Law Library Notes

November 14, 2013

Bury Me in the Front Yard

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Butterfield @ 8:54 am

An Alabama man lost his four-year battle to keep his wife buried in his front yard. Read about it here.


November 6, 2013

US Code Downloadable

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Butterfield @ 2:13 pm

The In Custodia Legis blog recently had a guest post by Rob Sukol, Deputy Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives on the downloadable USC. Read it here. You can download individual titles or the whole code from their downloads page.


November 1, 2013

Tenn. lawyer demands to be called ‘Captain Justice’

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 9:45 am

When prosecutors in Williamson County tried to ban a defense attorney from referring to them as “the government” in court, defense attorney Drew Justice had a demand of his own:

From now on, call me “Captain Justice.”

A war of words broke out in an attempted aggravated burglary case in Williamson County Circuit Court between prosecutors and Justice, who is defending one of two people in the case.

Full story at USA Today


October 31, 2013

Paul Clement

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Butterfield @ 10:34 am

Read a nice article which pieces together comments by Paul Clement on his most recent Supreme Court appearances. Read it here.


Constitution Annotated at

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 12:20 am

The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (popularly known as the Constitution Annotated) contains legal analysis and interpretation of the United States Constitution, based primarily on Supreme Court case law. This regularly updated resource is especially useful when researching the constitutional implications of a specific issue or topic.



October 26, 2013

1932 political trial on display at federal courthouse

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 1:41 pm

Infamous trials help shape history, and for the city of Omaha, a trial in 1932 is now on display for everyone to learn about.

The takedown of Thomas Dennison is front and center at the federal courthouse.

“It inspires us to work hard and do what we do to ensure justice is fair for all, and I think it will inspire staff as well as the courthouse,” said Laurie Smith Camp, U.S. District Court judge.

Thomas Dennison was on trial for conspiracy to violate the National Prohibition Act. The trial brought an end to the political syndicate that controlled Omaha for decades.
Read more:


October 24, 2013

“I Am a Man”: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Butterfield @ 9:55 am

This is a good read. Check it out here and here.


September 26, 2013

Google unveils major upgrade to search algorithm

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 8:06 pm

Google has unveiled an upgrade to the way it interprets users’ search requests.

The new algorithm, codenamed Hummingbird, is the first major upgrade for three years.

It has already been in use for about a month, and affects about 90% of Google searches.

At a presentation on Thursday, the search giant was short on specifics but said Hummingbird is especially useful for longer and more complex queries.

Google stressed that a new algorithm is important as users expect more natural and conversational interactions with a search engine – for example, using their voice to speak requests into mobile phones, smart watches and other wearable technology.

Read full article here.


September 19, 2013

Baird Holm Marks 140 Years

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Butterfield @ 12:28 pm

Read the Omaha World-Herald article here.


August 29, 2013

Black’s Law Dictionary

Filed under: Uncategorized — Troy Johnson @ 9:45 am


Pictured is the 7th, 8th, and 9th editions of Black’s Law Dictionary. The 9th edition is the most current edition of Black’s. Black’s is available on Westlaw. To access the dictionary just type “Black’s Law Dictionary” in the search box on WestlawNext. If you have any problem accessing the dictionary, just ask for help at the reference desk in the law library.

I want to use this opportunity to briefly discuss context and currency of online materials using Black’s Law Dictionary as an example. Currently when you look up a term using Black’s on Westlaw you are obtaining a definition from the 9th edition. When the 9th edition first came out there was a period of time where only the 8th was available on Westlaw.

The lesson is to not always assume that everything online is up to date. As a legal information consumer, you need to be in the habit of checking how current online materials are.  Sources have different ways of conveying the currency of materials and databases. Look for links that provide information on scope or currency.

When you use Black’s Law Dictionary in print you know you have the current edition if you have the green volume. This type of context is not always available online so when using online resources always ask yourself how you know the materials you are looking at are current.

If you ever need to know if a legal source is the most current and you are are having problems determining this, ask for help from a reference librarian.


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