Monday, October 18, 2021

Our Fastcase Now Includes WSBA Deskbooks

Did you know that Washington lawyers have access to Fastcase through the bar association? Fastcase has primary materials for federal and state jurisdictions. (There used to be another service called Casemaker, as well, but the companies merged this year, so now there's Fastcase.)

The Law Library subscribes to Fastcase for UW users. See the link under Washington on our homepage.

All WSBA members have access to the primary materials on Fastcase, but there are other modules. The Law Library also subscribes to a module with the incredibly useful WSBA deskbooks. If you want the scoop on estate planning, look at Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Administration in Washington. If you have an ethics question, consult The Law of Lawyering in Washington. Real property, land use, or environmental law? Washington Real Property Deskbook

From Fastcase's home screen, click on "Browse Libraries." Then the WSBA materials are listed under Commentary. See the screen snips below.

screen snips showing Fastcase home screen (Browse Libraries) and Commentary menu

Monday, October 11, 2021

Indigenous Peoples' Day - Land Acknowledgments, Research Guide

Different groups and governments have started marking Indigenous Peoples' Day instead of (or in addition to Columbus Day). This year, for the first time, a Presidential proclamation recognizes the day. See today's stories from NPR and the New York Times.

black & white photo - about 5 long canoes pulled onto shore, with men and women occupied on shore; building in background 
Indian camp with canoes on the Seattle waterfront, Washington, ca. 1898.
Photograph by Anders B. Wilse.  Negative Number NA698, UW12293.
University Libraries digital collection.

 Many institutions have begun acknowledging that they are on indigenous peoples' land. For example, the Washington Law Review states
Washington Law Review (WLR) acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples’ original ownership of the land on which the University of Washington sits, the traditional territory of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip, Duwamish, and Muckleshoot nations. WLR further acknowledges the state’s continuing obligation to fulfill promises made in the Treaty of Point Elliott.

The editors consulted with former Professor Emeritus Robert Anderson, then  Director of UW Law's Native American Law Center, in crafting the statement. Anderson was recently confirmed to be Solicitor of the United States Department of the Interior (although his agency profile still lists him as Principal Deputy Solicitor). (Other agency work might be higher priority than updating web profiles. Browse recent press releases to learn more about Interior's activities.)

Land acknowledgments can be controversial. In some cases, they might seem like mere lip service. Or they might give the mistaken impression that the indigenous people who once occupied the land are simply part of a mythic past. This essay by three anthropologists 2021 explores the topic (The Conversation, Oct. 7). 

Would you like to learn more about treaties with local tribes, federal Indian law, and tribal law? Check out our guide, Indian & Tribal Law.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Neat Trick: Search Law Firm Websites for Practice Tips, Legal Updates

You've probably stumbled across law firm newsletters or blogs that have helpful guidance about some area of the law.

Without counting on the lucky stumble, how can you find these gems? If you just use Google or another search engine, you might all sorts of stuff—newspaper articles, personal blogs, etc., in addition to law firm documents. Instead, try the Law Firm Search Engine, which uses a custom Google search to focus on law firm sites.

screen snip - Law Firm Search Engine - tagline: Search law firm websites. Find law firm memos. Free legal research.

This can be really helpful. For example, I entered nonprofit incorporation washington state and found a post from Davis Wright Tremaine from May 2021: David A. Lawson, Washington's New Nonprofit Corporation Act: Is Your Nonprofit Ready?  What? There's a new statute? It goes into effect in less than three months?? Tell me more!

When I searched for covid vaccine mandate, I found a post from Littler, a big employment law firm, from today: Mandatory Employee Vaccines – Coming to A State Near You? (Oct. 7, 2021). If you just used Google (or another search engine), you'd find lots of documents, but you'd probably have to wade through a lot of news and opinion (not to mention a dose of misinformation) before getting to a legal analysis from a law firm.

This handy site was developed by Jeffrey Buckley, a law librarian in New York and graduate of the UW's iSchool. Cool, right?