LLAM Reads: Jane McWilliams and Annapolis

Jane McWilliams, author of “Annapolis: City on the Severn,” gave a delightful presentation to LLAM members on May 14, 2012, at the Maryland State Law Library in Annapolis. What came as a surprise to many of us in the audience was that Jane is actually a former library staff member. Many years ago, Jane worked part-time for the Maryland State Library (the predecessor of the Maryland State Law Library) writing abstracts of articles from the old Maryland Gazette. In fact she members when Bernice Bernstein, who recently retired from Maryland State Law Library, was hired by the library’s director at the time, Mr. Moulter.

The idea of a comprehensive history of Annapolis was the brain-child of the “Annapolis History Consortium.” Jane, a member of the consortium, agreed to take on the challenge of writing a complete history of her hometown.  Her goal was to tell the truth about Annapolis’s history but not in such a way that she would be “run out of town.” Although the genesis of the book was by committee, Jane takes full responsibly and credit for its content.

It was no surprise to learn that Jane found writing a 478-page book to be a challenge. After receiving a grant to start the research, Jane embarked on a quest both locally and nationally for any and materials available about Annapolis. Her final bibliography listed over 500 items. These included diaries, local histories, historical records, and even motion pictures.

The book begins with the Colonial period and ends in 1975. Jane decided to begin her writing and research with the Civil War period because it was the time period that she knew the least about. It was the last chapter, “The City Preserved, 1960-1975″ that Jane found the most challenging to write since she had lived through the entire period.

Jane’s presentation lasted just under an hour but was followed by another 45 minutes of questions from the audience. Everyone who left the room gained an appreciation of the work involved in researching, writing, and publishing a local scholarly history.

It’s Renewal Time Again…

Don’t forget!

It is membership renewal time. This year there is an an alternative way to pay. You can use Google Wallet, formally Google Checkout, to pay your membership dues by credit card. If a check works better for you, that works for us too. Here are the links you need:

Information about benefits of joining LLAM  and links to the membership form and payment page.

LLAM Membership Form
If your info is the same as last year just fill out your name and write “same”  on the top of the form. No need to fill out EVERYTHING again.

LLAM Payments
Pay either either via credit card or check. For details see:

Need more info? Contact membership chair Patricia Behles:
Call:   410-837-4583
Email: pbehles@ubalt.edu
Fax:  410-837-4570
Address: University of Baltimore Law Library, 1415 Maryland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201


LLAM Moves to LLAMonline.org

The Law Library Association of Maryland now has its own domain, here at llamonline.org. We decided to move our primary web site to a WordPress platform to provide us with greater flexibility and increase opportunities for collaboration.

For you the the visitor, we hope you find the site easier to navigate with the current information you need. A big thank you goes to Mary Jo Lazun for getting LLAM up and running on WordPress and designing the new site navigation scheme. Thanks also to Jenny Rensler who ported the content from the old site to the new one.

If you have any questions or comments please send Mary Jo an email or give her a call.

Mary Jo Lazun
President, Law Library Association of Maryland
mjlazun at gmail.com or mjlazun at mdcourts.gov

Spring Fling and Annual Meeting: Friday May 4th

Logo for Nick's Fish House and Grill

Spring Fling and Annual Meeting
Friday, May 4th from 5:00 till 8:00

This year’s Spring Fling and Annual Meeting will be at Nick’s Fish House and Grill  in South Baltimore.  We will have the entire Marina Room at our disposal with a light menu of sandwiches, quesadillas, including Nick’s signature jumbo lump broiled mini crab cakes. There will also be 2-drink tickets. The cost will be $20 per person. Ample parking is available onsite.  Online payment will be available in mid-April.

Full Disclosure Program Summaries and Program

Download the Conference Program.

Program Summaries

The “New” Librarian Toolkit

Webinars: They’re Not Just for Vendors Anymore – Carol Mundorf, Manager of Training Services at Ballard Spahr LLP, gave us a peek at what it looks like to hold a WebEx webinar meeting.  For those of us that have only attended webinars but never facilitated one before, Carol’s informal presentation made the process much less intimidating. In fact, Carol made the process look downright simple! Key takeaway: Webinars aren’t just for instruction; they can be used for association meetings, to pass control of people’s desktops, or to assist long-distance patrons.

    • A Recipe for Facebook Success  – Joyce Garczynski, Communications and Development Librarian at TowsonUniversity and a very dynamic speaker, described how she and the Cook Library at Towson University use Facebook to promote library services, interact with students, and connect with faculty. Her library has two Facebook accounts – one for more professional communications and one (“Albert”) for more personal and fun posts.  The latter account connects more with students, while the former is the official face of the library. Interestingly, Joyce has both a professional and personal account on Facebook, herself. She uses the professional account to friend faculty.  Since she started friending faculty, her requests to teach classes and for information shot up. Joyce suggested that even on your professional Facebook page, you should put some non-controversial personal information up, so that co-workers/faculty feel like they can connect with you. Joyce puts up pictures of the cakes she decorates.  (They look lovely! And delicious!)
    • Don’t Let Your e-Files Manage You –  Paul Lagasse, from Active Voice Writing & Editorial Services and a former archivist, explained how he organizes his electronic files. This was an eye-opener for those of us who have some trouble finding documents and emails. He said that although directories of folders are still the best way to organize online documents, he suggested that you create your file structure independent of the defaults, since you can remember what each folder is for better if it’s self-created.  Names should not be obscure (he starts them off with dates), and “smart folders” – “folders” created by tags or keywords — are a great way to handle complex filing.  Paul also described how organizing and maintaining a good group address book and then applying rules to emails that come in can make organizing automated and easy.  Key takeaway: Right-click!  Right-clicking emails of folders will often give you opportunities to select “categories” or “tags” or to create individual icons.
    • PowerPoint Doesn’t Have to Suck – Michael Shochet’s presentation on PowerPoint was a highlight on the conference.  His key point – don’t let the slides detract from the speaker; the speaker is the center of the presentation, not the slides.  In order to accomplish this shift, the slides should contain very little text and be as simple as possible. More complex charts or information can be put in a handout.  Michael suggested planning what you want to say first, then adding slides of images to compliment your presentation. If you’d like to see Michael’s presentation and handout materials, it is available on his website at: http://ubalt.libguides.com/powerpoint
  • Not Your Father’s Gov Docs
    • Navigating U.S. Government Information with FDSys – Kelly Seifert from the United State Government Printing Office gave us an overview of the new system FDsys. This replaces GPO Access which was taken offline a couple of weeks ago. Kelly walked us through the different collections and navigation tools, highlighting the depth and breadth of FDsys. Kelly used a variety of searching techniques and stressed the fact that FDsys is continuing to add and grow. FDsys will also be acting as a preservation repository creating permanent access to Federal Government information.
    • Reports: Understanding the Process – Sarah Albert from Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services Library walked us through the process of Maryland Mandated Reports. These are reports that come from various state agencies and have been mandated through law. Sarah’s responsibility is to track these reports down so they meet their mandate. She showed us the database she created to help track and acquire these reports. This process can be quite challenging because of the volume and variety involved.
    • Who owns the law?” Law.gov and Efforts to Return the Law to the Public Domain – Who owns the law?  Fastcase CEO Ed Walters thinks the answer should be straightforward: the public.  But, as Walters demonstrated in his thoughtful presentation, primary legal material is largely inaccessible to the public via Google or other popular search engines, and what is available is poorly organized, rarely authoritative, and can disappear without warning.  Further, the current Lexis/Westlaw duopoly over primary legal material only serves those who can afford access to those databases.So Fastcase has been working closely with leaders in government, academia and technology to develop Law.gov, an open access system for making primary legal material readily available to the public.  Walters dismisses notions that Law.gov is trying to undermine Lexis and Westlaw, although he peppered his presentation with anecdotes about some of Fastcase’s more interesting interactions with Wexis over the yearsInstead, he likens the Law.gov effort to the implementation of the U.S. interstate highway system.  He believes that Law.gov can provide a uniform, unified infrastructure for providing authoritative legal material to the public, instead of forcing users to navigate a patchwork of local, rural roads for locating federal or state law.
    • Going Old School In The New World: How Legislative Procedure Drives Legislative History – John Cannan from Drexel University’s Earle Mack School of Law discussed the legislative process and how changes in technology are impacting legislative history and our ability to track it. He outlined the historical process and how a bill could be traced as it went through committees. Now through the use of “cutting and pasting” and email a lot of the process is getting lost. A librarian needs to have a strong understanding of congressional procedure in order to keep on top of these ongoing changes.
  • Under the Hood
    • Twinkies, Kodachrome and MARC: the Changing Landscape of Libraries – Mary Jo Lazun of the Maryland State Law Library began the session with a discussion of lessons librarians can learn from the recent bankruptcy filings by Kodak and Hostess. Kodak’s mistake was that they forgot that their core mission was selling memories and not film. Librarians must not lose sight that we are about more than providing access to books and databases. Mary Jo sees the core mission of librarians as a providing “access to opportunities.” Hostess’ inability to adapt caused them to lose market share beginning with the publicity related to the “Twinkie Defense.” Unlike Hostess, librarians have a long history not only adapting to change but embracing it as seen by adoption of the card catalog, OPACs, and most recently discovery systems.
    • Discovery Tools at Pence Law Library-  Jeanne Felding of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Library discussed how she is using EBSCO’s Discovery Service to bring together two very distinct user populations—the scientists at their Janelia Farm campus in Virginia and administrative staff of lawyers, accountants, and endowment managers in Maryland. Her ultimate goal is to provide full-text access available anywhere, anytime, to all HHMI staff and researchers. It is a goal she may not achieve in her lifetime, but it keeps her focused on making sure her decisions lead to achieving that goal.
    • One-Stop Search Environment For Full-Text Materials – At the American University, law librarians realized that the aging look of their online catalog was causing students and faculty to believe that the library’s collection was also aging. To get students to use the wide variety of print and online sources at Pence Law Library, Christine Dulaney and Sima Mirkin are using Innovative Interfaces products—Encore, Synergy, and Pathfinder Pro not only to enhance the look of the catalog but to provide students with easy access to their print collection, article databases, and specialty databases.
    • The Future of Discovery – Dave Hemingway of Innovative Interfaces, Inc. described major enhancements coming is Encore. High on the list in integration of social media, via community tagging, Facebook, and Twitter within the catalog records. Patrons will be to use a new dashboard to manage their library account and share lists of what they are reading and have read with others. Direct integration eBooks and LibGuides is also coming soon.
  • Eyes Wide Open
    • Google As A Legitimate First Step In Research-  Joanne Colvin presented Teaching Google as a Legitimate First Step in Research. Joanne, librarian at the University of Baltimore School of Law, acknowledges that the first step most researchers take when starting a new project is to Google their topic. This fundamental change in research strategy is here to stay; librarians serve their patrons best if they accept the change and focus on teaching patrons how to optimize their Google search skills and evaluate their results. Joanne explained some of the basics of how the Google search engine works – especially how results are relevance-ranked. She then showed how some features of the search engine can be manipulated to override the default ranking, and how others can provide Google with additional information to improve the accuracy of relevance ranking. The second part of the presentation outlined how researchers can evaluate websites once they’ve done their Google search. Factors to consider are authorship, accuracy of information, currency, publisher/sponsoring institution, bias/point of view, and citation to authority. The presentation ended with several examples of how a seemingly legitimate website can in fact be misleading.
    • “Teaching Technologies” for Legal Research Instruction – Jason Hawkins and Jenny Rensler, librarians at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, presented on “Teaching Technologies” for Legal Research Instruction.  Jason began by challenging the assumption that technology should always be used in teaching; instead, he pointed out that the first step in planning a lesson is whether or not to use technology at all. The goal in weighing the benefits and pitfalls of teaching technologies is to consider whether the technologies provide an added benefit to students in the learning process that outweighs its pitfalls. Jason and Jenny went over a number of “teaching technologies” that may be useful in a range of settings from formal classroom settings to just-in-time instruction. Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) provides several online tools including lessons on dozens of topics for self-directed learning, basic polling, and a growing number of e-books. Creating a screencast through software like Camtasia can be used to create video tutorials of an instructor walking the viewer through computer-based research steps to support self-directed learning, and to supplement class time. Other software they addressed included chat reference through the free Meebo Messenger, Prezi the dynamic presentation software, an institutional Facebook page, and a class website using Blackboard.
    • Letting Students Teach Your Class – Jill Burke presented Letting Students Teach Your Class. Jill is a librarian at the Community College of Baltimore County, Dundalk. Due to recent construction on campus, her library did not have a library instruction lab, and librarians had to learn to teach research classes with just five laptops. In this presentation Jill shared how she kept the students engaged and taught them basic research skills. Each class began with an initial introduction to basic concepts such as keywords, Boolean operators, and databases. With just a handful of laptops, Jill then had the students work in groups of two or three.  Each group was assigned a database to explore (through a series of structural/process questions) and a substantive question to answer. At the end of the breakout session each group presented their findings to the entire class. The structure of this class was both efficient and effective. The students were engaged and learned the necessary skills despite the limited resources caused by the construction.
  • How May We Help You
    • Seeking a Monograph – This program described the work conducted by Steven Heslip, Director of User Experience at Johns Hopkins University’s Sheridan Libraries. According to Wikipedia, user experience design (abbreviated as “U.X.D.” or “U.X.”) “… incorporat[es] aspects of psychology, anthropology, sociology, computer science, graphic design, industrial design and cognitive science…. User experience design most frequently defines a sequence of interactions between a user (individual person) and a system, virtual or physical, designed to meet or support user needs and goals, primarily, while also satisfying systems requirements and organizational objectives.” Using the example of a student seeking a known monograph, Steven walked the audience through the process of analyzing the various paths by which a student could locate and obtain the monograph. Using input from librarians in different departments, and visual tools such as Visio and Balsamiq, he tracked the process with the objective of clarifying and improving library procedures.
    • Using An iPad To Redefine Roving Reference Service In An Academic Library-  Joanna Gadsby and Shu Qian of UMBC discussed the pragmatic details of implementing the project, such as where on campus to post the roving librarian and at what times of day; how to design a cart or carrying case for the iPad and other necessary accoutrements; and how to publicize the initiative. They also presented some of the detailed statistics they kept, including the types of questions received from what types of patrons; the times of the semester and times of the day that most questions were received; and the most popular locations for the roving librarians.
    • Faculty Services Librarians + Faculty = Student Success –  Three energetic librarians from different Montgomery College campuses detailed their joint and separate efforts to educate faculty about the library resources and services via a wide variety of innovative outreach initiatives. Diane Cockrell (Germantown campus), Kathy Swanson (Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus), and Christine Tracey (Rockville campus) described how their outreach results in faculty devising realistic and appropriate assignments which facilitate effective student learning about research and about using library resources.
  • In the Stacks
    • Digital Initiatives at UB – Thomas Hollowak described the digitization projects recently undertaken by the Special Collections Department at UB’s Langsdale Library. Many of these projects reflect regional and Baltimore history; one example is “Baltimore 68: Riots and Rebirth” which collects oral histories and photographs from the Baltimore riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.  Thomas also touched on the digitized collection of UB yearbooks and catalogs.
    • We’ve Got a Lot of Stuff: Maryland Historical Society – Iris Bierlein discussed how the small staff of the Maryland Historical Society juggle their collection management and patron services duties, and described projects where the two aspects of their mission can work together.
    • The Road to Chapter 11: Library Serials Procedure – Mary Murtha, Lisa Bellamy Smith, and Clement Lau of UB Law Library described the workflow process that they have developed for their extensive cancellation of print serial subscriptions in favor of electronic, as a result of budget cuts, rising subscription costs, and the need to reduce the size of their print collection due to space constraints in their new library, which will open in 2013.
    • Stuck In The Middle With You: Print v. Online – Sara Thomas, Librarian at Whiteford Taylor in Baltimore, reflected upon the strengths and weakness of print versus online sources, including the new interfaces of Lexis Advance and Westlaw Next, and the challenges librarians face in helping their researchers achieve efficiency and effectiveness by making appropriate choices among the available options.
  • Librarians Just Wanna Have Fun
    • Boost The Fun (Factor) In Your Outreach – We first heard from Gergana Kostova and Nicole Smith from University of Maryland Baltimore County.  Gergana is a librarian and Nicole is one of the student interns. Gergana wanted to reach more of the first-year students at UMBC and she enlisted the help of fellow students such as Nicole to see what would draw them in. They hosted a variety of events including a coffee and UMBC cupcake meet-and-greet, as well as a full-fledged concert with a popular UMBC acappella group.  They combined these events with quizzes, etc and were able to determine that by their last event they had over 50% attendance by first-year students.  They are going to continue to think outside of the box to reach this vital audience.
    • PAWS for Reading:  Read with Us On Saturday Mornings – The next speaker was Lorraine Martorana from Cecil College’s Cecil County Veterans Memorial Library.  She has also strived to reach an audience and this one being children & parents who wouldn’t normally visit the Cecil College campus.  Lorraine partnered with the PAWS Reading Program which provides trained dogs & cats to which children can read.  The program started slow but word of mouth has kept the numbers growing.  Lorraine has gotten buy-in from the campus community and plans to continue with this worthwhile program.
    • Putting a (Technology) Petting Zoo to Work for You – Kristen Welzenbach from Goucher College spoke next with the intriguing topic of a technology petting zoo.  Kristen was surprised to find that a number of both faculty and students were not familiar with many of the latest “smart technology” devices.   With the help of Goucher’s Information Technology department, Kristen was able to showcase several devices including a variety of tablets, eReaders, and smart phones.  They even offered a raffle to give away one of the items. They held a few of these petting-zoos in varied parts of campus and were very happy with the turn-out.  Kristen was then able to put an eReader pilot program in place which is underway now.  Here is the libguide Kristen created for her eReader program: http://libraryguides.goucher.edu/ereader
    • Library Yogi – The final speaker of the day was Wendy Maines from Thomson Reuters Westlaw. Wendy’s topic was Library Yoga.  Wendy is a yoga teacher as well as an information professional.  She gave several demonstrations of seated yoga positions that we can all do from our desk.  All of those present took advantage and practiced the poses right along with her.  She started with the importance of breath, highlighted areas affected by carpal tunnel syndrome and finished with some words about meditation.  It was fantastic way to end this incredibly full and enriching day.
  • Legal Aid
    • Attorney, Client and the Librarian – In this session, Joan Bellestri discussed the steps she took to create a once-a-week “Lawyer in the Library” program at the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Law Library.  This very successful and beneficial program now offers county residents a free 20-minute session with a lawyer. Challenges included finding appropriate space, getting enough attorneys to regularly volunteer, answering malpractice insurance questions, solving logistical problems with sign-ups, scheduling and waiting lists, and getting the word out to the public. A pilot program proved that the public would come and that attorneys would support the initiative. The program now includes sessions at the Courthouse library well as evening sessions in public libraries.
    • Stealth Learning: Librarian Interactions with Patron – Vickie Yiannoulou, of thePrince George’s County Circuit Court Law Library, assists the public in researching difficult legal questions. They run the gamut from family law issues to landlord tenant disputes to business law problems. Research roadblocks include legal texts with unfamiliar and confusing legal language, complicated legal online search syntax and a shortage of easy-to-understand layman’s materials. Here are her first steps for answering these difficult questions:
      • Get an idea of what the patron needs to know – often the patron him/herself doesn’t know what is needed.
      • Start with the Code/Rules, then look at form books or the Maryland Law Encyclopedia
      • Expand your search to specific practice treatises
      • For answering basic questions, use either Nolo Press books or the MSBA book on Civil Pre-Trial

PracticVickie also recommends reading Mary Whisner’s 94:1 Law Library Journal article  on the art of the reference interview as a start.

Free Online Tools for Legal Researchers – Imagine legal research without Lexis, Westlaw or any other paid legal databases, or even access to a print law library – how would you answer legal questions using only free Web sources?  Sara Witman discovered she could indeed answer many questions within this limited scenario. As an example, she recently was asked to find cases explaining the in pari delicto defense. She started with Nolo’s Free Dictionary of Legal Terms to define her phrase, then found a list of cases from Google Scholar and the Maryland Judiciary’s Casesearch.  CornellUniversity’s Legal Information Institute also provided federal and state court opinions and has searchable codes and regs. Other useful free legal research sites are Zimmerman’s Research Guide for specific questions of law, the National Council of State Legislatures site for 50-state surveys or the People’s Law Library to answer basic questions of court procedure. For people searches, she uses Facebook, LinkedIn and PIPL.com. For company research, Google news and Yahoo Finance are helpful starts.

Thank you to the following people who submitted summaries:  Katherine Baer, Joanne Colvin, Mark Desierto, Susan Herrick, Mary Jo Lazun, Kate Martin, Jenny Rensler and Sara Witman.

FDSys Training in Baltimore: Thursday April 19th

FDSys Training in Baltimore: Thursday April 19th

With Kathy Bayer and Ashley Dahlen  from GPO
Thursday, April 19th from 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland School of Law
500 W. Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
Level 4 Class room, Room number 4403

An in-depth training session, just for librarians. Kathy and Kristina will provide an overview and introduction to FDSys; basic searching using simple and complex searches; advanced searching techniques; an overview of the “browse” and “retrieve by citation” features of FDys; and how to track a legislation and regulations.

If you  have a laptop, notebook, netbook, tablet, etc. feel free to bring it a long. The class is suited to a hands-on format.

Register online

Directions and parking information

e-Books with Lexis: Wednesday April 11th

Scott Meiser, Director, Product Planning at Lexis will discuss the challenges e-Books present to both publishers and librarians. We all need to contend with multiple file formats and multiple readers. There appears to be almost a direct ratio between the number of readers and the number of issues libraries need to address. These include: How do libraries lend eBooks? Do we let people download a title or just lend them a reader with titles pre-loaded. Does the library own the title or is it licensed? What is a fair price? How do we measure “circulation?”

Wednesday, April 11th at Noon
Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland School of Law
Room 4409, Level 4 Study Lounge
Register online

Directions and parking information

2011 Holiday Party

LLAM raised over $500 in the Holiday Party Silent Auction with half the proceeding going to the Maryland Food Bank.

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bb Bistro in West Annapolis, December 1, 2011

LLAM November Program – Administrative Law

by Susan Herrick
Research Librarian
University of Maryland School of Law

Twenty-five LLAM members gathered to hear Arnold Rochvarg, Professor of Law at University of Baltimore, address the topic “Getting More Admin Law Questions? Get Answers”, on Wednesday, November 9, at the U. of B. Student Center. Prof. Rochvarg is the author of the recently released Principles and Practice of Maryland Administrative Law and MICPEL’s Maryland Administrative Law, as well as many articles on the topic.

Previously a litigator with an administrative law practice in a large D.C. firm, Prof. Rochvarg began teaching administrative law in 1979. He posited that 98 percent of the material generally covered in law school administrative law courses at that time was federal – and that not much has changed since then. His interest in state administrative law dates back to at least 1990, when Maryland pioneered the concept of a centralized court with independent administrative law judges (ALJs) to conduct hearings for many state agencies, and established the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).

Prof. Rochvarg recalled the influence of Maryland’s first Chief ALJ, John W. Hardwicke Sr. As chair of an ABA Committee and executive director of the National Association of Administrative Law Judges, Chief Judge Hardwicke encouraged other states to adopt the Maryland model of a centralized ALJ court as opposed to use of agency-based ALJs, and about half the states eventually did so. It was also with Chief Judge Hardwicke’s encouragement, based on his belief that lawyers needed specialized training to effectively represent clients before OAH, that Prof. Rochvarg developed his course on Maryland Administrative Law at University of Baltimore – one of the first law school courses in the country to focus on state administrative law. After teaching the course for eight or nine years, Prof. Rochvarg decided to write his first book on Maryland administrative law, which was published in two editions by MICPEL. The adoption of new rules by OAH, effective in 2010, along with the demise of MICPEL, inspired Prof. Rochvarg to write the new and greatly expanded version of his book, which contains extensive information about practice and procedure before OAH.

Prof. Rochvarg stressed that Principles and Practice of Maryland Administrative Law contains not only analysis of the formal procedural and evidentiary rules but also the informal “folklore” of customary practice before OAH – for example, the fact that a request for postponement or stay because a party will be out of town requires a showing of proof such as travel tickets or receipts, and that a pending settlement is not considered good cause for a postponement. The book also addresses practice before state agencies which were permitted to opt out of adoption of the OAH system and retain agency-based hearings, including the Office of the Comptroller, the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, and the Public Service Commission. Also provided is information about COMAR and how to research regulations, and about the Maryland Administrative Procedure Act (APA), including agency formal and informal rulemaking, contested cases, and the process of seeking judicial review of ALJ or agency decisions.

Prof. Rochvarg also posited that people – and by this he means attorneys and librarians in addition to self-represented litigants and even judges – often don’t recognize that the problem or issue they are dealing with involves a question of administrative law. He provided several fascinating illustrations – elaborated in detail in Principles and Practice of Maryland Administrative Law – of how administrative law questions are implicated in many and varied areas of legal practice including family law, employment law, and even criminal law. One example involved whether it violates the Double Jeopardy Clause’s prohibition against multiple punishments for the same offense for a driver to have his license suspended by an ALJ for driving while intoxicated and to subsequently be prosecuted in district court for that offense. (See Rochvarg at § 8.7.) The larger question here is the relationship between APA contested cases and issues of res judicata, collateral estoppel, and double jeopardy. In perhaps the ultimate example, he also described the infiltration of administrative law into the death penalty; currently executions have been suspended in Maryland solely due to administrative law issues. The Department of Corrections follows the protocol set forth in the Execution Operations Manual (EOM) to carry out lethal injections. The Court of Appeals halted executions in Maryland when it held, in Evans v. Maryland, 914 A.2d 25 (Md. 2006) that the EOM lethal injection protocol was invalid because it was not adopted according to the state APA rulemaking procedures for regulations. (See Rochvarg at §2.17) The broader question here is the issue of what constitutes a regulation and when an agency practice or activity can be challenged on APA rulemaking procedure grounds.

The presentation closed with a number of questions from the attendees, who clearly appreciated Prof. Rochvarg’s knowledgability of and enthusiasm for his topic. All who attended came away with a deeper understanding of the complexities of administrative law, and with the ability to better appreciate and address questions that come our way that may involve this area. Many thanks to Prof. Rochvarg for his energetic and informative presentation, and to Program Chair Mary Jo Lazun for arranging it.

Photos from the Program

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Embedded Librarians – January 10 at Noon

Claire Twose and Blair Alton from Welsh Medical Library, Johns Hopkins
Tuesday, January 10th Noon
Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander, LLC
233 East Redwood Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Third floor

Many librarians are moving out of their libraries and actually working on-site with their users. Claire Twose and Blair Alton from the Welsh Medical Library at Johns Hopkins will discuss their experience as embedded librarians including setting up an embedded librarians program and the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of service delivery model.


For validated parking please park at:
Arrow Garage – Located at 204 E. Lombard Street (preferred)
Renaissance Hotel Gallery Garage – Entrances are located on Calvert Street or South Street between Pratt and Lombard Streets.

LLAM Conference — Librarians Sharing Best Practices March 20, 2011

Mark your calendar for March 20th 2012 for Full Disclosure:  Librarians Sharing Best Practices at the University of Baltimore

Every other year the Law Library Association (LLAM) sponsors a day long conference. In the past, LLAM’s Legal Research Institute has focused on the finer points of legal research. For 2012, LLAM has decided to do something different. This year’s conference will highlight best practices of librarians, not just law librarians, but all types of librarians.

Full Disclosure: Sharing Best Practices will not be an ordinary library conference—by the end of the day participants will have heard at least a dozen librarians share their best practices in librarianship. The conference is modeled after the Best Practices Exchange, an annual national conference attended by librarians and archivists who manage digital collections. At Best Practices all participants are encouraged to be presenters. The conference format revolves around tracks and themes. Presentations are short—limited to 10 to 15 minutes.

Full Disclosure will follow a very similar format. What LLAM foresees is that on March 20th, 2012 librarians and library students from throughout the region will gather and share their expertise, best practices, research, tips, successes and failures. The conference agenda is up to us, the librarians and library students who submit presentations. This micro-presentation format will enable all of us to hear and learn from many people in a single day. It will be an exceptional networking opportunity.  To kick off the event, Maureen Sullivan, a Maryland resident and incoming president of ALA will share her vision of ALA and librarianship in Maryland.  She will be joined by incoming AALL Vice President/President- elect Steve Anderson.

The call for presentations will go out in early 2012. We will provide a long list of topics and themes to help you come up with ideas.  This will include everything from cataloging to collection development. You, or a group, will be asked to provide a title, list of objectives, and a paragraph summary of what you, or your group, wish to present and discuss. Once all the presentations have been received, LLAM will sort them and group them into tracks. We expect, but cannot promise, that all submissions will be accepted. We will notify you of your track and theme and the time and location of your presentation. The only requirement is that you  attend the entire conference.

LLAM’s goal is to keep this conference highly affordable with substantial discounts for attendees who are also presenters and for library students and those currently unemployed.

For details on Full Disclosure see http://llamonline.org

Information on the conference will posted on the new LLAM web site at http://llamonline.org/

LLAM October Program – Libraries and the Appellate Process

By Sara Witman
Research Librarian
Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander

Three Court of Special Appeals insiders offered a peak into Maryland appeals at the LLAM program, “Libraries and the Appellate Process” on October 12. The Clerk of the Court of Special Appeals, Leslie Gradet, as well as Deputy Clerk Greg Hilton and Staff Attorney Jeffrey Ross, spoke to over 20 LLAM members at the Maryland State Law Library on a beautiful autumn morning.

After an introduction from LLAM Vice President Mary Jo Lazun, Leslie Gradet started the program by offering a background on the Court of Special Appeals (COSA). She described how the COSA and the Court of Appeals (COA) differed. Specifically, the COSA is an intermediate appellate court and only a fraction of the decided COSA cases are reported, as opposed to the Court of Appeals decisions, all of which are reported.

Leslie then explained how parties make a notice of appeal. Interestingly, it is the responsibility of the appellant to order and pay for the transcript from the lower court. Greg Hilton described how the transcripts are part of “the record” for the case, which also consists of the docket entries, pleadings, and papers filed in the Circuit Court, as well as evidence.

One surprising detail was that about a third of civil cases are referred for a pre-hearing conference, which now includes the possibility of recommendation for mediation. Most of these mediated cases are heard by a retired judge and someone from the Office of Mediation. Apparently, it’s not too late to work things out even at the appellate level.

Greg Hilton and Jeffrey Ross then delved more deeply into relevant substantive legal issues. The big ones that the speakers discussed in detail were finality (for example, is the lower court’s judgment final for all claims against all parties?) and the standard of review (e.g., were the issues preserved, that is were they raised at the lower court?). Hearing how people who deal with these issues every day and how they approach them was particularly informative.

The speakers also described how they tackle legal research, using statutes, COMAR, law reviews, Lexis, and free tools such as the People’s Law Library.

Finally, Greg Hilton gave us a sneak peak into the future of digital records at the court, which will include electronic case and document management. The idea is to create a single system that will connect courts at all levels within the Judiciary and allow for electronic filing, document access, electronic fee collection, and more. Currently, the Judiciary has established an Advisory Committee and they have posted some information on their website at http://www.courts.state.md.us/mdec

eBooks with Lexis- February 7th at Noon

eBooks with Lexis

Scott Meiser, Director, Product Planning at Lexis
Tuesday, February 7th at Noon
Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland School of Law
Room 4409 the Level 4 Study Lounge

eBooks present challenges to both publishers and librarians. We both need to contend with multiple file formats and multiple readers. There appears to be almost a direct ratio between the number of readers and the number of issues libraries need to address. These include: How do libraries lend eBooks? Do we let people download a title or just lend them a reader with titles pre-loaded? Does the library own the title or is it licensed? What is a fair price? How do we measure “circulation?”

Scott Meiser, Director, Product Planning at LexisNexis will discuss these issues and what Lexis is doing to meet the needs of individuals and of libraries in this dynamic marketplace.

Directions and parking information

Holiday Party: December 1 at bb bistro in West Annapolis

This year’s holiday party will be at the eclectic  bb bistro in West Annapolis.  We will have the whole place to ourselves and Stacy and Clara will prepare a wonderful section of good eats. Beer and wine will be served.

bb bistro was as one of the first restaurants in Annapolis to receive the Environmental Stewardship Certification so we know their food is fresh; they don’t even own a freezer. The cost per person should be under $30, hopefully less.

As in past years, this is the date of Annapolis’ Midnight Madness holiday shopping event.

LLAM crafters, now is the time to think about to think about potential contributions to the silent auction.

bb bistro is located at:
112 Annapolis St
Annapolis, MD 21401

Please contact Mary Jo Lazun for more information.

Getting more admin law questions? Get answers.

Wednesday, November 9th,  12:00pm ’till 2:00pm @ University of Baltimore Student Center Room 301

Issues and questions involving administrative law seem to be occurring with great frequency.  This fall, LLAM is fortunate to have Arnold Rochvarg, University of Baltimore’s School of Law  administrative law expert, share his expertise with us.  We are all  deeply acquainted with his Maryland Administrative Law. (MICPEL 2d. ed. 2007) and soon we will also come to know his newest book, Principles and Practice of Maryland Administrative Law (Carolina Academic Press 2011).  See http://bit.ly/pCnfFh for details. During this lunchtime seminar Professor Rochvarg, will discuss the ” in’s and out’s ” of Maryland Administrative Law, recent changes to the law as highlighted in his new book.

Appellate Law: What’s so special about the Court of Special Appeals?

Wednesday, October 12, 10:00am to noon @ the Maryland State Law Library

Exactly what happens when an appeal is filed with the Court of Special Appeals? Find out from the experts. Leslie Gradet, Clerk of the Court of Special Appeals, and Jeff Ross, Staff Attorney, will demystify the administrative side of the appellate process. They will also discuss the key role of legal research in appellate brief writing.

Legal Research “Demystified” at MLA Pre-conference in Ocean City

By Sara Witman
Research Librarian
Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander

On May 4, four LLAM members presented the basics of “Researching Law Like Lawyers” to a group of around 20 in-person academic and public librarians – as well as additional virtual participants – at the pre-conference portion of “Library Heaven 2011,” the Maryland Library Association and Delaware Library Association’s joint annual meeting in Ocean City, Maryland.

The pouring rain did not appear to deter attendance in the full room of the public library across the street from the Clarion Hotel. Speaking at the program were Joanie Bellistri of the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library; Susan Herrick of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland School of Law; Catherine McGuire of the Maryland State Law Library; and myself, Sara Witman from the law firm, Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander.

The full program title was “Demystifying Legal Research: Researching Law Like Lawyers,” and the four-part presentation covered the basics of most aspects of legal research in just under three hours.

By “demystifying,” the presenters hoped to make legal research clear and simple for librarians who may not do it every day. Since academic and public librarians often field legal research questions at a reference desk, the presentation was designed to provide these librarians with a background of relevant legal authorities and the legal research process.  The program was worth three contact hours of continuing education in Maryland.

Joanie first walked the attendees through the branches of government and court systems in both Maryland and Delaware.  She then described relevant secondary sources such as treatises and articles, and discussed how they are used in legal research and how to find them.

Catherine then moved on to statutory law.  She explained the Federal and Maryland legislative systems, how bills become laws, and how to conduct statutory research using both free and not-so-free sources.

The next part of the presentation was administrative law. Although this is often a daunting subject, Susan effortlessly provided a thorough overview of what regulations are, how they are promulgated, and where to find information about regulations online.

As the final portion of the program, I quickly explained the basics of case law.  I described what cases were and how to find them online, either from a free or paid source.

Interestingly, the presentation took place both on-site and online. Virtual participants watched the presentation on the internet and were given polls and questions to stay involved.  This was the first time the presenters had done a joint in-person/virtual presentation, and it was very successful.

AALL Program Preview: Services for Self Represented Litigants In Pennsylvania

By Joan Bellistri
Anne Arundel County Public Law Library

As a member of the Self Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) Law Librarians Working Group, I volunteered to propose a program for AALL 2011 that would provide information on how court libraries in Pennsylvania provide service to the self represented. After agreeing to come up with a program, I realized that I didn’t really know any court librarians in Pennsylvania. I just started calling court librarians in the AALL directory to find out what they do. I was able to persuade three county law librarians to talk about their experiences with self represented litigants.  Eleanor Gerlott of Lancaster County, Melanie Solon of Berks County and Tracy McCall of Dauphin County all work in court law libraries with a small staff. Still, all of them have been involved in the development of programs for the self represented in their courts. Eleanor was instrumental in the creation of the Lancaster County self help center. She manages the center, which is not on the same floor as the law library, with a staff of two. Melanie works with  her court’s Pro Se Task Force, which creates forms packets for use by self represented litigants. Tracey established the self help center in her law library and was a member of the forms committee.

The program was not accepted by the AMPC, but will be sponsored by the State, Court, and County Law Libraries Special Interest Section. The program is scheduled for Sunday, July 24, at 3:00. Only two of my original contacts, Eleanor and Melanie, will be presenting, but the program will be of interest to those of us in county law libraries that are seeing an increasing number of self represented litigants. The Value of the Public Law Library: How County Law Libraries in Pennsylvania Collaborate with the Courts to Provide Service to the Self Represented Litigant will provide information on the creation of a self help center and SRL forms development. More importantly, I hope that it will enable county law librarians to demonstrate the value of the court law library as an indispensable element in the court’s ability to provide service to the self represented litigant.  By taking the lead in the development of services to meet the needs of self represented litigants, law librarians can enhance their visibility while demonstrating their value.

AALL Program Preview: Chinese and American Forum on Legal Information and Law Libraries (CAFLL) Conference

By Bijal Shah
Electronic Services Librarian
University of Baltimore Law Library

Two days prior to the upcoming AALL annual meeting in Philadelphia, the second biannual Chinese and American Conference on Legal Information and Libraries will take place in the same city.  The first such conference was held in Beijing, China in May, 2009.  This conference is being sponsored by the Chinese and American Legal Forum on Legal Information and Law Libraries (CAFLL), a non-profit organization whose membership includes legal information professionals in China and the United States.  The Forum’s mission statement indicates that the organization “promotes the accessibility of legal information and fosters the education of legal information professionals in the United States and China.” (http://cafllnet.org)

The two-day conference on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23 will serve as an opportunity for Chinese and American legal professionals to come together and share views on topics relevant to law libraries in both countries.  Since conference attendees will include law school deans and librarians from China and the United States, all sessions will be presented in both Chinese and English.  On the first day of the conference, workshops for Chinese library administrators and librarians on American law libraries are scheduled.  These pertain to such topics as leadership training and the internationalization of legal research.  The second day will feature keynote speakers, as well as panel discussions on evolving trends in law librarianship and future collaborative efforts between legal information professionals in the two countries.

One of my colleagues and I will be co-presenters during the panel discussion on technical services topics.  Clement Lau, Associate Director for Technical Services and Administration at University of Baltimore Law Library, and I are planning to briefly talk about resource sharing systems used in Maryland libraries.  Resource sharing is considered a “hot topic” in Chinese library circles, and Chinese library administrators are curious about how such systems operate in U.S. libraries.  We hope the discussion of our policies, practices, and challenges may foster additional dialog among both our American and Chinese colleagues.  In addition, I look forward to this unique opportunity to learn about a different library world.

LLAM February Program – Bankruptcy Overview

By Susan Herrick
Research Librarian
University of Maryland School of Law

Our February program was a presentation on bankruptcy law by Edith K. Altice, Esq., of Saul Ewing.

Edie began her presentation by describing her background as a business attorney who was drafted into bankruptcy work when her firm became involved in a large high profile corporate bankruptcy case about ten years ago. Although she has obviously gained much expertise in bankruptcy during the intervening years, she emphasized the complexity of the area and stated that there was always much more to learn.

Edie covered the basics of bankruptcy law, starting with the constitutional authority of the U.S. Congress to legislate regarding bankruptcy, a power aimed toward avoiding debtors’ prisons. She described how federal and state law intersect in this area –  essentially that states can opt to define through legislation what property can be held exempt from bankruptcy, rather than adopting the federal exemptions. Edie then walked us through the bankruptcy process, introducing and explaining many essential concepts and terms along the way: from DIP (debtor in possession) and preferences, to more colorful and evocative terms such as “cram downs” and “claw backs,” attendees came away with a greatly improved understanding of the specialized and sometimes mystifying vocabulary of bankruptcy law.

Edie’s presentation addressed Chapter 11 corporate reorganizations as well as Chapter 7 liquidations and Chapter 13 personal reorganizations.  That’s a lot of ground in just over an hour, but she covered it with aplomb, offering many interesting examples related to high profile bankruptcy cases along the way, including those of Bernie Madoff and Borders (not her clients!), and some personal experiences with corporate clients of her firm.

Attending LLAM members asked many questions drawn from their own experiences as librarians trying to guide patrons involved in bankruptcy research. In addition to providing the legal perspective, Edie addressed some of the personal aspects of the various forms of bankruptcy, thus adding the “human touch” to a topic that touches the lives of many.

Edie also distributed an extremely helpful handout with a “nutshell” overview of the bankruptcy process and concise definitions of many specialized terms, which will prove a useful reference.

LLAM thanks Edie Altice for an extremely instructive and entertaining program!