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

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’

Professor Oh Publishes Article on Kavanaugh Supreme Court Appointment

Professor Reggie Oh published an article entitled “The Fight for the Supreme Court Post-Kavanaugh” on the Loyal Opposition website.  In the article, Professor Oh considers the possibility of impeachment, then argues that Democrats should instead seek to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court from nine to ten.  The article is available here.

Professor Witmer-Rich to Teach New Course Based on “Serial” Podcast

Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich is teaching a new course next semester built around the current season of the popular Serial podcast.  Season 3 focuses on stories from the Cleveland criminal justice system. Professor Witmer-Rich recognized that the podcast could serve as an excellent teaching tool, helping students to examine how the criminal justice system actually functions.  The course—titled “Understanding and Reforming the Criminal Justice Process”—will use the podcast episodes to explore issues such as the power of prosecutors, the costs and fees of the criminal justice process, the distrust between police and some urban communities, accountability for police misconduct, and the voice of victims in the criminal justice system.

Professor Witmer-Rich’s course has caught the attention of state and national media outlets.  It was recently featured on’s “Ahead of the Curve” series, which focuses on notable innovations in legal education.  The course has also been highlighted on public radio programs and newspapers around the state, as well as Cleveland’s News Channel 5.

Each week students will listen to one episode of the podcast and read additional materials such as the 2014 Department of Justice Report on the Cleveland Division of Police.  The course will feature regular guest speakers—including some of the lawyers and judges featured on the podcast.  For their main project in the course, each student will complete a Criminal Justice Reform project that analyzes one of the problems highlighted on the show and proposes a solution.  The course begins in January.

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.

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):