Author: Adam Mackie

The Return of the Great Pizza Wars

Hold onto your aprons as the tri-state pizza front has grown hot again following the introduction of a bill in Connecticut’s senate to declare pizza the state’s official food.  It’s only been a few years since the governors from Connecticut and New Jersey engaged in vicious battle over twitter, after Governor Lamont declared that we had the best pizza in the United States.  A while later, Connecticut Senate Democrats returned fire after Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey was the pizza capital of the world.  In the wake of these ongoing hostilities, the Connecticut Legislature took its first shot at enshrining pizza’s status here in the Nutmeg State into law, introducing a bill in the house.  The world took notice with celebrities from Stephen Colbert to Dan Rather weighing in.   While the bill passed out of the house, it died in the senate and the pizza war went cold.  That is until just a few weeks ago with the senate’s bold new action sure to reignite the passions of pizza partisans everywhere.

To conduct pizza legal research of your own here in Connecticut, your best bet is taking advantage of the search functionality of the General Assembly’s website: https://www.cga.ct.gov/default.asp.  There you can run an Advanced Bill and Document Search by clicking the Bill Info tab and selecting it under the Search heading.  From there you can specify what materials you want to search and decide what years you want to cover.  Doing so for all Bills and Related and for the word Pizza in the Document Text for the last 5 years helped me find the two bills mentioned above.  Do your part in the great pizza wars and learn how to follow legislative action as part of your research toolkit.  Visit us at the reference desk to learn more!

Hungry for Hungry Hungry Hippos

Hippo

Picture of cowboy overlooking a hippo

Two simultaneous crises struck America at the turn of the 20th century.  Waterways in the south were so clogged with imported vegetation that it was impeding navigation and the country was running out of meat.  What brilliant solution was put forth to save the country in its time of need?  Hippo steaks, aka lake bacon.  A bill was introduced and explored in a hearing before the House Committee on Agriculture in 1910 to import various African wildlife into the United States to answer what the media had termed “the meat question.”   

Many articles have explored the story of how this came to be and how close this idea may have come to being reality, but for us there is a legal research lesson to be learned in it all.  Most of these stories do not cite directly to the primary sources themselves and really play up the hippo angle, but we have the ability to track down old federal bills and hearings using the database ProQuest Congressional.   

With the rough details of the story in hand, we can turn to ProQuest and search in a variety of ways to find the bill and a transcript of the hearing that took place.  If looking for bills using the word hippo or hippopotamus, you would be out of luck, because the actual bill only discusses importing “wild and domestic animals.”  A classic legislative generalization of terms that can make keyword searching so difficult for these types of materials.  Using other features of the bill’s introduction, like the year and the name of the introducer, can help narrow your result set.  Ideally, you’d find the bill number from a secondary source and use the search by number feature to locate both the bill and the hearing tied to it.   

And finding the hearing itself is well worth a read.  Did you know according to one witness that hippopotami are easily tamed and become very attached to man?  Hopefully someone did their own research on the subject and that’s why hippo steaks are nowhere to be found on the menu today.  Give ProQuest Congressional a go and see for yourself what could have been, for better or even more likely for so much worse… 

Faculty Publications!!

image of faculty members

The Faculty at the Law School do their own share of research and writing!  Evidence of this is now on view in the display case on the 3rd floor of the Law Library.  One can also find copies available for check- out in the library catalog.  The copies in the display case come from the Law School Archives, located in room 237.  The Archives strives to collect a copy of all faculty authored books.   

Check out the display in the Library on 3rd floor near the leisure reading area.   

Welcome Back!!

image introducing library services

Welcome to the UConn Law Library! For our new students, this may be the first time you have ever stepped foot in the building. We have worked hard over the summer to prepare things for you, and we hope you take advantage of all the services we offer.

Study Rooms

Our study rooms are available for group study! Students can reserve a seat at  s.uconn.edu/lawlibstudyrooms, by scanning the QR code outside the room you want to use, or by clicking the quick link on the Law Library homepage. Each student can reserve a room for up to two hours per day.  We ask that you please cancel your reservation if you no longer need it so that other students can use the space. You can always reschedule for another time that day as long as the time block is available. View the entire study room policy here.

Library2Go

Library2Go is a free book and article retrieval service. Simply request a book from the library’s collection and it will be retrieved and checked out to you. Need a book chapter or an article from a print journal? We will scan and email material that falls within our copyright guidelines.  For more information on UConn’s Copyright Policy, click here. Please allow for 5 business days to fulfill your requests. Learn more about Library2Go here.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Need a book, chapter, or article that the Law Library doesn’t own? Law students, faculty, and staff can request these items using our ILL system, tILLapia. Staff will do their best to obtain the item from libraries all around the world. Just like Library2Go, scans will be emailed, and physical items will be made available across from the Circulation Desk. To learn more about ILL or to submit a request, click here.

Reference Services

As always, our Reference team is here to answer your research questions. While they can’t do your homework for you or give legal advice, they can show you the ropes and help you when you get stuck in your research. You can schedule a research consultation or find them at the reference desk on the main floor of the library. You can also email them at refdesk.lawlib@uconn.edu, call (860) 570-5200, or chat with them online.

Course Reserves

The Law Library keeps one copy of each required textbook that can be checked out at the Circulation Desk on short-term loan.   Please be mindful that we only have one copy to share with you and all your fellow classmates!  The Law Library also has study aids that will cater to a variety of different learning styles. For more information, check out the Study Aids section in our Student Toolkit.

Still have questions about how we can help you? Let us know! You can find us at the Circulation Desk on the main floor of the Law Library, by email at lawlibrary@uconn.edu, or by calling (860) 570-5012.

I hope you all have a wonderful semester!