E-book Download for FRCP with 12/01/15 Revisions

“The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure just had a ton of revisions come into effect on December 1. Since the US Courts only publish this in a 170 page PDF, I thought I’d make it a little more user friendly and make an ebook (by which I mean an ePub, compatible with everything but Kindles) out of it. I also added in all of the new frcp_ebook_cover1forms as jpegs, so they look the way that they are supposed to look. It was a massive pain in the tookus to do. You’re welcome.  Anyway, here it is.” — Sarah Glassmeyer

SCOTUS – What Exactly Was Said During Oral Argument for Fisher v. University of Texas – Austin?

scotus_cherryblossoms_imageLots of Internet chatter about what was said as part of the oral argument for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) case – Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (14-981). The case deals with the use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions decisions.

You can read the official transcript of the arguments.  They are available off the SCOTUS website http://www.supremecourt.gov/

After you bring up this page, move down to the heading “Recent Arguments.” Look for the “transcript” link under Wednesday, December 09 for Fisher.  The link will pull up a pdf copy of the written transcript. The audio may be posted on this same page on Friday, December 11, subject to the Court’s final review.

 Here is what is says about transcripts availability on the Web page —

The transcripts of oral arguments are posted on this Web site on the same day an argument is heard by the Court. Same-day transcripts are considered official but subject to final review. The audio recordings of all oral arguments heard by the Supreme Court of the United States are available to the public at the end of each argument week. The audio recordings are posted on Fridays after Conference.

Want more information about the background and events surrounding this case?  Look to the SCOTUSblog website HERE.


library logo

US Supreme Court Landmark Cases – C-SPAN’s Fall Television Series

C-SPAN’s Fall Television Series

C-SPAN’ s new television series Landmark Cases  – explores the human stories and constitutional dramas behind some of the most significant and frequentlyLogo_cspan_landmarkcases cited decisions in the United States Supreme Court’s history.  This 12-part series delves into cases that represent some of the tipping points in our nation’s story and in our evolving understanding of rights in America.

Produced in cooperation with the National Constitution Center, each 90 minute program will air live on C-SPAN and C-SPAN3 on Monday nights at 9pm ET, the series started on October 5, 2015 and will continue through December 21, 2015.

 FredKorematsu_sTonight’s showing (November 9, 2015) will be on the case, Korematsu v. United States (1944) in which the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 vote, upheld the government’s forceful removal of 120,000 people of Japanese descent, 70,000 of them U.S. citizens, from their homes on the West Coast to internment camps in remote areas of western and midwestern states during World War II.

Quick Links and Sources to US Court Opinions

logo_librarians_washingtondc_fed_courtsLooking for a site that guides you to Internet access to US federal court opinions?  You might want to bookmark –

Quick Links and Sources to U.S. Court Opinions

Compiled by the Federal Law Librarians Special Interest Section of the Law Librarians’ Society of Washington DC, the new website presents quick links to all major sources for US court opinions including sites for recent years, sites for recent and historical years, and subscription sites.  It also presents direct links to court opinion sites of specific US courts such as the US Courts of Appeals, as well as, links to opinion sites to those courts before the 1990’s.

Each specific’s court’s abbreviation and city location can also be found.  There is also an example of how new slip opinions can be cited.

The site is compiled and maintained by Rick McKinney, Assistant Law Librarian, Federal Reserve Board.

library logo


Now a Class Action – Uber Technologies Inc – Certification – 09/01/15

The New Economy has a new class action.

On September 1, 2015, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen of the Northern District of California certified a class of Uber Technologies Inc. drivers seeking employee status and reimbursement for withheld tips.  (Douglas O’Connor, et. al. v. UBER Technologies, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Sept. 1, 2015, C-13-3826.)uber_logo

Below is a pdf of Judge Chin’s order involving the class certification. (Docket No. 276, Amended order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.)

Also below is a Word document that is a copy of the case docket as of 09/02/2015.  Both documents were copied from PACER.




“What Happened to the Information Removed From PACER?”


This is a copy of a blog post from the University of North Carolina Law Library. This timely information about Pacer should be widely distributed. Please follow the link at the end of the paragraph below:

“The University of North Carolina Law Library has published a blog post to help people seeking information formerly available on PACER, but now removed, to understand the process for obtaining removed information. Thanks to the hard work of Law Library Graduate Assistant, Kate Dickson, and Reference Librarian, Jonathan Rountree, the blog post details procedures for requesting removed information we obtained from the various clerks of court for the courts affected by the removal as well as information about material still available on commercial databases like Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg. The blog post is available at http://blogs.law.unc.edu/library/2014/09/04/what-happened-to-the-information-removed-from-pacer/. “

Despite criticism, Americans not ready to kill death penalty

Yesterday on September 28, a week to the day after Georgia executed Troy Davis, the United States Supreme Court denied an application to stay Manuel Valle’s death sentence.  Later the same day, Florida executed Valle after he had spent 33 years on death row.  In his dissent from the denial of the stay, Justice Breyer argued that Valle’s execution would be excessively cruel (“I have little doubt about the cruelty of so long a period of incarceration under sentence of death”) and lacks utilitarian purpose (“It is difficult to imagine how an execution following so long a period of incarceration could add significantly to that punishment’s deterrent value”).  He also critiqued a society that would demand his execution on retributivist grounds:

I would focus upon the ‘moral sensibility’ of a community that finds in the death sentence an appropriate public reaction to a terrible crime.  And, I would ask how often that community’s sense of retribution would forcefully insist upon a death that comes only several decades after the crime was committed.

Justice Breyer is not the only jurist on the High Court to voice his opposition to capital punishment recently.  On September 15, Justice Ginsburg spoke in San Francisco at University of California Hastings College of the Law.  In her talk, Justice Ginsburg stated “I would probably go back to the day when the Supreme Court said the death penalty could not be administered with an even hand, but that’s not likely to be an opportunity for me.”  She was alluding to Furman v. Georgia (1972) 408 U.S. 238, the case that temporarily halted capital punishment in America. 

Despite criticism by these justices, Field Poll results released today demonstrate that a solid majority of Californian voters favor capital punishment.  The poll shows that 68% of Californians are in favor of keeping the death penalty.  These are, in fact, higher than the national average.  According to Gallup polls, 64% of Americans are in favor of the death penalty.  While support for the death penalty is gradually waning, it appears that neither Californians nor Americans in general are ready to end the practice. 

California Penal Code section 15 permits death as a punishment for a crime.  Several resources at the Alameda County Law Library discuss California’s death penalty law such as chapter 54 of CEB’s California Criminal Law: Procedure and Practice and volume 3, section XVI of Witkin’s California Criminal Law, 3d.  In addition, the Library has numerous titles that discuss the capital punishment policy.  These resources are shelved on the second floor in the KF 9227 call number area.