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Law Library News for Nov. 11, 2002

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


LexisNexis Contest Banner

by Nancy McMurrer

During 1L training, several students have asked if they could remove the LexisNexis contest banner from their screens while they were doing research. The banner, they complained, takes valuable room away from, say, viewing the retrievals from a search. A call to the LexisNexis reference attorneys, 1-800-45 LEXIS, produced this answer.

Once a student registers for the LexisNexis contest (or perhaps just explores the contest information), that banner will appear across the screen every time he or she signs on through the Lexis law school website, To avoid the banner, sign on to LexisNexis through the regular commercial Lexis website,

Book of the Week

by Mary Whisner

The Law of Torts, by Dan B. Dobbs. KF1250.D56 2000 at Reference Area

For generations of lawyers, William L. Prosser�s Handbook of the Law of Torts, part of West�s Hornbook series, was the standard one-volume work on tort law. It went through five editions, continuing its life long after William Prosser died in 1972 as Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts. One measure of how influential the work was is to see how often it has been cited. The search prosser /6 law /3 torts in the WA-CS database on Westlaw, for instance, shows that either Prosser or Prosser and Keeton was cited 184 times by Washington appellate courts.

But times change, and the law of torts changes, too. The last edition of Prosser and Keeton, published in 1984, was out of date. So in 2000 West published a new Hornbook, The Law of Torts, by Dan B. Dobbs. This hefty book (just over 1600 pages, including table of cases and index) covers much of the same ground that Prosser and Keeton did � intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, products liability, and so on, but with an emphasis on more current material.

For shorter overviews of tort law, search the Law Library's catalog for "torts and (outlines or nutshell)" and limit your search to Location = Reference Area.

Reflections on Washington Reports

by Paul Holcomb

Recently I was reading the decision in Winbun v. Moore, 143 Wn.2d 206, which was decided in March of 2001. The nature of the action was medical malpractice against a physician. The case began in the Superior Court for King County before Judge J. Kathleen Learned in 1998 and a verdict was entered for the plaintiffs after a two week trial in the amount of $807,629.93, plus costs.

The physician appealed on the grounds the trial court erred in not granting him a directed verdict because the statute of limitations had expired. A decision by the Court of Appeals, at 97 Wn. App. 602 (1999), agreed with the physician and reversed the judgment and dismissed the action.

Now came the Supreme Court's turn to examine what happened. Holding that the Court of Appeals decision might tempt parties "to sue first and conduct discovery later," the Washington Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and reinstated the trial court's judgment.

There was a strong dissenting opinion that was joined by two other justices. This was an interesting case featuring expert testimony, rules of discovery, and the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association weighing in with an Amicus Curie brief. Concluding it all in a great finale was the Supreme Court reversing the Court of Appeals.

After reading the decision I turned to the front of the volume and read the table of contents. Volume 143 of Washington Reports, 2d Series has 1170 pages and 1000 of the pages contain opinions of the Supreme Court. This leaves 170 pages for other good stuff and this material is good enough that lawyers should take the time to look at the material.

Here you find the names of judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Superior Courts in Washington. New Rules of Court are also found here. Attorneys admitted to practice during a particular time period are listed as well as judges who have died and various memorial services for deceased judges.

In Volume 143 of Washington Reports, 2d Series, there are 27 pages devoted to "Posthumous Admission to Practice of Takuji Yamashita." As many of you know, Takuji Yamashita graduated in 1902 in the second Law School class of the University of Washington but was denied admission to the bar of Washington by the Supreme Court of Washington at 30 Wash. 234, 70 P. 482 (1902).

Former University of Washington Law School Dean Roland Hjorth was one of the first people to speak in support of the petition for admission and was one of those responsible for bringing this matter to the attention of the Supreme Court. More than two hundred people attended the ceremony including relatives of Mr. Yamashita.

Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. started publishing Washington Reports, 2d Series beginning with Volume 141 in 2001. Prior to that, the Reports were printed and bound by West Group, which also provided headnotes and other materials. Matthew Bender is one the LEXIS Publishing Companies. The headnotes, indexes, tables, and other editorial matter are prepared by LEXIS Publishing.