Comparative State Court Data

The National Center for State Courts has published a new website that compiles data from state court systems and allows users to filter, sort and compare data between state courts. An excellent new resource for comparative research.

Copyright and Fair Use: The Second Circuit Decides Cariou v. Prince and the Gagosian Gallery

On 4/25/2013 the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit mostly overturned a lower court opinion on the nature of appropriation, the importance of transformative use and the protection of works of art under the federal copyright statutes. The 2011 federal district court case had found that artist Richard Prince’s appropriation of photographs by Patrick Cariou were not sufficiently transformative to warrant an exception to the fair use provisions. The Second Circuit mostly reversed this position in an opinion that is reverberating around the art world. Get a link to the opinion and a good dose of commentary from the Art Law Blog.

Check it Out: The Chamber

The Chamber is based on the novel by John Grisham. Young attorney Adam Hall (Chris O’Donnell) seeks to appeal the death penalty for his racist grandfather Sam Cayhall (Gene Hackman). Cayhill, an outspoken member of the KKK, is on death row for the murder of two children. Hall has 28 days to have the death sentence commuted and come to terms with who and what his grandfather is.

Copy Machines

The library has one self-service copy machine located in the reserve area on the 2nd floor. The copy machine accepts change, one and five dollar bills and Seattle University campus cards that have value added to the debit account. Value can be added to your campus card using eAccounts. Additional information is available on the “Campus Card” section of the OIT website. Cost for photocopies is $0.10 when using change and $0.055 when using your ID card.

Contact the circulation staff if you encounter any problems with the copy machine. Circulation staff can add paper and fix minor paper jams but cannot repair the machine. Staff will place a service call if required.

Today in Legal History: First White House Bowling Alley Opens

Truman opened the first White House bowling alley on April 25, 1947. It was a birthday present from his friends. Truman’s first frame was 7 pins (out of 10). One of these pins is now on exhibition with the Smithsonian. Truman wasn’t much of a bowler, and didn’t use the facility much, but White House employees did. White House employees, including Secret Service and custodial staff, started a league. Opposing teams were surprised to find out that the team was, in fact, from the White House.

Eisenhower closed the first alley to make a mimeograph room, but built a second two-lane alley in 1955 in the old Executive Building. President and Lady Bird Johnson made good use of the lanes. Nixon was an avid bowler, so much so he paid for another single-lane, built under the driveway leading to the North Portico of the White House.

The White House Bowling League lives on, although the White House lanes were no longer accessible to the League after 9/11.

More information is available at:

Washington State Library to follow the Blue Angels?

It is big news in Seattle that federal budget cuts have caused cancellation of the Blue Angels’ annual visit to Seafair. In a similar vein, state budget cuts may impact another local institution: the Washington State Library. In recent decades, the library has been moved off of the Capitol campus. Budget constraints threaten additional changes. Read the Seattle Times article describing the budget maneuvering that has accompanied the library’s travails.

Today in Legal History: Shakespeare Born

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” – 2 King Henry IV, 2

The exact date of Shakespeare’s birth is not known, but based on available evidence, April 23, 1564 was his probable birthday. Admittedly, historians also like the date because Shakespeare died on the same day.

Many of Shakespeare’s plays concerned lawyers or trials; Twelfth Night, Merchant of Venice, and Measure for Measure are but three examples.

More information is available at:

Today in Legal History: Your Two Cents!

From 1864 to 1873, the United States minted just over 45.5 million two-cent coins. In its history of “In God We Trust”, the Treasury Department notes that in the Act of April 22, 1864 (Chapter 66, 38 Congress, Session 1, 13 Stat. 54 (1861-1864)), Congress authorized the minting of the two-cent coin. The Mint Director was to develop the designs for these coins for final approval of the Secretary. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.

Featured Database: Hein Online Congressional

Many people have used Hein Online to access law review articles that are beyond the scope of coverage for Westlaw and Lexis, but the law reviews are just the tip of the iceberg of Hein Online’s content. One of the most useful collections on our Hein subscription is the U.S. Congressional
Collection. The U.S Congressional Collection on Hein has full text scans of the images for each page of the Congressional Record back to its inception in 1873. The collection also includes the three previous iterations of the Congressional Record: the Congressional Globe Vols. 1-46 (1833-1873); Register of Debates in Congress Vols. 1-14 (1825-1837) and the Annals of the Congress of the United States 1st Congress to 18th Congress (1789-1824).

Both the Daily Edition of the Congressional Record (the “newspaper” like edition that reports the daily events in Congress) and the Bound Edition (the formal edition that has been corrected, revised, and edited and can include later insertions by members of Congress) are available in the Congressional Collection.  Hein’s Daily to Bound Locator is a handy tool that cross-references the pagination between the two editions.

The handiest feature on the U.S. Congressional Collection, however, is that all versions of the Congressional Record going back to 1789 Annals of Congress are full text searchable. When you think that prior to our acquisition of the U.S. Congressional Collection, these materials had to be painstakingly researched using microfiche – this is, indeed, an incredible resource to have at our fingertips.  Hein Online is available through the law library.

Rapping librarian?!

This week we’ve seen parodies of Maroon 5’s “Payphone”, UW librarians take on Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”, an epic quest to return overdue library books à la Lord of the Rings, and even a library parody of the Old Spice commercials. But have you ever seen a librarian rap? YouTube user BradyBoy31 takes suggestions for his “Unexpected Rapstars” series, and in this video he gives us a glimpse at the Rapping Librarian. Awesome!