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Charles B. Sears Law Library SUNY Buffalo Law School

Law Library News

Welcome to the Law Library!

Posted on: | by Nancy Babb | No Comments

Welcome to Fall 2014 at the Charles B. Sears Law Library!

Our regular hours of operation are now:

Monday-Thursday: open 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Friday: open 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: open 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: open 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Visit for more details.

We can be reached via email at (website questions) or (reference questions) or via chat to Law Librarian Chat or AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) ublawref (selected hours only).   We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Scanning at the Law Library

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |

Library View

Change is coming to all University at Buffalo Libraries—including the Law Library

On Monday, August 4, all public photocopiers and James reader/encoders will disappear from all of our Libraries.  That same day, scanning will be our new and only way of doing business – it’s free and green! The scanners will provide searchable-PDFs, Text-to-Voice, and other format options. They will also allow scans to be sent directly to the cloud, USB flash drives, or your email.

If you have questions or a copy card with a remaining balance, please see a librarian. Non-UB affiliated patrons, please note that the copier card reader at the printer will be removed–please plan to make alternate arrangements for printing.


Who You Calling Friend?

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |


I have often claimed that I make friends wherever I go. Since that’s not really always true, I find it immensely reassuring to know that there is one place I can go where I’ll be identified as a “friend.” No, it’s not a certain bar in Boston where everyone knows my name—it’s a bar of a different sort.

There’s a lot to be said for the Supreme Court, home of the Highest Court in the Land and where its justices can look forward to a bobbleheaded future. It even has the ability to turn adversaries into friends. How? By identifying them as such, of course.

In a distinct shift from the Rehnquist Court of yesteryear, in the Roberts Court, you’re far more likely to hear lawyers from either side using the word “friend” instead of “opponent” when addressing each other or Justices making reference to “your friend.” There are a couple reasons for this. One being that the D.C. bar is a small, small world,  where it’s pretty likely that those lawyers facing off are actually friends or at least know each other. Another could be the Chief Justice’s desire to adjust the tone of oral arguments. Some might find that reason to be a bit faux . Granted, it could be a play right out of Mean Girls  to call your adversary your friend, but it appears to be catching on with Justices Kennedy and Scalia hopping on the bandwagon. However, both Justice Alito and Justice Sotomayor are firmly in the camp of not letting fetch—I mean friend—happen. To that I say, Justices Alito and Sotomayor, why can’t we be friends?

Have Flag, Will Claim

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |


All I have to say after skimming the news this Tuesday morning is that I clearly was not loved enough as a child. Back in the day when I announced my intentions to become a princess, all I got was laughter. But when seven year old Emily Heaton wanted to become a princess, her father tracked down a disputed tract of land and claimed it for his own kingdom.  Yep you heard me. One little girl in Virginia indicated her desire to become a princess and within a year her father kinda sorta made it happen.

Now all you international law people out there know that there’s more to creating a kingdom or country than following the Eddie Izzard method of country claiming. So before you go off trying to earn your #1 Mom or Dad titles, you might want to pop on over to the Law Library to check out some of our international law sources to make sure you cross those t’s and dot those i’s before establishing your dynasty. Might I suggest consulting the Encyclopedia of Public International Law  (it’s only available on site) or one of our international law study aids (such as Murphy’s Principles of International Law)? As one quoted expert pointed out,  diplomatic recognition is kind of a big deal and should probably be worked out before one goes ordering new letterhead. In other news, I’m currently working on my own flag so I can claim the reference area as my own fiefdom and become the Empress of All Knowledge.

Duking It Out

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |


I will admit to a slight obsession with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge since the royal wedding, but just as there is one fictional lawyer for me (who you can now take to the beach in ebook form—thanks, Harper!) there is only one Duke. Do I need to give you three guesses, Pilgrim? Obviously I’m talking about Marion Robert Morrison, better known as John Wayne. Fun fact—John Wayne starred in the “print the legend” masterpiece, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,  which contains my second favorite fictional lawyer, Ransom Stoddard. So when I hear that certain institution of higher learning is putting its dukes up against the legend who brought Sean Thornton and Rooster Cogburn to life, its’ going to catch my attention.

Duke University and John Wayne Enterprises—Wayne passed in 1979, but his heirs are keeping up the legacy—have been squaring off over the word “Duke” for years now. (Back in ’05, the University objected to the heirs’ trademark application to use the name Duke for a restaurant.) Now the University is objecting to John Wayne Enterprises’ plans to expand into the bourbon market.  The heirs have taken the University to court, arguing, “Duke University does not own the word ‘Duke’ in all contexts for all purposes.”

Them’s clearly fightin’ words. I’m not sure how this one is going to shake out, but I am fairly certain that you don’t want to mess with the Duke.

Not Just a Thruway Exit (Historic unveiling of Declaration of Equalities for Muslim Women – Saturday, July 19, 2014)

Posted on: | by Nina Cascio |
Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, Seneca Falls. Courtesy National Park Service

Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, Seneca Falls. Courtesy National Park Service

Did you ever drive by Exit 41 on the NYS Thruway, and say to yourself, “hmmm…someday I should stop and visit the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls”? Well, this month is a great time to act! Upstate NY is at its summer best, and you can witness history in the making.

Seneca Falls is considered by many to be the birthplace of the women’s rights movement. In commemoration of the first Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls in July 1848, an annual “Convention Days” celebration takes place at the Park.

This year, on Saturday July 19th, the celebration will unveil and open for signature the Declaration of Equalities For Muslim Women, inspired by the Declaration of Sentiments created by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others in 1848.

SUNY Buffalo’s adjunct law professor Nadia Shahram, the law students in her class, and others have contributed to this first draft of the Declaration of Equalities for Muslim Women.

You are invited to the celebration, to attend any of the events, and to explore this National Historic Park.

Useful Links:

Convention Days Schedule (July 18-20, 2014)

Background: Declaration of Equalities for Muslim Women!equality/c13w1

2014 Declaration of Equalities for Muslim Women (full text)

Sign the Declaration Petition Online (or in person on July 19th)

1848 Declaration of Sentiments (text and signers)

Story of Women’s Rights (at Seneca Falls)

Locate Books on Women and Islam (click on any title, type in your zip code to find a local library with the book)

Driving Directions to Women’s Rights National Historic Park (Seneca Falls, NY)

New Faces at the Law Library

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |

Brian and Peggy

Please join the Charles B. Sears Law Library staff as we welcome Brian Detweiler and Peggy Lyons as the Student Services Team.

Brian is the law library’s Student Services Librarian.  He holds a JD from Notre Dame Law School and an MLS from UB’s Library School. He has worked as an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Rochester and, most recently, as the Faculty Services Librarian at St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio, TX.  Brian will develop and coordinate programs and services to enrich the law school experience and transition into overseeing the Passport Office.

Peggy holds an MLS from UB and worked for UB’s Department of Visual Studies and, most recently, for the Department of Urology. Peggy will be staffing our Passport Services Office, will work on projects in partnership with the Student Services Librarian, and will work at the circulation desk.

CRS Reports on HeinOnline

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |

Selected Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports are now available on Hein through three of the HeinOnline Libraries:

  • Taxation & Economic Reform in America Parts I& II contains CRS Reports on Taxation (1978-2013) and CRS Reports on Economic Reform (1982-2013)
  • History of Bankruptcy: Taxation & Economic Reform in America Part III contains CRS Reports on Bankruptcy (1984-2013)
  • US Congressional Documents contains all of the above CRS Reports