Friday, September 19, 2014

In Case You Missed It: Title 52 of the United States Code Now Available

The Office of the Law Revision Counsel has announced that a new Title of the United States Code is now available.  Title 52, Voting and Elections, took effect September 1 for the electronic version of the U.S.C., which is available here.  The new title relocated voting and election-related laws from Titles 2 and 42 and is characterized as an "editorial reclassification."  For the printed version of the Code, the transfers will occur effective with Supplement II of the 2012 edition.

For more information, see here for the official announcement from the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.  Potential new future titles, which are candidates for positive law codification, include:

Title 53, Small Business
Title 54, National Park System
Title 55, Environment

See here for more information.  If you have any questions about the United States Code (either in its official format or other formats), please do not hesitate to ask a Law Librarian!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 - Library Resources and Display

Monday, September 15 marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, which "celebrates and recognizes the contributions Hispanic Americans have made to American society and culture and to honor five of our Central American neighbors who celebrate their independence in September" (from the Law Library of Congress website). 

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Law Library is currently featuring a display which highlights relevant resources in the Law Library's collection.  The display provides information about several law journals which feature articles on topics related to Hispanic Americans and the legal system, including the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy, the Harvard Latino Law Review, the Chicano-Latino Law Review, and the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal.  These journals can be accessed through HeinOnline, available from the Law Library's Research Databases and Resources page. 

The display also offers information about Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was the first Hispanic American to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court.  More information about Justice Sotomayor and her legal career is available here from the Law Library of Congress.  Information is also included from the website of the Hispanic National Bar Association, the national voice of the Hispanic legal community.

Professor Pommersheim Goes Digital: New LibGuide Titled "Tribal Justice: 25 Years as a Tribal Appellate Justice"

With the assistance of the McKusick Law Library staff, USD Law Professor Frank Pommersheim has just electronically published a guide entitled Tribal Justice: 25 Years as a Tribal Appellate Justice.  The guide is published via the LibGuide System and is available directly here, as well as through the Law Library's LibGuide Directory at

The LibGuide offers PDFs of 125 appellate decisions authored by Justice Pommersheim, which are indexed by subject matter and by name of the Tribal Appellate Court.  The LibGuide also features a link to Professor Pommersheim's Selected Works site (also available here), which offers access to his scholarship, selected poetry, and assorted prose.

The LibGuide further includes an embedded YouTube video featuring Professor Pommersheim entitled "Buddha Poetry Reading." 

The LibGuide is to be complemented by a book of the same title to be published in the year 2015.

The guide has already been featured here on Turtle Talk, the blog of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center of the Michigan State University College of Law. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lexis Advance Releases New Interface

If you signed in to Lexis Advance today, you may have noticed a new look and feel of the platform.  The new interface, released September 8, offers a streamlined look and enhancements to many of the existing features.

For assistance in how to perform frequently-used tasks via the new interface, check out this Before and After Guide, published by Lexis.  A video tour of the new interface is also available here.

For additional assistance in navigating the new interface, Lexis student representatives and the Lexis vendor representative are available.  Additionally, the Law Library staff can assist you in navigating the new interface -- or provide assistance with any of the legal research platforms or databases.  Please feel free to ask a member of the Law Library staff.  

Law Library Construction is Now Complete

The Law Library is pleased to announce that construction on the new study tables and the Technology Learning Center is now complete, and all the associated equipment is now connected and fully functional.

The new study tables have been installed on the main floor and upper level and have adjustable LED lighting as well as ports for power and network connectivity.  Seating at the study tables is available for all library users and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Technology Learning Center is equipped with two tables, each home to a large-screen monitor, as well as six secured laptops per table.  Students may use the laptops for individual use, or display the laptop screens one-at-a-time on the monitor, making them ideal for group study or collaboration.  Students can also bring their own devices and connect them for display on the monitors. Currently, the Technology Learning Center tables are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, but a reservation policy is under development.

If you have any questions about any of the new technology, please contact a member of the Law Library staff.  We can demonstrate how to connect devices, how to display your screen to the monitor, how to play audio files, and more!

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month - Law Students, Enter Our Contest When You Get Your Coyote Card Linked to the Law Library's System This Month

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month!  The McKusick Law Library invites all new first-year students to stop by the Circulation/Reference Desk this month and get your Coyote Card linked to your borrowing account, if you haven't done so already.  2Ls and 3Ls who may not have their card linked yet are encouraged to stop by as well!

It only takes a second for us to enter the barcode from your Coyote Card into our system, and it makes checking out items much easier for you during your Law School years.  All you need to do is hand us your Coyote Card to check out an item.

All students who get their Coyote Card linked during the month of September will be entered in a drawing for a jar of Starburst candies.  The drawing will occur on October 1 and the winner will be notified by email and announced in the Prairie Law Blog.  If your card is already linked, you can enter the drawing by stopping by the Circulation/Reference Desk and asking us any question relating to checking out library materials.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Special Session at USD School of Law - Availability of Briefs

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit will hold a special session at the Law School on Tuesday, September 23.  The court will hear three cases beginning at 9:30 a.m. before Judges Riley, Loken and Kelly.  Information about these cases can be found on the Court's calendar, available here.

One printed copy of each of the briefs associated with these cases is available in the Law Library's Reserve Room.  The briefs may be read within the Reserve Room, which is open from 7:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  They may also be briefly taken out of the Reserve Room to be copied.

The Law Library staff would like to make our students and faculty aware that the briefs are also available electronically.  If you search for the cases and briefs from the Eighth Circuit's website, the website will direct you to the PACER system.  The Law Library does not have a subscription to PACER, and thus, you will not be able to access the briefs this way.  However, the dockets for the cases are available via Bloomberg Law and WestlawNext.  Accessing the dockets through these sources will provide access to individual documents filed within each case, including the parties' briefs.  The Law Library staff is available to provide assistance on accessing the materials electronically.  Please do not hesitate to ask us if you have any questions.