Monday, April 30, 2012

Judicial Interpreters

Do you have significant foreign language skills? Have you ever considered working as a Judicial Interpreter? If you enjoy language, law, and working with people, this very specialized profession may be of interest to you. Check out the website of The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators. (NAJIT)

While many in the public believe that interpreters are in the court to help those with limited English skills, “helping” is actually a violation of the code of ethics. NAJIT describes their mission as: “… to promote quality services in the field of legal interpreting and translating. Our members play a critical role in ensuring due process, equal protection and equal access for non-English or limited English proficient (LEP) individuals who interact with the judicial system.”

The levels of source language proficiency (the language being translated from) and target language proficiency (the language being translated to) is extremely high. It is very important that the register of the source language be conserved in the translation. For example, if the source word is “inebriated” then “hooched” would not be an equivalent translation… and vice versa. The job of the Judicial Interpreter is not to interpret or define any terms, but to conserve all the elements of the speech, including false starts and silences.

It is the job of the Judicial Interpreter/Translator to protect the integrity of the court.

If this is of interest to you, some other websites that may be of interest include:
 Written by Joan Policastri, Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian

Friday, April 27, 2012

Researching Energy Law

While energy is a popular topic at the law school, finding resources is not always straightforward.
The general topic of Energy can be found in several locations in the library’s collection. Materials can be found in the “Environmental Law” sections of both US law (on the 3rd floor, KF3775-3813) and International Law (on the 1st floor, K3581-K3598). If you are searching for foreign law, a good place to begin might be in the International Encyclopaedia of Laws: Energy Law where you can look at the energy laws of 22 foreign countries and the United States (in print at K3478, or online). 
You can also locate foreign energy legislation in the Foreign Law Guide database  (law students have full access, subscription required). If you want to find a book on the energy law or policy of a particular country, use the country’s name + “Energy” as the starting point for a search.

If you are trying to decide on a topic for your paper, try looking at the subject headings to focus your ideas and to get a general idea about the legal resources available. Some of the major subject headings include: [Energy] Conservation, [Energy] Consumption, [Energy] Development, [Energy] Policy, and [Energy] Tax. Doing this will also give you some idea of the resources available at our library in those areas.

You may also want to start by looking at the various types of energy, always remembering that there may be a variety of terms that you will want to use in your search. Nuclear power, biomass, coal, geothermal, petroleum, solar, and wind energy may be found in the same general area of the library, but will be in different places depending on if you are looking at law (in the “Ks” sections on the first and third floors) or if you want to find policy or management issues.

It is generally recommended that before jumping into a search, that one make a list of possible search terms as each will retrieve a different subset of results (although some my overlap, and some databases may cross-reference terms), and different databases may use different terms. Look for both synonyms (atomic / nuclear or petroleum / oil & gas) and related terms (renewable / alternative or power / energy).

And, don’t forget to use these databases, only available to students, faculty, and staff of the law school.
  • BNA (Bureau of National Affairs) - Collection of treatises, reports, journals and newsletters. Major topics include banking, tax, employment, privacy, intellectual property, medical, international trade and environmental resources. 
  • Daily Environment Report
  • Environment and Energy Publishing - Source for comprehensive, daily coverage of environmental and energy policy and markets. Includes Environment & Energy Daily, ClimateWire, Greenwire, and Land Letter, as well as specialized reports.
  • Environment & Safety Library
  • Environment Complete - Offers deep coverage in applicable areas of environmental law, energy, renewable energy sources, natural resources, public ppolicy and more. Contains full-text for more than 680 journals and 120 books.
  • Environment Reporter - Current Reports
  • Environmental Due Diligence Report
  • Environmental Law Reporter - Federal, state and international materials on topics such as environmental law, natural resources, energy, toxic tort, safety and health, and land use law.
  • Federal Environment & Safety Regulatory Monitoring Report
Finally, you may want to use a good research guide such as the ASIL electronic resource guide to International Environmental Law, or Georgetown ‘s Energy Law guide.

Written by Joan Policastri, Foreign, Comparative & International Law Librarian

Monday, April 23, 2012

PAWS to RELAX: Therapy Dog Visits, May 1&2

Lower your blood pressure! Reduce stress! Give your brain a study break!

We know that preparing for exams can be very stressful so the Westminster Law Library is once again sponsoring a PAWS to RELAX program to bring therapy dogs to the SCOL building for study breaks. The program is being offered on Tuesday, May 1 from 12-2 and Wednesday, May 2 from noon-6pm in room 145.

Therapy dog teams from the Denver Pet Partners & Therapy Dogs, Inc. will rotate throughout the day, but each two-hour time block will include 2-4 dogs available for drop in visits. NO appointments necessary. These dog and handler teams have all undergone training and are used to interacting with adults and kids in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and libraries.

Big dogs, small dogs, we have them all. So stop by for a short study break and say hi!

Good Luck on Finals!

Written by Patty Wellinger, Reference Services Coordinator

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Restricted Access For Finals

The Westminster Law Library will be on restricted access from Thursday, April 26 - Wednesday, May 17 as our students study for final exams. Library hours remain the same.

The doors will be locked from 6pm - closing weeknights and from 6pm Friday until opening on Monday morning. During those times, patrons will need a DU law school ID card to swipe at the front door to gain access. Non-law school patrons, such as attorneys and other individuals needing to do legal research, will need to knock on the door and speak to the Circulation Desk employee in order to enter the library. DU (non-law) students are asked to please find another place to study during this time. Thank you for your consideration.

Written by Patty Wellinger, Reference Services Coordinator

Monday, April 16, 2012

A.L.R. Research Guide

Discover how American Law Reports (A.L.R.) annotations can lead researchers to appellate cases from state and federal jurisdictions. See “Finding State Annotations” and “Finding Federal Annotations” for guidance in locating annotations in Table of Cases, Index, Table of Laws, Rules and Regulations, and Digest of Decisions and Annotations with Research References. Find out why researchers should avoid using A.L.R. Quick Indexes and which indexes are kept current with quarterly pocket parts published in January, April, July, and October. 

Look under “Updating Annotations” to see why it’s essential to check all annotation citations in Annotation History Table and how researchers can update older annotations as far back as 1919.

Written by Sheila Green, Reference Librarian

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

National Library Week

Celebrate National Library Week, April 8-14, 2012. Whether studying for classes or accessing books, videos, cd's or the internet, it's likely that you have spent a considerable amount of time either in libraries or using the databases and resources they provide to their patrons. National Library Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.

Watch a short video interview with author & host of the History Channel's "Decoded", Brad Meltzer, honorary chair of National Library Week, on the Value of Libraries & Librarians in people's lives.

Written by Patty Wellinger, Reference Services Coordinator

Monday, April 9, 2012

LexisNexis Academic Database

Alumni and other patrons can access the following full-text legal resources on LexisNexis Academic database at Westminster Law Library .Use public computers on Levels 2 and 3 to access resources federal and state cases, Shepard’s Citations, landmark cases, Supreme Court briefs, federal statutes, codes and regulations; state statutes, codes, and regulations; law reviews, legal reference, patents, and tax law.

Since licensing restrictions prohibit alumni and non-DU patrons from using this database remotely, please stop in when you're in the neighborhood and a reference librarian will be happy show you this database.  

Written by Sheila Green, Reference Librarian

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Colorado Legal Research

Planning to practice law in Colorado or applying for a summer clerkship or internship? Be sure to strengthen your skills in Colorado specific legal research materials. Here are some tips to help you become more familiar with Colorado resources.

1) Read Colorado Legal Research, written in 2010 by Robert Linz at the University of Colorado, Wise Law Library.

2) Review a CALI exercise - Colorado Legal Research: Secondary Source Materials and Colorado Legal Research: Primary Source Materials are available to SCOL students. See a Reference Librarian if you need assistance with your CALI password. Each lesson should take about an hour to complete.

3) Westminster Law Library Research Guides specific to Colorado include Colorado Legislative History, Colorado Statutes, Colorado Practice Materials, Colorado Court Rules and Colorado Water Law. Check out all of our Research Guides to see if we have a topic of interest to you! 

4) Sign up for the 2 credit class, Colorado Legal Research, being taught this summer by Sheila Green, Reference Librarian. The class focuses on a variety of Colorado print resources and includes weekly hands on exercises and assignments. These are the things you need to know, especially if the thought of  limited Westlaw and Lexis access at your summer job makes you panic!

Written by Patty Wellinger, Reference Services Coordinator

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Federal Legislative History

New law clerks are often assigned the job of researching the legislative history for a particular state or federal statute. The goal is to look at the documents produced throughout the various stages from bill to public law to interpret the meaning or intent behind various sections. For a federal law it may involve looking at different versions of the bill, testimony in the Congressional Record, hearings or committee reports.

Compiling a legislative history can be a time consuming process that may result in a large bill for the client, so before you start researching, it makes sense to see if someone has already done the work for you. Compilations can be found by searching the online catalogs of area libraries such as the University of Denver’s Westminster Law Library, University of Colorado Law Library, Colorado Supreme Court Law Library, or Denver Public Library. The U.S. Federal Legislative History library of the HeinOnline Database contains digitized compilations that can be searched by popular name, Congress or Public Law number. To access, click on the link above or go through the library's Databases / Indexes section on our website. You will need your DU ID to log on through the proxy server if your are not on campus.

Other databases  offer a wealth of compiled legislative history resources. The FED-LHScope information for FED-LH database database on Westlaw contains the GAO's  collection of legislative history documents compiled for Public Laws enacted from 1921 to 1995. (Password required). They also have topical databases for legislative histories in securities, tax and immigration. Be sure to check out the Arnold and Porter database of legislative histories while you are on Westlaw. Arnold and Porter is a large law firm with more than 800 attorneys in nine offices including Denver.Lexis includes many legislative history options as well. Search the directory under Federal Legal - U.S. Legislative History to see if what you are looking for is available.

The Department of Justice has digitized and made available to the public some legislative histories that their staff has compiled. Topics vary, but some of the major compilations include the Administrative Procedure Act, the Child Custody & Visitation Act, The Federal Tort Claims Act Amendment and the War Crimes Act.

So what happens if you have looked at these various resources and no one has done a compilation on your particular federal statute? What online resources (free or fee-based) are the most useful? The Westminster Law Library has created an online research guide on Federal Legislative History to assist you with your research. See this article, Researching Federal Legislative History, published in the Colorado Lawyer in 2010, for details on the sources and steps need to compile a legislative history. Investigating older laws may mean that you need to use more print resources since the material may not all be available online. This article, Uncovering Federal Legislative History - Part II, focuses on print resources that can be found at many academic law libraries or larger public libraries.

Written by Patty Wellinger, Reference Services Coordinator