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

Archive for October, 2018

Ohio IR (Institutional Repository) Day

Engaged Scholarship is Cleveland State University’s Institutional Repository (IR). The IR’s law publications include the electronic versions of C|M|LAW’s journals: Cleveland State Law Review, Journal of Law and Health, and Global Business Law Review. It also houses scholarly works published by professors in addition to other special collections, such as the Sam Sheppard Case.

Digital Content & Special Collections Librarian Lisa Smilnak attended Ohio IR Day on October 30 at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus. The main presentation, given by Virginia Dressler of Kent State University, was titled ‘Privacy Considerations for Digital Collections’ and addressed the numerous factors that should be considered before posting documents online.

Please contact Lisa at with questions about Engaged Scholarship @ Cleveland State University.

Causes of Action – For a Haunted House

Say you (or your client) buy a lovely Victorian house, only to find out that it’s haunted. The seller never bothered to inform you that the house’s original owner was murdered on the premises and now her ghost wanders the hallways, sometimes humming eerily and bumping into things. It’s a pretty creepy house.

You’re thinking you’d like to sue the seller for failure to disclose to you that the house is haunted – after all, you might have thought twice about the purchase had you known about the ghost. You might think you’d be out of luck, but luckily there’s the perfect legal resource to help you establish your case.

Causes of Action 2d, which is available on Westlaw and in print, is a phenomenal research tool to help attorneys establish the required elements of a cause of action and its defenses. Causes of Action also gives you practice checklists, sample litigation forms, detailed tables of cases, action guides, damage awards summaries, and more.

It turns out there’s a Causes of Action article right on point to your haunted house troubles – Cause of Action for Failure of Seller of Real Estate and Its Agent to Disclose to Buyer Facts of Past Violent Crimes or Hauntings Within Property Subject to Sale (76 COA2d 555).

The article walks you through establishing a prima facie case and covers defenses to an action and potential remedies and recovery. There are practice checklists, including ones on discovery and matters alleged in a complaint. Finally, you’ll find a sample case, a sample complaint, and a verdict form.

About the haunting specifically, the Causes of Action article discusses how to prove the haunting. In one of the discovery checklists, you’ll find sample questions on asserting the effects of the haunting. These are the best – they ask about things like whether there are unusual sounds in the house like rapping or moaning, whether the electricity flickers in any part of the house, whether any doors or windows don’t close normally, or whether there is evidence of blood in the walls.

Happy haunted research!

Add Health Affairs to Your Health Law Research

Researching health law often means using a wide number of sources, ranging from regulations and agency guidance to interdisciplinary journal articles. You can enhance your health law research by adding a simple search in Health Affairs, a legal health policy journal. Health Affairs is a peer-reviewed, nonpartisan journal that covers domestic and international health law topics.  Health Affairs is a great resource for those writing papers on health care law, or those who want to keep up on the latest health care policy issues, both U.S and internationally.  Email alerts and RSS feeds are available, which can be set up remotely from offsite, as well as in the library or law school.  You do not need to set up an account to get alerts –  just enter your email address.

U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs

Faculty and students at Cleveland-Marshall have access to Gale’s U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs database. This database contains briefs and related documents from Supreme Court cases between 1832 and 1978. Previously, many of these briefs were not available through any of the library’s other legal databases, so this is a very useful for anyone doing research on older Supreme Court cases.

Access to this database is IP-authenticated for users connected to the law school’s computer network; faculty and students can also access the database while off campus by logging in with their CSU ID number and library PIN.

Use Your Head(notes)!

Don’t forget to use headnotes to enhance your research. Headnotes are summaries of specific points of law that are covered in a case. They appear before the text of the opinion and can lead a researcher to additional cases that also discuss the given issue. In Westlaw, headnotes are part of the Key Number system, which classifies American law into broad topics and then divides those topics into narrower subtopics.

For example, a headnote on Westlaw from Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954):


LexisAdvance also features headnotes, which look a little different and may use different words for the legal topics. Lexis also offers the option to narrow the Shepard’s report by headnote. For example: a headnote on LexisAdvance from Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954):