December 5, 2014

Holiday closing December 26th, 2014

The M. Dolores Denman Courthouse will be closed to the public on Friday, December 26, 2014. Library materials due on that date may be returned Monday, December 29, 2014 without penalty.

We will be open on Friday, January 2, 2015.

December 1, 2014

Book Review: The Education of a Lawyer by Gary Muldoon

Gary Muldoon has published a new book entitled The Education of a Lawyer. Mr. Muldoon, who has been practicing law for over 35 years, is known for previous publications in the areas of criminal law and family law. His venture into something less serious is, in a nutshell, a pleasure to read.

These essays are stories not only of Mr. Muldoon's own experiences but those of family, friends, and acquaintances as well. Each essay begins with a situation and is concluded with advice or an opinion on what to do and what not to do when faced with specific circumstances.

The collection includes essays on deciding to enter and being in law school, searching for work, being in legal practice, writing and speaking, building and keeping relationships with colleagues and clients alike, improving oneself, and just living life in general.

I particularly liked his essays on “Dressing for Success” (as his wife “cringes at the thought of [him] advising anyone on what to wear”); “Practicing Law on the Cheap”; and the whole chapter titled “In Life.”

Lawyers and non-lawyers, experienced or not, will find Gary's collection of essays informative and, at the very least, entertaining.

- LegalEagle

October 24, 2014

From Jamestown farm boy to Supreme Court justice

We were excited to see that the front page of the Daily Record today featured a story on a recent MCBA program on former U. S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson. Among the speakers was Presiding Justice Scudder of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, which admitted Justice Jackson to the practice of law in 1913 at the tender age of 21.

Library staff were involved in various aspects of the research into Justice Jackson's history with the Fourth Department - "a fun project," says one librarian who worked with the original bar admission documents. A librarian who worked on locating cases Jackson argued before the Fourth Department recounts one case that struck her as particularly evocative of its time and place, "One fascinating case Jackson argued before the Fourth Department in 1925 involved a typhoid epidemic traced to tainted milk. Jackson represented the dairy farmers in their contention that sewage discharged by the city of Jamestown into a creek was the cause of the infection in their milk. The case was won on retrial and affirmed at appeal."

October 8, 2014

Adverbs on trial

There's an amusing little piece in the Wall Street Journal today about adverbs. Stephen King apparently has written unkind things about them, prompting some legal types to come to their defense, among them James M. Donovan, director of the University of Kentucky College of Law Library, who asserts in his recent essay "On Writing with Adverbs," "Contrary to the ordinary view that adverbs are superfluous, law generally, and criminal law especially, emerges through its adverbs." Bryan Garner also weighs in.

October 3, 2014

Welcome, MCC paralegal students!

Weekly legal research classes for Monroe Community College paralegal students will be held in the library from October 2nd through the 23rd. The library has commitments to the community beyond local attorneys and litigants, including a longstanding relationship as library of record for the paralegal program at MCC. We’re happy to be part of a successful program benefitting both students and the legal community.

September 29, 2014

Law Libraries and Access to Justice

"Law libraries make 'The Law' available." So notes the introduction to the American Association of Law Library's recently released white paper, Law Libraries and Access to Justice. Some of the most effective and innovative ways law libraries strive to make "The Law" available to all amidst today's formidable challenges are outlined. Thanks to the work of an Appellate Division law librarian on the white paper committee, one local initiative, the 7th Judicial District Help Center at the Monroe County Hall of Justice, is featured in the report. Do give it a read.

August 26, 2014

Introducing Microsoft Word classes

In September the library will be offering free mini classes on Microsoft Word 2010. If you have 30 minutes to spare, you can get all you need from these quick informational classes. There will be sessions on "Functions of the Ribbon," "Saving Documents," and "Snipping Made Easy." For beginners and anyone needing a refresher! All classes are held at the Law Library. Click here for schedule and registration form.

Please check our website and blog each month for new classes.

August 15, 2014

School Without Walls visit

A group of students from the School Without Walls got an introduction yesterday to rare books and preservation. As their "tour guide" relates,

The School Without Walls visit was a fun experience. I was able to share with the students how information technology has changed during the past 50 years and how those changes relate to their everyday lives, particularly in the way they communicate with each other and how they complete assignments and take notes. They were able to look at various types of obsolete storage media and learn how difficult it can be to access information stored in those formats. We also discussed the history of legal research and how recent advances in technology has led to dramatic changes in research methods and in the legal profession as a whole. The students were able to handle rare law books that were more than 500 years old and see handwritten court documents from the earliest years of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. We also briefly discussed how to properly display and store photographs, using the court’s unique collection of portraits as a case study.

I was surprised by one student who did almost everything “the old fashioned way” from printing photographs to using paper phone books, whereas the other students used their cellphones and Wi-Fi exclusively.

The students seemed genuinely interested in the presentation. I am looking forward to the next class to visit and have some exciting ideas for additional things to share with them.

We always appreciate the opportunity to show off the library and share what we know. If your group would like to schedule a tour, please call the Reference Desk at 585-530-3251.

August 1, 2014

Chow Down Downtown on Monday

It's a little like the food truck rodeos they hold at the Public Market during the warm weather, only downtown. On Monday, August 4th, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Church Street will be closed from State to Fitzhugh Streets for the Chow Down Downtown, featuring such foodie favorites as Hello Arepa and Le Petit Poutine. For a list of participating vendors, please see the city's guide to this event.

Show your support for a vibrant downtown & eat lunch out Monday!

July 30, 2014

Fourth Dept. Attorneys for Children Program & RBBA present
an afternoon of professional development

The Appellate Division Fourth Department and the Rochester Black Bar Association are collaborating to present an informational program for those interested in learning the benefits and the procedure to become an attorney for children. Speakers will include Associate Justice Joseph D. Valentino, Tracy M. Hamilton, Director of the Attorneys for Children Program, and Robert P. Turner, Esq., 2011 winner of the Fourth Department’s Hon. Michael F. Dillon Award for vigorous advocacy on behalf of children.

Date: August 12, 2014
Time: 12:30-1:30 pm
Location: AFC Program Office, the Riedman Building, 45 East Avenue, 2nd floor
(The Riedman Building is across East Avenue from the Appellate Division courthouse.)

Space is limited. Please RSVP for this program by August 5, 2014 by emailing with the subject heading "AFC Program."

June 23, 2014

First weekend of the 2014 Jazz Festival

Free show at East & Chestnut
on a delightful summer evening

June 20, 2014

East End eats

We're happy to see some of our favorite coffee and lunch spots mentioned in Karen Miltner's guide to Jazz Festival dining options in today's Democrat and Chronicle. An accompanying article details several other food-related businesses that will be opening soon in our area, including an eagerly-anticipated grocery store. There hasn't been a place nearby where you could run to for produce or a bottle of salad dressing since the IGA in Midtown closed.

June 18, 2014

Jazz Festival street closures

Our UPS guy is not happy about it, but the street closures for the Jazz Festival have begun. The complete list is below.

Gibbs St. (from East Ave. to E. Main)
Mon., June 16 (Midnight) to Mon., June 30 (Midnight)

Chestnut St. (from E. Main to East Ave.)
Fri., June 20 (6AM) to Sun., June 22 (2AM)
Fri., June 27 (6AM) to Sun., June 29 (2AM)

East Ave. (from E. Main to Scio)
& Chestnut (from Broad to East Ave.)
Fri., June 20 (5PM-Midnight)
Sat., June 21 (5PM-Midnight)
Fri., June 27 (5PM-Midnight)
Sat., June 28 (5PM-Midnight)

East Ave. (from Alexander to Union)
& Alexander (from Charlotte to Park)
Sat., June 28 (5PM-Midnight)

East Ave. (from Prince to Alexander)
Sat., June 28 (6AM) to Sun., June 29 (2AM)

Main St. (from Gibbs to Chestnut, not including Gibbs or Chestnut)
Fri., June 20 to Sat., June 28 (5PM-Midnight)

May 30, 2014

Who owns the law?

Carl Malamud is a familiar name in the law library world, an advocate of free access to public information who has often clashed with government bodies, legal publishers, research firms, and others. As a lawsuit brought against Malamud's organization by the American Society for Testing and Materials gets underway in the District of Columbia District Court, the cover story of June's ABA Journal, Who owns the law? Technology reignites the war over just how public documents should be, provides a good overview of the issues being contested in this fascinating intersection of technology and the law.

April 24, 2014

Please do not reshelve our books

If you come to the library, you probably see signs saying, “PLEASE DO NOT RESHELVE OUR BOOKS.” These signs are not unique to us. We see them at the public library as well. The reason for this is two-fold.

One is, although we trust our users to remember where they got the book, sometimes, spaces on shelves look alike and just about any book that is of the same thickness will fit in it. Books get misshelved and there they will stay until someone browses the area and notices the misplaced book. Sometimes, it takes a very long time to find the book.

The other reason for asking our users not to reshelve our books is because this is the only way we can tell what books are being used. When the time to order new editions or supplements comes and we review the usage for particular titles, chances are only those that show that they have been used will get updated or only those on certain topics will be bought.

So, please leave the reshelving to us! You will be helping to ensure that material that's being used is accurately counted and then put back in its proper spot for the next patron.

March 20, 2014

Close to finishing law school? Learn about us!

Yesterday we had some law students in their last year at UB visiting us. As their "tour guide" notes,
One aspect of the tour that was particularly interesting for the students was the availability of free Lexis, private study rooms, and Wi-Fi. I told the students that many attorneys meet with clients in the private study rooms, while using the wireless connection to access email, Lexis and the Internet. It was clear they were already pondering the possibilities as I talked about it - one of them immediately commented, "We could use the library as our law office." The idea that they could start their own law practice without the expense of an office was something they hadn't thought possible. When combined with the library's massive print collection, the students acknowledged that our facility really does offer just about everything a young attorney would need to get started in the profession. In fact, one of them has already returned (a day later) to conduct research for her current law school assignment!

March 17, 2014


Next Sunday, March 23, at 3:00 P.M., the Little will present Forbidden Voices, a documentary profiling three dissident bloggers who've braved repression in their home countries, as part of its Women's History Month Film Series. The stories of Yoani Sanchez of Cuba, Zeng Jinyan of China, and Farnaz Seifi of Iran will no doubt make compelling viewing.

Closer to home, it's important to note that this is Sunshine Week, a national initiative, in the words of its website, to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools, and others interested in the public’s right to know. The American Association of Law Libraries and the American Library Association will be taking part in Sunshine Week activities. For more information, see here and here.

Update: The Democrat and Chronicle has several pieces online addressing Sunshine Week concerns locally. Here's a site we learned about there and would like to pass along: Open New York, an open data portal "bringing together local, state and federal data in one place."

February 25, 2014

Reception for Rochester's new mayor

The Rochester Black Bar Association and the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys recently hosted a reception for Mayor Lovely Warren. We noted some familiar faces in the Daily Record's photos of the event.

February 24, 2014

Downton Abbey & Law Made Fun

Appearing last night on WXXI-TV's Talking Abbey Live, Brighton Town Justice Karen Morris provided engaging and thoughtful commentary from a legal point of view on the popular PBS series Downton Abbey, which appears to enjoy quite a following in the legal community. As the show wrapped up its fourth season, Judge Morris, author of Law Made Fun through Harry Potter's Adventures, suggests there may be a Law Made Fun through Downton Abbey coming our way. We look forward to it.

February 14, 2014

From vellum to digital archives

We were pleased to get a visit yesterday from a group of students from the World of Inquiry School who had chosen the subject of law to investigate during their "Intensive Week." Pictured below is a discussion on data preservation and storage media. Staff was vividly reminded of the rapid changes in this area when the teacher accompanying the group was unfamiliar with a 5 1/4-inch floppy!

If your group would like to schedule a tour of the library, please call the Reference Desk at 585-530-3251.

February 10, 2014

What's Going On in Downtown Rochester?

There is a wonderful balloon exhibit on display in the Sibley Building of Jack and the Beanstalk by Balloon Manor. The exhibit has every color of the rainbow and more. Every detail can be seen from a roaring fireplace to butterflies all a flutter. If you are looking for FREE family fun this exhibit is a must see.

You better hurry!  Today, the exhibit is scheduled to come down, and a large-scale popping party will ensure it is done in the most fun way possible.  

The popping party starts tonight at 5 P.M.

January 27, 2014

Rochester Black Bar Association Meet and Greet

The RBBA will hold its first social event of the year on Friday, January 31, 2014 at the Wall Street Bar and Grill located at 330 East Avenue. The event goes from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. 

More information can be found at the RBBA website.

January 13, 2014

4th Department Justices Sconiers and Valentino to Sit on RBBA Panel

Appellate Division, Fourth Department Justices Rose H. Sconiers and Joseph D. Valentino will be part of a panel of magistrates at an upcoming event hosted by the Rochester Black Bar Association (RBBA). The Continuing Legal Education session, entitled "Everything You Need to Know about Becoming a Judge," will be held Friday, January 17, 2014 at The Rubin Center for Education at 1 West Main Street.

The program has been specifically des
igned to educate RBBA members, with the eventual goal of increasing diversity in the local judiciary. Information will be shared on how to become a City, County, State and Federal Judge.

More information can be found here and at the Rochester Black Bar Association's website.