Monthly Archives: October 2011

Breast Cancer and the Law

If you’ve noticed a lot of pink in stores these days, you are probably aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The American Bar Association (ABA) recognizes the important role lawyers can play in patients’ journeys. Did you know the ABA Health Law Section has a Breast Cancer Task Force?  The task force was formed to:

…provide legal advocacy training to lawyers, provide resources for lawyers and consumers dealing with breast cancer, and educating women, attorneys and policymakers on the range of legal issues impacting women’s health.

The Task Force web site provides resources such as: a 218-page legal advocacy guide, a legal guide for cancer patients, pro bono referrals, and more.

Some key bits of legislation relating to breast cancer are:

If you’re interested in state laws:

Highlighting new books at the Law Library, part 3

Part 3 of the new book series reviews a resource for students looking to improve their brief writing skills.

The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts
By Bryan A. Garner
Law Study Skills Collection KF251 .G37 2004

The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts by Bryan Garner emphasizes that the key to good brief writing is understanding judicial readership.  Garner provides 100 concise tips for effective writing, all with the judicial reader in mind.  The tips are organized into five sections: composing in an orderly and sensible way, conveying the big picture, marching forward through sound paragraphs, editing for uncluttered sentences, and choosing the best words.  Each tip begins with quotes from composition experts, and Garner provides excellent before-and-after examples that apply the tip.  Two appendixes illustrate appellate briefs written in what Garner refers to as an “orthodox” style (i.e. slow and verbose), and the same briefs rewritten in a “high-impact” style.

A recent real-world example of the importance of good brief writing appears in the ABA Journal, which details how the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ordered an Illinois lawyer to show cause as to why he should not be barred from practicing before the court, for briefs full of “gibberish.”  The 7th Circuit’s opinion states that lawyer Walter Maksym was “unable to file an intelligible complaint” despite that he was given three tries to do so, and that each version of the complaint was “generally incomprehensible and riddled with errors.”  The Court pointed out a 345-word sentence as illustration of its point (it seems that the “editing for uncluttered sentences” chapter of this book would be particularly useful for Maksym).

First Monday in October-‘Supremes’ Back in Session!

The U. S. Supreme Court is back in session and crime and First and Fourth Amendment cases are on the docket.  In addition to United States v. Jones, No. 10-1259 (blogged about recently as “Court Case Asks if ‘Big Brother’ is Spelled GPS”), noteworthy cases include:

Does the First Amendment allow the government to regulate cursing and nudity on broadcast television?

Whether a “ministerial exception bans suits between religious groups and employees whose work includes religious duties.

Whether the First Amendment and the Constitution’s copyright clause prohibit Congress from taking works out of the public domain.

Does the Fourth Amendment allow jails to conduct suspicionless strip searches of every person detained for a minor offense.

Interested in articles discussing the new Supreme Court term? Access the entire article from the Sunday, October 2, New York Times, Section A, p. 13. The links to the dockets above are directly from the Supreme Court web site.

What are some other resources on the Ross-Blakley Law Library home page providing access to U. S. Supreme Court resources?  From the Research Now link, select BNA Databases and then under BNA Databases by Subject and under General select Supreme Court Today.

The SCOTUSblog , aka Supreme Court of the United States Blog, is a great daily resource!

New Tax Resource Now Available Online!

The Law Library recently acquired the RIA Checkpoint Tax Database, a comprehensive tax research database covering tax laws and news on the international, federal, state and local levels. It provides access to a variety of primary sources, analysis, journals, news, cases, and rulings.

In this database you will find:

  • Tax News – Featuring tax journals such as Corporate Taxation, Journal of Taxation and Tax Strategies
  • Federal Tax Library – Tax Legislation, Federal Editorial and Source Materials
  • Pension and Benefits Library
  • State and Local Tax Library
  • International Tax News
  • Tax Alerts
  • Payroll Library

To access the RIA Checkpoint Tax Library:

  1. Find under “Recommended Databases” on the Law Library’s Research Now webpage.
  2. Access through the Library Catalog

Off-campus access is available with your ASUrite ID and password.


Please contact Kerry Skinner (480-965-4872) if you have difficulty accessing the resource from on or off campus.

Also, don’t forget to Ask a Librarian if have questions or need assistance using the library’s resources.