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Celebrating Women's History Month

WOMEN JUDGES OF THE
ALLEGHENY COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

by Joel Fishman, Ph.D.

In commemoration of Women's History Month, we recognize twenty-seven women judges who have sat or are sitting on the Courts of Allegheny County, Fifth Judicial District, Pennsylvania. The first judge began in 1930. Fifteen still sit on the court (fourteen judges and one senior judge) and two sit on the appellate courts (Allen on Superior Court, McCullough on Commonwealth Court). Three have sat on the Supreme Court (Alpern, Baldwin and Melvin) and Superior Court (Allen, Melvin, Olson) and two on Commonwealth Court (McCullough and Smith-Ribner). The following biographies are drawn mostly from Joel Fishman, Judges of Allegheny County, Fifth Judicial District, Pennsylvania (1788-2008) (2d. ed. 2009), Pennsylvania Manual, and various internet sites. Firsts:

  • 1930: Sarah M. Soffel, first woman judge in Pennsylvania
  • 1942: Anne X. Alpern, first woman Solicitor of the City of Pittsburgh
  • 1959: Anne X. Alpern, first woman Pennsylvania Attorney-General
  • 1961: Anne X. Alpern, first woman Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    1990: (January): Cynthia Baldwin, first African-American woman judge on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
  • 1988: Doris Smith-Ribner, first African-American woman judge on the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
  • 2006-07: Kim Berkeley Clark, first African-American woman President of the Allegheny County Bar Association
  • 2008-2013: Donna Jo McDaniel, first woman President-Judge of Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
  • 2008: Cheryl Allen, first African-American woman judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court

Please click on the following link to read the entire article: http://www.duq.edu/academics/schools/law/law-library/legal-research-guides/women-judges

Recent HeinOnline Updates

Here are some informational updates regarding one of the premier legal research databases.

HeinOnline

HeinOnline has added a Women and the Law Collection to its libraries; please see link to view the brochure: http://heinonline.org/HeinDocs/Women&theLaw.pdf

Titles within the library:
http://home.heinonline.org/content/list-of-libraries/?c=208&sn= .

The Perils of PACER

Anyone involved in legal research is more than familiar with PACER (the name, an acronym, stands for: Public Access to Court Electronic Records). Before we delve into the glaring weaknesses and errors of PACER, let’s just step back and give thanks that there is a way for users to access docket and documents filed in all federal district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts—it could always be worse (and judging by some state court docket site designs, it can be much, much worse). Clearly, this is a massive undertaking, and the volume of information being tracked and made electronically available is absolutely stunning. But, PACER does have its flaws. ..

Please visit the following link to view the full article: http://ibraryguy2.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/the-perils-of-pacer/

CLE SCHEDULE APRIL 2014

THE LIBRARY IS AN APPROVED PROVIDER OF CLE COURSES BY the SUPREME COURT CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION BOARD

All classes are held in the Allegheny County Law Library in the City-County Building (9th floor). Please see class schedule details below.

Registration

Walk-ins allowed if space is available.

3 Credit Sessions

  • $50 for individuals with ACLL borrowing cards
  • $60 for non-library card holders

1 Credit Sessions

  • $25 for individuals with ACLL borrowing cards
  • $35 for non-library card holders

Please make checks payable to: Duquesne University Law School

To Register: Please call Marlene Vatter (vatter@duq.edu) at 412.396.6188.

Classes Held At:
Allegheny County Law Library
City-County Building (9th Floor)
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219


 
Thursday,
April 10, 2014
noon - 1:00 p.m.

Researching Legal Ethics (Dr. Fishman)

Reviews both ABA and PA legal ethics resources as well as secondary sources and online resources at the ABA, Office of Government Ethics, and PA Ethics Commission.

This course is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for zero (0) hours of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and one (1) hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.

Tuesday,
April 15, 2014
noon - 1:00 p.m.

Internet Caselaw Research (Mr. Rao)

Discusses free case law websites for Federal and State courts. Official and non-official websites will be identified. In addition to appellate, and trial court cases, the websites which provide briefs and docket information also will be discussed.

This course is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for one (1) hour of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and zero (0) hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.

Wednesday,
April 16, 2014
noon - 1:00 p.m.

Internet Statutory Law Research (Mr. Rao)

Websites providing Federal (Congress) and State (Legislature) bills, committee reports, floor debates and acts will be identified. Bill tracking and legislative history sites also will be identified.

This course is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for one (1) hour of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and zero (0) hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.

Thursday,
April 17, 2014
noon - 1:00 p.m.

Pennsylvania Law Books from the 18th-20th Century (Dr. Fishman)

Discusses Pennsylvania law books that would be used from the 18th to 20th centuries and showing off the original editions from the library's book collection.

This course is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for one (1) hour of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and zero (0) hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.

Tuesday,
April 22, 2014
noon - 1:00 p.m.

Internet Administrative Law Research (Mr. Rao)

Discusses official and non-official websites that provide Information related to Federal and State agencies, rule- making and rule tracking. Sites that provide United States Code and state codes will be identified. Also will discuss the sites containing presidential documents and state governor's documents such as Executive Orders etc.

This course is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for one (1) hour of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and zero (0) hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.

Wednesday,
April 23, 2014
noon - 1:00 p.m.

Internet Secondary Sources Research (Mr. Rao)

Discusses websites dealing with secondary sources including encyclopedias, dictionaries, law review articles, legal news, directories, forms, practitioner aids using sites such as lawreviews.org, HeinOnline, Nolo, Lexis Communities, USLegal Forms, Martindale Hubbell, etc.

This course is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for one (1) hour of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and zero (0) hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.

Monday,
April 28, 2014
noon - 1:00 p.m.

English Law Books from the 16th to 18th Century (Dr. Fishman)

Discusses English law books that would be used in the 16th to 18th centuries England and its colonies and showing off the original editions from the library's rare book collection.

This course is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for one (1) hour of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and zero (0) hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.

Wednesday,
April 30, 2014
noon - 1:00 p.m.

Researching Legal Ethics (Dr. Fishman)

Reviews both ABA and PA legal ethics resources as well as secondary sources and online resources at the ABA, Office of Government Ethics, and PA Ethics Commission.

This course is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for zero (0) hours of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and one (1) hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.

Questions?: Contact Dr. Joel Fishman for further information, 412.350.5353; or e-mail fishman@duq.edu.

Sciullo CLE Series - Spring 2014

The School of Law courses in the Dean John J. Sciullo CLE Series are offered Saturday mornings, 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., in Room 203. Register online for the series or individual courses. Cost remains $300 for the series or $90 per course. Members of Duquesne Law Alumni Assoc. receive a $25 discount each fall and spring. Series or course payments can be made online at time of registration or at the door.

Sat., April 26
Advanced Legal Writing Student CLEs
Presented by students of Duquesne University School of Law Advanced Legal Writing Class
Instructed by Adjunct Professors April Milburn-Knizner and Sherri Adelkoff
Three Hours Substantive

All course descriptions are available online. Questions? Contact cle@duq.edu or call 412.396.6300. REGISTER today.

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Latest Legal Link

Google Scholar

http://scholar.google.com/

Google added "Legal Opinions and Journals" resource to its list of features and tools in November 2009. Users can access Case law for free via Google Scholar. Visit the above address and select "Legal Opinions and Journals". Researchers can enter key terms, party name, or citation, to search for legal opinions. Full-text access to journal articles is usually blocked for proprietary reasons, unless the user is a subscriber of an electronic journal collection.

An advanced search function allows the user to set search limits in numerous fields. Users can search all legal journals and opinions simultaneously, search only US federal court opinions, or search opinions by selecting the desired state or combination of states.  Opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court date from 1791. Federal Circuit, District, Tax, and Bankruptcy court opinions date to 1923. You can choose to search Federal appellate opinions by choosing "All federal appellate courts" in the Advance Scholar Search. State appellate opinions are available as well, beginning with 1950. Google Scholar provides a choice of searching appellate courts from within a particular state. You can search state appellate opinions in the “Advanced Scholar Search' option by clicking on "Select specific courts to search".  Next, scroll to the desired appellate court listed under the state's heading. For instance, you could choose "Commonwealth", "Superior Court", or "Supreme Court" under Pennsylvania.

Opinion results include the page numbers of the case, corresponding exactly to the page numbers of the print reporter version of the case. Results also include lists of cases cited and related articles. These features, especially free and full-text access to legal opinions, make Google Scholar a valuable resource for law students and legal professionals. Summary:

  • Select "Legal Opinions and Journals"
  • Retrieve cases by reporter citation, party name, keywords, etc.
  • U.S. Supreme Court cases from 1791, Federal Circuit, District, Tax and Bankruptcy Courts cases from 1923 and State Appellate Court cases from 1950
  • Retrieved case shows page numbers to the published reporter, Cases Cited and related articles.
  • Advanced Scholar Search feature offers more options such as selecting a specific court
  • Journal citations are also available