Law Library News for the Week of March 3, 2008

Kelly Aldrich, guest editor

New Washington Practice Volume 30: Motions in Limine

There's a new addition to the Washington Practice series: Volume 30, Washington Motions in Limine. For those law students who have yet to take Evidence, "[a] motion in limine is a motion used to preclude prejudicial or objectionable evidence before it is presented to the jury."  30 David N. Finley & Lisa McGuire, Washington Practice: Washington Motions in Limine 1:1 (2007) (citing Fenimore v. Donald M. Drake Constr. Co., 87 Wash.2d 85, 91 (1976)).

In addition to a Table of Laws and Rules, a Table of Cases, and a volume Index, Volume 30 consists of ten chapters:

  1. Motion in Limine Law
  2. Prejudicial Evidence
  3. Irrelevant Evidence
  4. Writings & Physical Evidence
  5. Tests & Scientific Evidence
  6. Discovery Motions
  7. Character Evidence
  8. Witness Evidence
  9. Trial Presentation
  10. Personal Injury Motions.

Each chapter contains:

  • A brief synopsis of different uses for motions in limine
  • Sample language to use, including Washington authorities (both supporting and opposing)
  • Two full-length sample motions (that are also included on the CD-ROM at the back of the volume). 

To get an even better overview of what you need to know, you should consult Volume 30 in conjunction with the other Evidence volumes (5-5D) in the Washington Practice series, and also check Professor Aronson's Law of Evidence in Washington. KFW540.A97 2003 at Reference Area

Note: Volume 30 does not appear to be available yet on Westlaw, so you'll have to visit the library for this one - KFW80.W3 at Reference Area

Website of the Week: Zimmerman's Research Guide from LexisNexis

Zimmerman's Research Guide  is a *free* online compilation of research guides on a number of subject areas. Research guides can be excellent starting points for legal research (we post quite a few legal research guides on our Gallagher Law Library website). 

Zimmerman's Research Guide includes your run-of-the-mill legal research subjects (e.g., federal legislative history) and some less common topics (e.g., Akron, Ohio). Also included are entries more akin to definitions than research guides (e.g., a "tombstone" is "an advertisement place in a newspaper to announce a securities offering. In most cases, tombstones are published in the "C" section of the Wall Street Journal").

West's Washington Law Finder

West calls its Washington Law Finder "The Master Reference Guide for Legal Research." I'm not sure I'd go quite that far in my praise, but it's a good little tool to know about nonetheless.

West's Washington Law Finder is organized by topic headings. Look up your desired subject matter and you'll find direct references to the Revised Code of Washington Annotated (RCWA), Washington Practice, the Washington Digest, and to particular titles in Corpus Juris Secondum (CJS) and the U.S. Code Annotated (USCA). References are also made to basic national texts and treatises and many other specialized publications issued by West. Of course, since it's a West product, it includes Key Number references. To top it all off, a new edition of the Law Finder is published each year.

This tool is best used as a starting-point for Washington law (and, even some federal references) and/or as a quick checklist of sorts to remind yourself of places to look.

Disclaimer: it is not in-depth by any stretch of the imagination and should never be solely relied upon-always supplement it with more substantive research. 

Copies of West's Washington Law Finder are found in the Reference Area at KFW61.W37.

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