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February 28, 2011

Wireless Password: beach

keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of February 28, 2011 is beach.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

February 25, 2011

New Utah Population Statistics Released

Utah_Locator_Map.PNGThe U.S. Census Bureau has recently released new Census population totals for Utah, which were gathered during the 2010 Census. The totals show that all Utah counties had population growths between 2000 and 2010, with the top five counties being:

  • Wasatch County (54.7%)
  • Washington County (52.9%)
  • Tooele County (42.9%)
  • Utah County (40.2%)
  • Iron County (36.7%)
The cities with the most population growth are:
  • Lehi (149.1%)
  • South Jordan and Spanish Fork (tied at 71.3%)
  • Draper (67.6%)
  • Riverton (54.9%)

The data also show an increase in population diversity. The Hispanic population grew 77.8%, the African-American population grew 60.8%, and the Asian population grew 48.5%.

The population tables are available here.

February 23, 2011

March Classes

columnsHere is the list of free classes the Utah State Law Library is offering in March:

Small Claims Basics
Thursday, March 3rd, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Collecting a Judgment Basics
Thursday, March 10th, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Court Website & State Law Library Basics
Friday, March 11th, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Landlord-Tenant Basics
Thursday, March 17th, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

All classes are held in the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City.

Class size is limited, so registration is required. To reserve your spot:
call 801-238-7990 or email library@email.utcourts.gov.

Please Be Prompt!
As a courtesy to our volunteer instructors, please be on time. Classes may be canceled if students are not present at the scheduled start time.

February 21, 2011

Wireless Password: adieu

keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of February 21, 2011 is adieu.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

February 17, 2011

Law Library Closed on Presidents' Day

president.jpgThe law library, along with all Utah State Courts and other state and federal government offices, will be closed on Monday, February 21st, for Presidents' Day.

Presidents' Day, or Washington's Day, has been celebrated the third Monday of February since the enactment of the Uniform Monday Holiday Law in 1968.

For more information on the history federal holidays, see Federal Holidays: Evolution and Application, a publication by Congressional Research Service.

February 14, 2011

Wireless Password: zonal

keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of February 14, 2011 is zonal.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

February 11, 2011

Deep Water Gulf Oil Disaster Report and Recommendations

deepwater.pngWe just received two books published by the federal government on the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling is an extensive study of the 2010 gulf oil disaster, and its separately-published recommendations, by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

These resources trace the history of offshore drilling exploration in the United States as well as its legislative history, starting with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953. The books also introduce the science behind the Gulf Oil disaster and provide detailed documentation of the response to the disaster.

If you're interested in learning more, check out these resources:

February 09, 2011

Scams Preying on the Lovelorn

roses.jpgValentine's day is quickly approaching. For many people, that means buying gifts for a loved one, or finding a date.

One of the most popular gifts for Valentine's Day is flowers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were over 18,000 florists in the United States in 2008. Be a smart consumer! The FTC has put together an alert of warning signs that the florist you're using might be a company posing as a local florist to scam you out of money.

Another popular way of celebrating the holiday is by going on a date with your spouse or partner. Millions of Americans use dating websites to look for love. If you use these sites, watch out for scams. OnGuard Online, a tip center sponsored by several U.S. agencies including the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Education, has created a list of tips to help you avoid dating scams. Requests for money or access to personal email accounts early in an online relationship could be warning signs.

You can file a complaint online against an individual or business you might suspect is deceiving customers out of money or call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

February 07, 2011

Wireless Password: yield

keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of February 7, 2011 is yield.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

February 04, 2011

State of Emergency Declarations

flooding.jpgSouthern Utah has taken a severe weather beating this winter, being subjected to floods and severe storms. Governor Gary Herbert recently declared this region a state of emergency by executive order, which he has the authority to do under Utah Code Title 63K, Chapter 4, the Disaster Response and Recovery Act. The Governor's executive orders are published in the Utah State Bulletin, with the state of emergency declaration to be published in the February 15th, 2011, issue.

The Governor recently announced he is requesting the White House officially declare southern Utah a major disaster area, enabling Utah to qualify for Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) funds to help the area recover.

The process for a state governor to ask that an area be considered a disaster area is governed by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.). The request is made to a regional FEMA office. FEMA and state officials then usually conduct a Preliminary Damage Assessment. The criteria for evaluating a state's request can be found in 44 CFR ยง206.48. FEMA can make recommendations whether a state receives aid, but it is ultimately the President's decision whether a disaster is declared and whether federal funds will be distributed to the state.

To see where else FEMA has declared disaster areas (with historical declarations back to 1953), check out FEMA's Federal Disaster Declarations page.

February 02, 2011

Super Bowl or "The Big Game"?

football1.jpgSuper Bowl XLV is this Sunday, February 6. You've probably heard or seen advertisements promoting the Big Game at restaurants, sales on groceries and TV specials for Game Day, as well as sweepstakes and contests related to the Big Game. The Big Game, or Game Day, is of course referring to the Super Bowl but there are strict rules about who can use the trademarked term "Super Bowl." See NFL's terms and conditions (2). The only advertisers permitted to use the term Super Bowl pay a licensing fee and receive authorization from the NFL to use the term.

Of course, there are instances where the NFL cannot prohibit references to the Super Bowl, including news stories and informational blogs like this one.

You can read a variety of court opinions that deal with the NFL and trademarks when browsing these search results from Google Scholar. You can also read about football-related cases in last year's Super Bowl post.

If you're interested in trademark law, check out the United States Patent and Trademark Office online or Nolo's Patent, Copyright & Trademark Center.

February 01, 2011

New Book: Typography for Lawyers

tfl-book-cover.gif We recently received the new book Typography for Lawyers: Essential Tools for Polished & Persuasive Documents by Matthew Butterick, author of the companion site Typography for Lawyers. Butterick discusses best practices of typography in legal documents, including whether to use straight or curly quotation marks, when to use an exclamation or question mark, effective ways to emphasize statements and tackles the important question: one space or two after a punctuation mark?

Butterick includes sample documents that include a court caption, a sample motion and resume so readers can compare how these documents typically look before and after the typography rules have been applied.

Many courts have rules about the typography in briefs and other court documents and some of those courts follow the same rules when issuing an opinion. Some PDF versions of court opinions are difficult to read and others, like the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, have considered typography rules when publishing their opinions. Also, if you read the PDF versions of Utah appellate court opinions, you may have noticed the layout and font of theses opinions has changed. Do you think they are easier to read?