The Pocket Part: UConn Law Library Blog

Veterans Day, November 11, 2022

Despite the discord and uncertainty that we that we have all faced over the past few difficult years, it is important to take a moment to remember that it is because of veterans that we are able to express our thoughts and emotions freely, have meaningful debates on vital issues, strive for positive change, and exercise our rights as Americans.  In the words of President Biden, “In every generation, America’s veterans have been willing to give all for that which we hold sacred — freedom, justice, and democracy.  They have served selflessly, sacrificed greatly, and shouldered the burden of freedom quietly, asking no glory for themselves.  Today, let us honor them by living up to their example — putting service before self, caring for our neighbors, and working passionately to build a more perfect Union worthy of all those who protect our lives and liberty.”   

As Governor Lamont said, “There are thousands of veterans of the United States military who call Connecticut their home, and we are indebted to the sacrifices they have made in service to their nation and the protection of our great country.”  In the words of Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, “There will never be enough words or the right words to express the gratitude we feel toward our Connecticut veterans. . . . Every day, we should take the opportunity to thank those who served, not just on Veteran’s Day. It’s important to remember that we are able to enjoy the freedoms we have today because of their courage, their bravery, and their sacrifice.” 

So please take a moment to thank all of our veterans for their service. Learn about why we celebrate Veterans Day on November 11, how you can volunteer to help veterans in your neighborhood, how you can get involved with UConn Law’s VALOR (Veterans and Armed Forces Legal Out Reach) Society, or how UConn supports veterans and their families. 

At the library, we asked our patrons to honor individual veterans by adding their names to our display. The UConn Law Library, along with UConn students, faculty, and staff, thanks all of our veterans for their courageous service, including those listed in the picture here. 

Veterans Day, November 11, 2022

CTDA Court Records and Briefs

Image of CTDA database

In every case heard by the Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts, the parties file the record from the trial court as well as briefs and appendices laying out their legal arguments. These records and briefs are valuable research material used to understand how the issues were presented to the court, what arguments the court found persuasive (and which it didn’t), and for placing important Connecticut cases into context. Further, the record and appendices sometimes can be the only source for trial-level filings and unreported decisions related to the case. 

Connecticut Supreme Court Records and Briefs are available beginning with some cases from the 1800s, and more completely available in the 20th century. Supreme Court Records and Briefs from 1871 to 1986 are available in printed volumes, but beginning in 1986, the format changed to microfiche. Briefs filed in the Appellate Court, which was created in 1983, were only made available in microfiche. Although the format change was good for storage space and preservation, it limited accessibility, especially as researchers’ familiarity with accessing materials on microform declined with the rise of electronic research. 

In 2017, Practice Book Rule 60-7 was amended to require e-filing for all Supreme and Appellate Court cases, meaning that the records and briefs from that year forward are freely available online. However, there is a treasure trove of research material still only available on microfiche. 

The Law Library has embarked on a project to digitize and make these records and briefs available freely online. Although this is a long-term project, the first year of the Supreme Court Records and Briefs – 1986 – is already available. Documents will be added on a continual basis until they are all available. 

If you need to locate the briefs for a Connecticut Supreme or Appellate Court cases, this guide provides all of the information needed for all of the years available in the library and online. 


Happy Halloween! Legal-Themed Costumes for You and Your Pet

I was going to write this blog post about spooky laws, like whether or not you have to disclose that your house might be haunted when you're selling it (short version: in some states, yes, in others, no), but that seemed boring.  Instead, I decided to focus on costumes.  Did you know that there might be local laws about when and where you can wear your costume?  For example, in Walnut, California, "No person shall wear a mask or disguise on a public street without a permit from the sheriff," and no, there is no exception for Halloween.  In Oakland, California, you need a written permit from the Chief of Police, unless you are taking part in a carnival (which may or may not be on Halloween).

In Dublin, Georgia, no one is permitted to wear “a mask, hood or other apparel or regalia in such manner as to conceal his identity,” except for “children sixteen (16) years of age and under who may participate in traditional Halloween activities on the evening of the last day in October of each year, and who may be garbed in the usual or customary children's Halloween costumes.”  They have an even stricter age limit in St. Clair, Missouri, where no one over 12 is permitted to wear a mask or disguise on Halloween.  Closer to home, until 2020, New York had a state law prohibiting masks that was used over the years primarily to suppress protests against injustice, but had the additional effect of preventing most people from wearing masked costumes on Halloween.

And, because I can't do anything with some fun animal pictures, here are some awesome legal-themed costume ideas for you and your pet:

Elle Woods and Bruiser from Legally Blonde

Of all the "classic" law school movies, this one might be my favorite.  I saw it not long before I took the LSATs, so I didn't like it at first, but in retrospect, it was pretty funny, and I strongly support law students who are advocating for positive change, particularly if their pets will agree to wear matching clothes.  So, grab a pink outfit, a blonde wig, and a UConn sweater for your pet, and off you go!  This was my attempt (although my cat, Bigfoot, was unfortunately not very happy about participating):

Tanya with a Cat

The I'm Not a Cat Filter Lawyer

We all remember that Texas lawyer who got stuck on the cat filter on Zoom.  Why not commemorate that entertaining event by creating a costume?  You could wear some cat ears and put your cat in a suit.  Or you could just hold your cat up in front of your face for as long as they'll tolerate it.  Just make sure you say "I'm not a cat" at regular intervals.  (I wanted to include of picture of Bigfoot here, too, but she was less than cooperative.)

Zoom Lawyer Cat

The Supremes

Pick a justice or nine and get some robes!  This costume would be especially fantastic if you have nine people/pets who can each dress up as a different Justice, but at that point, you'd have to reenact full arguments John Oliver style (and please record every minute of it!).  In the alternative, it's perfectly ok to pick a favorite.  This dog dressed as Ruth Barker Ginsberg (or perhaps Ruth Bader Ginsbark) will probably always be my favorite.

Dog dressed as supreme court justice

Last but not Least:  Pirates!

You, too, can say Arrrr!  Because there are lots of laws about piracy and my conure, Blip, makes a great teaching assistant, here's what my costume could be this year:

Tanya dressed as pirate with bird on shoulder

Make sure you check out the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund's Halloween Photo Contest, and if you decide to use one of these ideas, please send me a picture!

-Tanya Johnson

 


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!


LGBTQ+ Rights: New Hein Database!

In honor of Pride Month, head over to HeinOnline to see its LGBTQ+ Rights database, the newest addition to the Social Justice Suite. This collection charts the gay rights movement in America, showing the civil rights codified into law in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the inequalities that still exist today.

All titles in this collection have been assigned one or more title-level subjects relating to their scope, and are further divided into six subcollections, whose areas of focus constitute Marriage and FamilyEmployment DiscriminationMilitary ServiceAIDS and Health CarePublic Spaces and Accommodations, and Historical Attitudes and Analysis. The database includes an interactive timeline, as well as court cases, scholarly articles, books, pamphlets, and reports.

To learn more about the newest database check out HeinOnline’s blog here and for additional research, check out Uconn Law’s Research Guide, Sexuality, Gender Identity and the Law.

screenshot of a webpage introducing HeinOnline's LGBTQ+ Rights

Summer and Post-Graduate Access to Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg, and Other Library Databases

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Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis and Westlaw all have summer access provisions and usage policies for continuing and graduating students.  Read below for more information!

Westlaw

Returning Students

You may use your Westlaw account through the summer for noncommercial research, such as law school activities, research assistant assignments, work for a nonprofit, or in an unpaid internship.

Graduates

Graduates can register for Westlaw’s Graduate Elite Program, which provides for six months of access after graduation.  Graduates also have access to the Knowledge Center eLearnings and tutorials for 18 months after graduation.

In order to extend access you will need to opt into GRAD ELITE by logging into www.lawschool.tr.com. Use the drop-down menu by your name to go to GRAD ELITE Status or go directly to https://lawschool.westlaw.com/authentication/gradelite.

Lexis

Returning Students

Lexis access continues through the summer with no restrictions on time or usage.

Graduates

You will have access to Lexis until December 31, 2022, with no registration required, or restrictions.  Use the same Lexis account log on credentials you used in law school.  If you are working for a nonprofit organization, you may be able to extend your access even longer through the ASPIRE Program

Bloomberg Law

Returning Students

Bloomberg access continues through the summer subject to yearly individual Docket allowance.

Graduates

2021 graduating students will have unrestricted access to Bloomberg Law for 6 months with no special registration required (if students register for Bloomberg Law access before graduation)

Other Library Databases

Returning Students

Returning students have full access to all of our databases, such as Hein and Proquest throughout the summer.

Graduates

Alumni are always welcome to use the library and seek research help from the reference librarians.  If you stay in the area as you begin your legal careers, remember that the majority of our electronic resources can be accessed by any patron from within the library, including Westlaw.

Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis and Westlaw all have summer access provisions and usage policies for continuing and graduating students.  Read below for more information!

Westlaw

Returning Students

You may use your Westlaw account through the summer for noncommercial research, such as law school activities, research assistant assignments, work for a nonprofit, or in an unpaid internship.

Graduates

Graduates can register for Westlaw’s Graduate Elite Program, which provides for six months of access after graduation.  Graduates also have access to the Knowledge Center eLearnings and tutorials for 18 months after graduation.

In order to extend access you will need to opt into GRAD ELITE by logging into  www.lawschool.tr.com. Use the drop-down menu by your name to go to GRAD ELITE Status or go directly to lawschool.westlaw.com/authentication/gradelite.

Lexis

Returning Students

Lexis access continues through the summer with no restrictions on time or usage.

Graduates

You will have access to Lexis until December 31, 2022, with no registration required, or restrictions.  Use the same Lexis account log on credentials you used in law school.  If you are working for a nonprofit organization, you may be able to extend your access even longer through the ASPIRE Program

Bloomberg Law

Returning Students

Bloomberg access continues through the summer subject to yearly individual Docket allowance.

Graduates

2021 graduating students will have unrestricted access to Bloomberg Law for 6 months with no special registration required (if students register for Bloomberg Law access before graduation)

Other Library Databases

Returning Students

Returning students have full access to all of our databases, such as Hein and Proquest throughout the summer.

Graduates

Alumni are always welcome to use the library and seek research help from the reference librarians.  If you stay in the area as you begin your legal careers, remember that the majority of our electronic resources can be accessed by any patron from within the library, including Westlaw.


Public Laws & Proclamations – Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2022

Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage MonthAsian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrated in the month of May, originated in 1978 when Congress passed a joint resolution that became Pub. L. 95-419. This law directed the President to issue a proclamation designating the week beginning on May 4, 1979 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. Pub. L. 95-419 was amended in 1990 by Pub. L. 101-283  which expanded the observance of Asian/Pacific American Heritage week to the month of May in 1990. Finally, in 1992, Congress passed Pub. L. 102-450 which permanently designated May of each year as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.”

Pursuant to Pub. L. 102-450, American Presidents have annually issued proclamations designating May as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month”. President Biden issued A Proclamation for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2022 which can be found here.

Presidential Proclamations are policy statements issued by the president to the public. Although often ceremonial, they can have legal effect (examples are proclamations regarding national emergencies, foreign policy, and federal land management). An example of this would be President Biden’s Proclamation 10315 (revoked on December 28, 2021) which suspended entry of certain individuals in countries where the Omicron variant of COVID-19 had been detected.

This informative CRS Report Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Speech Resources: Fact Sheet provides excellent summary of both Public Laws and Proclamations pertaining to Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. Also by CRS, the publication, Presidential Directives: An Introduction, discusses the differences between presidential directives.

The Law Library display features an assortment of academic and leisure reading books selected in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month for 2022. Be sure to stop by and check one out for summer reading!


New State Legislation Restricting Books in Libraries and Schools

Book Ban Legislation: the latest entry from The Pocket Part

The recent introduction of state legislation targeting books available in public and school libraries has resurfaced the idea of banning books. Several states have pending legislation that would prohibit libraries from carrying certain books in their collection, or even prosecuting librarians who included materials determined to be offensive or obscene.

Conflicts over the content of books available in libraries, however, have been happening for decades. The Bible, The Merchant of Venice, Catch-22, and Harry Potter have all been the subject of litigation related to book challenges in school and public libraries. The American Library Association tracks the most frequently challenged book each year. In 2020, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison were among the top ten most challenged books.

The American Library Association began advocating for the freedom to read in the 1980s with the introduction of Banned Books Week, which is celebrated every year in libraries across the country. UConn Law Library’s Banned Books research guide provides information on frequently challenged books, major cases on challenged books, and pending legislation.