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SFLL July E-Update

Read about upcoming Law Library virtual MCLE programs and updated virtual access in our latest E-Update.

July eUpdate

To receive future E-Updates from the San Francisco Law Library, please send an email to sflawlibrary@sfgov.org with “subscribe” in the subject line.

The Law Library staff wishes everyone health and safety during this unprecedented time.

 


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Library Closed on Juneteenth

The Law Library will be closed on Friday, June 19, 2020, in respect and honor of Juneteenth, as we celebrate black culture and history as well as education and connection in response to racial injustice in the United States.  The San Francisco Law Library proudly advocates for equal access to justice and the preservation of peoples’ rights.


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December Book of the Month: How to Become a Federal Criminal

how-to-become-a-federal-criminalHow to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender
Written and Illustrated by Mike Chase
Reviewed by Courtney Nguyen, Reference Librarian


The road to hell may very well be paved with federal statutes and regulations, as demonstrated by our December Book of the Month, How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender by Mike Chase. As the title promises, this book enumerates (with pictures!) the seemingly endless ways anyone can descend into a life of crime, even by accident. Chase writes with his tongue firmly in cheek, but even without the rude humor the actual statutes, regulations, and congressional hearings are outrageous and absurd enough to amuse and shock everyone. Here you will find lurid accounts of the depraved Yellowstone Off-Leash Cat Walker, and those wayward souls who dress like postal workers—when they aren’t even postal workers. Divided into eight sections based on type of offenses, this book barely scratches the surface of the innumerable crimes proliferated by Congress and various federal agencies.

Chase, an attorney who also runs the popular Twitter account @CrimeADay, clearly revels in the madness of it all, writing with a mix of juvenile glee and genuine befuddlement over how ridiculous these crimes can be. But he includes more than just illustrations on how to mail a mongoose; it’s clear that he has put extensive time and research into his work. This “handbook” also serves as a simple and easy to understand primer on the basics of the criminal justice system and how to read a federal statute, useful for aspiring offenders and law-abiding folk alike. He explores how there came to be so many federal crimes—more than it’s conceivably possible to count—tracing the labyrinthine path from the three listed crimes in the Constitution to the thousands upon thousands of criminal statutes and rules carrying criminal penalties we have today. There are also brief summaries of some of the stranger cases that went to court (some involving margarine).

This book not only gives you endless facts to share at cocktail parties, but also leaves you with some important takeaways. Such as, don’t bother trying to modify the weather with your weather laser unless you’ve filled out the right forms first. Or how the only thing standing between you and a cell might be how properly you label that box of dead bees you want to mail. And don’t even think about leaving the country with a pocketful of nickels.

Find How to Become a Federal Criminal (along with our other criminal law materials) at the library today!


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How About a Supreme Court Recipe for Thanksgiving?

SCOTUS ThanksgivingThinking Dessert here: which, for some, is the whole point of the holiday. And Table for 9: Supreme Court Food Traditions & Recipes has some for you to savor, as did all the members of the Court. Perhaps these sweetened their minds to face the issues on their desks a bit more amiably?

How about the Orange Cake with Grand Marnier and chocolate chips? There’s a recipe provided by Martin Ginsburg, the late husband of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who everyone knows doesn’t cook). His Frozen Lime Souffle (in yet another recipe collection) was said to be Justice Ginsburg’s very favorite dessert.

Your choice: that’s what Thanksgiving is all about—and why not make two desserts? For a copy of the Martin Ginsburg Orange Cake recipe, email the reference team at sfll.reference@sfgov.org and we will send it to you. For the many other recipes and conjunctions with previous Justices and the ones serving now, take a look at the book itself for other temptations such as Chopped Apple Cake, Deluxe Mango Bread, and Permission Pudding; or, as starters, Deviled Almonds or a Cowslip Sandwich. It’s the secret story behind those opinions, and one we can all relish.


Thanksgiving 2019