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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

Oct. 16, 2006.
Kristy Moon, editor.

Register Your Passwords

1Ls, transfer students, and LL.M.s:
You must register your Lexis and Westlaw passwords! They are pre-programmed to expire soon if not registered. Go to (click on "Register password now!") and (click on "Register your Activation Code").

LexisNexis Training for 1Ls

Lexis training will take place during the week of Oct. 23. Advance sign-up is required at (click on the "My School" tab).

  • Oct. 23 (Mon) 12:30
  • Oct. 24 (Tues) 1:30, 2:30
  • Oct. 25 (Wed) 12:30, 1:30
  • Oct. 26 (Thurs) 12:30, 1:30
  • All sessions will take place in the Legal Research Training Center (LRTC) inside the Law Library, L201/202.

    Lost & Found

    The Law Library's Circulation Desk is the official Lost & Found for Gates Hall. Any items not claimed after a while are taken to the campus-wide Lost & Found located at the Husky Union Building ("HUB") Information Desk (hours and map at

    Laptop Ergonomics Tip

    (Source: Onureena Banerjee, U.C. Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department)

    Are you an occasional laptop user or do you use a laptop as your main computer? Laptops are convenient for their portability, but the design of a laptop violates basic ergonomic principles. This is because laptops have a fixed keyboard and monitor that do not adjust independently of each other thus forcing the user to choose between a comfortable head/neck posture or wrist/hand posture.

    For occasional users, it is recommended that they sacrifice their neck posture rather than their wrist posture since the head/neck position is determined by actions of larger muscles. Occasional users should position the laptop for the most neutral wrist position and then angle the screen so that they can see the screen with the least amount of neck deviation.

    For full-time users, it is recommended that they elevate the laptop off of their work surface so that they can see the screen without bending their head and neck forward (this may require placing the laptop on a stand, book, or other surface that raises it to an appropriate height). Full-time users should also use a separate keyboard and mouse that can be connected to the back of a laptop or to a docking station.

    Other important advices are to schedule mini-breaks every 20-30 minutes (to avoid repetition and static positions) and to pay attention to one’s overall posture.


    Library Lifesavers

    by Nancy McMurrer

    On Tuesday, October 17, in Room 119, reference librarians will be sharing some great tips for making your life easier. At 12:45, Cheryl Nyberg, the Law Library’s webmaster, will be providing a tour of our new website. If you are doing some research in copyright law, did you know that there is a research guide to point you to the best resources? And guides are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Library’s useful research aids.

    Then, at 1:00, Mary Whisner will share some of the tricks she has picked up from years of using Microsoft Word in a legal context. She has all sorts of shortcuts that will make your word processing a breeze (or at least faster than you feared).

    Everyone in Gates Hall, students, faculty, and staff, are urged to join us for one or both sessions. Just grab your lunches, come on along, and remember to look around for the bowl of sweet bites!

    Book of the Week

    by Nancy McMurrer

    Washington Community Property Deskbook, 3d (KFW97.W38 2003 at Reference Area)

    The community property system is fairly unusual among the fifty states. Washington is one of only eight fully community property states; two other states have added some community property provisions. Fortunately, whether you are a long-time resident of this state (and thoroughly familiar with community property) or newly arrived, you can find guidance for the intricacies of this legal system in the Washington Community Property Deskbook. UW Law Professors Tom Andrews and Karen Boxx are major contributors to this work. It is one of a number of books on Washington law published by the Washington State Bar Association.

    The deskbook is composed of eight chapters.

  • The introduction examines the origin of community property legislation in Washington.
  • The second chapter explores the existence of the marital relationship, significant because community property arises only upon marriage.
  • The presumptions and rules of law used to establish separate or community ownership of property are covered in chapter three.
  • Chapter four investigates voluntary disposition of community and separate property, including transferring it to third parties or encumbering it, as well as problems involved in testate and intestate succession.
  • Transactions and agreements between spouses are discussed in chapter five.
  • Involuntary dispositions, such as those resulting from litigation, and creditors’ rights are covered in chapter six.
  • Chapter seven is devoted to the federal tax consequences of community property.
  • The last chapter, eight, analyzes the problems a Washington lawyer may encounter with separate or community property brought into this state or taken from this state to another.
  • This volume is designed for practitioners, with boxed "comments" and "practice tips" that highlight practical issues. Finding tools include the topical index and tables of statutes, cases, and secondary references. The book also includes the text of selected Washington and federal statutes.

    For an additional discussion of community property issues, check chapters 7-14 in Kenneth W. Weber’s Family and Community Property Law with Forms (KFW80.W3 1997 at Reference Area). This three-volume work, with an additional handbook of selected rules, statutes, and forms, comprise volumes 19-22 of Washington Practice, a set of books published by West Publishing that covers many areas of Washington law.

    Note: Many of the WSBA deskbooks are on a lower-cost legal research database called Loislaw and Washington Practice volumes are available on Westlaw.

    For more titles in the Book of the Week series, see the Book of the Week Archive.