In The Nine Jeffrey Toobin, CNN Legal Analyst and staff writer for the New Yorker, paints a fascinating portrait of the justices who served on the Rehnquist Court from 1986 to 2005. The result is an extremely readable account of the inner workings of the Supreme Court. While Toobin has a liberal bent, his discussion of cases dealing with a wide variety of subjects such as affirmative action and separation of church and state should prove riveting for any reader. Using interviews with several justices and more than 75 former law clerks he discusses the backgrounds, personal stories and judicial philosophies of the justices. What Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong did with the Burger Court in The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court Toobin does with the Rehnquist Court.
The author describes in detail the personalities and backgrounds of the justices as well as the rivalries and interactions between the members of this most secretive branch of government. Toobin describes Justice David Souter as being so upset by the politics involved in Bush v. Gore that he considered resigning in protest. But he also brings out the lighter side of the justices. For example, once when Justice David Souter was eating lunch a stranger came up to him and asked “You’re Justice Breyer, right ?” Rather than embarrass him Souter simply nodded. Not wanting to end the conversation the stranger asked “Justice Breyer, what’s the best thing about being on the Supreme Court?” Souter replied, “Well, I’d have to say it’s the privilege of serving with David Souter.”
This book is intended for anyone who wants to go beyond the news headlines and get to know the individual justices who served during this time period as human beings and not just names on opinions, concurrences, and dissents. The Nine was voted Best Book of 2007 by The Economist, Time, Newsweek, and Fortune and is well worth reading. It will also prompt interest and speculation about the personalities on the current Court.
Submitted by Law Library on Tue, 02/25/2014 - 11:18am
Casey Nygard, '11
Attorney, Corley Law Firm
5&6: How much time did you spend in the library as a law student?
Casey Nygard: I spent at least 15 hours a week in the working library. In my off-hours, though, I usually staked out a spot in the fishbowl for long hours of silent studying next to friends.
5&6: What did you use the library for?
CN: Mostly, the library is where I worked either for the library or for law school. It was a place to learn a skill and I took full advantage of the opportunity. And, in times of desperation, the best chance for osmosis!
5&6: How did the library or librarians help you prepare for work as an attorney?
CN: The biggest advantage of the library is the resources. It could be intimidating, but the librarians made the mound of books and online resources manageable.
5&6: Would you suggest current law students take advantage of the library?
CN: YES, take advantage. The world is moving towards computers and online research but that is still a large firm bonus. Smaller firms still need an attorney who can use the public services that the library offers. Knowing how it works now will be a valuable asset as you enter the work force later.
Submitted by Law Library on Tue, 02/18/2014 - 2:20pm
What’s happening in Court today? Do you know? Do you want to find out? The new location of the Law School sits amid the many Federal, State, and City courts providing opportunity for future lawyers to view the court systems at work before making the jump to practice.
With so many cases and courts how do you decide which court case to see? The Law Library can help you; on the 6th floor of the library is a flat screen with an overview of highlighted cases. The Reference Librarians review the dockets, select cases, and give you the necessary information, times, dates, location, judges, and attorneys. You can find out when a sentencing, trial, or plea will be held.
Going to visit the courts now provides you with an opportunity to walk the halls with future colleagues, see the judges, and prepare for your professional life outside of school. You can visit the Court Dockets screen on the 6th floor of the library or the library’s Court Dockets web page.
Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World’s Greatest Outlaw is an account of the manhunt for the leader of the Columbian Medellin cocaine cartel, Pablo Escobar. During the 1980’s and until his death at age 44 in 1993 Escobar was one of the richest - and most ruthless - narco terrorists in the world. His power and the fear it engendered made it obvious from the beginning that the mission of the hunters was not to capture, but to kill. The author, St. Louis native Mark Bowden interviewed dozens of political, military, and law enforcement personnel in the United States and Columbia who were involved in the hunt. He seamlessly blends their stories into a frightening glimpse of a man whose business philosophy was simple in the extreme: those who opposed him had two choices: “plata o plomo”, silver (bribes) or lead (death).
As he did in his previous book Black Hawk Down, Bowden has combined his skill as an investigative reporter with his extraordinary storytelling ability. As the title suggests, Killing Pablo is not about how the justice system in either country (should) work. Bowden spares no one on either side of the struggle. It is difficult sometimes to differentiate between Escobar’s hubris and almost unbelievable cruelty and the methods and tactics employed by law enforcement and the military in both countries to find him. After reading Killing Pablo it’s not difficult to understand the motivations driving Escobar’s hunters and share in their triumph when they finally find him. More difficult is deciding whether the end of Pablo Escobar justified the means used to accomplish it.
Submitted by Law Library on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 10:36am
Looking for simple, user-friendly ways to do legal research on your mobile device? Look no further! We've gathered up four of the most promising legal research apps available.
HeinOnline Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. HeinOnlne is a legal history research database. The app will let you search the entire HeinOnline library view articles in PDF form, search for citations and navigate the table on contents.
Lexis Advance -Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Lexis Advance is a legal research database. The app will give you access to cases citations, dockets, statutes. Students, use your Lexis password to access the database.
Bloomberg -Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Also compatible with Andriod and Blackberry. The App is available from ITunes, Google Play and Blackberry App World. Bloomberg is a finance research database. With the app you can search the latest financial news, stock quotes, company information etc.
ABA Journal for iPhone/iPad -Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. ABA Journal has the legal news.
Mr. Simon’s reporting of the year (January 1, 1988-Decemeber 31, 1988) he spent riding along with and observing the investigative techniques of twenty-nine detectives who manned the Baltimore Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Division provides a fully immersive plunge into the world of urban policing. Readers are taken along and given an eyewitness’ view of not only the procedural and public, but also the administrative and political circumstances that surround murder investigations, as we accompany the detectives to their individual crime scenes. However the action that unfolds is not, in the words of the old television show Dragnet, delivered in a “just the facts ma’am” monotone, but is instead rendered via a skillful use of color and context usually seen in fictional works. At the same time Mr. Simon avoids the trap of sloppy sensationalism that can easily ensnare true crime novels. Each crime scene and subsequent investigation is given individual treatment by the author, who allows the reader to get to know the detective or detectives working the case. The cases as described while hardboiled, grisly, sometimes sardonic, and even at times laugh out loud funny, are also always sensitive and poignant with regard to the tragedy of violent death. It is no wonder that this novel was the inspiration for the highly regarded and critically acclaimed 1990s television series Homicide: Life on the Street.
Simon’s writing style is journalistic, but as previously stated not aseptic. As I read the novel I came to feel that the intent was to exhibit the world that the detectives, victims, families, and citizenry inhabit on a daily basis and how that environment’s physical, emotional, economic, and political reality, which foments crime in all its forms, can be writ large (with a few notable exceptions) to any major city not just Baltimore. An example is this passage “Pellegrini turns to watch the Buick roll a few blocks…to the Brunt street corners, where a small coterie of runners and touts have resumed work, selling heroin and cocaine a respectful distance from the murder scene.”
Being a fan of fictional and non-fictional mystery/crime novels and film, I don’t think that reading this book altered my feelings with respect to the causality or consequences of urban crime, but I did learn something about how real homicide detectives approach an investigation. Finally in my opinion, this book will appeal to true crime and mystery aficionados and readers interested in social and political commentary.
Submitted by Law Library on Wed, 01/15/2014 - 3:16pm
"Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”
Legal research can be intimidating, especially in the beginning. You often a) don’t understand the concepts, b) don’t know the vocabulary, and c) above all, don’t want anyone to find out about “a” or “b”. Later you’ll realize that no one around you understands any more than you do; in the meantime take advantage of “Live Chat”.
Live Chat was designed to do two things. First, to conserve what law students have the least of: time. The faster Task A is completed the sooner you can receive your reward: the “opportunity” to move on to Tasks B, C, D, and E. Click on Live Chat and you’ll be immediately connected with a reference librarian who can help you stop beating on the wall and find the door.
Second, research has shown that at some schools a majority of students are not even aware of the electronic catalog. As a result they simply wander into the stacks or onto electronic databases and hope serendipity will provide what they need. Using Live Chat, a reference librarian can provide structure to searches by teaching how information in databases and print materials is organized. From there specific resources can be identified and their location pinpointed for easy access.
Look for a blue circle with a question mark and the words “Ask a Librarian” on law library webpages. They’ll link you to Live Chat. Save your forehead from further pounding and your time for the rest of the work you need to get done.
Submitted by Law Library on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:46pm
The law library now offers SLU Law alumni free online access to more than 1,800 law and law-related journals through HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library. This collection includes ABA journals, the most cited law journals, and selected international and non-U.S. law journals; it covers the first issue of each journal to the most current allowed by the publisher. Users are able to search by title, author, subject, state, and country of publication. In addition, there is a feature that allows users to determine the scholarly impact of an article by seeing what other articles cite a particular article. Information and details about how to use this resource can be found here.
In addition, SLU Law alumni are eligible to apply for a SLUcard to come to the law library during evening and weekend hours when Scott Hall is closed to the public. Find the application for a SLUcard here.
Angela is a biracial child, mother is African American and father is Caucasian. The book is snapshots of her experiences being bi-racial in West Philly.
Angela writes vignettes about the interaction between herself and different races. Being a biracial child, she had difficulty “fitting in” with one particular race. In her teenage years she battled mental issues and couldn’t come to terms with her mixed heritage. As she grew older, she learned that you have to be able to accept yourself before anybody else will accept you. This book is written for all age groups. It is entertaining, enlightening and heartbreaking story. The author captures the reader’s attention very quickly and keeps your interest.
Her mother, a former Black Panther, instilled in her the beauty and value that are in all races. Though she had these ideas, she still had difficulty navigating through life with a mixed racial heritage.
Angela takes us through her different phases of racial identity, that being confusion to activism to survival and the struggles that lies within each of those phases. She also briefly describes issues particular to women of mixed race.
Submitted by Law Library on Wed, 12/11/2013 - 1:20pm
This is the time year when most children cannot wait for presents. All children regardless of age wish and desire those special things, a doll, a truck, a book, or a warm home. It is the time of year when everyone wants something and everyone is asking you for something. Your mail is filled with catalogs, cards, and requests for money to help people, animals, and the environment.
In St. Louis there many organizations to which you can donate, cash, time, or items. The Law Library has put together a very short list of giving possibilities.
The 100 Neediest Cases, every day the St. Louis Post Dispatch is runs an article covering a family/person in need. You can “adopt a case” or give to the fund.
Children - Reading – Books
In St. Louis city more than 34% of the children live in poverty and more than 16% drop out of high school. Giving a new book is one way to help.
Left Bank Books’ Angel Tree donation drive raises money to buy books as Christmas gifts for children in the St. Louis Public Schools. If you want to buy the book instead, visit either location, buy a book, and give it to the clerk specifying it is for the Angel Tree. If you shop online, in comment field type “Angel Tree” during the checkout process.
Barnes and Noble is also having a book drive for Children’s Hospital. Purchase a book and donate it at the store in the St. Louis Area.
The St. Louis area has many groups that help animals, Stray Rescue (dogs), Tenth Life (cats), Animal Protective Association (cats & dogs), and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic (small wild mammals). All of these groups can be helped by giving your time, to walk a dog, brush a cat, or feed an injured rabbit. You can donate items they can use, cat food, paper towels, a thundershirt. Look at their wish lists to see what is needed.
Giving closer to home.
If you make giving more personal, help a neighbor—shovel their walk, take them a box of cookies, or give them a smile. Sometimes the smallest and simplest gifts are the best, kindness – it does not take or cost much, and it is twice as nice.
You can find many places to donate your time or money, open your email, read the paper – there is group that needs your help and is meaningful to you.