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Law Library News for Oct. 29, 2007

Cheryl Nyberg, editor

CaseMap® from LexisNexis

by Kelly Aldrich

We reference librarians are always looking for interesting tools that we can share with UW Law faculty, staff, and students. CaseMap is one of these tools. However, the lawyers among us would like to take this opportunity to say: Gallagher Law Library in no way endorses, warrants, or guarantees the CaseMap suite of products. But they are noteworthy. To aid you in determining whether they might be useful to you, we present the following.

What is CaseMap?

CaseMap is litigation software used to organize and analyze case information. CaseMap allows you to organize by authorities and research, legal issues, key facts, people, and documents.

The suite of products also includes:

How Can CaseMap Help You?

CaseMap could help you organize your thoughts and research findings before you begin to write a memo or brief, or before you participate in moot court competition. TimeMap could help you create a timeline graph for use in a mock trial. NoteMap might help you when it comes time to prepare your outlines for exams.

Also, you might find yourself at a law firm that uses CaseMap. Familiarizing yourself with it now could give you a leg-up (or at least provide an interesting question to ask during interviews). [Note: LexisNexis boasts that 97 of the AmLaw 100 law firms use CaseMap.]

For more information about CaseMap, read:

How Can You Try CaseMap?

LexisNexis is offering its CaseMap suite of products to the law school community. Faculty, staff, and students can download the software – for free.


Using LexisNexis & Westlaw

by Penny Hazelton & Nancy McMurrer

When you registered your Library-issued LexisNexis ID and Westlaw password, you agreed to certain restrictions. Specifically, you agreed to limit yourself to "academic" or "educational" use only. But what does that mean, exactly? Here is a short definition.

Westlaw and LexisNexis may be used in research for a class for which you will receive academic credit, or in connection with unpaid work for a non-law school entity for which you will receive academic credit (externships). You may use LexisNexis and Westlaw in your work for a law school professor as a research or teaching assistant, even if you receive pay for such work. You may also use Westlaw and LexisNexis in connection with a UW School of Law law review and in connection with Moot Court activities.

You may NOT use Westlaw or LexisNexis in any volunteer or unpaid work (unless you are receiving academic credit for it) and you may NOT use either service in connection with any paid work (unless you are working as a research or teaching assistant for a law professor).

If you have any questions, please check with a reference librarian or the vendor representatives: Aaron Myers (LexisNexis) or Zach Gose (Westlaw).


The Law of Halloween

Halloween does not figure prominently in the law.

The President doesn’t issue a proclamation announcing it (like he does for Thanksgiving: Proclamation 8085, Thanksgiving Day, 2006, 42 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 2062 (Nov. 16, 2006)).

But Halloween and related activities are mentioned in a few cases.

Take Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc'y of N.Y., Inc. v. Village of Stratton, Oh., 536 U.S. 150, 122 S. Ct. 2080, 153 L. Ed. 2d 205 (2002), in which the Court found unconstitutional a municipal ordinance forbidding door-to-door canvassing by Halloween trick-or-treaters, unless they first registered with the mayor and obtained permits.

May Halloween costume designs be protected by copyright? Or are they excluded from copyright protection under the “useful articles” clause? Read Chosun International, Inc. v. Chrisha Creations, Ltd., 413 F.3d 324 (2005); Whimsicality, Inc. v. Rubie's Costumes Co., 721 F. Supp. 1566 (1989).

Finally, how did one man’s attempt to call Satan to the bar fare in a federal court? 

[Plaintiff] alleges that Satan has on numerous occasions caused plaintiff misery and unwarranted threats, against the will of plaintiff, that Satan has placed deliberate obstacles in his path and has caused plaintiff's downfall.

Plaintiff alleges that by reason of these acts Satan has deprived him of his constitutional rights. . . .

[The] Court has serious doubts that the complaint reveals a cause of action upon which relief can be granted by the court. We question whether plaintiff may obtain personal jurisdiction over the defendant in this judicial district. The complaint contains no allegation of residence in this district. While the official reports disclose no case where this defendant has appeared as defendant there is an unofficial account of a trial in New Hampshire where this defendant filed an action of mortgage foreclosure as plaintiff. The defendant in that action was represented by the preeminent advocate of that day, and raised the defense that the plaintiff was a foreign prince with no standing to sue in an American Court.

U. S. ex rel. Mayo v. Satan and His Staff, 54 F.R.D. 282 (1971).


©2007, M.G. Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington