Indiana University Bloomington

Primary Navigation

BLAWg In Bloom

The Indiana Law Library Blog

Indiana visits SCOTUS: Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp.

On the slate for this year’s Supreme Court term is a case out of Indiana, Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, discussing whether steel workers should be paid for the time it takes to put on and remove their work clothing.  Oral arguments occurred on Monday and have already garnered some enthusiastic responses, so we thought we’d share a little more information about and coverage of the case.

Summaries of the facts and arguments of the case:

7th Circuit Opinion (678 F.3d 590 (2012))

Docket

Summaries from:

News coverage:

The main issues:

Petitioners Respondent
Clarity of Fair Labor Standards Act, §203(o), or “What are ‘clothes’?”
Clothing of steel workers should be exempted from this provision because of its protective nature, functioning more as a tool than as something to cover the body Such an exemption would make 203(o) confusing and difficult to enforce
Collective Bargaining
Labor unions have the power to bargain over issues of wages, hours, and working conditions and those agreements should be upheld The steel workers already had a collective bargaining agreement in place that could have covered this, so they must already be getting some benefit as a concession, and straying from that agreement would harm the collective bargaining process

Halloween Laws

IUpumpkinIn the spirit of Halloween, I thought I’d share some Halloween-related state laws with you:

Laws about the wearing of masks in public places:

  • Louisiana – La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 14:313
  • Oklahoma – Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, 1301
  • Food laws pertaining to Halloween:North Carolina – N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. 14-401.11

Laws restricting certain conduct on Halloween:

  • Missouri – Mo. Ann. Stat. 589.426 (** Ruled unconstitutional by F.R. v. St. Charles County Sheriff’s Dept., 301 S.W.3d 56)

Special Legally-Declared State Holidays:

  • New Jersey – N.J. Stat. Ann. 36:2-72 (declaring Halloween/Oct. 31st UNICEF Day)

Laws on the Spending Powers of Counties, pertaining to Halloween and other festivities:

  • Wisconsin – Wis. Stat. Ann. 59.56

Laws related to the behavior of sex offenders and violent offenders on Halloween:

  • Florida – Fla. Stat. Ann. 947.1405, 948.30
  • Illinois – 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/3-3-7, 5/5-6-3 et seq., 5/11-9.3, 152/122, and 154/105
  • Louisiana – La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 14:313.1

Laws related to parenting timelines for holidays (including Halloween):

  • Utah – Utah Code Ann. 30-3-35
  • (Many other jurisdictions also include Halloween in parenting guidelines, usually in the form of appendices to the code or court rules.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

 

Law Library Evening Workshops: Researching Statutes in Print

Starting tonight, the Law Library’s Evening Workshop Series continues.  Our sessions this week (October 21st – 24th) will be dedicated to: Researching Statutes in Print.

Don’t let your upcoming LRW assignment *spook* you!  This workshop is exclusively for 1Ls and will cover the location of law library’s state codes, statutory search strategies, and will be chock full o’ tips, not tricks.

There are four sessions available:

When:              7:30 pm – 8:00 pm, October 21st-24th.  *Each will cover the same material.*

Where:            Law Library’s lobby (in front of the Circulation Desk)

Who:               1Ls

If you have questions about this workshop, please contact the Reference Office for more information.  You can call us at (812) 855-2938 or — better yet — stop by and ask us about it.  We hope to see you this week!

Szladits’ Bibliography of Foreign and Comparative Law available in HeinOnline

Among the Library’s database are some hidden gems. These databases are rarely used by any but the most adventurous patrons, yet they contain information that would be ideal for just the right research project. One such database is the Szladits’ Bibliography of Foreign and Comparative Law, available in HeinOnline’s Parker School Library, and which covers the years 1790-1990. Szladits’ Bibliography is an annotated index of English-language books, chapters, and articles on comparative and foreign law subjects. It thus differs from the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, which began publication at a later date (1960), indexes articles mostly in non-English languages, and is unannotated.

The main entries in  the Szladits’ Bibliography are organized in a systematic subject arrangement. To search for articles on judicial review in Israel, for example, you would retrieve the Public Law portion of the index, then modify your search to include the terms “judicial review” and “Israel.” This would retrieve citations to all books, chapters, and articles published on the topic during the years covered by the index volume searched.

The online version of Szladits’ Bibliography only goes up through 1990. However, to update your research beyond that date, you can also search the printed volumes for subsequent years, available in the Library on the Periodical Index Table near the computer Lab (K38 .S9). The printed index currently runs through 1998, so it too is 15 years out of date; but no source is perfect.

There are many other titles in the Parker School Library that might interest those researching comparative law topics. The next time you have ten minutes to spare, browse the titles to see what’s available. Szladits’ Bibliography is the last title listed in the Library, but in this case last is definitely not least. For those interested in comparative law, Szladits’ offers a treasure trove of annotated citations to books, chapters, and articles of interest.

“In One Hour”: Check out these technology books with a legal spin

You’ve used our collection to help you prepare for class or research a paper, but did you that we have several books in our collection on technology too?

Google Gmail and Calendar in One Hour for Lawyers – KF 320 .A9 L48 2013

iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers – KF 320 .A9 M45 2012

iPad in One Hour for Lawyers – KF 320 .A9 M48 2012

iPad in One Hour for Litigators – KF 320 .A9 M485 2013

Android Apps in One Hour for Lawyers – KF 320 .A9 S55 2013

Twitter in One Hour for Lawyers – KF 320 .I57 C67 2012

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers – KF 320 .I57 K46 2012

Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers – KF 320 .I57 S88 2012

I know, looking at some of these titles, you might be thinking that you already know how these technologies work, so these books aren’t for you.  However, even for a technology you’ve been using for years, these books offer a great new perspective for you – how (and, equally importantly, how not) to use these technologies as an attorney.  These books cover not only the features of the technology, but also ethical rules regarding the use of these types of technologies by attorneys, real-life examples and cautionary tales, and more.

As you prepare for job interviews, whether for summer clerkships or post-graduation, you will be faced with technologies, some of which will be familiar, and others that will not.  In some ways, the familiar technologies can pose more of a risk, because you will need to find new ways to approach them to avoid ethical mishaps.  Being aware of these technologies and how attorneys are using them could very well benefit you in an interview or as you start your new job.

And if you’re still not convinced that these books are worth your time, you could always consult the ABA’s 2012 Legal Technology Survey Report to see what technologies attorneys, from solo practitioners to Big Law, utilize on a regular basis  (KF 320 .A9 L43 2012.)  From advertising to client communication to competitive intelligence, these social networks and newer technologies come into play in law practice more often than you’d think.

And although I know class work keeps you busy enough without having to crack another book, don’t worry – these books fairly live up to their name – they can generally be digested in around an hour.  You can find them on the third floor of the library.  Happy reading.

techbooks

In Celebration: Constitution Day

GeicoCamel

Okay, it’s not Hump Day, but it is Constitution Day!  Libraries, schools, and academic institutions across the country are celebrating the anniversary of the adoption of the United States Constitution (September 17, 1787) through a variety of activities.  For our own contribution, we thought we’d highlight a few resources for researching the U.S. Constitution.

Hot off the presses, a new app from the Library of Congress: U.S. Constitution: Analysis and Interpretation – first and foremost a print resource for understanding the provisions of the Constitution and its amendments, the app form reads like an e-book, but in a very searchable format.  If you do much research in constitutional law, you may find this app to be a very helpful resource.  Like most government apps, this app is free.  It’s currently available for iOS only, but the Android version is in development.

Not a mobile device user?  No worries – this resource is also available online from Congress.gov (Constitution Annotated).

If you are researching the U.S. Constitution, there are a few other databases you should know about as well.  In HeinOnline, you may want to check out World Constitutions Illustrated.  As the title suggests, this resource gives you access to a number of nations’ constitutions, including the United States.  Here you will find the Constitution, other founding documents, commentaries, scholarly articles, and a bibliography of other resources.  Expanding on this theme, we have several other constitution databases, including Constitutions of Dependencies and Territories Online, Constitutions of the Countries of the World, and Constitutions of the United States: National and State.

Finally, if you want to journey into the world of scholarly blogging, you may want to check out Justia’s list of popular Constitutional Law Blawgs.  Happy researching, and as always, stop by the Reference Office if you have any questions!

Law Library Evening Workshops: Getting to Know IUCAT

Starting this year the Law Library will be offering evening workshops on a variety of subjects.  Next week we’ll have sessions on using the new IUCAT effectively.

–        New to IUCAT, the library’s online catalog?

–        Familiar with IUCAT, but want to learn how to search the catalog more proficiently?

–        Expert at IUCAT Classic, but inexperienced with the new layout?

No matter your level of experience, consider attending one of the Law Library’s evening workshops, all about IUCAT:

Monday, September 9th, room 121

Tuesday, September 10th, room 121

Wednesday, September 11th, room 125

Thursday, September 12th, room 125

Each session will run from 7:30-8 PM

If you have questions about this workshop, contact the Reference Office for more information, (812) 855-2938, or drop by and ask us about it!

New Around the Library: Mobile Device Charging Station

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over! As you get ready to return to school, we wanted to let you know about a project the Law Library has been working on this summer. We have just installed a charging station in the library lobby, capable of charging a variety of mobile devices, across multiple operating systems. You will find this charging station mounted on the column next to the seating area as you enter the library.

chargingstation

We hope you will find this device helpful and convenient, but please remember to be responsible when charging your mobile device – do not leave it unattended. When you’re batteries are drained, let the library provide the charge you need to get through the day!

Unusual Liquor Laws

Recently, while pursuing a question about alcohol sales, one of our law librarians ran across this Indiana statute.

IC 7.1-5-10-11
Sale of cold beer prohibited
Sec. 11. Sale of Cold Beer Prohibited. It is unlawful for the holder of a beer dealer’s permit to offer or display for sale, or sell, barter, exchange or give away a bottle, can, container, or package of beer that was iced or cooled by the permittee before or at the time of the sale, exchange, or gift.
(Formerly: Acts 1973, P.L.55, SEC.1.)

At first glance, there seem to be a lot of law breakers in Indiana. It should be noted though, that there is a difference between beer deals and beer retailers.  This law was most likely passed to stop people from buying large quantities of beer and then drinking in immediately, and it made us ask ourselves what other unusual laws there were about alcohol use and consumption out there. A quick web search reveals several lists of humorous alcohol laws, but several of them are not verified. Some also stretch the truth a bit—several sites claim that you cannot buy alcohol on credit at an Iowa bar; however Iowa Code 123.49(2)(c) actually just prohibits buying on credit without a credit card.  So we proudly present some entertaining moments in the legal history of alcohol which we can actually cite. Full Story »

A Finals Break with Vinny

Finals are almost over!  Come take a study break with the Law Library tonight. We’re going to be screening that legal classic My Cousin Vinny. Curtain up tonight at 6:30 in room 125.  Popcorn provided!