Author Archives: Jamie Marie Keller, JD, MLIS

How do I…?

Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I find information about government agencies?” Well, have we got some information for you! Most federal government information can be found through FDSys. Most Florida government information can be found through My Florida. More specific research details we can show you at our Administrative Law and Legislative History Workshops running from September 3rd through September 13th.

Have iPad, Will Lawyer

Did you get an iPad or Android tablet, or an iPhone or Android phone? Do you need to find legal apps to download on your iPad or Android device? Look no further than our catalog! We have the entire “in one hour” series from ABA, from Facebook to LinkedIn and iPad and Android Apps too! Search the catalog for “in one hour” and the entire list of titles will come up. It’s that easy!

Where do I find citation information?

This is a question we get a lot! While you can always check the Bluebook, it’s not always straight forward. There are several books to help you in your quest to understand the Bluebook:

That’s all fine and dandy for law school, but what about citation in practice? In Florida, the state court practice rules are in the Rules of Appellate Procedure. You can generally find the court practice rules for citation at the court’s websitebar association website, or at LII (The Legal Information Institute).

Need the citation rules for another state? No problem! LII has you covered. Or do search for the state’s bar association or court website. Still can’t find it? You can always contact us at the reference desk at refdesk@fcsl.edu or 904.680.7612.

Have fun citing!

Wikipedia and Research

I’m sure you’ve all heard the warnings about Wikipedia: Don’t use it! Steer clear of Wikipedia! It can be edited by anyone!

You can use Wikipedia, just use it responsibly. And how do you do that? Here are a few examples on how to use Wikipedia responsibly.

When I lived in Pittsburgh, I read an article about jitneys being held up. What’s a jitney? I went to Wikipedia and got the disambiguation page. Ah, that was enough for me to understand what the article was about. If I was writing about jitneys in my ALWR, I would not cite Wikipedia. Nope. Wikipedia’s just a starting point. The first option, Share Taxi, has few citations and is disputed. So I’d go back to the disambiguation page and go the next option, Dollar van. Again, this one is suggested to be merged with another, but does have a few citations I would check out from government agencies. This is a good starting point for something I knew nothing about a few minutes ago!

Now, how can we tell whether a Wikipedia entry is a good source of information or not? Consider the entry about Hurricane Sandy. On it’s face, it looks to be a good entry. Lots of citations to reliable outside sources. But who actually wrote it and edited it? At the top of the entry, select the “View History” tab. This is the actual history of what was written on the Hurricane Sandy entry. Here’s where things get rather interesting. There is no mention of global warming or climate change. Every mention is “scrubbed” from the entry by Ken Marmpel, who refers to himself as just a contributor, “I have no title, I’m just a Joe Blow.” Yes indeed, this is where the danger of relying solely on Wikipedia lies. Anyone can edit an entry, and can direct the tone and message of the entry.

In summary, the value of Wikipedia lies in the sources it can lead you to, not in the entry itself.

Checking the Accuracy of a Tweet

last weekend I saw this tweet: Mental Floss Tweet: A motorcyclist injured when he collided with a panther is suing the state of Florida. (via @TheWeek)

Of course I had to know more! I went to the source cited (@TheWeek) and scrolled down to find what they referenced. I found no reference to the tweet on their twitter page. On their website, I searched Florida Panther. The first result was an article titled A Little Warning Would Have Been Nice. The article has a link to an article from WPTV giving me the details I need to find the case.

But case filings are not available online from the Broward County Clerk of Court. so I’ll have to wait until the case is decided. Most likely it will show up in the Florida Law Weekly Supplement, which is available form our subscription database page. If you’ve never used Florida Law Weekly (FLW) or Florida Law Weekly Supplement (FLWS), it can be a bit confusing. At the top of the screen, select which you want; FLW has Florida Supreme Court and District Court of Appeals opinions while FLWS has Florida Circuit Court and County Court opinions. At the top of the page, select which you want. From the next page, below the publication names, select search FLW or FLW Supplement. This will bring you to an advanced search page. A pretty neat way to find cases not normally found in Westlaw or Lexis.

Is a special appointment special or normal?

Well here’s not something you see everyday. The Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, is appealing a Federal District Court’s ruling that Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson will be the next Chief Justice of the Louisiana State Supreme Court. But why are the federal courts involved? Well, Justice Johnson was appointed to the Louisiana State Supreme Court in a special seat, to make up for the “racial gerrymandering” prevalent in the state at the time, in which she served for six years. governor Jindal argues that those six years shouldn’t count as service because it was a special seat. Hmm…what? Here’s  District Court’s Ruling. via Discourse.net

Labor Day Weekend! What to do around town Aug. 31- Sept 3

If you have any tips on things to do in Jacksonville and surrounding areas, feel free to send them to me to be included in future posts.

Labor Day weekend and the unofficial end to summer! Be sure to check the library hours, as we will have reduced hours on Monday!

All weekend –

Friday, August 31st –

Saturday, September 1st –

Monday, September 3rd –

Flying Books and More. . .

Good luck to the students with exams this week! 

Whether you are taking the bar or finishing up summer classes, you can, finally, allow yourself to enjoy the rest of the summer.  Though most of you probably feel that you cannot relax until you have your results in your hand and know without a doubt that you have passed, remember that there really is nothing you can do to expedite this process. 

What you can do, however, is to take your mind away from your exams and results by doing fun activities. One such activity is watching movies like this one that won the Academic Award for Best Short Film in February 2012: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.  Described by some as an “allegory on the curative powers of the story,” this movie takes a whimsical look at how books can make a difference in your life–something my librarian soul agrees with wholeheartedly!!

What Librarians Do for Fun

Or at least what I did for fun in library school! It’s called Book Cart Drill Team. I know, you’re saying what? Check out this video, Steel City Kings Book Cart Drill Team. It’s the team I was on a few years ago.

For more videos, search Google for “book cart drill team” site:youtube.com (The quotes are for searching the phrase. The site operator tells Google to search only youtube.com. For other operators, see the Google Guide Search Operators page.)

Time Well Wasted!!

Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.

                                                                                                               –Bill Watterson

With the bar and finals approaching, most of you probably view the arrival of yet another weekend with both dread and delight! Dread that there are only a few more weekends between you and the exams; delight that you are almost done. Dread that there is so much more you have to study; delight that you might be able to do something fun or get some much needed rest. Dread that you are going to waste time this weekend, delight that you have time to waste this weekend….While it is important to be prepared for your exams, it is also important to pace yourself and take breaks—both physical and mental so that you do not burn out!!

With a little planning, your time can be both well-spent and well-wasted!

So, here are some fun choices….

For me, this weekend is all about Spidey! Watch the Amazing Spider-Man in action at a theater near you or the IMAX to enjoy spine-tingling special effects and rate your spider senses. However, if a masked superhero is not your cup of tea, how about a crusader of a different mettle? Learn what law and justice really means from Atticus Finch as he takes on the case of his life in the classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Enjoy the hot weather! Go to the beach and get some sun (don’t forget the sunblock), or take advantage of summer deals like the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ offer of tickets at half-price for those days that the temperature is predicted to hit 92 or higher.  Make sure you print the coupon from their website before you visit the Zoo. In addition, the grand opening of the Riverside Arts Market is on Saturday.

No matter what you decide to do this weekend, remember to spend some time well-wasted!!