Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Online Popular Name Table

Need a quick way to look up a federal law by popular name table? Try the table available at Cornell's Legal Information Institute. Of course you could always use the paper version that comes with the USCA or USCS.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Lawyers Searching The Internet

Do lawyers have a duty to search the internet competently? How should competence in this area be defined? These questions are extremely relevant as more judges are citing the internet, blogs, and wikis in their opinions. Check out Ellie Margolis' article Surfin' Safari: Why Competent Lawyers Should Research on the Web available for download here with abstract below.

The easy availability of information on the internet has drastically changed the way that lawyers conduct legal research, but has it affected the standards for competency to which lawyers are held? This article explores the ways in which judges' and lawyers' expectations have been shaped by technological changes in the last two decades.

The article reviews the various ways in which the adequacy of a lawyer's research can be measured - the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, court rules such as Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and malpractice claims. All of these approaches reveal that competence is measured both by what techniques are standard in practice and by what sources judges look to in supporting their decisions. By both of these measures, a competent lawyer today must go beyond Lexis and Westlaw and conduct legal research directly on the internet.

Because many legal materials are increasingly available only online, and because judges are showing a greater willingness to rely on non-legal information available on the web, the article concludes that a lawyer cannot competently represent a client without conducting research on the internet. The conclusion urges law schools and the practicing bar to be aware of this development and instruct law students and new lawyers accordingly.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gmail Custom Time

Ever wish you'd e-mailed that pleading to the court a few minutes or even a few days earlier? Ever regret having missed the deadline for exercising that option? Ever wish you'd e-mailed a birthday wish to your partner on the actual birthday? Never again miss a deadline -- or at least never again appear to miss a deadline -- thanks to a feature launched today as part of Google's Gmail called Gmail Custom Time.

Now, when composing an e-mail using Gmail, just set the date it should appear to have been received and it will land in the recipient's inbox in the appropriate chronological order. You can even decide whether to have the e-mail show up as read or unread. The new feature will allow you to backdate only to April 1, 2004. And it limits users to 10 custom time e-mails a year, so that people don't lose faith in the accuracy of time. (originally posted at Robert Ambrogi's Law Sites)

Monday, April 21, 2008

National Library Week Winners

Robert Duncan won the Movie Trivia contest by guessing all of the answers correctly. Robert won two mugs, an OCU keychain, and a water bottle.

Sheri Higgins won the M&M jar guessing contest with her winning guess of 1814. The actual number of M&Ms in the jar was 1800. For her correct guess, Sheri won all those M&Ms!

Peoples Co-Edits Book on Evolution and Innovation in Law Libraries

Associate Director Lee Peoples recently co-edited the book Public Services in Law Libraries: Evolution and Innovation in the 21st Century. Early reviews have been very positive:

“A variety of INSIGHTFUL commentary. . . . BREAKS NEW GROUND with innovative chapters on subjects that every law librarian needs to know. . . BELONGS ON THE SHELF OF EVERY PUBLIC SERVICES LAW LIBRARIAN!”

—James E. Duggan, Professor & Associate Director, Southern Illinois University School of Law Library

“Can be used as a text in a law librarianship course, as a guide for mentoring or training a new law librarian, or as a way to stimulate change and better patron service in an existing law library!. . . . MUST READING FOR ALL LAW LIBRARIANS.”

—Penny A Hazelton, MLL, JD, BA, Professor and Associate Dean for Library and Computing Services, University of Washington School of Law; Adjunct Professor, Information School, University of Washington

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Law students could win $10,000!

Law students could win $10,000 if they enter and win this video contest sponsored by Access Group. See the information page for all the details and watch this YouTube video for inspiration. Access Group will select the 10 finalists and YouTube viewers will vote for the winner.

Good luck!

Hat tip to Hamline University Law Library for this.

Friday, April 11, 2008

National Library Week April 13-19

Please join the library staff in celebrating National Library Week. Beginning Monday, April 14th, the library will challenge law students with daily quizzes. Stop by to test your knowledge and you could be one of our lucky daily winners!

On Wednesday, April 16th, the library will offer law students amnesty from fines and serve coffee and cookies (while supplies last) to all. Throughout the week, students can guess the number of M&Ms in the jar.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

New Database: BNA's Intellectual Property Library

We are pleased to announce on and off campus access to BNA's Intellectual Property Library including United States Patents Quarterly (USPQ). USPQ is a comprehensive collection of court decisions and administrative rulings affecting intellectual property law. Major topics covered include patent, copyright,trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and computer software protection law. Tribunals reported include the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Customs & Patent Appeals, U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Claims Court, U.S. District Courts, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, U.S. International Trade Commission, State Courts (including District of Columbia) and other selected judicial bodies. Each decision is reported in full text and contains BNA headnotes and classification numbers.

The database also provides access to key intellectual property laws and regulations. Click here to register for e-mail updates when new content is published in the Intellectual Property Library. Click here to learn about the advanced features of the database including how to formulate and save your searches.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Get the Handout, PPT, or Streaming Video of the Summer Associate Training

If you missed the summer associate training or you need help remembering something that was covered check out the following.

You can watch a streaming video presentation of the training, get the handout, or the PowerPoint presentation.

These and other helpful resources are always available for you on the Law Library's page of research guides and pathfinders. We welcome your calls, e-mails, and visits over the summer. Let us help you turn in high quality work and impress your employers. Best of luck this summer!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Great Summer Job for Law Students

This summer OCU Law will host another group of law students from Nankai University from July 19 – Aug. 16. A very important part of the program is the group of OCU Law Student Ambassadors who are paid to attend events and spend time with the students.

Ambassadors are paid $10 per hour to accompany the students to professional and cultural events around OKC. You can use the professional events to promote yourself to potential employers as you will be meeting and having lunch with lawyers at the largest firms in town, Federal judges, OK Supreme Court Judges, the Attorney General, and other big shots in the legal profession.

Your admission and meals will be paid at all the cultural outings which included the following last year: Opening Banquet at Ted’s, Closing Banquet at Iron Star, Western Heritage Museum, Shopping and Movie Trip, Norman Trip, Guthrie Trip, Powwow, OKC Art Museum, Bombing Memorial, Redhawks Game, and dinner at faculty members houses.

Ambassadors who worked last year include: Lori Allen, Anitra Abdullah-Levy, Alex Tian, and Amber Webb. I think they had more fun than they expected – ask them about it. Some pictures and a description are available here.

Lori has graciously agreed to work as an ambassador again this year. This is a fun job that could help you make connections with the local bench and bar and your service to OCU would be greatly appreciated.

We plan to have 18 students, 3 professors and possibly some Chinese lawyers coming this summer. As I mentioned the job pays $10 per hour and you can expect to work a total of around 30-40 hours. The work is mostly in the afternoons and early evenings during the week and some weekends. We can work to accommodate your work or school schedules.

e-mail me ( if you are interested.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Database: Foreign Law Guide

The Law Library recently subscribed to the Foreign Law Guide database. This database briefly discusses the legal systems of more than 150 jurisdictions and includes citations to major codes and collections of case law including English language translations. For each jurisdiction there is a listing of major statutes and regulations by subject. This is THE SOURCE to use if you want to discover what the official sources of law for a particular jurisdiction are. Foreign Law Guide doesn't contain the text of statutes or cases. But it does lead you in the right direction to find these sources of law. Hypertext links to free and official sources are included throughout. OCU Law students and faculty have access to this database on campus and off from the Law Library's databases page.