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Law Library News for March 5, 2001

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


Publication Display

by Mary Ann Hyatt

We invite everyone to wander by the exhibit cases on the first floor of Condon Hall to see the new displays featuring recent publications by Law Professors Donald C. Clarke, Penny A. Hazelton, Gregory A. Hicks, Toshiko Takenaka, Louis E. Wolcher, and Gallagher's own Robert R. Britt, Cheryl Rae Nyberg, and Mary Whisner. Faculty, please remember to send us copies of your publications for the faculty collection. Forward publications to Larisa Bosma, Gallagher Law Library. Thanks to Larisa Bosma and Nikki Pike for creating these displays.

Book of the Week

by Mary Whisner

The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations, by Fred R. Shapiro (Oxford University Press, 1993). KF159.S53 1993 at Reference Office

You may be familiar with other, general quotation collections (e.g., Bartlett�s Familiar Quotations, PN6081.B27 1992 at Reference Office). This one is more focused, collecting quotations about American law. Mr. Shapiro was quite eclectic in his selection, including authors from Thomas Jefferson to Groucho Marx, Oliver Wendell Holmes to Mae West. Here are a few gems:

  • �About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should stop.� � Elihu Root, p. 45.
  • �We have an insanity plea that would have saved Cain.� � Mark Twain, p. 191.
  • �If we desire respect for the law we must first make the law respectable.� � Louis D. Brandeis, p. 244.
  • �[Law review editing] does to the written word what the Cuisinart does to broccoli.� � David Margolick, p. 260.

I could go on and on. But better yet, I�ll suggest that you stop by the Reference Office to take a look through the book yourself. It�s fun to skim. You can also use it to find quotations on a particular topic (e.g., DUE PROCESS, JUDGES, SEARCHES AND SEIZURES) or by a particular author. A keyword index helps you locate quotations only dimly remembered.

For other book reviews, visit the Book of the Week Archive.

What's in a Title?

by Scott Matheson, Reference Intern

More importantly, what is a title? You may come across a reference to �Title VII� in the context of employment discrimination. Title 7 of the U.S. Code (KF62 at Reference Stacks)? That�s �Agriculture.� Huh? Does Title VII only apply to farmers?

No. The word �title� is used in two contexts in federal law. Congress, when it writes a bill, sometimes divides it up into titles, subtitles, sections, etc. Once the bill is passed and signed into law, it is published in Statues at Large (KF50 at Reference Stacks). If you look up a law in Statutes at Large, you will see the title numbers that the bill writer assigned to each section.

Most of us don�t look up statutes in Statutes at Large; we prefer to use a set of laws arranged by subject. Because Congress passes law that contain many provisions, the Office of the Law Revision Counsel is charged with taking the new laws apart and arranging them by subject in the U.S. Code � this process is called �codifying.�

Once the new law is chopped up and rearranged, the titles from the original bill aren�t much help in finding the statute. There are, however, new titles now involved � the titles of the U.S. Code. The old title numbers from the bill are sometimes used as shorthand when talking about the law.

To cite an example some of you are now familiar with, The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Pub.L. 103-322 (printed at 108 Stat. 1796). This �Title IV� is codified in various titles of the U.S. Code � none of the parts of VAWA were codified in Title 4 of the U.S. Code, which covers �Flag and Seal, Seat of Government, and the States.� Parts of VAWA were codified at Title 42 of the U.S. Code, �The Public Health and Welfare.�

Challenge: What are the Public Law number and the Statutes at Large cites for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which contains the Title VII ("Equal Employment Opportunity") mentioned in the first paragraph? What U.S. Code title are most of sections codified in? Hint: Check the Popular Name Table in the USCA or Shepard's Acts and Cases by Popular Name.

Extended Library Hours

by Mary Ann Hyatt

For the upcoming exam period, we will stay open later so students can study for exams in the Law Library until 11pm on Friday March 9th and Saturday March 10th. In addition, during Interim the Library will be staying open until 6pm to improve access for working students in particular. This Interim we'll be open 8-6pm Tuesday March 20th through Friday March 23rd. Regular academic hours resume Monday March 26th. Good luck during exams, and please let us know if we can improve your access to the Library in other ways.

[Answer to Title question above: Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241. Most sections are in 42 U.S.C.]