Monthly Archives: February 2012

Citation Management – RefWorks

If you’ve ever researched a topic online, you know how easy it is to get overwhelmed with all the information out there. There’s even a term for this condition: information overload.

If you’re plagued by information overload, a citation management program may be just the cure you need. A citation management program (a.k.a. reference managment program; a.k.a. bibliographic managment program) is a tool that allows you to create a personal database of citations, so all those fabulous resources you come across while researching will be in one place, organized however you like, and easily searchable.

There are lots of these programs available, but the three biggies are EndNote, RefWorks and Zotero. Havard Libraries has put together a handy comparison of the three programs’ features, but here’s the quick run-down:

  • Endnote: a software package you purchase and download onto your computer;
  • Zotero: a free web-based, open-source extension that works through your Firefox browser;
  • RefWorks: a  web-based program that allows you to create and share databases. RefWorks is supported by ASU Libraries, and as an ASU student, faculty or staff, you can create an account.

RefWorks will allow you to import and export directly from research databases.  That means if you come across a book, article, case or other resource, you can usually bookmark it in RefWorks with a simple click or two. [For a full list of ASU databases that work with RefWorks, click here].

You can also import citations from Google Scholar, as well as manually enter citations so that all your research is bookmarked in one place.

Best of all, when you’re writing a paper or putting together a bibliography, RefWorks will export your citations in the citation style of your choice…including Bluebook! [Word to the wise, though, always double-check citations for accuracy.] You can dowload formatted citations from RefWorks, or install a plug-in called Write-n-Cite that works with Microsoft Word to insert citations directly into your document.

A little time learning RefWorks over Spring Break might help you tackle the rest of the semester. To learn the RefWorks basics, check out the ASU Libraries RefWorks info page , then set up your account through the ASU authentication page,

You can also watch a series of short video tutorials for RefWorks Classic  and RefWorks 2.0 online, or sign up for a webinar to dig a little deeper into this tool’s possibilities.

New Business Organizations Study Aids

The library has three new business organizations study aids in the study skills collection.  These may be useful if you plan on outlining over spring break!

Secured Transactions: Examples and Explanations
Law Study Skills Collection KF1050.Z9 B76 2011
Secured Transactions: Examples and Explanations provides introductions and illustrations that make Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code understandable.  The text covers the rules and policies of the law governing secured transactions, and provides helpful diagrams and visual aids.


Agency, Partnership, and the LLC in a Nutshell
Law Study Skills Collection KF1375.Z9 H95 2012
This compact guide provides a succinct description of the law related to agency and unincorporated business entities.  The book first lays a foundation in agency, then covers partnerships and LLCs.


Corporations: Examples and Explanations
Law Study Skills Collection KF1418 .S65 2009
tions: Examples and Explanations works through the many aspects of the law relating to corporations.  Topics covered include formation, shareholder rights, fiduciary duties,  the closely held corporation, protection of corporate creditors, and fundamental corporate changes.  Clear explanations and visual aids throughout the text aid with comprehension.

Protecting Your Privacy from Google

Google is going to unify its privacy policy across all of its services beginning on March 1st. This will unify the data they collect, from your web searches to what you watch on YouTube. If there’s anything you want kept a little more secret, check out How to Remove Your Google Search History before Google’s New Privacy Policy Takes Effect.

For a fuller description of what these changes mean, take a look at Google’s Privacy Policy Preview.

Copyright Lawsuit Against Westlaw and LexisNexis

Westlaw and LexisNexis have been publishing publicly filed legal briefs and motions, and charging their subscription users to access them online, for years.  Two attorneys, Oklahoma lawyer Edward White and New York city lawyer Kenneth Elan, plan to put a stop to it.   White and Elan recently filed a class action lawsuit against Westlaw and LexisNexis, claiming copyright infringement of the aforementioned legal documents.   They seek to represent both lawyers who have copyrighted their work and those who have not, and claim that the two publishing companies have engaged in “unabashed wholesale copying of thousands of copyright-protected works created by, and owned by, the attorneys and law firms who authored them.”

Read the full complaint here.

What do you think of this lawsuit?  Does it have a solid legal footing?  Or, as some have stated, do you think that the strength of the copyright claim is undermined by the fact that many legal opinions are based on other people’s arguments and analysis?

10 Greatest Legal Movie Lines

Who doesn’t love a great legal movie? The editors of Bloomberg Law sure do – they’ve come up with a list of 10 Greatest Legal Movie Lines of all time.

Did you know the Law Library has a great selection of legal movies? Stock up for the weekend with any of the movies from Bloomberg’s list:

…and more!

You can vote for your favorite line on Bloomberg’s Tumblr site. Or tell us your favorite line in the comments below!

Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Yesterday the Supreme Court agreed to revisit the issue of Affirmative Action in higher education admissions. The case in question is Fisher v. University of Texas (docket 11-345), which the court will hear in their next term.

The decision in this case could impact the future of college admissions. If you’re interested in reading up on the issues, check out:


The 16th Annual Pedrick Lecture and International Law

The 16th annual Pedrick Lecture is being delivered by Senator Jon Kyle in the Great Hall of the College of Law this evening.  Senator Kyle will be speaking on “American Sovereignty and Transnational Law,” and will discuss how non-ratified international treaties and agreements are circumventing domestic laws.

The Pedrick Lecture is one of the College of Law’s signature events, and all members of the law school community are invited.  If you are interested in international law, be sure to attend, and also consider checking out one of the following new books on international law in the Law Library collection:

Shaping Foreign Policy in Times of Crisis: The Role of International Law and the State Department Legal Adviser
Law Treatises KF4581 .S33 2010



The Confluence of Public and Private International Law: Justice, Pluralism and Subsidiary in the International Constitutional Ordering of Private Law
Law Treatises K7040 .M55 2009



The Problem of Enforcement in International Law: Countermeasures, the Non-Injured State, and the Idea of International Community
Law Foreign & International KZ6362 .K38 2010

Be My Valentine – Lawyer Edition

Some people say it with Shakespeare.

Others crank up the sultry Soul songs of Marvin Gaye or Barry White.

Be My Valentine (Legally Binding)But why speak the language of love when you can woo them with the language of law?

At’s Be My Valentine – Lawyer Edition, you can “send a romantic yet legally defensible Valentine’s Day Card to that special someone.”

Hat-tip and Happy Valentine’s Day wishes to former RBLL Reference Librarian Amy Levine!

February 14th, 2012 – A Day to Celebrate!

Today is a big day – not only is it Valentine’s Day, but it is also Arizona’s 100th birthday!

Celebrate both holidays at the Centennial Marriage Event this afternoon, where you can tie the knot in a ceremony presided by Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch.

Or, attend The Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Constitution: The First Hundred Years, a panel discussion sponsored by the College of Law and the Arizona State Law Journal.   The event is taking place at the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse and will feature contributing authors to a special issue of the Law Journal addressing the role that the Arizona Supreme Court has played during Arizona’s first 100 years of statehood.

Finally, in celebration of Arizona’s birthday, be sure to check out The Arizona State Constitution, a new book in the Law Library collection.  This book offers a historical overview of Arizona’s constitutional development, from the adoption of the constitution through the changes it has undergone.  Particularly interesting is a section-by-section commentary which discusses the evolution and interpretation of each constitutional section, including significant court decisions. Find this book at Law Reserve KFA2801 1911.A6 L467 2011.

Amazon’s $53 million Arizona state tax bill

It’s tax season again, and is facing a $53 million tax bill from the state of Arizona.

Amazon disclosed in a February 1st Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Arizona had issued it a $53 million assessment “for uncollected tax for the periods of March 1, 2006 through December 31, 2010,” and that the state was alleging the company “should have collected a transaction tax that is similar to a sales tax on applicable transactions during those years.”  Amazon stated that it will fight the tax.  It will likely rely heavily on the 1992 Quill v. North Dakota Supreme Court decision, which held that a state cannot force a retailer to add sales tax to orders if the retailer has no physical presence in the state.

Amazon is facing another tax-related battle in Arizona, as just this week the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee unanimously endorsed Senate Bill 1338, which would tax the internet sales of any company with a distribution center in Arizona.  Amazon has four distribution centers in the state.

Although taxes are no laughing matter (which is probably why they are paired with death in many jokes),  to get a few tax-related chuckles, peruse these tax quotes on the website of the Internal Revenue Service.