The Circuit Court’s Information Services Department is responsible for the court’s evidence presentation equipment, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve the equipment, you can fill out an online form (available here) or call the Information Services Department at (410) 222-1484. If you are unfamiliar with the evidence presentation equipment and would like training on the equipment, contact the Information Services Department.
Are you interested in learning more about different programs and technologies available to attorneys for evidence presentation? If so, check out these articles.
As a public law library, the Law Library serves a wide range of communities, including self-represented litigants. In addition to providing self-represented litigants with reference, instruction, and referral services, the Law Library coordinates and hosts programs that provide limited legal advice and assistance for civil matters through a partnership with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.
Last week was a busy week for the Law Library as we hosted four programs/clinics, all of which were open to the public. Here’s a recap!
Ask a Lawyer in the Library (Law Library) Next Program Date/Time: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 from 11am-1pm (sign-up via lottery is at 10:45am)
On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, the Law Library hosted another successful Ask a Lawyer in the Library program. Brian Lyman from Hillman Brown & Darrow, P.A., served as our volunteer attorney and met with six people. Brian assisted the program participants on issues such as bankruptcy, landlord/tenant matters, contracts, peace orders, procedure (motion for summary judgment), and benefits. If you’re interested in learning more about our weekly Lawyer in the Library program, check out our past blog posts here!
Free Legal Advice about Foreclosure Next Program Dates/Time: Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 1pm-3pm (sign-up is first-come, first-served)
On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, the Law Library hosted its third Foreclosure Clinic! We are happy to announce that this will be an ongoing monthly program at the Law Library! Specific dates will vary, but the Law Library will host the clinic once a month. Upcoming dates are Wednesday, October 14, 2015, Wednesday, November 18, 2015 and Wednesday, December 16, 2015.
Thank you Fani Kartartziz, who provided consultations to three program participants and Lonni Summers of the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, who coordinated the program. Fani answered questions about foreclosure and provided information and advice about foreclosure-related court papers and documents. To learn more about this foreclosure clinic and other foreclosure resources, check out our past blog posts here.
Ask a Lawyer in the Library (Glen Burnie Regional Library) Next Program Date/Time: Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 4:30-6:30pm (sign-up via lottery is at 4:15pm)
On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, the Law Library coordinated another successful Ask a Lawyer in the Library program at the Glen Burnie Regional Library. This monthly program is held every third Wednesday of the month. Joan Bellistri provided on-site program coordination and administration. Our volunteer attorneys, Mary Albrecht-Jordan (The Law Office of Mary A Jordan), Andrew DiBlasio (Staiti & DiBlasio), Alan Forman (Forman Clothier Law Group), and Jenna Forman-Clothier (Forman Clothier Law Group) provided nine people with limited legal advice and assistance on issues such as income tax, wills, loan modifications, immigration, and property. This was Jenna Forman-Clothier’s first volunteer experience with the Lawyer in the Library program, and we are very excited to add her to our roster of volunteers!
Personal Bankruptcy Clinic Next Program Date/Time: Check out this schedule for future clinic dates in Baltimore.
On Thursday, September 17, 2015, the Law Library hosted a bankruptcy seminar, coordinated by Lonni Summers of the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. Wayne Clark, an experienced bankruptcy attorney, led the seminar. Wayne presented a class on bankruptcy, which included demonstrations on how to fill out bankruptcy forms. In addition, Wayne answered questions and reviewed the bankruptcy forms for the clinic’s attendees!
Thank you to all our volunteers for providing these valuable services to the public!
To learn more about the programs available at the Law Library or to volunteer, please contact us! Training opportunities are available for attorneys interested in volunteering!
The Law Library provides its users with free access to various online legal databases. However, library users must use these resources in-person at the Law Library. For those of you who would like to conduct legal research at home, one free option is Google Scholar.
To learn how to research cases on Google Scholar, check out these resources, which provide overviews of basic and advanced legal research features on Google Scholar.
Although Google Scholar can be a good resource, there are limitations, such as the reliability of case citations, access to statutes and regulations, and time delays in the availability of recent cases.
For more information about case law research generally, check out our earlier blog post. In addition, contact us at the Law Library, and we can assist you with your case law research!
Westlaw Classic is coming to an end, and all Westlaw users will be migrated to WestlawNext. At the Law Library, the sunset date is September 10, 2015. Starting on that date, anyone who attempts to access Westlaw Classic at the Law Library or the Circuit Courthouse will be automatically redirected to WestlawNext at http://next.westlaw.com.
If you are new to WestlawNext, there are self-paced training options available online. These self-paced training programs include general guides that provide an overview of WestlawNext, searching on WestlawNext and browsing on WestlawNext. Advanced, targeted trainings, such as form finder training, are also available. In addition, the Law Library is available to assist you with your online WestlawNext research. If you want to learn more about WestlawNext or online legal databases, check out our blog posts here.
Starting today, August 3, 2015, in Anne Arundel County, attorneys must e-file criminal and traffic filings. This includes both District Court and Circuit Court. This e-filing requirement is part of the Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) project, which is a statewide case management system that was launched in October 2014.
For more information about e-filing, please check out this page on the Maryland Courts website, which is a great resource for your MDEC questions. The website also provides links to publications for review.
Are you an attorney with questions about e-filing? Check out these FAQs posted on the Maryland Courts website. Attorneys with general questions may find these FAQs helpful.
Are you a member of the public with questions? Check out these FAQs posted on the Maryland Courts website.
In addition, for more information about MDEC, check out our October 2014 blog post.
Are you looking for ways to market your legal practice? Then check out the ABA Journal’s online article, 50 Ways to Market Your Practice, for tips and suggestions compiled by Terry Berger of Westminster, Maryland.
If you are looking for more in-depth coverage, the Law Library’s collection includes the following materials.
Flying Solo: A Survival Guide for the Solo and Small Firm Lawyer, edited by K. William Gibson, et al.
How to Start & Build a Law Practice,
by Jay G. Foonberg
Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century,
by Mitchell Kowalsk
Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Service Online,
The BARBRI Group conducted an annual survey of law students, professors, and practitioners to assess perceptions regarding recent law graduates’ readiness to practice law. While 76% of 3Ls felt that were practice-ready, only 56% of practicing attorneys who work with recent graduates felt that the recent graduates were ready to practice. The survey report is available here.
In light of the survey findings, we would like to share a list of titles available at the Law Library that can assist with developing a new attorney’s career and practice.
The Legal Career Guide: From Law Student to Lawyer by Gary A. Munneke and Ellen Wayne
Nonlegal Careers for Lawyers by by Gary A. Munneke, William D. Henslee and Ellen Wayne
Anatomy of a Trial: A Primer for Young Lawyers by Mark Paul Sandler
Lawyers and the American Dream by Stuart M. Speiser
You Raised Us – Now Work with Us: Millennials, Career Success, and Building Strong Workplace Teams by Lauren Stiller Rikleen
The Millennial Lawyer: Making the Most of Generational Differences in the Firm by Ursula Furi-Perry
Handling Cases Series
Handling Accident Cases by Albert Averbach
Handling Child Custody, Abuse, and Adoption Cases by Ann M. Haralambie
Handling Criminal Appeals by Jonathan M. Purver
Handling Drinking and Drive Cases in Maryland by Patrick E. Maher et al.
Handling Federal Estate and Gift Taxes by Myron Kove
Handling Federal Tort Claims: Administrative and Judicial Remedies by Lester Jayson
Handling Juvenile Delinquency Cases by F. Lee Bailey
Handling Narcotic and Drug Cases by F. Lee Bailey
Handling Social Security Disability Cases by Elliott D. Andalman et al.
In addition, the survey report found that, when forced to choose, both practicing attorneys and law school faculty ranked writing as the most important skill for recent law school graduates. The Law Library has many titles available for both new and experienced attorneys who wish to improve their legal writing. Check out these titles.
Legal Writing in a Nutshell by Lynn Bahrych
The Grammar and Writing Handbook for Lawyers by Lenne Eidson Espenschied
A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage by Brian A. Garner
The Elements of Legal Style by Brian A. Garner
The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate by Brian A. Garner
Judicial Opinion Writing Handbook by Joyce J. George
The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well by Tom Goldstein and Jethro K. Lieberman
The Scrivener: A Primer on Legal Writing by Thomas R. Haggard
The Modern Rules of Style by Paul Marx
Preparing Legal Documents Nonlawyers Can Read and Understand by Wayne Scheiss
Plain English for Lawyers by Richard C. Plain
This is just a small sampling of the titles available at the Law Library. If you have a specific area of focus, please let us know, and we will assist you in finding relevant resources!
The Daily Record published “A lawyer’s reader’s digest”, which presents a list of six titles that are “practice-changing” books that “will inevitably make your job easier and you more efficient.” You can check out the article here.
The recommended books are as follows, and all but the last title is available at the Law Library!
The Maryland Rules Commentary
The Maryland Rules
Maryland Civil Pattern Jury Instructions
Pattern Examinations of Witnesses for the Maryland Lawyer
Anatomy of a Trial: A Primer for Young Lawyers
Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People