Category Archives: Uncategorized

Oct 10
8:59 AM

Bluebook Copyright War


The Bluebook is scheduled to release the 20th edition in 2015. Some in the legal field are wondering if anyone will purchase it. has made available online the 10th edition of The Bluebook, published in 1958. This comes after NYU Law Professor Christopher Sprigman sent a letter on behalf of to the Harvard Law Review Association, claiming the 10th edition is in the public domain because the copyright was never renewed.

The dispute between and Harvard Law Review has been escalating for some time. Now is investigating the copyright status of the 19th edition, questioning whether the content of The Bluebook is copyrightable. Harvard continues to protect its turf fiercely, but it remains to be seen what the end result will be.


Oct 8
11:58 AM

US Supreme Court begins October session with revamped website

SCOTUS began the October 2014 term on Monday. On the calendar this session are cases involving gerrymandering, campaign finance and voting laws. Its updated website should make it easier for users to access information on those cases and others.

The revamped homepage looks similar to its predecessor. However, the new tabbed menu at the top makes the site easier to navigate. Additionally, the calendar provides useful information at a glance, including a list of cases before the court on argument days and links to dockets. Scroll down for a list of transcripts and audio from the most recent oral arguments.


Sep 30
10:04 AM

What? This IS my file management system!

scenario-01-03Are you a 2L or 3L writing a law review comment or seminar paper? Do you wish you had a better system for storing your sources?

Come to WH 2A at noon on Thursday to learn about electronic citation management systems in Tech Talk Episode 3: Formatting Academic Papers.

Free pizza!


Sep 29
11:58 AM

BP Lawyers Receive Reprimand for Skirting Formatting Rules

Lawyer 1: Dang, we’re six pages over the page limit for our memo
Lawyer 2: I’ve got it, all we need to do is decrease the margins and the line spacing!
Lawyer 1: Genius! I’ll bet NO ONE has ever thought of that before.

Judge:  -___-


In early September lawyers representing oil company BP filed a brief that skirted a 35-page limit by reducing line spacing in the brief to slightly less than double-spaced. U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier was not amused.  Judge Barbier reminded the parties that “[t]he Court should not have to waste its time policing such simple rules — particularly in a case as massive and complex as this. … Counsel’s tactic would not be appropriate for a college term paper. It certainly is not appropriate here.”

Think that’s the first time a lawyer has abused formatting requirements?

In Kano v. National Consumer Co-op Bank, 22 F.3d 899 (9th Cir. 1994) the court imposed a $1,500 sanction on the appellant’s attorney after finding the typeface in the appellant’s footnotes was much smaller than permitted by the rule, containing eight lines per inch instead of six.

In Varda Inc. v. Ins. Co. of North America, 45 F.3d 634 (2nd Cir. 1995). The court denied the winning side $1,000 in appellate costs because of its overlong footnotes (such awards are usually routine). The 50-page brief included 58 footnotes, many more than a page long. It would have totaled 70 pages if presented in standard format.

Formatting can be a pain in the rear end but it is an integral part of practicing law.  Come to the LRC Tech Talk this Thursday 10/2 at noon in WH 2A to learn more about formatting appellate briefs. 1Ls – get the jump on your spring semester LWR assignment. Free pizza!


Sep 25
1:31 PM

Let’s all go to the beach!



Specifically, let’s all go to Martin’s Beach in northern California  On Wednesday, a San Mateo Superior Court Judge restored public access to Martin’s Beach, a crescent-shaped inlet 5 miles south of Half Moon Bay.  Judge Barbara Mallach ruled against venture capitalist Vinod Khosla who was sued by the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation last year after he blocked the public from accessing the beach by padlocking a gate, security guards, and removing signage directing the public to the beach.  Mallach ruled that Khosla had wrongly denied public access to the beach, violating the California Coastal Act.

Read the decision here, Surfrider Foundation v. Martins Beach I and II, LLCs


Sep 24
2:34 PM

UN Climate Summit 2014

un climate summit

Yesterday the UN held a one-day Climate Summit to “raise political will and mobilize action” towards tangible climate outcomes.  Leaders from around the world announced actions that would be taking place in their countries.

  • Watch President Obama announce a new executive order requiring that federal agencies factor in environmental sustainability when they design new international development programs
  • See what other countries promised here
  • Download official statements from individual countries


Sep 17
4:52 PM

Wednesday, Sept. 17th is U.S. Constitution Day!

Constitituion CC the COM Library_1

On September 17, 1787, the final draft of the Constitution was signed by 39 delegates. The document was then sent to the states for ratification, and went into effect on June 21, 1788.

Celebrate Constitution Day with the Library of Congress and explore materials from across its collections.

Think you know about the Constitution?  Many people know that the first ten amendments constitute the Bill of Rights but do you know who serves as President if neither the President nor the Vice-President can serve? Test your Constitutional knowledge here with this quick 10 question quiz!


Sep 15
11:14 AM

Mind Mapping: An Alternative to Law Outlines?

mnd mapping torts thumbnail

What is a mind map?
A mind map, at the most basic level, is a diagram built around a single concept, with major and minor ideas branching out from the central theme.

How can you use mind maps for law school?
Mind maps can be helpful for breaking down the large areas of law into smaller, more manageable chunks.  Mind mapping can also help students better identify the structure of a subject by understanding the way that pieces of information fit together.

Come to the LRC Tech Talk this Thursday (9/18) at noon in WH2A.  Learn more about the theory behind mind mapping as well as how to use mind mapping software and apps. Free pizza!


Sep 12
11:07 AM