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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

April 4, 2005.
Kristy Moon, editor.


National Library Week Is Coming…

Next week, Gallagher Law Library will celebrate National Library Week 2005 with these activities.

  • Take a look at the “banned books” display as you walk into the library.
  • Try the crossword puzzle on “Law and Popular Culture” for a chance to win one of two $10 gift certificates to the University Book Store.
  • Guess the number of chocolate pieces in the “Count Chocula Candy Contest.” The winner gets the jar of chocolates!

Income Tax Day

April 15 is almost upon us. To find tax forms in the Gallagher Law Library, check out our guide at http://lib.law.washington.edu/ref/taxforms.html.

Last year, April 15 was the Tax Freedom Day for Washington State residents. No, that does not mean that they got a free pass and was released from their tax liability due on that date. What it means is that April 15 was the day that average Washington State residents earned enough money to pay their taxes for the year.

Tax Freedom Day varies depending on the state of residency. In 2004, the earliest date was March 26 for Alaska residents, and the latest date was April 28 for Connecticut residents. The national Tax Freedom Day for average Americans was April 11 (a change, due to President Bush’s tax cuts, from its record of May 2 in 2001). For more information, see Tax Foundation’s web site at http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxfreedomday.html.

Looking for Court Briefs in All the Wrong Places?

--Stacy Etheredge

Are you looking for U.S. Supreme Court briefs and would rather not venture into the scary world of microforms or forge through the dusty boxes of paper briefs? Well, if you're looking for cases that involve constitutional law, then you may just be in luck.

Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law is a nifty set of books that contains briefs and other materials from prominent constitutional law cases. Currently there are 338 volumes covering cases from 1793 through 2004. Beginning with cases from 1868 in Volume 5, the set always includes both the appellant and appellee briefs. For later years, the set also includes petitions for writs of certiorari, amicus briefs (sometimes hordes of them!), and transcripts of oral arguments. Jurisdictional statements and opinions of the Court can often be included as well. If the case you’re interested in was selected for inclusion, then this is an excellent resource for you as it contains a compilation of documents that would be time consuming, if not downright difficult, to try to gather on your own.

Is every constitutional law case included in the set? Well, no, but most likely all the big players are going to be in there. For example, just off the top of my head, I decided to check for the following: Miranda v. Arizona, Roe v. Wade, Gideon v. Wainwright, Lawrence v. Texas, Plessy v. Ferguson, Bush v. Gore, Brown v. Board of Education, New York Times v. Sullivan, and Clinton v. Jones. They were all there. So as you can see, it covers a wide range of cases from a wide range of years.

And even better, each case included in the set is individually cataloged in the library’s online catalog Marian, http://marian.law.washington.edu/. You can bring up a record for a case by doing a keyword search of one or both of the parties’ last names, or a title search on the appellant’s last name (but not on the appellee’s last name). For example, if you wanted to see if the set includes the recent Rumsfeld v. Padilla decision, you could run these searches in Marian:

Keyword: Rumsfeld and Padilla

Title: Rumsfeld

Either of these searches will show you that, yes, the Landmark set does indeed include briefs for this case and they are found in volume 330.

So the next time you’re looking for briefs and other records from Supreme Court cases involving constitutional issues, first try the Landmark set. It’ll be worth the look.

And by the way, I was just kidding about the scary microforms and the dusty paper briefs. Gallagher Law Library’s collection of those formats are excellent – very complete and easy to use (yes, even the microfilms!). The paper briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court are kept in Compact Shelving and begin with the 1936-37 term. On microfilm and microfiche, the Library has briefs beginning from 1832.

Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law is located at KF101.9 L36 in the Classified Stacks.

For additional sources of court briefs, see the Briefs and Oral Arguments page.