O'Quinn Law Library Newsletter

October/November 2007


From the desk of the Editor


This issue is full of goodies.  The Law Center faculty once again demonstrate their scholarship in books or encyclopedia entries.  Faculty  works collected by the Library since September are featured here by Reference/Research Librarian Jenel Cotton.  In this issue’s Case Wayback Machine column Reference/Research Librarian Lauren Schroeder provides an account of the case of the Scottsboro Boys, the landmark case on the right to counsel, thirty-one year ahead of Gideon v. Wainwright (372 U.S. 335, 1963), with the decision issued on November 7, 1932.  Finally, to help law students understand the myriad of publications produced during the legislative process, Reference/Research Librarian Chris Dykes has created a table of quick reference for legislative materials.  For more legislative information, please watch for his forthcoming research guide to legislative history on the library’s website.

As we approach the final exam period, we wish you a smooth time.  You can always count on the Library complimentary coffee for your need of caffeine.  Good luck to you all!



New Titles Authored by Our Faculty                                        Jenel Cotton



Ellen Marrus, Irene Merker Rosenberg

Children and juvenile justice. Carolina Academic Press, c2007.


KF9794.M37 2007


This new casebook provides a unique teaching tool for examining the issues relating to children charged with crime in the juvenile courts. It examines the history of the juvenile court system in America, from the Supreme Court jurisprudence to its impact on international and comparative law. The materials include cases, statutes, forms, ABA Standards, law review and related articles, and notes and questions.





Encyclopedia of American civil liberties. Paul Finkelman, editor.  Routledge, c2006


KF4747.5.E53 2006


With contributions by David Dow and Leslie C. Griffin. This major multidisciplinary Encyclopedia in American history and law is the first devoted to examining the issues of civil liberties and their relevance to major current events, while providing  historical context and a philosophical discussion of the evolution of civil liberties. Coverage includes the traditional civil liberties, as well as privacy, the rights of the accused, and national security.





John Ventura.

The credit repair handbook : everything you need to know to maintain, rebuild, and protect your credit. Kaplan Pub., 2007.


HG3751.7.V46 2007


In The Credit Repair Handbook, consumer debt and bankruptcy expert John Ventura counsels readers on how to identify problems with their credit, rebuild their credit histories and boost their credit scores, and protect their credit from identity thieves. Comprehensive, thorough, and up-to-date, this is the only guide readers will need to get their financial lives back on track.






J. A. Patterson, David Crump, Betty Bradley.

Health care law. University of Houston Law Foundation, c2007.


KFT1560.A75H43 2007


This course focuses on important issues in the area of Health Law. Topics include electronic discovery and record retention, recent case law developments, legislative initiatives on the state and federal levels, employment law developments, representing physicians and physician groups, compensation and benefits in healthcare organizations, credentialing and peer review challenges, pharma-provider interactions, fraud and abuse, fair market value in health care transactions, fiduciary duties of officers and directors, risk management issues, ethics, the present impact of expanding health insurance coverage, hospital department co-management arrangements, emergency department disasters, managed care update, and software licenses.






David S. Clark, editor

Encyclopedia of law & society: American and global perspectives. Sage Publications, c2007.


K583.E53 2007


With contributions by James Herget, Professor Emeritus. The Encyclopedia of Law and Society is the largest comprehensive and international treatment of the law and society field. This state-of-the-art resource represents interdisciplinary perspectives on law from sociology, criminology, cultural anthropology, political science, social psychology, and economics. By globalizing the Encyclopedia's coverage, American and international law and society will be better understood within its historical and comparative context.





Jordan J. Paust.

Beyond the law: the Bush Administration's unlawful responses in the War on Terror. Cambridge University Press, 2007.


KF9625.P38 2007


This book provides a detailed exposition of violations of international law, authorized and abetted by secret memos, authorizations, and orders of the Bush administration. It provides the most thorough documentation of cases demonstrating that the president is bound by the laws of war; that decisions to detain persons, decide their status, and mistreat them are subject to judicial review during the war; and that the commander-in-chief power is subject to restraints by Congress.





Joseph A. Vail.

Essentials of removal and relief: representing individuals in immigration proceedings.  Edited by Stephanie L. Browning American Immigration Lawyers Association, 2006.


KF4819.V35 2006


This book provides a detailed process on how to represent clients in immigration proceedings.  A historical backdrop of immigration law is covered, as well as the agencies involved and their roles in the process.  Perfect for attorneys seeking to represent individuals in immigration matters.



Case Wayback Machine for This Month

Powell v. State of Alabama, 287 U.S. 45                                       by Lauren E. Schroeder


On November 7, 1932, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its opinion on this case, better known as the case of the Scottsboro Boys.


Nine young black men ranging in age from thirteen to nineteen, known as the “Scottsboro Boys,” were charged with raping two white girls while riding a freight train.  They were seized at Scottsboro, Alabama.  None of the defendants were residents of Alabama, and no one answered for the defendants or appeared to represent or defend them when the first case was called on the day of trial.  They were tried in three groups with each trial being completed in one day, and all but one were sentenced to death by all-white juries despite the weak and contradictory testimonies of the witnesses.  The three original cases were combined into one in the U.S. Supreme Court.


The issue facing the Supreme Court was whether the defendants had been denied the right of counsel, and whether that denial was an infringement of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.  In a 7-2 decision, the Court found that it was.  The Court’s opinion, written by Justice Sutherland, stated that a defendant “must not be stripped of his right to have sufficient time to advise with counsel and prepare his defense.”  The Court said that the right of counsel is a fundamental one, “which no [State] may disregard.”  It also remarked that  laymen tend to lack enough knowledge of the law to adequately defend themselves in court, and that was compounded in this case because all the defendants were “incapable adequately of making … own defense because of ignorance, feeble-mindedness, illiteracy, or the like”.


The Court held that, under the facts before it, “the failure of the trial court to give [the defendants] reasonable time and opportunity to secure counsel was a clear denial of due process…[and] the failure of the trial court to make an effective appointment of counsel was likewise a denial of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.”  This was especially true in a capital case, where “it is the duty of the court, whether requested or not, to assign counsel for [a defendant] as a necessary requisite of due process of law” because the result of a guilty verdict could mean the defendant’s being executed.


After the Supreme Court overturned the defendants’ convictions, the case was remanded back to the state courts.  The defendants were later retried, and four of them were convicted.  Of those four, one was freed from prison, one was paroled, one escaped from prison, and one was pardoned. 


Powell v. State of Alabama was the first major Supreme Court discussion of the constitutional right to counsel.  Its ruling was limited to the special circumstances surrounding the case – an ignorant and/or illiterate defendant being charged with a capital crime.  The case did not address a defendant’s right to counsel in a non-capital case.  The Court later extended the right to counsel in Gideon v. Wainwright (372 U.S. 335 (1963)), stating that all indigent defendants charged with any felony have the right to appointed counsel.


For further reading see Scottsboro; a tragedy of the American South by Dan T. Carter, published by Louisiana State University Press, 1969 at KF224.S34C3.



Information Tidbits


From the U.S. Department of Energy: energy saving tips at http://www.energy.gov/energysavingtips.htm, telling you how to save energy from your automobile to winterizing your home. 



Quick Reference:  Legislative Materials                               by Chris Dykes


A.  Documents Created in the Legislative Process


Steps of the Legislative Process

Possible Documents Created

1. Introduction of bill in the House or Senate

Bill (Introduced)


Introductory Statement

2.Committee/Subcommittee Action

Hearing Transcripts


      Committee Prints

3. Bill passes the committee and is reported to the floor of the chamber

      Reported Bill

      Committee Report

4. Floor Action: bill debated and voted upon by the full chamber.

      Debate Transcripts and  

      Proceedings, Roll Call    


5. Bill passage and referral to other chamber (Repeat Steps 1-4 above)

      Bill (Engrossed)

6. Conference Committee (Convened only if there are differences between House and Senate versions of the bill)

      Conference Report

7. Floor Action: Congress will debate and vote on the final version of the bill submitted by the Conference Committee



      Bill (Enrolled)

8. Presidential Action

(Veto, No Action, Signature)

      Presidential Signing   



II.  Locating Legislative History Documents


1. Congressional Record

Contains debate, votes, and proceedings for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate


THOMAS database (1989-present)

(pdf available for certain documents)

Print/Microfiche (1873-present)

2. CIS Legislative Histories

Contains a list of legislative documents and their citations for virtually every public act enacted from 1970-present

LexisNexis Congressional (1970-present)

3. CIS Legislative Documents

Documents include transcripts for committee hearings, committee reports, committee prints


Microfiche (1970-2004)

LexisNexis Congressional (1970-present, selected documents available from 1789-present)


Contains select committee reports and text of bills

Print (1941-present, committee coverage begins in 1948)

Westlaw (1948-present)