News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for the ‘Legal Writing and Citation’


Law & Gender, Journals & Databases

If you’re writing a seminar paper, independent study requirement, or note on a gender-related topic, we have plenty of resources for you. Secondary sources like journal articles are a great way to start your research, see what has and hasn’t been written, and get ideas for your own paper. Here is a list of some of the law and gender journals available to you. Check Scholar, the library catalog to find out how to can get access to each journal.

  • Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law and Justice
  • Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender
  • Columbia Journal of Gender and Law
  • Duke Journal of Gender, Law and Policy
  • Gender Issues
  • Harvard Journal of Law and Gender (formerly Harvard Women’s Law Journal)
  • Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law (formerly American University Journal of Gender and the Law)
  • Michigan Journal of Gender and Law
  • The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law
  • Yale Journal of Law and Feminism

Law and gender topics lend themselves to interdisciplinary research, so don’t limit yourself to the familiar law databases. The Michael Schwarz Library lists several core databases for women’s studies:

  • Gender Studies Database
  • GenderWatch
  • LGBT Life with Full Text
  • Viva Database
  • Women’s Studies International

Fall 2017 Law Library “Legal Research Seminars”

image of superhero womanThis Fall 2017 semester, the C|M|LAW Library is conducting seven live Legal Research Seminars.  We will also offer each of these live Seminars in an online format approximately two weeks after the Seminar‘s live date.  Special prize for live Seminar attendees – we will have a drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card at the end of each live Seminar.

Key points about Fall 2017 Law Library Legal Research Seminars:

  • Law Library Legal Research Seminars are for C|M|LAW students, including LLM/MLS students.
  • You do not need to register to take a live Seminar – simply come to the Seminar(s) you want to attend.  We take attendance at each live Seminar, to be sure you are credited points as you earn them.
  • All of the live Seminars will take place on Thursdays, in Law Library Room A059.  All but one of the live Seminars will be 30-minutes; one will be 60-minutes.
  • Each of the live Seminars will be available online, via Westlaw’s TWEN platform, approximately two weeks after the Seminar‘s live date.  Toward the end of September, connect to TWEN, then click the “Add Course” button, then add the C|M|Law Library Legal Research Seminars course to your “My Courses” list.
  • You earn 12.5 points for attending a 30-minute live Seminar, and 25 points for attending a 60-minute live Seminar.  You earn points for “attending” an online Seminar by correctly answering 3/4 of the questions on that Seminar‘s quiz.  Your Seminar points are good for the entire time you are here at C|M|LAW.  [You cannot earn points for attending the same Seminar twice.]
  • When you earn 100 points, you will be awarded a Law Library Legal Research Letter of Recognition, and you can earn multiple Letters of Recognition.

Complete list of Fall 2017 Law Library Legal Research Seminar topics, dates & times:

  • Starting Research with Secondary Sources – September 7, 4:30pm-5pm – Why recreate the wheel? Secondary sources can help you get a leg up on your legal research. You’ll examine key secondary sources, and explore best practices for their use.
  • Bluebooking – September 21, 4:50pm-5:50pm – You and The Bluebook can be friends. Learn to effectively use it for faster legal drafting. As you practice writing citations, you’ll discover how to apply citation & style rules, and abbreviation & jurisdiction tables.
  • Terms & Connectors Searching – September 28, 4:30pm-5pm – Learn powerful key search techniques beyond natural language searching. As you practice constructing searches using connectors in Lexis Advance & Westlaw, you’ll see amazing results.
  • Westlaw Overview – October 12, 4:30pm-5pm [1L geared; see description immediately below.]
  • Lexis Advance Overview – October 26, 4:30pm-5pm – Leap beyond Google and harness the power of these two legal research giants. You’ll practice big box & pre-filtered searching, and see how to print/download/email search results.
  • Shepard’s – November 2, 4:30pm-5pm [See description immediately below.]
  • KeyCite – November 9, 4:30pm-5pm – Why is a red stop sign different from a yellow flag, and what should you do when you see either one? You’ll examine components of reports in Shepard’s (on Nov 2) and KeyCite (on Nov 9), and discover the power of these legal citator services.
  • Zotero – bonus online Seminar – available in late September – Do you have a big research project? Get organized with reference management software. You’ll practice how to save database records & web pages, and create & export records, in the freely-available Zotero.

Again, special prize for live Seminar attendees – we will have a drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card at the end of each live Seminar.

Questions?  Contact Laura Ray, Outreach & Instructional Services Librarian, 216-687-6880, l.ray@csuohio.edu.

Ebytes Fall 2017– Wednesdays 12-2pm in Learning Commons

Ebytes are back this fall!  If you are not familiar with ebytes, they are short demos on products or services that you have access to via the law library.  Every Wednesday from 12 pm-2pm (see schedule below), you can drop in at any point during that time for a short demo.  Each week you stop by you are entered into a contest for a $25 gift card.  We are giving away 3 gift cards this semester (at the end of September, October, and November.)

If you have any questions, contact Student Services Librarian Brian Cassidy at b.e.cassidy@csuohio.edu or 216-523-7364.

Schedule:

  • August 23th – The Catalog: Finding and Requesting Materials
  • August 30th – Social Media at the Law Library
  • September 6th – How Research Guides Can Help You Research Better
  • September 13th – Using History and Folders on Lexis and Westlaw
  • September 20th – Using Alerts on Westlaw and Lexis
  • September 27th – No Question Too Big or Small-Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Help
  • October 4th – Current Awareness Research With the Health Affairs Database
  • October 11th – Finding Law Review Articles
  • October 18th – Practical Law from Westlaw-Get Yourself Practice Ready
  • October 25th – Gale U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs
  • November 1st – Bluebooking Q&A
  • November 8th – ProQuest Congressional-For all your Legislative History Needs
  • November 15th – IT Questions and Answers

What Does That Abbreviation Mean?

Have you ever read a legal document and had trouble finding what the author’s abbreviation meant? Prince’s Bieber Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations probably has the answer.  Prince’s has thousands of abbreviations—so if you get stuck on the meaning of an abbreviation it should be a top resource to check.  Don’t know what Menz. Stands for? What about Idding? How about Neb. S.R.C.? (Menzie’s Cape of Good Hope Reports, Idding’s Term Reports (Dayton, Ohio), and Nebraska State Railway Commission respectively).

Prince’s Dictionary of Legal Citations assists in citing legal authorities according to the rules given in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 20th ed. (2015). This title is a companion to The Bluebook but not a replacement.  Prince’s has both references to state court rules for citing cases and statutes, and examples of how to cite cases according to those rules.

What is Positive Law and Why Should You Care?

Black’s Law Dictionary defines positive law as “a system of law promulgated and implemented within a particular political community by political superiors, as distinct from moral law or law existing in an ideal community or in some nonpolitical community.”

The term positive law in general parlance connotes statutes, i.e., law that has been enacted by a legislature.  The term “natural law” is distinguished from positive law in that it refers to a set of universal principles and rules that properly govern moral human conduct.

Within the context of the US Code, positive law is used in a more limited way. According to the Office of Law Revision Counsel (US House of Representatives), a positive law title of the US Code is a title that has been enacted as a statute. To enact the title, a positive law codification bill is introduced in Congress. The bill repeals existing laws on a certain subject and restates those laws in a new form–a positive law title of the US Code. The titles of the US Code that have not been enacted through this process are called non-positive law titles. The Office of the Law Revision Counsel is charged with making editorial decisions regarding the selection and arrangement of provisions from statutes into the non-positive law titles of the US Code. Non-positive law titles, as a whole, have not been enacted by Congress, but the laws assembled in the non-positive law titles have been enacted by Congress.  Thus, in both positive law titles and non-positive law titles of the US Code, all of the law set forth is positive law (in the general sense of the term) because the entire US Code is a codification of statutes enacted by Congress, and not of natural law principles.

However, when using the US Code, it is important to understand if the title as a whole has been enacted as positive law.  According to 1 U.S.C. § 204(a), the titles not enacted as positive law as a whole are prima facie evidence of the law.  If there is any conflict with the wording in the US Code and the Statutes at Large, the Statutes at Large govern.

Lexis Advance has the United States Code Service (USCS). Westlaw has the United States Code Annotated (USCA).  While both offer the researcher important information, including notes of decisions, it is important to note the difference vis-à-vis positive law.  USCS unlike USCA follows the text of the public laws as they appear in the Statutes at Large.  Thus, if a title as a whole has not been enacted into positive law, the USCS has the authoritative language.  The editors of the USCS use explanatory notes if they feel there is clarification needed in the language of the public laws.

When does this come into play when doing legal research? Only when there is a discrepancy between the language of the statute as printed in a code and the language of the statute as it appears in Statutes at Large.