Law & Movies

by PSL Law Library 2. February 2011 09:14

 

 

 

 

Picture Source: http://morguefile.com/archive/display/10223

The Academy Awards are less than a month away and I’ve started thinking about law & movies.  How many movies out there involve a criminal act, arrest or trial?  How many of those movies are nominated for an Academy Award and win?  Also, is the legal system depicted accurately in those movies? 

 

As many of you already know the library has a comprehensive collection of movies and TV shows that deal with legal matters.  However, did you know that you can also find several books about the legal system and movies?  By conducting a simple keyword search using the catalog I was able to locate at least three books that may answer some of the questions above.  What terms did I use?  Well that was easy “law and movies”.  I then opened one of the results and looked at subjects contained in the record.  By selecting these subjects I may be able to locate even more books dealing with my subject matter.  This technique can be used when conducting research for any subject.  Now it’s time to jot down the call number, grab the book and see if I can answer those questions.

Holiday Light Displays

by PSL Law Library 20. December 2010 10:15

 

 

Picture Source: www.morguefile.com

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the light displays in the front yards of many homes.  I took a trip to Walt Disney World a couple of years ago and was impressed with the Osborne Family Spectacle of lights.  These lights lit up an entire area of one of the parks.  The lights were beautiful and danced to the holiday tunes that played in the background.  From my trip I learned that the lights were formerly displayed in Little Rock Arkansas as part of the Osborne Family’s holiday display.  The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the lights were a nuisance and the family could no longer have their display. The next year the Walt Disney Company stepped in and bought the lights and they continue to be on display to this day. 

I began to wonder about how many other cases were affected by the ruling in the Osborne case.  Specifically large light displays being considered a nuisance and not being allowed.  I decided to conduct a search on LexisNexis to find out.  I began by searching for the case.  From the search tab I selected, States Legal – U.S. view more.   I clicked on Arkansas and then AR Federal & State Cases, Combined.  I chose a Terms & Connectors search and entered the following search terms, Osborne & “Christmas Lights.”  The second case in my results list was Osborne v. Power.  After a brief glance I realized this was the case.  I scanned the headnotes and discovered the HN4 was the headnote I was interested in.  My final action was to Shepardize the case and find out how many other cases cited HN4.  I was surprised by the answer.  You may be too but to find out you’ll have to Shepardize the case on your own.

Have a Happy Holiday Season!

Food for Thought

by PSL Law Library 22. October 2010 14:33

Picture source

While surfing the internet I came across an interesting article regarding a possible city ordinance in San Francisco, CA.  If approved this ordinance would place a ban on fast food restaurants, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King, from placing toys in their children’s meals until the meals become healthier.  Click here to read the article.  As you can imagine this issue has sparked a lot of discussion and it’s easy to name a few pros and cons.  Pro, maybe it will help teach kids about proper nutrition.  Con, as a parent you are no longer making the decision on what your child can eat. 

Reading this article about a city ordinance inspired me to get a little more information using both Lexis and Westlaw.  At the top of the research screen in Lexis you will find the legal dictionary search box; this is where I entered my search term (city ordinance).  When using Westlaw I entered my search term in the definitions box on the left side of the screen.  One database came back with no results, forcing me to change my search term.  The other database didn’t have a result for my exact search term but did have 21 results.  One of which was exactly what I needed.  Another thing I noticed was that one of the definitions was a bit more in-depth than the other.  This simple search demonstrated just one of the differences between the “big two” and why both should be used.  I suggest trying the search yourself and making your own decision on which database is better.

As for a decision on the city ordinance, a vote was supposed to take place on October 19th but has been postponed until November 2nd, Election Day. 

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