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Posts Tagged ‘legalresearch’

Constitutional Law Resources

Posted by Chi Song on May 9, 2016

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

Posted by Chi Song on March 8, 2016

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!

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The Maryland General Assembly is in Session!

Posted by Chi Song on January 13, 2016

The Maryland General Assembly reconvenes today at 12:00 p.m. As Maryland’s legislative body, the General Assembly’s 47 Senators and 141 Delegates represent Maryland’s 47 districts.

Do you know who represents you? If not, check out these resources.

  • Legislator List – This page lists legislators by name and includes links to each legislator’s individual page on the General Assembly’s website. In addition, if you click on the “Who represents me?” link, you can find your elected officials based on your address.
  • You can also view your legislators by district or by county.
  • You can find information about the Senate’s Leadership and Officers as well as the address roster for current Senate members here.
  • Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., is the President of the Senate, and Michael E. Busch is the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

Do you want to learn more about the General Assembly and this year’s legislative session? Then check out their website at mgaleg.maryland.gov! Here are some highlights, but check out their website as it has a wealth of information.

There is a lot of information available on the website, which may be difficult for new users to navigate. For assistance, check out these video tutorials to help you navigate the General Assembly’s website, including how to find bill testimony, how to find budget testimony, how to contact committees, and how to view or listen to current proceedings.

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The 2016 Edition of Michie’s Maryland Court Rules is available!

Posted by Chi Song on January 8, 2016

The 2016 Edition of Michie’s Maryland Court Rules is available at the Law Library!  The 2016 edition includes amendments adopted through October 20, 2015 and supersedes and replaces all previous editions and supplements.  The Maryland Rules are the rules of practice and procedure followed by Maryland courts and apply to all Maryland courts, unless noted otherwise.  Michie’s Maryland Rules are annotated, meaning that there are explanatory notes and comments added to the rules by the publisher’s editorial staff. Annotation sources include Maryland case law, the Maryland Law Review, the University of Baltimore Law Review, the University of Baltimore Law Forum and Opinions of the Attorney General.

If you are new to the Maryland Rules, the People’s Law Library has an online video tutorial on reading the Maryland Rules through Westlaw, which is available at http://www.screencast.com/t/My0FU44NZbwL.

Can I access the rules online? Yes, the current Maryland Code and Rules (without annotations) are available online, free of charge, through LexisNexis and Westlaw.  In addition, you can access the Law Library’s online subscriptions to LexisNexis and WestlawNext in-person at the library.

What about the superseded Maryland rules? The Law Library maintains copies of the superseded Maryland Rules from 1980 to the present in its collection. If you need to reference the superseded Maryland Rules, please drop by the Law Library’s service desk, and we can assist you in locating the appropriate resources.

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Online Databases in the Limelight – Verdict Search*

Posted by Chi Song on December 31, 2015

Online databases can be invaluable, time-saving  tools to any legal researcher as they provide organized access to a wide array of legal resources as well as sophisticated search tools.  Many online databases, including fee-based databases, are available at the Law Library, free of charge, to library patrons.  This month, the blog will feature six of the online databases available at the Law Library.

Are you looking for assistance with case valuation (i.e., what is the amount of money that you can reasonably expect in damages)?  Then look no further because the Law Library subscribes to VerdictSearch, an online database for verdict and settlement research.  VerdictSearch at the Law Library provides users with access to federal and state cases from Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. Search results may assist you with your trial research and strategy development.

How do I search on VerdictSearch? You can search by keywords (e.g., “car accident”) and then use any of the following filters:

  • Type of Injury (e.g., back, neck, head)
  • Venue (state and/or federal)
  • Case type (e.g., motor vehicle, insurance, wrongful death)
  • Award Type (e.g., verdict-plaintiff, settlement, mediated settlement)
  • Date Range (any range from 1988 to 2015)
  • Award Amount (e.g., less than $10,000, $10,000 to $100,000)

You can further refine their searches by plaintiff type (e.g., age, gender), expert name, attorney name, judge name, and insurance carrier. Once you have your results, VerdictSearch’s document delivery includes printing and email (PDF and Word).

Can I access VerdictSearch at the Library? Yes! The Law Library offers FREE, in-person access to VerdictSearch on a designated computer in our computer room. Please come to the service desk to request assistance in accessing VerdictSearch.

What to do if you need help with VerdictSearch? Please ask for help at the Law Library’s service desk. We can provide technical and research assistance.

Can I access the Law Library’s VerdictSearch subscription from home? No. The Law Library’s current subscription permits in-person use at the library only.

*This blog post is an update of a blog post previously published on December 22, 2014.

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Online Databases in the Limelight – NOLO

Posted by Chi Song on December 26, 2015

Online databases can be invaluable, time-saving  tools to any legal researcher as they provide organized access to a wide array of legal resources as well as sophisticated search tools.  Many online databases, including fee-based databases, are available at the Law Library, free of charge, to library patrons.  This month, the blog will feature six of the online databases available at the Law Library.

NOLO publishes do-it-yourself manuals, a lawyer directory and form books in print and electronic formats all written in plain English, meaning that you do not need a legal background to understand the text. For legal research, NOLO’s materials can be a great starting point to get a general understanding of the law in a specific subject. Through the library’s online subscription, you have access NOLO’s publications, which include titles on topics such as auto accidents, bankruptcy, business law, criminal law, debt management, disability law, LGBT law, medical malpractice, real estate, small businesses, workers’ compensation and much more! You can search for specific keywords or browse titles. However, NOLO does not provide legal advice, and you should not consider these materials as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney.

Can I access NOLO at the Library? Yes! The Law Library offers FREE, in-person access to the NOLO database.

How to use NOLO in the Library? You can access NOLO from any of the public access computers available at the Law Library.

What to do if you need help with NOLO? Please ask for help at the Law Library’s service desk. We can provide technical and research assistance.

Can I access the Law Library’s NOLO subscription from home? No. The Law Library’s current subscription permits in-person use at the library only. However, NOLO offers many free articles on topics like accidents, bankruptcy, immigration, taxes, wills, and much more. You can access this free information at www.nolo.com.

Do you prefer print resources? Then check out the Law Library’s print collection of NOLO titles, which includes the following:

  • NOLO’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law (SELF HELP KF387 .N65 2014);
  • NOLO’s Essential Guide to Divorce (SELF HELP KF535 .D67 2014);
  • NOLO’s Guide to Social Security Disability (SELF HELP KF3649 .M6 2014);
  • Patent, Copyright & Trademark (SELF HELP KF2980 .E44 2014);
  • Contracts: The Essential Business Desk Reference (SELF HELP KF801 .S75 2011);
  • Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries & Noise (SELF HELP KF639 .J67 2014);
  • Plus many more!

For more information about understanding legal research, including the difference between primary and secondary legal resources, check out these research guides.

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Online Databases in the Limelight – Bloomberg BNA*

Posted by Chi Song on December 21, 2015

Online databases can be invaluable, time-saving  tools to any legal researcher as they provide organized access to a wide array of legal resources as well as sophisticated search tools.  Many online databases, including fee-based databases, are available at the Law Library, free of charge, to library patrons.  This month, the blog will feature six of the online databases available at the Law Library.

The Law Library provides library patrons with free access to the Bloomberg BNA (Bureau of National Affairs) legal database.  While there is a great deal of overlap between the resources available on Bloomberg BNA and WestlawNext and LexisNexis, which we highlighted earlier this month, Bloomberg BNA materials are only available on Bloomberg BNA.  These BNA materials include the following.

  • United States Law Week provides searchable access to Supreme Court opinions, Supreme Court Practice and Federal Appellate Practice.
  • Family Law Reporter provides a weekly roundup of family law developments and trends.
  • Criminal Law Reporter provides an overview of trends, development and issues in criminal law.
  • Lawyer’s Manual on Professional Conduct provides news and guidance regarding attorneys’ ethics and professional conduct.
  • “Slices” of Labor and Employment Law: The Americans with Disabilities Act Manual, which provides news and guidance related to ADA issues, developments, and state law compliance, and the Employment Discrimination Report, which covers developments in the procedural and substantive aspects of employment discrimination law, are the two resources the library has available through this database.

Can I access Bloomberg BNA at the Library? Yes! The Law Library offers FREE, in-person access to Bloomberg BNA.

How to use Bloomberg BNA in the Library? You can access Bloomberg BNA from any of the public access computers available at the Law Library.

What to do if you need help with Bloomberg BNA? Please ask for help at the Law Library’s service desk. We can provide technical and research assistance.

Can I access the Law Library’s Bloomberg BNA subscription from home? No. The Law Library’s current subscription permits in-person use at the library only.

For more information about understanding legal research, including the difference between primary and secondary legal resources, check out these research guides.

*This blog post is an update of a blog post previously published on December 30, 2014.

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Online Databases in the Limelight – HeinOnline*

Posted by Chi Song on December 17, 2015

Online databases can be invaluable, time-saving  tools to any legal researcher as they provide organized access to a wide array of legal resources as well as sophisticated search tools.  Many online databases, including fee-based databases, are available at the Law Library, free of charge, to library patrons.  This month, the blog will feature six of the online databases available at the Law Library.

Do you want what’s on the computer screen to match what was printed? Are you interested in accessing historical articles? If so, then HeinOnline may be the online database service for you! Launched in 2000, HeinOnline is the largest, image-based legal research database with full-text and page images of law review articles, treatises and primary sources of law.  HeinOnline users can search for specific resources or browse one of the database’s many collections.  For example, you can browse the Law Journal Library collection and see a listing of a specific Law Review’s articles, organized chronologically. Or, if you are interested in railroad case law from the 1800s, you can search HeinOnline’s Early American Case Law collection.

In addition, the Law Library’s subscription now includes the ABA Law LIbrary Collection Periodicals! Through this database, library users have digital access to 98 ABA titles, including ABA Journal, ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Family Law Litigation, Mass Torts Litigants, Products Liability, and Trial Practice. A complete list of publications is available here.

Why use HeinOnline? Can’t I access the same information through LexisNexis or WestlawNext? Yes, there is overlap between the resources available on HeinOnline and the resources available on the WestlawNext and Lexis.  However, there are two big reasons why you may prefer to use HeinOnline over WestlawNext and LexisNexis.  First, HeinOnline is an image-based database. This means that you can see page images of documents, including graphics, which match the print versions of the resources.  Second, HeinOnline has a greater focus on retrospective historical coverage, meaning that you can find older documents that may be unavailable in the other databases.  

Can I access HeinOnline at the Library? Yes! The Law Library offers FREE, in-person access to HeinOnline.

How to use HeinOnline in the Library? You can access HeinOnline from any of the public access computers available at the Law Library.

What to do if you need help with HeinOnline? Please ask for help at the Law Library’s service desk. We can provide technical and research assistance.

Can I access the Law Library’s HeinOnline subscription from home? No. The Law Library’s current subscription permits in-person use in the courthouse only.

For more information about understanding legal research, including the difference between primary and secondary legal resources, check out these research guides.

*This blog post is an update of a blog post previously published on December 9, 2014.

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Online Databases in the Limelight – LexisNexis*

Posted by Chi Song on December 14, 2015

IMG_1894

Here is one of the computers in the Law Library with access to LexisNexis.

Online databases can be invaluable, time-saving  tools to any legal researcher as they provide organized access to a wide array of legal resources as well as sophisticated search tools.  Many online databases, including fee-based databases, are available at the Law Library, free of charge, to library patrons.  This month, the blog will feature six of the online databases available at the Law Library.

Lexis is one of the biggest players in the world of legal publishing and online legal research.  Lexis offers LexisNexis, a platform for searchable databases with access to a wide array of primary resources, such as federal and state statutes, federal and state regulations and case law, as well as secondary resources, such as encyclopedias, treatises, journal articles and form books.*  

There is a myriad of tools, resources and services available through Lexis.  Some of the most popular secondary Maryland resources available through our LexisNexis subscription are Pleading Causes of Action in Maryland  and MICPEL’s Marital Settlement Agreement Form. In addition, LexisNexis provides Shepard’s Case Citations, which identifies all published cases and other sources that cite (e.g., refer to) the case being reviewed by the legal researcher and provides additional information, such as the reason why the later case cited the case at hand.  This is important information to have as later cases can affect the value of the case at hand or later cases may better address the matter being researched.  In addition, the Law Library’s subscription includes document delivery services (e.g., email, print, PDF downloads, RTF downloads) so that users can access certain resources after the online session has concluded.

Can I access LexisNexis at the Library? Yes! The Law Library offers FREE, in-person access to LexisNexis. As access to LexisNexis can be cost-prohibitive to attorneys and self-represented litigants, the Law Library provides free access to meet its users’ legal research needs.

How to use LexisNexis in the Library? There are three computers designated for public LexisNexis access in the law library. Each computer has a small sign indicating the availability of LexisNexis. You do not need log-in information — simply double-click on the LexisNexis icon on the computer’s desktop.

What to do if you need help with LexisNexis? Please ask for help at the Law Library’s service desk. We can provide technical assistance (e.g.,  how to get started, how to use and search the database) as well as research assistance (e.g.,  how best to formulate your search, which resources to target for more refined searches).

Can I access the Law Library’s LexisNexis subscription from home? No. The Law Library’s current subscription permits in-person use at the library only.

*This blog post is an update of a blog post previously published on December 2, 2014.

**For more information about understanding legal research, including the difference between primary and secondary legal resources, check out these research guides.

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Online Databases in the Limelight – WestlawNext*

Posted by Chi Song on December 11, 2015

IMG_1889

Here’s a snapshot of one of the computers in our computer room with WestlawNext access.

Online databases can be invaluable, time-saving  tools to any legal researcher as they provide organized access to a wide array of legal resources as well as sophisticated search tools.  Many online databases, including fee-based databases, are available at the Law Library, free of charge, to library patrons.  This month, the blog will feature six of the online databases available at the Law Library.

Thomson Reuters is one of the biggest players in the world of legal publishing and online legal research and is the publisher of WestlawNext, a platform for searchable databases with access to a wide array of primary resources, such as federal and state statutes, federal and state regulations and case law, as well as secondary resources, such as encyclopedias, treatises, journal articles and form books.**

There is a myriad of tools, resources and services available through both WestlawNext.  One of the most popular services provided through WestlawNext is KeyCite, which is an online case citator service. KeyCite identifies all published cases and other sources that cite (e.g., refer to) the case being reviewed by the legal researcher and provide additional information, such as the reason why the later case cited the case at hand.  This is important information to have as later cases can affect the value of the case at hand or later cases may better address the matter being researched.  In addition, document delivery services (e.g., email, print, PDF downloads, RTF downloads) are available through the Law Library’s WestlawNext subscription. This means that users can access certain resources after the online session has concluded.

Can I access WestlawNext at the Library? Yes! The Law Library offers FREE, in-person access to WestlawNext. As access to WestlawNext can be cost-prohibitive to attorneys and self-represented litigants, the Law Library provides free access to meet its users’ legal research needs.

How to use WestlawNext in the Library? There are two computers designated for public WestlawNext access in the law library. Each computer has a small sign indicating the availability of WestlawNext. You do not need log-in information — simply double-click on the WestlawNext icon on the computer’s desktop.

What to do if you need help with WestlawNext? Please ask for help at the Law Library’s service desk. We can provide technical assistance (e.g.,  how to get started, how to use and search the database) as well as research assistance (e.g.,  how best to formulate your search, which resources to target for more refined searches).

Can I access the Law Library’s WestlawNext subscription from home? No. The Law Library’s current subscription permits in-person use at the library only.

*This blog post is an update of a blog post previously published on December 2, 2014.

**For more information about understanding legal research, including the difference between primary and secondary legal resources, check out these research guides.

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