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Law Library News for March 5, 2007

Law Library News Archive

Cheryl Nyberg, editor


Trial by Jury, a Comic Opera

by Judy Davis

Perhaps, in the stress and intensity of the last week of winter quarter classes, torts may take on the character of comic opera. Certainly the silliness of many court cases captures our attention. Gilbert and Sullivan, masters of comic opera and creators of such classics as The Mikado, H.M.S. Pinafore, and the Pirates of Penzance, put their imaginations to work on a breach of promise case, creating Trial by Jury in 1875.

Trial by Jury will be performed by students of the UW School of Music Opera Workshop on Wednesday, March 7, 2007, at 7:30pm. If you need an entertaining and inexpensive break ($5) during the last week of classes, make your way to the Meany Studio Theatre (or send family and friends who won’t be seeing you for the last two weeks of the quarter!).

The opera opens in the courtroom where the chorus tells us: "Summoned by a stern subpoena, Edwin, sued by Angelina, shortly will appear." At the center of the dispute is Angelina, a woman scorned. The opera continues with the Learned Judge, Jury, Defendant, etc. giving voice to their perspectives on the case. It is the only Gilbert and Sullivan opera which is entirely without spoken dialogue.

Gilbert himself had a brush with the law. Consider the following items, found in Andrew Goodman’s Gilbert and Sullivan at Law (1983):

  • Gilbert's career began with an unsuccessful five years at the Bar.
  • Gilbert was one of the most prolific litigants of his time. Unlike most lawyers, when Gilbert was aggrieved he turned to the law as a first, instead of a last, resort.
  • Most, if not all, authorities agree that W.S. Gilbert was a total failure as a lawyer: one claims that he was not a bad lawyer, merely spectacularly unsuccessful.

To buy tickets in advance, call (206) 543-4880.

Come Savor the Flavor of the Last Lifesaver

The last pieces of Library Lifesavers will be served on Tuesday, March 6, from 12:45-1:15 in Room 119.

Mini-sessions will cover:

  • Sample forms and drafting tools
  • Law-related movie trivia
  • Bring your lunch and your sweet tooth!

    Book of the Week: Price on Contemporary Estate Planning, 2007 ed.

    UWLS Emeritus Professor John Price and Associate Professor Sam Donaldson have co-authored this weighty, 2.5 inch "resource and reference tool for estate planning professionals." This edition replaces the 2000 edition and its 2006 supplement.

    Some of the issues dealt with are:

  • basic transfer taxes (Chapter 2)
  • gifts to charitable organizations (Chapter 8)
  • life insurance (Chapter 6)
  • post-mortem planning (Chapter 12)
  • professional responsibility and estate planning (Chapter 1)
  • trusts (Chapter 10)
  • wills and related documents (Chapter 4)
  • Fact-based examples appear frequently and each chapter concludes with a bibliography citing books, seminar materials, Tax Management Portfolios, and articles. The volume includes a 16-page glossary and tables of cases, Internal Revenue Code sections, Treasury regulations, and various IRS pronouncements. The detailed table of contents and index help the reader identity sections relevant to his or her questions.

    Price on Contemporary Estate Planning, 2007 ed. KF749.P74 2007 at Reference Area

    Space: The Final Frontier

    Are you feeling a little spacey? Do you find yourself staring into space, your attention adrift like a satellite out of its orbit?

    Well, snap out of it! Concentrate on these constellations of cosmic contemplations:

  • Journal of Space Law, devoted to "the legal problems arising out of human activities in outer space. Shelved by title, Compact Stacks
  • Paul Joseph & Sharon Carton, The Law of the Federation: Images of Law, Lawyers and the Legal System in Star Trek: The Next Generation, 24 U. Tol. L. Rev. 43 (1992)
  • NASA’s Office of General Counsel website provides a page listing and linking to various federal commercial space laws.
  • The European Centre for Space Law website features information and material on commercialization and privatization, manned space flights, militarization, and space debris.
  • Another organization, the International Institute of Space Law, sponsors an annual moot court competition. The Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, has the distinction of being judged by members of the International Court of Justice
  • Website of the Week: Daylight Saving Time