Check it Out: A Few Good Men

Written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Rob Reiner, A Few Good Men is a military courtroom drama about a Navy lawyer, Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), who defends two Marines accused of murdering a fellow Marine. Lt. Kaffee is assisted by Lt. Commander JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore), who convinces Kaffee to take the case to court. As they try to uncover the truth they are confronted with the intricacies of loyalty, honor, and sacred codes.

Coal Transportation in the Northwest

Our friends at the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington have compiled a descriptive online guide to the issues around coal transportation in the Northwest. The guide includes local government actions, environmental review of proposed projects, and media coverage.

Today in Legal History: Tom Bradley Elected First African American Mayor of Los Angeles

On May 29, 1973, Thomas Bradley became the first African American mayor of Los Angeles. Bradley had served in the Los Angeles police department for over 20 years, and earned his law degree from Southwestern Law School. In 1963, he was elected to the Los Angeles City Council, being one of the first African Americans to serve on the City Council. In the 1960s, America was divided by race, social issues, and politics. In the midst of these tensions Bradley decided to run for mayor in 1963. He was defeated by Sam Yorty. Bradley ran again in 1973 and this time he won becoming the first black mayor of Los Angeles.

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Looking at the Law in all 50 States

This guide is a veritable bonanza for legal researchers in finding work that has already been done so you don’t reinvent the wheel.

Check it Out: The Client

In The Client, based on the John Grisham novel, an 11-year-old boy (Brad Renfro) witnesses the confession and suicide of a mob lawyer. With the mob after him and a federal attorney (Tommy Lee Jones) who wants him to tell everything he knows, he must find a way to protect himself. He hires attorney Reggie Love (Susan Sarandon), who puts her career and life on the line to help him.

Legal Ethics Links

Legal professionals are expected to follow the Rules of Professional Conduct.  This research guide provides you with a whole array of resources in this important area, including ethics opinions, WSBA Disciplinary Notices, and Freivogel on Conflicts.  It’s a must-read for guidance in professional responsibility.

Today in Legal History: U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton

The state of Arkansas imposed term limitations through Amendment 73, a ballot measure that prohibited the listing of any person who served the maximum terms allowed in the U. S. House or Senate on the general election ballot. Soon after the measure was adopted in 1992, Bobbie Hill, the League of Women Voters, and U.S. Representative Ray Thornton filed suit in Arkansas state court alleging that Amendment 73 violated Article I, sections 2 and 3 of the U.S. Constitution.

On May 22, 1995, the Supreme Court decided, in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton (514 U.S. 779), that the states could not add to or change the qualifications listed in the U.S. Constitution for those elected to Congress. The Supreme Court ruled that the qualifications listed in the Constitution are inclusive, and therefore no state could impose additional qualifications either directly or indirectly.

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Online Index to Treaties

The FLARE Index to Treaties is a searchable database of information about over 2,000 multilateral and bilateral treaties. The database provides citation format, publication information, and links to full text. Information in the database is derived from a host of sources, including the British Yearbook of International Law, the United Nations Treaty Series Index, and international organizations. The database is supported by major United Kingdom libraries, including Cambridge, Oxford, and the British Library.

Featured Database: Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

Looking for international or foreign law materials? The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP) is now available through Hein Online from the library’s database page. IFLP indexes articles and book reviews from more than 500 legal journals, covering international law, comparative and foreign law, and the law of many foreign jurisdictions. The fully searchable database (1985-present) also includes access to the full text of more than 100 journals. Earlier content (1960-1984), not yet part of the fully searchable database, is available in searchable PDF format via the “Print edition” selection button.

The user-friendly interface allows both searching and browsing (by country, subject, or publication title). And you can “search within” search results, as well as refine results by language, type of material, or date.

Today in Legal History: Brown v. Board of Education Decided

On May 17, 1954, in a monumental civil rights victory, the U. S. Supreme Court unanimously decided in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The court argued that segregation of children based solely on race denied black children equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.  The “separate but equal doctrine handed down by the court in Plessy v. Fergson (163 U.S. 537), had been applied in three federal district courts’ decisions to uphold segregation in public schools. The Supreme Court, however, argued that the segregated schools could never be “equal” as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and were therefore unconstitutional.

A year later, the Supreme Court published procedures requiring all public school systems to fully integrate. The Brown v. Board of Education decision significantly aided the civil rights movement, and eventually led to the desegregation of all public facilities.

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