A law library is a special library used by law students, lawyers and their law clerks and other scholars of legal history in order to research the law. Law libraries are used by people who draft or advocate for new laws, e.g. legislators and others who work in state government, local government, legislative counsel offices or the U. S. Office of Law Revision Counsel and lobbying professionals. Self-represented litigants known as pro se litigants will use law libraries. A law library may contain print, computer assisted legal research, microform collections of laws in force, session laws, superseded laws and international law, other research resources, e.g. continuing legal education resources and legal encyclopedias, legal treatises, legal history. A law library may have law librarians who help legal researchers navigate law library collections and who teach legal research; some law libraries serve scholars from around the world, e.g. Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London and the New York City Bar Association Law Library.
Law libraries in the United States are classified as a type of special library because of their focus on providing specialized resources, as well as their specialized and limited user base. Most law schools around the world have a law library, or in some universities, at least a section of the university library devoted to law. In the United States, law school libraries may be subject to accreditation review by the American Bar Association Standards of Legal Education. Law libraries may be found in courts, prison libraries, government departments, private law firms, barristers chambers. Outside of the United States, the largest and most extensive law libraries are those found in countries that follow the English common law which spread throughout the world with the expansion of the British Empire; these countries include but are not limited to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Law libraries in these countries can be found in law schools, government, private law firms, barristers chambers; the largest law library in the United Kingdom is the Bodleian Law Library with a collection of over 550,000 volumes.
Outside of England, the largest law library in the Commonwealth of Nations is Osgoode Hall Law School's at York University in Canada, with more than 500,000 print volumes. The earliest common law law libraries were founded in the late 15th century in London and include Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn. Special collections of legal literature in university and research libraries in England include the Viner collection at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford; the largest law libraries in the world are found in the United States. The world's largest law library is the Law Library of Congress, which holds over 2.9 million volumes. The world's largest academic law library is the library of Harvard Law School, which holds over 2 million volumes. By way of contrast, the largest law library in the United Kingdom is the Bodleian Law Library with a collection of over 550,000 volumes. Broadly speaking, there are three categories of law libraries in the United States; every law school accredited by the American Bar Association houses a law library.
Public law libraries are available in many states in the local courthouses. Some larger law firms maintain a private library for their own attorneys, but many firms in college towns and larger cities with universities dispatch their attorneys to local law schools to do legal research. A typical law library holds a large number of works not seen in other libraries, including a full set of United States Reports, one or both of the unofficial U. S. Supreme Court reporters, the West National Reporter System, the West American Digest System, official reporters from various states, the Federal Register, volumes of American Jurisprudence, bound volumes containing issues of prominent law reviews from around the country and state statutes and regulations, a variety of treatises, looseleaf services, practice guides. Large law libraries may contain many additional materials covering topics such as: legal education and writing. Smaller law libraries hold, at a minimum, one unofficial Supreme Court reporter, selected West national reporters and digests specific to the state in which the library is located, the United States Code, a few state-specific reporters and statutory compilations, several state-specific treatises and practice guides.
Most academic law library websites contain legal research guidelines on numerous legal topics that are available to the public. In recent years, the advent of online legal research outlets such as FindLaw, LexisNexis, Bloomberg Law, HeinOnline has reduced the need for some ty
United States Reports
The United States Reports are the official record of the rulings, case tables, in alphabetical order both by the name of the petitioner and by the name of the respondent, other proceedings of the Supreme Court of the United States. United States Reports, once printed and bound, are the final version of court opinions and cannot be changed. Opinions of the court in each case are prepended with a headnote prepared by the Reporter of Decisions, any concurring or dissenting opinions are published sequentially; the Court's Publication Office oversees the binding and publication of the volumes of United States Reports, although the actual printing and publication are performed by private firms under contract with the United States Government Publishing Office. For lawyers, citations to United States Reports are the standard reference for Supreme Court decisions. Following The Bluebook, a accepted citation protocol, the case Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, for example, would be cited as: Brown v. Bd. of Educ.
347 U. S. 483. This citation indicates that the decision of the Court in the case entitled Brown v. Board of Education, as abbreviated in Bluebook style, was decided in 1954 and can be found in volume 347 of the United States Reports starting on page 483; the early volumes of the United States Reports were published by the individual Supreme Court Reporters. As was the practice in England, the reports were designated by the names of the reporters who compiled them: Dallas's Reports, Cranch's Reports, etc; the decisions appearing in the entire first volume and most of the second volume of United States Reports are not decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Instead, they are decisions from various Pennsylvania courts, dating from the colonial period and the first decade after Independence. Alexander Dallas, a lawyer and journalist, of Philadelphia, had been in the business of reporting these cases for newspapers and periodicals, he subsequently began compiling his case reports in a bound volume, which he called Reports of cases ruled and adjudged in the courts of Pennsylvania and since the Revolution.
This would come to be known as the first volume of Dallas Reports. When the United States Supreme Court, along with the rest of the new Federal Government moved, in 1791, from New York City to the nation's temporary capital in Philadelphia, Dallas was appointed the Supreme Court's first unofficial, unpaid, Supreme Court Reporter. Dallas continued to publish Pennsylvania decisions in a second volume of his Reports; when the Supreme Court began hearing cases, he added those cases to his reports, starting towards the end of the second volume, 2 Dallas Reports, with West v. Barnes. Dallas went on to publish a total of four volumes of decisions during his tenure as Reporter; when the Supreme Court moved to Washington, D. C. in 1800, Dallas remained in Philadelphia, William Cranch took over as unofficial reporter of decisions. In 1817, Congress made the Reporter of Decisions an official, salaried position, although the publication of the Reports remained a private enterprise for the reporter's personal gain.
The reports themselves were the subject of an early copyright case, Wheaton v. Peters, in which former reporter Henry Wheaton sued current reporter Richard Peters for reprinting cases from Wheaton's Reports in abridged form. In 1874, the U. S. government began creating the United States Reports. The earlier, private reports were retroactively numbered volumes 1–90 of the United States Reports, starting from the first volume of Dallas Reports. Therefore, decisions appearing in these early reports have dual citation forms: one for the volume number of the United States Reports. For example, the complete citation to McCulloch v. Maryland is 17 U. S. 316. Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States Lists of United States Supreme Court cases by volume National Reporter System United States Supreme Court: Information About Opinions United States Supreme Court: Bound Volumes – Lists of PDFs Torrents of United States Reports 502–550
Copyright is a legal right, existing in many countries, that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to determine whether, under what conditions, this original work may be used by others. This is only for a limited time. Copyright is one of two types of intellectual property rights, the other is industrial property rights; the exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright on ideas is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, not the underlying ideas themselves. Copyright is applicable to certain forms of creative work. Some, but not all jurisdictions require "fixing" copyrighted works in a tangible form, it is shared among multiple authors, each of whom holds a set of rights to use or license the work, who are referred to as rights holders. These rights include reproduction, control over derivative works, public performance, moral rights such as attribution. Copyrights can be granted by public law and are in that case considered "territorial rights".
This means that copyrights granted by the law of a certain state, do not extend beyond the territory of that specific jurisdiction. Copyrights of this type vary by country; the public law duration of a copyright expires 50 to 100 years after the creator dies, depending on the jurisdiction. Some countries require certain copyright formalities to establishing copyright, others recognize copyright in any completed work, without formal registration. Copyright is enforced as a civil matter, though some jurisdictions do apply criminal sanctions. Most jurisdictions recognize copyright limitations, allowing "fair" exceptions to the creator's exclusivity of copyright and giving users certain rights; the development of digital media and computer network technologies have prompted reinterpretation of these exceptions, introduced new difficulties in enforcing copyright, inspired additional challenges to the philosophical basis of copyright law. Businesses with great economic dependence upon copyright, such as those in the music business, have advocated the extension and expansion of copyright and sought additional legal and technological enforcement.
Copyright licenses can be granted by those deputized by the original claimant, private companies may request this as a condition of doing business with them. Services of internet platform providers like YouTube, GitHub, DropBox, WhatsApp or Twitter only can be used when users grant the platform provider beforehand the right to co-use all uploaded content, including all material exchanged per email, chat or cloud-storage; these copyrights only apply for the firm that operates such a platform, no matter in what jurisdiction the platform-services are being offered. Private companies in general do not recognize exceptions or give users more rights than the right to use the platform according certain rules. Copyright came about with wider literacy; as a legal concept, its origins in Britain were from a reaction to printers' monopolies at the beginning of the 18th century. The English Parliament was concerned about the unregulated copying of books and passed the Licensing of the Press Act 1662, which established a register of licensed books and required a copy to be deposited with the Stationers' Company continuing the licensing of material that had long been in effect.
Copyright laws allow products of creative human activities, such as literary and artistic production, to be preferentially exploited and thus incentivized. Different cultural attitudes, social organizations, economic models and legal frameworks are seen to account for why copyright emerged in Europe and not, for example, in Asia. In the Middle Ages in Europe, there was a lack of any concept of literary property due to the general relations of production, the specific organization of literary production and the role of culture in society; the latter refers to the tendency of oral societies, such as that of Europe in the medieval period, to view knowledge as the product and expression of the collective, rather than to see it as individual property. However, with copyright laws, intellectual production comes to be seen as a product of an individual, with attendant rights; the most significant point is that patent and copyright laws support the expansion of the range of creative human activities that can be commodified.
This parallels the ways in which capitalism led to the commodification of many aspects of social life that earlier had no monetary or economic value per se. Copyright has grown from a legal concept regulating copying rights in the publishing of books and maps to one with a significant effect on nearly every modern industry, covering such items as sound recordings, photographs and architectural works. Seen as the first real copyright law, the 1709 British Statute of Anne gave the publishers rights for a fixed period, after which the copyright expired; the act alluded to individual rights of the artist. It began, "Whereas Printers and other Persons, have of late taken the Liberty of Printing... Books, other Writings, without the Consent of the Authors... to their great Detriment, too to the Ruin of them and their Families:". A right to benefit financially from the work is articulated, court rulings and legislation have recognized a right to control the work, such as ensuring that the integrity of it is preserved.
The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable; the works of William Shakespeare and Beethoven, most early silent films, are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are dedicated by their authors to the public domain; the term public domain is not applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". As rights vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another; some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, gives rise to public-domain status for a work in that country.
The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". Although the term "domain" did not come into use until the mid-18th century, the concept "can be traced back to the ancient Roman Law, as a preset system included in the property right system." The Romans had a large proprietary rights system where they defined "many things that cannot be owned" as res nullius, res communes, res publicae and res universitatis. The term res nullius was defined as things not yet appropriated; the term res communes was defined as "things that could be enjoyed by mankind, such as air and ocean." The term res publicae referred to things that were shared by all citizens, the term res universitatis meant things that were owned by the municipalities of Rome. When looking at it from a historical perspective, one could say the construction of the idea of "public domain" sprouted from the concepts of res communes, res publicae, res universitatis in early Roman law.
When the first early copyright law was first established in Britain with the Statute of Anne in 1710, public domain did not appear. However, similar concepts were developed by French jurists in the 18th century. Instead of "public domain", they used terms such as publici juris or propriété publique to describe works that were not covered by copyright law; the phrase "fall in the public domain" can be traced to mid-19th century France to describe the end of copyright term. The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that, left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademarks, expire or are abandoned. In this historical context Paul Torremans describes copyright as a, "little coral reef of private right jutting up from the ocean of the public domain." Copyright law differs by country, the American legal scholar Pamela Samuelson has described the public domain as being "different sizes at different times in different countries".
Definitions of the boundaries of the public domain in relation to copyright, or intellectual property more regard the public domain as a negative space. According to James Boyle this definition underlines common usage of the term public domain and equates the public domain to public property and works in copyright to private property. However, the usage of the term public domain can be more granular, including for example uses of works in copyright permitted by copyright exceptions; such a definition regards work in copyright as private property subject to fair-use rights and limitation on ownership. A conceptual definition comes from Lange, who focused on what the public domain should be: "it should be a place of sanctuary for individual creative expression, a sanctuary conferring affirmative protection against the forces of private appropriation that threatened such expression". Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "here are certain materials – the air we breathe, rain, life, thoughts, ideas, numbers – not subject to private ownership.
The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival." The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". A public-domain book is a book with no copyright, a book, created without a license, or a book where its copyrights expired or have been forfeited. In most countries the term of protection of copyright lasts until January first, 70 years after the death of the latest living author; the longest copyright term is in Mexico, which has life plus 100 years for all deaths since July 1928. A notable exception is the United States, where every book and tale published prior to 1924 is in the public domain.
LexisNexis Group is a corporation providing computer-assisted legal research as well as business research and risk management services. During the 1970s, LexisNexis pioneered the electronic accessibility of legal and journalistic documents; as of 2006, the company has the world's largest electronic database for legal and public-records related information. LexisNexis is owned by RELX Group; the story of LexisNexis starts in western Pennsylvania in 1956, when attorney John Horty began to explore the use of CALR technology in support of his work on comparative hospital law at the University of Pittsburgh Health Law Center. In 1965, Horty's pioneering work inspired the Ohio State Bar Association to develop its own separate CALR system, Ohio Bar Automated Research. In 1967, the OSBA signed a contract with Data Corporation, a local defense contractor, to build OBAR based on the OSBA's written specifications. Data proceeded to implement OBAR on Data Central, an interactive full-text search system developed in 1964 as Recon Central to help U.
S. Air Force intelligence analysts search text summaries of the contents of aerial and satellite reconnaissance photographs. In 1968, paper manufacturer Mead Corporation purchased Data Corporation for $6 million to gain control of its inkjet printing technology. Mead hired the Arthur D. Little firm to study the business possibilities for the Data Central technology. Arthur D. Little dispatched a team of consultants to Ohio led by H. Donald Wilson. Mead asked for a practicing lawyer on the team, so the team included Jerome Rubin, a Harvard-trained attorney with 20 years of experience; the resulting study concluded that the nonlegal market was nonexistent, the legal market had potential, OBAR needed to be rebuilt to profitably exploit that market. At the time, OBAR searches took up to five hours to complete if more than one user was online, its original terminals were noisy Teletypes with slow transmission rates of 10 characters per second. OBAR had quality control issues. Wilson and Rubin were installed as president and vice president.
A year Mead bought out the OSBA's interests in the OBAR project, OBAR disappears from the historical record after that point. Wilson was reluctant to implement his own study's recommendation to abandon the OBAR/Data Central work to date and start over. In September 1971, Mead relegated Wilson to vice chairman of the board and elevated Rubin to president of MDC. Rubin promptly pushed the legacy Data Central technology back to Mead Corporation. Under a newly organized division, Mead Technical Laboratories, Data Central continued to operate as a service bureau for nonlegal applications until 1980. With that out of the way, Rubin hired a new team to build from scratch an new information service dedicated to legal research, he coined a new name: LEXIS, from “lex,” the Latin word for law, “IS” for “information service.” After several iterations, the original functional and performance specifications were finalized by Rubin and executive vice president Bob Bennett by the late summer of 1972. System designer Edward Gottsman supervised the implementation of the specifications as working computer code.
At the same time and Bennett orchestrated the necessary keyboarding of the legal materials to be provided through LEXIS, designed a business plan, marketing strategy, training program. MDC's corporate headquarters were moved to New York City, while the data center stayed in Dayton, Ohio. According to Trudi Bellardo Hahn and Charles P. Bourne, LEXIS was the first of the early information services to realize the vision of a future in which large populations of end users would directly interact with computer databases, rather than going through professional intermediaries like librarians. Other early information services in the 1970s crashed into financial and technological constraints and were forced to retreat to the professional intermediary model until the early 1990s. Rubin explained that they were trying “to crack the librarian barrier. Our goal was to get a LEXIS terminal on every lawyer’s desk.” To persuade American lawyers to use LEXIS, MDC targeted them with aggressive marketing and training campaigns.
On April 2, 1973, MDC publicly launched LEXIS at a press conference in New York City, with libraries of New York and Ohio case law as well as a separate library of federal tax materials. By the end of that year, the LEXIS database had reached two billion characters in size and had added the entire United States Code, as well as the United States Reports from 1938 through 1973. By 1974, LEXIS was running on an IBM 370/155 computer in Ohio supported by a set of IBM 3330 disk storage units which could store up to about 4 billion characters, its communications processor could handle 62 terminals with transmission speed at 120 characters per second per user. On this platform, LEXIS was able to execute over 90% of searches within less than five seconds. Over 100 text terminals had been deployed to various legal offices and there were over 4,000 trained LEXIS users. By 1975, the LEXIS database had grown to 5 billion characters and it could handle up to 200 terminals simultaneously. By 1976, the LEXIS database included case law from six states, plus various federal materials.
MDC turned a profit for the first time in 1977. In 1980, LEXIS completed
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives. NARA is responsible for maintaining and publishing the authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congress, presidential directives, federal regulations; the NARA transmits votes of the Electoral College to Congress. The Archivist of the United States is the chief official overseeing the operation of the National Archives and Records Administration; the Archivist not only maintains the official documentation of the passage of amendments to the U. S. Constitution by state legislatures, but has the authority to declare when the constitutional threshold for passage has been reached, therefore when an act has become an amendment; the Office of the Federal Register publishes the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, United States Statutes at Large, among others.
It administers the Electoral College. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission —the agency's grant-making arm—awards funds to state and local governments and private archives and universities, other nonprofit organizations to preserve and publish historical records. Since 1964, the NHPRC has awarded some 4,500 grants; the Office of Government Information Services is a Freedom of Information Act resource for the public and the government. Congress has charged NARA with reviewing FOIA policies and compliance of Federal agencies and to recommend changes to FOIA. NARA's mission includes resolving FOIA disputes between Federal agencies and requesters; each branch and agency of the U. S. government was responsible for maintaining its own documents, which resulted in the loss and destruction of records. Congress established the National Archives Establishment in 1934 to centralize federal record keeping, with the Archivist of the United States as chief administrator; the National Archives was incorporated with GSA in 1949.
The first Archivist, R. D. W. Connor, began serving in 1934; as a result of a first Hoover Commission recommendation, in 1949 the National Archives was placed within the newly formed General Services Administration. The Archivist served as a subordinate official to the GSA Administrator until the National Archives and Records Administration became an independent agency on April 1, 1985. In March 2006, it was revealed by the Archivist of the United States in a public hearing that a memorandum of understanding between NARA and various government agencies existed to "reclassify", i.e. withdraw from public access, certain documents in the name of national security, to do so in a manner such that researchers would not be to discover the process. An audit indicated that more than one third withdrawn since 1999 did not contain sensitive information; the program was scheduled to end in 2007. In 2010, Executive Order 13526 created the National Declassification Center to coordinate declassification practices across agencies, provide secure document services to other agencies, review records in NARA custody for declassification.
NARA's holdings are classed into "record groups" reflecting the governmental department or agency from which they originated. Records include paper documents, still pictures, motion pictures, electronic media. Archival descriptions of the permanent holdings of the federal government in the custody of NARA are stored in the National Archives Catalog; the archival descriptions include information on traditional paper holdings, electronic records, artifacts. As of December 2012, the catalog consisted of about 10 billion logical data records describing 527,000 artifacts and encompassing 81% of NARA's records. There are 922,000 digital copies of digitized materials. Most records at NARA are in the public domain, as works of the federal government are excluded from copyright protection. However, records from other sources may still be protected by donor agreements. Executive Order 13526 directs originating agencies to declassify documents if possible before shipment to NARA for long-term storage, but NARA stores some classified documents until they can be declassified.
Its Information Security Oversight Office monitors and sets policy for the U. S. government's security classification system. Many of NARA's most requested records are used for genealogy research; this includes census records from 1790 to 1940, ships' passenger lists, naturalization records. Archival Recovery Teams investigate the theft of records; the most well known facility of the National Archives and Records Administration is the National Archives Building, located north of the National Mall on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D. C.. A sister facility, known as the National Archives at College Park was opened 1994 near the University of Maryland, College Park; the Washington National Records Center located in the Washington, D. C. metropolitan area, is a large warehouse facility where federal records that are still under the control of the creating agency are stored. Federal government agencies pay a yearly fee for storage at the facility. In accordance with federal records schedules, documents at WNRC are transferred to the legal custody of the National Archives after a certain time.
Temporary records at WNRC are