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

Archive for August 18th, 2010

This Just In: Two New Legal Research Overviews

If you’re looking for an overview of legal research that clocks in at well under 150 pages (you could skim that in an hour!) – here are two to choose from.

  • Impeccable Research by Mark K. Osbeck [Find it]
    Works with a five-step research strategy: 1) Formulate a research plan and generate search terms 2) consult secondary sources 3) search for primary authorities 4) expand and update case research 5) analyze and organize research results.
  • Real World Research Skills (2nd edition) by Peggy Garvin [Find it]
    Bases research on the traditional branches of government (legislative, judicial, executive), plus adds researching beyond Google, and state and international research.

Both books are available for checkout from room AO66.

Cover for Real World Research

This Just In: Exam Skills Essay Writing on CD

The latest edition in the popular Sum+Substance study aid series is a set of CDs on writing essays exams. Exam Skills: Essay Writing [find it] topics covered on the three CDs include:

  • Nature of essay exams
  • How law professors construct essay exams
  • System for understanding the “big picture”
  • System for answering essay questions
  • How to practice at home to improve skills

Find the CD set and others like it for checkout in room AO66 on the Atrium level.

So, How Important is Legal Writing, Anyway?

Pretty darn important.  Thanks to Greg Lambert of the Three Geeks and a Law Blog, for his post  It Seems That Judges Want More In Your Complaints Than Just Your Complaining , reporting two cases thrown out by judges for faulty legal writing.  In a Montana court, the judge dismissed a mandamus action for failing to cite the statute the petitioner’s wanted the court to enforce. ( Right to Vote Missoula.Com v. City of Missoula, BO. DV-10-821,Montana Fourth Judicial District, 2010).  On Monday, the  New York  Federal District Court, Southern District  dismissed the 112 page  complaint in  Woodward v. Raymond James in a 24 page opinion, noting that ” the extreme length of the Amended Complaint is an independent ground for dismissal, pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires that a pleading contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” ”  Read Lambert’s post, then take a look at the cases for a lesson in what not to do!