Friday, February 16, 2018

Researching Canadian Law

Do you have questions about the law of our neighbors to the north? The library's guide to Canadian Legal Research might help you find the answers. The Goodson Law Library offers a variety of print and online sources for locating information about Canadian law, including the specialized database LexisNexis Quicklaw (available to the Law School community) to the multinational research database vLex Global (available campus-wide). The guide also links to excellent free online resources like CanLII and The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide.

The book series "Essentials of Canadian Law" is one effective starting place. Titles are available in print within the Goodson Law Library, but the full text of thirteen current titles in the series (including constitutional law, criminal law, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms) can also be found online in vLex by following the path Browse > North America > Canada > Books and Journals.

The research guide also includes guidance for searching primary law, journal articles, and specialized citation manuals for Canadian materials. For more assistance with locating Canadian legal research materials, consult the research guide or Ask a Librarian.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Jackpot...or Not: The Law of Lotteries

The Goodson Blogson is sorry to hear that you didn't win this weekend's $180+ million Powerball lottery drawing. (We know you didn't, because no one else did, either.) Let's face facts: you will probably never win more than a few bucks playing the lottery. For a comparison of more likely odds than hitting a multimillion-dollar jackpot, play with Discovery Education's WebMath Lottery Odds Calculator. Interestingly, their calculations for winning a Powerball-like game's jackpot are even more optimistic than Powerball's official prize odds. But both calculations make a big win far less likely than being struck by lightning (1 in 2,000,000 odds in a lifetime).

Every once in a while, though, someone lucks into a large jackpot, and then must navigate the lottery laws of their jurisdiction. Consider the New Hampshire woman who beat long odds to win a $560 million Powerball jackpot in January. As reported last week by the ABA Journal, the woman (known only as "Jane Doe" – for now) signed her name on the back of the winning ticket before realizing that she could have claimed the prize anonymously by first setting up a legal trust instead. She's now suing the New Hampshire Lottery Commission for the right to remain anonymous, citing fears of harassment and violence if she accepts the prize in her own name. The complaint (PDF) cites previous examples of lottery winners who faced such threats, including two jackpot winners who were later murdered. A local paper reports that a court hearing has been scheduled for February 21.

How do New Hampshire's laws for claiming a lottery prize compare to those in your state? A quick way to begin researching such a question is a 50-state survey of statutes on a topic. The Subject Compilations of State Laws, available in print in the library's Reference Collection and online in HeinOnline, points to a helpful comparison chart on "State Lotteries" in the National Survey of State Laws (7th ed. 2015) – also available in print in the library's Reference Collection and online in HeinOnline. This source provides comparison charts of state statutes for several dozen legal topics. The "State Lotteries" chart answers some key questions about lottery operations, and includes citations to specific sections and chapters of state code publications for further research. While the chart doesn't directly answer whether a winner in each state can claim prizes anonymously, the pointers to primary law citations will help a researcher answer that question more efficiently.

It's worth noting that, just as with all other research resources, a user should verify the charts in National Survey of State Laws by looking at the primary resources, to ensure that their findings are up to date. As one notable example, the "State Lotteries" chart still describes North Carolina as a "Prohibited" lottery state, but its cited code sections now point to Chapter 18C of the General Statutes as an exception to that historical prohibition. (The North Carolina State Lottery and associated Commission were established back in 2005 – and we added Powerball to the mix in 2006.) N.C. Gen. Stat. § 18C-132 describes the process in North Carolina for claiming prizes. As the Charlotte Observer pointed out last week, the North Carolina statute provides for an exception to the public records disclosure law only when lottery winners have an existing protective order in place at the time of their win.

For more help with research lottery laws, check out the 50-state survey publications above or Ask a Librarian.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Legally Delicious

The Supreme Court Historical Society has recently published Table for 9: Supreme Court Food Traditions & Recipes. Compiled by the Society's publications director, Clare Cushman (who has authored several other works on Supreme Court history), this book also includes a foreword by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Table for 9 features eye-catching illustrations and recipes from the archives of the U.S. Supreme Court, along with trivia about food traditions among the Court and its justices.

In the Court's early days, the justices resided together at a boarding house, where meals were shared. In the late 1800s, afternoon oral argument schedules did not allow for a lunch break. Justices stepped behind the bench one at a time and ate lunch during arguments, to the dismay of counsel. Following repeated complaints from attorneys about the rotating bench, Chief Justice Fuller added a 30-minute lunch break to the schedule in 1898. Today's justices enjoy an hour-long lunch recess and often enjoy meals together in the Justices' Dining Room (where legal talk is strictly off-limits); individual justices may also opt to dine with their clerks in chambers.

Table for 9 details the varied lunch habits of justices throughout history: John Marshall was a oenophile who particularly enjoyed Madeira. Benjamin Cardozo was teased by his colleagues for bringing a slice of cake every day in his packed lunches. William Rehnquist's preferred lunch was a cheeseburger (no fries) and a Miller Lite beer. David Souter's lunch was almost always plain, nonfat yogurt.

Justices also frequently gifted each other food and drink: the book includes a recipe for beef jerky from Sandra Day O'Connor's family cattle ranch, which she frequently gave to colleagues and clerks. Antonin Scalia, an avid hunter, provided game to his colleagues on the bench. Birthday cakes were also a common sight at the Court, whenever justices and clerks celebrated the occasion; Table for 9 includes several cake recipes.

Believe it or not, Table for 9 is just the latest addition to the Goodson Law Library's growing legal cookbook collection. Other titles in our collection with a culinary focus include:
  • Chef Supreme: Martin Ginsburg (2011) was the Supreme Court Historical Society’s first foray into cookbooks. It was compiled as a memorial to Justice Ginsburg’s late husband Marty, a renowned tax professor and accomplished chef. Chef Supreme compiles Martin Ginsburg's personal recipes along with tributes and photos from his life with "the Notorious RBG." (Speaking of Justice Ginsburg's popular nickname, her favorite recipe of Marty's from Chef Supreme – pork loin roasted in milk – is also reprinted in the 2015 biography Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Several Martin Ginsburg recipes are also featured in Table for 9.)
  • The Vespers' Trial Cookbook: Italiano Cucina Rustica with Trial Tips for Lawyers (2014) is a trial practice handbook/cookbook by "the Cookin’ Cousins" Thomas and Dominic Vesper. Tom (a trial attorney) and Dom (a retired accountant with a passion for home cooking) share tried-and-true "recipes for success" in both the kitchen and the courtroom.
  • Several titles of the American Bar Association's "Little Book of...Law" pocket-sized casebook series include recipes along with their summaries of interesting court opinions on a particular topic. The Little Book of BBQ Law (2013) features barbecue-focused cases from various practice areas, interspersed with recipes for sauces, mains, and sides. As its title suggests, The Little Book of Foodie Law (2012) explores case law related to the food service and production industries, and includes a related recipe at the end of each chapter. The Little Book of College Football Law (2014) also features 18 recipes, perfect for a tailgate or a game-day viewing party.
  • You’ll have to ask a staff member to show you the print copy of Hein App├ętit! (2013), as this community cookbook from the makers of the research database HeinOnline is housed in the library's Professional Collection, a staff-only area. However, a free download of this compilation of law librarian recipes can also be found online. Sadly, no Duke Law librarians contributed their culinary expertise, but we'll be sure to correct that error if a second edition is ever compiled.

Finally, although you won’t find them in the stacks of the Goodson Law Library, a Duke Law organization once published a few cookbooks of its own. The Rubenstein Library's archival materials about the Law School includes two "Culinary Casebooks" compiled by the Duke Law Dames, a social group for law student and faculty spouses, in the early 1970s. As a fund-raising project, the group collected recipes from its membership, which were published in these spiral-bound cookbooks. (A few recipes submitted directly from Law School professors and deans also made the cut, including former Dean Elvin R. Latty's huevos en Malaga.) These fascinating pieces of Duke Law archival history can be viewed at the Rubenstein Library in the Law Dames Records, 1951-1973.

Cover of Duke Law Dames Culinary Casebook Volume II (circa 1972).
Available in the Rubenstein Library "Law Dames Records" collection.
For help with locating these legal cookbooks, or for other legal research questions, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 and Legal News Sources, the online home of American Lawyer Media (ALM) publications like The National Law Journal and American Lawyer, is now available to the Law School community. In addition to online-only content, electronic versions of the following publications are included:
  • American Lawyer 
  • AmLaw Litigation Daily 
  • Connecticut Law Tribune 
  • Corporate Counsel 
  • Daily Business Review 
  • Daily Report 
  • Delaware Business Court Insider 
  • Delaware Law Weekly 
  • Inside Counsel 
  • Legal Intelligencer 
  • Legal Tech News 
  • National Law Journal 
  • New Jersey Law Journal 
  • New York Law Journal 
  • Supreme Court Brief 
  • Texas Lawyer 
  • The Recorder

Full text access is available within the Law School's IP range at, and current Law School community members may also create a personal account (allowing mobile and off-campus access) at this site. (ALM publications are also available to the Law School community within Lexis Advance, under the "Legal News" section.) is just one source for keeping up with the latest legal news and analysis. The Law School community also has access to Law360 (within the Law School network or online in Lexis Advance), BNA Law Reports (with NetID or online in Bloomberg Law), and specialized topics such as Kluwer Arbitration, the Deal Pipeline (transactional law), and IP Watch (intellectual property). Visit Legal Databases & Links to view specialized legal resources and their access polices.

For more general (i.e., non-legal) news sources, the Duke University Libraries offer multiple options for American and world newspapers. For example, America's News includes full text of large and small-town papers, generally back to the early 1990s. The DUL research guide to Newspapers in the Duke University Libraries include tabs for U.S., U.K., and world newspapers, both current and historical. For help with finding or using a news source, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Achieve Your Resolutions at the Library

Did your New Year's resolution list include "learn a new language" or "read more books"? While these two goals don't top the survey results of New Year's resolutions for 2018, they're certainly a few smaller ways to help you keep the most popular resolution in America this year: "Enjoy life to the fullest."

Thanks to the NC Live consortium, the Duke University community has new tools to help you achieve your 2018 goals. NC Live offers access to more than a hundred subscription databases through a user's "home" public or academic library (meaning that North Carolina residents without a current Duke NetID may also be able to access the site through their public or academic library at NC Live has long included helpful resources for searching articles, consumer information, and other resources, and more than a dozen new sources have been added for 2018-2020. Two particularly notable new additions are:
  • Mango Languages includes courses for 70 world languages and more than a dozen English as a Second Language/English Language Learner courses. (This database replaces "Pronunciator," which was previously available through NC Live.) To set up an account, visit Mango Languages while on the Duke network in order to authenticate as a valid subscriber. After your username and password has been created, you can access the site or mobile app without authenticating through Duke first.
    Note: The Duke community also has access to a similar language database, Transparent Language Learning, which includes more than 50 world languages as well as English language learning modules designed specifically for native speakers of more than two dozen languages. Like Mango, it requires setup of a unique username and password while connected to the Duke network, and then seamless access via the web or a mobile app.
  • If you're hoping to read more books in 2018, NoveList Plus is designed to help you find the perfect titles. The site offers read-alike and listen-alike recommendations for fiction, nonfiction, and audiobooks. So if you just finished a title that you enjoyed, or have already burned through everything by your favorite author, a NoveList search for the title or author can help you find recommendations by expert reviewers for something along the same lines. You can also browse by subject/theme.

Explore other NC Live resources through the Duke Libraries or via your North Carolina public library. For help with finding library resources to help you achieve your 2018 resolutions, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Laws for the New Year

Happy New Year! The beginning of a new year usually brings some new laws, as previously enacted legislation often takes effect on January 1, unless otherwise specified in the act itself or in the jurisdiction's laws on effective dates. Some of the highest-profile state law changes around the country include California's legalization of recreational marijuana sales and New York's sweeping family leave plan for businesses. Additional highlights of state law changes can be found on CNN and NPR.

In North Carolina, the legislature provides a PDF of 2017 legislation, sorted by effective date, with links to the enacted laws. Twenty state session laws enacted in 2017 took effect as of January 1. Most notably, the North Carolina driver's education curriculum has been revised to include instruction on handling vehicle stops by law enforcement. The full text of this new law can be found on the legislature website at S.L. 2017-95.

Another law change which has caused confusion is the REAL ID, minimum federal security standards for identification documents enacted by Congress in 2005. Most states, including North Carolina, have already begun to issue REAL ID-compliant drivers licenses, which require additional documentary proof of identity. As seen in airports around the country during the busy holiday travel season, January 22, 2018 marks the end of a planned "grace period" for federal agencies to accept identification documents from states which are not yet compliant with federal standards. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was granting an additional extension to nine non-compliant states until October 2018. As noted in the TSA's fact sheet, this means that passengers may continue to use their current state-issued ID for domestic air travel; by October 1, 2020, all travelers must use a REAL ID-compliant form of identification.

For help with locating recently-effective legislation, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Introducing Nexis Uni

LexisNexis Academic, the campus-wide version of the Law School's Lexis Advance platform, will be retired at the end of the year. In preparation, the Duke University Libraries have already switched over to the new campus-wide Lexis platform, dubbed Nexis Uni. Links on the Law Library website and research guides have been changed to this new platform.

Nexis Uni contains case law from the federal courts and all 50 states, as well as current statutory and regulatory codes, law reviews and journals, news resources, and company information. The easiest way to view available materials is by the link to Menu > All Sources in the top left corner, although the home page's search builder and the Advanced Search feature will help format a search across Nexis Uni.

A key resource in Nexis Uni for campus legal researchers is the encyclopedia American Jurisprudence 2d, a helpful starting place for unfamiliar legal topics (also available in print in the Law Library’s Reference collection). The Shepard's citation search feature, which was previously limited to only case law in LexisNexis Academic, has expanded: Nexis Uni users can now Shepardize citations to case law, statutes, court rules, regulations, and law review articles. The Shepard’s shortcut shep:[citation] in the main search box (e.g., shep: 58 Duke L.J. 1791) works in Nexis Uni as well as Lexis Advance.

One important note for Law School users of either platform: if you attempt to access both law school Lexis Advance and campus-wide Nexis Uni during a single browser session, your browser will most likely point you to whichever version of Lexis that you accessed first. (That is, if you log into your law school Lexis account and later click a link to Nexis Uni during the same browser session, you'll see…law school Lexis instead of Nexis Uni, and vice versa if you accessed Nexis Uni first.) Closing your browser completely should allow you to access the second platform without difficulty.

For help with using the new campus-wide LexisNexis interface, or with any other legal research questions, be sure to Ask a Librarian.