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Law Library News for March 4, 2002

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


Book of the Week: Washington Legal Researcher's Deskbook, 3d

Washington Legal Researcher's Deskbook 3d, by Penny Hazelton et al. (Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, 2002). KFW75 .W37 2002 at Course Reserve & Reference Office

The newest edition of a trusted legal research guide for Washington State has just been published. The third edition of Washington Legal Researcher's Deskbook was written by eight librarians at Gallagher Law Library including Director Penny Hazelton and it includes new chapters on these topics:

  • Local Government Law (guidance on locating those unique documents of local government such as charters, city and county codes, ordinances, resolutions and orders, and administrative rules and decisions)
  • Historical and Archival Sources (descriptions of the legal documents created during the territorial and early statehood years of Washington such as constitutions, territorial session laws and codes, early state courts, agency documents and information about the Washington State Archives)
  • Indian Law Research in Washington (an overview of the law relating to Indians in Washington and the ways in which federal, state, and tribal law relate)

and updated chapters on:

  • Process of Legal Research (remember the Rombauer Framework from BLS?)
  • Fundamentals of Legal Research in Washington (covers secondary sources, statutes, codes, administrative regulations, cases, and citators)
  • Practice Materials (describes encyclopedic sources such as Washington Practice, litigation aids, ethics opinions, directories, and current awareness tools)
  • Administrative Decisions (guidance on researching and locating decisions, opinions, and orders issued by administrative agencies in our state)
  • Legislative History, Initiatives, and Bill Tracking (instruction on the tasks of researching legislative history, initiatives and referenda, as well as tracking current bills)
  • Nonlegal Resources (a collection of resources for finding people, organizations, agencies, corporations and just plain facts when you need them)
  • Managing Your Library (tips on hiring a librarian, selecting materials for a law library, locating legal publishers, and finding the closest document delivery service)
  • How to Use a Law Library (tips on using library catalogs, indexes, legal research guides and effective online searching skills and a list of law libraries in our state)

We have several copies in the Library, but if you need a gift idea for graduation these books are for sale! The information is available on the Law Library website.

For additional descriptions of selected books see the Book of the Week Archive.

National Center for State Courts

by Julie Turner, Reference Intern

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is an independent nonprofit organization that was founded in 1971 by U.S. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. Through its many programs and divisions, the Center is committed to improving the administration of justice in the United States and abroad. This mission is accomplished through research, education, consulting, and information services.

The NCSC gives particular priority to:

  • Restoration of public trust and confidence in the courts by addressing problems such as the slow pace of justice, the high cost of access, a seemingly often unfair and inconsistent judicial process, and lack of public understanding of the courts.
  • Examination of best practices in civil case management through a major civil justice reform initiative.
  • Promotion of more effective use of technology through direct consulting services, automation standards development, and technology demonstration projects.

The Center�s website,, provides access to a vast amount of cutting edge information. Some of the most outstanding functions and services highlighted on the NCSC website include:

  • Education: The Institute for Court Management (ICM)
    This NCSC program provides education and training services with the overall aim of improving the management of the nation�s courts. Programs are directed towards every level and type of court (trial or appellate, local or state). The ICM Court Executive Development Program develops national courses in such diverse areas as civil mediation, trial court performance standards, court financial resources and technology trends in the courts. In 2000 ICM began a distance learning center program, which offers users online courses and threaded discussions.
  • Projects and Initiatives: Implementing the National Action Plan to Improve Public Trust and Confidence,
    The NCSC has set up the Forum for Public Trust and Confidence in the Justice System, which offers information and assistance to help improve trust and public confidence in our justice system. The website includes descriptions of programs and activities underway across the country to improve public trust. Future versions of the website will also include a searchable database. Also offered on the present site is a list of national organizations interested in working with state and local jurisdictions on public trust issues, relevant publications, events, and resources related to public trust and confidence.
  • Library Information,, provides the following resources:
    • Access Services: Information Resource Center that facilitates the sharing and dissemination of information about the courts and the administration of justice. It is supported by assessments from the 50 states, grants from the State Justice Institute and other sources, and by individual contributions. Analysts gather and send out information on such topics as judicial selection, judicial compensation, alternative dispute resolution, court structure and unification, family violence, and court technology.
    • The Court Web Sites link,, is divided into three parts (state court websites, federal court websites, and international court websites) providing links to these court websites.

Gallagher Law Library Connection

Gallagher Reference Librarian, Cheryl Nyberg, has been associated with the NCSC since 1999, when she presented a program on �Best Practices in Delivering Court Information to the Public� at the NCSC�s 6th Court Technology Conference in Los Angeles. Cheryl also offered impromptu court website evaluations several times throughout the conference, where she was greeted by an enthusiastic group lining up for each session.

Prior to her presentation, Cheryl had the opportunity to attend a 2.5 day �faculty development workshop� put on by the NCSC for speakers. The participants received a tour of the facility followed by instruction and training on effective public speaking, reaching the audience, and designing PowerPoint presentations. In Cheryl�s opinion, this is the best training experience she has ever had.

Since 1999, Cheryl has gone on to present at the 7th Court Technology Conference, in Baltimore (2001) � �What�s Wow! in the World of Court Websites.� (That PowerPoint presentation and others prepared for related presentations can be viewed at:

In her latest presentation for the NCSC, Cheryl was invited to speak at a 2.5 day Public Access Workshop for the judiciary of Puerto Rico, which was held in San Juan in November 2001.

The NCSC shows every sign of being a group effort that is succeeding extremely well in the pursuit of its overall mission and underlying goals.