The Law Library is losing two of its long-time librarians to the lure of retirement. Associate Law Librarian Pat Court and Head of Research and References Services Jean Callihan, who between them have served the Law School for thirty-three years, are both leaving the library this summer.

Read about their contributions to the Law School and their plans for retirement in the Cornell Law School Spotlight.

Jean Callihan                                                                                                                   Pat Court

 

Looking for some lighter reading this summer?  The Law Library’s Popular Reading collection is available on reserve at the Circulation Desk.  In addition, the library stacks hold a variety of novels and short stories for those interested in lawyers, courtrooms, and the law.  Here are a few for you to consider: 

If you want something in the vein of Grisham and Turow, consider Milton Hirsch’s The Shadow of Justice. Hirsch, a former prosecutor and current defense attorney, tells the story of a trial for cocaine possession in a Miami courthouse.  The book was the ABA’s first venture into the field of mystery publishing.   Another courtroom drama is played out in Alan Dershowitz’s first venture into fiction, The Advocate’s Devil.  Fast-paced and entertaining, this celebrity trial novel follows a defense lawyer’s efforts to acquit a famous and charismatic basketball player on rape charges in the face of his increasing suspicion the basketball star is guilty.

Kermit Roosevelt’s In the Shadow of the Law turns from the courtroom to law firm life.  Roosevelt (who left the practice of law to become a law professor) is set in Washington, D.C. biglaw.  While its plot tracks the resolution of two cases – a murder and a chemical plant explosion – the novel also delves into the inner lives of the firm’s partners and associates.

 

 

 

The short story collection When Tutt Meets Tutt features Ephraim Tutt, a long-running Saturday Evening Post character invented by Arthur Train.  The title story of this 1927 collection tells the humorous story of a will contest fought by attorneys whose partnership has temporarily broken up.

If you prefer British courtrooms, step back a few decades into the world of Henry Cecil, one of the most amusing novelists about the British legal system.  Typical of Cecil’s style is the Roger Thursby trilogy.  In Brothers in Law, Thursby, a newly qualified young barrister, makes his debut in the Old Bailey defending a con artist.  Thursby, now a 12-year veteran of the bar, defends a case of police bribery in Friends at Court.  Finally, ten or so years later, Sober as a Judge advances Thursby to the rank of high court judge.  Also set in British courtrooms, but in the murder mystery genre, is Tragedy at Law by Cyril Hare, in which Mr. Justice Barber – a very nasty judge indeed -- travels the circuit in World War II England on his way to being murdered.

Trial and Error: An Oxford Anthology of Legal Stories includes excerpts from novels such Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Anthony Trollope’s Lady Anna.  Also included are short stories, for example Philip Roth’s “Eli, the Fanatic.”  Still more legal stories are found in Best Legal Stories and Best Legal Stories 2, both edited by John Welcome.

Finally, if you’re interested in pursuing more courtroom fiction, Jon L. Breen’s bibliography Novel Verdicts: A Guide to Courtroom Fiction provides descriptions of over 400 novels and short story collections published before 1984.

Please welcome our new Digital Resources and Research Services Librarian, Nina Scholtz, who started on April 3Nina Scholtz0.

After earning her J.D. and B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, Nina clerked for the Honorable Lawrence T. Lydick of the United States District Court, Central District of California.  She then practiced in the areas of civil litigation and civil appeals in Los Angeles for fourteen years before obtaining an M.L.I.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles in June 2011.  Prior to coming to Cornell, she taught legal research to international LL.M. and first-year J.D. students at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

In addition to providing reference and research services, Nina will be managing the law library's digital resources and social media.  She will also be teaching legal research in one of the first-year Lawyering sections this fall.

The Cornell Law Library is pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of The Cornell Law Library Prize for Exemplary Student Research:

First Place: Annexation of the Jury’s Role in Res Judicata Disputes: The Silent Migration from Question of Fact to Question of Law, by Steven Madrid, 2L

Steven Madrid focused his research on two hundred years of case law to uncover an historical development not currently identified in any secondary source.  Discerning the silent migration of the jury’s role in res judicata disputes from question of fact to question of law required performing the difficult research task of proving a negative – in this instance, proving the absence of cases overturning relevant precedent or otherwise affirmatively establishing res judicata disputes as a question of law.  Steven’s research was further challenged by the fact that current terminology, i.e. “res judicata,” “collateral estoppel,” “claim preclusion,” and “issue preclusion,” was rarely used in nineteenth century cases.  This necessarily led to the creation of innovative search queries to complete the project.

Steven’s foray into the history of his topic was unplanned at the outset of his research, and he notes that, “by maintaining an open attitude a researcher can mold his/her topic into a slight variation that may prove more interesting and novel.”

Second Place: Targeted Killing and Just War:  Reconciling Kill-Capture Missions and the Combatant Civilian Framework, by Louis Guard, 3L

Louis Guard’s research encompassed a diverse array of legal, philosophical, and factual resources.  Not only did he examine the theoretical underpinnings of customary international law principles, but he successfully navigated the intricate research involved in locating hard evidence of customary international law as well.  To this he added an accurate accounting of the specific facts and circumstances surrounding his topic.  His sources included blogs, military-specific news sources, policy briefs and position papers, speeches and public statements, treaties and their interpretive documents, and even a number of forthcoming publications.

Through discussions with both scholars and practitioners, Louis learned how depth of research affects quality of scholarship.  He states, “Academic pieces lacking in rigorous research seem to do little in advancing the [academic] dialogue and are short lived.  The more novel and valuable contributions always seemed to be those that were more thoroughly and competently researched.”

A review panel comprised of Librarians Jean Callihan, Pat Court, Amy Emerson, Matt Morrison and Nina Scholtz selected the winners from among 27 competitive entries.

Funding for the Prize is provided by an endowment given to the Law Library by Barbara Cantwell in honor of her late husband, Robert Cantwell, a 1956 graduate of Cornell Law School.

In addition to receiving a monetary award, the winners are also invited to publish their papers in Scholarship@Cornell Law, the Law Library’s digital repository, and to feature their papers in Reading Room displays.

Throughout the year, Research Librarians provide customized sessions with individual students to prepare for their summer jobs, clerkships, public interest work, and post-graduate positions. These consultations become even more valuable as you prepare for summer employment. Tailored advice includes, but is not limited to, specific jurisdictional sources, key resources in substantive practice areas, and advanced research skills and strategies. Consultations can be as short as 15 minutes or last up to 60 minutes. Our registration form allows you to specify your interests and needs, and request a particular Research Librarian if desired. Forms are available at the Circulation Desk in the Reading Room and here.

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