Duly Noted — June/July 2008
Items listed in Duly Noted include a sampling of recently received books, reports and documents. Most items listed are available for circulation with the exception of some reference materials. All items listed in Duly Noted are temporarily housed behind the circulation desk. If you are interested in checking any of these items out, please contact us. If you are registered borrower with the library, we can have your selections ready for pick-up at the circulation desk. If you are not already registered with us, you will first need to come by the circulation desk with a Texas photo ID to register. Read the library use policy.
The library can provide photocopies or scans of sections of these publications as part of our document delivery service. When checking out, non-state employees are subject to a $1.00 circulation fee per item.
The library also has a variety of other resources to meet your research needs. Please let us know how we may assist you.
Topics in this issue include…
The law of adoption
by Margaret Jasper
— Oceana, 2008.
KF 545 Z9 J37
This is a good primer on adoption laws. While not an in-depth treatment, this books covers the basic points of the adoption process. It explains the types of adoptions available, including the costs and some of the resources available to mitigate those costs. It covers adoption procedures, including the home study, placement and finalization. Issues regarding consent and termination of parental rights are addressed, as well as information on who may adopt and who may be adopted. Post-adoption issues, including contact agreements, access to records and inheritance rights, are discussed as well. There is also a chapter on international adoption. The book includes a glossary of adoption terms and several appendices, including state adoption statutes, directory of state adoption information web sites and a table of allowable adoption expenses, to name a few. RH
Restoring the right to vote
by Erika Wood
— Brennan Center for Justice, 2008.
KF 4891 W66
Erika Wood of the Brennan Center for Justice presents this brief argument against criminal disenfranchisement laws in the United States. Tracing the history of disenfranchisement since Jim Crow laws, Ms. Wood contends that the current laws serve no purpose and in fact run counter to the American ideal of universal suffrage. The paper concludes with recommendations for policy changes to restore democratic opportunity for released felons.
Available electronically: http://brennan.3cdn.net/8782cc82daf02b9431_29m6ibzbu.pdf
Civil legal assistance for all Americans
by Jeanne Charn
— Harvard Law School, 2005.
KF 8841 C5
This proposal, published by the Bellows-Sacks Access to Civil Legal Services Project, outlines the difficulties that people without legal representation face and ways in which these problems can be overcome. The authors suggest specific policies to increase access to legal representation and democracy, such as expanding eligibility to include moderate- and low-income people, increasing services by incorporating paraprofessionals, and contracting with the state bar to facilitate providing services. A critical analysis of assumptions about access to legal services leads to a description of an ideal legal service delivery system, which in turn is discussed in terms of potential challenges to such as system's design and implementation.
Available electronically: http://www.courts.ca.gov/xbcr/partners/bellow-sacks.pdf
American Bar Association legal guide to home renovation
by American Bar Association
— Random House Reference, 2006.
KF 902 A46
This book provides information to assist homeowners with the legal aspects behind home renovation. Topics include planning a renovation, choosing a contractor, negotiating the contract, permits and licenses, resolving disputes, and ways to work with a lawyer.
Texas courts: a survey: cases and materials
by Alex Albright
— Imprimatur Press, 2011.
KFT 8816 A42
Written by a University of Texas Law School faculty member, this text provides law students with a comprehensive view of many aspects of Texas civil proceedings. Topics covered include jurisdiction, venue, pleadings, evidence, summary judgment, verdicts, judgments, motions for new trial, appeals, discovery, privileges, expert witnesses, complex litigation, settlements and the jury. Most chapters begin with an introductory discussion of the topic and end with answers to questions that students are likely to ask.
Access to justice: opening the courthouse door
by David Udell
— Brennan Center for Justice, 2007.
KF 4764 U34
In this white paper, the authors argue that the gap between America's promise of equal justice and the reality of that justice is substantial and growing. The chief areas of concern are meaningful access to the courts with representation by counsel, the ability to physically enter court and understand and participate in the proceedings, and the opportunity to have claims heard. The authors attribute these shortfalls in these areas to, among other causes: the insufficient number and ineffectiveness of lawyers who represent low-income people, insurmountable barriers to court buildings and procedures for those with physical or psychiatric disabilities, inadequate language translation services, and an increased reliance on alternative dispute resolution, which places judicial review out of reach for an increasing number of people.
Available electronically: http://www.brennancenter.org/publication/access-justice-opening-courthouse-door
Immigration and nationality law handbook
by American Immigration Lawyers Association
— American Immigration Lawyers Association
KF 4819 A41
This handbook contains over 60 articles on a broad range of advanced immigration law topics. Written by leaders in the field, these articles provide "how-to" advice and analysis on subjects such as temporary visas, labor certification, family immigration, asylum, law office management, ethics, citizenship and naturalization, litigation, judicial review and consular processing. AT 07 edition
Available electronically: http://ezproxy.sll.texas.gov:2048/login?url=http://ailalink.aila.org/#documents/24825
Asylum primer: a practical guide to U.S. asylum law and procedure
by Regina Germain
— American Immigration Lawyers Association, 2015.
KF 4836 G47
The number of asylum seekers in this country is growing, as are the complexities and challenges to receiving asylum status. Because many asylum seekers have fled to this country with few resources, this area of law has a great need for lawyers wanting do more pro bono work. This publication is a comprehensive procedural guide for the attorney working through a claim. Practical aspects of the publication include checklists for each stage of the application process and sample forms and many practice tips. Additionally, a chapter is devoted to other forms of relief, should the asylum claim be denied.
Available electronically: http://ezproxy.sll.texas.gov:2048/login?url=http://ailalink.aila.org/#documents/24048
Judges and Judicial Conduct
Blinking on the bench: how judges decide cases
by Chris Guthrie
— Vanderbilt University, 2007.
KF 8775 G88
This article attempts to determine how judges make decisions by demonstrating that neither of the two current models, formalist and realist, is accurate. Instead, the authors make a case for what they call the "intuitive-override" model of judging. Basing their conclusions on contemporary psychological research and their empirical evidence, they posit "that judges generally make intuitive decisions but sometimes override their intuition with deliberation." Their model differs from other studies of judicial decision-making in that they study trial judges rather than appellate judges and identify judicial accuracy, not judicial activism, as the most challenging issue facing the courts.RH
Available electronically: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1026414
Fair courts: setting recusal standards
by James Sample
— Brennan Center for Justice, 2008.
KF 8861 S24
The public is increasingly skeptical that the courts are independent and impartial forums. Judicial appointments are often perceived as a reward for political loyalty, while campaign contributions from special interest groups can be percieved as buying an elected judge. The authors of this paper discuss the problems of public confidence in the courts and the problems with the existing recusal system. They offer 10 proposals "to strengthen the fairness and legitimacy of state recusal systems." Retired Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Thomas R. Phillips, contributed the Forward to the paper.
Available electronically: http://brennan.3cdn.net/1afc0474a5a53df4d0_7tm6brjhd.pdf
Rational judicial behavior: a statistical study
by William Landes
— University of Chicago School of Law, 2008.
KF 8775 L36
This paper analyzes the connection between judicial voting records and ideology, using a large sample of court of appeals cases decided since 1925, and Supreme Court cases decided since 1937. The analysis takes into account the ideological classifications of votes (e.g., liberal or conservative), the party of the appointing President, the relative number of Republican and Democratic Senators at the time of the judge's confirmation, the appointment year, characteristics of the judge (e.g., gender, race and prior experience), and the ideological profile of the judges on the court in which the judge sits, as measured by the relative number of judges appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents. AT
Available electronically: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1126403
How judges think
by Richard Posner
— Harvard University Press, 2008.
KF 8775 P67
Posner, an appellate court judge and prolific writer, seeks to shed some light on the judicial decision-making at the appellate court levels, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Posner notes that "judges are reticent to talk about judging." This cloaking of the process preserves the "aura of professionalism," but it does not add to the legal profession or public's trust of the judicial branch. Nor does it allow judges to critically analyze the decision-making process. Posner describes various intellectual approaches to judging and the strengths and weaknesses of each. Posner seems to conclude that as much as judges want to believe they base their decisions on legal theory alone, they are a product of their own personal and political leanings.
Legal Research and Writing
Dictionary of legal terms: a simplified guide to the language of law
by Steven H. Gifis
— Barron's Educational Series, 2008.
REF KF 156 G53 2008
Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms is a reference volume aimed at the non-lawyer. Clear and concise definitions make this a solid basic resource for those without a legal background. Words in definitions that are defined elsewhere in the dictionary are featured in bold type. Similar terms, examples of usage, and terms under the main entry's umbrella are often listed for further clarification for the user.
Homeowners association and you: the ultimate guide to harmonious community living
by Marlene M. Coleman
— Sphinx Publishing, 2006.
KF 576 C65
This book discusses how homeowners associations work from the point of view of both a homeowner and a member of the board of directors. Topics covered include community living, the structure of an association, conflict resolution, financial management, communication and procedure for meetings. This book includes a glossary of terms, sample letters, forms and checklists to assist the running of an association.
Texas property tax system
by Charles E. Gilliland
— Texas A&M Real Estate Center, 2006.
KFT 6525 G5
Charles E. Gilliland has written a number of publications and articles in his work at Texas A&M University's Real Estate Center. In this publication, he presents a brief but thorough explanation of Texas's property tax system. He provides an overview that lists all the governmental entities involved in the tax system as well as their functions. Separate chapters are devoted to property owner's rights, market value concepts and appraisal principles. He then provides an explanation of each phase of the implementation of the tax, giving the reader an authoritative and concise guide to this much discussed tax system.
Texas legal malpractice & lawyer discipline: a guide to the liability and discipline of Texas lawyers
by Charles Herring
— American Lawyer Media, 1991.
REF DESK KFT 1289 H4
This text discusses legal malpractice and lawyer liability in Texas. It provides a guide to the provisions of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and to the procedures that govern lawyer discipline. It also discusses obligations that arise from the Texas Lawyer's Creed and how to enforce them, and its appendices present the text of the most important rules, codes and statutes affecting Texas lawyers.RH '08 edition
Lawsuit climate 2008: ranking the states
by U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
— U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, 2008.
Ref KF 1301 L38
The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform conducted the 2008 State Liability Systems Ranking Study from a national sample of in-house general counsel and other senior corporate litigators in order to explore and quantify how reasonable and balanced they perceive the tort liability system to be. Each year all 50 states are ranked by those familiar with the litigation environment in each state. Respondents were asked to judge the states in the following areas: creation and enforcement of meaningful venue requirements; overall treatment of tort and contract litigation; treatment of class action suits and mass consolidation suits; punitive damages; timeliness of summary judgment or dismissal; discovery; scientific and technical evidence; non-economic damages; judges' impartiality and competence; and juries' predictability and fairness. AT
Available electronically: http://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/uploads/sites/1/LawsuitClimateReport.pdf