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Law Library News for January 31, 2000

Mary Whisner, editor

Law Library News Archive


Who's That Bust?

by Simon Canick, Law Librarianship Student

You might have noticed a metal bust in the Library reading room. His face resembles Lenin�s and he�s perched atop a tall wooden altar, next to the microfilm cabinets. He has no nameplate, but this fellow deserves recognition. It�s Judge Thomas Burke, remembered as a founding father of the city of Seattle and the man for whom the University of Washington�s own Burke Museum was named.

Thomas Burke was born in Clinton County, NY, on December 22, 1948, but it was in Seattle that he spent his adult life. Shortly after his arrival in 1875, he was elected Probate Court Judge, a position he held for four years. In 1888, Judge Burke was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Washington Territory. By the time of his death in 1925, he had been a member of the Washington Bar for over 50 years.

Beyond his distinguished career as attorney and jurist, Judge Burke became known primarily for his role in the development of Seattle. He became a founding member of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and served on the Seattle School Board. In the 1880�s and 1890�s, he invested heavily in real estate and built a series of office buildings downtown. Convinced of his city�s bright future, Judge Burke persuaded the Great Northern Railroad to make Seattle its Pacific terminus. This event spurred vast expansion throughout the area and attracted thousands to settle here.

In 1885, a regional economic slump stirred up resentment against Chinese immigrants who had come to work in the timber and fishing industries. In Tacoma, rioters drove families from the city, then looted or burned their houses. By February 1886, it appeared that a similar course of events might occur in Seattle. Judge Burke spoke out against the expulsion of Chinese residents and became a target himself. Shotgun in hand, he and a group of the Seattle Home Guard held their ground against an angry mob. Within days, federal troops arrived and martial law was declared. As tensions eased, Judge Burke�s moral stand was vindicated and his place in the community had been secured.

If you�d like to learn more about Judge Thomas Burke, start with these books:

  • Charles T. Conover, Thomas Burke: 1849�1925 (1926). (CT275.B78525.C66 1926 at Historical Collection
  • Robert C. Nesbit, "He Built Seattle": A Biography of Judge Thomas Burke (1961). CT275.B78525 N47 1961 at Historical Collection

(You may request books from the Historical Collection, which is in the closed stacks in the basement, at the Circulation Desk.)

Rock 'n Roll Trivia Contest

Match the issues with their cases. (Note that you could do pretty well by guessing based on the case names alone. Of course, you can always look up a case or two if you are curious.) If you turn in your answers to the Reference Office by 3 p.m. Wednesday, you could win a prize. Please include your email address with your entry.

  1. Who can claim copyright in a guitar made in the shape of a performer�s symbol?
  2. Did 2 Live Crew infringe the copyright in "Oh, Pretty Woman"?
  3. Can a civil rights leader prevent Outkast from using her name in the title of a rap song?
  4. Can a record company with rights to Jimi Hendrix recordings sue another company that markets records purportedly featuring Hendrix performances?
  5. Was the Beatles song "My Sweet Lord" a copy of "He�s So Fine" by the Chiffons?
  1. Pickett v. Prince, 52 F. Supp. 2d 893, 909 (N.D. Ill. 1999) ("Summary judgment is therefore granted in favor of Defendant, who now has good reason to �go crazy� and �party like it�s 1999.�").
  2. PPX Enterprises, Inc. v. Audiofidelity Enterprises, Inc., 818 F.2d 266 (2d Cir. 1987).
  3. Parks v. LaFace Records, ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 1999 WL 1131972, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18910 (E.D.Mich. 1999).
  4. Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569 (1994).
  5. Bright Tunes Music Corp. v. Harrisongs Music, Ltd., 420 F.Supp. 177 (S.D.N.Y. 1976). (They were still working out the damages issues years later. See ABKCO Music, Inc. v. Harrisongs Music, Ltd., 944 F.2d 971 (2d Cir. 1991).)