Monthly Archives: June 2010

Supreme Court Extended The Right To Keep And Bear Arms To All 50 States.

If for some reason you missed all of the excitement,  on Monday June 28, 2010,  the Supreme Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago, No. 08-1521, ___U.S.___ (2010) extended the federally protected right to keep and bear arms to all 50 states. The decision nullifies a Chicago ordinance banning ownership of handguns. Legal scholars are already predicting challenges on many fronts such as, age limits that bar people younger than 21 from buying or owning guns, California’s outlawing of certain handguns, and assault weapons and ammunition bans.

For more information on the decision and other gun cases pending see or the decision itself at the Supreme Court website,  (Post-David)

Gulf Drilling Moratorium Struck Down

A New Orleans federal judge has lifted the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed by President Barack Obama following the largest oil spill in U.S. history.  The ruling in the case of Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC v. Salazar, 2:10-cv-01663, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans) is reported here:

The order and reasoning can be found here:

The amicus brief filed by Louisiana Governor Jindal can be found here:


Circuit Riders Move Through The State

South Carolina law librarians Terrye Conroy and David Lehmann continue on their journey through the state as they hit another Judicial Circuit.  On June 11, 2010, following their presentation at Winthrop in the 16th Judicial Circuit,  the Circuit Riders conducted their Legal Research for Non-Law Librarians workshop for a mixed group of public and academic librarians at Trident Technical College (9th Judicial Circuit) in North Charleston, South Carolina. Next stop is the Bluffton Branch of the Beaufort County Library (14th Judicial Circuit) on Friday, July 30, 2010.

(Post-DEL; Upd-TAB)

Bluebook nerds rejoice in newest edition!

The 19th edition of the Bluebook has been published and we Bluebook nerds are poring over it.  The new edition is almost 100 pages longer than the previous edition.  There are major changes in at least one important area, which had been (IMHO) an area of weakness — the citation of internet, electronic media, and other non-print resources.  Rule 18.2 gets things started with a bang, stating “The Bluebook requires the use and citation of traditional printed sources when available, unless there is a digital copy of the source available that is authenticated, official, or an exact copy of the printed source, as described in rule 18.2.1.”*   This is very different from the 18th edition.  New Rule 18.2.1 allows citation to an authenticated, official, or exact copy of a source available online WITHOUT ANY URL (or other location) INFORMATION APPENDED.  Hmmm.  I’m pondering the implications of this rule.

Rules for podcasts have been added and the rules for emails, blog postings, and blog comments have been expanded.  Each of these rules includes many more examples. Sadly, the editors have not fixed my pet peeves.  There is still that (superfluous) space required between the section symbol and the number in statutory citations and T10.1 still uses the same old archaic state name abbreviations.  Oh, well.  That means my questions are still in play for the AALL program!**

* The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation 165 (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. eds., 19th ed. 2010).

** See my previous post below.


Circuit Riders Arrive at Winthrop University

The Circuit Riders Outreach Program is on the move again. On Friday, May 28th, 2010, USC law librarians Terrye Conroy and David Lehmann visited the Winthrop University’s Dacus Library for a day-long program teaching both academic and public librarians about legal research issues, databases, and general primary law materials.  For more information on the program, check out the Circuit Riders website at Next stop is Trident Technical College, North Charleston, SC, on Friday, June 11, 2010. (Post-DEL)

Cat Scratch Fever

The news is frequently full of stories of dogs behaving badly, but a 2008 Connecticut case is a tale of two kitties. Plaintiff was injured while trying to protect her cat from the neighborhood fighting tom. Defendants denied responsibility because, while they knew their cat was aggressive toward other cats, they didn’t know that he would attack a human. Find out what happened when the fur started flying in Allen v. Cox, 942 A.2d 296 (Conn. 2008). Use the citation information for the trusty print reporter, or use the citation or party names in your search engine of choice.


Calling all Bluebook nerds!

When you use The Bluebook do you think, “Why did the editors do this”?  Now law librarians, at least, will have a chance to ask those questions.   The program “The Bluebook: An Open Discussion Among Editors and Librarians” will be held at the AALL Annual Meeting, on Sunday, July 11, 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm, CCC Rooms 102-106, Program A-1.  It will be a moderated discussion among three Bluebook editors from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, and two law librarians – Beth Adelman and Kumar Percy Jayasuriya.

The organizers of the program are seeking input from the law librarian community.  Is there a rule that you’ve always questioned?  Would you like to make the editors aware of any specific issues?  For example, why does The Bluebook continue to require citation to print copies of newspapers, which are increasingly difficult to find?

The objective is not to put the editors on the spot or to force them to make changes.  Instead the program will allow both sides – the editors and the librarians – to respond to questions and to raise and explain the issues involved.

I have asked the organizers two questions:

1.)  Why does The Bluebook insists on a space between the section symbol and the section number [§ 3401, instead of §3401] in a statutory citation.  That seems to me to violate the first of the compacting principles articulated by Peter W. Martin, in his Basic Legal Citation 2010 (

Compacting Principles: Principles that reduce the space taken up by the information items included in a citation. These include standard abbreviations (“United States Code” becomes “U.S.C.”) and principles that eliminate redundancy. (If the deciding court is communicated by the name of the reporter, it need not be repeated in the citation’s concluding parentheses along with the date as it should otherwise be.).”

2.)  When are they going to adopt the postal code abbreviations for states?  That would also make the citations more compact, without compromising their clarity.

I hope my questions are chosen.  For Bluebook nerds, this is shaping up to be big fun!