Library

Today in Legal History: Salem Witch Trials

On February 29, 1692, the first arrests were made in the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem court of Oyer and Terminer (hear and determine) accepted evidence that no modern court would: spectral evidence and witch marks. Spectral evidence involved reports of what would sound like hallucinations to modern jurors. The witnesses would describe their visions of the accused cavorting in their spectral forms. Witch marks were evidence that animal familiars had been suckling on their master. These marks often looked like moles, bruises, and birthmarks.

There were other ways in which the Salem trials would not meet constitutional muster. The accused were not allowed an advocate or witnesses on their own behalf. Though they were allowed to present evidence, speak on their own behalf, and question their accusers, without counsel, the accused were ill prepared to defend themselves effectively. No appeals were available.

Although witchcraft was not actually a crime at the time of the first trial, criminalizing witchcraft was made retroactive. Accused awaiting trial had to pay their own prison expenses, including the shackles; if they could not, prisoners were kept in small rooms the size of coffins.

The first trial was delayed because one judge felt the witch marks and spectral evidence were inadequate proof. Nathaniel Saltenstall resigned the bench in protest.

Six months later, the hysteria ended after the main accusers denounced the new governor’s wife as a witch. The governor shut down the proceedings as a result. Those who had lost their property did not regain it. Nineteen had been hanged.

More information is available at:


 

Links to Government Research Resources

From THOMAS to FedWorld, here’s every link you’ll ever need to do governmental research online for free. The Federal Government puts most of this information online at no charge; this research guide tells you where to find it.


 

Commercial Law and the Uniform Code

Oh yes, there’s much more to the UCC than you learned in Contracts; the law school has excellent classes in Commercial Law and Payment Systems, but this research guide can help you get going with basic UCC questions and how they apply to Washington law.  The guide, by Kelly Kunsch, also features a carefully curated list of hornbooks and secondary sources for various aspects of commercial law in case you want to know more but aren’t quite ready to take Payment Systems … yet.


 

Writing a Paper this Semester?

Here are some common questions and answers:


 

Martin Luther King Papers Project

In 1985, Coretta Scott King asked Clayborne Carson, a Stanford historian to edit and publish her husband’s papers.  Hosted by Stanford University, the King Papers Project is a joint venture of Stanford, the King Center and the King Estate.  The Project website contains the full-text of sermons, speeches, correspondence and other writings of Dr. King.


 

Corporations

So you decided to take Business Entities this semester and you’re feeling a burning desire to know more about corporate law, or maybe more about Washington-specific corporate law? This research guide, by Kelly Kunsch, is packed with everything you need, from where to find forms for corporate formation to useful journals relating to corporate law (check out the Securities Regulation Law Journal for possible vacation reading!) or where to find Washington corporation registrations online.


 

King County and MLK

King County was so named long before Martin Luther King was born. It was originally named after Vice President William Rufus de Vane King. In 2005, the Washington legislature enacted a law changing the county’s namesake to civil rights leader, Dr. King. In 2006, the County Council changed the county logo to reflect that change. You can find out more about William R. King and the process of the change at the county’s website.


 

Administrative Law

Written by Tina Ching, this research guide provides an introduction to Washington and Federal administrative codes and processes.  It is useful for general administrative law issues and questions, and features a number of secondary sources which can help you explore the subject further.


 

Today in Legal History: Law & Order Premiered

September 13, 1990 is when it all started–one hour, two “separate but equally important groups,” detectives, prosecutors, New York City crime, stories ripped from the headlines, and that sound.  Is it a Donk Donk?  A Clang Clang?  Where did they get that sound?  And what are we going to do after twenty solid years of knowing that we could spend at least one hour of our week (okay, by the end, almost every hour of our week if you include cable) engrossed in a perplexing criminal investigation and prosecution, trying to pretend it was somehow school-related?

Law_Order_Season_One_castIf your interest in Law & Order extends into the academic, or if you are considering a career in criminal defense law, check out Elayne Rapping’s Law and Justice as Seen on TV.  A professor  of both women’s and media studies, Rapping turned her analytical mind to the law on television when her son became a public defender and she wanted to figure out why there was so much negative reaction to his career choice.   She dedicates the book to all the public defenders who never appear on television, but still toil daily “in the Sisyphean effort to make our government live up to the democratic rhetoric of its own Constitution.”

More information is available at:


 

1L Information

We met many of the new students during the recent library 1L orientation, but if you were unable to attend, here is a summary of some of the most important things we covered:

Library Survival Guide
If you need information about law school in general, briefing a case, or outlining, consult our new student guide at http://lawlibguides.seattleu.edu/newstudent.

Study Aids

The library has a variety of study aids located in our reserve section including: Nutshells, Hornbooks, Examples and Explanations, Emanuel Law Outlines and Gilbert Law Summaries.  For specific titles see our Finding Study Aids Guide at: http://lawlibguides.seattleu.edu/studyaids.

Casebooks
The library maintains one copy of each required first year casebook in the Reserve area for two-hour check-out (no overnight checkouts).  The first year casebook collection is to be used for quick reference or limited photocopying and is not intended to be a substitute for purchasing casebooks.  The library does not purchase copies of required supplementary materials/handouts or upper division course materials.  

Study Rooms

Study rooms can be reserved for your study group.  It’s a two hour maximum per day per group.  For more information, visit: http://www.law.seattleu.edu/library and click on the links under Study Rooms and Equipment Requests.