law libraries and legal research for public librarians

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Law Libraries and Legal Research for Public Librarians. An introduction to your local public law library and What Goes On There. Introducing…Law Library Staff. Chrystal Seager, Law Library Assistant 12-year Hillsboro Public Library Circulation Clerk veteran - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Law Libraries and Legal Research for Public LibrariansAn introduction to your local public law library and What Goes On There

  • IntroducingLaw Library StaffChrystal Seager, Law Library Assistant12-year Hillsboro Public Library Circulation Clerk veteranUniversity of Washington MLIS ready-to-graduate studentLaura Orr, Law LibrarianHolly Gerber, Assistant Law Librarian

  • Most common legal question?

    Or, most interesting?

  • Workshop Objectives

    Learn about your local public law librarys resources and servicesLearn about the basic legal research process

  • Washington County Law LibraryWhere we are: downtown HillsboroOur website: Oregon Council of County Law Libraries (OCCLL) Funding through court filing feesCurrent legislative bills being discussed that affects court filing fee structures and county law library establishing statutes

  • Unauthorized Practice of LawIt is against state law for library staff members to engage in any conduct that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law (ORS 9.160 to ORS 9.166). They may not interpret statutes, cases and regulations, perform legal research, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights. They may, however, assist patrons in locating materials or links that would aid in individual research.

  • Common MisconceptionsLaw Library employees can give legal adviceThe fabled Fill in the Blank FormMy legal question has a simple, straightforward answer that I can find 10 minutes before my court date.

  • Washington County Law Library ServicesWe serve attorneys, pro se litigants, and other members of the public with legal questionsAttorneys: continuing education & researchHandling pro se legal reference questions: a delicate actOverview of resources

  • Washington County Law Library: Selected ResourcesContinuing Legal Education materials: current and expiredOregon State Bar deskbooksOnline subscription database research: Westlaw, HeinOnline, and Shepards OnlineLegislative History: Session Laws, House and Senate Journals, Committee Minutes and Exhibits, etc.

  • Washington County Law Library: Selected Resources IIDigital Briefs collectionLaw Library website: Legal Research blog: Metro Area Legal ServicesBiz resource cardsOther library services: copy, fax, conference room, Oregon Notary Public

  • Examples: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Family LawI got served papers for the disillusionment of my marriage. How do I respond? Am I responding to the marriage or custody issues?Family Law Coordinator's OfficeLegal Aid Services of Oregon publicationsSt. Andrew Legal ClinicOSB Public InformationOSB Deskbooks: Family Law

  • Landlord/Tenant LawWe need to evict our son. What do we have to do and what can we do with his belongings?Landlord/Tenant Rights in Oregon by Janay Ann HaasHandbook for Oregon Landlords Stevens-Ness publicationLegal Aid Services of Oregon Landlord/Tenant publication and Legal Aids Tenant Hotline (biz card)Community Alliance of Tenants: Renters Rights Hotline OSB Public InformationContinuing Legal Education materials

  • Oregon Civil Procedure: Going to CourtHow can I find motions (preferable for Wash. Co. Circuit Court) for ORCP 21?Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure and other relevant court rulesOSB deskbooks: Oregon Civil Pleading and Practice; Oregon Civil Litigation ManualContinuing Legal Education publications on civil trial procedureHow to Prepare for Your Civil TrialLawyer Referral Services

  • Legislative HistoryWhen did ORCP 55(e) come into existence? Was it passed after 1956?Legislative History ChecklistOregon Revised StatutesOregon Laws, House & Senate Journals, Committee Minutes and ExhibitsOregon Secretary of State Archives Division legislative records Oregon State Legislature search for bills and laws

  • Brief Overview of Legal Research Resources and Process

  • Legal Resources: Primary MaterialsProduced by one of the three (or four!) branches of governmentLegislative: statutes, ordinances Judicial: cases/opinions (reporters)Executive: constitutions (ORS ch. 17)Administrative: rules and orders

  • Legal Resources: Secondary MaterialsTwo major publishers: Thomson-Reuters (Westlaw and West Publishing), Reed-Elsevier (LexisNexis/Matthew Bender)Treatises and practice booksLegal encyclopediasLaw reviews and journalsDigests and annotated materials (finding tools)

  • Updating Materials

    Citators (Shepards, KeyCite)Pocket Parts (print only)Good law, bad law

  • Legal Research ProcessGenerate a list of search termsCheck secondary sources and practice aidsFind the relevant constitutional provisions, statutes, or administrative rulesFind related cases using case digests or online databasesRead the casesUpdate with pocket parts and/or a citator like Shepard'sStop researching when there are no gaps left in your research and you begin to retrieve repeated results

    (Oregon Legal Research 2d, Suzanne Rowe)

  • Research Strategies and Organization

    Strategy formulation: depends on research goalsProcess trail: documenting and organizing

  • Mandatory vs. Persuasive AuthorityMandatory: must be followed by courts (binding). Occurs within ones jurisdiction.Persuasive: relevant but not binding. Occurs within similar or nearby jurisdictions.

  • Wrap-upQuestions?Workshop evaluationsSuggestions? Legal reference questions? Let us knowChrystal, Holly, LauraEmail, phoneor visit! We love to hear from our local public reference librarians.Thanks for listening!

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