Amicus Briefs - News from the Alexander Campbell King Law Library  
February 2009
In This Issue
Civil Rights Digital Library  
Late Night at the Law Library? Get an Escort to Your Car!

Law Students:  When you leave the Law Library late at night, please be aware a guard will escort you to your parking place if you ask. There are two guards on duty each evening. One must stay in the building, but the other is free to provide an escort if you need one.

Law Library Partners with Civil Rights Digital Library

The Alexander Campbell King Law Library is proud to be a development partner for the Civil Rights Digital Library (, the most ambitious and comprehensive initiative to deliver educational content on the Civil Rights Movement via the web. The Civil Rights Digital Library brings together a striking variety of primary sources and teaching aids to help students and researchers connect with history.

From raw news footage of a press conference by civil rights attorneys Horace T. Ward and Donald Hollowell with Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes just before they started classes at UGA to the diaries of Freedom Summer volunteers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the CRDL invites viewers to watch and hear the Civil Rights movement as it enfolded.

Researchers interested in understanding the mood surrounding the Civil Rights Act of 1964 can access the July 2nd entry of Zoya Zeman's diary written from Mississippi:

President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill tonight …; everyone had sort of wanted it to come on the 4th …. About the reaction to the Bill:  everyone – no matter how illiterate or how young – was very aware of this political action.  Lafayette said, “I’m a free man!”  Pokie and others were surprised, almost, to hear Gov. Johnson urge businessmen not to comply until it has been “tested in the courts.
One of those tests in the courts was the Supreme Court case Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964). Links to online collections of the University of Texas Tarlton Law Library enable researchers to read the Heart of Atlanta docket sheet, bench memorandum, Justice Tom C. Clark's early drafts of the opinion, and letters from other Justices commenting on the drafts.

You are encouraged to do your own walk with history and use the browse functions to explore the people, place, topics, and events captured in the CRDL.

Expanded Foreign Law Database: vLex

The latest addition to the Law Library's foreign legal resources is the vLex Global database. vLex has expanded its coverage from Spain only to over 100 countries, and the database currently contains over 22 million documents. Contents include official gazettes, codes, case law, scholarly articles, forms, and more. Most of the material is in the original language, but the database does provide some translations.

vLex allows the researcher to search by country, document, title or author.

For researchers who prefer to research in a different language, vLex now offers 12 languages for its interface. Other features include an alerts service which will email the researcher whenever new material meeting a specified search query is added.

Access vLex Global from the Law Library's Research Resources page at


Spring Lunch-n-Learns Begin with Survival Topics

The Spring Semester Lunch n Learn series kicks off Friday February 13, with a down and dirty, practical overview of the dreaded Blue Book. The session, Legal Citation Without Fear, is geared primarily to the immediate needs of 1Ls as they work to perfect their briefs for Legal Research and Writing.

Two Fridays later, on February 27, the session "It's Cold Out There: Warm Resources for Job Hunting"  will explore a collection of job search tools. Come learn about the latest resources to expand your job search.

Join us these two Fridays at 12:30 in Room A. As always, you bring a drink and we'll  supply the pizza.

Law Dawg of the Month

This month's randomly-selected Law Dawg is Maggie, an honorary dawg who shares a home with Susan Clay, Serials Associate in the Law Library.

If you'd like your pet to go in the mix for future random drawings to choose the Law Dawg, send your photo to
February Puzzle: This Time It's a Jigsaw!
created by James Donovan

You've walked by it a bajillion times, but do you know what it means? "The Common Law" is the original painting created by former law student Elliott Stiles. Beneath the puzzle are excerpts from Mr. Stiles'commentary on the work, which he donated in 2004:

"This work is unique in that it reflects and draws upon relevant case law, theories, ideas, and history examined in the 1st semester of law school here at the University of Georgia. Considering that our legal education here is premised on case study and in acknowledging and honoring the significance of Justice Holmes' Lowell lectures I felt it only appropriate to title this work "The Common Law." The following dialogue explains this work from the artist's perspective and gives some light to the various elements incorporated into this piece.

Criminal Law: The faint beer bottle in the central character's head draws upon Proctor v. State symbolizing the concept of thought crimes. The two women with joined hands holding a purple tulip (see Torts) to the central character's neck draw upon concepts of conspiracy, murder, and attempt.

Property: The feather in the hair of the woman (left) represents Johnson v. M'Intosh and the concepts of right to title and right to occupancy. In the central character's left hand he bears a fox and a time piece on his wrist. Those elements are reflective of Pierson v. Post, the rule of capture, and the concept of first in time. In the central character's other hand he holds a twig, which draws upon the ceremonial practices of feudal England in the passing of seisin from one party to another.

Civil Procedure: The man in the background in the legendary Rex Grossman, who is serving process in the most effective method, in person. The elongated arms of the woman being served are symbolic of the long-arm statutes provided in state laws.

Contracts: The woman (left) is presenting a salt shaker in her right hand, symbolizing Droughty v. Salt and the concept of the donative gift promise. The lines running between the two characters in the background are symbolic of the formation of a contract in the meeting of the minds.

Torts: The purple tulip is pulled from the Old English case of Byrd v. Holbrook and symbolizes the spring gun used to protect the defendant's garden. Here it is being used against the central character and raises the concern of doing with an instrument or device that which one is not permitted to do in person. The holding of hands also represents Summers v. Tice and the concept of joint tortfeasors. The life preserver bearing the name Grayton symbolizes the Grimstad case and the irony embodied in the court's but-for test. The four (4) dots on the eye of the woman (right) represents foresight, and the eye in her bun of hair represents hindsight. This relates to Eckert v. Long Island R.R. and Terry's flawed theory on negligence in using hindsight to determine foresight. The cracker in the jaw of the woman (left) draws upon the legend at common law that the King had the Chancellor of the Writs pass out crackers to those complaining about the insufficient writs of trespass in order to quiet the crowed, thus the Ritz cracker.

General Elements: The X's on the central character are reflective of the battle wounds first in the stomach, then the chest, and then in the neck sustained by Justice Holmes in his service to our country. The large hand of the central character bears on each finger "learn," which is a tribute to Justice Learned Hand. The trees in the background are the same trees visible through the large pane glass of the Law Library, the constant companion of those who spend long days devoted to their studies.