O'Quinn Law Library Newsletter  

August/September, 2007


As the first issue for the Fall Semester of 2007, we want to welcome our students by showing them the support we have for their study and research activities.  Here we show you the pictures of our Public Services crew, who bring to our students a total of more than 70 years of experience in legal reference and research.  To help you to a smooth start, we feature our collection of various study aides, which are one of the most heavily used groups of books.  Talking about our collection, you may want to check out some of the Law Center faculty publications featured in this issue, especially if you plan to take the courses.  In fact if you search our online catalog, you will find the titles published by the Law Center faculty—yet more evidence that our professors are the experts in their fields.




Spencer L. Simons

Director of the Law Library and

Assistant Professor of Law


Welcome to the O’Quinn Law Library at the University of Houston.  Those of you who are just beginning law school will find the Library to be a rich source of the resources you need for your studies, a friendly guide to the strange new world of legal research, and a comfortable setting in which to concentrate on your work, catch up on your newspaper reading, or access the web through the wireless network.


This has been a busy summer.  Over the last five years the Library was engaged in a massive project to replace the books lost in 2001 to Tropical Storm Allison.  In addition to 35,000 volumes of digitized materials, the project successfully replaced 65,000 books, which are now being added to the collection.  We installed ten new shelf ranges this summer and rearranged our collection to receive these books.  During the early weeks of the semester you may notice some activity as we complete the shelving of these books.  With the completion of the book replacement project the Library has a more extensive, more focused, and more comprehensive research collection than it has ever had.


As the year progresses, watch for announcements of frequent tutorials on special research strategies and resources.  Most of all, whenever you have a question about a knotty research problem, need help in locating that hard to find item, or have a suggestion for us, just ask our expert lawyer librarians.  We’ve spent a busy summer preparing the Library for your busy year, and we urge you to make the most of our resources and our services.  Have a great year!



Welcome to Our Newest Reference/Research Librarian       Pete Egler        


The library is very happy to announce the arrival of Lauren Schroeder, our newest Reference/Research librarian. This past May Lauren received her Juris Doctor and Masters of Library Science degrees from the University of Buffalo’s dual degree program.  Prior to her graduation, Lauren has gained experience in various areas of law librarianship by serving as an intern or as a student assistant in academic law library and law firm libraries.  After her graduation Lauren relaxed by studying for and sitting for the New York state bar examination.


You will see Lauren at the library’s Reference Desk, and in her office at the Library’s Room 10. Please join us in welcoming Lauren to Houston!



Public Faces of the Library                                                                 Mon Yin Lung


For the full directory details please go to http://www.law.uh.edu/libraries/staff.htm.


    Spencer Simons

Director of Law Library & Assistant Professor of Law


LL 7, 713.743.5896

Mon Yin Lung
Associate Director




LL 9, 713.743.2307

Helen E. Boyce

Head of Document Services



LL 18, 713.743.2286

Jenel Cotton
Reference/Research Librarian



LL 8, 713-743-8969


Christopher C. Dykes

Reference/Research Librarian



LL 16,  713.743.2306

Peter J. Egler
Head of Reference



LL 14, 713.743.2318

Suzanne Gordon-Martin
Head of Circulation



LL 6, 713.743.1099

Lauren E. Schroeder




LL10, 713.743.2324





New Titles Authored by Our Faculty                                        Jenel Cotton





Craig N. Johnston, William F. Funk, Victor B. Flatt.

Legal Protection of the Environment.  2nd ed.  Thomson/West, c2007.

KF3775.A7J64 2007


This new casebook is an excellent tool for teaching students how to analyze environmental issues and become environmental lawyers. It covers the most significant environmental programs, shows how they operate, and demonstrates how remaining ambiguities are resolved by both agencies and the courts. In addition to containing thorough coverage of the major pollution control laws and NEPA, this book places emphasis on areas such as the wetlands program and the Endangered Species Act.





J. Thomas Oldham.

Texas Homestead Law.  3rd ed.

John Quincy Adams Pub., c2006.

KFT1654.A7O44 2006


This book provides the relevant statutory and case law regarding various types of homesteads in Texas. Professor Oldham treats readers with his insight and facilitates understanding by supplying comments on the development of the law where relevant.  Keeping the same four major chapters in the last two editions, this edition nevertheless adds many new sections on recent topics such as home equity loans and reverse mortgage.





Robert A. Ragazzo, Douglas K. Moll.

Closely Held Business Organizations : Cases, Materials, and Problems.  Thomson/West, c2006.

KF1365.R34 2006


The only business organizations casebook to focus on closely held businesses, this title is an in-depth study of the law of closely held businesses. It covers topics such as agency, closely held corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, and business trusts, etc. It also includes problems for comprehensive review and provides detailed information regarding the Delaware statutes and the uniform and model statutes such as the Model Business Corporation Act and Restatement (Third) of Agency. A statutory supplement is included.



Study Aids Available for Law School Courses                                Chris Dykes


The O’Quinn Law Library has a wide selection of study aids in its collection for our students.  While study aids should not replace regular course material, they are effective tools for obtaining a clear understanding of legal concepts and principles.  The library’s collection of study aides includes Hornbooks, Nutshells, Black Letter Series, and Examples and Explanations.


Hornbooks (published by West) may be the oldest series of study aides in the field of legal publishing.  Taking the name of an early type of children’s primer, a hornbook is a text that gives an overview of a particular area of law.  Written by law professors, the West Hornbooks are single-volume books for entry-level reading.  In addition to presenting an overview of its topic in clear terms, a Hornbook also provides references to cases, statutes, and treatises.  However, Hornbooks lack the detail, and depth of multi-volume treatises.  Students who wish to learn more about a subject area or legal concept should go to treatises in the field; many of them will be listed in a Hornbook.  Current edition of titles in this series can be found in our Reference Collection and on Reserve.


Nutshell books (also published by West) are a collection of compact paperback study guides that explain the most important issues of law, highlighting key cases and statutes.  Also authored by recognized experts, these guides try to present the essential rules of law in a condensed format. Although they can be timesaving, they are nothing more than a simplified summation of the essential issues.  They do not have enough substance to be used alone and are only beneficial for law students looking for a quick review or those who desire basic information about a subject.  Current editions of titles in this series can be found in our Reference Collection and on Reserve.


The Black Letter Series (another West product) are mainly outlines of subjects of law.  Many of them are prepared by the same professors who authored the Hornbooks.  Primarily consisting of outlines of black letter law with capsule summaries for review, they are helpful for preparing for class or exams, but they cannot substitute for one’s own class outline.  Books in this series are in the Reference Collection. 


Touted by the publisher as the “practical preparation for sensible student”, the Examples & Explanations series (by Aspen Publishers) are single volume paperback books covering major law school subjects.  The whole series adopts an analytical approach. Each title gives a reader more than an outline or a study guide of the subject, but less than what a Hornbook offers.  Each chapter covers a major topic of a legal subject and begins with an overview followed by problems and explanations.  All Examples and Explanations volumes are on Reserve.



Forthcoming Presentations of Library Brown Bag Series


To refresh and enhance their legal research skill, the Library provides our students Brown Bag Series on four or five different topics every semester.  Each topic is repeated once, so there will be two sessions of each during lunch hours and in the evenings.  This semester we will give presentations on how to research for a seminar paper, database searching strategies, tax law research and resources, and health law research and resources.  To maximize the usefulness, we will present the two sessions on how to research for a seminar paper in the second or third week of September, and the rest in October.  Please look out for signs or check with the Reference Desk or Circulation Desk for the time slots and locations.  If you cannot make it to any session of a topic you are interested in, we still can help.  We will give presentation to a minimum of two or three people.  So form a study group and work with the librarian for a date and time, and you will have a custom-made session.