O'Quinn Law Library Newsletter                 March 2007



From the desk of the Editor


Recently our newsletter has undergone some changes.  Beginning with this issue, we present four regular columns: the New Books Authored by Our Faculty, the Case Wayback Machine, Library Questions and Answers, and Library Fun. 


In addition to being great teachers, our professors are also great legal scholars.  The New Titles Authored by Our Faculty brings to you the recent book titles, their brief introductions, and the call numbers so you can easily locate them in the Library.  The Case Wayback Machine brings to you historical landmark cases decided within the two months each issue covers.  Library Questions and Answers is a place for us to address your concerns on Library business.  In this section we will try to answer those questions our patrons drop into the opinion box or send to us via various channels.  Finally the Library Fun will provide our hard-working students some fun while learning some legal information.


The O’Quinn Law Library is published for you, so please send us your suggestions and opinions.  Contact mlung@central.uh.edu and we will pick it up from there.



New Titles Authored by Our Faculty




David Crump ...[et al.].

Criminal law : cases, statutes, and lawyering strategies : cases and materials. LexisNexis/Matthew Bender, c2005.

KF9218.C765 2005


Criminal Law: Cases, Statutes, and Lawyering Strategies is one of the most compact casebooks in the market, yet it covers all of the traditional criminal law subjects and also contains several special features: explanations and introductions to complex material, a problem approach, an emphasis on reading statutes, current issues such as terrorism, case files, sound coverage of some important areas neglected by other books, and a focus on the realities of the criminal law.







Leslie C. Griffin

Law and religion : cases and materials, Foundation Press, 2007

KF4865.A7G75 2007


This casebook provides a comprehensive examination of the issues that arise from the interaction of laws and religions. Topics include the free exercise of religion, church autonomy, the Establishment Clause, religion and politics, and educational issues. The book also examines international protections given to religious freedoms.






Oldham, J. Thomas; Weisberg, D. Kelly

Texas family code and related provisions. Aspen Publishers, c2003-



Provides an authoritative guide to Texas family law tailored to the unique needs of the law student.  It furnishes explanations of fundamental legal principles in family law, background and commentary on statutes, notations on important case law developments, citations to recent law review articles, and a glossary explaining key terminology.  It also elucidates current legal developments in cutting-edge areas such as domestic partnerships, domestic violence, and reproductive freedom. Designed for use in both basic and advanced family law courses, the book is also recommended for courses in Texas community property law and children and the law.




Featuring Library Resource

Tax Analysts Web Services                                                        by Chris Dykes


The O’Quinn Law Library recently subscribed to the Tax Analysts Web Services database. This database provides federal, state, and international tax news, financial reporting news, and information on tax treaties. Our subscription includes electronic access to Tax Analysts Tax Notes Today, Financial Reporting Watch, State Tax Notes Today, Worldwide Tax Daily, and International Tax Treaties.


Tax Notes Today provides the latest federal income tax news. You can search current news and archives from 1987 until present. Search features include finding articles by code section and subject area. Commentary and analysis can be searched by author, subject, or title of the article.


Financial Reporting Watch provides current accounting and financial reporting enforcement news, tax disclosures by company and industry, and includes an archival search feature.


State Tax Today provides access to the latest state tax news from all fifty states. You can search articles by state and subject area. Contents and highlights from the current edition are available as well as the archives from1987 until present.


Worldwide Tax Daily includes tax news from around the world and allows you to find news by nation and subject area. Worldwide Tax Treaties features a treaty locator and will enable you to select from different nations and locate tax treaties available. You can search for all types of treaties between the United States and other nations and also retrieve legislative history for treaties. The database contains information on tax treaty conventions.


Finally, the multi-database search feature will allow you to conduct advanced level searches on Tax Notes Today, State Tax Notes Today, and Worldwide Tax Daily simultaneously.



Case Wayback Machine for This Month

Dred Scott v. San[d]ford, 60 US 393 (1857)                                                by Jenel Cotton


On March 6, 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that slaves were property, not U.S. citizens, and held that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional.  The Missouri Compromise, which was reached in 1820 by Congress, set a boundary line that determined which states would enter as free and which states could choose to enter as slave states. A slave from Missouri, Dred Scott, traveled to Illinois, a free state, with his owner, John Emerson, and lived there until Emerson died. Scott then sued John Sanford, the administrator of Emerson’s estate in federal court (with jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship) alleging that his residence in Illinois made him a free person. The Supreme Court disagreed and held that slaves were not citizens and could not invoke diversity of citizenship jurisdiction for suits in federal court.  The Court noted that when the Constitution was ratified, slaves were not considered citizens, and thus, “had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them.” Ultimately, because Scott was not a citizen, he could not sue as a citizen in federal court.


            Even though the Court determined that they lacked jurisdiction to hear the case, they went further and declared the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional.  The Court ruled that Congress cannot grant citizenship to slaves or their descendants because slave owners would be deprived of both their due process right and of a right to receive just compensation from the government for deprivation of property. Thus, Scott was not made free by being taken to Illinois and his status was to be determined by Missouri law.


            This decision was considered one of the most ill-conceived decisions in the history of the Supreme Court, and became a focal point on the debate over slavery. Striking down the Missouri Compromise caused a national uproar which added more tension to the situation preceding the Civil War.



Library Questions and Answers                                        by Mon Yin Lung


Question 1.  Please do not have the vacuum cleaner going for a full hour during peak study hours 9-10 +.  I could not study and had to leave the library because of the noise.  Isn’t there any other time to vacuum?  Isn’t the library supposed to be a place of quiet?


Answer:  While the library is a quiet place to study, the cleaning crew had to vacuum during the time they work.  And, with the litter and food (!) left behind by our users, the place needs to be vacuumed regular (at least once a month).  Mindful of the need of our users, we recently requested the custodian service to switch to night crew for us.  This means the cleaning will not be done until the library is closed.  Hopefully this would work out for everybody.


Question 2.  Please provide a way to pay library fines online!!


Answer:  This issue involves not only the Library but also the Law IT Department, the University IT Department, and the University Bursar’s office, to name a few.  It also involves the reprogramming of part of the University’s financial system.  We have submitted your request to related departments for their consideration.  Meanwhile, please try to return or renew your library books on time so you do not have to pay a fine.



Library Fun

Crossword Puzzle Fit for a Law Student                                                     by Mon Yin Lung


            We know how hard you have been studying.  To provide you with a little fun as well as a study aid, your fun-loving librarian has constructed a legal research crossword puzzle.  The answer can be obtained at the reference desk and will be posted in next issue of this newsletter.  We will continue this type of activity if we received favorable responses.




1.  The philosophy of law.

2.  The abbreviation of the degree earned by a UH Law Center student after completing the Graduate Legal Studies Program. 

3.  The Bluebook abbreviation of the U.S. Supreme Court case reporter published by West.

4.  The Bluebook abbreviation of the ultimate collection of federal regulations.

5.  The official case reporter on U.S. Supreme Court cases.

6.  The Bluebook abbreviation of the reporter on federal rule cases.

7.  Abbreviation of the publisher of the Standard Federal Tax Reporter.

8.  The standard used to determine the guilt or innocence of a person being criminally charged.

9.  A sudden and urgent happening.

10.  The Abbreviation of P.L. 93-406.

11.  The Bluebook abbreviation of American Law Reports.

12.  A member of a jury.




1.  The name of the degree UH Law Center grants to the majority of its graduates.

2.  The way the Bluebook cites American Jurisprudence.

3.  The full title of the predecessor of CJS.

4.  The Bluebook abbreviation of the U.S. Supreme Court case reporter published by LexisNexis.

5.  The name of the regional reporter covering Oklahoma.

6.  The first part of the name of a database covering energy and environment policy news, with a link from the Law Library’s Indexes and Databases page.  Hint: _______wire (one word).

7.  The movement of vehicles.

8.  The name of the plaintiff of 347 US 483.

9.  One who has attained the legal age of majority.

10.  The standard abbreviation of Corpus Juris Secundum.

11.  The Bluebook abbreviation of the U.S. Supreme Court case reporter published by West.