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Charles B. Sears Law Library SUNY Buffalo Law School

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Why Thomas Jefferson is Never the Way to Go

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George | No Comments


Can we talk? Perhaps it’s the passing of Joan Rivers that has made it so apparent, but there have been a lot of fashion faux pas going on these days in court. Oh who am I kidding? We’ve definitely been here before as evidenced here and here. Based off of these most recent instances, here is a handy Do and Do Not list for attorney attire.

  • Do Not wear your pajamas to court: York, PA has apparently been having some issues with proper attire and decorum in court. District Judge Ronald J. Haskell Jr. is on the case. Should you find yourself in York, please mind the signage concerning pajamas and undergarments.
  • Do wear socks: Indiana attorney Todd Glickfield doesn’t like to wear socks. Too bad for him that Blackford Circuit Judge Dean A. Young takes a harsher stance than Judge Haskell. Glickfield showed up in Judge Young’s courtroom without socks and would best not do so again. Why? Judge Young issued a court order. Pro Tip: if you hate socks that much, it’s probably better to let down the hem on your pants than challenge a judge to provide “applicable ‘orders or other legal authority’” on the issue.
  • Do Not dress as Thomas Jefferson and think that it will solve your problems: Now this rule has nothing to do with my oft vocalized classification of TJ as my least favorite Founding Father, even though he is the worst. Attorney Ira Dennis Hawver faced the Kansas Supreme Court to answer disciplinary findings that he provided ineffective counsel to a client who was sentenced to death. (A prior disciplinary hearing resulted in the recommendation to disbar Hawver.) How exactly does Jefferson fit into this? Well, Hawver decided to dress up as Jefferson—powdered wig, hose, and all—to remind the court of his constitutional rights in the hope they would be protected.

Seeing as how it is Constitution Day—sidebar: Happy Constitution Day!—it would be remiss if I didn’t point out that when trying to remind a court about anything regarding the Constitution, it’s probably better to strive for a Madison ensemble seeing as how he is not only the Father of the Constitution, but, you know, was actually there during the Convention.

Help Haven House!

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George | No Comments

Library View

SUNY Buffalo Law Domestic Violence and International Women’s Rights Clinic is partnering with the Charles B. Sears Law Library to offer much needed supplies to Haven House, a local shelter for survivors of domestic violence.

What we need: Packages of new socks and underwear in all sizes (adult and children) for both men and women

Where can you donate: Donations can be dropped off at:

  • the Law Library (box is to the immediate right when you enter the Law Library)
  • the Clinic Office (room 507 O’Brian)

Thank you in advance for your generosity. Donations will be accepted until October 31.

Pin Your Hometown!

Posted on: | by Brian Detweiler | No Comments

The next time you find yourself on the 7th floor, head to the wall opposite the stairwell to check out our new map display. And while you are there be sure to pin your hometown! The pushpins are color-coded by class year and we have separate maps for international students, out-of-state students, and native New Yorkers.


We Missed You! (Really, We Did)

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |

Library View

Did you miss your favorite Law Library over the summer? Of course you did. While we’ve been pining away for your arrival on the first day of classes, we were also keeping busy. Here’s a quick recap of things that are new or have changed since you’ve been gone.

We have a new Student Services Team: Brian Detweiler and Peggy Lyons joined us over the summer break. Brian will be the Student Services Librarian and will develop and coordinate programs and services to enrich the law school experience. Peggy is staffing the Passport Services Office and will assist Brian with various projects.

We have a new scanner: Libraries across UB have gone green, replacing our photocopiers with scanners. 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 balance still on it, please see a librarian.

We have amended Reference Hours: Reference librarians are still available Monday through Thursday, 9am–9pm; Friday and Saturday 9am–5pm; and by appointment. If you have reference questions on Sunday, please email

Other than that, it’s business as usual here at the Charles B. Sears Law Library. Welcome back and here’s to another great year!

Law Library holiday hours

Posted on: | by Nancy Babb |

In observance of Labor Day, the Law Library will be closed this weekend (Saturday-Sunday, 8/30-8/31) and on Monday (9/1).  The Library will re-open on Tuesday, 9/2, at 7:30 a.m.



Welcome to the Law Library!

Posted on: | by Nancy Babb |

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.