Law Libraries

Tennessee Supreme Court’s shuttering of its three state law libraries

State Supreme Court to close 3 libraries: Some high-level belt-tightening will result in the Tennessee Supreme Court’s shuttering of its three state law libraries, including its Middle Division library in Nashville, effective Dec. 21.

The high court’s ruling is effective Dec. 31. and is part of the judicial system’s budget-cutting process. Besides the Nashville library location closure, the court is also closing its libraries in Knoxville and Jackson.

The three law libraries combined house about 125,000 volumes and material on CD ROM. The Nashville location also has a computer lab.

PACER’s 20th Anniversary

The federal PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system — the electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from U.S. appellate, district and bankruptcy courts, and to search via the U.S. Party/Case Index — is 20 years old.

Story at Legal Research Plus which links to The Third Branch: Newsletter of the Federal Courts

Law library's skeleton can't go near the windows after complaints from a mom

Maggie Baxtor pointed the way to sad news, Flexible Fred is dead. The 5-foot-tall, 200-bone plastic skeleton slumps on his roller stand in a corner of the Delaware County Law Library. Taped to his clavicle is a sign that reads: "We have had a neighbor complain that Flexible Fred is scaring her children. Please do NOT put him near any windows." For many people, a skeleton either is or represents "the visible remains of a human being," Olson said. "It raises interesting issues."

Are Librarians Training Lawyers and Law Students in the Use of Alternatives to LexisNexis and Westlaw?

Do law librarians regularly use PreCYdent, PLoL and/or AltLaw? Do law librarians train their patrons in the use of PreCYdent, PLoL and/or AltLaw in a manner similar to Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw training?

I've split the questions into two spheres for this poll: academic law librarians (and legal research and writing profs) and all other law librarians because the former are responsible for training the latter's future patrons. You can take Law Librarian Blog's poll here:

State Supreme Court Bans Sitting Justice From Filing His Dissent

From the Law Librarian Blog: The Mississippi Supreme Court ordered one of its sitting justices not to publish his dissent with the Court's majority decision. Apparently the Court stopped its court clerk from filing Justice Oliver Diaz's opinion into the record.

The dissent is available via the Internet. You can read more here.

A Standard is a Standard is a Standard Unless It's Not Enforced By the ABA

Harvard Law School's appointment of John Palfrey as the new law library director does not comply with ABA's Accreditation Standard 603(c) (Director of the Law Library). Details at

Living with myself as a law firm librarian has an interesting post Living with myself as a law firm librarian Morgan writes:

This leads back to my initial dilemma – what happens if I am indirectly helping a client do things which conflict with my personal values? Well I'll still do my best for that client. This is when I need to trust in the system and hope that the lawyers (and law librarians, if any are involved) on the other side do their best job, and that the judge or jury get it right, and that eventually a fairer outcome is reached. As a law firm librarian, I don't just work for lawyers (directly) and clients (indirectly), both of these things are a part of working for the legal system.

Law libraries ‘a waste of space?’

Wonder why the Worcester Law Library was shut out of the plans for the new courthouse complex in Worcester? As we wrote in an item in this week’s hearsay, court spokespeople refuse to explain why the law library has been the sole tenant of the otherwise abandoned “old” Worcester courthouse for eight months, despite promises last year that a lease was in the works for a new space.

Article continued here.

In Memoriam: Professor Roy M. Mersky, 1925–2008

Professor Roy M. Mersky, the Harry M. Reasoner Regents Chair in Law and longtime director of the Tarlton Law Library and Jamail Center for Legal Research at The University of Texas School of Law, died May 6, 2008 in Austin after a brief illness. Mersky, a decorated World War II veteran and civil rights advocate, was 82.

Paragraph above is from University Texas at Austin website. There is additional information there you will want to look at.

More on the passing of Professor Roy Mersky . . .
at the Legal Writing Prof Blog

UT Law Librarian Roy M. Mersky, Dead at 82

During his 40-plus years, Professor Mersky developed the University of Texas law library into one of the preeminent research facilities in the nation, a legacy few achieve. Details on Law Librarian Blog at


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