Check it Out: A Cry in the Dark

A Cry in the Dark is the story of a mother, Lindy Chamberlain (Meryl Streep) who witnesses a wild dog carrying off her infant, and is charged with the murder of her child. Lindy endures a trial by court and persecution from the media as she maintains her innocence.


A Case for Exempting Minors from Prosecution for Prostitution in Washington State

The June issue of the Northwest Lawyer includes a persuasive article by Debra Boyer which argues that the criminal code should exempt minors from prosecution for prostitution offenses. The article describes state laws, policies, and reports about domestic minor sex trafficking.


Check it Out: Guilty as Sin

Guilty as SinA prosperous criminal attorney, Jennifer Haines (Rebecca De Mornay), represents a suave playboy David Greenhill (Don Johnson) who is accused of murdering his rich, socialite wife. Check out Guilty as Sin from the law library.


Featured Database: LegalTrac

Looking for a bar journal article that was published in 1985? There is a good chance that LegalTrac will be able to provide the information. There are over 1.6 million articles in the LegalTrac database. LegalTrac covers 1,400 legal periodicals and law-related topics in over 1,000 business and general interest periodicals. Coverage in LegalTrac begins in 1980 and it extends to the present. The database is an excellent source for current information, as it is updated on a monthly basis. All LegalTrac entries include bibliographical information. Additionally, LegalTrac provides abstracts, full text coverage, and images for some articles.

Interested researchers can access LegalTrac through the SU Law Library website. Information contained in the database can be accessed in a variety of ways. First, there is a traditional search engine, which allows researchers to search phrases by subject, keyword, or in the full text of documents. Next, researchers can search LegalTrac by browsing through different subjects. Finally, researchers can access InfoTrac by browsing through different publication types. The browse by publication tab includes a feature that allows the researcher to sort through different publications by target audience, publication format, and country of publication and language of publication.

LegalTrac is an excellent source of information for researchers looking for articles in both legal periodicals and periodicals on other topics. Using LegalTrac allows the researcher to trace the treatment of a particular topic in both legal and general interest periodicals.


Curious about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court?

The Federal Judicial Center site presents the history and scope of this special federal court.


The Non-Dischargeability of Student Loans

A classic research hypothetical given to new law students is “Can debt from student loans be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding?” After a short amount of research students are horrified to learn that while American Airlines can file for bankruptcy while sitting on $4 billion in the bank, student loan debtors can’t catch a break. A recent 9th Circuit ruling may offer a glimmer of hope.

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Primary Sources

This guide, by Bob Menanteaux, provides step by step instructions as to where to find primary resources (statutes, cases, administrative regulations) in the Law Library.  Also, if a professor wants you to use paper resources to research something, this is the How To Do It guide for you.


Check it Out: Suspect

In Suspect a judge commits suicide and his secretary is murdered. Public Defender Kathleen Riley (Cher) is assigned to defend the homeless deaf mute who is accused of murdering the secretary. Riley begins her search for the real killer and gets help from lobbyist juror, Eddie Sanger (Dennis Quaid), and the closer they get to the truth the higher the corruption goes.



Today in Legal History: Homer Plessy is Arrested – Leads to “Separate but Equal”

On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy was arrested when he refused to leave a “whites only” train car in New Orleans. Plessy went to court on the basis that the law (1890 Louisiana state law for racially segregated facilities) had violated his Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The case went to the Supreme Court, and in Plessy v. Fergson (163 U.S. 537), the court ruled that segregation was acceptable as long as there were “separate but equal” facilities available for African Americans.  The court’s decision legalized separate facilities based on race as long as they were “equal”.  The “separate but equal” doctrine was eventually overruled on May 17, 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (347 U.S. 483).

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John McKay Headed to Palestine

John McKay, former US Attorney, has been with SU Law school since 2007. He teaches very popular courses on National Security Law and the Constitutional Law of Terrorism. He also works with the externship program and helps students connect with attorneys, judges and other leaders in the legal profession. He will be moving to Ramallah in the West Bank to work for the US State Department coordinating Rule of Law initiatives.