Monthly Archives: January 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Arizona!

Arizona’s Centennial is coming up on February 14th, and the state is celebrating in a big way.  Want to get in on the party? Consider attending one of these events in Phoenix, and check out the many other official events listed on the Arizona Centennial website:

Centennial Ride on February 11th
This motorcycle ride to the Arizona Capital will be led by country star, and Arizona native, Dierks Bentley.

Arizona Best Fest on February 11th and 12th
The Best Fest is an outdoor festival which will be held on the Capital Mall,
featuring entertainment, food, music, arts & crafts, and more.

Centennial Marriage Event on February 14th
The Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court is offering couples the chance to be
married on the grounds of the Wesley Bolin Plaza by Arizona Supreme Court
Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch on Valentine’s Day.

Fandango!Arizona on February 14th
This black tie gala will take place at the Phoenix Convention Center and will
feature, among other famous guests, Sandra Day O’Connor.

ASU Law Helping Homeowners

With mortgage and forclosure issues in the news every day, there’s no doubt that plenty of Arizona homeowners are in need of help. The College of Law has had a busy week lending a hand.

Today the  ASU Family Justice Bus and Homeowner Advocacy Unit are co-sponsoring a Foreclosure Prevention Workshop. And yesterday, third-year law student Kyle Roberston, a student in the Homeowner Advocacy Unit , made news by arguing a case before the Arizona Supreme Court:

The question before the court is whether homeowners can challenge the foreclosing party’s authority to sell their house. Robertson will address issues related to the practical problems that result when homeowners are denied their right to challenge illegal foreclosures in court.

You can read case summary of  Hogan v. Washington Mutual Bank, et. al. here (in PDF) or watch the video of the Arizona Supreme Court proceedings here.

Researching Foreclosure Law? Among other topics, the Law Library offers a wonderfully helpful research guide on Foreclosure Law.


Highlighting New Books at the Law Library

Ever wondered where the term “rainmaker” came from? Or the origins of “blackmail”?  A new book in the library collection explains how many of the legal terms that we use everyday developed.

Lawtalk: The Unknown Stories Behind Familiar Legal Expressions
By James E. Clapp, Elizabeth G. Thornburg, Marc Galanter, and Fred R. Shapiro
Law Reference KF156 .L39 2011

For those of you familiar with the rules of evidence, this entry may be of interest:

  • Hearsay: This term originated in a 16th century textbook on French language that included English translations.  In one of the discussions, a cleric attempts to explain the properties of earth, water, air, and fire, but admits that this is not his area of expertise.  He states French words meaning “I know nothing about it except by hearing it said.” This was translated in the book to English as “I know nothing of it but by hear say.”  The phrase “by hear say” gradually began to appear in English writings, eventually as a single word: “hearsay.”

Separate entries in Lawtalk for each legal expression offer interesting and surprising aspects of the word’s evolution.  The authors also address urban myths and common misconceptions, and lightheaded sidebars on many entries offer jokes and comic historical material.

Hat tip to The Faculty Lounge

Getting the Semester Started Off Right

Exam season may seem like the far-off future now, but it is precisely what you are doing at the beginning of the semester that will prepare you for exams at the end.  The new semester means a fresh start, and now is the time to get your study practices off on the right foot.  Here are some techniques to help:

  1. Condense your briefs and class notes into outlines every week – outlining throughout the semester will help you retain the information you learned and keep you from having to re-learn material at the end of the semester.  Additionally, having your outlines finished or close to completion at the end of the semester will decrease your stress level.
  2. Begin reviewing your outline early – regular review of your outline will lead to a deeper understanding of the material, and will make memorization of key subject components much easier.
  3. Meet with your professors – visit your professor during office hours to clarify any confusing points or issues.  By doing this frequently, you will have a strong foundation before moving on to the next course topic.
  4. Stock up on school supplies – with an arsenal of pens, paper, ink cartridges, and index cards, you will always have what you need when you need it.
  5. Evaluate your study strategies and revamp if necessary – do you study best at home, at school, or in some other location such as a coffee shop?  Do you get more out of focusing on one topic for a long study session or by switching among subjects?  Are you using study time efficiently?

For more thoughts on how to get your semester started off well, read Amy L. Jarmon’s ABA Student Lawyer article titled “Exam Review Begins Now” on the ABA Student Division website (requires sign-in).  Larson offers some excellent techniques for improving your exam results in May.  Look at the “Thinking About the Review Process” post on the Law School Academic Support Blog as well.  This post is a little old, but its information on the four kinds of review that students need to accomplish throughout the semester to be prepared for exams is still useful.

Free Congressional Record App for iPad

The Library of Congress has released a free app for the Congressional Record. From the iTunes description:

Read the daily edition of the Congressional Record on your iPad. The Congressional Record App is presented by the Library of Congress using data provided by the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, and the Government Printing Office….The Congressional Record contains the debates, proceedings, and activities of the Congress of the United States. The Congressional Record is published in four parts: House of Representatives, Senate, Extension of Remarks, and Daily Digest. The Daily Digest provides a summary of the day’s activities.

The app will let you access the Congressional Record from January 4, 1995 (the 104th Congress, 1st Session) through present day.

The Furor Over SOPA and PIPA

You may have noticed the internet “strike” being waged today against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) when you tried to access a Wikipedia article and saw the page go dark, or logged on to Google and noticed the protest link on its home page.  Both Wikipedia and Google, as well as other websites such as Reddit, BoingBoing, Mozilla, and WordPress are voicing their opposition to these two bills by participating in an “internet blackout.”  A full list of strike participants is available at

SOPA and PIPA are aimed at preventing copyright infringement and intellectual property theft, and would give the Department of Justice the power to prosecute foreign websites committing or facilitating IP theft.  The DOJ could also force U.S. companies, including internet service providers and credit card companies, to cut ties with those websites.

Those opposing the two bills argue that SOPA and PIPA would censor the web and that they will hurt the economy because American businesses with websites will have to monitor everything users upload or link to, or face expensive and time-consuming litigation.   Additionally, opponents say that the bills won’t even achieve their stated purpose of stopping piracy.  They claim that pirate sites will just move to other addresses and continue their illegal activities.

More information about the internet blackout is available on ABC News. Get more information on SOPA here and about PIPA here.

Martin Luther King Day

The library is open from 8 am to midnight on Martin Luther King Day. Come and study, that you might make yourself and the world better with your knowledge.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.