text, you'll find Jacqueline McMurtrie, The Role of the Social Sciences in Preventing Wrongful Convictions, 42 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 1271 (2005).

Monday, August 1, 2016

Interactive Online Exhibits on U.S. Presidential Elections

The National Archives and Records Administration has teamed up with Google to present 13 online exhibits on U.S. Presidential elections in Google Arts & Culture.

According to a NARA blog post:
These specially curated exhibits feature historic photos, documents, videos, and stories related to the history and evolution of elections, how we amend the Constitution, political cartoons and campaign memorabilia.
Those of you who just can't get enough of the Democratic and Republican political conventions might enjoy Stories from American Political Conventions. It features photos and interviews with reporters who covered the conventions.

Other exhibits in this collection include:
Hat tip to the ResearchBuzz blog.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Chinese Law A-Z

The Gallagher Law Library Chinese legal research guide is completely revised, with a new look, a new link (, and a new name: Chinese Law A-Z.

East Asian Law Quick Reference
For quick access to the most-used East Asian law resources, check out "East Asian Law Quick Reference," another new guide from Gallagher (

Detailed questions about East Asian legal research? Contact Rob Britt, Coordinator of East Asian Library Services in the Library's East Asian Law Department.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Who cites who?

Do you ever wonder what works cite a particular article you've read? How about an article you've written?

There are many tools for finding citing references, in free and commercial online services, such as SSRN, HeinOnline, Lexis, and Westlaw. We have a new guide explaining some of them, with lots of examples to illustrate the different searches you can use. Check out Finding Citations to Articles.

Graphic: "A Learned Discourse," from Edith Nesbit, Our Friends and All About Them (1893), available in the British Library's photostream on Flickr.

Friday, June 24, 2016

"Stairway to Heaven" on trial

Maybe you saw yesterday's headlines:

(In order, those were from the Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, and the Seattle Times, .)

But do you really understand what the fuss is about? Spend a few minutes with Professor Sean O'Connor, an expert in intellectual property and, not incidentally, a rock guitarist. If not with Prof. O'Connor himself, spend a few minutes reading his blog post, Why “Stairway to Heaven” Doesn’t Infringe “Taurus” Copyright: analysis & demo of “scenes a faire” motif common to both (June 15), and watch and listen to his video clips walking you through the riffs. And you don't get just the litigated bits of "Taurus" and "Stairway to Heaven"—the tunes in the lawsuit—there are also bonus tracks of "Michelle" and "Time in a Bottle" (just enough to show a chromatic descending line and keep you humming the rest of the day).

One of Prof. O'Connor's video clips.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Printing from Your Laptop is Down

While the UW Creative Communications team updates the law library's printers, you will not be able to send print jobs to the library's three Dawgprints printers from your laptop.

You can, however, print from the library's public computer terminals and scanners. This means you can email a document as an attachment or save it to a USB drive from your laptop and then open it on one of our computer terminals and print it from there.

Look for updates to the laptop issue here on the blog.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Korean Law A-Z

Korean Law A-Z
The Gallagher Law Library Korean legal research guide is completely revised, with a new look, a new link (, and a new name: Korean Law A-Z.

East Asian Law Quick Reference
For quick access to the most-used East Asian law resources, check out "East Asian Law Quick Reference," another new guide from Gallagher (

Detailed questions about East Asian legal research? Contact Rob Britt, Coordinator of East Asian Library Services in the Library's East Asian Law Department.

Library Hours Summer 2016

The law library is on interim schedule this week but summer classes begin on Monday, June 20. Summer Quarter ends August 19, after which the library will be on interim schedule until the start of Autumn Quarter.

Interim Schedule (June 13-June 19; Aug. 20-Sept. 23): 
M-F: Library open 8am to 5pm; Reference open 9am-12pm, 1pm-5pm

Summer Quarter Schedule (June 20-Aug. 19):
M-W: Library open 8am to 7pm; Reference open 9am-12pm, 1pm-5pm
Thu-Fri: Library open 8am to 5 pm; Reference open 9am-12pm, 1pm-5pm

July 4th Holiday:
The library is closed on both Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4.

Labor Day:
The library is closed for Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 5.

More information about our hours.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New Podcast on the U.S. Supreme Court

WNYC's Radiolab recently a weekly series of podcasts called More Perfect.

About the show says:

How does an elite group of nine people shape everything from marriage and money, to safety and sex for an entire nation? Radiolab's first ever spin-off series, More Perfect, dives into the rarefied world of the Supreme Court to explain how cases deliberated inside hallowed halls affect lives far away from the bench.

The first program, Cruel and Unusual (posted June 2, 2016, 40 minutes) deals with cruel and unusual punishment, covering cases including:

[Links go to the Cornell Legal Information Institute.]

The program's webpage includes links to documents mentioned during the podcast.

The second program, The Political Thicket (posted June 10, 2016, 42 minutes), covers Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962). Chief Justice Earl Warren said that this case was the most important case during his tenure on the Court. As the program summary says, Baker was so important that
it pushed one Supreme Court justice to a nervous breakdown, brought a boiling feud to a head, put one justice in the hospital, and changed the course of the Supreme Court--and the nation--forever.
You can subscribe to More Perfect via iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS feeds.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Golden Opportunity to Analyze Clichés in Law Review Articles

Much ink has been spilled on effective legal writing. [FN 1] Many lawyers, law students, and law professors have been guilty at one point or another of relying on overused phrases and clichés in their writing. This begs the question: how many times have certain clichés appeared in law review articles? 
Black ink has been spilled all over
these law reviews.
We searched selected clichés and idioms in the HeinOnline Law Journal Library, which contains more than 2,200 law and law-related periodicals dating back to the first published issue for each title. What was the verdict? The proof is in the pudding. Certain expressions do indeed appear too frequently, so you may wish to avoid them like the plague in the future and instead choose more original and fresh language:

The Gallagher Law Library's collection contains numerous books about legal writing, including Clear and Effective Legal Writing (KF250.C52 2013), The Lawyer's Guide to Writing Well (KF250.G65 2002), and The Elements of Legal Style (KF250.G37 2002). These books are all located in the Reference Area. 

For more resources on improving your legal writing, please see the Legal & General Writing Resources guide. For more information about writing and publishing law review articles, please see the Writing & Publishing in Law Reviews guide

At the end of the day, it is what it is. 

[FN 1] One unspoken rule is that authors must always find a way to cite themselves in all of their subsequent publications. This is probably the biggest cliché of them all. For a specific example of an article where the cliché in the opening sentence of this blog post appears, see Sarah Reis, Toward a "Digital Transfer Doctrine"? The First Sale Doctrine in the Digital Era, 109 Nw. U. L. Rev. 173, 176 (2015) ("[C]omparatively little ink has been spilled on e-books.") (emphasis added). 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Law Library Services for UW Law Alums

Photo credit: A Dawg's Life, Dub's blog.
Your last law school exams are now behind you. Graduation, employment (or job searching), and the bar exam are ahead.

Now and forever (or at least as far as we can see into the future), you remain Dawgs, Huskies, and very special people to the staff of the Gallagher Law Library.

For that reason, we offer special services to alums, described on the Library Services for Law School Alumni page.

An exclusive service that we offer only to UW Law alums is the Law Books on Demand program. Basically, you tell us what books you want (from the Classified Stacks or Compact Stacks only) and we'll send them to you for free! You are responsible for returning the items to the Library.

You can search the Law Library catalog on the Internet to identify books relevant to your research. You can also call (206/543-6794) or email the reference librarians for help with finding just the right sources.

What a great deal, right? You may be leaving William H. Gates soon, but that doesn't mean that you will be leaving all of the great resources and assistance you've come to expect from the Gallagher Law Library.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fee Fi Fo Feoffmentes

I wanted to understand a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision pertaining to bankruptcy law, an area I'm unfamiliar with, so I attempted to do some research:

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Husky International Electronics, Inc. v. Ritz. Justice Sotomayor wrote the decision, which reversed the lower court's narrow reading of "Actual Fraud." To support this decision the Court set out to revive the common law definition of "Actual Fraud."

This case involved 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A)
§ 523. Exceptions to discharge
(a) A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt-
(2) for money, property, services, or an extension, renewal, or refinancing of credit, to the extent obtained by--
(A) false pretenses, a false representation, or actual fraud, other than a statement respecting the debtor's or an insider's financial condition;
I noticed no dictionary definitions of "Actual Fraud" were cited in the Court's opinion, so I pulled up Spinelli's Law Library Reference Shelf, a database on HeinOnline, to take a closer look.

Here is the earliest definition in Bouvier's famous dictionary:

"Frauds may be also divided into actual or positive and constructive frauds. An actual or positive fraud is the intentional and successful employment of any cunning, deception or artifice, used to circumvent, cheat or deceive another. 1 Story, Eq. Jur. § 186; Dig. 4,3,1,2; Id. 2,14,7,9."
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Adapted To The Constitution And Laws Of The United States Of America, And Of The Several States Of The American Union 590 (2d ed. 1843).

Friday, May 20, 2016

Five Funky Washington Laws

Image credit: Emily, Law Library Intern

I love finding obscure facts online. This week I stumbled across an interesting law and wondered what other weird laws Washington has. I hope you enjoy these five funky Washington laws!

Image credit:
1. It is illegal to kill, or harm, a Bigfoot in Skamania County, Washington. To do so is punishable by a substantial fine or imprisonment. 

Image credit:!.jpg
2. Destroying a beer cask, or bottle, of another is illegal under the RCW.

Image credit:
3. Thanks to RCW 70.98.170 it is illegal to use X-rays to fit shoes. Looks like you're going to have to settle for trying the shoes on now. 

Image Credit:
4. Seattle Municipal Code 9.20.010 says that is is a unlawful to color, dye, stain, or in any way change the natural color of any fowl or rabbit. So, no pink rabbits here!

Image credit:
5. In Everett it is unlawful for a any hypnotist to display in any window or public place any person while under the influence of hypnotism. It is a violation of Everett Municipal Code 09.24.010 and can be punished by a $500 fine or imprisonment of up to six months!

If you want to find other funky Washington laws check out this website.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ten Tips for Law Students to Get the Most Out of Their Summer Legal Jobs

That is the title of a post on Justia's Verdict site.

Written by Vikram David Amar and Greg Miarecki (University of Illinois College of Law), these tips are specific and practical.

If you don't have time to read the post, browse this short version of their ten tips:

  1. Exhibit a positive, enthusiastic attitude.
  2. Don't be afraid to come in early and stay late.
  3. Focus on the larger unit or organization.
  4. Do and show your best work.
  5. Communicate and interact in a manner appropriate for your audience.
  6. Seek out new work assignments and new work experiences.
  7. Request feedback, actively but tactfully.
  8. Show respect for everyone, including the clerical staff. [and the librarians!]
  9. Get to know people in the office.
  10. Always maintain a customer-service mindset.
Although these tips repeat what you might have already heard, they are handy reminders. And may you shine as brightly as the summer sun!
Image source: tiny buddha

New Feature for Searching News Articles on Westlaw

Searching for news articles on Westlaw usually yields thousands of hits. It can be a real slog to browse the list of hits looking for longer, more substantive articles.

Now, Westlaw offers an option to limit results from a news search by the length of the article.

The Advanced Search includes a "Document Length" field that lets you select from the following:

  • short articles and abstracts (less than 200 words)
  • no short articles or abstracts (greater than 200 words)
  • medium length articles (greater than 200 words and fewer than 1,000 words)
  • long articles only (greater than 1,000 words)

With this new option, you can quickly retrieve in-depth, fact-filled articles on your subject of interest.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Forced Migration Review

You catch headlines about refugees all the time, but maybe you'd like a little more depth and analysis. Check out Forced Migration Review, published by Oxford University's Refugee Studies CentreForced Migration Review "presents concise, accessible articles in a magazine format. Each issue has a feature theme and, usually, a range of general articles on forced migration. FMR is published in English, French, Spanish and Arabic (and occasionally in additional languages), and is available free of charge in print and online."

The latest issue has articles discussing displaced people from Syria, Libya, Nigeria, and Colombia, among other countries.

Monday, May 9, 2016

HLS Online Exhibit--What (Not) To Wear: Fashion and the Law

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in a major fashion law case, Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., so it seems like a good time to promote the Harvard Law School library's online exhibit on Fashion and the Law. "What (Not) To Wear" does not signify fashion faux pas so much as it concerns the historical regulation of wearable things.

Image for "What (Not) to Wear: Fashion and the Law"

The exhibit is divided into three sections: 1. Sumptuous Origins, 2. Ceremony and Significance, and 3. Rules and Regulations, and it delves heavily into legal history. It's unlikely the Court will travel as far back into fashion law history as this exhibit goes; Star Athletica, a copyright case, is not a good vehicle to discuss sumptuary laws. What are sumptuary laws? Go to the exhibit and find out!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Japanese Law A-Z

Japanese Law A-Z
The Gallagher Law Library Japanese legal research guide is completely revised, with a new look, a new link (, and a new name: Japanese Law A-Z.

East Asian Law Quick Reference
For quick access to the most-used East Asian law resources, check out "East Asian Law Quick Reference," another new guide from Gallagher (

Detailed questions about East Asian legal research? Contact Rob Britt, Coordinator of East Asian Library Services in the Library's East Asian Law Department.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Soda Pop and Global Health

Carbonating the World coverFor you, a cold soda might be a refreshing drink or a mild vice (or a little of both). But there's a much bigger picture. Sugar-sweetened beverages are a huge global industry with equally large impacts on global health, as explored in a new study from coauthored by affiliate professor Allyn TaylorCarbonating the World: The Marketing and Health Impact of Sugar Drinks in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2016). Summaries (in English, Spanish, and Portuguese) are here.

For more about global health at UW Law, see the webpage for the Center for Law, Science and Global Health.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Library Closing Early on Friday-- Library Website Also Down

This Friday, May 6th, Gallagher Law Library is closing 1/2 hour early at 5:30 p.m. The Circulation Desk will close at 5:15.

All visitors, students, faculty, and staff, must leave the library and Gates Hall at 5:30 p.m. UW Law faculty, staff, and students, please see your email for more details.

The reason for the closure is a planned power outage to the entire building. This outage will affect the library's website (including legal research guides), the library catalog, and a few other resources. Most electronic databases will not be affected. The School of Law website will be similarly affected. Both sites should be back online on the morning of May 7th.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

13 U.S.C. § 113 established May 1 as Law Day, U.S.A., which "is a special day of celebration by the people of the United States--in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries; and for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life."

Every year, the American Bar Association assigns a theme for Law Day. Since 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark decision Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), the theme of Law Day 2016 is Miranda: More than Words. The day will celebrate not only the protections afforded by Miranda, but also all of the procedural protections guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. It will also include a discussion of how the courts safeguard those rights and why those rights are essential to our liberty. The ABA provides lesson plan materials for elementary, middle, and high school classes. It also gives out awards to the best program promoting Law Day. The Award Categories include best student/classroom program, best public/community program, most innovative program, and best interpretation of the 2016 theme. The ABA also provides a Dialogue program which "provides lawyers, judges and teachers with the resources they need to engage students and community members in discussion of fundamental American legal principles and civic traditions.