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The Indiana Law Library Blog

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Love Your Lawyer Day

Yes, there truly is a day for everything now.  Love Your Lawyer Day was established in 2001 by lawyer marketer Nader Anise, Executive Director of the American Lawyers Public Image Association (ALPIA).  What should you do to celebrate?  According to the 2015 press release, if you’re an attorney, ALPIA encourages you to dedicate 1 hour to a pro bono project or donate the equivalent of one billable hour to a charity of your choice.  Non-lawyers are encouraged to call up their counsel and thank them for their hard work, and perhaps even send them a card or flowers!  At the very least, we are asked to refrain from bad lawyer jokes.  Although the day has been championed by everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the ABA’s Law Practice Council, it has seen its share of criticism as well.

In honor of Love Your Lawyer Day (celebrated on the first Friday of November), I thought I’d highlight lawyers we love…in film.  The Law Library’s physical collections don’t end with treatises, codes, and reporters – we also have a fairly extensive, continuously updated, A/V collection.  So if you’re looking for some lawyers and legal flicks to love this weekend, here are a few of my favorites (both serious and seriously funny), for your viewing pleasure:


You can see a full list of our audio-visual collection here.  To check out audio-visual material, see the attendant at the Circulation Desk.  This year, Love Your Lawyer Day coincides with National Nachos Day, so if you’re looking for a snack to go along with your movie marathon, you can celebrate two national days at once!

Creepy Cases

IUpumpkin_borderWhile usually associated with ghosts and goblins, Halloween can also be a catalyst for unique and interesting lawsuits. A 2011 article from the New York State Bar Association Journal entitled Case Law from the Crypt: The Law of Halloween summarizes several of these strange cases.

In one case, the plaintiff alleged that a neighbor’s holiday decorations—which included an “‘Insane Asylum’ directional sign pointed towards the plaintiff’s house” and a tombstone referencing the plaintiff— were “defamatory, harassing, and caused emotional distress.”

Seasonal haunted houses that prove to be a bit too “haunted” have repeatedly been the subject of personal injury cases. In general, the courts have found that because haunted houses are intended to scare people, and that limited lighting and startling surprises are necessary to accomplish that goal, the owners are often held to a lower standard when determining negligence.

Another frequent source of lawsuits involves Halloween costumes. While some are deemed offensive or inappropriate for the workplace, others are judged to be just plain dumb. Take the man who agreed to dress up as a sheep to go along with his wife’s Little Bo Peep costume. Apparently it did not occur to him that lighting a cigarette when covered with cotton balls was not a good idea. While Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of the cotton balls was initially found partially liable for failing to warn against the possibility of setting oneself on fire while impersonating a sheep, the verdict was ultimately set aside.

So you see, even Halloween is not immune from the legal system. Whether you’re talking about spooking up your house or dressing up in costumes, lawyers and lawsuits are sure to follow.

Put Your Feet Up and Relax!

You know, it’s been scientifically proven that the brain is no longer productive after studying for eight hours.  Well, I expect you already knew that! At the end of a hard day’s studying try exercise, meditation, a healthy meal, or overcome your burnout by watching a movie.  Let IU’s libraries recharge your batteries.

Once logged into IUCAT, you will notice that there are many books and e-books on mindfulness, yoga and relaxation.  Remember that healthy meal?  IUPUI University Library holds a sizeable collection of circulating modern cookbooks. You may request any item that displays a red “request this” button to the right of the book’s title.  Click on this button and select “Blmgtn – Law Library” as your pick-up location.  You will receive an email when your book is ready to pick-up at the circulation desk.  Items available on the Bloomington campus usually take 1-2 days to arrive and items from the regional campuses take 3-5 business days.  The Auxiliary Library Facility delivers their items on the same afternoon (if requested before noon) or the next business day (if requested after noon).

The Law Library houses a collection of legal movies and documentaries.  Check out one of our most recently added movies or try an old classic.  How about viewing the critically-acclaimed civil rights series Eyes on the Prize (one of the library’s many documentaries)?  A full listing of our audiovisual collection is available for browsing at the circulation desk and includes a brief synopsis of each movie.  The Wells Library’s Media Browsing Collection (1st floor, East Tower) includes over 18,000 English and foreign films and documentaries. Filmakers Library Online showcases award winning documentaries on subjects such as criminal justice, human rights and environmental studies.

Realized that you no longer want to pick up that manual on endurance running?  That’s fine – we keep requested items on hold for 2 weeks before returning them.  Have fun requesting!



Welcome Week By the Numbers: A Wrap Up

It’s been a while since Welcome Week, but we wanted to thank all of you for making it so successful!  While we couldn’t get an exact headcount of the event, we know that 260 of you participated in the water bottle drawing alone!  Let’s extend one final congratulations to the 48 winners:


A lot goes into an event like this, so without further ado, here is Welcome Week by the Numbers:


Supreme Court Justices Go Postal

On September 8 Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan returned to her alma mater, Harvard Law School, and spoke to Dean Martha Minow at length about her time on the Supreme Court. It’s an interview worth watching for a great number of reasons. According to the Washington Post this morning, one of the best reasons is the mental image of Kagan and fellow Justice Stephen Breyer destroying one another in an infamously violent video game—Postal 2. Full Story »

Welcome Week

Welcome Week - blog
This year, the Law Library decided to start a new tradition: Welcome Week!  Stop by any time between 9 and 5, September 1st through 3rd, and look for our table near the computer workstations.

What might you get?

  • Jerome Hall Law Library pens and bookmarks – they’re free!
  • Coffee (a.m.) – that’s free too!
  • Jerome Hall Law Library stress balls, er, books – answer a simple “trivia” question about the Law Library to win
  • Baked goods (cookies, donuts, and more) – follow us on social media (okay, we’ll probably let you have a cookie regardless, but we think you should definitely follow us on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, or Pinterest)
  • And last but not least…
    • Jerome Hall Law Library water bottles – every hour we will have two drawings to win a water bottle.  To enter:
      • Drop your name and email in the fishbowl at the Welcome Week table, or
      • Take a library selfie and share it on our Facebook page or tag us on Twitter (@IUMaurerLawLib) (selfie sticks available at the Welcome Week table)

While you’re at the table, feel free to get to know the librarians (Which one plays in the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra?  Who has eaten in the diplomats’ dining room at the United Nations?  Come find out!) and learn more about what the library has to offer (How can you request a research workshop?  What’s Jump Start?  There’s more in store!).  So gear up, because Welcome Week is finally here!

Welcome Back!


It always astounds me how quiet the library gets over the summer.  We are glad to have the lobby bustling again!  We have a lot in store at the Jerome Hall Law Library this year – here are some highlights:

  • Welcome Week: We’ve decided to have a little kick-off to the beginning of the year by tabling in the library lobby to promote library services and answer your questions.  Make sure to stop by any time between 9 AM and 5 PM, September 1st-3rd for baked goods, coffee, and library swag!
  • Get Charged!  You may be wondering where our charging station went.  It’s been sent off to be refreshed with an updated design, and won’t return alone.  Due to the popularity of the charging station, we have ordered a second station to be placed in the Law Library’s computer lab.  Both should arrive later this week.
  • Research Workshops: We’ll be offering a series of workshops in the library throughout the year, covering a variety of research topics.  We’ll be starting with one on IUCAT and others geared toward the LRW curriculum, but if you have a workshop you’d like to request on a particular topic or database, let us know by filling out the Request a Research Workshop form.

Here’s to another great year!

Found in the Stacks: Icons and Aliens

Icons and Aliens: Law, Aesthetics, and Environmental Change by John J. Costonis, University of Illinois, 1989. KF 5692 .C67 1989

Icons and Aliens explores the law of aesthetics. We might not normally think of aesthetics as having its own law, but this book is a reminder that we find legal questions in many places, some of them unexpected. The unusual title refers to the different ways that people can think of landmarks. The Golden Gate Bridge was initially much reviled for being an alien presence in the harbor. Now many years later it has become a celebrated icon of the city.   Costonis examines the legal implications of landmarks, how people react when they are built and when they are torn down.  As aesthetics change, so do our landscapes, and the legal system must respond when these changes cause conflict.  For a look at an unusual way law touches us, check this book out!

Have you found any particularly interesting books lately?  If so, let us know!

Found in the Stacks: Revenuers and Moonshiners

Revenuers and Moonshiners: Enforcing Federal Liquor Law in the Mountain South, 1865-1900 by Wilbur R. Miller, UNC Press, 1991. HJ 5021 .M55 1991

A little slice of history, this book looks at moonshiners in the Reconstruction Era. Moonshiners are often portrayed as fairly romantic figures, but this book is actually looking at federal enforcement of tax laws against said moonshiners. While the setting may be historical, some of the issues are still in question today—like the difficulties inherent in enforcing unpopular laws. If you need a study break, take a look!

Have you found any particularly interesting books lately? If so, let us know!

Found in the Stacks: Banned Films

Banned Films: Movies, Censors and the First Amendment, by Edward de Grazia and Roger K. Newman, R.R. Bowker Company, 1982. KF 4300 .D43

Are you a movie buff? Perhaps you are a little bit of a rebel too? If so you might want to take a look at Banned Films by de Grazia and Newman. The first part of the book is devoted to a history of movie censorship and its run-ins with the law. After that, the authors take a decade or two at a time and mention notable movies that were banned at that time. Interested in knowing which movies were banned in the ’60s, why, and what the legal importance of the ban was? Then this book is for you!

Have you found any particularly interesting books lately? If so, let us know!

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