Library

Today in Legal History: FDR Wins 4th Term

Franklin Delano Roosevelt won a fourth term on November 7, 1944. Other than Franklin Roosevelt, no president has ever served more than two terms.  George Washington stepped down after two terms and many other presidents followed his example.  Teddy Roosevelt ran for a third term but lost that election.  After FDR’s tenure, the 22nd Amendment was ratified, limiting the term of a presidency.

More information is available at:


 

Today in Legal History: Elton John wins Defamation Suit

On November 4, 1993, the award-winning singer won a $518,000 (£350,000) defamation claim against the Daily Mirror for publishing a false article about his eating habits. The transcript of the appeals case, John v. MGN LTD, reveals that on appeal, the award for exemplary damages was reduced because the newspaper did not attack Mr. John‘s reputation as an artist.

With roots stretching back to the Roman Empire, defamation is a tort which is steeped in common law history. While Mr. John sued in Great Britain, many of the elements of defamation are the same in our legal system. Available to students and library patrons, The Making of Modern Law is an excellent database for researching historic common law doctrine. The database contains over 21,000 legal treatises covering a period between 1800 and 1926.

On a more practical note, those interested in the size of jury verdicts in should check out this link to a site maintained by the UW Law Library. The site lists a number of Westlaw and Lexis databases containing information on jury awards. Those without access to Lexis or Westlaw need not fret. There are a number of free print resources on jury awards that are available at both the SU and UW Law Libraries. One excellent, continuously updated, print resource for jury awards is Northwest Personal Injury Litigation Reports,  available in the reserve section of the SU Law Library.


 

Today in Legal History: Women Get the Vote in Wyoming

On September 30, 1889, the Wyoming legislature approved its state constitution with a provision giving women the right to vote (Wyoming was admitted to the union in 1890). Before becoming a state, Wyoming had been the first territory to give women the right to vote in 1869, followed by the Utah Territory in 1870 and the Washington Territory in 1883 (Washington’s Supreme Court later found that legislation unconstitutional). Washington’s Territorial Legislature had actually introduced the first women’s suffrage bill in 1848, but that bill was narrowly defeated.

While most of the activism for women’s suffrage was on the east coast, the western states were far more responsive to passing laws to enfranchise women. By 1914, most of the western states had given women voting rights while Kansas was the only state east of the Rockies to do so. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, giving all female American citizens the right to vote.

To find out more see:
• Suzanne M. Marilley, Woman Suffrage and the Origins of Liberal Feminism in the United States, 1820-1920 (Harvard U. Press 1996) LAW-Culp Collection (3rd Floor-Range 3A) JK1896.M37 1996
• Ellen Carol DuBois, Woman Suffrage and Women’s Rights (NYU Press 1998) LAW-Culp Collection (3rd Floor-Range 3A) HQ1236.5.U6D83 1998
• Anne Firor Scott, One Half the People: The Fight for Woman Suffrage (U. Illinois Press 1982) LAW-Culp Collection (3rd Floor-Range 3A) JK1896.S36 1982
• Eleanor Flexner, Century of Struggle: The Woman’s Rights Movement in the United States (Harvard U. Press 1996) LAW-3rd Floor HQ1410.F6 1996


 

Featured Database: Versus Law

Like Westlaw and Lexis, Versus Law provides an excellent source of information for researchers interested in looking for information on primary sources of law. Versus Law covers appellate cases, statutes and administrative regulations at both the state and federal levels. Additionally, the database covers Federal District Court cases from 1950 to the present. Finally, Versus Law includes a collection of tribal cases from selected tribes located throughout the United States.

Unlike Westlaw or Lexis, Versus Law does not include any annotations in the cases or statutes. While there is no editorial commentary, Versus Law does provide the full text of opinions and statutes, including footnotes.

Information is very easy to access on Versus Law. Researchers can begin by simply clicking on the search tab and then clicking on the type of information that they are looking for. Versus Law allows researchers to search through primary materials by entering terms into a search engine. Additionally, Versus Law allows researchers to search by citation.

Versus Law is a great place to start for researchers without access to Westlaw or Lexis due to cost issues. Full access to all of the databases on Versus Law costs much less than either Westlaw or Lexis. Thus, it is an excellent source for researchers on a budget.


 

Featured Database: The Making of Modern Law

The Making of Modern Law database contains scanned images of over 22,000 legal treatises on British and American law published between 1800 and 1922.  Check out this great historical resource on the library database page.


 

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.


 

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.


 

Featured Database: Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP)

Are you looking for the most recent articles in a particular area of the law?  The Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP) is an index of recently published legal periodicals that is maintained by the UW Law Library.  The CILP index is updated on a weekly basis and it includes an archive that stretches back to 1999.  CILP contains citations to articles divided by subject area and tables of contents for each periodical that is cited.  Individuals with access to Westlaw or Lexis will want to click on the html version of the weekly lists as they include links to the articles in those databases.  Check it out on our library database page.


 

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.


 

Featured Database: Subject Compilation of State Laws – Fifty State Surveys

Have you ever wondered where to find a comparison of state laws governing the proceeds from the sales of all those lottery tickets you buy hoping to pay off your student loans?  Or how various states’ laws on the use of cell phones while driving compare?  If so, Cheryl Nyberg’s Subject Compilations of State Laws (LAW-Reserve KF1.N93) is the place to start.

Subject Compilations is an annual bibliography that is divided into legal topics as diverse as lotteries, traffic, taxation and hundreds more. This resource provides citations to legal publications (including law review articles, books, court briefs and opinions, federal and state government publications, loose-leaf services and websites) where multi-state information can be found.

In addition to the bound volumes of this set, the law library has a comprehensive searchable database of the entire set available through Hein Online. This database contains references to 50-state surveys and allows you to link directly to journals found within Hein Online or the Web.  The Subject Compilations database is searchable across a number of fields, including subject, journal title, title, creator/author, added authors, court, or entry number (entry numbers are used in cross references and in the author and publisher indexes).  It can be accessed on the library’s subscription database listings, under Hein Online.

Still looking? Westlaw and LexisNexis also offer fifty state survey products.  Additionally, the book, National Survey of State Laws. (LAW-Reserve KF386.N38) provides detailed charts of state legislation on popular topics.  The charts make it easy to compare state approaches.  For assistance, please contact the reference desk at x4225 or lawreference@seattleu.edu.