Amicus Briefs - News from the Alexander Campbell King Law Library  
January 2003
 
In This Issue

 
Law Library Renovation: 
the Continuing Saga

Spring semester will bring the most visible and exciting changes in the long ordeal of the law library renovation.  First will be new custom-made reference desk, circulation desk, and computer carrels from the premier maker of library furniture in the country, Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers.  The new furniture is made of cherry wood, which grows richer and more beautiful as it ages. To quote from Thos. Moser: Artistry in Wood:
The wood has a unique translucence, evoking a reflecting pool rather than a simple mirror. The auburn hues reside not only on the surface, but also inside, and they are visible as such.  In my view, no wood can rival the depth and complexity of cherry�s color and figure....  I have found that, more than any other wood, cherry, when finished with rubbed oil and wax, invites people to touch it.
Thomas Moser started his business in 1972, leaving his position as a tenured college professor and risking the security of his wife and four children to follow his passion for working with wood.  From a 200 square foot shop with one assistant, Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers has grown to a 65,000 square foot facility with 65 skilled crafts people supplying furniture to showrooms in Maine (where the company is located), New York, Chicago, Charleston, and San Francisco. The company makes furniture for homes and offices as well as libraries. Take a look at the web site for more detail:  http://www.thosmoser.com/

The circulation and reference desks and computer carrels arrived in early January and are  already installed as you read this newsletter. Study tables and chairs will come later, we hope by spring break. Students will be happy to know the study chairs have been significantly changed in response to the comments received during fall semester. The seat covering has been modified so that it will not "grab."  Most importantly, the arms of the chair (which was the single biggest complaint) have been lengthened and widened and angles have been smoothed to give the chair a more welcoming feel. The new study tables, some of which seat four people and some six people, will have task lighting and power outlets for laptops. We hope the overall effect will be to make the reading room both beautiful and hospitable for many generations of law students to come.

 

CCH Research Online
Many of us have developed the habit of using Westlaw and/or Lexis and occasionally Google for our online research needs. We often forget or overlook that there are a wealth of other online legal research databases which can provide much valuable research information.

Practitioners who work in specialized areas such as labor, tax or securities law often rely on looseleaf services, such as CCH or BNA, to stay current in their subject speciality as well as for legal research. Most law firms, however, no longer subscribe to the paper versions of looseleaf services. Instead, online subscriptions provide firm-wide access to information previously available in only looseleaf format.

Online looseleaf services provide many advantages over the traditional paper format. First, the online service can be easily shared among attorneys. Attorneys no longer have to roam the halls of the law firm seeking a missing volume of a looseleaf set.

Second, the online service is available 24 hours per day and from any geographic location with Internet service. Attorneys can search for legal information from the courthouse or their beach vacation home. Physical location is no longer a barrier to legal research.

Finally and foremost, the information is always current and accurate. As you may know, paper looseleaf services are manually updated by library staff discarding outdated pages and replacing them with current pages. Not only is this method subject to human error, but a substantial amount of time elapses between the printing of the pages, shipping to a law firm and the manual updating process. Online services are updated instantly and accurately. The attorney who uses online services definitely has an edge over the attorney who relies on paper looseleaf services!

Two of the most popular specialized areas for looseleaf research are tax and securities. The UGA Law Library subscribes to two CCH databases which cover these subject areas: CCH Internet Tax Research Network and CCH Business and Finance Research Network. These two databases are available both on-campus and off-campus to the Law School community and are very simple to use.

Retrieving Information with a Specific Citation
It is especially easy to retrieve information if you have a specific citation. Literally on the top of the screen is a button labeled CITATION SEARCH. If you choose this option, a screen will display filled with various templates that you can complete. For example, in the tax materials, there are fill-in-the-blank templates for CCH ¶, IRC §, Reg §, Tax Court Rule, I.R.B., Revenue Ruling, and many, many more. All you have to do is fill in the blank and click search.

Retrieving Information with a Search
If you do not have a specific citation to retrieve, you may also search using relevant keywords and boolean logic. The first step in searching is to choose which databases you wish to search. This is easily accomplished by marking the checkbox next to the database name. Once you have selected a database, you are ready to formulate a search. Just as with Westlaw and Lexis, you can use connectors such as and, or, etc. You can also use proximity connectors such as w/20 or w/10 (you can substitute any number for the number of words within which you want to limit your terms to appear). Phrases are searched as they are typed (no need for quotation marks).

If you'd like more help getting started with CCH, online help is easily available from the CCH introductory screen. There is a button clearly marked HELP. However, the interface is so simple, most likely you will be able to perform basic functions with no assistance whatsoever. If you'd like more information, please feel free to stop by the Reference Desk and we'll be happy to demo the databases for you.

 

Use GAVEL for 
Interlibrary Loan Requests

One of the new features of our upgraded online catalog, GAVEL, is the ability to request materials via Interlibrary Loan.  If you are working from an online citation you can cut and paste title, author and other information from the citation to the online form. It�s easy to do and you donï't have to be in the library to do it! 
  • go to GAVEL on the web at: http://gavel.law.uga.edu/
  • or from the Law Library's home page click on GAVEL catalog at the top of the menu bar on the left hand side of the screen
  • then click on Request an Interlibrary Loan at the top of the menu bar on the left hand side of the screen 
  • this will take you to a screen where you select the type of material you want to request. There are three choices:  book, journal article, or a chapter from a book
  • clicking on the type of material brings you to an online form
  • just fill this form in including your name and University ID number from your UGA card
  • click on the Submit button
  • library staff will check these requests and send you an email message confirming receipt of your submission
We encourage you all to give this a try the next time you need to request something through Interlibrary Loan.
 
 
Law Library Hours
The Law Library's regular hours are:

Monday - Tuesday 7:30am - Midnight
Saturday - Sunday 8:00am - Midnight

Over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Holiday weekend, the Law Library's hours are:

Saturday, January 18 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday, January 19 CLOSED
Monday, January 20 6:00 p.m. - Midnight

Regular hours resume on Tuesday, January 21.
View the Law Library's hours for the entire school year at http://www.law.uga.edu/library/hours.html.