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Legal Reference Service for Public Librarians in the Internet Era - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Legal Reference Service for Public Librarians in the Internet Era


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  1. To insert your company logo on this slide • From the Insert Menu • Select “Picture” • Locate your logo file • Click OK • To resize the logo • Click anywhere inside the logo. The boxes that appear outside the logo are known as “resize handles.” • Use these to resize the object. • If you hold down the shift key before using the resize handles, you will maintain the proportions of the object you wish to resize. Legal Reference Service for Public Librarians in the Internet Era A presentation for the Ohio Library Council regional meetings, Spring 2002 Jan Ryan Novak Director, Cleveland Law Library Association

  2. Caution: • Finding “the law” can be more complicated than it seems • Interpreting, applying are tasks for lawyers • Librarians help users find, evaluate legal information

  3. Common law marriage in Ohio Boyfriend moved in 15 yrs ago, etc., Passed away owning assets What is my share of his estate? Legal information Fact analysis - lawyer’s job! Legal advice - lawyer’s job! Legal Information vs. Legal Advice

  4. Basic Vocabulary • Authority • - Primary: cases, statutes, regulations, decisions of administrative bodies - The “raw law” • - Secondary: encyclopedias, treatises, articles, annotations, handbooks, loose-leaf services, etc

  5. Citations • 86 Ohio St. 3d 451 • ORC sec. 3109.11 • 24 U Dayton L. Rev. 513 (Spring 1999) • 2000 S 180, eff. 3-22-01 • 2000 wl 1706390

  6. Updating • Citation verification - Shepards and Keycite • Pocket parts, supplements • Note the currency of the resource used • Caution the user about subsequent events

  7. Jurisdiction • What law governs • Are there additional jurisdictions to consider • Define the jurisdictional coverage of sources used • When in doubt, find general coverage

  8. Vocabulary • Http://www.Nolo.Com/lawcenter/dictionary/wordindex.Cfm • Http://dictionary.Lp.Findlaw.Com/

  9. The Key: • Find someone who has done the work for you! • Precedent • Authority • Verification

  10. Portals Findlaw http://www.findlaw.com LexisONE http://lexisone.com Legal Information Institute http://www.law.cornell.edu

  11. Go Straight to the Horse’s Mouth: Primary Source Materials • Unannotated codes, regulations, rules • Recent cases, administrative rulings • Forms • Explanatory materials • Contacts

  12. Ohio Case Law: • Specific cases by citation • Specific cases when only some information is available • Cases on a subject • The “best case”

  13. Local Ohio Resources: • Local court web pages - dockets, opinions, faqs, forms, rules, guidelines • Municipal government resources - ordinances

  14. Secondary Resources • Remember the key: FIND SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE THE WORK FOR YOU! • Who is responsible for the site • What are the motives for posting the information

  15. Ohio Secondary Resources • Legislative Service Commission briefs • Ohio State Bar Association public resources • Local bar association, law firm public service resources

  16. General Secondary Resources • Nolo • LII • Findlaw • ABA