What’s New … in Family Law 

A stack showing the spines of the listed new books.

The law library has added a number of recently published books to its shelves for both family law attorneys and others interested in family law. A list of them follows, with links to their more detailed records in our catalog.

The complete QDRO handbook: dividing ERISA, military, and civil service pensions and collecting child support from employee benefit plans
4th edition  
KF3512 .C37 2019 
Patricia Shewmaker and James R. Lewis 
[Chicago, Illinois]: American Bar Association, Section of Family Law, [2019] 

The family law practitioner’s guide to social securit
2nd edition  
Lydia S. Terrill 
KF3649 .S73 2020 
Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association, Family Law Section, [2020] 

Forms, checklists, and procedures for the family lawyer  
Mark A. Chinn 
KF505 .C478 2021 
Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association, Family Law Section, [2021] 

Litigating parental alienation: evaluating and presenting an effective case in court  
Ashish Joshi 
KF540 .L58 2021 
[Chicago, Illinois]: ABA, American Bar Association, Family Law Section, [2021] 

The military divorce handbook: a practical guide to representing military personnel and their families Third edition 
Mark E. Sullivan 
KF535 .S85 2019 
Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association, Section of Family Law, [2019] 

Parent-child reunification: a guide to legal and forensic strategies 
Stanley S. Clawar 
KF547 .C57 2020 
[Chicago, Illinois]: American Bar Association, Family Law Section, [2020] 

Top challenges in Maryland family law
KFM1294.A75 B4 2021 
Eau Claire, WI NBI [2021]


United States Code and editorial changes to the SCRA

I recently had an attorney looking for a section of the Service Members Civil Relief Act in the United States Code on Westlaw.  The citation was for 50 U.S.C. App. §521 and the results indicated that the section had a new spot in the U.S.C. at 50 U.S.C. 3931.  When this change took place is not included in the history of the section, but there is a note indicating that the “section was formerly classified to section 521 of the Appendix to Title 50.”

The Justice Department sheds some light on the date of the change on their information page on the Service Members Civil Relief Act:

The location of the SCRA within the United States Code changed in late 2015.  Previously found at (codified and cited as) 50 U.S.C. App. §§ 501-597b, there was an editorial reclassification of the SCRA by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives that became effective on December 1, 2015.  The SCRA is now found at (codified as) 50 U.S.C. §§ 3901-4043.

The Office of the Law Revision Counsel’s page on Editorial Reclassification explains the process of reclassification:

In order to maintain and improve the United States Code, the Office of the Law Revision Counsel must occasionally undertake editorial reclassification projects to reorganize areas of law that have outgrown their original boundaries, or to eliminate organizational units that are no longer efficient. No statutory text is altered by such editorial reclassification projects, other than necessary updates to references to reflect the reorganization. Relevant provisions are merely transferred from one place to another in the Code.

This page includes links to information about recent editorial reclassification projects. The link to Title 50 Appendix indicates that  “the reorganization occurred on December 1, 2015, after which the new Code citations were effective.” 

These reclassifications only move the sections and do not result in changes to the law other than references to the revised sections.  Still, it is nice to know when the change took place.


HeinOnline – Legal Classics Library

heinHein announced that “this month’s content release has brought our Legal Classics Library to a new milestone by surpassing 10,000 titles! This database contains works from some of the greatest minds in legal history and includes rare items that are found in only a handful of libraries around the world.”

You might think of HeinOnline as the source for law reviews and legal periodicals but the Legal Classics Library has saved many a trip elsewhere to find an older but still significant treatise  such as Underhill on Evidence or Blackstone’s Commentaries.


What’s new …..

Many of these titles will be of special interest to  young lawyers, law clerks, or anyone interested in the basics of law and legal research.

Law Clerks and Young Lawyers                                                                                                   

The millennial lawyer : making the most of generational differences in the firm / Ursula Furi-Perry ; cosponsored by the Section of Law Practice Management, American Bar Association.  (KF297 .F872 2012)

The all-inclusive guide to judicial clerking / Abigail L. Perdue, Associate Professor, Wake Forest University School of Law. (KF297.P47 2017)


Legal Research      

The ABA Spanish Legal Phrasebook / Samantha Snow Ward and Corinne Cooper.  (REF K52.S6 .W384 2010)

Legal research survival manual : with video modules / Robert C. Berring, Michael Levy. (REF KF240 .B454 2017)

Prince’s dictionary of legal abbreviations : a reference guide for attorneys, legal secretaries, paralegals, and law students / by Mary Miles Prince. (REF KF246 .B46 2017)

Legal research in a nutshell / Morris L. Cohen, Late Librarian and Emeritus Professor of Law, Yale Law School ; Kent C. Olson, Head of Research Services, University of Virginia Law Library. (REF KF240 .C54 2016)

Principles of legal research / by Kent C. Olson, Head of Research Services, University of Virginia Law Library. (REF KF240 .O378 2015)

Prince’s dictionary of legal citations : a reference guide for attorneys, legal secretaries, paralegals, and law students / by Mary Miles Prince. (REF KF246 .P73 2017)

ABA and Nutshells



Consumer protection law in a nutshell / Dee Pridgen (Carl M. Williams Professor of Law & Social Responsibility, University of Wyoming College of Law), Gene A. Marsh (James M. Kidd, Sr. Professor Emeritus of Law, the University of Alabama School of Law). (KF1610 .M37 2016)

Conflicts in a nutshell / Patrick J. Borchers, Professor of law, Creighton University School of Law. (KF412 .S5 2016)

The law and policy of sentencing and corrections in a nutshell / Lynn S. Branham (distinguished visiting scholar, Saint Louis University School of Law). (KF9728 .B733 2017)

Toxic torts in a nutshell / by Jean Macchiaroli Eggen, Distinguished Professor of Law, Widener University Delaware Law School. (KF1299.H39 E37 2015)

Civil procedure in a nutshell / by Mary Kay Kane, John F. Digardi, Distinguished Professor of Law, Chancellor and Dean Emeritus, University of California, Hastings College of the Law. (KF8841 .K36 2013)

The American Bar Association guide to wills and estates: everything you need to know about wills, trusts, estates, and taxes. (KF755.A94 2000)

lawlibrary Legal Technology

Lexis Advance Now Available in the Law Library

The law library now offers Lexis Advance for online legal research.  Lexis Advance is the new interface for searching Lexis.  It offers Google like functionality with a search box at the top of the page where you can enter your search terms.


You do not have to choose a database for searching.  Results will be organized by database or Lexis library.  However, you do have the option of choosing the database or jurisdiction you want to search.  The old Boolean connectors are still available, too.

The sign-in process is more involved than with the “classic” Lexis.  You will first see a page with a blue box with the words “Go to my start page.” Clicking on the blue box will bring you to the start page.  You must enter your first and last name and agree to the terms and conditions.  (This information will not be used by Lexis and does not require your contact information.)

The biggest news is the additional content that Lexis Advance brings to library users.  We now have access to all, that is just about ALL, Matthew Bender and Lexis texts and treatises.  This means there is now online access to such titles as Bender’s Forms of Discovery, Collier on Bankruptcy and Rabkin and Johnson Current Legal Forms with Tax Analysis.  For Maryland, this means online access to Turnbull’s Maryland Domestic Relations Forms, a title not available on the “old” Lexis.

Please visit the law library and give this new service a try.  We will be happy to walk you through any legal research project you bring with you.


Worth a read: “Google Think” and the New Associate

A recent blogpost by Erik Adams, a firm law librarian, on the RIPS Law Librarian Blog provides good insight on the legal research background needed as a new firm associate. I especially liked his observation that “with legal research often 5 minutes of background research can save hours of blind poking about. That certainly was the case with my new associate: had they spent a little time reading secondary sources or just thinking about what they were researching, rather than Google-thinking their way through search after search of case law, they unquestionably would have saved time.” This discussion of the legal research process will benefit anyone’s legal research whether a new associate or not.

Read the whole post here: “Google Think” and the New Associate

lawlibrary Maryland Law

Keeping Current with Maryland Rules of Procedure

The “Maryland Rules”  regulate the practice, procedure, and judicial administration of Maryland courts. These Rules are based on the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure Rules and adopted by the Maryland Court of Appeals.

The most recent Rules Order is dated June 6, 2016 and was effective July 1, 2016 and is the implementation of the 178th Report. Among other changes, this rules order involves a major reorganization of the titles in the rules dealing with Court Administration; Judges and Judicial Appointees; and Attorneys. A printout of the 178th Report can be found in the law library shelved with the Maryland Code and Rules.  It consists of 553 pages!  The full text of the new rules can also be found in Maryland Advance Reports, September 2, 2016,  #36.

The Maryland Rules of Procedure are available in a number of formats from different publishers. It is important to note that even though the most recent Rules Order is dated June 6, 2016 not all of these formats reflect those changes. Basically, the online versions and one print version are current:


  • Lexis rules online ( and free  reflects the 178th Report Rules Order of 6/6/2016
  • Westlaw rules online (WestlawNext and free reflects the 178th Report Rules Order of 6/16/2016
  • Maryland Advance Reports, September 2, 2016,  #36 contains the text of the rules affected by the June 6, 2016 Rules Order.
  • West Maryland Rules of Court (print) with supplement reflects the 178th Report Rules Order of 6/6/2016


  • Maryland Rules (print) published by LexisNexis are current only through  4/4/2016
  • Annotated Code of  Maryland Rules (print) are current only through 2/1/2016

To make sure the rules you are using are current, it is a good idea to  check the postings on the webpage of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure Rules at and compare with the “current as of” information in whichever version you are using.


New Maryland Laws Effective July 2016 With More to Come October 2016

Many new Maryland laws became effective on July 1, 2016 .  Still, keep an eye-out for more laws that are scheduled to take effect October 1, 2016 .

In Maryland, when both chambers of the General Assembly (House and Senate) have passed a bill, it is submitted to the Governor for his signature to make the bill into law or, if the Governor rejects the bill by a veto, the bill becomes law through three-fifths vote of the membership of each chamber. The Maryland Constitution requires new laws to take effect on the first day of June after the session which they were passed, unless another date is scheduled. In the past, Maryland bills were scheduled to become effective in July, but lately, many laws also get scheduled to take effect at the start of the  federal government’s new fiscal year, in October or at the start of the new calendar year, in January.

Media outlets, like the Baltimore Sun and the Capital Gazette have highlighted a few of the new laws that rolled-out in July. The most talked about law was the minimum wage increase to $8.75 per hour. This law is an example of how changes in state law can occur on a regularly-scheduled basis. This minimum wage change is part of an incremental increase under the Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014. It will reach $10.10 by July 2018.

To learn more about how a bill becomes a law in Maryland see the Maryland Manual On-Line’s page on the Legislative Process. See all Legislation passed by both chambers here. To read about more laws resulting from the 2016 session, see the Department of Legislative Services’ “90 Day Report”, a comprehensive review of legislation that was considered during the session. Also, see the “2016 Chapters: Chronological by Effective Date,” a list of new laws by Chapter Number and Bill Number in order of effective date.






Constitutional Law Resources

In honor of this year’s Law Day Theme, Miranda: More than Words, we would like to highlight the Constitutional Law Resources that are available at the Law Library. The Law Library’s collection includes the United States Constitution; however, you can read the U.S. Constitution as well as other primary documents in American History online through the Library of Congress’s website here.

Available treatises on Constitutional Law include the following:

  • American Constitutional Law (Tribe) – KF 4550 .T785 2000
  • Modern Constitutional Law (Antieau) – KF 4550 .A75 1997
  • Treatise on Constitutional Law: Substance and Procedure (Rotunda) – KF 4550 .R63 2007
  • Constitutional Rights of the Accused (Cook) – KF 9619 .C64 1996
  • A Conceptualization of the Fourth Amendment (Moylan) – KF 9630 .Z9 M93 1997

Law Review articles are another good resource for Constitutional Law research. The Law Library’s HeinOnline subscription, which can be accessed in-person at the Law Library, includes the following collections:

  • Law Journal Library, which includes American Bar Association Journals, Core U.S. Journals, Criminal Justice Journals as well as Most-Cited Law Journals
  • U.S. Supreme Court Library

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the U.S. Constitution, check out the Georgetown Law Library’s Constitutional Law and History Research Guide here.

For assistance with your Constitutional Law research, please contact us at the Law Library!

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Getting Acquainted with the Law and the Justice System

Last month, a patron asked your friendly law librarian if Black’s Law Dictionary was a good place to begin reading if someone wanted to start learning about the law and the justice system. The answer is no — unless you really love reading dictionaries, in which case, the Law Library has several editions of Black’s Law Dictionary, Ballentine’s Law Dictionary and Bouvier’s Law Dictionary available for your perusal.

Where to start your research will really depend on your interests and goals. The library user that inspired this post did not have a specific question or topic in mind. He just thought it was a good idea to learn about the law and the justice system. If you’re of the same mind, then check out these resources, which will help you get started.

  • Court Websites
  • Legal Information Websites
  • Legal Encyclopedias
    • American Jurisprudence 2d – available in print and online through the Law Library’s WestlawNext subscription
    • Maryland Law Encyclopedia – available in print and online through the Law Library’s WestlawNext subscription

We will publish a more detailed post on each resource throughout the month of March, so stay tuned! There are many more great resources to help you get acquainted with the law and the justice system. If you would like more personalized guidance, please contact the Law Library!