New Books at The Zief Law Library: April 2023

Book Covers From The Zief Library Catalog

The Zief Law Library added new materials to its collection in April 2023! Check out these three new titles, with topics including career planning, law practice, race discrimination, and business law. Explore our monthly New Materials at Zief Law Library webpage for the full list of recent arrivals. Stay tuned for more new materials this summer. 

Summer Access to Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg

Hi all! Summer is upon us, and you’re probably gearing up to tackle your summer internship placements. As an important reminder, there are certain limitations on using certain research platforms over the summer. Here, we’ll take a look at the big three  – Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg – and run through what you’ll be able to use them for. And don’t forget, your librarians are also here to help support you throughout the summer

Westlaw

Westlaw can be used over the summer for non-commercial research — you can’t use it in situations where you are billing a client. Examples of permissible use include: Continue reading “Summer Access to Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg”

Beyond Lexis & Westlaw: CEB

In our continuing series introducing you to legal research databases that we recommend you try, this month we’re taking a look at the CEB legal research platform and highlighting some of its unique features. CEB – short for Continuing Eduation of the Bar – provides valuable research resources for California law students and attorneys.

What is CEB?

Founded in 1947 as a nonprofit program of the University of California to educate veterans returning to legal practice after serving in World War II, CEB today offers access to a range of materials, including: primary sources; practice guides; practitioner materials; daily news alerts; and continuing legal education (CLE) materials for practicing California attorneys.

CEB Logo

How is CEB Different from Westlaw and Lexis?

Unlike Lexis and Westlaw, CEB is designed specifically to help the California legal community and therefore focuses on California law. It includes cases (California Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court), statutes, and California Rules of Court. It also includes a large collection of California practice guides and other practitioner materials, as well as legal news and continuing education materials for California attorneys. These resources can also help you as a student in your clinical, internship, or externship experiences.

These are the CEB features and tools worth exploring:

  • Advanced Search Filters for Case Law Searches: CEB allows you to narrow your case law search results using advanced filters. For example, you can narrow your results by specific cause of action (e.g., harassment, fraud, discrimination), procedural posture (e.g., demurrer, motion for summary judgment, motion for change of venue), and disposition (e.g., reverse, affirm, grant). These filters allow you to find cases analogous to your own, and not just those with similar search terms.
  • Secondary Sources: CEB includes about 180 unique, searchable practice guides written by and for California lawyers, covering California law on 20 broad topics. Each practice guide also includes these helpful finding aids: table of contents, table of statutes, table of cases, and an index.
  • Practitioner Materials: CEB provides helpful practitioner materials including workflow charts, how-to guides, strategy notes, charts and checklists, and standard documents with referenced authorities. They cover the following six legal topics (each divided into subtopics): Business Entities, Business Litigation, Employment Law, Litigation Practice & Procedure, Real Property, and Trusts & Estates.
  • Daily News: CEB provides California legal news updates in 31 practice areas to help you stay up-to-date with daily law alerts and articles on the latest developments in your research or practice area.

How can I access CEB as a Student?

CEB is accessible to current USF law students and faculty in two ways:

CEB’s OnLaw Logo
  • Via its classic interface CEB OnLaw, which does not require registration (from off campus or on campus); or

 

 

 

CEB OnLawPro Logo
  • Via registration for its updated interface, CEB Pro. Please contact one of your Zief librarians for CEB Pro registration information. If you have already registered, visit research.ceb.com to sign in. Students who sign up for CEB Pro before they graduate will continue to have free access for 18 months after they graduate. For more information about how you can incorporate CEB’s resources into your research, stop by Zief and chat with your research librarians.

“Research Tips from an Old School Librarian” — the Restatements

Many law students think of the Restatements of the Law as nothing more than the brief excerpts included in their case books. This week, in his special column, “Research Tips from an Old School Librarian,” research librarian John Shafer will show you why you may want to dig deeper into the Restatements.

What are the Restatements?

The Restatements of Law, published by the American Law Institute (ALI), are a valuable resource for law students, legal professionals, and scholars alike. These authoritative and influential legal treatises aim to clarify, simplify, and modernize various areas of common law in the United States.

By distilling and restating the general principles and rules derived from case law, statutes, and legal scholarship, the Restatements provide a clear and comprehensive summary of the current state of the law. They serve as a reference for judges, lawyers, scholars, and legislators, guiding courts in areas where the law may be ambiguous or inconsistent. Although not legally binding, the Restatements often act as persuasive authority in judicial decision-making, shaping the development and evolution of the law.

The Restatements, along with their accompanying examples, illustrations, and annotations, are invaluable tools for law professors and students. Professors often draw from the examples and illustrations to create the hypotheticals they use in lectures and examinations, designing engaging and challenging problems that test students’ comprehension of legal concepts and principles. You, as a student, on the other hand, can employ these examples and illustrations to prepare for exams, enhance readiness for being called on in class, and deepen your understanding of the Restatements.

The annotations that accompany the Restatements are also helpful for locating case law that cites specific Restatement sections. By examining these annotations, you can identify relevant legal authority to support your arguments and enrich your research, as well as observe the practical impacts the Restatements have on the development and evolution of the law.

Accessing the Restatements:

In Print: The Zief Law Library has a fairly complete collection of the Restatements in print. They are located behind the Circulation and Reserve Desk and can be checked out for use in the library. The Ignacio library catalog shows a list of our current Restatement holdings:

Online: The full text of the Restatements is not freely available on the internet due to copyright restrictions. However, you can access the complete Restatements through legal research platforms, such as Westlaw, LexisNexis, HeinOnline, and Bloomberg Law (BL has a subset of all the Restatements available). Links to each of those services appear below — you will need to use your personal academic password or identify yourself as a USF Law student in order to use them:

In conclusion, the Restatements of Law are a valuable resource for law students seeking to strengthen their understanding of common law principles. By examining the Restatements and their accompanying examples, illustrations, and annotations, you can develop problem-solving skills, boost your confidence in class, excel in exams, and better prepare for your future legal career.

New Books at The Zief Law Library: February 2023

Ten book covers from Zief library’s new materials.

The Zief Law Library added new materials to its collection in February 2023! Check out some of our new ebooks, with topics including: women’s rights; environmental law; restorative justice; arbitration; property; international law; maritime law; multilingual learning; and the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Explore our monthly New Materials at Zief Law Library webpage for the full list of recent arrivals.

Shown Above: 

“Research Tips from an Old School Librarian” – Researching Model Laws

By now you’re likely familiar with model laws, like the Model Penal Code or the UCC, but what do you do if you need to research a model law? This week, in his special column, “Research Tips from an Old School Librarian,” research librarian John Shafer introduces us to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the Uniform Laws Annotated and why you might consider using them in your research.

The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), a non-partisan non-profit organization, is one of the most successful efforts to update, harmonize promote uniformity of the law through the creation of a wide-ranging body of model laws. Founded in 1892, NCCUSL works with legal experts, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to develop these model laws, designed to address emerging legal issues and promote the efficiency and fairness of the legal system.

The NCCUSL developed many model laws, including the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), the Uniform Probate Code (UPC), and the Uniform Trust Code (UTC), among others. Many states, including California, adopted these model laws in whole or in part. You’re likely familiar with these model codes, since they are frequently referred to in law school classes and casebooks today.

While you can learn a lot about many different model laws through the NCCUSL, all serious researchers should also know about another important resource for model laws – the Uniform Laws Annotated (ULA). The ULA is published by Thomson West and is available in Zief (in print) and on Westlaw. The ULA offers several research features in both the print and digital versions, including:

  1. Full text of model laws: The ULA contains the complete text of model laws, including the UCC, the Uniform Business Organizations Code, the UPC, the Model Penal Code, and others, along with any revisions or amendments made over time.
  2. Annotations: The ULA includes detailed annotations explaining each provision’s purpose, history, and interpretation through official and editorial comments. The annotations also include references to relevant cases and other authorities that interpreted or applied the model law.
  3. Comparative analysis: The ULA provides a comparative analysis of model laws, showing comparisons across the United States.
  4. Cross-references: The ULA includes cross-references to other model laws, to relevant U.S. Code sections, and to other sources of law.

However, missing from the ULA’s digital Westlaw version are the extensive indexes included in the print version. If you’re instead using Lexis+ for your research, you’ll find the ULCLAW – Uniform Law Commission Model Acts, but it lacks much of the content and many of the features found in the ULA.

So, if your research involves one of the many Uniform or Model Laws, you might want to consider using one of these model law resources.

UN World Day of Social Justice 2023

This week, ZiefBrief celebrates the UN World Day of Social Justice and reflects on our commitment to social development, well-being, equity, and equality. As part of the USF community, Zief Law Library shares in the university’s and law school’s Jesuit mission towards creating a more just world for everyone, which requires pursuing social justice from multiple angles and perspectives. Here, we take a look at how the law library contributes to social justice work, and invite you to consider how you might pursue social justice causes too.

What is the World Day of Social Justice?

In 2007, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 62/10, declaring February 20th as the UN’s World Day of Social Justice, recognizing, among other things, that “social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations and that, in turn, social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” Building on the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, which recognized social justice, equity, and equality as major development goals, this resolution ultimately invites the UN Member States to promote concrete national activities and greater international unity towards eradicating poverty, promoting work opportunities and gender equality, and increasing access to well-being and justice.

This year’s theme, “Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice” aims at strengthening global solidarity and trust in government,  and initiating conversation on “actions needed to strengthen the social contract that has been fractured by rising inequalities, conflicts and weakened institutions that are meant to protect the rights of workers.” It hopes that this dialogue results in greater investment in decent labor opportunities for young people and in green, digital, and care economies.  It poses the following questions to consider:

  • What are the key bottlenecks and challenges to overcoming rising inequalities, decent work deficits, including lack of access to social protection, digital exclusion and disruption of trade?
  • What are the opportunities in the green and digital economy to reduce inequalities and promote social justice, in particular for youth?
  • What actions are needed by governments, the UN system, international financial institutions, employers’ and workers’ organizations, civil society and other stakeholders to increase investments for social justice?

Social Justice at USF, USF Law, and Zief Law Library

The USF Community, home to the Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice and multiple public interest legal opportunities, is no stranger to social justice work. The law school’s clinics, for example, allow students to participate in social justice-related legal work across various practice areas, such as racial justice, immigration, and human rights. While Zief Law Library supports that work by maintaining research resources, the librarians – and indeed many other law librarians – incorporate social justice across many aspects of our work with students, faculty, and the public, whether it’s in the classroom, in the library, or even behind the scenes. Looking toward the year ahead, the Zief librarians and staff already have more exciting social justice-related ideas to put into action, but some highlights from this past year include:

  • creating a diversity, equity, and inclusion resource guide for law school faculty and staff;
  • incorporating more critical legal research-related discussions into our legal research instructional sessions, reflecting on power dynamics represented in legal systems and research tools and access to justice;
  • creating and revising instructional learning materials with accessibility at the forefront;
  • participating in creating a harmful language statement for USF Gleeson and Zief libraries to recognize potentially harmful materials and outdated descriptions;
  • maintaining knowledge about and promoting access to free and low-cost legal research resources;
  • expanding our collections of legal research materials, including social justice-related books, media, and databases; and
  • attending law librarian workshops, conferences, and panels where we share ideas and learn from other social justice-focused law librarians.

With all of the opportunities to further social justice through our work in the law library, it’s hard to imagine setting aside only one day for them all. So, while the UN’s World Day of Social Justice may only be just one day out of the year, Zief Law Library hopes you’ll join us in celebrating social justice every day.

 

New Books at The Zief Law Library: January 2023

Six book covers from the January new books list.

The Zief Law Library added new materials to its collection in January 2023! Check out some of our new titles, with topics including: contracts; copyright; administrative law; criminal law; and criminal procedure. Explore our monthly New Materials at Zief Law Library webpage for the full list of recent arrivals.

Blockchain Resources at Zief

You may have heard the good news that Professor Michele Neitz has joined the USF School of Law faculty and brought the Blockchain Law for Social Good Center and a seminar on Blockchain Technology and the Law with her. This week, we take a quick dive into what blockchain is and highlight some blockchain research resources available to you through Zief Law Library.

What is Blockchain Technology and Why Should Law Students Care About It?

In general, blockchain technology helps decentralize the movement and management of data and digital representations of assets or other value. It enables transaction authentication and settlement without centralized intermediaries or authorities. Importantly, there are many evolving applications for blockchain technology, including cryptocurrencies, online voting, medical records, insurance policies, property and real estate records, copyrights and licenses and supply chain tracking. In “smart contracts,” blockchain technology embeds payouts between the contracted parties and automatically executes when the parties meet their contractual conditions. Continue reading “Blockchain Resources at Zief”

“Research Tips from an Old School Librarian – Words and Phrases”

Need to find case law that helps define a certain word or phrase? Luckily there’s a resource designed to help with just that! This week, in his special column, “Research Tips from an Old School Librarian,” research librarian John Shafer introduces us to this invaluable resource, how to use it, and how to access it.

One of the very useful classic research tools is a multi-volume set titled Words and Phrases, by Thomson West. First published in 1940, it has been the go-to source for judicial definitions of words and phrases, from multiple jurisdictions, drawing on cases from 1658 to the present. And these aren’t exclusively legal words or phrases, the set includes cases that provide judicial definitions of words such as “time” and phrases such as “happy camper“.

You can use the search bar, as shown here, to input words and phrases and find helpful judicial definitions.

Even though the set Words and Phrases is still in print and kept up to date by West editors, today, you can also find it on Westlaw, included under Secondary Sources in the “Tools & Resources” panel (pictured below). Alternatively, you can type in “Words and Phrases” into the search bar to be taken directly to the content page. Even more directly, you  can search words and phrases by using a special field search. For example, if you go to California State & Federal Cases and enter into the search box WP(“yellow-dog contract”), you will find a California Supreme Court case that you can cite that defines exactly what such a contract is. Any terms included in parenthesis after the letters “WP” will search for your terms in the words and phrases field.

In Westlaw’s “Secondary Sources” database, you can find “Words & Phrases” under the additional Tools & Resources on the right side.

While the Zief Law Library no longer has the print version of Words and Phrases available for browsing, you can still access this great resource and same information through Westlaw today. Try it out!

 

New Books at The Zief Law Library: December 2022

Covers of new titles added in December 2022.

Welcome back and Happy New Year! The Zief Law Library added new materials to its collection in December. Check out some of our new titles, with topics including: evidence; blockchains and cryptocurrencies; trademarks and unfair competition; and judicial error, false imprisonment, and discrimination in criminal justice administration. Here are just some of our new items, but explore our monthly New Materials at Zief Law Library webpage for the full list of recent arrivals.

Beyond Lexis & Westlaw: Bloomberg Law

You’re probably familiar with Lexis+ and Westlaw Edge (soon to be Westlaw Precision) and have used them to find primary and secondary legal research resources. As we told you in our post about HeinOnline last month, there are other research tools that we recommend you try. This month we’re taking a look at Bloomberg Law and highlighting some of its unique features.

What is Bloomberg Law?

Bloomberg Law is a legal research platform that combines the latest in legal technology with workflow tools, news, primary and secondary sources, and business intelligence. Sixteen Practice Centers (e.g., Bankruptcy, Labor & Employment, and Tax) group Bloomberg Law resources by areas of legal practice, providing resources for that practice area: primary sources, dockets, news, treatises, practice tools, and Practical Guidance. Continue reading “Beyond Lexis & Westlaw: Bloomberg Law”

New Books at The Zief Law Library: October 2022

Covers of new titles added in October 2022

The Zief Law Library added new materials to its collection in October! This month’s new books list is small but mighty. Check out some of our new titles, with topics including: United States race relations, white supremacy, and multiracial democracy; trusts; consumer credit; intellectual property; immunization laws; and environmental law. Here is a list of some of our new items, but explore our monthly New Materials at Zief Law Library webpage for the full list of recent arrivals.

New Election Law Resource from LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation

In celebration of the upcoming Election Day, Zief Law Library presents a brand new, publicly-available voting law resource created by Lexis. Whether you have a deep interest in election law or simply want to keep abreast of legislative changes that might affect voting rights, the LexisNexis® U.S. Voting Laws & Legislation Center by the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation is a robust tool to keep you in-the-know. This week, we take a look at some of its helpful features. Continue reading “New Election Law Resource from LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation”

Beyond Lexis and Westlaw: HeinOnline

You’re probably familiar with Lexis+ and Westlaw (soon to be Westlaw Precision) and have used them to find legal research resources, like cases, statutes, regulations and secondary sources. But legal research sometimes requires more than those – and there are other research tools that you can – and should – consider using to help find materials. Here, we’ll dive into HeinOnline, a multidisciplinary legal research platform, and highlight some of its newest database offerings in LGBTQ+ Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice, and Water Law. Continue reading “Beyond Lexis and Westlaw: HeinOnline”