Monday, April 30, 2007

Law Library Food Ban Temporarily Lifted

Hear ye, hear ye! As the library’s way of trying to ease the burden of finals just a tad, effective Tuesday, May 1, 2007 through Friday, May 11, 2007, the food ban shall be lifted in the law library! Light snacks (cookies, candy, crackers, etc.) will be permitted. The law library only asks that you clean up after yourself and that you do not eat near or over library materials and equipment, since no one wants to use a book filled with crumbs and we don’t want the law library to look like a pig-sty or your freshman year dorm room-some of you know what we mean. So, enjoy a candy bar while you are studying for contracts or a cookie while you are reviewing your outline for trusts & estates! We hope this reprieve will make your exams a bit more bearable :) Good luck on your finals and congratulations 3Ls!!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Westlaw & LexisNexis: Summer 2007 Access

Westlaw & LexisNexis: Summer 2007 Access
Unless you qualify (and register) under one of the categories below, your access to LexisNexis and Westlaw will be limited during Summer 2007 as follows:

Westlaw: Students will have 2 hours of access in June and 2 hours of access in July.
LexisNexis: Students’ LexisNexis IDs will be limited to career materials (as of June 1, 2007).
Full access to both services will generally resume August 1st, 2007.

Full Summer 2007 Access: You may be granted full access to LexisNexis and/or Westlaw during Summer 2007 if you meet one of the following criteria and register.

To register, go to LexisNexis. Click on "Summer Access" and choose one of the following criteria:

  • Summer School
  • Moot Court Research
  • Law Journal research
  • Research Assistant for Law Professor
  • Non-Profit Externship (includes Public Interest position)
  • Unpaid Internship/Externship (or small stipend)

To register, click on the "Need Summer Access" link on the right when you sign-on to Westlaw. Register for Summer access online by May 31, 2007. After May 31 you will have to call Westlaw (800.850.9378).

For full access, you must be doing one of the following:

  • Summer School
  • Moot Court Research
  • Law Journal research
  • Law Journal research
  • Research Assistant for Law Professor
  • Public interest intern/externships

Questions? Contact Kara Grimme (SIU Westlaw Account Representative, or Marantha Beatty-Brown (SIU LexisNexis Account Representative,

Ruger Is Law Dog of the Week

dog photo

This week's SIU Law Dog is Ruger, a five-year-old German Shepherd who belongs to Tammi and Tom Pinski. Tammi is a first-year SIU law student. Click on the photo here to see a larger photo.

To see photos of all previous Law Dogs and Cats of the Week, visit our Gallery of SIU Law Dogs and Cats, which you can find under Related Links in the sidebar. See our Call for Photos for instructions on submitting your SIU Law Dog or Cat photo.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Featured Book of the Week

This week's Featured Book is It’s Legal but It Ain’t Right edited by Nikos Passas and Neva Goodwin and published by the University of Michigan Press.

“Many U.S. corporations and the goods they produce negatively impact our society without breaking any laws. We are all too familiar with the tobacco industry's effect on public health and health care costs for smokers and nonsmokers, as well as the role of profit in the pharmaceutical industry's research priorities. It's Legal but It Ain't Right tackles these issues, plus the ethical ambiguities of legalized gambling, the firearms trade, the fast food industry, the pesticide industry, private security companies, and more. Aiming to identify industries and goods that undermine our societal values and to hold them accountable for their actions, this collection makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion of ethics in our time. This accessible exploration of corporate legitimacy and crime will be important reading for advocates, journalists, students, and anyone interested in the dichotomy between law and legitimacy.” - Book Description

It's Legal but It Ain't Right chronicles the abuse of power and privilege by businesses that defy the strictures of law and limits of regulation. Contributors stretch the conceptual boundaries of corporate deviance across a wide range of industries at a time when standards of corporate social responsibility and good corporate citizenship are in flux.” - William S. Laufer, Professor, The Wharton School of Business

It’s Legal but It Ain’t Right will be available to borrow after Friday, May 4, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Merlin and Lottie Are Law Cats of the Week

cat photo

This week's SIU Law Cats are Merlin and Lottie. They belong to Patty Lynn, who is a faculty secretary. Merlin is shown here. Click on his photo to see Lottie.

To see photos of all previous Law Dogs and Cats of the Week, visit our Gallery of SIU Law Dogs and Cats, which you can find under "Related Links" in the sidebar. See Submitting Your SIU Law Dog and Cat Photos for instructions.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Featured Book of the Week

This week's Featured Book is Eminent Domain Use and Abuse: Kelo in Context, which was edited by Dwight H. Merriam and Mary Massaron Ross and published by the American Bar Association.

“This book is a comprehensive analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London. It addresses the controversial and important question of when eminent domain may constitutionally be used to take property for projects that are not publicly owned and operated facilities, such as schools and town halls. The volume captures and conveys the context within which this debate is taking place as well as offers guidance concerning the Kelo decision itself and how it may be used.” - Book Description

“In the field of takings law, the two of us have rarely agreed about anything. However, we certainly agree that Kelo is an important decision whose impacts are yet to be fully seen. This book provides an excellent starting point for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the field before leaping to conclusions about where we ought to go from here.” - Michael M. Berger, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP

“Eminent Domain Use and Abuse, with its encyclopedic CD-ROM, is a complete research tool for anyone studying the background and effects of the Kelo decision. I commend the co-editors and ABA for the extraordinary effort before the decision and after to get this comprehensive book to market is such short order.” - Daniel R. Mandelker, Stamper Professor of Law, Washington University (St. Louis)

Eminent Domain Use and Abuse will be available to borrow after Friday, April 27, 2007

Listening to Podcasts


I have been listening to quite a few podcasts recently, and I have written about some of them here. One of the reasons that I listen to podcasts is to learn something that I might not otherwise have time to learn. I can listen to a podcast while I am doing something else, such as walking, driving, or working around the house.

Although you can listen to podcasts on your computer, I find that I have to get out of my office and away from my computer, or I will start checking my email or filing papers and get distracted by something that requires more than superficial verbal attention. Most of the podcasts that I listen to are somehow related to law librarianship, which is a wonderfully broad field. Besides podcasts by and about law librarians, there are podcasts about the practice of law, legal issues, news and current awareness, continuing education, legal research, government information, management, and career development.

For a list of podcasts to get you started, see Podcasts and Podcasting for Law Librarians, a column I wrote for the September issue of Law Library Journal.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Law Library Open House

photos from open house

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Library Week open house yesterday. We had games, candy and bottled water, and five drawings.

Congratulations to Candle Wester-Mittan on a well-planned event.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Help on Your Summer Job

small Gulliver reads large book

With the end of the semester just weeks away, you may be thinking about how you can do a great job and impress your employer. Here are some tips to help you if your summer job includes legal research.

ZiefBrief, from the librarians at the University of San Francisco's Law Library, has PowerPoint slides, outline, handout, and worksheets on effective Boolean (Terms and Connectors) searching.

You can listen to Berring's Legal Research Podcast episodes to review topics that we covered in Lawyering Skills. You can also find overviews of topics that we didn't have time to cover, such as Local Laws (e.g., municipal ordinances). I recommend the episode on Legal Research Strategy, which pulls it all together for you. The podcast series supplements the Berring on Legal Research DVD set, which is on reserve in the law library at DVD 0024.

A good place to begin your research is in secondary sources, which can give you background and context for your topic as well as citations to primary authorities such as cases, statutes, and regulations. In Lawyering Skills we used legal dictionaries, encyclopedia, treatises, ALRs, and legal periodicals. Ask the lawyer who gives you an assignment for recommendations on where to start. If your employer has a law library, the librarian will also be happy to make a recommendation. has podcast series on Career Development for professionals. The episode on Managing Your Boss begins with a discussion about how to receive assignments and an 11-point checklist to help you clarify each assignment and do what your boss expects. Even if you don't have time for the entire podcast, the first six minutes are worth a listen.

Evan Schaeffer, at the Illinois Trial Practice Weblog, provides the view from "the other end of the transaction" in Giving Legal Research Assignments to Others. He offers a helpful list of types of information that should be given with research assignments. If your boss forgets to give you information that would help you do the research, ask questions.

The SIU Law Library has research guides and links to recommended websites. You will have summer access to most of the electronic resources to which the law library subscribes if you connect with the Law VPN, so don't let your password expire. Westlaw and LexisNexis licenses limit use of student passwords to academic research. We will post instructions on how to register for summer access when we have them.

Unlike your Westlaw and LexisNexis passwords, you can use your CALI password over the summer. If you get an assignment on a topic that you haven't studied yet, check the CALI site to see if there is a lesson that will give you an overview.

The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law, by Mark Herrmann, is full of practical advice on the types of assignments a new associate is likely to receive, as well as general tips on succeeding in a law firm. Although some of the advice will only apply to permanent associates, at least the first half of the book also applies to summer employment. You can check out The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law in the law library at KF300 .H47 2006. See my previous post for links to excerpts available on the web.

(The image above is from from Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels: Into Several Remote Regions of the World pt. II, "A Voyage to Brobdingnag," ch. VII (Project Gutenberg EBook 2005) (Thomas M. Balliet ed., 1900 ed., originally published 1726).)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lexxie Is Law Cat of the Week

cat photo

This week's SIU Law Cat is Lexxie, who belongs to Jane Miller and lives with three other Miller cats. Click on the photo here to see more.

To see photos of all previous Law Dogs and Cats of the Week, visit our Gallery of SIU Law Dogs and Cats, which you can find under "Related Links" in the sidebar. See Submitting Your SIU Law Dog and Cat Photos for instructions.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

More on eDiscovery


After my previous post about eDiscovery, Prof. Basanta told me about an excellent article in the April issue of the Illinois Bar Journal: Scott A. Carlson and Ronald L. Lipinski, eDiscovery: A New Approach to Discovery in Federal and State Courts, 95 Ill. B.J. 184 (2007). The authors are partners at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in the litigation department and co-chairs of the firm's national eDiscovery practice group. Mr. Carlson is an SIU Law alumnus.

The Illinois Bar Journal available on the ISBA website to members only. The law library has recent issues on reserve at K9 .L52.

Friday, April 13, 2007

This Week's Featured Book

The Featured Book of the Week is Vault Guide to Law Firm Pro Bono Programs by Vault Editors and published by Vault, Inc.

“Service to clients who cannot afford legal counsel has always been an ethical imperative of lawyers. During the last few decades, large U.S. law firms collectively have devoted increasing resources to pro bono work, and nearly all have developed their own unique culture of service and methods of administration. This book was developed to provide law students and lawyers with the essential objective information necessary to meaningfully evaluate these firms' pro bono cultures and activities. Through an exciting partnership with New York University School of Law and pro bono coordinators at firms across the country, Vault brings you more than 140 descriptions of the inner workings of these firms' pro bono programs. Addressing such issues as typical pro bono assignments, recent pro bono clients, special training and supervision for pro bono cases, and average number of hours devoted to pro bono work, this guide gives you the real story behind the glossy firm pro bono materials. A must-have for all law students and lawyers who feel a legal career is not complete without giving back to those in need.” - Book Description

Vault Guide to Law Firm Pro Bono Programs will be available to borrow after Friday, April 20, 2007

Oral Arguments


As you prepare for your oral arguments, you may want to listen to oral arguments in real cases:

And here is some advice from judges:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Congratulations, Law Journal Editors

gold star

The rest of the editors for the 2007–08 Southern Illinois University Law Journal Board of Editors were announced today:

  • Lead Articles Editor: Luke DeSmet
  • Research Editor: Jeff Wright
  • Articles Editors: Andrew Fisk, Amy Ragan, Ryan Straw, Matt Thompson, Jennifer Walsh
  • Casenote and Comment Editors: Chris Blaesing, Natalie Gregory, Jessica Reese, Craig Runyon, Derek Ruzicka

They join the previously announced executive committee of the board, Amber Jeralds, John Persell, and Jessie Mahr. Congratulations, all!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Vote Tuesday

ballot box

Next Tuesday (April 17) is the Consolidated General Election in Jackson County. We have posted the lists of candidates on the easel near the front door of the law library.

Monday, April 09, 2007

You Need to Know About E-Discovery


Two recent changes have lawyers discussing electronic discovery with renewed interest. On December 1, 2006, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure became effective. The new rules provide specific procedures for discovery of electronically stored information (ESI).

In late November, Microsoft began release of its Vista operating system. The higher-end versions of Vista have at least three features that will affect e-discovery: shadow copies of all versions of files, increasing significantly the amount of potentially discoverable ESI; close tracking of each user’s activities on the system; and encryption that may make forensic examination impossible.

If you have been ignoring discussions of e-discovery, assuming that it will not apply to the types of cases you handle, check out the podcasts and articles below:

Lawyer2Lawyer: The Misconceptions of E-Discovery (Mar. 29, 2007), Legal Talk Network (33.1 min.).

Litigation Podcast: Ten Rules for Managing Electronically Stored Information (Mar. 29, 2007), ABA Section of Litigation (4.6 min.).

Conrad J. Jacoby, Separating E-Discovery Myths from Realities (Mar. 18, 2007),

Craig Ball, Microsoft Brings an Altered Vista to EDD (Mar. 14, 2007), Law Technology News.

Dennis Kennedy, Evan Schaeffer & Tom Mighell, Incorporating EDD into Your Depositions — the 5Ws of EDD Depositions (Mar. 2007),

For further information see:

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Captain Jack Sparrow Is Law Cat of the Week

cat photo

This week's SIU Law Cat is Captain Jack Sparrow ("Jack"), who belongs to Brittany Ledbetter, a first-year law student. Jack earned his pirate name by his tendency to sit on shoulders. He is about 20 months old. Brittany found Jack after he was seen crawling into the engine of her car. He has no tail, but a great personality. His favorite activities include chasing a laser pointer dot and sneaking out the front door to eat the grass. Brittany told us that Jack had great ambitions to be the Law Cat of the week. Click on the photo to see a larger photo of Jack.

To see photos of all previous Law Dogs and Cats of the Week, visit our Gallery of SIU Law Dogs and Cats, which you can find under "Related Links" in the sidebar. See Submitting Your SIU Law Dog and Cat Photos for instructions.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Berkman Center for Internet & Society Podcasts


The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School "is a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development." As part of its mission, the Berkman Center hosts lectures and discussions by professors, scholars, attorneys, activists, and other experts on a wide range of topics relating its mission.

The Berkman Center makes audio and video recordings of these lectures and discussions available for free at MediaBerkman. Recent podcasts have included:

  • “Napster's Second Life? Regulatory Dynamics of Virtual Worlds” with Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government
  • “Does Participatory Culture Lead to Participatory Democracy?” with David Weinberger, Research Fellow, Berkman Center
  • “Copyright and Access to Knowledge” with Mary Wong, Professor of Law, Franklin Pierce Law Center
  • “Opening Up to Open Access: What Can Other Disciplines Learn from the Sciences?” with Gavin Yamey, Senior Editor, PLoS [Public Library of Science] Medicine

The recordings are usually a little over an hour, but you can download the audio to your MP3 player and listen while you take a walk, ride a stationary bike, or just relax. So download a podcast and learn something interesting while you take a break.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Featured Book of the Week

This week's Featured Book is Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution by Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, and published by Alfred A. Knopf.

“This book, based on the Tanner lectures on Human Values that Justice Stephen Breyer delivered at Harvard University in November 2004, defines the term “active liberty” as a sharing of the nation’s sovereign authority with its citizens. Regarding the Constitution as a guide for the application of basic American principles to a living and changing society rather than as an arsenal of rigid legal means for binding and restricting it, Justice Breyer argues that the genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems...” - Book Description

“A brisk, lucid and energetic book, written with conviction and offering a central argument that is at once provocative and appealing. . . . Deserves a place of honor in national debates, now and in the future, about the role of the Supreme Court in American life.” - The New Republic

Active Liberty will likely influence not only public debate but also how lawyers craft their cases.” - The Wall Street Journal

Active Liberty will be available to borrow after Friday, April 13, 2007.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

SIU Law Student and Faculty Publications

gold star

Congratulations to SIU 3L students Sam Wright and Michael Ruel, each of whom had commentaries published in the January–March 2007 issue of the Journal of Legal Medicine. Professors Basanta and Kapp also contributed articles, and Professor Behan contributed a book review.

Current issues of the Journal of Legal Medicine are available on reserve in the law library and on Westlaw (password required).

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

PowerPoint Videos and Sharing

If you have attended many presentations for which the speaker used PowerPoint slides, you have probably seen some presentations that made good use of PowerPoint and too many that did not. For a humorous look at bad PowerPoint, watch Life After Death by PowerPoint, a video by comedian Don McMillan.

Another video, Le Grand Content, makes an almost surreal examination of "the omnipresent Powerpoint-culture in search for its philosophical potential. Intersections and diagrams are assembled to form a grand 'association-chain-massacre', which challenges itself to answer all questions of the universe and some more." See a review at Presentation Zen.

Finally, check out SlideShare, a fabulous site for sharing your presentation slides or viewing what other presenters are doing. You can also use SlideShare to embed your presentation in a blog or website. Search by topic tag, or browse the Latest, Most Viewed, Featured, Most Commented, Most Favorited, or Most Zinged. Enter the World's Best Presentation Contest, or vote on your favorites, by April 23.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Congratulations, Moot Court Competitors

gold star

Congratulations to the SIU Gibbons National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Team, who competed in Newark this past weekend. The team, comprised of 3L students Tim Geiger, Adam Ghrist, and Matt Rokusek, advanced to the quarter-final round.

Adam Ghrist was named the Second Best Oralist in the preliminary rounds of the competition.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Roy Is Law Dog of the Week

dog photo

This week's SIU Law Dog is Roy, a six-year-old miniature schnauzer who is the apple of Lisa David's eye. Lisa works in Career services and tells us that Roy's favorite food is chicken and he loves to ride in the car. Click on the photo here to see more of Roy.

To see photos of all previous Law Dogs and Cats of the Week, visit our Gallery of SIU Law Dogs and Cats, which you can find under Related Links in the sidebar. See our Call for Photos for instructions on submitting your SIU Law Dog or Cat photo.