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More Legal Humor

The next stop in our week long look at the lighter side of law is the site of legal humorist Andrew McClurg.  Professor McClurg has an impressive record of serious scholarship at numerous law schools, but he has still found the time to write The World’s Greatest Law Review Article and The Law School Trip: The Insider’s Guide to Law School, collect strange judicial opinions and humorous stories from law students (again, submit your own!), and keep abreast of weird legal news.  His site, LawHaHa, is a delightful place to kill a few hours.

Spring Break–A Week of Legal Humor

This spring break, in hopes that you are all having a fun and relaxing time, we will have something funny and law related everyday.  First off this week we have the Say What? blog.  It’s a collection of unintentionally funny legal moments, both in the courtroom and outside of it.  Judge Jerry Buchmeyer, of the U.S. District court in Texas, has been collecting stories and publishing them for years in his column in the Texas Bar Journal.  With Say What? he has moved his storytelling online.  Go take a look, some are pretty good.  And if you have a funny legal story, maybe you should send it in!

Spring Break!

Enjoy a well deserved break from school.  This is a time to get a jump on your outlines and papers, yes, but don’t forget to kick back a little.  Read a good book.  Spend some time with friends.  Kill some time with websites like this one.  We’ll see you back here fresh and ready to go in one week!

Dawn Johnsen Before the Senate Judiciary Committee

The next step in Prof. Johnsen’s nomination to the Office of Legal Counsel is today, at ten o’clock.  The Senate Judiciary Committee will be discussing her nomination in their “Executive Business Meeting.”  Want to watch?  Go check out the meeting’s webcast!

The Supreme Court and the Voting Rights Act

Yesterday, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the Voting Rights Act to districts in which minorities make up half or more of the vote.  The methods of creating voting districts have been many and varied, and the Voting Rights Act in particular has been interpreted in several different ways.  Monday’s case, Bartlett v. Strickland, clarified.  For articles, check the New York and L.A. Times, for analysis the SCOTUSblog has a few entries, you can head here for briefs and other important documents, or you might want to just read the opinion itself.

Daylight Saving Time

Set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed tomorrow night.  Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 9th.  More information can be found here and here.

A Few Good Books

Last year Atonement was nominated for several Academy Awards, Watchmen opens in theaters today, and spring break is coming right up.  Maybe now is a good time to pick up one of the books on Time Magazine’s list of 100 best English-language novels since 1923.  You can read reviews of most of the books, vote for your favorites, send in comments, and hit the page of trivia about Time and authors (apparently Joseph Conrad was the first author to appear on the cover of Time). Or you could just check out some of the movies.  Remember to take it easy over spring break!

Legal Abbreviations

Have you ever run across a citation to a legal document you want and found you did not know what the abbreviation stood for?  There are lots of good places you can go.  If you know that your citation is for a journal or law review you can head to either HeinOnline (the process is described here) or to the University of Washington’s list of Bluebook Abbreviations of Law Review Titles.  To add reporters and a few other publications to you list you might try the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations. Though Cardiff is based in the UK, the index includes many abbreviations from the U.S. and other jurisdictions.  Maybe the best tool, though, is Bieber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations.  It contains the abbreviations for not only law reviews and reporters, but also treatises, loose-leaf services, simple acronyms and more.  It’s available on Lexis (file-name BIEBLA), but it’s even simpler to use in paper.  Look up your abbreviation, find the full name.  Look up a full name, find the abbreviation.  It is a wonderful source to have handy.

Release of OLC Documents

Yesterday the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) released nine memos that deal with anti-terrorism policies following 9/11.  The OLC was careful to say that these documents do not reflect current OLC policies.  Professor Johnsen, presumably soon to be at the OCL, has said that she’s in favor of releasing post 9/11 memos that don’t interfere with national security.  There are several articles on the release, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune to name just two.  Or, if you’d like, you can go read the memos themselves at the OLC website.

Database of Obama Speeches

On Saturday the Law Librarian Blog again came up with a wonderful tip-the askSam database of the speeches of Barack Obama.  It’s full text searchable, and has 200 speeches of Obama’s, both as President and as a Senator.  If you finish all those, it looks like there is a lot more-including databases of Presidential State of the Union addresses, published opinions of Supreme Court Justices, and even some searchable acts, like the Patriot Act. Looks like a great resource.

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