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Law Library News for May 15, 2000

Mary Whisner, editor

Law Library News Archive


Displays of Faculty Publications

by Mary Ann Hyatt

Please see the new faculty publication displays honoring Professors Joan M. Fitzpatrick (Jeffrey and Susan Brotman Professor) and William R. Andersen (who will succeed Prof. Stoebuck as Judson Falknor Professor), in the first floor cases. Thanks to Paige Bentley in the Law Library for a very nice presentation. Watch the cases for more on our distinguished faculty!

Low Cost Alternatives to LexisNexis & Westlaw. Part 2: VersusLaw & CD Law

by Nancy McMurrer

Last week, we looked at Loislaw, one of three commercial low-cost alternatives that you should explore while in law school. This week, we will explore VersusLaw and take another look at CD Law; both of these are local companies.


VersusLaw is at To register, click on the Law Students button on the left side of the page. Choose the Register button on the top left of the page. Read the restrictions carefully and then fill out the form. Within 24 hours you will be sent confirmation of your account and a password by email. Note that student use of VersusLaw is limited to academic purposes. It may NOT be used in your paid job � unless, of course, your employer subscribes and provides you with a password.

Even without a password, you can explore the resources of VersusLaw and do a search in any of its databases. You will generate a list of documents from your search but will not be able to look at any of them without logging on. VersusLaw contains decisions from all 50 state appellate courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal Courts of Appeals, and two district courts. It has the state code and administrative code for Washington, but no other states. The U.S.C. and C.F.R. are not available. VersusLaw includes one secondary source, Steven D. Imparl's Internet Law: The Complete Guide; this source is not available with our academic contract. It has also started adding tribal court decisions, with decisions from a tribal court in Washington forthcoming.

CD Law

The third source you should explore if you plan to practice in Washington is CD Law. It is available to you in the Law Library. Since you do not have an individual subscription, you will need to come to the Law Library to use this product (unless your employer subscribes), but you can use CD Law for both your classes and your job! There is a direct link from the three computers just outside the Reference Office on the second floor. If they are not available, ask a reference librarian to sign you on at another terminal.

CD Law's coverage of Washington materials is extensive. It includes Washington appellate judicial opinions, several agencies' administrative decisions, court rules, RCW, WAC, State Register, legislative materials (including committee reports), Attorney General opinions, ethics opinions, several city and county codes, and more. To take a look at the detailed coverage information about the databases, go to Look at the list of hot links at the bottom of the page, and click on Web Database Currency.

When you use CD Law in the Law Library, the first screen you see will have a short list of the most popular databases. To see the complete list, always pick All Databases, the last choice in the database list. You may then choose one or more databases to search.

CD Law, VersusLaw, and Loislaw have sophisticated search engines and all three provide detailed help for constructing searches. All three also have information about their costs, which is easily located at their web sites. Use these three now, while in law school, to see if they might be useful alternatives to the more extensive and expensive coverage of WESTLAW and LEXIS-NEXIS.

For an overview of these products, join us for a lunchtime demonstration on Monday, May 15, at 12:30 in room 139. Hands-on training sessions will be in the Legal Research Training Center (Room 29) on Thursday and Friday:

  • May 18, 12:30 � Loislaw, CD Law
  • May 18, 1:30 � VersusLaw, CD Law
  • May 19, 12:30 � VersusLaw, CD Law
  • May 19 1:30 � Loislaw, CD Law

No sign up is necessary: just come. (Please do not bring food or drink into the Legal Research Training Center.)

Summer Access to LexisNexis & Westlaw

Did you miss last week�s announcement about getting access to LEXIS-NEXIS and WESTLAW during the summer? You can read it on the bulletin board near the Reference Office.

WSBA Demographics

What percentage of Washington lawyers are men? How many lawyers are under 30? How many are African American? The Washington State Bar Association has recently posted such demographic information on its website.

International IP Research Guide

by Cheryl Nyberg

The Law Librarians' Resource Xchange has recently published a guide on "Researching Intellectual Property Law in an International Law Context," by Stephanie Weigmann, a reference librarian at Boston University School of Law.

The guide describes the role of several international and intergovernmental organizations and agreements, including the European Union, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the World Trade Organization, and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS). Significant publications, treaty collections, and websites are cited.

Also useful is a country-by-country list of web-based IP resources for more than sixty countries. The guide includes materials about copyright, patent, and trademark: laws and regulations, court decisions, government agencies, and other related websites.

By the way, LLRX offers a treasury of legal research guides and interesting news from the legal information field. Among the topics covered are international trade law resources, European legal databases, court docket systems, immigration law, medical literature, comparisons of KeyCite and Shepard's, company information, and expert witnesses.

Syttende Mai Trivia

by Mort Brinchmann

Turn in your answers to the Reference Office by Thursday at 5:00 to become eligible for a prize.

  1. The 17th of May is Norway's National Day (honoring the proclamation of the constitution on May 17, 1814), one of eleven legal holidays in Norway. Which of the following does not make the list?
    1. White Monday
    2. Maundy Thursday
    3. Thirsty Wednesday
    4. Good Friday

One handy source for quick answers to such basic legal questions for foreign countries is the Martindale Hubbell International Law Digest (KF190.M35 at Reference Office, Reserve) (also available on LEXIS-NEXIS), which includes summaries for about 90 countries and provinces as well as the European Union. (Two companion volumes digest laws for each of the fifty states (U.S.) and set out the texts of selected Uniform Laws promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.)

  1. According to the Norway Law Digest, which of the following accurately states Norwegian Law:
    1. "Attorneys from EEA [European Economic Area]-countries may represent clients in Norway. If knowledge of Norwegian language is satisfactory, attorney may litigate before courts."
    2. "There are no restrictions on marriage with a foreigner."
    3. "Norwegian aircrafts may not be owned by aliens."
    4. Amazingly, a, b, and c are all true!
  2. Which of the following pairs of Supreme Court justices are known as "The Minnesota Twins"?
    1. Harlan Fiske Stone and Salmon Chase
    2. Hugo "The Mind" Black and Byron "The Body" White
    3. Harry Blackmun and Warren Burger
    4. Robert Bjork and William Rehnqvist
  3. Norway's Parliament is called "Stortinget." This translates most literally into English as:
    1. "Land of Many Sweaters"
    2. "Will Caucus for Pickled Herring"
    3. "The Big Thing"
    4. "Statutes Rule"