Monthly Archives: October 2011

Highlighting new books at the Law Library, part 6

Part 6 of the new books series focuses on a guide to mastering ALWD citations.

ALWD Companion: A Citation Practice Book
By Coleen M. Barger and Brooke J. Bowman
Law Reserve KF245 .A453 2010

The ALWD Companion: A Citation Practice Book by Coleen Barger and Brooke Bowman is a workbook of citation exercises meant to help students master legal citation.  The book begins with basic citation guidance, and then addresses citing to specific legal sources.  Exercises cover primary sources, including federal and state constitutions, statutes, cases, and regulations, as well as commonly used secondary sources, such as law review articles, treatises, court rules, and court documents.   Exercises in the book progress from basic to intermediate to expert levels and each begins with references to particular ALWD rules.   A chapter at the end of the book also addresses Bluebook citation rules, and the differences in citation format between ALWD and Bluebook.

Speaking of Bluebook. . .

The Bluebook Blues
Court of Appeals Judge Richard A. Posner lambasts the current edition of the Bluebook in his 2011 Yale Law Journal article titled The Bluebook Blues, describing it as “a monstrous growth, remote from the functional need for legal citation forms, that serves obscure needs of the legal culture and its student subculture.”  Read Judge Posner’s humorous and common sense article about legal citation on the Yale Law Journal’s webpage here.

Delightful Client Malapropisms

The ABA Journal recently asked its readers whether they could think of any “delightful client malapropisms” they had heard and would be willing to share.  Below are some highlights from the 103 comments posted by attorneys:

  • In a rape case, the witness said the woman had the reputation of being a prostitute. The judge asked the witness, “Is she a chaste woman?”  The witness responded, “Yes sir Judge, lots of men chases her.”
  • I once heard a witness in a criminal case take the “Fifth Dimension”.
  • Defendant had just been sentenced to life in prison with no opportunity for parole.  He turned to his lawyer (my partner) and asked “Do I get credit for time served?”  A few minutes later he asked “Can I have congenital visits?”
  • I asked a client if she’d ever been deposed before. She looked at me quizzically and said that she’d never been asked to leave the country.
  • As a summer associate with a Fortune 500 company, I attended a Board meeting at which the CEO stood up, pounded the table, and said of a competitor: “We need to send them a ‘cease to exist’ letter!”

This gem comes from an attorney:

  • Judge, trying to help, asked a new young attorney in one of his first hearings “would you like to invoke the rule, counsel?” To which the young attorney replied, “Your Honor, I want to invoke ALL the rules!”

One For the History Buffs

The Arizona Memory Project recently announced an exciting addition: the Arizona State Archives Legislative Oral History Project.

“The Legislative Oral History Project documents the memories of former state legislators about their time in office. This online collection only features excerpts of these oral histories. Full versions are available for public viewing at the Arizona State Archives, located at the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History building, 1901 W. Madison, Phoenix, Arizona.”

Hungry for more history? See our previous blog entry on legislative history resources, and be sure to check out the Law Library’s fabulous research guides on:

Speaking of Arizona history, you may know that 2012 will mark AZ’s 100th year of statehood. To mark the occasion, ASU’s Herberger Institute is putting on the AZ Centennial Plays (October 21 – 30). You can find out about more ways the Centennial is being celebrated at the Arizona Centennial Foundation and Arizona Historical Advisory Commission websites.

Highlighting new books at the Law Library, part 5

Have an iPad?  If so, this guide to maximizing the functionality of your tablet may be of interest to you.

iPad in One Hour for Lawyers
By Tom Mighell
Law Treatises KF320.A9 M48 2011

If you use an iPad with any frequency, either as a law student or as a practicing lawyer, iPad in One Hour for Lawyers will likely contain very useful information for you.  The first few lessons in the book address the basic setup and overall management of your iPad, including how to add files and sync them (which is actually harder than you would think, due to the tablet’s lack of USB port, SD card slot, and document folders).  The remaining lessons cover specific ways to be productive with your iPad.  The author, Tom Mighell, focuses on ways to create content, including how to use the tablet to write notes, prepare documents, generate spreadsheets, and even develop presentations.  The book also has a lesson devoted to using apps specifically designed for the practicing lawyer (which contains a list of some of the author’s favorite apps).

iPad in One Hour for Lawyers is easy to navigate and gives useful step-by-step instructions for most topics.  It also features a number of graphics, mainly screen shots, which help the reader visualize the written instructions.  The book is short (hence the “in one hour” title), but nonetheless gives thorough advice on maximizing your iPad’s capabilities.

The author also maintains a blog titled iPad 4 Laywers, intended as a companion site to the book.  On the blog Mighell provides “the latest tips, tricks on using the iPad, and reviews of apps that lawyers – or anyone, really – can use to be more productive at work and in other areas.”   Be sure to check out this website for even more ideas on how to use your iPad to the fullest extent.

You’ve Been Served. . .via Facebook

How do you serve process on someone when you do not know where they are?  As a recent ABA Journal article explains, this was a problem for Jessica Mpafe in her divorce case, as she did not have any physical address to serve her husband with papers.  Acknowledging this difficulty, Judge Kevin Burke authorized Jessica to serve notice of process to her husband by e-mail, “Facebook, Myspace, or any other social networking site.”  Judge Burke observed that traditional means to get service by publication had become “antiquated” and “prohibitively expensive.”

Judge Burke’s action was somewhat radical, as many state and federal statutes do not allow electronic service of process.  Practitioners and legal scholars have begun questioning whether it is time for that to change, however.  A 2009 article in the Federal Courts Law Review titled Electronic Service of Process at Home and Abroad: Allowing Domestic Electronic Service of Process in the Federal Courts makes a case for amending the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to allow domestic electronic service of process.  The authors, Ronald J. Hedges, Kenneth N. Rashbaum, and Adam C. Losey, point out that there is a bevy of precedent for amending the Federal rules to keep up with technology.  They also call attention to the fact that electronic documentation is already the norm in federal courts; service of process, they contend, “is the last true paper holdout in federal practice.”  Furthermore, the authors argue, technology has evolved to the point that electronic service is superior to many forms of traditional service.

The ultimate question, then, may be why should we not utilize forms of widely-available technology if they can make service cheaper, faster, and more reliable?

Some Dog-Gone Good Animal Law Resources

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog month!

Last October I adopted George (see adorable photo) from a local rescue.

For me, the decision to adopt was driven partially by grief; I had recently lost  a dog to cancer, and life felt empty without a canine companion.

But adopting a dog is a big decision,and a big responsibility. You have to think about leash laws, bite laws, what will happen if you get divorced or die…

Luckily there’s lots of animal law resources out there (hat-tip to our Acquisitions/Serials Librarian Kerry Skinner for putting together most of these resources!).


General Animal Law Resources

  • The Animal Legal Defense Fund – covers the gamut of animal law topics; includes resources for pet owners, lawers and law students.
  • Born Free USA (f.k.a. the Animal Protection Institute) – focuses mainly on wildlife and wild animals in captivity, but also tracks law and legislation.
  •, from the International Institute for Animal Law is “intended to serve as a clearinghouse for animal-related legal information, from pending legislation through relevant case law digests.”
  • Michigan State University College of Law’s Animal Legal & Historical Center aims to be “a comprehensive repository of information about animal law”; contains an extensive dog law section.


Arizona Animal Law Resources


Law Library/ASU Libraries Resources – need to find resources in our library or other ASU libraries?

 Need more help with these or other legal resources? Ask our reference librarians

Of course you don’t have to go to law school to provide a great home for an animal. But there are plenty of things to consider first. But if you decide you are ready… 

  And you’re looking for a hiking buddy…
 …someone to hold your hand through rough times…
 …or someone to just kick back with…

 …consider giving a shelter dog a second chance.  Check out Petfinder’s list of animal shelters in Arizona to find adoptable dogs.

Highlighting new books at the Law Library, part 4

This week’s installment of the new book series features a guide for conducting a successful job search, and may be particularly useful for 3Ls and recent graduates looking to land a great legal job.

Job Quest for Lawyers: The Essential Guide to Finding and Landing the Job You Want
By Sheila Nielsen
Law Study Skills Collection KF297 .N54 2011

When asked how they landed their job, many people say that they “got lucky.”  In Job Quest for Lawyers, Sheila Nielsen explains that while luck and chance do play a role in job searches, “lucky” job seekers actually create career opportunities for themselves, and she shows her reader exactly how to create those opportunities.

Nielsen, a veteran legal job coach, presents the job search process in terms of a “quest,” complete with knights, ogres, and castles.  She explains how the iconography and imagery of the quest translates well to job search challenges, and reveals how to understand the overarching process of the quest, indentify steps in the process, think about your search and talk to your contact people in a productive way, and overcome nervousness and fear.  Nielsen’s advice is practical and action-oriented, which is helpful for both those just entering legal practice and those seeking to redirect their careers.  Thanks to the quest imagery laced throughout Job Quest for Lawyers, the book is also downright fun to read (which can rarely be said for a job search guide that is also useful).


Movie Night, Courtesy of the Law Library

The Ross-Blakley Law Library has a number of legal-themed films in its Law Media collection.  In the mood for something light?  How about Chicago, Legally Blond, Liar Liar, or My Cousin Vinny?  Dramatic selections at the Law Library include 12 Angry Men, The Client, Erin Brockovich,  A Few Good Men, The Firm, The Rainmaker, Michael Clayton, North Country, The Paper Chase, The Pelican Brief, and The People vs. Larry Flynt.  Check a DVD out for a movie night over Fall Break!

In other legal-themed movie news, a documentary film titled Hot Coffee, which discusses the impact of tort reform on the U.S. judicial System, will soon be available on DVD.  The film takes its name from the famous Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants case, in which the plaintiff was severely burned by hot coffee purchased from a New Mexico McDonald’s.  The documentary premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and has aired on HBO.  Its website says this about the film’s subject:

“Seinfeld mocked it. Letterman ranked it in his top ten list. And more than fifteen years later, its infamy continues. Everyone knows the McDonald’s coffee case. It has been routinely cited as an example of how citizens have taken advantage of America’s legal system, but is that a fair rendition of the facts? Hot Coffee reveals what really happened to Stella Liebeck, the Albuquerque woman who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonald’s, while exploring how and why the case garnered so much media attention, who funded the effort and to what end. After seeing this film, you will decide who really profited from spilling hot coffee.”