Friday, February 29, 2008

Briefcase - Oklahoma County Bar Association Publication

Briefcase is the monthly publication of the Oklahoma County Bar Association. Briefcase contains legal news and substantive articles on topics of interest to attorneys practicing in Oklahoma County. The February edition of Briefcase contains informaion on the proximity cards issued by the Oklahoma County Sherrif's Office to allow attorneys expedited access to the courthouse as well as Give Me Confidentiality or Give Me Death???, an article authored by Dean Hellman. Print copies of Briefcase are available in the Law Library. You may also access Briefcase online at

May It Please the Court - Appellate Advocacy Materials on Display

Are you working on your first appellate brief or getting ready for a moot court competition? If so, the library has resources that might help. Come by and see some of the appellate advocacy materials on display in the Law Library.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Legal Writing Tips From The Supremes

The well known legal writing guru Bryan Garner (editor of Black’s Law Dictionary, author of The Elements of Legal Style, etc.) individually interviewed eight of the nine current Supreme Court Justices about legal writing and legal advocacy, and clips of the interviews are available here.

Hat tip to Professor Michael O'Shea for this great resource.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Free Access to Cases, Statutes, Regs., and More Through PLoL

Fastcase has developed a new resource called The Public Library of Law (PLoL)which brings together a wide variety of free legal resources, including:

State Law for All 50 States:
• Supreme and Appellate Court cases from 1997 to the present
• Statutes from all 50 states
• Constitutions from all 50 states
• Court Rules from all 50 states
• Regulations and Administrative Codes from selected states

Federal Law:
• All U.S. Supreme Court Cases
• All Federal Circuit Courts from 1950 to the present
• The United States Code
• US Code of Federal Regulations
• Federal Court Rules

Free registration is required to view materials. PLoL also includes free links to paid content on Fastcase.

Hat tip to WisBlawg for this info.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals visits OCU

On February 26, 2008 the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals will hear arguments in the death penalty case, Williams v. State. To get background information about the case, read the Appellant's Brief, Appellee's Brief, and Appellant's Reply Brief.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Short List of Resources on Solomon Amendment

Unable to attend the Solomon Amendment Discussion or motivated by the discussion to learn more, consider the following short annotated list of sources:

1) Phillip Carter and Adam A. Sofen Debate. Military Recruiting on Law School Campuses? Debate Club 10/18/04 Legal Affairs at
This resource, which pre-dates the FAIR v. Rumsfeld decision, offers both the practical and theoretical underpinnings of the opposing viewpoints in the debate over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as well as the Solomon Amendment. The participants in the debate have provided some links to supporting documentation for the positions they advocate.

2) Sharra E. Greer et. al. Rum, sodomy, and the lash: what the military thrives on and how it affects legal recruitment and law schools. 14 Duke J. of Gender L. & Pol'y 1143 available at'y+1143#H1N3
This article is based on panel remarks presented at the National Lesbian and Gay Law Foundation Lavender Law Conference, September 8, 2006. Panel members include Sharra E. Greer, Warrington S. Parker, III, Elizabeth L. Hillman, and Diane H. Mazur. Elizabeth Hillman's remarks articulately explain the role of law and legal professionals in the armed forces. It is the important role that judge advocates fill that is the basis for arguments by others that the military must have access to the "best and the brightest" law schools have to offer. Hillman's remarks also detail the her belief that "it is a mistake to counsel persons interested in joining the military's legal corps without talking about the responsibility of military lawyers to enforce existing personnel rules, including the legal discrimination against gays and lesbians that the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy embraces.

3) NALP (Association for Legal Career Professionals) Solomon Amendment Information
This source provides an overview of the Solomon Amendment and developments regarding the legislation and challenging cases since 2005. Many links to regulations, briefs, and other sources of information are provided.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lawyers and Love in the Law Library

Are lawyers lucky in love? How should an office romance in a law firm be handled? What is Love Day according to Black's Law Dictionary? How are lawyers and their romantic partners portrayed on television and in the movies? Answers to all of these questions (and many more) can be found in the Law Library. During the month of February, visit a display of materials on Lawyers and Love. Also, on February 14th the Law Library will provide free coffee to law students, faculty, and other patrons.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Election Law Resources on Display

If you are interested in campaign finance, voting rights, redistricting or almost any other issue regarding elections law, visit the law library to develop a familiarity with resources available on the topic.

During the week of Super Tuesday, the Law Library staff displayed elections law materials near the Reference Offices and the Circulation Desk. If you missed the display, don't despair. Throughout the election year, the Law Library staff will continually update the elections law display in the Lower Level lounge. See resources on elections law as well as materials that address the popular culture surrounding elections.


Check out the newest legal search engine PreCYdent


Like parallel projects, Public.Resource.Org and AltLaw, newcomer PreCYdent aims to compile public-domain cases and statutes for free availability on the Web. "We believe judicial opinions and statutes must be in the public domain, in practice as well as in theory. To us this means that effective legal research in all of these materials should be free to the user -- not expensive, not inexpensive. Free." Officially, the alpha version contains only U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals cases so far, but it looks like the US Code is available, as well.

Search Engine

There are several things that make PreCYdent stand apart from the other projects, however. Foremost is its sophisticated, yet simple-to-use Google-esque search engine developed specifically with legal resources in mind. "PreCYdent search technology is able to mine the information latent in the "Web of Law", the network of citations among legal authorities. This means it is also able to retrieve legally relevant authorities, even if the search terms do not actually occur or occur frequently in the retrieved document."

Social Networking
Another stand out aspect is PreCYdent's incorporation of social networking tools, such as offering users the option to add tags and comments to documents, and to rate their importance. "Our objective is to create a space where people interested in law will be able to share knowledge, find help and to exchange experiences. We are going to integrate our effort with successful social communities such as Facebook. "

PreCYdent also contains law. Founder Tom Smith describes what you will find on the site in an interview with Law Librarian Blog "Currently our website has all US Supreme Court cases and US Court of Appeals cases back to the 1950s. We plan to soon have state cases going back 10 years or more from all 50 states, and ultimately all state and federal cases back to the beginning, as well as statutory and administrative materials."

(originally posted on

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Books in the Law Library

Click here to view a list of books added to the Law Library's collection over the past month.