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November 18th, 2014 by


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Speaker: Adam Sidoti, Bloomberg BNA/Bloomberg Law.  Adam Sidoti is a Bloomberg BNA and Bloomberg Law account manager and engagement specialist. Before joining Bloomberg, Mr. Sidoti was an associate with Johnson & Bell, Ltd., where his practice focused on health care and trucking litigation. He handled all aspects of litigation from discovery to trial.

Mr. Sidoti earned a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He is licensed to practice in Illinois.

The number of ethical considerations that one must take into account when practicing law have increased due to our current social media-oriented world. How may lawyers use social media channels such as LinkedIn and Facebook in an advertising and business context, and what limitations are there to such use?
This program will discuss several case studies analyzing what states have done regarding social media use by lawyers and will highlight content on Bloomberg Law. It will also address how social media may be used in the realm of litigation.

Educational Objectives:

• Learn about lawyer advertising via social media – what to do and what not to do.

• By focusing on the Model Rules, find out when lawyer-client relationships start.

• Discover how to obtain information from Facebook for use in litigation, and the related admissibility issues.

Who would benefit most from attending this program?

Legal practitioners involved in litigation; any attorney seeking information regarding compliance and the ethical requirements of the profession; business development and career development professionals.

Program Level: Basic/Intermediate
Prerequisite:  A general knowledge of legal ethics and professional responsibility.
CPE Delivery Method: Group Internet-Based Live
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge and Applications
Recommended CPE Credit: 1.0 credit

For additional information, please see the “CE Credit” tab.


From left: Ian Kipnes, Barbara Glennan, Brandon Baker, Bobbi Weaver

Originally posted in CWSL Employee Newsletter, 11/2014

There’s no such thing as a “typical day in the life” of a reference librarian at California Western.

“That’s why we like it,” says Barbara Glennan, assistant director for public services and educational technology. “Every day is different.”

Barbara is one of four librarians who share reference desk duty to make sure it is staffed whenever the law library is open. The others are reference librarian Brandon Baker; reference librarian and stack manager; Bobbi Weaver, foreign and international law reference librarian, and Ian Kipnes, the acquisitions and budget control librarian.

“All of the reference librarians are ‘dual degreed’, having completed a JD degree as well as a master’s degree in library and information science,” says Barbara. “We teach Advanced Legal Research, and specialized legal research courses as adjuncts. So on any given day a librarian may be preparing for class, grading papers, or in the classroom.”

All of the reference librarians wear many hats.

Brandon manages the library’s print collection including shelving and filing. Bobbi handles research projects focused on foreign or international law and manages the library’s faculty research assistant. She is responsible for collecting reference statistics, and creating displays in the library, such as the 90 year history display on the first floor. Ian handles paying the bills and keeps track of the budget for the entire library.

There are also no “typical requests,” however there are a few main types of questions the librarians get while on the reference desk.

Students usually ask for help with assignments in their classes, such as legal skills, or for an assignment with an internship or part time job, according to Barbara. They also ask for help researching for scholarly writing papers. Many people don’t realize that they can usually answer this question for themselves by a quick search in our catalog, which is available via the web

“As a former practicing attorney,” Ian says, “I love that each shift is different and that I never know what to expect that day—as it was when I was in practice. I also especially like the fact that I get to interact with the students and faculty when I’m at the reference desk.”

“Being a reference librarian at an academic institution is tremendously rewarding,” Brandon says. “Whether I am assisting 1Ls with fundamental legal research, instructing 2L and 3L students in Advanced Legal Research, or joining a colleague for a jump down the ‘rabbit hole’ (e.g. interdisciplinary research), it’s the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction that comes from comprehensive academic analysis. I love almost every aspect of legal research and am grateful to be in a position where I am able to help others.”

“I love my job, especially the teaching aspects of it—both in the classes and at the reference desk,” says Bobbi. “As technology progresses, we have more opportunities to reach more of the CWSL community.”

“We are all here because we love what we do:  the research, the teaching, continually learning and honing our skills, and working with the CWSL community,” Barbara says.

November 11th, 2014 by


For help with legal citation, use the Blue Book. For help with the Blue Book, use Understanding and Mastering the Blue Book. Both are available at the Reserve desk.



November 6th, 2014 by


On the 1st floor, you can find the display that’s all about 2004.  The display features the 9/11 Commission Report, the Scott Peterson case, and passage of intelligence reform legislation.  On the 2nd floor, you can find books on display for Native American Heritage month.



November 3rd, 2014 by


Prepare to Practice in California (Lunch) – 11/4/14

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 from 12:15 PM to 1:00 PM CWSL Classroom Building – Room 2G
350 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101



Yes No Maybe


  • Research and Practice Resources for the New Attorney / Law Clerk in CALIFORNIA
  • Are you preparing to practice or clerk in CA?
  • Are you unsure what kinds of research/practice guides exist or how to use them?
  • Do you know how you can access free or low cost practice materials?
  • Do you want to enhance your effectiveness on the job from day one?   Come to the Library’s Prepare to Practice Series:…

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter

We look forward to seeing you!

Contact Barbara Glennan with any questions.

October 29th, 2014 by

Maintenance is aware of the A/C problems on the 3rd & 4th floors. If you feel uncomfortable with the temperature, the 1st & 2nd floors here and the 350 building are all at comfortable temperatures.

Using American Law Reports

October 28th, 2014 by

Find the article here

The Problem:

A major client’s son, who attends a public middle school, is being teased in a sexual manner by one of his male classmates. The school says that because the teasing is by a fellow male student, it can’t constitute “sexual harassment,” and that “boys will be boys” and the son just needs to get a thicker skin. The son is starting to dread going to school. Your job: to find some useful law which will encourage the school to take this situation seriously. Your helpful law librarian suggests James Rapp’s excellent seven-volume set, Education Law (Matthew Bender, 1984). But — oh no! — the volume you need is out. Will you have to do some needle in a haystack Westlaw or Lexis search to find a relevant case, which will turn out to be from Idaho in 1972? No! This is the time to go to American Law Reports, or “the ALRs,” a series of reporters begun in 1919 (and now up to its sixth “series”) which contain “annotations” (really, they’re like very detailed law review articles) on over 27,000 legal topics.

What is an ALR annotation?

Each ALR annotation addresses a single legal issue. The author discusses the most important cases and state or federal statutes governing that issue, and also points you to places where the issue is discussed in other research and practice sources, such as American Jurisprudence, Corpus Juris Secundum, L.Ed’s Federal Procedure (which we don’t have), Am Jur Proof of Facts, Am Jur Pleading and Practice Forms, and the L.Ed and ALR Digests.

In addition, annotations will usually include a list of law review articles on the topic, and may even give you West Digest key numbers and sample Westlaw and Lexis search queries, to help you find more cases. Finally, the annotation will include a list of other, related annotations, which may help you find one that is even more relevant to your issue.

The ALRs are all on the second floor, with the regional reporters and digests. If you look at them you will find — yikes! — the original ALR, as well as its successors, ALR 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th and6th, and ALR Federal and ALR Federal 2d, hundreds of books altogether.

Why does the library need this many different versions of the ALR (some of them really ancient and out-of-date looking)?

Here’s why: while most of the early ALR annotations have been replaced, over time, with new and more updated versions, some have not. For that reason, we still need to keep the older editions of the ALRs. Also, the ALR Federal discusses only federal laws and statutes (guessed that from its title, didn’t you?), whereas the regular ALR discusses topics which are affected only by state law, or by a combination of federal and state laws. Note, though, that a topic which is affected by both state and federal law may be discussed in both the regular ALR and the ALR Federal. One of those annotations may be more comprehensive or up-to-date than the other, so you really should find and read both.

How do I find any annotations on my topic?

The ALRs have a ridiculous number of indexes, tables and digests. Fortunately, the indexes of many of the ALRs are combined, and some are overlapping, so you won’t have to look at everything.

If you are looking for information regarding a specific federal case, go to the ALR Federal Table of Cases, a group of paperback books at the end of the ALR Federal. Look up your case in the tables, which will then direct you to the most recent annotation about it in the ALR Federal or ALR Federal 2d.
If you are looking for information about a specific state case, try looking in the ALR 5th and 6th Table of Cases, a group of paperback volumes located at the end of theALR 5th. Keep in mind, however, that these books only include cases which are mentioned in annotations in the ALR 5th and 6th, not the earlier ALRs. Just because you don’t find the case in this particular set of books doesn’t mean that it isn’t discussed somewhere in the ALRs (particularly if it was decided well before 1992, when the ALR 5th was first issued), and you will need to try to look it up by the area of law it addresses, as discussed below.
If you are looking for information on a topic which you know is governed entirely by federal law, but you don’t know the specific statute or regulation which may govern it, go to the soft-bound Quick Index at the end of the ALR Federal 2d, and try to find the topic there. If you can’t find it, then you will need to …
… go to the (huge) more detailed, combined ALR Index, which covers the ALR 2d, 3d,4th, 5th and 6th, and ALR Federal and ALR Federal 2d (the ALR Federals do not have their own detailed index). Make sure you look in the pocket part at the back of whatever index volume you are looking at, so that you will catch any annotations which have been added since the bound volumes were issued — for example, annotations in theALR 6th and the ALR Federal 2d, which aren’t included in the main volumes at all (unless the index has been reissued since this guide was written).
If you are looking for information regarding a specific state or federal statute or regulation, a uniform or model law (like the Uniform Probate Code), a Restatement section or a code of ethics (like the old Code of Professional Conduct), go to theTable of Laws, Rules and Regulations for the ALR 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th, and ALR Federal and ALR Federal 2d. This is one hardbound volume at the end of the combined ALR Index, at the very end of the whole set of ALR books. This book contains a collection of tables where you can look up your statute or regulation and be directed to the most recent annotation about it in the ALR 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th, and ALR Federal and ALR Federal 2d. Again, don’t forget to look in the pocket part of whatever index volume you are looking at, or you could miss the perfect annotation.
If you have no idea what laws cover your topic, or even if there IS any law covering the topic, first check the Quick Indexes for both the regular ALR and for the ALR Federal. If you don’t find anything in either of these indexes, then go to the big combined ALR Index for the ALR 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th, and ALR Federal and ALR Federal 2d.
As a last resort, if the issue is very venerable (that is, REALLY OLD), and not some developing area of law, look in the Quick Index and four volume detailed Index of the original ALR. These indexes are located before the newer detailed indexes and tables, at the end of the ALR 6th.
If you happen to have a West “key” (or headnote) number related to your issue, go to the ALR Digest. This is a set of books which classifies all the ALR annotations using the West topic and key number system. This system is discussed in detail in our Legal Skills Guide “Using the West Digest System.”

In the “Problem” above…

You probably don’t know whether the situation is governed by state law, federal law, or both. So first, you’ll want to take a look at the Quick Index at the end of the ALR Federal 2d. The heading “Schools and Education — Sex and sexual matters — harassment — student’s peer” (ah ha!), sends you to 141 ALR Fed 407. That is, volume 141 of the original ALR Federal, at page 407. This turns out to be a 37 page annotation entitled “Right of Action Under Title IX of Education Amendments Act of 1972 (20 U.S.C.S. secs. 1681 et seq.) Against School or School District for Sexual Harassment of Student by Student’s Peer,” by Belinda Bean, J.D. (Great name!). But what if this issue is governed by state laws, too? Best to check the ALR Quick Index at the end of the ALR 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th.

Keep in mind that this index covers only the regular ALRs, and not the ALR Federals. Interestingly, this index does not have the precise heading “Schools and Education — Sex and sexual matters — harassment — student’s peer,” which you found in the Quick Index for the ALR Federal, but under the more general heading “Schools and Education — Sex and sexual matters,” and also under the heading “”Schools and Education — discrimination,” you will find the entry “Liability, under state law claims, of public and private schools and institutions of higher learning for teacher’s, other employee’s, or student’s sexual relationship with, or sexual harassment or abuse of, student, 86 ALR5th 1.” And if you go to page one of volume 86 of the ALR 5th, you will find a 56 page annotation with just this title. If, on the other hand, you had looked in the combined ALR Index for the ALR 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th, andALR Federal and ALR Federal 2d, you would have been referred to both annotations. But either way works, in this case!

You might also have found these annotations using the ALR Digest. Let’s say that in your first, desperate moments of trying to find some California law, you did a Westlaw search and found the case Doe v. Petaluma City School District, 949 F. Supp. 1415 (N.D. Cal. 1996), involving a junior high school student who was harassed by her peers. The case itself doesn’t solve your problems; it focuses on the narrow issue of the standard for bringing a claim under Title IX, and doesn’t really discuss what constitutes harassment in schools; but it does yield a potentially useful key number: Civil Rights (key) 128. If you go to the books in the ALR Digest containing the Civil Rights key numbers — Wait!! They start at 1001! Is this a cruel joke?

Well, as discussed in our guide “Using the West Digest System,” when areas of law grow and change, their West topics are re-numbered. Most digests include conversion tables to help you keep up. Unfortunately the ALR Digest does not, so you will need to go to a regular digest (such as the Federal Practice Digest 4th) to discover that Civil Rights (key) 128 has now become Civil Rights (keys) 1066 and 1067(1-5). But once you do this (and you might take note of the potentially useful cases under those key numbers in the regular digest), a look at the ALR Digest under those key numbers directs you to the annotations we’ve already discussed, as well as a few more which are less relevant to your issue.

Furthermore, if you had found that Petaluma case, you could also have looked it up in the ALR 5th and 6th Table of Cases, to see if it was discussed in one or more annotations.

Important!! Don’t forget to update your research!

The editors of the ALR series are constantly adding new information to their existing annotations, writing new annotations to replace old ones, and generally making changes. Don’t run out of the library, clutching photocopies of an annotation, before you’ve done these things:

First: Check the pocket part in the back of the book where you found your annotation. If your annotation was in the original ALR, there are no pocket parts (had they not invented those handy pockets yet?), so you will need to check in the battered blue ALR Blue Book of Supplemental Decisions, located after the ALR 6th.
If it was in the ALR 2d, look in the blue books entitled ALR 2d Later Case Service, at the end of the ALR 2d. But all the subsequent ALRs and the ALR Federals have pocket parts — or, if a pocket part has become too big to fit in the back of its book, a pamphlet next to it.
Next: Particularly if your annotation is quite old, check the “Annotation History Table” in the back of the Table of Laws, Rules and Regulations for the ALR 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th and6th, and ALR Federal and ALR Federal 2d, the hardbound volume at the end of the combined ALR Index. This will tell you if your annotation has been superseded by a more recent annotation, which you (or the index) may somehow have missed. Don’t forget to check the pocket part in the back of this volume, too!

Can I search the ALRs online?

What if your boss wants a memo on her desk by the time she gets back from lunch, and you don’t have time to go to the library, search the ALRs, and get back? No fear! The ALRs are available on Westlaw, updated weekly, in the “ALR” database (although it may not be included as part of your firm’s license, in which case you will pay a $12 fee for each annotation you actually view). A bonus: unlike the print annotations, the online versions are updated weekly, and superseded annotations are generally removed from the database.

Just in case, though, you would be wise to “Keycite” any useful annotation that you find, to make sure that part of it has not been superseded by a subsequent annotation. Another bonus: some annotations are included in the online database which are not included in the books, for whatever reason.

As with any search on Westlaw, you will probably want to try several different queries. In this case, a terms and connectors search of (school or student) /3 “sexual harassment” yielded 66 documents, including, at result 13, “Right of Action Under Title IX of Education Amendments Act of 1972 (20 U.S.C.S. secs. 1681 et seq.) Against School or School District for Sexual Harassment of Student by Student’s Peer,” 141 ALR Fed 407; and at result 30, “Liability, under state law claims, of public and private schools and institutions of higher learning for teacher’s, other employee’s, or student’s sexual relationship with, or sexual harassment or abuse of, student,” 86 ALR 5th 1, which are discussed above; also, at result 36, an annotation entitled “Tort liability of public schools and institutions of higher learning for injuries caused by acts of fellow students,” 36 ALR 3d 330, which might also be useful.

October 21st, 2014 by

In the spirit of Halloween, the 2nd Floor Display case features books on witch trials (European & U.S.), witchcraft and Satanism from our collection.

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