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March 11, 2011

New Book: Guide to Research in Federal Judicial History

cover0001.jpgWe recently received Guide to Research in Federal Judicial History, a comprehensive guide to sources of judicial records, as part of the Federal Depository Library Program.

This resource describes the records of the federal courts themselves, as well as records of other branches of government that provide information about federal judicial history. These include records of Congress and executive branch agencies. Many of the records are held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Record types range from case files to images of federal courthouses to personal records of federal judges.

March 01, 2011

New Book: Utah Auto Law

ut_auto_law.jpgWe have recently received Utah Auto Law, by Randall Bunnell in our library.

Topics covered in this book include damages, evidence and procedure, liabiilty, intoxication, negligence, settlements and releases and wrongful death.

This book joins Utah's modest collection of practice titles: Family Law in Utah, Mangrum & Benson on Utah Evidence, Trial Handbook for Utah Lawyers, Utah Civil Practice, Utah Probate System and Utah Real Property Law.

You are welcome to use all of these books in the law library.

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?

October 19, 2010

Every Dog's Legal Guide

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Having trouble with a neighborhood dog? Wondering what your responsibilities are as a dog owner? Nolo's Every Dog's Legal Guide by Mary Randolph might be the book for you!

Topics covered in this book range from leash laws, dogs in vehicles, animal burial restrictions, barking dogs, assistance dogs, dog bites, dangerous dogs and animal cruelty. The book also has an appendix of state dog-bite laws and tips for researching state and local dog laws.

While this books is not new (2007), it is new to our library. You are welcome to look through it at our library; your public library may also have a copy you can check out.


October 14, 2010

New Book: Credit Repair

CREP9.gifWe've received a new book called Credit Repair by Robin Leonard & John Lamb. This book is published by Nolo, a company which publishes books written for non-lawyers.

Credit Repair provides tips for assessing your debt situation, how to avoid overspending, how to handle your existing debts, how to clean up your credit report, and how to build and maintain good credit. It also includes sample forms and letters.

Have additional questions about credit repair? See our recent announcement about the new Debtor's Counseling Clinic.

October 12, 2010

New Book: The Foreclosure Survivial Guide

Foreclosure Survival Guide book cover imageWe've received the newest edition of Nolo's The Foreclosure Survivial Guide by Stephen Elias.

This second edition provides information on a variety of topics, including whether you can or should keep your house, negotiating a workout, and fighting foreclosure. It also includes a glossary of foreclosure-related terms, and summaries of foreclosure laws for every state.

Have additional questions about foreclosure? See our February post about foreclosure prevention and our recent announcement about the new Debtor's Counseling Clinic.

August 13, 2010

New Book: HIPAA for the General Practitioner

hipaa.jpgThe Utah State Law Library has recently received HIPAA for the General Practitioner, an American Bar Association publication by Melanie D. Bragg. This books provides a background and overview of the 1996 Act and discusses the most relevant sections for attorneys dealing with HIPAA, including privacy practices and patient consent forms. There is also a section on state-specific statutes that also provide patient privacy protections.

The book also contains sample forms, including Authorization for Release of Medical Records, Subpoena Duces Tecum to Produce Hospital Records and Order Appointing Guardian Ad Litem.

July 08, 2010

New book: Your Rights in the Workplace

rightsworkplace.gif We've received the newest edition of Nolo's Your Rights in the Workplace: An Employee's Guide to Fair Treatment. This ninth edition covers the latest case law and legislation in all 50 states as well as federal legislation that includes changes to the Family Medical Leave Act. As in previous editions, it covers workplace privacy, health insurance, sexual harassment, immigration issues, unemployment and more.

Plan to represent yourself in a workplace-related issue? This book also has tips on where to begin your legal research, including a reminder that both federal and state statutes may apply to your case. It also has information about how to find case law using secondary sources.

May 14, 2010

New Book: Immigration Law: A Primer

As part of the Federal depository program, the Utah State Law Library recently received the new monograph Immigration Law: A Primer, published by the Federal Judicial Center. It provides an overview of immigration law, including lawful immigrant categories, admission procedures and the grounds for deportation. The primer also includes citations to pertinent case law. For example, in the asylum and refugee law section, the author cites cases that define "persecution," and cases that provide examples of how and when a foreign nation's actions did or did not constitute "persecution." The book also includes a glossary and table of cases.

This publication is also available as a free download through the Federal Judicial Center.

May 06, 2010

New Book: Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court

smallclaims.gifThe Utah State Law Library recently received the newest edition of Nolo's Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court. This 13th edition has been updated to include the latest small claims procedures in each state and Washington, D.C. However, note that in the Utah section, the book incorrectly lists district court as the place where small claims cases must be filed. In Utah, you can also file a small claims case in justice court. To learn more about where to file a small claims case, visit the Utah State Courts' page on Small Claims.

As in previous editions, the book provides tips to help you decide if you have a good case, how to sue different types of defendants, getting ready for court, and collecting your judgment. Even more helpful are the sample letters and court pleadings, which include a demand letter, appeals statement and request for payment.

As always, no book can take the place of a lawyer, nor is it intended to provide legal advice. If you want to speak with a lawyer about your case, consider attending a free legal clinic.

May 04, 2010

New Book: The Complete QDRO Handbook

qdro.jpg The Utah State Law Library recently added The Complete QDRO Handbook: Dividing ERISA, Military, and Civil Service Pensions and Collecting Child Support from Employee Benefit Plans to its collection. This 2009 publication discusses how to draft Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO), a list of common mistakes, and tips to avoid them. This is a practical manual for attorneys, pension plan and child support agency administrators, as well as judges. It includes a sample letter to request disclosure of benefits information, a model document discovery request and model interrogatories and depositions.

Library books do not circulate* but you are welcome to read this book at the library. You'll find it in our treatise section. Can't make it into the library? You can order the book directly from the American Bar Association.

*Only court and state agency staff may check out materials from the law library.

January 14, 2010

New Book: Children & the Law

children&law.jpg We've added a three-volume treatise to our collection called Children & the Law: Rights and Obligations. These volumes include information on termination of parental rights, adoption, the Indian Child Welfare Act, guardianship, delinquency, education, health care and an appendix of all 50 states' laws regarding the rights and obligations of children.

The treatise also provides an overview of juvenile justice in the United States and a discussion about the judicial process, including voluntary and involuntary removal of children and the state foster system.

Interested in this title? Come to the law library to take a look or contact the law library for a document delivery request.

October 29, 2009

New Books: The JAG's School Guide to the SCRA and The Military Divorce Handbook

scra.jpgmilitarydivorce.jpgIssues related to military servicemembers continue to impact legal proceedings, from service and stays to child custody and temporary orders. That's why the Law Library has recently added these two books to the collection.

For a general overview of the protections and rights provided by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), check out the American Bar Association's publication, The Judge Advocate General's School Guide to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This excellent and brief guide includes analysis of general provisions, procedural protections, and specific explanations of taxation, voting rights and financial protections. It also includes analysis of the Act's specific provisions on evictions, leases, installment contracts, and mortgages. Each section provides citations to pertinent case law. The authors also highlight terms that may be ambiguous, as certain terms have been interpreted in various ways in different jurisdictions.

For a detailed examination of divorce-specific issues that arise when a servicemember is a party, check out Mark E. Sullivan's The Military Divorce Handbook: A Practical Guide to Representing Military Personnel and Their Families. This practical manual has a wealth of information on parent time, custody, and alimony issues that may arise during a military divorce. Also includes a sample motion for stay under SCRA and domicile checklist for servicemembers and spouses. Includes a CD-ROM with sample language and forms.

July 17, 2009

New Book: Black's Law Dictionary, 9th edition

blacks.jpgWe have just received the 9th edition of Black's Law Dictionary.

A legal dictionary can help you decipher confusing legal terms, which can often seem like a different language. In fact, many legal terms are taken from Latin, which is a different language!

The oldest legal dictionary in our law library is A Dictionary of American and English law: with defintions of the technical terms of the canon and civil laws. Also, containing a full collection of Latin Maxims, and citations of upwards of forty thousand reported cases in which words and phrases have been judicially defined or construed by Stewart Rapalje and Robert L. Lawrence, published in 1888.

July 14, 2009

New Book: A Companion to the United States Constitution and Its Amendments

constitution.jpegWe've just received A Companion to the United States Constitution and Its Amendments, which provides explanations, historical background, and case citations to the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and subsequent Amendments.

For example, when discussing the sixth amendment, author John R. Vile points out that while the Sixth Amendment provides for a speedy and public trial, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to precisely define what speedy meant. After the case (Barker v. Wingo) Congress passed the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, providing for precise time frames for a "speedy trial" that the federal government must follow. If you're interested in the original text only, the appendix material includes the full text of the U.S. Constitution, Amendments, the Declaration of Independence, and the Articles of Confederation.

In addition to providing explanations for individual sections of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Amendments, Vile includes 50 leading U.S. Supreme Court cases interpreting the Constitution; a glossary; highlights of Constitutional history; and a list of U.S. Supreme Court justices.

July 02, 2009

New Book: The Criminal Law Handbook

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We've just received the 10th edition of Criminal Law Handbook.

This Nolo book covers topics including talking to the police, search and seizure, arrest, eyewitness identification, book and bail, criminal defense lawyers, criminal court, arraignments, discovery, fundamental trial rights, basic evidence rules, plea bargains, sentencing, appeals, juvenile courts and prisoners' rules.

Our Law Books for Non-Lawyers handout lists other self-help books we have in the library.

Many public libraries carry Nolo titles - check your local library catalog to see if they have this or other books written for non-lawyers.

June 24, 2009

New Book: The Employer's Legal Handbook

EMPL_icon.gifWe've just received the latest edition of The Employer's Legal Handbook.

This Nolo book covers topics including hiring, personnel practices, wages and hours, employee benefits, taxes, family and medical leave, health and safety, illegal discrimination, workers with disabilities, termination, employee privacy, independent contractors, and unions.

Our Law Books for Non-Lawyers handout lists other self-help books we have in the library.

Many public libraries carry Nolo titles - check your local library catalog.

June 02, 2009

New Book: Every Tenant's Legal Guide

We've just received the latest edition of Every Tenant''s Legal Guide.

This Nolo book provides an overview the rights and responsibilities of tenants.

Our Law Books for Non-Lawyers handout lists other self-help books we have in the library.

March 26, 2009

New Book: Make Your Own Living Trust

We've just received the latest edition of Make Your Own Living Trust.

This Nolo book provides an overview of living trusts, answers some common questions and discusses issues such as choosing what property to put in the trust, who to name as trustee, and how to choose beneficiaries.

Our Law Books for Non-Lawyers handout lists other self-help books we have in the library.

March 19, 2009

New Book: Legal Guide for Americans Over 50

legalguide.jpg The American Bar Association has published a self-help book called "Legal Guide for Americans Over 50." The topics range in subject from grandparents' rights and estate planning to health benefits and elder abuse. Each of the 16 chapters provide general information about legal issues that may interest the 50+ population and provide scenarios and Q&As with elder law attorneys to illustrate the topics.

At the end of each chapter, you'll find additional resources about each topic, including links to websites. For example, at the end of the grandparents' rights chapter, there are links to the Grandparent Information Center at the American Association of Retired Persons, Generations United's National Center on Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children, and the National Eldercare Locator.

March 12, 2009

New Book: Collect Your Judgment in 5 Easy Steps

Sometimes winning your court case is only half the battle. Sometimes it's equally challenging to collect your judgment from the other side.

The law library has just purchased a book called Collect Your Judgment in 5 Easy Steps by Adrienne M. McMillan that provides some guidance. The book is not Utah-specific so not all procedures will be available to a Utah litigant, but it is written in plain language so you don't have be a lawyer to understand the information.

You'll also find information on this topic on the court's How to Collect a Judgment page.

February 25, 2009

New Book - 2008 Laws of Utah

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We have just received the four-volume 2008 edition of the Laws of Utah, a compilation of our state's session laws enacted during the 2008 legislative session published in chronological order. Session laws are ultimately incorporated into the Utah Code.

Utah's session laws are also available on the Utah Legislature's website (1998-present). From the Legislature's website:

• Select Bills / Passed Bills
• Select the legislative session
• Click on “Chapter” to sort that column by session law number

Our library has a complete print collection of Utah session laws dating back to 1851.

February 05, 2009

New Book - Family Law in Utah, 3rd ed.

We have just received the latest edition of Family Law in Utah by Karen Black, et al.

This substantial book (2.5" thick) covers a wide range of Utah family law topics including marriage, property rights, divorce, annulment, separate maintenance, alimony, child support, child custody, modification and adoption.

January 05, 2009

New Book - Neighbor Law

We've received the latest edition of Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries & Noise.

This Nolo book covers common problems people have with their neighbors, including fences, trees and noise (as the subtitle suggests) as well as animal problems, vehicles, trash, drug dealers and outdoor lights.

Our Law Books for Non-Lawyers handout lists other self-help books we have in the library.

December 11, 2008

The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work For You?

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This Nolo publication is useful for anyone interested in the bankruptcy laws that were passed in 2005. The author discusses how the new bankruptcy laws affect someone's eligibility to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and provides a number of sample forms and worksheets. This book can help you determine what assets you can keep even after you have filed for bankruptcy, and the steps and costs involved.

This title and a variety of other Nolo books are located on the front counter of the library.