Tag Archives: legal research

How to Find and Use the Library’s Catalog

A recent student survey showed that many students do not know where to find the library’s catalog or how to use it. This blog post is a guide for using ENCORE, the name of the library’s catalog.

How to Find the Catalog

There are several ways to access the catalog.

1. The primary method for student access is to use the Bookmarks on the left side of the page when you log into OrgSync at orgsync.charlottelaw.edu.

catalog12. Another way, appropriate for external patrons such as our library members, is to use the new CSL website. Search for Charlotte School of Law or go to http://www.charlottelaw.edu/.  The library is located under the Academics drop down at the top of the page. There is a button for the catalog under the Search the Collection section.

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How to Use the Catalog
Charlotte School of Law’s online catalog called ENCORE has features that would be helpful for anyone doing research. Although the catalog has a Google-like search box, it also has an Advanced Search option.

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ENCORE supports a basic Boolean search. Searches can be done by Keyword, Title, Author, or Subject. Search limits include Format (Kit, Graphics, Audio CD or Cassette, DVD, EBook, Electronic, Maps, Microform, Printed Material, and Video Tape), Language (English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish), and Publication years. Below is a screen shot of the Advanced Search page.

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Some search tips:

  • An asterisk (*) can be used for right-hand truncation and as a wildcard within a search string. A question mark (?) can be used as a wildcard character, replacing a single letter within a word.
  • Use “and” or “or” or “not” to specify multiple words in any field, any order.
  • Keyword search results are grouped by relevance, bringing the top three most relevant titles to the top of the list. Then ENCORE brings up the top three most relevant articles.
  • If after looking at the results you are interested in a particular format, the different types are listed in the column on the left. The catalog also indicates how many of that type of format are in the catalog. For example, a search on Animal Law shows there are 14 Printed Materials (most often these are books).

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Electronic items can be opened on your computer. The entry for each Printed Material gives information on its availability, location in the library, and call number. For example, Careers in Animal Law is available, located in the Treatises section of the library at KF299.A55 E37 2011.

Because of partnerships between ENCORE and databases like HeinOnline, the search results include articles. HeinOnline is a legal database that contains the full text, PDF of legal documents from most major law reviews and journals. The top three most relevant articles come in this section. Clicking on the PDF button will get to the article.

Advanced features of ENCORE include a “My Research” account which can hold results. The discovery features include Did you mean? A Related Searches (Additional Suggestions) section appears at the bottom left of the search results to help with further searching.

Finally, there are links to other library services such as a form for suggesting purchases, new purchases, and a way to email comments.

If you have any questions about ENCORE, please contact any of the Reference Librarians at libreference@charlottelaw.edu or call 704-971-8573. We are always happy to help.

If you’d like to download a print copy of this post, click here: How to Find and Use the Library.

~Betty Thomas~

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — June 16, 2014

weeklyroundup

What Kind of Library User Are You?

Are you a “Library Lover”? An “Information Omnivore”? Or are you totally “Off the Grid”? Take our library engagement quiz to learn how your library habits and attitudes stack up against the general population.

Family Law: A Beginner’s Guide — Part 1: Formation and Dissolution of Marriage

Whether it be in relation to marriage, the birth of children, adoption, or divorce, family law is one area of the law that affects nearly everyone.  But even though family law is a part of daily life, legal issues in this area can quickly become complex.  Below, we have collected a sampling of the marriage and divorce law resources available, both at the Law Library of Congress and on the free web, to help researchers get a better handle on these issues

Simon Sinek: If You Don’t Understand People, You Don’t Understand Business

“We’re not good at everything, we’re not good by ourselves,” says Simon Sinek at the 99% Conference. Our ability to build trust and relationships is the key to our survival as a race, and to thriving as ideamakers.

A Comic Book-Inspired Law School Final Exam

Lawrence M. Friedman is a partner at Barnes, Richardson & Colburn, LLP and an adjunct professor at the John Marshall Law School’s Center for International Law.  He sent me this final exam, which he recently gave in his Trade Remedies class.  According to Prof. Friedman, “I stressed to my students that the names and locations were not particularly relevant. Nevertheless, I have no doubt they are wondering what I was thinking. It is a bit of a scavenger hunt for random DC universe references, from the well-known to the obscure.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Silence Please, for Sir Mix-A-Lot

Violinists were nodding their heads to a different beat this weekend, as Sir Mix-a-Lot and the Seattle Symphony presented what the rapper called “Orchestral Movements from the Hood Night.” Their version of the hit “Baby Got Back” drew a large crowd of dancers to the stage.

Fair Use: Appeals Court Rules in Favor of HathiTrust in Authors Guild Case

The thirty-four page opinion was handed down on June 10, 2014

NCSU Building One of the World’s Oddest Libraries: A Catalog of Dyes

For now, N.C. State University’s newest — and strangest — library exists mainly in 98,000 glass vials and slim envelopes of cloth samples.  But chemistry students have begun the painstaking work of turning the huge collection of dyes, test swatches and documents, all donated by the Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical Co., into an online resource. When they’re done, crime-scene investigators and a host of other kinds of researchers around the world will be able to search through files of three-dimensional models of the thousands of unique molecules and information about their attributes.

LawProse Lesson #166: Which Do You Suppose Is Correct: “Supposed to” or “Suppose to”?

Should you write supposed to or *suppose to?

ALA Announces First Ever Winner of the Lemony Snicket Prize

On June 9, the American Library Association(ALA) announced Laurence Copel as the first recipient of the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity. Copel is a youth outreach librarian and founder of the Lower Ninth Ward Street Library in New Orleans. Daniel Handler, also known as “Lemony Snicket” and the author behind of the “Series of Unfortunate Events” series (Harper Collins), will present the winner with the prize on June 29 during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.

17 Bookstores that Will Literally Change Your Life

And all you have to do is visit them!

Delta Glass Bottom Jet — See beneath Your Plane Using the Fly Delta App for iPad

In early 2013, Delta introduced its Fly Delta App for iPad.  The app lets you book trips, get information on destinations, and get flight information during trips.  One feature of the app that I had not tried until recently is called the Glass Bottom Jet.  While you are in flight, this part of the app gives you a sense of what you are flying over at that very moment.  It’s an interesting feature.

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Refresher on Weight of Authorities in Legal Writing

weightBeginning a summer internship or clerkship?  Or maybe you just need a little research refresher?  This post includes a basic outline and two illustrations on the weight of authorities in legal writing.

Case law, statutes, and regulations are primary sources that can be mandatory or persuasive, depending on your court and jurisdiction.  As the terms suggest, mandatory authorities are binding on a court while persuasive authorities, including some primary and all secondary sources, are non-binding.  (For more information about the different types and use of legal authority, please see the FAQ section of CSL’s North Carolina Legal Research Guide.)

For purposes of writing a legal memorandum or brief, you must cite any relevant mandatory authority for your issue(s).  If none exists, persuasive authority may be appropriate.  Persuasive authority may also be appropriate to further support any mandatory authority cited.

Below is the hierarchy of authority for a United States District Court.  Thus, if your case is pending in a federal trial court, use this guide to determine which types of authorities to cite in your legal writing.

Illustration (1): Federal.  The first group of authorities is at the top of the legal hierarchy and is MANDATORY PRIMARY authority, binding on a United States District Court (e.g., Western District of North Carolina) or the “origin court” in this illustration.

United States Constitution

“The Supreme Law of the Land”

Supreme Court of the United States

Jurisdictional Appellate Court

(judicial precedent from the Circuit Court of Appeals for origin jurisdiction; e.g., Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Federal Statutes/Regulations 

(if applicable)

 Below MANDATORY PRIMARY authority is the category of HORIZONTAL PRIMARY authority.  This phrase refers to prior case law of the origin court (e.g., the Western District of North Carolina in our illustration).  HORIZONTAL PRIMARY authority is the grey area between mandatory and persuasive judicial precedent.  Generally, a court gives great weight to such precedent and does not overturn its own prior relevant decision without a strong, compelling reason.

Below HORIZONTAL PRIMARY authority is the category of PERSUASIVE PRIMARY authority.  This category refers to precedent from an inferior or lateral court (e.g., Middle District of North Carolina) that is non-binding, but may be persuasive to the origin court.  Also included in this category (and following the same rules of hierarchy) is dictum, which is not the holding of a case, but the court’s support of the holding, such as language that is illustrative or advisory in nature.

Finally, at the bottom of the legal hierarchy is SECONDARY authority, which is never binding upon a court and includes sources such as treatises, dictionaries, legal encyclopedias, law review articles, digests, and other legal, but non-precedential material.

 

The second illustration is the hierarchy of authority for a state trial court in North Carolina.  Thus, if your case is pending in a North Carolina Superior, District, or Magistrate court, use this guide to determine which types of authorities to cite in your legal writing.

Illustration (2): State (North Carolina).  The first group of authorities is at the top of the legal hierarchy in North Carolina and is MANDATORY PRIMARY authority, binding on a North Carolina trial court (e.g., Mecklenburg County Superior Court) or the “origin court” in this illustration.

North Carolina Constitution

 North Carolina Supreme Court 

 

North Carolina Court of Appeals

North Carolina Statutes/Regulations

       (if applicable)

 Below MANDATORY PRIMARY authority is the category of HORIZONTAL PRIMARY authority.  This phrase refers to prior case law of the origin court (e.g., Mecklenburg County Superior Court) and is the grey area between mandatory and persuasive judicial precedent.  Generally, a court gives great weight to such precedent and does not overturn its own prior relevant decision without a strong, compelling reason.

Below HORIZONTAL PRIMARY authority is the category of PERSUASIVE PRIMARY authority.  This category refers to precedent from an inferior or lateral court (e.g., Iredell County Superior Court) that is non-binding, but may be persuasive to the origin court.  Also included in this category (and following the same rules of hierarchy) is dictum, which is not the holding of a case, but the court’s support of the holding, such as language that is illustrative or advisory in nature.

Finally, at the bottom of North Carolina’s legal hierarchy is SECONDARY authority, which is never binding upon a court and includes sources such as Strong’s North Carolina Index and other legal encyclopedias, treatises, dictionaries, law review articles, digests, and other legal, but non-precedential material.

And remember that, despite having the least authoritative weight, secondary sources are extremely valuable tools when beginning to research a legal issue.  This is because secondary sources articulate and analyze specific points of law either generally or within a particular jurisdiction.  They are annotated and serve as avenues that will lead you to the mandatory primary authorities that you must rely upon and cite in your legal writing.

Happy Researching!

~Shannon Reid~

Sources:

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Other Libraries with Legal Resources for the Public and Attorney Members

Now that we have moved into our temporary quarters in Charlotte Plaza, we are no longer open to the public or our attorney members. We hope to see everyone again when our library construction is completed. In the meantime, there are several libraries in the area that have legal resources. A list follows which includes the address, phone number and a link to each library’s website.

catolawlibrary

Cato Law Library

Cato Campus

Central Piedmont Community College

8120 Grier Road

Charlotte, NC 28213

704-330-2722 x7819

http://www.cpcc.edu/library

atkinslibraryAtkins Library

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

9201 University City Boulevard

Charlotte, NC 28223

(704) 687-0494

 http://library.uncc.edu/

charlottemeckmainlibrary

Main Library

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

310 North Tryon Street

Charlotte, NC 28202

(704) 416-0100

http://www.plcmc.lib.nc.us/

colemankaresh

Coleman Karesh Law Library       

University of South Carolina School of Law

701 Main Street

Columbia, SC 29208

803-777-4155

http://www.law.sc.edu/library/public_services.shtml

~Betty Thomas~

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Meet CALI: Interactive Legal Tutorials, Free eBooks and More

CALI, short for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, has been providing online interactive lessons and tutorials on a variety of legal subjects since 1983.

Frustrated by the rule against perpetuities?  Need to brush up on the formation of a contract?  One terrific tool for doing this is CALI–a database of interactive review questions that help you identify relevant issues and apply recently learned concepts.  All you need for access is your Charlotte School of Law Authorization Code given to you during your orientation.

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Need your Charlotte School of Law code? Contact the library!

Did you know that there are almost 1,000 CALI Lessons freely available to you as a student at the Charlotte School of Law?

Today’s CALI Lessons are web-based tutorials covering a variety of legal topics. Currently there are over 950 Lessons in over 35 law school topics in the CALI Lesson Library.

You also have access to a growing collection of free ebooks in many formats, such as Kindle, iPad and PDF through their eLangdell project.

CALI’s eLangdell® Press offers free legal casebooks, supplements, and chapters. eLangdell content has a nonrestrictive license that allows for free digital and e-book downloads, cheap printing, and easy editing.

And now there’s a digital version of their TimeTrial game where students can play and save their scores IF they have registered and logged in to the CALI website with their law school’s Authorization Code.

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CALI Time Trial is a card game that challenges your knowledge of legal history. Draw a card and fit it into the time line based on the information on the card. Sound easy? How much do you know about NLRB vs. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp.?

If you’d like to learn more about CALI, you can read more at CALI’s website – or you can visit the Reference Desk in the library for more information.

Don’t worry if you can’t find your CALI password. Come by the Reference Desk – we have plenty more!

~Ashley Moye~

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