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Law Library News for January 17, 2000

Mary Whisner, editor

Law Library News Archive


Help! The Reference Office Is Closed!

by Cheryl Nyberg

Yes, it's true that the Reference Office is open fewer hours than the Law Library. Sometimes you will have a research or reference question when a reference librarian is unavailable.

You can help yourself by consulting legal research manuals, including Cohen, Berring & Olson's How to Find the Law, 9th ed. (KF240.C538 1989 at Reserve), and Jacobstein, Mersky & Dunn, Fundamentals of Legal Research, 7th ed. (KF240.J3 1998 at Reserve). Other research manuals focus on particular topics. The Guide to International Legal Research, 3d ed. (JX1297.G84 1998 at Reserve) is one of several manuals that deal with foreign and international law. Specialized Legal Research (KF240.S63 1987 at Reserve) contains chapters dealing with banking, securities, the UCC, and selected other topics. (These books are also available in the Reference Office -- but when the Reference Office is closed, it�s a lot easier to check them out from Reserve.)

The Gallagher Law Library website contains numerous guides under the Reference and Legal Research heading. Topics range from Chinese legal research to Washington State Legislative History. Many of these guides were originally prepared for class presentations and are updated when the class is taught again.

Another useful Internet source is Andrew Zimmerman's Research Guide at The guide identifies hundreds of legal research sources, websites, strategies, and LEXIS-NEXIS and Westlaw files--all available at the click of a mouse.

Here are a few entry headings chosen to illustrate the range of legal, business, and law-related information the Research Guide provides:

  • Accounting Principles Board
  • American Law Institute
  • Citizenship
  • Comfort Letters
  • ERISA Opinion Letters
  • Federal Register
  • Hague Convention
  • Lawsuits, Pending
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • No-Action Letters
  • Private Laws
  • SIC Codes
  • Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Treaties - U.S.
  • United States District Courts
  • West Digest System
  • World Trade Organization

The Hurricane

The new movie, The Hurricane, presents the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer who was convicted in 1967 of killing three people in a New Jersey bar. After two trials and a tangled series of appeals, Carter remained in prison until a federal judge granted his habeas corpus petition in 1985. A New Jersey court dismissed the indictment in 1988, 22 years after the shootings.

If you would like to learn more about the story behind the movie, see our research guide. It links to the movie�s official website, cites a speech Carter gave that was published in a law review, lists the published cases, and links to NPR�s website so you can listen to Nina Totenberg�s story. It even links to a site with the lyrics to the Dylan song: "Here comes the story of the Hurricane,/ The man the authorities came to blame/ For somethin' that he never done."

Denzel Washington Trivia Contest

A number of Denzel Washington�s movies have had legal connections (if you stretch "legal" to include law enforcement and social activism). Match his roles with the movies listed below. Turn in your answers to the Reference Office by Wednesday at 2:00 (with your email address, please) and you could win a prize.

Washington played . . . in . . .
1. An investigative reporter who helps uncover a plot to kill Supreme Court Justices. a. Courage Under Fire (1996)
2. A South African activist. b. Cry Freedom (1987)
3. An American civil rights leader. c. Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
4. An unemployed aircraft worker who investigates a murder in 1940s L.A. d. Malcolm X (1992)
5. A soldier investigated in the murder of a drill instructor. e. The Pelican Brief (1993)
6. An FBI agent investigating bombings in New York. f. Philadelphia (1993)
7. A lawyer who represents someone who lost his job because of AIDS. g. The Seige (1998)
8. An officer investigating the death of an officer nominated for a medal. h. A Soldier�s Story (1984)