Check your pocket parts!

photo 1Each month, the AACPLL Blog will publish a post with helpful legal research tips.  If you would like more information about any of the tips referenced in this post or series, please feel free to contact the Law Library!

January is one of the Law Library’s busiest months for updating resources, including updating pocket parts and filing supplemental pages.  As you are conducting your legal research, it is essential that you make sure that your sources, both primary (e.g., code, regulations, case law) and secondary (e.g., treatises, form books) are up-to-date because the “law” is constantly changing.  The onus is on the legal researcher to make sure their information is current.

Here are a few helpful tips for making sure that your resource is up-to-date.

  • Check the cover or title page to determine the publication date of the resource.  The publication date will provide clues as to whether you should check to see if a later edition of the resource has been published.
  • Check the pocket part and take note of the date of the pocket part.  Pocket parts are paper supplements that are generally located inside the back cover of a hardbound volume.  If you are not sure if the pocket part is current, please drop by the service desk.  The Law Library keeps track of its updates, and we can let you know if the pocket part is the most recent supplement available.
  • Check for any standalone supplements to the resource.  When in doubt, ask us at the Law Library’s service desk, and we can confirm whether a volume has a standalone supplement.
  • Online does not necessarily mean current.  Is the information posted on a reputable site? Check for a publication date or “last updated” date.  When in doubt, ask!

Here are some great resources that provide an overview of the basics of legal research.

In addition, the following titles, which focus on providing a comprehensive overview of the legal research process and fundamentals, are available at the Law Library.

lawlibrary Maryland Law

Kinship Care Resources

“Informal kinship care” means a living arrangement in which a relative of a child, who is not in the care, custody, or guardianship of the local department of social services, provides for the care and custody of the child due to a serious family hardship. (Md. EDUCATION Code Ann. §4-122.1 and Md. HEALTH GENERAL Code Ann.  §20-105)

A new page on the topic of  kinship care has been added to the AACPLL Self Help and Pro Bono WIKI .  Here you will find links to Maryland code sections and COMAR as well as information provided by various agencies.  The forms and information sheet handout available in the Anne Arundel County Family Self Help Center are also included.

lawlibrary Maryland Law

Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Revised

The most recent issue (Vol. 7, No. 1) of the Guidelines E-News published by the  Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy reports on the revised Guidelines Offense Table, Appendix A of the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Manual.  The revisions contain two new offenses added to the table as a result of legislation from the 2011 Session regarding manslaughter and weapon crimes.  These offenses are in addition to the five offenses added in November.

The Maryland Sentencing Guidelines are also available in COMAR at 14.22.01 -.02.

lawlibrary Maryland Law

Maryland Regulations for Foreclosure Procedures for Residential Property

The Commissioner of Financial Regulation proposed emergency regulations for Foreclosure Procedures for Residential Property that were effective July 1, 2010.  COMAR 09.03.12 was published in the Maryland Register on July 16, 2010.  The text of the regulations in 37:15 Md. R. 986-997 (July 16, 2010) can be found at the Maryland Register Online and on the Commissioner’s website. The regulations consist of forms for the Notice of Intent to Foreclose, a Preliminary Loss Mitigation Affidavit, a Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit, a Request for Mediation, a Loss Mitigation Application (includes hardship affidavit) and Instructions, a preprinted envelope, Notice of Foreclosure Action, and instructions provided by the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings.

The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation provides these forms on their website in Word format.  It states that the forms are provided as a convenience for mortgage lenders/servicers and that consumers should obtain the forms directly from their mortgage lender/servicer.