FCIL Program Ideas in 2020 IdeaScale, Week Three

By Susan Gualtier

Beignets and Café au Lait at Café du Monde, New Orleans

Happy Monday! I can’t believe that we’re already in the third week of Phase One of the program proposal process for New Orleans next year!  We’ve had several great new FCIL programming ideas posted to IdeaScale this week, so be sure and check them out and give them an upvote!

We also encourage you to submit your own program ideas to IdeaScale.  We need your ideas as much as your votes!!  You can do this anonymously if you like.  If you have questions, comments, concerns, or calls for help, please reach out to me (sgua@law.upenn.edu) and/or Dennis Sears (searsd@law.byu.edu).  As co-Chairs of the FCIL-SIS Education Committee, it is our job to encourage and support you in developing ideas and program proposals in anticipation of next year’s meeting.

Each Monday from now through August 16, DipLawMatic Dialogues will bring you an update on all of the FCIL-related program ideas currently posted in IdeaScale to encourage you to “up-vote” these programs. For more on why up-voting is important, see here.

In the meantime, why not kick back with some café au lait and check out these amazing program suggestions?

Obtaining & Using Copyrighted Materials from Foreign Countries

What does a U.S. law librarian do when a book or report that a patron needs to consult is only available at a library in England or India? How about when a thesis or document that another patron needs for research purposes is only available at a library in Namibia or New Zealand?

Many libraries do not want to lend items internationally through OCLC WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, so ILL requests sent to non-U.S. countries are frequently returned unfilled. If a librarian—undeterred and unwilling to give up—contacts the library in another country directly to request scanned chapters of the book or a scanned copy of the report, how can the librarian ensure that the request does not violate that country’s copyright laws? Do other countries have fair use exceptions and library exemptions in their copyright laws similar to U.S. copyright law? How do copyright term lengths differ in other countries?

This program addresses how to research foreign copyright laws, how to legally obtain copies of copyrighted material from libraries around the world, and how to obtain permission to use copyrighted material that has been registered for copyright protection in another country.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Unmasking the World’s 100 Most Influential Legal Texts

What are the 100 most influential texts in the world’s legal literature? Who better to ask than law librarians? We invite AALL members to share their expertise and diverse viewpoints in an interactive session that will be both fun and intellectually engaging. The resulting list may form the basis for a publication, a major public exhibition, and/or a dynamic, ever-growing online project. More than simply a tool for collecting or teaching, the list of the world’s most influential legal texts will demonstrate the profound impact of law on our lives throughout history and into the future.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Legal research in civil law jurisdictions may not be as different as you may expect! The influence of the common law can be seen, for instance, in the increased reliance on precedent and increased length in decisions. One might even question whether the emphasis on doctrine is really as strong now as it used to be.

A slight spin on the ideas already suggested, this panel is a little more introductory, but acknowledges the changing nature of practice in a civilian jurisdiction. Starting with the same research question, law librarians/ lawyers in various civil law jurisdictions will explain how they would tackle the question in their respective jurisdictions. Case law from these jurisdictions will also be compared.

See: http://www.slaw.ca/2019/06/20/not-your-grandparents-civil-law-decisions-are-getting-longer-why-and-what-does-it-mean-in-france-and-quebec/?highlight=civil%20law

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Tips Tools & Techniques for Environmental Law Research

We don’t do as many research subject specific programs as in past. Why not take advantage of local expertise for an introductory to intermediate level program on how to research / tools for environmental law research?

See Tulane Law School https://law.tulane.edu/centers/environment

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Tools Tips & Techniques in Admiralty & Maritime Law

We aren’t doing as many legal research specific programs as in past. Why not take advantage of our location in New Orleans and the local expertise in admiralty and maritime law?

See Tulane Law School https://law.tulane.edu/academics/maritime

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Screening of Documentary “Change the Subject” With Panel

“Change the Subject” is a recent documentary, about the students and librarians who have been fighting to change the Library of Congress subject heading from “Illegal Aliens” to something less pejorative, such as “undocumented people.” The struggle to change this heading even caught the attention of Congress, who until then had never taken an interest in LC subject headings that anyone could recall.

You can read more and view a trailer here: https://sites.dartmouth.edu/changethesubject/. The filmmakers are excited and available to come screen the film and then answers questions during a panel session. Panel would also include law librarians involved in this struggle.

BOK Content Area:  Professionalism & Leadership at Every Level

How Codes are Made: Creating Laws in Civil Jurisdictions

Is there a difference between a code and a set of statutes? How does the process of codification differ between common law and civilian jurisdictions? What roles do legislatures and law reform bodies play? This panel will help librarians to understand the role that codes play in civilian and mixed jurisdictions and how and whether it differs from that of the “codes” that most of us would recognize as codified statutes. The panel will explore how codes are constructed in a variety of jurisdictions.

Speakers will include law faculty and drafters from Louisiana, as well as from or familiar with similar jurisdictions, such as Quebec, Scotland, and South Africa.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Is it Napoleonic? Foreign/Domestic Influences on LA Civil Code

Interpreting and researching modern civil law depends upon an understanding of the historical sources from which those laws evolved. People often say that Louisiana uses the Napoleonic Code, but is that true? Louisiana has been both a French and Spanish colony, and it has been a part of the American legal system for over 200 years; it has also been influenced by Roman Law, Greek Law, Canon Law, and the Germanic Civil Law tradition.

This panel will help librarians understand the legal system of Louisiana, how the Louisiana Civil Code is drafted, and how the Civil Code operates within Louisiana’s mixed, partially common law jurisdiction. It will explore the relationship between codes, statutes, and cases, and how primary and secondary authority are defined and developed within Louisiana’s unique legal system. The panel will also cover elements of Louisiana legal research, including Louisiana’s unique legal publishing industry, the importance of print resources in Louisiana legal research, and available historical treatises and primary sources. The program will be accompanied by a LibGuide to assist non-Louisiana law librarians in researching Louisiana legal issues.

Speakers may include Louisiana law librarians, Louisiana law faculty, and members of the Louisiana State Law Institute (LSLI).

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Researching, Publishing, and Collecting the Laws of Louisiana

Most law librarians are aware of Louisiana’s unique and “different” legal system. But what does that mean for legal research, legal publishing, and collection development in the Pelican State?

This program will cover aspects of Louisiana legal research and collection development, including Louisiana’s small and specialized legal publishing industry, the importance of print resources in Louisiana legal research, and available primary and secondary sources. The program will be accompanied by a LibGuide to assist non-Louisiana law librarians in researching Louisiana legal issues and choosing Louisiana legal resources.

Speakers may include Louisiana law librarians, legal scholars, and representatives of university presses and other publishers of Louisiana law.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

LA Civil Code & Other Influences on Civil Law in Latin America

The Louisiana civil code has directly and significantly influenced civil law in Latin America. It is generally believed that Spanish language translations of a mid-nineteenth century digest of world civil codes served as the first introduction of the civil law in Latin America. The Louisiana civil code was included in this digest (along with the codes of France, Sicily, Piedmont, the Netherlands, Bavaria, Austria, and Prussia), and the Spanish translation of the digest would therefore have served as the very first Spanish translation of the Louisiana civil code.

Around the same time, Spain was beginning to draft its first civil code post-unification, which would not be enacted until 1889. The commentaries provided during the drafting of the Spanish civil code, many of which referred to the code already in place in Louisiana, also heavily influenced the development of the civil law in Latin American countries.

Latin American lawmakers turned to the Louisiana civil code not only because of the Spanish language translations and commentaries, but also because it was the first civil code to be drafted in the New World and could therefore serve as a model for Latin American countries that had been fighting for their own independence and that sought to express that independence through their own civil codes. Similarities between the Louisiana and French codes during this period were also significant, as the French code, which captured the spirit of post-Revolutionary France, had also captured the imagination of Latin America. As scholarship on Latin American civil law points out, the first Latin American codes were nearly word for word translations of the French civil code and its corresponding Louisiana code provisions, with departures only where the Latin American codes made reference to much older Spanish laws.

This program will explore the historical influences on Latin American civil law, which are invaluable in helping us to understand and research the modern laws. Speakers will consist of law librarians and civil law scholars who have researched extensively the development of Latin American civil law.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Recent Reforms in the French Law of Obligations

Adapted from a symposium recently held at the Louisiana Supreme Court, this panel will address recent reforms to the French Law of Obligations and what they mean both for France and for French-influenced jurisdictions like Louisiana. Speakers will discuss the need for reforms to adapt the law to modern economic and social environments and to make French law more attractive to international markets. Specific changes to the law, as well as how they are playing out in practice, will be discussed in detail depending upon the available speakers’ expertise. We will round out the panel with a brief discussion of how the reforms in France could eventually affect the law of Louisiana and of other French-influenced jurisdictions.

Speakers would include scholars of French law, Louisiana law, and potential additional jurisdictions’ law, depending on availability. This program could be condensed into a short form program and/or proposed as a half workshop or symposium.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Through the Codes Darkly: Slave Law and Civil Law in Louisiana

In his 2012 book, “Through the Codes Darkly: Slave Law and Civil Law in Louisiana” (https://www.lawbookexchange.com/pages/books/59912/vernon-valentine-palmer/through-the-codes-darkly-slave-law-and-civil-law-in-louisiana), Tulane Law Professor Vernon Palmer challenged the prevailing argument that Louisiana’s slave laws were more permissive or protective than those of the other states. The differences between Louisiana’s slave laws and those of the other states have been attributed largely to the alleged adoption of ancient Roman slave laws during the drafting of Louisiana’s Code Noir, or “Black Code.” Because the Romans owned slaves of all races, some scholars have argued that the Roman laws were “color-blind” and that their incorporation into the Code Noir laid the groundwork for a more permissive body of slave law in the French territories. These scholars contrast the civil slave laws to the body of case law that developed to govern slavery in the other states, and argue that, while the common law developed specifically within a racial system, the civil law did not develop from the intent to oppress any particular race.

In “Through the Codes Darkly,” Palmer breaks with the earlier scholarship claiming that the Code Noir was based on Roman law. He instead relies on archival research, examining the Code Noir drafters’ backgrounds, the instructions they received from France, and the notes they generated during the course of their work. Palmer argues that the Code Noir was in fact based on the drafters’ own experiences in the New World, and that the Roman slave laws, which would have been largely irrelevant to slavery in the Americas, did not, in fact, form the substantive basis of the Code Noir. In breaking with Romanist scholarship, Palmer owns that the drafters of the Code Noir created a “profoundly racial document embodying the prejudices of their own white supremacist society.”

This program would explore Palmer’s trailblazing research into the law of slavery in Louisiana. The speaker would ideally be Professor Palmer himself, although other local law professors would also be qualified to speak on this topic if Professor Palmer were not available.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis


French, Spanish, African and Jewish influences in US Law

New Orleans and Louisiana in general with its rich city and legal history is the perfect set for this panel. Legal experts and historical experts will shed some light on the French, Spanish, African and Jewish influences which might have been present and even created in Louisiana or New Orleans and then made it to US law.

Potential speakers include historical and legal experts on the topic, local history expert, and a local legal history expert or just legal history expert.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Legal information from U.S. Territories

Legal information from and on the current U.S. territories is a nightmare to find. Most major commercial vendors do not include this information and local institutions do not have the resources to digitize and make this information more accessible. What should we do?

Potential speakers include law librarians from different U.S. territories, law librarian specializing in this area, perhaps a government/court librarian from the territories.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Is Google Translate the only option?

The legal document or any material you are working on has a few sentences on Spanish, Estonian, Swahili or Vietnamese. What do you do? If you’re under some pressing time constraints locating and hiring a translator might not be an option. Is Google Translate the only and best option we have? Are there any other options out there either free or not?

Potential speakers include: a FCIL librarian with experience using materials in foreign languages, a certified legal translator, a rep from Google Translate or someone working in one of the other translation sites or apps such as Linguee or Lingvo.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Introducing…Lesley Dingle as the August 2019 FCIL Member of the Month

2019.08 Lesley

1. Where did you grow up?

I was born in Mutare Zimbabwe but grew up in the small remote town of George, Western Cape, South Africa.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

I trained to be a teacher and librarian, and then trained as a lawyer. I was ultimately able to combine these interests.

3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?

In 1997 when I was appointed to the Squire Law Library at Cambridge, having previously managed the Law Library at City University, London. I came to the Squire Library having trained in a foreign jurisdiction (mixed Roman Dutch and Common Law), and therefore had a foreign, international perspective.

4. Who is your current employer? How long have you worked there?

University of Cambridge. 22 years

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

Afrikaans, Flemish. Working knowledge of German and French.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

Founding and developing the Cambridge Eminent Scholars Archive. During this time I’ve had the privilege of interviewing many international lawyers/jurists.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

White bread and jam

8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?

Cheikh  Lô with Youssou N’Dour – Set

9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?

To be able to play the violin well.

10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without?

Some form of exercise.  Swimming, cycling or walking.

11. Anything else you would like to share with us?

I greatly value my ties with colleagues world-wide. I have made wonderful friends through FCIL activities, both home and abroad.   Similarly, my research in the course of compiling the ESA has brought home to me the variety of adversities and amazing contingencies that direct the course of most people’s careers.

 

AALL 2019 Recap: FCIL Advanced Bootcamp

By Meredith Capps

Whilst the morning sessions of the 2019 AALL FCIL “bootcamp” covered broad, general categories of law (foreign, treaty, European Union), with a focus on research in these areas, the afternoon sessions examined several substantive areas of law: international trade, international taxation, and international anti-bribery/corruption law.

PreConferenceWorkshop

All the speakers of the morning and afternoon sessions of the FCIL Bootcamp Pre-Conference Workshop at AALL 2019. From left to right: Heather Casey, Georgetown University Law Library; Prof. Heidi Frostestad Kuehl, Northern Illinois University School of Law; Prof. Jennifer Hillman, Georgetown University Law Center; Mabel Shaw, Georgetown University Law Library; Prof. Lilian Faulhaber, Georgetown University Law Center; and Charles Bjork, Georgetown University Law Library.

In “The International Trade Law System Under Fire,” Jennifer Hillman, a professor of practice at Georgetown Law Center and former WTO appellate body member, described the three major areas of international trade:  1) trade in goods, 2) trade in services, and 3) foreign direct investment.  In the area of goods, manufacturing dominates, and trade in goods is traditionally governed by common tariff schedules, organized around type and origin of good.  Trade in services, Hillman explained, is more complicated, as there are no tariffs, and data is difficult to gather. Services cross borders in a number of ways, including individuals crossing borders to utilize or provide a service, or service providers establishing a commercial presence in another jurisdiction.  Foreign direct investment often follows the movement of goods and services.

Both domestic and international law, including a few key conventions, govern international trade:

  1. Convention on the International Sale of Goods.
  2. Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs)
  3. GATT/WTO frameworks
  4. Intellectual property treaties
  5. Hundreds of regional and bilateral trade agreements

Hillman described the GATT/WTO system in some detail, including key legal principles such as national treatment and most favored nation, and its active dispute resolution system.  She noted that the WTO often coordinates efforts with other international standard-setting organizations, such as the IMF and WIPO.

Hillman went on to review the Trump administration’s major initiatives with respect to trade, why they represent significant departures from prior policy, and their likely illegality under international law.  She discussed the current system’s failures, but emphasized that the world economy is now too interconnected to depart from a rules-based system of trade.

Next, Lilian V. Faulhaber, also of Georgetown, discussed digital taxation, i.e. efforts to tax the “digital economy.”  Traditionally, the nation where an entity is headquartered or maintains a physical presence taxed corporate income/revenue, and “transfer pricing” accounted for the value of tangible assets.  Intangible assets such as data are difficult to value, and the existing tax system does not well account for the realities of this current economy.  Some see efforts to tax the digital economy as targeting profitable U.S. corporations, and indeed, some such taxes are named after the likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Faulhaber described initial international efforts to address the digital economy, the Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS) Project (2013-2015), and Tax Force on the Digital Economy (TDFE).  Feeling that these efforts have not gone far enough, nations including the UK, Australia, India, and France have enacted domestic legislation designed to tax entities that may not have a physical presence in their borders, but derive income from sales or services in the country.  The U.S. has also responded to concerns that intangibles are being inappropriately valued with the “GILTI” a worldwide minimum tax of about 15%, applied to global intangible low tax income, and the “BEAT” tax on related party payments.  These provide a disincentive for U.S. corporations to move offshore to low tax jurisdictions such as Ireland.

The OECD digital tax work program is currently examining coordinated solutions including a user contribution tax, marketing intangible tax, and “significant economic presence” test, and is targeting consensus in 2020.  The most effective OECD measures, Faulhaber says, are those that reward nations who opt in to the system.  Faulhaber predicts that we will not return to the traditional model of taxation, but is unsure whether cooperation or unilateral measures will predominate.

Finally, Heidi-Frostestad Kuehl of NIU College of Law discussed international anti-corruption and anti-bribery frameworks and resources.  She noted that corruption and bribery implicate several other areas of law, including labor, ethics, environment, torts, contracts, human rights and criminal law.  Several persistent issues underlie corrupt practices including poverty, slavery, and global supply chain forces.  Major domestic laws governing corruption include the U.S.’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which has established the U.S. as a leader in anti-bribery enforcement, and the more recent UK Bribery Act.  Challenges in developing national enforcement frameworks include investigative scope, language, cultural differences, whistleblower protection, privacy and data protection laws, labor protections, ethical rules, non-disclosure agreement standards, undeveloped case law, mens rea standards, the role of judiciary, and the regulatory environment.  OECD and UN conventions provide international frameworks, but these do not have the same hard law effects as domestic legislation.

Kuehl then described several useful research tools, beginning with the Global Compliance website, which organizes content by jurisdiction, Transparency International, and the Stanford University FCPA siteOECD country reports on implementation of the OECD anti-bribery convention are another useful tool.  Domestically, researchers may turn to the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission sites listing enforcement actions.  Kuehl recommends researchers begin by searching for relevant treaties, then implementing national legislation, national regulations and judicial decisions, and relevant cultural norms.

New FCIL Librarian Series: Advice to Prospective FCIL Librarians from a (Still) New FCIL Librarian

Reis - DipLawMatic Dialogues Post 6 Photo (002)

My time as the New FCIL Librarian blogger went by quickly, but I’m eager to see what year 2 brings!

By Sarah Reis

This is the sixth and final post in a series of posts about adjusting to my new position as a foreign and international law librarian. I started my position at the Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in February 2018.

During my first full academic year as a Foreign & International Law Librarian, I experienced many “firsts.” Although I still consider myself as a new FCIL librarian, I wanted to use my last post in this series to offer advice and encouragement for anyone considering becoming an FCIL librarian.

#1: Learn from Others

The FCIL library community is generous with sharing knowledge and expertise:

  • Consider attending webinars and/or conference programs pertaining to FCIL research to learn from more experienced FCIL librarians.
  • Read FCIL-related blog posts and articles. When I was preparing to apply for this job, I consulted Lyonette Louis-Jacques’ So You Want to Be a Foreign Librarian article on Slaw, Jessica Pierucci’s New FCIL Librarian Series on this blog, and other posts collected by KnowItAALL.
  • Sign up for listservs like INT-Law and IALL to connect with other librarians around the world.
  • Don’t feel shy about contacting other FCIL librarians for assistance. Earlier this year, I reached out to Alex Zhang (editor of the Foreign Law Guide’s China guide) to get her thoughts on a database we didn’t subscribe to and to confirm whether my findings for a Chinese law research project seemed comprehensive based on the resources I had consulted.

In addition to learning from other FCIL librarians, get to know and learn from the international students at your law school. Several international LLM students enrolled in my FCIL research course. My favorite class session was when each of them discussed how they conduct legal research in their home countries. We covered South Korea, Brazil, Nigeria, China, and the Dominican Republic.

#2: Familiarize Yourself with the Collection

Familiarize yourself with your library’s collection of print and electronic resources. One of the most helpful projects I’ve worked on was conducting a survey comparing the FCIL databases our library subscribed to with databases our peer law libraries subscribed to. This project allowed me to explore and evaluate our subscription resources and identify databases to add to our collection. Another useful project was weeding our international reference print collection.

#3: Welcome New Opportunities, but Recognize Limitations

Many librarians have a hard time saying “no.” I am admittedly one of those, but I have at least figured out how I can say “yes” while still ensuring that I do not over-commit myself. A few months into the job, I was asked whether I would like to take over as director of the International Team Project program. I accepted the position, but chose to defer serving as a faculty advisor for one of the ITP courses until a future academic year. I knew I would have my hands already full in Spring 2019 with teaching my FCIL research course for the first time. I am glad I did not over-commit by squeezing the ITP course into my schedule and am now looking forward to serving as a faculty advisor for ITP Greece next spring.

#4: Take Advantage of Existing Teaching Resources, but Adopt Your Own Style

Teaching an FCIL research class for the first time was the most anxiety-provoking, yet ultimately rewarding, experience from my first year as an FCIL librarian.

If you are very new to teaching and have the opportunity to co-teach your first semester with a more experienced librarian, take it! My FCIL research class was scheduled for Spring 2019 and would be the first time I would ever teach a class on my own, so I co-taught an Advanced Legal Research class with one of my colleagues, Clare Willis, in Fall 2018. I learned so much from Clare during that semester and transferred what I learned over to when I taught the FCIL research class on my own in the spring. Several students in my FCIL research class expressed appreciation for the clear rubrics accompanying each assignment so they never felt tricked and knew exactly what my expectations were. Credit goes to Clare and my other colleagues, Jamie and Jesse, for perfecting the rubrics we use in our ALR classes, which I adapted and used for my assignments in my FCIL research class.

Observing my colleagues’ effective teaching styles during the fall helped me feel more at ease in front of my own class in the spring. Each of my FCIL research class sessions included an in-class exercise (or several small exercises), but I actively looked for ways to turn the “lecture” portion of the class into more of a discussion to facilitate engagement, thanks to Clare’s advice. Nothing is more effective in piquing the interest of a class as having one of the students rave about how useful a resource is based on their own experience!

To assist with designing an FCIL research-focused class, the teachers’ manual for Heidi Kuehl & Megan O’Brien’s International Legal Research in a Global Community, Don Ford’s teaching survey on FCIL Advanced Legal Research prepared for the Big Ten Academic Alliance Law Libraries meeting, and materials in the FCIL-SIS Syllabi & Course Materials Database were all extremely helpful. I consulted these resources for inspiration and guidance, but developed my own assignment hypos, PowerPoint slides, and materials to fit my own style.

#5: Have Fun!

I really enjoyed my first year as an FCIL librarian and look forward to what is to come, especially now that the first year (which everyone always says is the hardest) is over. I hope to continue crossing off other “firsts” from my list in the near future, such as attending the IALL conference and writing a book chapter. Researching foreign and international law is challenging AND fun. Don’t be intimidated!

AALL 2019 Recap: Let’s Get Experiential! Creating Strategic Partnerships to Develop Experiential Simulation Courses

By Meredith Capps

Experiential.jpg

On Monday, July 15th at 11:00 a.m., Alyson Drake moderated the session, “Let’s Get Experiential! Creating Strategic Partnerships to Develop Experiential Simulation Courses.”  Drake first provided an overview of the ABA Simulation Course Requirements in Standards 303 and 304, focusing on the requirement that courses provide “substantial experience…reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer.”  Drake explained that since the practice of skills is central to a simulation course, research courses might well meet these criteria, as most lawyers conduct complex, analytical research in practice.  Firm and court librarians can assist academic librarians in designing their experiential courses by identifying common research difficulties their practitioner patrons encounter.

Presenter Ryan Methany of the LA Law library noted that most of his attorney patrons begin their research with a keyword search; rarely do these researchers begin by using a secondary source.  To address this deficiency, Methany teaches a course several times a year for new attorneys highlighting six to eight beneficial secondary sources.  He finds that employment law provides a particularly suitable subject area for these sessions as there are many excellent secondary publications covering the area, and the fact patterns are accessible to practitioners of all backgrounds.  During his course, Methany provides a hypothetical research problem, and allows time for attorneys to review secondary sources and describe their findings.  Methany said that many attorneys still use print materials, and that since attorneys typically better understand the differences between resources when viewing them in print format, he does encourage them to use secondary sources in print.  He also emphasizes the price of secondary sources to highlight their value.

Methany also finds that attorneys often hurry through their research, and fail to engage in “deep reading” or thoughtful analysis of their findings.  To address this, in his research course he identifies an issue that is difficult to research using a keyword search, providing attendees 10-15 minutes to initially research the question in Westlaw or Lexis.  He then directs them to use a secondary source such as a treatise, and asks them to reflect on which approach was more effective.  He emphasizes using annotations and digests, rather than relying solely on keyword searches.  Methany recommends that in a training setting, librarians ask attendees to research the same question using several different methods (ex. for cases–keyword searching, starting with a statute, using Key Numbers, and using a secondary source).

Presenter Morgan Wood of Holland and Knight finds that attorneys rely heavily on Westlaw and Lexis, to the detriment of other sources, and she encourages new attorneys to explore free resources such as court and agency websites, as well as specialized resources such as Cheetah.  Though some attorneys maintain print collections in their offices, the firm prefers to acquire electronic versions of resources when available so that they are accessible to attorneys in multiple offices. Like Methany, when training attorneys she provides a hypothetical research problem, but asks them to use a free or low cost research tool (in the example she provided, Casemaker) to initially research the problem.  She finds that incoming attorneys are comfortable using Google, but as a result are not accustomed to searching with terms and connectors.  They tend to construct either too broad or too specific a search, and they struggle to narrow their search results effectively.  To address this, she provides attorneys a problem for which she knows there to be a defined set of relevant results, and then encourages them to narrow their findings to those results.  She finds that summer associates most often ask for assistance with very simple research tasks other than researching cases, so she provides them exercises that require tasks such as locating 50 state surveys, locating a statute and legislative history, and searching for parties in litigation.

Attendees then reviewed the hypotheticals research problems provided by the presenters and discussed ideas for additional hypothetical exercises.

 

FCIL Program Ideas in 2020 IdeaScale, Week Two

By Susan Gualtier

New Orleans Balcony Decorated for Mardi Gras Season

Dear FCIL Colleagues:

Happy Monday once again! I hope that you’ve been thinking about New Orleans as much as I have. The humidity in the Northeast has certainly helped to keep it at the forefront of my mind! I just unearthed some Mardi Gras beads while unpacking in my new house (everyone who’s lived in Louisiana has that one box of beads that they keep moving from place to place), and I can’t wait to wear them at the conference next year!

Each Monday from now through August 16, DipLawMatic Dialogues will bring you an update on all of the FCIL-related program ideas currently posted in IdeaScale to encourage you to “up-vote” these programs. For more on why up-voting is important, see here.

We also encourage you to submit your own program ideas to IdeaScale.  We need your ideas as much as your votes!!  You can do this anonymously if you like.  If you have questions, comments, concerns, or calls for help, please reach out to me (sgua@law.upenn.edu) and/or Dennis Sears (searsd@law.byu.edu).  As co-Chairs of the FCIL-SIS Education Committee, it is our job to encourage and support you in developing ideas and program proposals in anticipation of next year’s meeting.

In the meantime, please go check out and vote for these amazing program suggestions!

Tips Tools & Techniques for Environmental Law Research

We don’t do as many research subject specific programs as in past. Why not take advantage of local expertise for an introductory to intermediate level program on how to research / tools for environmental law research?

See Tulane Law School https://law.tulane.edu/centers/environment

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Tools Tips & Techniques in Admiralty & Maritime Law

We aren’t doing as many legal research specific programs as in past. Why not take advantage of our location in New Orleans and the local expertise in admiralty and maritime law?

See Tulane Law School https://law.tulane.edu/academics/maritime

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Screening of Documentary “Change the Subject” With Panel

“Change the Subject” is a recent documentary, about the students and librarians who have been fighting to change the Library of Congress subject heading from “Illegal Aliens” to something less pejorative, such as “undocumented people.” The struggle to change this heading even caught the attention of Congress, who until then had never taken an interest in LC subject headings that anyone could recall.

You can read more and view a trailer here: https://sites.dartmouth.edu/changethesubject/. The filmmakers are excited and available to come screen the film and then answers questions during a panel session. Panel would also include law librarians involved in this struggle.

BOK Content Area:  Professionalism & Leadership at Every Level

How Codes are Made: Creating Laws in Civil Jurisdictions

Is there a difference between a code and a set of statutes? How does the process of codification differ between common law and civilian jurisdictions? What roles do legislatures and law reform bodies play? This panel will help librarians to understand the role that codes play in civilian and mixed jurisdictions and how and whether it differs from that of the “codes” that most of us would recognize as codified statutes. The panel will explore how codes are constructed in a variety of jurisdictions.

Speakers will include law faculty and drafters from Louisiana, as well as from or familiar with similar jurisdictions, such as Quebec, Scotland, and South Africa.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Is it Napoleonic? Foreign/Domestic Influences on LA Civil Code

Interpreting and researching modern civil law depends upon an understanding of the historical sources from which those laws evolved. People often say that Louisiana uses the Napoleonic Code, but is that true? Louisiana has been both a French and Spanish colony, and it has been a part of the American legal system for over 200 years; it has also been influenced by Roman Law, Greek Law, Canon Law, and the Germanic Civil Law tradition.

This panel will help librarians understand the legal system of Louisiana, how the Louisiana Civil Code is drafted, and how the Civil Code operates within Louisiana’s mixed, partially common law jurisdiction. It will explore the relationship between codes, statutes, and cases, and how primary and secondary authority are defined and developed within Louisiana’s unique legal system. The panel will also cover elements of Louisiana legal research, including Louisiana’s unique legal publishing industry, the importance of print resources in Louisiana legal research, and available historical treatises and primary sources. The program will be accompanied by a LibGuide to assist non-Louisiana law librarians in researching Louisiana legal issues.

Speakers may include Louisiana law librarians, Louisiana law faculty, and members of the Louisiana State Law Institute (LSLI).

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Researching, Publishing, and Collecting the Laws of Louisiana

Most law librarians are aware of Louisiana’s unique and “different” legal system. But what does that mean for legal research, legal publishing, and collection development in the Pelican State?

This program will cover aspects of Louisiana legal research and collection development, including Louisiana’s small and specialized legal publishing industry, the importance of print resources in Louisiana legal research, and available primary and secondary sources. The program will be accompanied by a LibGuide to assist non-Louisiana law librarians in researching Louisiana legal issues and choosing Louisiana legal resources.

Speakers may include Louisiana law librarians, legal scholars, and representatives of university presses and other publishers of Louisiana law.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

LA Civil Code & Other Influences on Civil Law in Latin America

The Louisiana civil code has directly and significantly influenced civil law in Latin America. It is generally believed that Spanish language translations of a mid-nineteenth century digest of world civil codes served as the first introduction of the civil law in Latin America. The Louisiana civil code was included in this digest (along with the codes of France, Sicily, Piedmont, the Netherlands, Bavaria, Austria, and Prussia), and the Spanish translation of the digest would therefore have served as the very first Spanish translation of the Louisiana civil code.

Around the same time, Spain was beginning to draft its first civil code post-unification, which would not be enacted until 1889. The commentaries provided during the drafting of the Spanish civil code, many of which referred to the code already in place in Louisiana, also heavily influenced the development of the civil law in Latin American countries.

Latin American lawmakers turned to the Louisiana civil code not only because of the Spanish language translations and commentaries, but also because it was the first civil code to be drafted in the New World and could therefore serve as a model for Latin American countries that had been fighting for their own independence and that sought to express that independence through their own civil codes. Similarities between the Louisiana and French codes during this period were also significant, as the French code, which captured the spirit of post-Revolutionary France, had also captured the imagination of Latin America. As scholarship on Latin American civil law points out, the first Latin American codes were nearly word for word translations of the French civil code and its corresponding Louisiana code provisions, with departures only where the Latin American codes made reference to much older Spanish laws.

This program will explore the historical influences on Latin American civil law, which are invaluable in helping us to understand and research the modern laws. Speakers will consist of law librarians and civil law scholars who have researched extensively the development of Latin American civil law.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Recent Reforms in the French Law of Obligations

Adapted from a symposium recently held at the Louisiana Supreme Court, this panel will address recent reforms to the French Law of Obligations and what they mean both for France and for French-influenced jurisdictions like Louisiana. Speakers will discuss the need for reforms to adapt the law to modern economic and social environments and to make French law more attractive to international markets. Specific changes to the law, as well as how they are playing out in practice, will be discussed in detail depending upon the available speakers’ expertise. We will round out the panel with a brief discussion of how the reforms in France could eventually affect the law of Louisiana and of other French-influenced jurisdictions.

Speakers would include scholars of French law, Louisiana law, and potential additional jurisdictions’ law, depending on availability. This program could be condensed into a short form program and/or proposed as a half workshop or symposium.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Through the Codes Darkly: Slave Law and Civil Law in Louisiana

In his 2012 book, “Through the Codes Darkly: Slave Law and Civil Law in Louisiana” (https://www.lawbookexchange.com/pages/books/59912/vernon-valentine-palmer/through-the-codes-darkly-slave-law-and-civil-law-in-louisiana), Tulane Law Professor Vernon Palmer challenged the prevailing argument that Louisiana’s slave laws were more permissive or protective than those of the other states. The differences between Louisiana’s slave laws and those of the other states have been attributed largely to the alleged adoption of ancient Roman slave laws during the drafting of Louisiana’s Code Noir, or “Black Code.” Because the Romans owned slaves of all races, some scholars have argued that the Roman laws were “color-blind” and that their incorporation into the Code Noir laid the groundwork for a more permissive body of slave law in the French territories. These scholars contrast the civil slave laws to the body of case law that developed to govern slavery in the other states, and argue that, while the common law developed specifically within a racial system, the civil law did not develop from the intent to oppress any particular race.

In “Through the Codes Darkly,” Palmer breaks with the earlier scholarship claiming that the Code Noir was based on Roman law. He instead relies on archival research, examining the Code Noir drafters’ backgrounds, the instructions they received from France, and the notes they generated during the course of their work. Palmer argues that the Code Noir was in fact based on the drafters’ own experiences in the New World, and that the Roman slave laws, which would have been largely irrelevant to slavery in the Americas, did not, in fact, form the substantive basis of the Code Noir. In breaking with Romanist scholarship, Palmer owns that the drafters of the Code Noir created a “profoundly racial document embodying the prejudices of their own white supremacist society.”

This program would explore Palmer’s trailblazing research into the law of slavery in Louisiana. The speaker would ideally be Professor Palmer himself, although other local law professors would also be qualified to speak on this topic if Professor Palmer were not available.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis


French, Spanish, African and Jewish influences in US Law

New Orleans and Louisiana in general with its rich city and legal history is the perfect set for this panel. Legal experts and historical experts will shed some light on the French, Spanish, African and Jewish influences which might have been present and even created in Louisiana or New Orleans and then made it to US law.

Potential speakers include historical and legal experts on the topic, local history expert, and a local legal history expert or just legal history expert.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Legal information from U.S. Territories

Legal information from and on the current U.S. territories is a nightmare to find. Most major commercial vendors do not include this information and local institutions do not have the resources to digitize and make this information more accessible. What should we do?

Potential speakers include law librarians from different U.S. territories, law librarian specializing in this area, perhaps a government/court librarian from the territories.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

Is Google Translate the only option?

The legal document or any material you are working on has a few sentences on Spanish, Estonian, Swahili or Vietnamese. What do you do? If you’re under some pressing time constraints locating and hiring a translator might not be an option. Is Google Translate the only and best option we have? Are there any other options out there either free or not?

Potential speakers include: a FCIL librarian with experience using materials in foreign languages, a certified legal translator, a rep from Google Translate or someone working in one of the other translation sites or apps such as Linguee or Lingvo.

BOK Content Area:  Research & Analysis

2019-2020 Call for Bloggers

volunteerIt’s that time of year, again, FCIL friends–when I, along with my new co-editor Jessica Pierucci, start soliciting for volunteers for DipLawMatic Dialogues for the 2019-2020 academic year.  We have a few bloggers committed to do posts, but to offer weekly content, we need lots of volunteers to be willing to write about their experiences in FCIL librarianship and the topics that interest them.

But, Alyson, why should I take the time to fit this into my already busy schedule?

  • You LOVE the FCIL-SIS and want to contribute in any way you can!
  • You’re an avid reader of DipLawMatic Dialogues and haven’t written a post yet–or it’s been a while since you have.  Your unique voices will be a great addition to our content!
  • You just read a great FCIL-related book, or you just like to write book reviews.
  • You want to boost your CV with some writing.
  • You want to get your name out there–to both your librarian colleagues, as well as to your law school’s administration/faculty.
  • You have an interest in a topic we haven’t covered yet that you can share with the SIS.
  • You’re new to the FCIL-SIS and want to start getting involved.
  • You love to write.

But, Alyson, what would I possibly write about?

  • Did you get an interesting FCIL reference question recently?  Write a post on how you handled it.  Amy Flick is coming back to do the From the Reference Desk column every other month, and we’d love to have a groups of bloggers agree to do one From the Reference Desk column so we can have this series each month.
  • We’d love to have most posts for our new Collection Spotlights series.  Tell us what’s special about the FCIL holdings in your library!
  • Are you teaching an FCIL class? You could write about one cool assignment or aspect of the course that you’re particularly excited about.  We used to have an FCIL Research monthly post, but haven’t had anyone volunteer for that in a while.
  • We love book reviews.  Here are some recent titles spanning a variety of topics you could review for us:
    • Samantha Besson and Jean d’Aspremont (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Sources of International Law (2017): http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/law/9780198745365.001.0001/law-9780198745365
    • Sandra Fredman, Comparative Human Rights Law (2019): https://global.oup.com/academic/product/comparative-human-rights-law-9780199689415
    • Rosalyn Higgins, Philippa Webb, Dapo Akande, Sandesh Sivakumaran, James Sloan, Oppenheim’s International Law: United Nations (2017): http://opil.ouplaw.com/view/10.1093/law/9780198808312.001.0001/law-9780198808312
    • Orna Ben-Naftali, Michael Sfard, and Hedi Viterbo, The ABC of the OPT (2018).
    • The Impact of Climate Change Mitigation on Indigenous and Forest Communities: International, National, and Local Law Perspectivse on REDD+ (2017).
    • L.D. Yanev, Theories of Co-Perpetration in International Criminal Law (2018).
    • Southwell et al, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Law and Practice (2018).
    • Heieck, A Duty to Prevent Genocide: Due Diligence Obligations Among the P5 (2018).
    • Gozzi, Rights and Civilizations: A History and Philosophy of International Law (2019).
    • Stuart & Roginska-Green, Sixty Years of EU State Aid Law and Policy: Analysis and Assessment (2018).
    • Yi-chong & Weller, The Working World of International Organizations: Authority, Capacity, Legitimacy (2018).
  • Are you a librarian in a non-academic setting?  We’d love to hear more about FCIL librarians’ work in firm and government libraries.
  • We’ve had a request to do a blog post on how to analyze an FCIL collection, particularly on the use of data in that analysis.  Other topics of interest include collection development, cataloging FCIL materials, acquisitions work, and special collections projects.
  • Is there an FCIL resource you just LOVE to use? Tell us about why it’s so great.
  • Issues posts are always really popular.  Are you passionate about international environment law, human rights law, British law, Roman law, customary international law?  Write a basic primer on getting started with research in those areas.
  • Just about anything else you might be interested in writing about!

Contact Alyson Drake, co-editor of DipLawMatic Dialogues, at alyson.drake@ttu.edu to volunteer for any of the above. We’ll set a date for sometime in the fall or spring for your post.