Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Legal Website: Virtual Chase (via Justicia)

Virtual Chase is a product of Justicia specifically geared towards those in the profession of law librarianship and those interested in preforming legal research.  On this site you will find access to blogs, tweets, listservs and other resources created by and for law librarians.  Virtual Chase also links to a number of online resources for researching government, business, law, or general information. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

“WWNS?” or How Would Nina Totenberg Write an Answer to a Law Exam Question?

Jessica R. Alexander, J.D., M.L.S., Reference Librarian

I have been listening to Nina Totenberg’s National Public Radio analysis of Supreme Court arguments and outcomes for many years. I still remember exactly where I was when she broke the news on the Justice Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill controversey.  I marvel at how she has developed the extraordinary analytical skills applied to her broadcast segments and written analysis of complex issues before the Supreme Court. Law students preparing for exams might ask themselves the question? “WWNS?” Let’s examine her analysis over the years of cases before the Supreme Court involving first year and second year courses – family, constitutional, contracts, civil and criminal procedure, property, and torts. In order to research the cases to choose from, I utilized our Bloomberg database, BNA's US Law Week.  For in-depth analysis of lower federal courts and the Supreme Court, US Law Week is the go-to source. US Law Week is also a source for analysis and briefing of cases and issues that come before the lower federal courts as well as the Supreme Court. (While Bloomberg is available only to students, faculty and staff, access to United States Law Week is available to visitors.)

For examples, listen to these segments:
Civil Procedureprevious hitAT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion,584 F.3d 849(2011 “Supreme Court Imposes Limits on Class Actions” Broadcast April 28, 2011

Constitutional  – Arizona v. United States, 641 F.3d 249, 79 USLW 4279 (2012)
“Controversial Arizona Law Reaches Supreme Court,” Broadcast April 15, 2012
Case Opinion at Supreme Court -
ContractsGeneral Dynamics Corp. v. United States567 F. 3d 1340 (2011)
“Supreme Court Weighs Military Contract Dispute,” – Broadcast January 19, 2011
Case Opinion at Supreme Court website: -

Criminal Law and  Procedure Missouri v. Frye, 133 S.Ct. 1399 (2012) “Supreme Court Rules on Plea Bargain Rights,” Broadcast March 22, 2012
Case Opinion at Supreme Court

this case was just decided by the Supreme Court April 18y: Missouri v. McNeely, summary of opinion by Nina Totenberg Broadcast April 13, 2013 "Can Police Force Drunken Driving Suspects to Take Blood Test?” transcript January 9, 2013
Case Opinion at Supreme Court
written analysis of case during oral arbuments at
FamilyAdoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, No. 12-399, “Emotions Run High as Supreme Court Hears Adoption Case,” Broadcast April 16, 2013
Supreme Court docket, etc. at

TortsMillbrook v. United States, No. 10362, 477 Fed. Appx. 4‘Prisoner's Handwritten Petition Prompts Justices to Weigh Government Immunity,” Broadcast, February 19, 2013
Case Opinion at Supreme Court

 PropertyLozeman v. City of  Riviera Beach, Florida, No. 11-626 “Supreme Court: Floating Home Still A Man's Castle,” Broadcast January 15, 2013
Case Opinion at Supreme Court

Legal Website: Justicia

Justicia provides a wealth of legal information for both the lay person and attorneys.  Portions of the website are dedicated to information on a variety of specific areas of law including an overview, definitions, and web resources for the non-lawyer. The site also provides state, federal and (limited) international primary law.  One of the most helpful features of the website is the ability to ask legal questions directly to attorneys in specific areas of law.