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Law Library News for  November  29, 1999

Mary Whisner, editor

Law Library News Archive


Exams on the Web

As exam season approaches, some students find it helpful to look at exams from prior years to get a feeling for how their professors structure them. To make this process easy for you, the Law Library loads exams on the web. These exams are restricted to UW users, so you need to be using a UW computer (either here are through the UW Internet Connectivity Kit).

The Law Library posts whatever exams professors give us. If you do not find exams from your professor, mention it to the professor. Some professors choose not to have their exams loaded; some may have forgotten to give the Library a copy to load.

Speaking of exams, you might want to look at this new book: Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams, by Richard Michael Fischl & Jeremy Paul. KF283.F57 1999 at Reserve

Professor William Andersen has created a computer-assisted exercise to help students develop exam-taking skills. CALI exercises are loaded on the computers in the Computer Lab. They are also available on the CALI website. To get the password for downloading exercises from the website, contact lawhelp@u.

Stalking the Elusive 50-State Survey

by Cheryl Nyberg

Have you ever wondered which states protect genetic test results from insurance companies? What about differences in the states' laws on stalking, drunk driving, or limited liability companies? Which states have already enacted laws on digital signatures or ticket-scalping?

This type of question strikes terror in the hearts of legal researchers (and many summer associates!). No master index to all of the states' laws exists and compiling this information, state-by-state, is a time-consuming task. The availability of state codes online (via LEXIS-NEXIS and Westlaw) is an incomplete solution because of the peculiar language of statutes and the great variety of terms used by legislators in writing laws on the same subject.

Like most problems in legal research, this one has a solution, actually several solutions. They all come under the heading of "Let someone else do the work for you!" The following list contains books that include state law comparisons on multiple topics and bibliographies that identify and describe sources that deal with individual topics.

  • Richard Leiter, National Survey of State Laws, 3d ed. (KF386.N38 1999 at Reference Office) contains a series of tables comparing state laws on topics ranging from abortion and antitrust to wills and whistleblowers. General categories include business and consumer law, criminal law, education, employment, family law, civil law, real estate, and taxes. The tables include citations to state statutes. New editions of this book appear every other year.
  • Martindale-Hubbell Law Digest, 2 vols. (KF190.M34 at Reference Office) contains state-by-state summaries (with citations) of many subjects, including attorneys, banking, commercial code, corporations, garnishment, limitation of actions, personal property, sales, trade secrets, and witnesses. These volumes are updated and republished annually.
  • Jon S. Schultz, Statutes Compared: A U.S., Canadian, Multinational Research Guide to Statutes by Subject (KF1.S355 1991 at Reference Office) identifies looseleaf services and annual publications that identify or compare U.S. state laws, the laws of the Canadian provinces, or foreign countries. It is organized by subject.
  • Cheryl Rae Nyberg, Subject Compilations of State Laws: An Annotated Bibliography (KF1.S93 at Reference Office, 1960-date, annual). This bibliography identifies state-by-state law compilations that appear in law review articles, court cases, looseleaf services, treatises, government publications, and recently, websites. Start with the latest volume and look for your topic. Since each book contains sources that are not repeated in other volumes in the series, you may want to consult several of the earlier volumes if your subject is not covered in the latest book. Or ask me if I have any compilations on your topic in my current database.

Hundreds of state law comparisons are published every year. That makes it very likely that someone else's work can save you lots of time � if you know where to look. And now you know!

WTO Trivia Contest

Have you heard that the World Trade Organization is coming to town? Just kidding -- I know you know. Check our website for Cheryl Nyberg�s guide to WTO information on the web (including links to organizations that are opposed to the WTO).

To enter the trivia contest complete the statements below and turn in your answers to the Reference Office by noon Friday. Please include your email address so we can tell you when you�ve won a prize.

  1. The Seattle Host Organization operates under the auspices of ___.
    1. the Mayor�s Office
    2. the Washington Council on International Trade
    3. the Downtown Seattle Association
    4. the National Lawyers Guild
  2. On November 16, 1999, President Clinton issued an executive order that
    1. requires an environmental review of trade agreements.
    2. requires a human rights review of trade agreements.
    3. authorizes the arrest of WTO protestors.
  3. The WTO includes ____.
    1. 7 member nations and 107 observer nations
    2. 91 member nations and 3 observer nations
    3. 134 member nations and 34 observer nations
  4. Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC), Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), American Bar Association (ABA), American Soybean Association (ASA), Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL - USA), Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry, Indigenous Peoples' Biodiversity Network (IPBN), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Pesticide Action Network, Snack Food Association, and Zimbabwe Women's Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN) are:
    1. vendors in the WTO�s exhibit hall.
    2. a few of the NGO�s attending the WTO conference.
    3. subcommittees of the WTO.
  5. The body that ruled on United States - Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products on October 12, 1998, was
    1. a GATT panel.
    2. the WTO Appellate Body.
    3. the World Court.
    4.  the United States Court of International Trade.

Click here for answers.