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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

Nov. 15, 2004
Mary Whisner, Editor


Did you miss an interesting lecture by a visitor to the law school? The Law Library has many lectures on videotape, for example:

  • Tort law reform: medical malpractice & jury award caps : the impact on Washington's health care / Maureen A. Callaghan -- KFW196.2 .C35 2003 at Reference Area
  • Globalization and political communication: changing trends in citizenship and democracy / Lance Bennett  -- HF1359 .B46 2001 at Classified Stacks

The Law Library also has some commercially-produced tapes on legal topics, such as:

  • Unconstitutional: the war on our civil liberties / Robert Greenwald -- JC599.U5 U62 2004 at Classified Stacks
  • Preparing for and taking depositions: the right way; the ethical and unethical way  -- KF8915.Z9 V57 1994 v.2 at Reference Area

How can you find videos? In the Law Library catalog, choose keywords search. Use the "Material Type" pull-down menu to restrict your search to "video record."

Each group study room has a VCR.

Videos -- Fun Ones

OK, the serious videos have their place. But you can also use the library to get videos and DVDs that can give you a break from all this serious law stuff!

Summit is a combined catalog that has the holdings of dozens of college and university libraries in Washington and Oregon. Many of those libraries collect Hollywood feature films -- as well as independent films -- and will lend them through Summit.

Again, use a keywords search, and restrict it by "Material Type." This time the menu option if "Videos/Films."  When you find something you'd like to borrow, just click on "REQUEST THIS ITEM."

If don’t want to take too big a break from law, there are plenty of movies on legal themes. For example, Summit has A Few Good Men, The Firm, A Civil Action, Erin Brockovich, 12 Angry Men, Legally Blonde, and The Paper Chase.

Book of the Week: The United States Government Manual

-- Mary Whisner

What’s the General Accounting Office?
Where’s the nearest regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency?
Is the Employee Benefits Security Administration an independent agency or part of some bigger executive agency?
What’s the statutory authorization for the Consumer Product Safety Commission? What statutes does it implement?

All of these questions and more can be answered by The United States Government Manual, a terrific compendium published by the Office of the Federal Register. It includes organizational charts, agency descriptions, addresses, phone numbers, website addresses, and more.

The current edition is kept in the Reference Area and the Reference Office (call number JF421 .U57). Do you like history? Or do you have need to find out how an agency was structured at some time in the past? The Law Library has editions going back to the first one – in 1935, at the start of the New Deal.

Web versions are available, starting with the 1995-96 edition, at

By the way, the answers to my questions above:

  • The General Accounting Office is the investigative arm of the Congress and is charged with examining all matters relating to the receipt and disbursement of public funds.” p. 48 [Page references are to the 2004-2005 edition.] Note: The GAO became the Government Accountability Office, effective July 7, 2004.
  • The EBSA (formerly Pension Welfare Benefits Administration) is part of the Department of Labor. p. 283.
  • The EPA’s Region X office is in downtown Seattle (1200 6th Ave.). p. 384.
  • The CPSC was established by the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. §2051 et seq.). It implements the Flammable Fabrics Act, the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, and the act of Aug. 2, 1956, which prohibits the transportation of refrigerators without door safety devices. p. 374.