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.