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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Historical Dictionaries

We had a patron in last week looking for historical dictionaries other than Webster's. I thought our readers may be interested  in seeing that we have quite a few historical dictionaries available!

Besides what we have in print, HeinOnline has an entire library devoted to historical dictionaries and reference materials. Spinelli's Law Library Reference Shelf has hundreds of titles available, and a section devoted specifically to dictionaries. Come by the law library to read this gem: Criminal Slang: The Vernacular of the Underworld Lingo (originally published in 1949) and other fascinating titles!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Contraceptive Insurance Mandate

We have created a guide to the Affordable Care Act's mandate for women's preventative services after the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. decision on June 30th, 2014. Here is a link to the guide:

This guide, created by our Reference Librarian Lewis Zimmerman, provides some background information about laws and regulations prior to Burwell, the acts that informed this decision, as well as some follow up on the case and how this decision impacts us Oregonians.

We hope this guide will be both engaging and informative. Keep on eye our social media and our LibGuides page for more guides on legal issues in the news. Just another service from the SOLL to make legal information accessible and useful!

Bail Bondsmen and Oregon

Recently the bail bond industry has come under new criticism. Rising prison populations have prompted a reexamination of the bail bond system.1

In most of the United States after an arrest you might find yourself paying a private bail bondsman to secure your pre-trial release. Not so in Oregon. Along with Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin Oregon has outlawed the use of bail bondsmen. Once a regular fixture throughout the nation, bail bondsmen fell into disfavor in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Manhattan Bail Project2 in the early 1960s evaluated criminal defendants and recommended to the courts which defendants were good candidates for release without bail. From 1961 to 1964 the project demonstrated outstanding success in predicting which defendants would return to court without posting bail. The program was so successful that in 1966 President Johnson cited it when signing the National Bail Reform Act.3

Soon after the passage of the federal Bail Reform Act of 1966 Oregon passed its own bail reform legislation in 1973.4 This legislation brought the ten percent deposit to Oregon. The statute provided for release on the defendants recognizance; however, if a monetary security was required the defendant would pay ten percent of the security in cash to the state. This cut bail bondsmen out of the judicial process and eliminated bail bondsmen in Oregon.


3Wald, Patricia M., "To Feel the Great Forces: The Times of Burke Marshall", 105 Yale L.J. 611, 617 (1995). 
4Kaye, Robert A., "Oregon's Ten Percent Deposit Bail System - Rethinking the Professional Surety's Role", 66 Or. L. Rev. 661 (1987).

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Small Claims Resource

Need help with small claims?

"Small Claims Court" from the Oregon State Bar is a great resource for patrons who need an introduction to small claims court and the process involved in filing a case:

Created by the Honorable Steven A. Todd and Janay Haas, this guide will help you find answers to simple questions such as, "What is a small claims court" as well as instructions for more detailed questions, "How do I file a lawsuit?" Stay tuned with our blog and Twitter feed for more helpful resources like this one!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lexis Alerts

Do you ever find that you're running similar searches over and over again? Maybe you're doing research on a topic and you want to know every time a new article comes out on that topic. Maybe you want to see the developments of an ongoing case. Maybe there's a hot topic in legal news, and you want to stay informed of all updates. Lexis Alerts can do all of that work for you! Alerts are a great resources for automating your online searching.

To set up an Alert, go to and simply run your desired search as normal. On the results page, look for the "Save as Alert" link underneath the page navigation. From there you can customize your Alert:

  • Name: Give your search a name, so that you can easily locate it in your list of alerts
  • Frequency: How often do you want to be alerted? Daily? Monthly? Lexis will alert you of all new results at the time you choose
  • Delivery: How would you like your alert delivered? You can either be alerted when you login to Lexis, or you can have an email sent to you with any updates on your search results.
  • Notification: You can also choose to be notified anytime your search retrieves new results, outside of your scheduled alerts.
Besides the scheduled alerts, you can check in on your Alerts at any time. Whenever you're logged in to, look for the Alerts link at the top right of any page. Click there for a list of all your active Alerts. Click "Update Now" to see any new documents associated with your search.

Have questions about Alerts? Contact the Law Library!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Catalog URL

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
-Winston Churchill

With those wise words in mind, we are announcing a (small) change to one of our library services. Our online catalog (what we refer to as our Online Public Access Catalog, or OPAC) is moving to a new URL:  If you have bookmarked the old URL on your computer, make sure to change it! The old URL will work for another week, but just to be safe, go ahead and update any bookmarks now.

Besides the new URL, the OPAC is just one of the recent changes we've made to library services. Our OPAC is a great way to search our collection from your desk or home computer. And new, state employees and Oregon library users can sign up for a patron account in order to access MORE services. With a patron account you can customize your online profile, place holds on books and renew your checked out materials. You can sign up for a patron account here:

We are constantly working to improve our online access to legal resources so stay in touch to see which changes are coming up next!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Highlight on HeinOnline

In last week's blog post we discussed the importance of checking your resources. We've seen it many times that people come into the law library telling us they've looked everywhere for an article or resource only to find out they had access to the journal or resource all along! So today, we're highlighting HeinOnline as a great resource for your research. HeinOnline is available inside the law library for everyone and state employees have speciality access. Contact the law library for more information.
This month, HeinOnline reached an amazing milestone: they now provide access to over 2000 journals in their Law Journal Library! Here are some more interesting facts about HeinOnline's resources:

  • Has more than 27 million pages and over 1.4 million artciles
  • Every journal in HeinOnline is available back to its inception
  • 92.5% of the journal titles are available through the most current issue
  • 7.5% of the journals have an embargo of one volume or greater
  • HeinOnline's law journal coverage extends well beyond the United States; currently, nearly 700 international journals published in more than 40 countries are included in the database
You can find even more facts, and some search tips for using the Law Journal Library here from HeinOnline's Help & Support blog: