Monthly Archives: September 2014

West Study Aids Available Online to All College of Law Students

West Study Aids are available online to all Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law students. Gilbert Law Summaries, Concise Hornbooks, Nutshells, Sum & Substance Quick Reviews, Exam Pro Series, and others covering more than 350 areas of law are available

To access the online collection, go to

You will need to login to your Westlaw account to gain access to the collection. A link to the study aids is also available under the Services for Law Students section of the Law Library’s home page.  Accessing these books through your Westlaw account allows you to personalize use, including highlighting text, full text searching and creating a list of favorites.

So if your favorite study aid is checked out from the Law Library’s Study Skills Collection, no worries.  Just check to see if it is available on Westlaw.

Judges are Movie Lovers Too

The Justices of the Texas Supreme Court must be movie lovers.  In the recent Kinney V. Barnes opinion, Justice Lehrmann quotes Walter Sobchak, a character in the cult favorite The Big Lebowski. Lehrmann states that “The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is similarly suspicious of prior restraints,” and goes on to point out that “This cornerstone of First Amendment protections has been reaffirmed time and again by the Supreme Court, this Court, Texas courts of appeals, legal treatises, and even popular culture.”  The popular culture reference is to Walter’s statement in the 1998 film: “For your information, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint…This affects all of us, man! Our basic freedoms!”


A 2008 Texas Supreme Court concurring opinion also cites a well-known movie character: Star Trek’s Mr. Spock.  In this case, Justice Willett joined by Justice Lehrmann, writes that “Appropriately weighty principles guide our course. First, we recognize that police power draws from the credo that ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.’ Second, while this maxim rings utilitarian and Dickensian (not to mention Vulcan), it is cabined by something contrarian and Texan: distrust of intrusive government and a belief that police power is justified only by urgency, not expediency.”  The footnote for this statement references Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, in which Spock tells Admiral Kirk “Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh . . .” to which Kirk replies, “the needs of the few.”

For your reading pleasure, we rounded up a few other court opinions and orders that quote movies:

Noble v. Bradford Marine, Inc. (1992)
This 1992 decision from the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida contains multiple references to the movie Wayne’s World, including sections labeled “Hurling Chunks” and “A Schwing and a Miss.”  In addition, the decision holds that the defendants’ “most bogus” attempt at removal is “not worthy” and “way improvident.”  The District Court concludes that the defendant must “party on” in state court and remands the case.

Factac v. King (2006)
This 2006 order from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas dismisses the defendant’s motion based on “incomprehensibility” and cites a scene from the movie Billy Madison in support: “Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

Constitution Day Event: Polarization in the Court?

ConstitutionIf you would like to celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th there will be a program at Hayden Library.  Join us for Hayden Library’s Constitution Day Celebration and hear Dr. Valerie Hoekstra speak about Polarization in the Court?  Prof. Hoekstra is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the School of Politics and Global Studies. The lecture will take place on Wednesday September 17th at 10:30am at Hayden Library in room Room C-6A, on the Tempe campus. The lecture is free.

For more information contact Dan Stanton at or 480-965-1798

Technology Enhanced Study Room

The Technology Enhanced Collaborative Space (TECS) is located on the first floor of the Ross-Blakley Law Library in room #112D. TECS is intended for collaborative work or study specifically for groups, defined as two or more users actively using the room and its technology. The room has a capacity for five people and includes the following equipment:

  • Media table specifically developed to promote collaboration
  • Computer
  • Laptop Connectivity for 5 laptops
  • Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
  • Two 37” video displays
  • Skype Capabilities

Study group participants can share content from their laptops on the two 37” video displays by pressing the corresponding switcher. Analog laptop electrical outlets and audio outlets are provided for each user. Students can access and share information by allowing all participants to contribute their ideas quickly and seamlessly.

Reserving TECS
TECS may be reserved up to one week in advance in person at the Circulation Desk, by calling 480-965-6144, or online through Law Interactive via the Group Study Room Reservation system under the room labeled TECS Law Library Room 112D. Your ASURITE username and password is required for making reservations in the online system.

We Want Your Feedback
The Law Library staff is in the process of planning for the new downtown building. We would like to know how you like TECS. Please email Leslie Pardo with any comments or suggestions you have about the new technology enhanced study room.

Free Digital Copies of the Federal Rules

Thanks to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School and the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction’s eLangdell Press, you can download the current versions of the Federal Rules of Evidence, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for free.  The books are available in .epub format, which is compatible with most e-readers including iPads, Nooks, and Android devices.

Here are direct links to each book:

2015 Federal Rules of Evidence
2015 Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
2015 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure