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Free Wildfires Helping Handbook – Updated

Here are resources for those affected by the current California fires. We will update this list as new information becomes available:

MoFo Fires HandbookIn 2017 Morrison & Foerster created the free 2017 Northern California Wildfires Helping Handbook.  The Handbook provides general and practical information for people, small businesses, and other organizations affected by the fires, and covers many issues including FEMA, consumer fraud, housing, employment, SBA loan assistance, and insurance.  There is also a chapter on Lawyer Referral Services and Legal Aid if you find you need further information or assistance.

This handbook is current through October 20, 2017, and a Spanish version is here. Check back in at www.mofo.com/norcal-fires for updates. You can download a copy of the handbook: 2017 northern-ca-fires-helping-handbook. There is also the 2017-2018 Southern California Helping Handbook, also in Spanish.

The firm is part of the Bay Area Resilience Collaborative, which provides free legal information to California fire survivors.  Information on other free or low-cost legal aid and resources can be found here:

For general information about the fires:

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Ravel View Now Available on Lexis Advance

Lexis Advance case law searches now have a new, time-saving feature: Ravel View. This revolutionary search visualization tool instantly provides a sort of bird’s eye view of the research forest. Ravel View maps the top 75 case search results on a grid, so it visually explains the relationship between cases, the importance of each case, relevance to search results, and Shepard’s treatment.

Here’s how it works. Each case on the grid is represented by a circle, and the bigger the circle, the more times the case has been cited. This means that seminal cases are quickly identifiable, saving considerable time and effort for the harried researcher. The grid’s horizontal axis represents time, and shows the progression of cases from old to new from left to right. The vertical axis represents jurisdiction, with the highest federal court at the top, followed by other federal courts and state courts at the bottom. Cases that are more relevant to the search query are positioned higher within these jurisdiction segments. It is also possible to sort the results along the vertical axis by relevance alone—simply switch the “Sort by” option from Court to Relevance. When there is a citing relationship between two cases, lines connect the circles to one another. Hover over one of the circles, and color-coded lines reveal Shepard’s treatment. The result of putting all these features together is that instead of spending hours scrolling, sifting, and sorting through search results, researchers can see the big picture with a click of the Ravel View icon. It’s located in the upper right corner of the case search results and looks like this: RavelBelow is an example of mapped case search results after clicking on one of the cases in the grid:

Ravel View

After selecting one of the cases, hovering over another case displays a pop-up box that explains the citing relationship between the two, as well as a snippet of the relevant section of the opinion. All the usual filters are also available, so the results displayed on the grid can be searched for additional key words or narrowed to a particular jurisdiction or date range.

Come to the Law Library to see Ravel View in action! The Library provides two hours per day of free access to Lexis Advance and other research databases.


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Alert! Hot Topic – Free MCLE Thurs – Don’t Miss

Thursday, July 19, 2018, Noon to 1:00pm
Free Speech and the First Amendment:
Why do we give Nazis free speech—and should we?

Download Flyer Here
Download Materials Here


Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, Berkeley Law


Bernadette Meyler, Carla and Sheila Spaeth Professor of Law, Stanford Law


Justice Therese Stewart, California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District


Justice Jon Streeter, California Court of Appeal, First Appellate 
District


Moderator
: Ben Feuer, Chairman, California Appellate Law Group LLP

In the wake of neo-Nazi riots in Charlottesville and elsewhere, and a surge in hate crimes across the country, a complex question that has recurred in American law and society for centuries is once again in the public eye: how much tolerance should the nation have for unpopular speech or minority opinions?

Renowned law professors and leading appellate judges will discuss the current state of free speech law in the United States, how and why those approaches developed, the effects liberal speech rights have had for good and ill, how other countries approach free speech questions, and more.

Seating is on a first-come, first-first-served basis.

Co-sponsored with The Bar Association of San Francisco

1 Hour free Participatory MCLE Credit.

 

July 19 2018 Free Speech MCLE Flyer


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New LibGuide: Free or Low-Cost Legal Services

Do you have a legal issue, but cannot afford to hire an attorney?  There are many ways to obtain free or low-cost legal help, and our new guide, Free or Low-Cost Legal Services, conveniently gathers together many local legal service providers in one place.  Some, but not all, of the services listed in this guide are reserved for people of low-income.

The local resources in this guide are organized in two ways: by topic (landlord/tenant, immigration, etc.) and by organizations that assist specialized populations (e.g. Hispanic, disabled, elderly). Click on a topic or population to view a list of organizations that provide services for that topic or population. There is also a full list of the legal service organizations which you can search.

We will update the guide whenever we find new organizations, so be sure to check back in.


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July Book of the Month: Neighbor Disputes

Neighbor DisputesNeighbor Disputes: Law and Litigation 
by Todd W. Baxter et al.
Reviewed by Ruth Geos, Reference Librarian


All of us are neighbors and most of us, in this urban setting, have neighbors above, below, next door or across the street. The issues touching our space and property are intensely emotional and can be difficult to negotiate. Some of our neighbors we know only by their first names, but the impact of their actions—by blocking access, encroaching a boundary, creating excessive noise, odor, or light, or undermining property foundations with earth-moving or water issues—can interfere with enjoyment, use, and other protections in living our lives next door. When the lines of communication between neighbors are closed, and impact is serious enough, some of these disputes arise to legal issues, and require consultation with counsel who can evaluate both the legal issue and the possibilities for resolution.

CEB’s Neighbor Disputes: Law and Litigation, available both in print and on CEB OnLaw, offers a specialized guide on how to address neighbor disputes, from the first client consultation through the completion of litigation. The authors emphasize the underlying emotional currents in any dispute between neighbors, and offer practical approaches to try to minimize antagonism both in immediate terms of negotiating a solution and for the long-term future to be able to coexist as neighbors. For example, counsel is advised at the outset of litigation to determine the client’s motivations and expectations in order to shape the course of representation, and to help the client understand the practical, emotional, and legal components of litigation. The authors emphasize that even where the client prevails, the wisdom is that client will not be made whole because they still live in an environment of distrust and anger.

view of city street

Photo by IKRAM shaari on Pexels.com

Individual chapters offer an authoritative analysis of neighbor disputes involving easements, encroachments, earth movement, trees, fences, domestic animals, water rights, views, open space, home businesses, solar and wind power, blight, criminal activities, toxic contamination, and noise, odor, light and air. The authors analyze potential causes of action, both statutory and based on common law, along with possible defenses and the various remedies that may be available. Checklists itemize the types of key information and facts to gather to support each cause of action, and a few sample documents are also included, including a sample demand letter requesting abatement of a nuisance.

Neighbor Disputes: Law & Litigation is highly recommended for its unique insight into the issues that challenge neighborhood civility, and for its thorough evaluation of the legal merits and potential for resolution through litigation or alternative means.


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July Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of July, featuring books about cybersecurity and oral arguments. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

Little Book on Oral Argument

The Little Book on Oral Argument, 2nd edition
Written by Alan L. Dworsky
$17.95, Paperback, 2048
ISBN: 978-0-8377-4077-5

ABA Cybersecurity Handbook

The ABA Cybersecurity Handbook: A Resource for Attorneys, Law Firms, and Business Professionals, 2nd edition
Written by Jill Deborah Rhodes and Robert S. Litt
$89.95, Paperback, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-6342-5979-8

To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791.  We appreciate your contribution!


Recent Book Drive Donations

Thank you to Susan Petro for her generous donation of Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th edition, part of our August 2017 Book Drive.

Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!

Thank you for your support!