Author Archives: Alyson Drake

New Titles: Precedent in the United States Supreme Court

precedentDid you know that the Coleman Karesh Law Library gets new titles in on almost a daily basis?  The most recent editions can be found on a cart next to the copy room on the first floor of the law library, for your perusing pleasure!

One interesting title that caught my eye this week is Precedent in the United States Supreme Court, part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice series.  This title in the series presents a variety of perspectives on the use of precedent by our nation’s highest court from constitutional law scholars at some of the nation’s best law schools.  Topics include how the court establishes precedent, how they decide to overrule precedent, the influence of concurrences and dissents, and more.

An interesting read for those interested in Constitutional Law!

MLK, Jr. Weekend Library Hours

The Coleman Karesh Law Library will be open the following hours over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend:

Friday, January 16th:  7:00am-8:00pm
Saturday, January 17th:  9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, January 18th:  3:00pm-11:00pm
Monday, January 19th:  1:00pm-11:00pm

Regular library hours will resume on Tuesday, January 20th.

Reference assistance will be available on Friday, January 16th from 8:30am-5:00pm, but the Reference Desk will not be staffed on Monday, January 19th.

Resources You’ll Want to Know: Fastcase

A recent article entitled “The 10 Most Important Legal Technology Developments of 2014” notes that value companies, such as Fastcase and Casemaker, are beginning to be more widely used by larger firms.  The article notes that “larger firms are encouraging associates to use them for routine case law and statutory research.”  This is probably in part due to their lower costs and the fact that Fastcase and Casemaker are sometimes provided for free to dues-paying members of state bar associations.

South Carolina is one such state, recently making the switch from Casemaker to Fastcase.  To try out Fastcase and start getting familiar with it, select “Law Library Electronic Resources” from the library’s homepage.  Fastcase is listed under Legal Search Engines Research on the left hand side.  fastcase

For some videos on how to use Fastcase, select Tutorials under Help Options on the Fastcase homepage.  You can sign up for a webinar training or watch short videos on the basics of using Fastcase.

This Week in Legal News

A few interesting legal news stories from the past week:

  • The Supreme Court denied petitions for certiorari in seven cases challenging state laws barring recognition of same sex marriages.  Perhaps not such a huge surprise given that there was no split among the lower courts.
  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that a lifetime registration requirement for juveniles offenders to be unconstitutional.
  • Jury selection in the Boston Marathon bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began on Monday, after a federal appeals court denied his argument to change venue.
  • Kazakhstan’s new Criminal Procedure code will require police to read suspects their rights when making an arrest; the rights are based on the U.S.’s Miranda warnings.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a New York state rule barring children who are not immunized from public schools, due in large part to an exception allowing children whose parents have “genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to” the rule not to be immunized.

What’s on your legal news radar this week?  Let us know in the comments!

New Titles: Damages: A State by State Summary

DamagesDid you know that the Coleman Karesh Library gets news titles in on almost a daily basis?  The most recent editions can be found on a cart next to the copy room on the first floor of the law library, for your perusing pleasure!

One interesting new title this month is Damages: A State by State Summary, published by the ABA’s Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section.  It provides, as the title hints at, a summary of the laws regarding damages for each state and the District of Columbia.  While not an exhaustive study for each state, it is a great reference tool for attorneys on the types, measures, and standards on damages.  It covers, among other topics, the types of bodily injury, wrongful death, and survival damages.

Most of the state chapters include excellent footnotes providing the primary sources of authority for each type of damages.

Welcome Back, Students!

Welcome back for the spring semester!welcome

Regular hours for the Spring Semester are as follows:

Sundays:  1:00pm-11:00pm
Mondays:  7:00am-11:00pm
Tuesdays:  7:00am-11:00pm
Wednesdays:  7:00am-11:00pm
Thursdays:  7:00am-10:00pm
Fridays:  7:00am-9:00pm
Saturdays:  9:00am-9:00pm

The Reference Desk is staffed from 8:30am-5:00pm on weekdays!  Please stop by to see us if you have any questions, or email us at!

Resources You’ll Want to Know: HeinOnline’s World Treaty Collection

Many law students are at least somewhat familiar with HeinOnline’s resources, particularly journal students who have relied on the awesome PDF images in Hein’s Law Journal Library!


Well, Hein is constantly adding content to their existing libraries, as well as adding entire new content libraries.  The newest content library purchased by the Coleman Karesh Law Library is the World Treaty LIbrary.  It includes treaties from the United Statutes, United Nations, League of Nations, as well as other treaty indexes and compilations.  Treaty research is incredibly important in the area of international law.

Students can search by keyword, title, parties, sign date, or citation.  For help using the database, come see one of your favorite law librarians!

Welcome New Students!

photoThe faculty and staff of the Coleman Karesh welcomed the 220+ new students to the library for the Library/IT Orientation this morning, August 19th.  The law students received their WestlawNext, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law password registration instructions, got a tour of the library, and learned about a lot of the great services available in the library and IT department.

Students who want a refresher on what they heard this morning should visit Cocky’s Guide to the Law Library & IT.  All the important information they heard this morning can be found there, along with some other helpful tidbits!

Stop by with questions any time!

SCOTUS Hears Oral Arguments in Greenhouse Gas Cases

Supreme CourtOn Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments on the federal government’s ability to regulate green house cases.  In United Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, which was consolidated with six other cases, the Court considered “[w]hether the EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources.”

See SCOTUSblog’s argument preview to understand what’s at stake in the case and argument recap to see what went down in oral arguments.

Legal News of the Day: AZ Bill Allows Refusal of Service for Religious Reasons

restaurantsignOn Thursday, Arizona lawmakers approved a bill allowing state business owners to refuse to serve individuals for “religious reasons.”  Critics denounce the law as a state-approved discrimination against LGBT individuals.

The bill will now go to Governor Jan Brewer, who has five days to sign the law.  The voting for the bill took place largely along party lines, and the Arizona House Minority Leader has already released a statement urging Brewer to veto the bill, arguing that it targets the LGBT community and promotes discrimination.