Check it Out: Night Court

In the sitcom Night Court, Judge Harold T. Stone presides over an unconventional Manhattan night court which deals with petty crime. The cases appearing before the court are bizarre, and Judge Harry Stone is assisted by an interesting group of clerks and District Attorneys who create as much chaos as the criminals on trial. Check out the complete first season of Night Court from the law library.

Borrow a Seattle Public Library Book on your Kindle

Bet you didn’t know you can do this!  This LibGuide tells you how to send electronic reading material to your Kindle or any device with the Kindle app.

Writing a Paper this Semester?

Here are some common questions and answers:

Today in Legal History: First Librarian of Congress Appointed

On January 29, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson appointed John J. Beckley as the first Librarian of Congress. Beckley was a political supporter of Jefferson and campaigned on his behalf. Beckley served as both the Clerk of the House of Representatives and as the Librarian of Congress. His salary as Librarian could not exceed two dollars a day.

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Today in Legal History: Brandeis Nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court

On January 28, 1916, President Wilson nominated “the people’s attorney,” Louis D. Brandeis, to the Supreme Court. Brandeis was a legal giant, widely recognized for his weighty influence on the law, his championing of liberal ideals, including the right to privacy, and his creation of the “Brandeis” brief in which factual data was incorporated into legal argument. Brandeis believed in utilizing the law to shape politics, society and economics, and championed many progressive causes. He also became a leader in the Zionist movement and confidante of Franklin Roosevelt.

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Washington Law Help

Washington Law Help, a website provided by the Northwest Justice Project and Pro Bono Net, provides comprehensive information regarding a variety of Washington legal issues.  On the site you’ll find discussions (and forms) for dealing with everything from family law to landlord tenant law, all with a low income/self-help perspective.WLH-Logo-Color-420x94

Featured Database: BNA

The over 100 titles in the BNA library provide news, analysis, and cases on legal and regulatory developments on a variety of subjects.  BNA newsletters can also help with interview preparation because they are aimed at working professionals, with concise information in specific practice areas.  Interviewing for an IP position?  There are a variety of reports on different facets of intellectual property, including international.  There are dozens on tax topics, health law, and corporate law.  Read up before the interview and you will be able to talk intelligently about current developments in specific practice areas.  For those of you writing articles, BNA newsletters are also helpful for identifying possible paper or article topics.  BNA newsletters are available through the library’s Databases page.

Check it Out: Scenes of a Crime

This film explores a nearly 10-hour interrogation that culminates in a disputed confession and an intense, high-profile child murder trial in New York state. In this true-crime documentary the directors Blue Hadaegh and Grover Babcock examine police video recordings to depict the complicated psychological dynamic between the police interrogators and the suspect. Check out Scenes of a Crime from the law library.

Today in Legal History: Poll Tax Abolished

On January 23, 1964, South Dakota ratified the 24th Amendment, abolishing the use of the poll tax as a requirement to vote in federal elections.  The 24th Amendment was the work of Senator Spessard L. Holland of Florida, who took up the cause in 1949.  Poll taxes were a discriminatory means of preventing newly enfranchised African Americans from voting by requiring voters to pay a fee to cast a ballot.  The fees were set high enough to keep poor African Americans from voting, but not high enough to be a hardship on middle class and affluent whites.

Today in Legal History: US v. E.C. Knight Decided

January 21, 1895. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act was passed by Congress in 1890 to stop large monopolies from controlling commerce.  The justification for the Sherman Act was the Commerce Clause.  In US v. E.C. Knight, 156 U.S. 1 (1895) the ability of the Sherman Act was heavily curtailed.  The Supreme Court made a distinction between commerce and manufacturing.  If the manufacturing was done within a single state, the Commerce Clause did not apply.  Until the Clayton Act in 1916, sugar and other processing monopolies like the one in US v. E.C. Knight could not be controlled by federal powers.