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.


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.


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.


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.

More information is available at:


Check it Out: Hart’s War

Hart's WarLt. Tommy Hart is a second year Harvard Law student who enlisted to fight in World War II, but instead of fighting he was taken prisoner by the Germans. When a black Tuskegee airman, Lt. Lincoln Scott (Terrence Howard), is accused of murdering one of the other prisoners, Col. William McNamara (Bruce Willis) convinces the German Col. Visser to allow the prisoners to hold their own trial. Lt. Hart tries the case and finds out Col. McNamara’s true intentions for staging the trial. Check out Hart’s War from the law library.


Access to the Courts for Persons with Limited English Proficiency

The National Center for State Courts has created a new site for its Language Access Services Section. With everything from resources to program administrators to schedules and information about interpreter exams, this site should be a first stop when researching language access to the courts.


Washington Legislative History

Need to know how to research Washington legislative history? Just like Federal legislative history helps interpret what a law means, state legislative history helps too.  The Washington Legislative History Research guide by Tina Ching can walk you through the process of researching legislative history in Washington, as well as how to handle LEXIS and Westlaw searches for best results when looking at Washington law, and even provides a few links to interesting reading like Edward Seeberger’s Sine die: a Guide to the Washington State Legislative Process.  When doing your Legal Writing papers or out in the real world, if you need legislative intent, this guide will help you find it.


On-Line Indian Law Resources

Lupe Ceballos and the Center for Indian Law and Policy prepared this excellent guide of resources on Indian law, Indian rights and treaties, and rights of tribal nations. This guide is useful for everyone from students on their first day in their federal Indian law class to practitioners working in the field.