With the final Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) of the year looming on the horizon, ethics may be at the forefront of your mind. While the MPRE tests for knowledge of the Model Codes for Professional Responsibility and Judicial conduct, as well as common law principles related to attorney discipline, there are guaranteed to be a nearly infinite number of ethical quandaries that won’t make it onto the exam. Fortunately, there are resources available to help law students and practitioners navigate these issues.
First, always start with the rules governing professional responsibility. It is sound advice to familiarize yourself with the Rules of Professional Conduct in your jurisdiction. The current version of Indiana’s rules can be found on the judiciary’s website. In addition, attorney disciplinary opinions are available online at the Indiana Judiciary website, with coverage from 2004 to present. Periodically, the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) publishes ethical advisory opinions. This ethical guidance can be retrieved through the ISBA’s website. For coverage of other jurisdictions, Bloomberg BNA and the ABA collaborate to produce the Lawyers Manual on Professional Conduct. This online resource can be accessed by selecting “BNA Premier” from the Online Resources menu and choosing the “ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct” from the BNA “All Resources” list.
Next, keep abreast of changes – in both the legal field and society at large. The advent of the Information Age, and its resulting technological advances, has added another layer of complexity in legal ethics. Electronic discovery methods, and even simple email correspondence, can imperil the otherwise well-intended attorney. Res Gestae, the journal of the Indiana Bar Association, includes a column in each issue devoted to ethics called “Ethics Curbstone.” The law library keeps recent issues of this publication in the reference collection behind the circulation desk, shelved in the final row closest to the computer bank. Res Gestae is a great current awareness resource for ethical concerns that are emerging or otherwise newsworthy.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or colleague. In each state, there is help available to attorneys and judges struggling with mental health and substance issues. In Indiana, the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP) provides a variety of services to members of the legal community trying to cope with these types of difficulties.
Remain informed by using the myriad resources and advice available concerning legal ethics. Be diligent and thoughtful in your professional and personal conduct. Take care of your mental and physical health. Lastly, remember that when you are an attorney, or even an aspiring one, what happens in Vegas, doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas.
Posted by Michelle Botek
| October 22nd, 2012 | 0 comments
The law library recently added the Hathi Trust Digital Library to our list of electronic resources. The Hathi Trust is a cooperative digitization effort by many major research institutions, including Indiana University, with a goal of preserving and providing access to library collections in digital format for use now and in the future. With so many institutions contributing, collections within the Hathi Trust are vast, including such subjects as nineteenth century German texts, eighteenth century cookbooks, and many historic government documents that can be difficult to locate, such as Patent Indexes going back to the 1800s.
With the natural (and sometimes unnatural) deterioration of print materials, being able to digitize these works helps to ensure their preservation and accessibility for the future. However, for a little over a year the Hathi Trust has been involved in a copyright lawsuit by the Authors Guild for copyright infringement. The Authors Guild claimed that creating digital copies of copyrighted works infringed the authors’ copyright, because no permission was sought from the copyright holders, and that such wide-scale distribution (as is afforded by digital access) overstepped the allowances provided for in the Copyright Act’s fair use provisions.
On Wednesday, however, the presiding judge in this case ruled in favor of the Hathi Trust, finding that fair use was met, both because the digitization process was sufficiently transformative (the digital versions of the works in the Hathi Trust are full-text searchable in the database) and because this process provides much-needed access for disabled students (who can now read the digitized works through the help of assistive software).
Copyright law originates in the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, endowing Congress with the power “[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The U.S. Copyright Act can be found in Title 17 of the U.S. Code. For more information on U.S. copyright law, see this booklet from the U.S. Copyright Office.
If you’re interested in further research into copyright law, try searching the subject heading Copyright–United States in IUCAT, or browse the shelves around the KF 2994′s (second floor of the law library).
Posted by Ashley
| October 12th, 2012 | 0 comments
The Library subscribes to several databases of Chinese law. One of them is LawInfoChina, which is produced by the Peking University Legal Information Center. LawInfoChina has a variety of collections. Laws & Regulations contains laws, regulations, rules, judicial interpretations, local regulations and local rules in more than ninety subject areas. It includes all laws adopted by the National People’s Congress and the NPC Standing Committee and all regulations issued by the State Council from 1949 onward. Laws & Regulations also includes “important judicial interpretations that substantially influence legal practices and are recognized as an indispensable part of the original Chinese laws and regulations.” LawInfoChina includes a separate Case Law Database, which contains “typical judicial decisions approved and published by the Supreme People’s Court or the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.” These editorially enhanced cases are chosen “to reflect both current and predicted future trends in Chinese legal practice,” but the emphasis is on meeting the needs of companies doing business in China. Finally, there are both a Gazettes database (containing tables of contents of the official gazettes of various government agencies) and a database of Chinese Law Journals.
LawInfoChina has just updated it web site. It is now possible to search (or filter search results) by data facets, such as type of document, subject area, year of adoption, or any combination. The title/keyword search engine now also supports Boolean search syntax, allowing you to “and” and “or” search concepts, as well as search for phrases.
Of course, the single greatest value-added aspect of LawInfoChina is that all material is translated into English. However, those who speak or read Chinese should also keep in mind that the same platform supports a Chinese-language version of the database, ChinaLawInfo, which contains more material than its English-language counterpart. One nice feature is that it is possible to toggle back and forth between the two versions.
Posted by Ralph Gaebler
| October 2nd, 2012 | 0 comments
We all think of HeinOnline as a terrific source for PDF versions of law review articles. There’s good reason for this, since HeinOnline includes so many titles, and provides access to all of them all the way back to volume one. No other database provides PDF versions of so many articles, covering such a long period of time. Full Story »
Posted by Ralph Gaebler
| September 21st, 2012 | 0 comments
Last week I posted a blog entry offering a Starbucks gift card to the first student who could correctly answer several research questions using my new Foreign Law Basics research guide. And we have a winner! Charles Shaw, an associate on the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies,took the challenge and proved to himself how easy it is to do research when you use the correct sources. Congratulations, Charles!
If you haven’t noticed our new Research Guides web site, you should take a look. We already have eight new guides available, and many more are on the way. In fact, if you would like to see a research guide on a particular subject, please don’t hesitate to let us know!
Posted by Ralph Gaebler
| September 12th, 2012 | 0 comments
Have you noticed that the Library has a new web site for research guides? Although we only recently began transitioning to this new site, there are already a number of new research guides available, and many more will follow. Take a look and let us know what you think.
To get you started, I invite you to look at the most recent guide, Foreign Law Basics. This research guide is intended to be a quick introduction to the most important sources, mostly electronic, that will help you no matter what country you are interested in.
And here’s a challenge. The first person to email me with correct answers to the following questions will receive a $10 gift card from Starbucks. Needless to say, all questions can be answered using electronic sources mentioned in Foreign Law Basics.
1) Which sections of the Austrian Civil Code deal with adoption?
2) When was the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany most recently amended? Where can I find an English-language translation of the amending law?
3) What was the approximate population of Belgium in mid-2010?
Believe me, these questions are not difficult to answer. If you like Starbucks coffee, it will be worth your while to look through Foreign Law Basics and give it a shot. (No pun intended.)
Posted by Ralph Gaebler
| September 3rd, 2012 | 0 comments
The Library recently added to its electronic coverage of 13 important Cambridge University Press journals, now providing access back to volume one for each of them. The Library had switched to electronic access to these journals some time ago, and this new purchase adds complete backfiles that in most cases the Library did not have in print. A few of these journals are partially available electronically in Lexis and WestLaw, and indexed in LegalTrac and the Index to Legal Periodicals. A few more are indexed in Academic Search Premier, a comprehensive index of more than 4500 journals in many disciplines. However, all of the titles are comprehensively indexed in Cambridge Journals Online, the platform providing full-text access to all electronic journals from Cambridge University Press.
To access the electronic version of these journals, the patron should retrieve the IUCAT record for the journal title of interest. A link in the bibliographic record will open a new window displaying the Cambridge journals Online platform, defaulted to the specific journal in which he or she is interested. Here one can search the specific journal, or the entire Cambridge Online Platform, using either a simple Google-type search, or an advanced search template that supports field searching. Alternatively, one can search for articles in various online indexes devoted to areas such as history, philosophy, politics, and the social sciences more generally, all available through the Wells Library web site, then retrieve the IUCAT record(s) for the journal(s) of interest with citation(s) already in hand. A browse function in Cambridge Journals Online will permit the patron to retrieve articles by citation. This would be the preferred approach if the patron wants to search multiple journals by subject, rather than just the titles in Cambridge Journals Online.
In general, patrons are reminded that the best way to determine the Library’s coverage for any specific journal is to look up the journal by title in IUCAT. The bibliographic record will indicate dates of coverage and location of all printed volumes, and will also provide links to all available databases that include the title sought. For each such database, dates of coverage will be provided, so that the patron can immediately determine which, if any, will include the specific article he or she is seeking. This is obviously far more efficient than the “hunt-and-peck” method of trying to guess which databases might include the title of interest.
Cambridge titles referred to in this posting include the following: Economics and Philosophy, Foreign Policy Bulletin, Journal of Economic History, Legal Theory, Leiden Journal of International Law, Netherlands International Law Review, Social Philosophy and Policy, The Journal of Politics, Utilitas, World Politics, Netherlands Yearbook of International Law, Continuity and Change, and British Journal of Political Science.
Posted by Ralph Gaebler
| August 27th, 2012 | 0 comments
Allow me to extend another hearty welcome, new and returning students! For those of you who were not involved in yesterday’s law school orientation, you may have noticed that the law library is now on Facebook and Twitter. You may be asking yourself, ‘why would I want to follow or “like” the law library’? Through these profiles, the law library will keep you up to date on changes in library hours throughout the year, announcements of library events, and other interesting or fun tidbits we come across.
As an incentive to “like” us on Facebook, when our page reaches 100 likes, we will randomly select one Maurer Law student who has liked us to receive a $25 Starbucks gift card!
Posted by Ashley
| August 21st, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Welcome to the new 1L class, and congratulations on starting orientation today! We hope that you have a wonderful law school experience, and at the Law Library will do everything that we can to make your time here fun and interesting. The library is a place to study, learn, reflect, and prepare. We hope that you will spend lots of time here, and if you have any questions we can help with, please don’t hesitate to ask any of the library staff. We are excited about working with all our new students over the next three years. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!
Posted by Cindy Dabney
| August 20th, 2012 | 0 comments
If you have heard Jay-Z’s song 99 Problems, you know it is about a true incident that occurred in 1994 when he was pulled over for a seemingly arbitrary traffic speed enforcement. The suggestion is that the cop’s use of traffic laws was a mere pretext for searching his car, as he fit the profile for a drug smuggler.
The song is pregnant with Fourth Amendment issues, particularly the question, “When can you use a traffic stop to search for drugs?” A lot can be gleaned from the lyrics, both truths and inaccuracies. It is perhaps no surprise then, that Jay-Z’s lyrics can be used to gain a better understanding of Criminal Law.
In a line-by-line analysis, Southwestern Law School Law Professor Caleb Mason (in his Saint Louis University Law Journal article, “Jay-Z’s 99 Problems, Verse 2: A Close Reading With Fourth Amendment Guidance for Cops and Perps”) offers a fantastic and enjoyable explanation of this area of law using the lyrics as a touchstone. For those of you who are interested in pop culture representations of criminal justice, you will love the examination given by this writer.
By Jen Kulka (Library Intern & Guest Blogger)
Posted by Jennifer Morgan
| July 27th, 2012 | 0 comments