The Law Library is pleased to announce its new exhibit of recently acquired Supreme Court bobbleheads. Created and distributed by The Green Bag, each wobbly Justice is fashioned in the interest of “scholarly artistry,” simply for the fun of it. The bobbleheads, together with explanatory notes, are available for viewing in the Law Library’s Reading Room display cases throughout the spring semester.

The Green Bag is a self-described “quarterly journal of short, readable, useful, and sometimes entertaining legal scholarship.” The Law Library thanks Ross E. Davies, Editor in Chief of The Green Bag, for his assistance in building the collection.

The New Books List for October 1-15 is now available on the Law Library web site. Click here to view the entire list. It includes the new books at the Law Library as well as law-related books all across campus. Here are a couple titles of interest:

Principles of law and economics / Daniel H. Cole, Peter Z. Grossman. — New York : Wolters Kluwer Law & Business/Aspen Publishers, c2011
Special Reserve KF385 .C65x 2011 — Law Library

What’s law got to do with it? : what judges do, why they do it, and what’s at stake / edited by Charles Gardner Geyh. — Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, 2011
KF8775.A75 W48x 2011 — Law Library

Click here to sign up for semi-monthly RSS feed of the new law books at the Law Library.

The Law library is hosting an open house for all students on Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 11:00am-1:00pm, in the Gould Reading Room. Library resources and services will be featured at stations throughout the room, including:

• An introduction to “hidden” online databases;
• Information regarding personalized research consultations;
• An overview of upper level research classes;
• Our open access repository of Cornell student and faculty scholarship;
• Demonstrations of our library catalog and interlibrary loan services;
• A rare book display;
• And more.

Students who visit every station will receive a library pen and be entered in a grand prize drawing to win their choice of two round trip Campus-to-Campus bus tickets to New York City, or a limousine wine tour for 2-4 people. Other prize drawings will feature $25 gift certificates to local businesses including Gimme! Coffee, Cinemapolis, and Purity Ice Cream. Drawings will occur at 1pm; students need not be present to win.

A book sale will be held simultaneously with the open house. All books will be available for $1 at the East end of the Reading Room.

Join us for some quick, informative fun and snag a seasonal snack from Cornell Orchards!

Collateral Knowledge coverToday Cornell Law School celebrates the publication of Professor Annelise Riles‘ new book Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets.  Prof. Riles is the Jack G. Clarke ’52 Professor of Far Eastern Legal Studies and Director of the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture.  The book examines how the financial markets are governed not only by legislatures that pass laws (from the top down), but also by  people and entities that participate in the system (from the bottom up), ranging from academics to people who fill out financial forms.  Prof. Riles engages her topic by means of ethnographic study in Japan.

The book is available in the library and from  I also recommend Professor Riles’ interesting blog, also entitled Collateral Knowledge, where she continues the discussion.

World Intellectual Property Day 2011Tuesday, April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day, celebrated each year since 2000 and established by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The aim is to demonstrate how the IP system fosters not only music, arts and entertainment, but also all the products and technological innovations that help to shape our world. This day commemorates the date on which the Convention establishing WIPO originally entered into force in 1970.

For your IP research, you are invited to use these top-notch resources at Cornell Law Library:

  • BNA Intellectual Property Law Resource Center
  • IP Theory — a new peer-edited intellectual property law publication
  • JIPITEC – open access journal on intellectual property, information technology, and e-commerce law
  • Nimmer on Copyright – available on Lexis and on reserve in the law library (11 volumes)
  • McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition – available on Westlaw and on reserve in the law library (7 volumes)
  • Chisum on Patents – available on Lexis

If you are going to be clerking for a judge or are considering clerking for a judge in any of the federal district courts or courts of appeal, the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary is a great place to learn about federal judges. The Almanac comes in two large binders and is filled with interesting information (it is not available electronically). Volume 1 is organized by circuit and covers all the judges in the district courts. The second volume covers all the circuit courts.

The Almanac gives general information about judges from various sources, but relies heavily on information provided by judges to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Books and articles written by the judge are listed. Summaries or excerpts of testimony of judicial nominees or witnesses are supplied if of interest. Noteworthy Rulings, summaries of cases reported in the press and some recommended by the judges themselves, are included. In addition to coverage of cases, Media Coverage picks up other stories about the judges.

Of keen interest to students is the Lawyer’s Evaluation of each judge. The evaluations are collective opinions of a cross section of lawyers and former law clerks. The evaluations note where there is a division of opinion. Evaluations note the judges’ demeanor and, for the district court judges, their trial philosophies, settlement activity, and leanings in criminal cases and sentencing. The Evaluations give a useful insight into the judge’s temperament. Some quotes give a taste of what is included:

“He is always courteous and impeccably polite.”

“He micro-manages trials.”

“He is a stickler for evidentiary rules. He likes to get caught up in evidentiary hearings. He might require briefs every night.”

“He will not allow anyone to talk in his courtroom.”

“Her legal ability is very good. She is brilliant.”

“He can be very intimidating. He has been known to shout at lawyers.”

“He has a sense of humor….He does not torment the lawyers.”

“He is pretty active in oral argument”

At oral argument “[h]is demeanor is sphinx-like.”

In addition to evaluations of appellate judges, Volume 2 gives Lawyer’s Comments on the various circuits overall.

The Almanac is updated frequently to include newcomers to the bench. The Almanac also covers bankruptcy judges and magistrates.

This helpful set is on reserve.  Ask for it at the circulation desk, call number KF8775.A6 A44 1984.

Gettysburg AddressDuring the first three days of July 1863, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.  President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Gettysburg Civil War Cemetery on this day, November 19, 1863.  Famously, Lincoln drafted his speech on the back of an envelope on the train ride to Pennsylvania.  He later wrote out five copies of the text, one of which is in the Cornell University Library archives.

Cornell’s copy of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is one of five known copies in Lincoln’s hand, and the only copy owned by a private institution. The other four copies are owned by public institutions: two at the Library of Congress, one at the Illinois State Historical Library, and one in the Lincoln Room at the White House.

May your career in law be dedicated to the proposition “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Rana book coverIn honor of Professor Aziz Rana‘s new book The Two Faces of American Freedom, today Cornell Law School hosted a celebration featuring remarks from Nancy Rosenblum, the Senator Joseph Clark Professor of Ethics in Politics and Government at Harvard University, William Forbath, the Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Law at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and Richard Bensel, Associate Chair and Professor in Cornell University’s Department of Government.  The book is also being featured at the Law Library circulation desk in the Reading Room.

Professor Rana’s book, which grew out of his dissertation work at Harvard, argues that in the United States, freedom and exclusion were not competing values, but part of the same ideological system.  Those in power maintained their economic and social freedom by denying those same freedoms to others (e.g., Indians and African Americans).  This practice continues today; interest groups (for example, the Tea Party movement and labor unions) advocate for policies to protect their economic well-being and against policies that will extend privileges and benefits to others, fearing their own economic and political positions will diminish.  The book’s concluding argument is that political change and the preservation and extension of freedom has continuously been the result of groups of people, most often the marginalized, unifying their voices in support of freedom.  For these and other insights, presented in beautifully written prose, take a look at the book.

PiratesPiracy is funny when it involves parrots with risqué vocabularies, saying “Argggh” a lot, and Johnny Depp proudly debarking from his sinking jalopy of a raft.  Piracy is deadly serious when it is a form of terrorism in which routes of commerce are disrupted, people die, and a sea captain in Swiss Family Robinson makes his granddaughter dress like a boy to protect her from…well, I could never figure out from what when I was eight years old.  But something really, really bad.

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day this coming Sunday (September 19th every year), here are some resources for learning about the not-so-funny legal aspects of piracy.

Digital libraries


  • The Law of Piracy. Alfred P. Rubin. 2nd ed. Irvington-on-Hudson, New York: Transnational Publishers, Inc., 1998.  Law Library call number K5277 .R89 1998.  This book traces the development of piracy and piracy law in the Greco-Roman world, England, and the United States.
  • La Piraterie au Vingtième Siècle: Piraterie Maritime et Aérienne.  Corinne Touret.  Paris: Librairie Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence, E.J.A., 1992.  Law Library call number K5277 .T68 1992.  This book takes an international law approach.
  • Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution.  Robert H. Patton.  New York: Pantheon Books, 2008.  Olin Library call number E271. P27 2008.  Patriot Pirates describes of the history of American colonial privateers during the Revolutionary War (like Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind, except in a different war), their motivations, and the questionable legality of their actions.

Articles (links to HeinOnline)

Web sites

Image: “The Pirates” Under False Colors-Can They Capture the Ship of State? from Cornell University Library’s Collection of Political Americana, available on

BNA is providing training for Cornell Law students on Monday, September 27 at 2:30 in room 279. The training ends at 2:55.

A special training for members of the law journals will be held in room 279 from 3:00 until 3:25.

The BNA representative will be passing out information in the foyer from 11a.m.-2p.m.

BNA publishes looseleaf services that help lawyers stay abreast of the latest developments in their practice areas.  BNA employs attorneys who report on legal news. BNA also publishes articles from high-profile attorneys analyzing the latest developments.  Some BNA resources include primary law sources such as cases and verdicts.

There are BNA resources for a wide variety of topics, from international trade to intellectual property, from environmental law to securities law, from employment law to criminal law.  View the full list of BNA titles available at Cornell Law School here.

A good BNA publication for all law students to subscribe to is United States Law Week, which provides a weekly report on the most significant U.S. legal news for all areas of law. Get the news delivered to your inbox by clicking “Sign Up For E-Mail” on the U.S. Law Week home page.

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