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

Archive for July, 2014

Benchbook on International Law

Inspired by the Benchbook for U.S. District Court Judges, the American Society of International Law has published the Benchbook on International Law, a book available for free online. The Benchbook is a “hands-on introduction to international law as it arises in courts of the United States.” The book is geared toward U.S. District Court judges, who are often the first practitioners to encounter international law. The Benchbook includes discussion of:

  • Sources and evidence
  • Uses of international law in U.S. courts
  • Jurisdiction and procedural concerns
  • The law of specific instances, such as arbitration, sale of goods, and criminal justice
  • Research and interpretive sources

Don’t Miss Burning River Fest This Weekend!

brf_logo_2Since 2001, folks from all over the Great Lakes region have come together to remember the 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River and celebrate the renewed sense of eco-consciousness the infamous fire sparked. Intended to raise awareness of environmental issues affecting the Great Lakes region and Cuyahoga River ecosystem, the annual Burning River Fest features live music, fresh food and chef demos from local farms and eateries, educational exhibits, and artists from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Parade the Circle.

The 2014 Burning River Fest will take place July 25 & 26 from 6-11 pm at the historic Coast Guard Station at Whiskey Island.

For more information visit Burning River Fest’s webpage [here].

Ferrari or Dairy? — Pronouncing “Certiorari” and the Problem with Dictionaries

What’s the right way to pronounce “certiorari”? That’s exactly what James J. Duane asks in his recent Green Bag article The Proper Pronunciation of Certiorari. Specifically, Duane examines how U.S. Supreme Court justices pronounce the word. Surprisingly, he find a contentious six-way split, with some pronouncing it “ser-shee-or-RARE-eye”, others “ser-shee-or-RAHR-ee,” and others something different yet.

What’s a diligent and articulate law student to do when it comes pronouncing tricky legal Latin, not to mention French, phrases?

You might look in a standard law dictionary like Black’s, something more specialized like Guide to Latin in International Law, or something more historical like the Self-Pronouncing Law Dictionary. And sure enough, in these learned tomes you’d find pronunciation guidance for legal terms.

But then you’d probably still have a problem. Most of these sources use what’s called the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) or some simplified variation of the IPA. The IPA is an alphabetic system used by linguists to describe the sounds of languages. It’s not so easy to use for non-linguists because it uses special characters like æ, ə, or ʒ to describe certain sounds. If you’re not familiar with the IPA, then you might run into problems looking up the pronunciation of legal terminology in law dictionaries.

Here’s one possible solution. To make things easier, dictionaries and other legal pronunciation guides should simply adopt a “sounds like” method. Duane uses it in his article. He says that some justices make certiorari rhyme with Ferrari, while others make it rhyme with dairy. Various authors have noted other legal rhymes – prima facie like I’m a geisha, res judicata roughly like peace rutabaga, or voir dire like tire if you’re from Texas.

See James J. Duane, The Proper Pronunciation of Certiorari: The Supreme Court’s Surprising Six-Way Split 17 Green Bag 2d 279 (Spring 2014).

Ravel: New Electronic Legal Research Platform


Do you know Ravel? Maybe you should—and they offer free student accounts.  Ravel is a new startup electronic legal research platform.  Ravel currently offers case law but will be offering statutes soon.  What makes this product different from other legal information providers is its uses of analytics technology to help add value to a search by identifying, contextualizing and interpreting legal information and cutting down search time.  Interested in giving the product a whirl?  Click [here] to sign up for a free student account using your .edu e-mail.


Library Hours for Bar Exam

The dates for the July 2014 Ohio bar exam are July 29, 30, and 31. To accommodate people studying for the bar, the library will be open the following hours:

Friday, July 18 through Sunday, July 27

Monday – Thursday                           8am – 10pm
Friday                                                   8am – 6pm
Saturday                                              9am – 5pm
Sunday                                                 Noon – 8pm

Good luck on the bar!!