Thursday, December 7, 2017

Commemorating the National Conference on Crime

At Washington, D.C.'s Memorial Continental Hall, a distinguished group of federal officials, legal academics, and law enforcement representatives gathered to discuss crime prevention strategies. They traded the latest police investigation techniques, expressed concerns about the exploding narcotics trade, and debated the effects that media coverage of crimes has on society. While it sounds like this could be happening right now, it was actually at the Attorney General's National Conference on Crime, which took place more than 80 years ago: December 10-13, 1934.

Attorney General Homer S. Cummings (biography) announced the conference plan in July 1934, shortly before boarding a ship from Los Angeles to Hawaii ("in connection with land condemnation proceedings of the government," according to the Chicago Tribune). The Wall Street Journal reported that the planned December "crime parley" would include discussion of "prisons, paroles, bar ethics, and other problems." Throughout the fall, organizers arranged a notable group of speakers (including President Franklin D. Roosevelt and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, whose addresses would be broadcast to the nation on every major radio network). Attendees included state and local government officials, university presidents and law school professors, and representatives from law enforcement agencies and news organizations.

Duke Law School had a particularly important connection to this event: Justin Miller, on a leave of absence that year from his duties as Law School Dean while serving as Special Assistant to the Solicitor General, helped to organize the Conference on Crime. Dean Miller served as the conference's official Secretary, calling sessions to order and overseeing audience discussions. Dean Miller was also recognized during the conference for his seven-year tenure as Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section.

The Proceedings of the Attorney General's Conference on Crime can be found in the library at KF9223 .A17 1934 or online in HeinOnline. Among the fascinating discussions and prepared remarks are "Firearms: An Address" by former Massachusetts Attorney General J. Weston Allen, who described planned legislation to implement registration requirements for the permit or purchase of firearms, all of which had been thwarted by the lobbying of the National Rifle Association. In "Why Print Crime News?" Cleveland Plain-Dealer editor Paul Bellamy defended newspapers from criticism that the coverage of crime stories glamorized crime, inspired juvenile delinquency, and impeded police investigations. In "Importance of Criminal Statistics," University of Pennsylvania sociology professor Thorsten Sellin lamented the difficulty in finding reliable state and local crime statistics, with even the federal government’s relatively-new Uniform Crime Reports publication "handicapped by the poverty of local records [and] lack of complete cooperation" – issues which persist into the present day.

In his closing address to the conference (also available at the DOJ website), Attorney General Cummings stated "It would be idle, of course, to expect that the problem of crime could be solved by a single conference or, indeed, by a series of conferences, or, for that matter, in our generation." The continued relevance of many of the issues at hand certainly proves his point, but the 1934 conference is a fascinating look back at how law enforcement and legal professionals in the Depression era handled many of the same concerns which face American society today.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Free & Low-Cost Legal Research Options

It's about that time of year when May graduates lose their extended access to Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law. Both services allow recent Law School graduates to continue using their academic passwords for 6 months. (Westlaw's post-graduation access lasts a little longer; see Library Services for Recent Grads/Alumni for an overview.) No need to despair, though – several legal research options are available for no cost or low-cost.
  • First, check with your state or local bar association, which may offer free access to the low-cost legal research services Fastcase or Casemaker. Currently, the bar associations in 49 states and the District of Columbia include at least one of these research services as a membership benefit (California, the only holdout, contains many county and local bar associations which provide members with access to one or the other). The Goodson Law Library's map of Legal Research via State Bar Associations has been updated to reflect the latest changes in bar offerings at the state level. (Since the last update earlier in 2017, Delaware became the 29th state to offer Fastcase to its bar association members.) The Duke University community can check out Fastcase before heading into law practice; law students can also create an account on CasemakerX (an educational version of Casemaker).
  • Google Scholar is another starting place for research which is commonly used by practicing attorneys. The "Case law" radio button includes state appellate opinions since 1950, federal lower court opinions since 1923, and U.S. Supreme Court opinions since 1791. "Articles" includes scholarly and commercial law reviews, legal journals, and journals in other disciplines as well. (Users currently affiliated with Duke can add "Duke University Libraries – Get It @ Duke" to Settings > Library Links, in order to access restricted articles with a current NetID and password.)
  • In You're a Researcher without a Library: What Do You Do?, Jake Orlowitz at Medium recently outlined a number of options for scholars who encounter paywalls and affiliation requirements. Orlowitz's article contains helpful reminders of resources available through your public library, such as the databases and e-books available to all North Carolina residents via the NC LIVE consortium. Orlowitz also covers resources like the Unpaywall browser extension, the Internet Archive's massive library of public domain works, and WorldCat, all of which can help you locate the full text of a needed book or article.
Additional free and low-cost legal research options are listed in the library's guide to Legal Research on the Web. These include Cornell's Legal Information Institute and the free law website Justia. For additional help with locating free or low-cost research resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Federal Tax Guide Updated

The Goodson Law Library's research guide to Federal Tax law has recently been updated. Tax is a complex area of the law, with frequent changes and unique sources. For new researchers, it may be beneficial to begin with one of the research guidebooks listed in section VI, such as the BNA Tax Management Portfolio Legal Authorities in U.S. Federal Tax Matters - Research and Interpretation (online in Bloomberg BNA & Bloomberg Law), for more guidance about specific sources and their authoritative weight.

Although the legal research services Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law contain valuable tax research primary and secondary sources, specialized resources like Thomson Reuters Checkpoint  are commonly used by tax practitioners. Checkpoint contains Federal Tax Coordinator 2d and United States Tax Reporter, both of which provide detailed guidance on all aspects of federal tax practice. Checkpoint also includes Citator 2nd, which connects researchers to subsequent case law which has cited or discussed a particular opinion.

The titles above in Checkpoint can also be found in print in the library's Gann Tax Alcove on level 2. The research guide lists these as well as other recommended treatises on income tax, corporate tax, and other specialized tax topics. Additional treatises can be found with a search of the Duke University Libraries catalog.

The research guide also includes a detailed overview of tax authorities and the various places that they can be found. Also included are links to popular tax policy think tanks, and other sources for tax-related legislative policy information.

For help with locating information about federal tax law, consult the updated research guide or Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Financial Times Group Subscription for Law Community

The Goodson Law Library has created a group subscription to Financial Times (FT.com) for the Law School. Current Law students, faculty, and staff may use their Duke Law email address to register for an account, which will allow access to the full text of unlimited articles.

To take advantage of this group subscription, you will first need to visit FT.com on a networked Law School computer (e.g., library workstations or office computers). When you attempt to access a desired article from a networked computer, the following message should appear:
Duke Law Library purchased a group subscription to FT.com.
Current Law School students, faculty, and staff may join the group subscription using their school email address, which includes unlimited access to FT content on your desktop and mobile.
Scroll down to the "Join Now" button and follow the steps to register an account with FT.com. If you had previously created an account using your Duke Law email, in order to access free articles each month, the system should recognize your prior use of the email address and connect the old account to this group subscription. Once created, your account will work on FT.com from non-networked computers, including on mobile devices. FT also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Not a member of the Duke Law community? Financial Times currently allows registered users to read 3 free articles per month. In addition, readers may be able to access the full text of some stories through social media links, such as via Twitter, without counting toward that total.

For help with setting up a Law School FT.com account, or locating other sources for financial news, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Art of Diplomacy

The Goodson Law Library recently received the centenary 7th edition of Satow's Diplomatic Practice, a classic text on diplomacy first published in 1917. (The original edition, then called Guide to Diplomatic Practice by Ernest Satow, can be accessed online through the Making of Modern Law database.) Over the years, Satow's Diplomatic Practice has expanded by hundreds of pages, as the fields of international law and foreign relations have similarly grown and evolved. The current edition begins with "a short introduction" to the history of diplomacy, as well as a separate chapter on the development of international law. Subsequent sections detail the functions of diplomats and consulates, unpack such concepts as diplomatic immunity, and describe the roles of international organizations and agreements in facilitating diplomatic relations. The final chapter, "Advice to Diplomats," provides practical guidance to diplomatic staff about negotiation strategies and handling errors in protocol.

This new edition of Satow's Diplomatic Practice arrives at a time when the U.S. Department of State is experiencing dramatic attrition in diplomatic staff since the start of the Trump administration. Nearly 75 high-level State Department posts are vacant without current nominees, and many career diplomats have departed. Barbara Johnson, former U.S. ambassador to Panama, recently penned a letter in the Foreign Service Journal which expressed concern that more than half of the career diplomats on staff have left the State Department since January. Johnson noted that recruitment of new foreign service staff is also lower than in the previous administration, leaving some experts concerned about the void in advancing American interests abroad.

To learn more about the important work of diplomats around the world, try a subject search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for the word diplomatic. You'll find fascinating practice guides for diplomatic staff, as well as discussion of historical foreign policy crises and academic treatments of diplomatic privileges. The State Department also offers some publications directly on its website, including the handbook Protocol for the Modern Diplomat, last updated in 2013, which provides ambassadors with guidance for understanding the host country's culture and avoiding social faux pas.

For help finding more information about diplomatic practice or the U.S. State Department, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Legal Holiday Gift Guide

Get the drop on your holiday shopping this year with the Goodson Blogson's 2017 roundup of legal-themed gifts for the lawyers and law students in your life. (Be on the lookout for other lawyer gift recommendations from attorney Reid Trautz's Reid My Blog, whose annual gift guide has been providing great suggestions for more than a decade.)

Many legal thinkers on your holiday list would appreciate a gift subscription to The Green Bag: An Entertaining Journal of Law. This quarterly periodical is well-known for its tongue-in-cheek humor, and for its popular U.S. Supreme Court Justice bobbleheads. The limited-edition bobbleheads are hot commodities at PILF Auctions and an online secondary market – but lucky random subscribers might receive a redemption certificate along with an issue. The "Extravagant" subscription option (only $20/year more than the Basic subscription) promises four other (non-bobblehead) "surprises" per year (see past examples). Both Basic and Extravagant subscribers will receive a copy of the annual Green Bag Almanac and Reader along with their four issues.

For the future lawyers (and/or expectant parents) on your gift list, check out Etsy artist dirtsastudio's baby bibs inspired by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's famous jabots. These bibs are available in RBG's favorite white lace or gold "dissent" collars, and can be purchased as a two-pack set. The artist notes that due to overwhelming demand, orders currently take at least one week to process (a backlog that is likely to increase closer to the holidays), so be sure to plan ahead for your would-be "Ruth Baby Ginsburg."

Is there a foodie on your giving list? Consider a law-themed cookbook! We've previously covered the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society's Chef Supreme: Martin Ginsburg, filled with sophisticated recipes by (and loving personal memories of) the late Martin Ginsburg, renowned tax law professor and husband of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg. But a litigator might prefer The Vespers' Trial Cookbook: Italiano Cucina Rustica with Trial Tips for Lawyers, by "the Cookin’ Cousins" Thomas and Dominic Vesper. This unique title is equal parts trial practice handbook and Italian family cookbook, as the cousins (Tom a trial attorney; Dom a retired accountant with a passion for home cooking) share tried-and-true “recipes for success” in both the kitchen and the courtroom. (For non-legal cookbook recommendations, J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats presents one favorite cookbook each day during the month of October on his personal blog. López-Alt’s own cookbook, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, is another great choice.)

If your law student or lawyer is too busy to cook as much as they’d like, consider a gift subscription to meal services like HelloFresh or Blue Apron. If your recipient lives in a Peapod grocery delivery service area, gift cards are available. You could also enhance your loved one's cooking with a gift box subscription to Try the World, which curates an assortment of gourmet goodies from a different country every month. (A smaller international "snack box" monthly assortment, perfect for hungry law students, is also available.)

You can also easily stock someone's kitchen with law-themed housewares. Uncommon Goods offers a "Disappearing Civil Liberties" coffee mug, whose Bill of Rights reprint partially disappears when hot liquid is poured into it. Uncommon Goods also includes a set of four marble Democracy Coasters, reproducing the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Civil Rights Act. Perhaps those coasters could protect a table from the set of four old-fashioned glasses etched with the U.S. Supreme Court’s seal?

As finals approach, the law students you know might welcome a set of noise-canceling headphones. This summer, Consumer Reports reviewed several of the biggest name brands. Its rating guide is behind a paywall, but Duke University community members can access it on LexisNexis Academic. (Subscribers to Lexis Advance can also view the rating chart here.) White noise machines might also make a thoughtful gift for law students or attorneys who are disturbed by too much ambient noise. See a March 2017 comparison of six white noise machine brands by The Sweethome.

Federal museum and monument gift shops are a perennial favorite for locating other law-themed gifts. The U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society Gift Shop continues to stock an assortment of Court- and law-themed household items, books, and office accessories. Likewise, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society catalog offers legislative-themed accessories, including stationery and desk accessories for your favorite lawyer’s office. Most presidential libraries and federal monuments also feature a gift shop.

Shopping for a fashionista? The Capitol Historical Society catalog provides a well-stocked section of Scarves, Totes, and Umbrellas – including a lovely wearable reproduction of the Apotheosis in the Capitol rotunda, or a wraparound scarf of the Constitution's text, available in two colors. Creative jewelry is also available at the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society Gift Shop and in the National Archives' authentic government red tape collection.

Finally, don't forget the many locally-owned and operated businesses in your area, or in your recipient's. Most restaurants and shops will offer gift certificates or cards; many boutiques and shops will offer unique gifts. The map for Small Business Saturday, a post-Thanksgiving local shopping promotion created by American Express, can be a good starting place for identifying local retailers to support during the holiday shopping season.

Have fun finding the perfect law-themed gift for everyone on your holiday giving list!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Truthiness in Numbers

In 1953, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson famously said of his place of work: "We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final." Brown v. Allen, 344 U.S. 443 (1953) (Jackson, J., concurring). This week, ProPublica released the results of a study which examined Supreme Court opinions for factual errors. While the sampling of eighty-four cases from 2011-2015 is too small to draw sweeping statistical conclusions, the researchers did uncover factual errors, both large and small, in seven of the twenty-four sampled SCOTUS cases which contained "legislative facts." (The report also highlights five earlier opinions containing additional factual mistakes.)

ProPublica notes that the sources of the mistakes varied: some apparently originated with a justice's extrajudicial research, while other errors had been repeated from faulty filings and amicus briefs. The impact of the errors also varied – some were minor errors with insignificant effects, while other mistakes seemed to carry more weight on the Court's ultimate ruling. The report analyzes errors within six of the seven opinions in the sampling period; a seventh will be described in a separate article.

A sobering error within the sampling period involved Shelby County v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 2612 (2013), which invalidated section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act based on its outdated "coverage formula" for federal oversight of state voting laws. In support of the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts included a chart on page 2626, comparing voter registration breakdowns by race in the six states which fell under the oversight coverage; the chart was intended to show that voter registration gaps between white and black citizens of those states had narrowed dramatically between 1965 and 2004. As ProPublica notes, Roberts's charts were skewed by a misinterpretation of Census Bureau race categories, using a category for the "White" column which included white voters of Hispanic ethnicity as well as non-Hispanic white voters.

Statistical data was on the Chief Justice's mind again earlier this month, in oral arguments concerning partisan gerrymandering. During questioning in Gill v. Whitford, the Chief Justice expressed concerns about using political science "efficiency gap" (EG) measures as a determining factor in the Court's opinion: "It is just not, it seems, a palatable answer to say the ruling was based on the fact that EG was greater than 7 percent. That doesn't sound like language in the Constitution […] [Y]ou're taking these issues away from democracy and you're throwing them into the courts pursuant to, and it may be simply my educational background, but I can only describe as sociological gobbledygook."

In response, the American Sociological Association released an open letter, defending the use of social science data and describing its benefits to society. The ASA also pointed out that, while "your alma mater would be disappointed to learn that you attributed your lack of understanding of social science to your Harvard education," the ASA would be willing to send representatives to meet with the Court and its staff.

While we don't all have the luxury of renowned social scientists providing in-person overviews of statistical basics, there are many resources available to improve statistical literacy. An accessible introduction to spotting common data misuse in the media can be found in Joel Best's Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists (HM535 .B47 2001 & online) and More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues (HM535 .B474 2004 & online). Shorter guides to spotting erroneous statistics can be found at the UK's Guardian newspaper and at the website Statistics How To. Although not every example contains numbers, you can test your ability to spot misleading statistics and news reports with the Factitious online game developed at American University.

For more academic overviews of statistical methods, the Empirical Collection on Level 3 of the library includes more than 150 titles on statistical methods, including An Introduction to Empirical Legal Research and Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals. Purdue University's Online Writing Lab also offers many tips on accurately Writing with Statistics.

For help with locating information about Supreme Court opinions or statistical methods, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Updated Guide to North Carolina Materials

The Goodson Law Library research guide to North Carolina Practice was updated recently. One of the most important changes? This year's move of the Clarence W. Walker North Carolina Alcove itself – from its former home on Level 2 to its current place on Level 3! (Materials from the former Federal Alcove are located nearby on Level 3, in the William F. Stevens Federal Area.) The North Carolina Alcove, which contains important primary and secondary state law materials, moved to the main floor of the library in order to provide alcove users with convenient access to state materials, as well as to assistance from the library service desk.

What else is new in the N.C. Practice research guide? Here are a few highlights:
  • Updated editions of print treatises like Arrest, Search and Investigation in North Carolina, the North Carolina Personal Injury Liens Manual, and North Carolina Manual of Complaints.
  • Pattern Jury Instructions for North Carolina civil, criminal and motor vehicle cases are now available online in Westlaw, as well as in print in the NC Alcove and online from the University of North Carolina School of Government.
  • A new Style Manual for the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure (April 2017) is now available online.
For help with using North Carolina legal materials in print or online, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

First Monday 2017

Monday, October 2 marks the opening of the U.S. Supreme Court's new October term. The "First Monday in October" has been the Court’s official start date for more than a century, and is codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2 (2012).

As shown in the 1916 law's compiled legislative history, available to the Duke University community in the ProQuest Legislative Insight database, the change to "first Monday" (from the second Monday in October) was intended "to shorten the vacation and give the court an extra week when the weather is favorable to work." In the House debate printed in the Congressional Record, Illinois representative James Robert Mann expressed his concern that since the change "is a matter largely of the convenience of the members of the Supreme Court, may I ask […] that that change is entirely satisfactory to them?" (He was assured that the change was actually at the Justices' request.) While inclement weather was likely a greater cause for concern to the justices of yesteryear, the "first Monday in October" has remained consistent since it became effective in 1917.

You can learn more about the OT2017 cases at the U.S. Supreme Court's recently-redesigned website, which provides access to Court calendars and links to case documents. The commercial website SCOTUSblog is another great resource for keeping up with the Court's upcoming term. Each SCOTUSblog case page (for example, the three consolidated employment arbitration cases which will be the subject of the term's first oral argument) contains links to available filings on an easy-to-read docket sheet.

Also new this term are revised Rules of the Court which will become effective on November 13. As noted in the Court's press release, the changes pave the way for a long-planned electronic filing system, which is also scheduled to launch on November 13. The new rules, as well as the current rules in effect through November 12, can be found on the Supreme Court's Rules and Guidance page.

To learn more about the history and operations of the U.S. Supreme Court, visit the Goodson Law Library's research guide or Ask a Librarian.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Constitution at 230

Sunday, September 17 marks the 230th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. "Constitution Day" was established in 2004, piggybacking on the existing federal recognition of September 17 as "Citizenship Day." See 36 U.S.C. § 106 (2012). Celebrate Constitution Day at the Goodson Law Library by picking up a free pocket Constitution at the library service desk, courtesy of the U.S. Government Publishing Office. (GPO also sent us some government information notecards with QR codes to key federal resources, as well as bookmarks promoting Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government, its educational site for children. These are also available at the service desk giveaway rack, while supplies last.) Throughout the year, the service desk also has free pocket Constitutions courtesy of LexisNexis.

You can also read the text of the Constitution online through the U.S. Senate, the National Archives, and at the start of every print or online version of the United States Code, as part of the "Organic Laws." GPO also provides free access to the Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (CONAN), a treatise providing historical context and analytical discussion of U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of each article, clause, and amendment of the Constitution. CONAN begins with a "Historical Note on the Formation of the Constitution," which describes briefly the events of September 17:
The Convention met on Monday, September 17, for its final session. Several of the delegates were disappointed in the result. A few deemed the new Constitution a mere makeshift, a series of unfortunate compromises. The advocates of the Constitution, realizing the impending difficulty of obtaining the consent of the States to the new instrument of Government, were anxious to obtain the unanimous support of the delegations from each State. It was feared that many of the delegates would refuse to give their individual assent to the Constitution. Therefore, in order that the action of the Convention would appear to be unanimous, Gouverneur Morris devised the formula "Done in Convention, by the unanimous consent of the States present the 17th of September . . . In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names." Thirty-nine of the forty-two delegates present thereupon "subscribed" to the document.
To learn more about the history of the United States Constitution, try a search of the Duke Libraries Caalog for the subject heading "Constitutional history – United States." You'll find titles like The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution (KF4541 .K53 2016) and Blessings of Liberty: A Concise History of the Constitution of the United States (KF4541.Z9 B463 2016). To find more works about constitutional law or constitutional history, in our print collection or online, just Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

U.S. Code on the Move

Like primary law from the other two branches of government, federal legislation is a living entity, subject to frequent changes. Every legal researcher knows that sections of the U.S. Code can be later amended, repealed, invalidated by a court, or rendered indirectly obsolete by subsequent changes in the law. However, there is another potential fate for federal statutes, less dramatic but no less important: the ability of editors to pick up an existing statute section and relocate it elsewhere in the Code, as part of an editorial reclassification.

Effective September 1, that's what happened inside Title 34 of the U.S. Code, which sat empty for decades after its former subject area (The Navy) was repealed in 1956. Title 34 has finally been repurposed into a new subject area, Crime Control and Law Enforcement, by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel. This editorial reclassification simply moves existing Code sections in force from their previous locations in Title 18 (Crimes and Criminal Procedure), Title 28 (The Judiciary), and Title 42 (Public Health and Welfare). The OLRC announcement of the change includes an outline of the new Title 34 sections as well as a table of which specific Code sections have moved there.

Title 34's text is already updated to reflect these changes at the OLRC's free U.S. Code website, and in the annotated versions of the U.S. Code on Westlaw and Lexis Advance. (Bloomberg Law's U.S. Code text has not yet updated, but likely will soon – a good reminder to always note the currency of your online statute sources.) If you attempt to retrieve an outdated citation to a Code section which has been transferred (such as through a link in case law), the updated U.S.C. or annotated codes online will note the transfer of the old citation to its new home in Title 34.

Should you find yourself researching historical Navy law materials, note that the "new" Title 34 has a completely different numbering scheme than the old, repealed one from before 1956 – so there are no worries about confusion due to overlapping section numbers. However, the "old" Title 34 sections' text is not available in most online research services, as they link readers of case law and secondary sources to only the current version of the U.S. Code. If you need to see the pre-1956 text of Title 34 (Navy), you can access historical versions of the U.S. Code through HeinOnline's U.S. Code Library or free through the Law Library of Congress.

Editorial reclassifications within the U.S. Code are common – in fact, internal reorganizations of Title 7 (Agriculture) and Title 43 (Public Lands) happened on July 1 of this year. The Office of the Law Revision Counsel maintains information pages on these Editorial Reclassification projects.

Editorial reclassification should not be confused with the more complex process of positive law codification, which requires Congress to enact an entire U.S. Code title as a single federal statute, thus rendering it legal evidence of the law's text. (Non-positive law Code titles, assembled by editors, are considered to be only prima facie evidence of the law, and the text of the individual session laws in the U.S. Statutes at Large would be the controlling wording of the law in the event of a discrepancy.) About half of the U.S. Code's 54 titles have been enacted into positive law, including Title 10 (Armed Forces) – which resulted in the repeal of the original Title 34 (Navy) when Title 10 was enacted into positive law in 1956. Information about completed and pending positive law codification projects can be found at the Office of the Law Revision Counsel – if all pending projects are ultimately enacted, the U.S. Code would eventually expand to 57 titles.

For help with using the U.S. Code in its current or historical versions, visit our research guide to Federal Legislative History or Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Oxford Bibliographies in International Law

The Duke University community now has access to Oxford Bibliographies in International Law, a peer-reviewed, encyclopedic collection of annotated bibliographies on international law topics. The database (which can be found on our Legal Databases & Links page) contains more than 150 entries by respected international law scholars, each with references to texts, commentaries, encyclopedias, databases, journals, case law, treaties, and other research resources. These bibliographies are excellent starting places to learn basic concepts and to find additional resources on a particular international law topic.

Individual bibliographies can be searched, browsed alphabetically by title, or sorted by Date Added to view the most recent additions. The database is updated on an ongoing basis. One of the most recent additions, Fair and Equitable Treatment in International Investment Agreements (updated August 23), illustrates the typical bibliography style: an introduction and overview of the topic, followed by an annotated list of useful resources.

Note that the GetIt@Duke button under "Find This Resource" for each listed title is somewhat unreliable within this database, particularly for book titles (journal articles tend to connect without issue). If the database indicates that a listed book title is unavailable at Duke University, try a separate search of the Duke Libraries Catalog to double-check.

The International Law module is just one of the many Oxford Bibliographies which are available across campus. To view other available Oxford Bibliographies databases (including Environmental Science and International Relations), search the Duke Libraries Catalog or Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Legal Research for Non-Lawyers

The Goodson Law Library research guide to Legal Research for Non-Lawyers was updated this summer with several new resources in our collection. The library maintains a small print reference collection of legal books written for a general audience, many published by the self-help law publisher Nolo Press.

Some newly-added or updated titles in the guide (and the library Reference collection) include:
  • Emily Doskow & Frederick Hertz, Making It Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnership & Civil Unions, 4th ed. (Ref. KF539.A23 .M25 2016). Updated Nolo Press title on same-sex marriage and other legal unions.
  • Cora Jordan, Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries & Noise, 9th ed. (Ref. KF639.Z9J67 2017). Updated Nolo Press title dealing with all aspects of neighbor disputes.
  • Deanne Morgan, Become an Informed Caregiver: What You Should Know When Caring for an Aging Loved One (Ref .RA645.3 .M68 2016). Written by a Duke Law legal research instructor, this is an accessible guide to the legal concerns of elder care.
  • Richard Stim, Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off, 6th ed. (Ref. KF3002 .S75 2016). Answers common questions about determining fair use of copyrighted materials, and obtaining permission or "clearance" for other use (such as for commercial purposes).
Online sources are also listed in the guide, including free law-related websites as well as electronic versions of the listed books. Many of the electronic versions are restricted to current Duke University or Duke Law students, faculty, and staff, such as the North Carolina Bar Foundation publication The ABCs of Traffic Law: Do's and Don'ts of Traffic Court – which is available in print in the library's North Carolina Alcove, but also electronically to the Law School community via Lexis Advance. Organized alphabetically by topic (e.g., Buses, Speeding, and Texting While Driving), this is an accessible handbook for attorneys on common NC traffic court issues, but is helpful for non-lawyers as well.

For help with using these or other legal guides for the layperson, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pleading the Twenty-Fifth

This past February marked 50 years since the ratification of Amendment XXV to the U.S. Constitution. Written to clarify the procedures for presidential and vice-presidential succession in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, the amendment also allows for a U.S. President to be sidelined by either his own declaration of incapacity, or by a declaration of "the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide."

Since Donald Trump's inauguration, the 25th Amendment has been discussed on social media and in op-eds, in response to concerns about erratic presidential behavior. In May, the Atlantic summarized the growing discussion. More recently, UW law professor Hugh Spitzer explored the possibilities last week in the Seattle Times.

In April, freshman U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin introduced H.R. 1987, a bill which would establish an "Oversight Committee on Presidential Capacity," an example of one "such other body" as may be established under section 4 of Amendment XXV. While even Raskin has recently acknowledged to Newsweek that the bill has virtually zero chance of passage, he contends that the committee closes a long-overlooked loophole in the amendment, which Congress never addressed: "[T]he Trump administration underscores the importance of acting, but we need this body for all times."

To learn more about the history and uses of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, check out The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (CONAN) (Ref Doc. Y 1.1/3: 112-9 & online at Congress.gov and GovInfo.gov). Always an excellent place to research the U.S. Constitution, CONAN is a lengthy one-volume treatise published by the government and maintained by the Congressional Research Service. Organized by article, clause, and amendment number, each section describes the background and application of that constitutional language, and also provides summaries of related U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

The CONAN entry for Amendment XXV is brief, but describes the background need for the amendment and its invocation during the Watergate era. It also provides citations to legislative history materials, which can be found in the library's usual sources for Federal Legislative History or in Fordham Law School's Twenty-Fifth Amendment Archive.

You can find additional research materials on the 25th Amendment with a subject heading search in the Duke University Libraries catalog for "United States. Constitution. 25th Amendment". This subject search will retrieve about a dozen books and e-books on the subject, including the latest edition of Fordham Law professor John D. Freerick's The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Complete History and Applications (3d. ed. 2014, available in off-site storage & online). Like CONAN, chapter 8 of this book also includes detailed analysis of each section of the amendment.

For help researching the Twenty-Fifth or any other constitutional amendment, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Research Guides: Don't Reinvent the Wheel

We hope you already know about the Goodson Law Library's research guides. Written and maintained by our reference librarians, these pages provide detailed guidance for researching more than three dozen legal subjects – and are great starting places (if we do say so ourselves!). Some of our recently-updated topics include Federal Legislative History, Court Records & Briefs, and Legal Research for Non-Lawyers.

As proud as we are of our law library research guides, though, we know there will be times when you need to research a subject which they don’t cover. So here are some quick tips for finding a roadmap to your research topic.
  • You could, of course, always use your favorite search engine to locate a research guide for your topic, with a search like international tax law research guide. But you could also use CALI.org's custom Law School Search Engine, which will automatically limit your results to those on the sites of ABA-accredited law schools. This custom search engine is linked on the sidebar of our Research Guides page.
  • Many book-length legal research guides are also available in the Goodson Law Library collection. These research guidebooks may cover a single jurisdiction, or a specific legal subject area. To find them, try a search of the Duke University Libraries' online catalog for your topic and the phrase research guide or legal research (or, if those don’t work, just the word research). For example, cemeteries legal research would retrieve the 2015 book title Disposition of Human Remains: A Legal Research Guide by Wake Forest University law professor Tanya Marsh. This title is just one of a lengthy legal research guidebook series by the publisher W.S. Hein, which are also available electronically within the HeinOnline database.
  • Perhaps you need to get started with researching a non-legal topic. In that case, be on the lookout for an authoritative research guide from a university or public library, such as the Duke University Libraries' new Guides by Subject page, or the New York Public Library's extensive Research Guides list.

For other recommended research guides or starting points for your research topic, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A History of GPO

Since 1861, federal publications have been issued by the U.S. GPO. Originally known as the Government Printing Office, GPO was renamed the Government Publishing Office in 2014 to reflect the increase in digital publication. The new book Keeping America Informed, The U.S. Government Publishing Office: A Legacy of Service to the Nation, 1861-2016 tells the story of GPO's evolution from massive printing-press operation to modern digital and print publisher, illustrated with beautiful photographs from GPO's history. A copy of Keeping America Informed is available in the Goodson Law Library's Documents collection on level 1. (A free digital edition is also available from – where else? – GPO.)

From Keeping America Informed: "The Monotype keyboard section in 1915. 'The biggest battery of composing machines in the world,' according to the Monotype Co."

In addition to printing and digitizing millions of pages of government information every year, GPO is also responsible for distributing federal government publications to the American public. GovInfo.gov provides free access to materials from all three branches of government. GPO also oversees the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), which distributes government publications to selected libraries which have agreed to provide free public access to them. The Goodson Law Library has been a selective depository since 1978, and receives around 9% of available items from FDLP. The Perkins/Bostock library on campus was designated as a depository in 1890, and receives closer to 80% of available documents.

Keeping America Informed and the long history of government publications by GPO helped inspire the current Riddick Room display, "Graphic Government," by Reference Librarian Cas Laskowski. The Graphic Government display highlights various visual representations of government work – from photo histories to political cartoons. Pages will be turned periodically to display new images, so be sure to check back for later changes.

Part of the current "Graphic Government" display on level 3 of the library.


To learn more about federal government publications, consult the Goodson Law Library research guide to Government Documents, visit the GPO website, or Ask a Librarian.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A New Look for AFJ

The Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, a valuable resource for biographical information about federal judges, recently moved to a new online platform. In addition to the usual profiles on current federal judges, the new site now includes an interactive map, links to court websites, and – perhaps most notably – an archive of inactive judge profiles.

When it debuted in 1984, the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary was a looseleaf notebook of active federal judges, updated periodically with new pages as judges joined the bench or retired from it. Each judge received a basic biographical profile, along with selected notable opinions, and anonymous comments from a survey of attorneys who have appeared before the judge. The lawyers' evaluations assess such topics as legal ability, courtroom demeanor, leanings and impartiality, and provide valuable (sometimes scathing) insight for attorneys who may appear before the judge in the future.

The new platform on Wolters Kluwer provides current profiles of active judges as well as an archive preserving profiles of past federal judges. For example, current Duke Law Dean David F. Levi's profile from his time as a District Court judge in the Eastern District of California is available in the archive, but has been removed from the print looseleaf since he left the bench to join Duke Law School.

A historical print edition of AFJ, updated through 2012, is in the Goodson Law Library collection at KF8700 .A19 A4. Westlaw's AFJ database includes the text of the current print edition (i.e., active federal judges only).

For more resources on researching current or past judges, check out the library's recently-updated research guide to Directories of Courts and Judges or Ask a Librarian.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Duke DVD Delivery Developments

Late last week, the Lilly Library announced that its extensive collection of videos and DVDs can now be requested by faculty, graduate students, and library staff for delivery and pickup at staffed library service points across campus, including the Goodson Law Library. (Previously, Duke users needed to visit the East Campus library in person to borrow these items.)

Lilly videos and DVDs may be borrowed for one week at a time, with a one-week renewal possible for items without a recall or hold list. Up to 3 DVDs from the regular collection, as well as 1 devilDVD (a collection of recently released popular titles) may be borrowed at one time.

This new option to pick up Lilly videos and DVDs at the Law Library is in addition to the Goodson Law Library's own DVD collection in the Leisure Reading area on Level 3, featuring law-related movies and TV shows. Items in the Law Library DVD collection may be borrowed for 3 days at a time by bringing the empty case to the Circulation/Reserve desk.

Search the Duke University Libraries catalog for more than 30,000 DVDs across campus, and find your perfect movie break from the Law Library or Lilly!

Friday, June 30, 2017

What's New with Court Records & Briefs

Our research guide to Court Records and Briefs has just been updated with some new resources. What's changed over the last year?
  • Increased access to oral argument recordings: Effective April 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit joined the majority of federal appellate courts in providing audio recordings of oral arguments on its website. As Law360 noted in December, this change leaves the 10th Circuit as the lone holdout of federal appellate courts which do not provide some free access to audio.
    In addition, the research guide now includes a link to the Free Law Project's Court Listener Oral Argument Audio, which allows users to search more than 20,000 federal and state oral argument recordings by case name, keyword, docket number, and/or judge.
  • A new source for U.S. Supreme Court records and briefs: A link to the ProQuest Supreme Court Insight database was added to the section on compiled U.S. Supreme Court records and briefs. Although the database is not yet complete, it should include records and briefs dating back to 1975 by the end of the calendar year.
  • An old favorite for locating historical trial pamphlets and books: While the guide has long included catalog search instructions for locating publications containing accounts of historical trials, we've just added a classic bibliography source which can help identify the existence of these materials: The Annals of Murder: A Bibliography of Books and Pamphlets on American Murders from Colonial Times to 1900 (Thomas M. McDade ed. 1961). This thorough bibliography contains entries for historical murder trial accounts, with an index allowing users to look up defendant names, trial locations, and even the occasional cause of death (such as "Poisoning cases"). While many of the pamphlets and books themselves have been digitized, this valuable finding aid has not.
We're always happy to help researchers locate court documents, whether current or historical. Begin your searches at the Court Records and Briefs research guide; if you don't find what you’re looking for, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

History of Capital Punishment in America

On June 29, 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Furman v. Georgia, which held that imposing death sentences on three inmates would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Expressing concerns about "arbitrary and discriminatory" imposition of capital punishment, the Court's per curiam opinion effectively suspended death sentences in the U.S. (Just four years later, the Court would reinstate the death penalty with its 7-2 opinion in Gregg v. Georgia, which reviewed amended Georgia statutes concerning capital punishment.)

As discussed in both Supreme Court opinions, and in countless articles and books, capital punishment in America has a long and controversial history. While the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibited "cruel and unusual punishment," the death penalty was common in every state, and the federal Crimes Act of 1790 (1 Stat. 112, c. 9) included death as the punishment for treason against the United States, willful murder, piracy, forgery or counterfeiting, or rescuing any prisoners who had been found guilty in capital cases. However, the concerns expressed in Furman about arbitrary and discriminatory application of the death penalty continue, as well as fears of sending the wrongfully-accused to their deaths: the University of Michigan's National Registry of Exonerations lists 117 death-row inmates convicted in the last fifty years who were subsequently exonerated.

HeinOnline has recently released a new library of resources related to the History of Capital Punishment, available to all researchers within the Duke University campus and also available off-campus with a current Duke University NetID and password. The collection includes the Eugene G. Wanger and Marilyn M. Wanger Death Penalty Collection: A Descriptive Bibliography, a three-volume reference work providing information about relevant books, articles, congressional hearings, and other materials. Bibliography entries link to full text if it is available within HeinOnline's large collection of research resources. (The full Wanger Death Penalty Collection is an archival set housed by the Special Collections & Archives at SUNY Albany).

For additional resources on the history of capital punishment, try a search of the Duke University Libraries catalog for the subject heading "Capital punishment -- United States – History" or "Capital punishment – United States" for more general titles. For help using the new Hein library or locating other resources on the topic, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Introductions to International Law

From continuing discussions of Brexit, to the Paris Agreement withdrawal announcement, to concerns over the legality of U.S. airstrikes in Syria, international law is a frequent topic in the news lately. If you'd like to learn more about international law, the Goodson Law Library's recently-updated International Law research guide recommends some good starting places.
  • Just need to brush up on the basics? Try the Study Aids section for some titles like Understanding International Law and International Law: A Very Short Introduction.
  • Want an explanation of core concepts? Check out the Treatises section for some seminal works from notable scholars.
  • Need guidance in researching a specific international law topic? Try the Research Guides section, or explore the print and online series of Research Handbooks in International Law.
The Goodson Law Library collection contains thousands of titles on international law topics; additional titles are available across campus, or electronically. To locate your perfect international law introduction, try the research guide's recommended searches of the Duke University Libraries catalog or Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

LexisNexis Acquires Ravel Law

Today, LexisNexis announced that it has acquired Ravel Law (press release). Developed by a team of Stanford Law graduates in 2012, Ravel quickly became known for its visual presentation of case law search results (ABA Journal 2014 cover story), and later for its ambitious partnership with Harvard Law Library to digitize historical case reporters and make them freely available to researchers. (Lexis, Ravel, and Harvard each confirmed in separate statements that the acquisition will not change the Caselaw Access Project's mission to provide open access to historical case law materials.)

Ravel also became known for its data analytics products, including Judge Analytics and Court Analytics, both featured in the Goodson Law Library research guide Directories of Courts & Judges. (A new product, Firm Analytics, was also recently announced, but is not yet available for subscriber trial access.)

Ravel will continue to operate under its current web interface until the end of the year, as its contents become integrated into their future home at Lexis Litigation Profile Suite® and Lexis Advance®. Early 2018 is the target date to switch Ravel users to Lexis completely. Duke users may continue to sign up for a Ravel Law account, which includes access to Court and Judge Analytics, with their Duke email address.

For help using Ravel, Lexis, or other legal research services, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pro Forma

"Get it in writing" is important advice for even relatively straightforward legal matters – disputing a credit card transaction, lending money to a friend, unloading an old car in a private sale. But most people would like guidance on how even simple legal documents might be expected to look. Form books provide a starting point for many researchers, offering templates and tips for creating demand letters and agreements for common legal issues. The Goodson Law Library's research guide to Legal Forms was recently updated, and includes resources for non-lawyers, as well as form sets used by legal professionals.

For non-lawyers, Nolo's 101 Law Forms for Personal Use (Reference KF170 .L46 10th ed. 2016) contains general templates for everyday legal situations, such as creating simple wills, selling personal property, or drafting agreements with various service providers. The forms are not specific to any particular state’s laws, and the introductory text to the forms often includes helpful tips and important cautionary warnings for further research (e.g. "With this will form, you cannot name different guardians for different kids").

In many cases, differences of law in a particular state will require more research or consultation with an attorney to prevent potential legal problems later. Wills and estate planning, in particular, frequently involve more complex issues than many people realize, and do-it-yourself form-based documents can create unintended consequences. For example, the 2014 Florida Supreme Court opinion in the case of Aldrich v. Basile involved a will generated from a pre-printed "E-Z Legal Form," which lacked a residuary clause required under Florida law. As a result, the decedent's property passed not to her intended parties, but to relatives who were not named in the will. In the concurring opinion, one judge called the dispute "a cautionary tale of the potential dangers of utilizing pre-printed forms and drafting a will without legal assistance. As this case illustrates, that decision can ultimately result in the frustration of the testator's intent, in addition to the payment of extensive attorney's fees—the precise results the testator sought to avoid in the first place."

However, form books can still provide useful guidance on the layout and content of common legal documents, even for seasoned attorneys. In North Carolina, Douglas' Forms (NC Alcove KFN7468 .D682 & online in Lexis Advance) is a multi-volume set containing both pleading and practice forms and general forms. Other form sets commonly used by lawyers include American Jurisprudence Legal Forms, 2d ed. (Practice & Procedure KF170.A542 & online in Westlaw) and Federal Procedural Forms Lawyers Edition (Practice & Procedure KF8836.F4 & online in Westlaw). The Legal Forms guide also provides information about topical form sets, as well as online access through Westlaw, Lexis Advance, Bloomberg Law, and Fastcase.

For more information about finding legal forms, visit the recently revised Legal Forms research guide, or Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Multinational Sources Compared

What are other nations doing to combat the financing of terrorist organizations? How do the United States' laws on family medical leave compare to the United Kingdom? What are the differences and similarities in corporation laws around the world? The Goodson Law Library's research guide to Foreign & Comparative Law has just been updated with a number of sources to help you find the answer to these and other comparative law questions.

In particular, the new HeinOnline database Multinational Sources Compared: A Subject and Jurisdiction Index is a great starting place to locate treatises and other publications which compare multiple countries' domestic practices on a particular topic. The database can be searched by keyword, browsed by subject, or browsed by country to see available publications.

For example, a subject search or browse for "Terrorism Finance" will identify three books comparing anti-money laundering law and practice in dozens of countries, including Money Laundering, Asset Forfeiture and Compliance: A Global Guide (online in Lexis Advance). A subject search or browse for "Corporations" would likewise return seven results, each featuring different countries and subtopics on corporate law. Each source's entry in Multinational Sources Compared briefly describes the contents of each work, lists the countries covered, and includes information about electronic access through legal research services such as Lexis Advance, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law. (Although each entry also features a "Get It @ Duke" button to link users with campus-wide electronic resources, keep in mind that these Law School-only restricted resources are not listed in the Duke University Libraries’ online catalog. Researchers will need to visit the research services separately, rather than relying on the Get It @ Duke link.)

Search options can also be combined. A search combining the subject "Family Leave" with the jurisdiction "United Kingdom" would retrieve three book results, including the Kluwer title International Encyclopaedia of Laws for Social Security Law. The International Encyclopaedia of Laws are a set of treatises which provide "National Monographs" outlining each featured country's practices on the topic. Countries covered will vary across the different IEL topics, and Multinational Sources Compared will quickly tell a researcher if a country of interest is included. (The IEL set can also be searched or browsed separately at Kluwer Law Online.)

The Foreign & Comparative Law research guide also contains resources for researching non-U.S. legal systems and introductions to comparative law methods. A separate section provides starting places for locating primary legal materials from other countries, either in translation or in the vernacular.

For help with locating comparative and foreign law materials, or with using the resources listed in the research guide, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Congressional Budget Office

Yesterday, a revised version of the American Health Care Act, intended to reverse a number of insurance measures enacted as part of the President Barack Obama-era Affordable Care Act, narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday afternoon, in a 217-213 vote. The bill passed despite vocal opposition from citizens concerned about a return to heightened insurance rates for patients with pre-existing conditions, as well as pushback from both health care providers and the insurance industry itself.

The controversial House bill now heads to the U.S. Senate, which is expected to draft its own version of Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace legislation. As the Washington Post noted today, though, the future of such legislation in the Senate is uncertain. One major reason? The Senate cannot take up consideration of the bill until the Congressional Budget Office completes its report:
First, the Senate's parliamentarian — or rules-keeper — cannot review the legislation and determine the rules of debate until the CBO submits its official estimate, which could take several more weeks to complete, according to congressional aides. That would mean that official Senate debate on the bill could not begin until June.
The Congressional Budget Office is an independent office in the legislative branch which provides non-partisan analysis of proposed legislation's budgetary effects. Established in 1974 by the Congressional Budget Act, CBO analyses are cited by Congress as useful assessments of a particular legislative proposal's effects. An earlier version of the American Health Care Act was pulled from a House vote in March after the CBO estimated that an additional 24 million Americans could be uninsured by 2024 as a result of its passage. The version which passed the House yesterday was voted on without a revised CBO score.

CBO reports are available on the office's website, back to its 1975 Testimony on Long Range Budget Projections. The federal Documents collections at the Goodson Law Library and elsewhere on campus also contain hard copies of many CBO publications, which can be found with an author search of the Duke University Libraries catalog for congressional budget office. More background about the CBO and its work can be found in the United States Government Manual.

For help locating information about the CBO or federal legislation, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Researching International Criminal Law

The 2013 and 2017 chemical weapon attacks on civilians in Syria have generated ongoing conversations about the role of international criminal courts in humanitarian crises. A new book in the Goodson Law Library, Christopher Rudolph's Power and Principle: The Politics of International Criminal Courts (KZ7230 .R83 2017), explores the history and politics behind international criminal courts, and their role in humanitarian law.

To learn more about international criminal tribunals, check out the Goodson Law Library's recently-updated research guide to International Criminal Law. This brief guide links to print and electronic resources for researching the International Criminal Court and other specialized international criminal tribunals, as well as guidance for locating books and other materials in the Law Library's collection. A more extensive overview of online research resources for international criminal law can be found on the American Society for International Law's Electronic Resource Guide for International Criminal Law, maintained by Penn State University Dickinson Law Library Director Gail A. Partin. (The Law Library's guide links to this and other helpful research starting places.)

For assistance with researching international criminal law in print or online resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

New Source for Supreme Court Records and Briefs

The Goodson Law Library has recently subscribed to ProQuest Supreme Court Insight, a source for U.S. Supreme Court case histories and records. By the end of 2017, this database will include records and briefs dating from 1975-2016. (Currently, the service covers from 2004-2016; earlier dates will be added throughout the year.)

At the moment, the new database duplicates years of SCOTUS brief and docket materials which are freely available through the Court's own website and through the ABA's Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases. Once complete, though, Supreme Court Insight will fill in gaps for electronic coverage of U.S. Supreme Court case materials, picking up around the tail end of The Making of Modern Law: U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs 1832-1978. (Records and briefs earlier than 1832 are not available at Duke Law, although they can be requested via interlibrary loan service from the set Appellate Case Files of the Supreme Court of the United States.)

For more information about locating court records and briefs, check out the Goodson Law Library research guide, which describes the electronic, print, and microform access to records and briefs which are available through Duke. For help using ProQuest Supreme Court Insight or other sources for court records and briefs, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Summer Access to Legal Research Services

Whether you're heading to a summer job or graduating this May, your access to legal research services like Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law will change.
Continuing Students
For rising 2Ls and 3Ls, your Law School access generally continues uninterrupted over the summer. Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law both allow student usage over the summer for educational as well as for commercial purposes. (However, check with your employer before using your Law School accounts for paid work – many employers prefer that summer associates avoid using their school accounts for researching firm matters.)

Westlaw restricts students' summer access to Westlaw, Practical Law and other Thomson Reuters products to non-commercial research purposes only. The eligible categories for summer access include:
  • Summer Coursework
  • Research Assistant Assignments
  • Law Review or Journal Research
  • Moot Court Research
  • Non-Profit Work
  • Clinical Work
  • Externship Sponsored by the School
2017 Graduates
For graduating 3Ls and LLMs, Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law automatically extend educational accounts for 6 months following graduation.

Lexis additionally offers the ASPIRE program, providing 12 months of free access to graduates who work in public interest. Proof of work with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is required. To learn more about ASPIRE, visit http://www.lexisnexis.com/grad-access/.

Westlaw's "Grad Elite" access continues for 18 months after graduation. Under this program, law grads are allowed 60 hours of usage per month for services like Westlaw and Practical Law, with no restrictions against using them for professional purposes.

For help with your summer access to these or other Duke resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian. The library's summer hours, which take effect at the end of final exams, are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Monday, March 27, 2017

New Database for ACLU Archives

Since its founding in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been involved in some of the most well-known constitutional law cases in American history. In the "Scopes Monkey Trial" of 1925 (which inspired the acclaimed play and film Inherit the Wind), the ACLU partnered with attorney Clarence Darrow to defend a biology teacher arrested for teaching evolution in his Tennessee classroom. In the 1960s, the ACLU provided free legal assistance to Richard and Mildred Loving, arrested for violating Virginia's ban on interracial marriage; the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia subsequently struck down prohibitions on interracial marriage on equal protection grounds. More recently, the ACLU has challenged Trump administration executive orders concerning immigration and border security.

Researchers at Duke now have access to archival materials from the ACLU's work in the twentieth century. The Goodson Law Library has just subscribed to The Making of Modern Law: American Civil Liberties Union Papers 1912-1990. The searchable collection consists of legal case files and news clippings on ACLU activities, organized into two sub-collections:
  • The Roger Baldwin Years, 1912-1950, contains subseries with clippings and files on academic freedom; censorship; legislation; federal departments and federal legislation; state activities; conscientious objectors; injunctions; and labor and labor organization correspondence.
  • Years of Expansion, 1950-1990, encompasses foundation project files on the Amnesty Project, 1964-1980; the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee, 1964-1976; and subject files on freedom of belief, expression, and association; due process of law; equality before the law; international civil liberties; and legal case files, 1933-1990.
The earliest materials, which pre-date the official formation of the ACLU, include correspondence and news clippings on jail conditions, sedition trials, and conscientious objectors during World War I. the collections can be searched on the main screen, or browsed under "Explore Collections." Keyword searches for broad topics like marriage will return thousands of pages of ACLU research and legal documents; a search for a case name, such as Loving v. Virginia, will retrieve a narrower set of results, with the relevant pages within each result flagged in a sidebar.

The digital collection provides a fascinating view of American history through the work of ACLU lawyers. For more information about the history of the ACLU, try a subject search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for American Civil Liberties Union. For assistance with using the new database or with locating other ACLU materials, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, March 20, 2017

AILALink Immigration Database Now Available

Immigration law is highly complex, and involves a number of specialized resources. Fortunately, the Goodson Law Library has just subscribed to AILALink, a research database from the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Current Duke University students, faculty, and staff can access AILALink from the Law Library's Legal Databases & Links page, or directly here. (Access is limited to 3 simultaneous users; please click "Sign out" in the top right corner when finished.)

AILALink includes primary and secondary legal materials on immigration matters, such as the full text of Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook (15th ed. 2016), a leading treatise for immigration law practitioners. Other books of interest include the Occupational Guidebooks series, including Immigration Options for Academics and Researchers and Immigration Options for Artists & Entertainers. Other AILA titles include Asylum Law Primer (7th ed. 2015), Essentials of Immigration Law (4th ed. 2016), and Immigration Law & the Family (4th ed. 2016).

Researchers should be aware that immigration law and policy can change quickly. AILALink provides supplements in the event of later changes, such as a chapter supplement to Immigration Law & the Family prompted by new agency guidance. However, primary law research is also essential to update the content of the book publications. The database also provides browseable and searchable versions of federal statutes, regulations, and agency materials related to immigration law and practice. Case law is available through AILALink's court opinions section, with an option to search Fastcase Premium for additional materials.

For further reading on immigration law, try a search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject heading emigration and immigration law – united states. You'll find titles like the multi-volume treatise by Gordon & Mailman, Immigration Law and Procedure (also available in Lexis Advance) and study aids on Reserve like Immigration Law and Procedure in a Nutshell.

For assistance with using AILALink or with locating immigration law materials in the Law Library, be sure to Ask a Librarian.