While keeping up with Supreme Court of Georgia decisions can be a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. Below are several resources researchers can use to stay abreast of recent decisions.
Summaries of Noteworthy Decisions
In addition to finding the slip opinions of recent decisions on the Supreme Court of Georgia’s website, researchers can also find the “Summaries of Noteworthy Decisions.” This resource is produced by the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Public Information Officer, and includes concise summaries of opinions considered to be of great public interest. The summaries are available on the opinions page, located above the full-text of slip opinions for a given release date.
Daily Report Court Opinions
The Daily Report’s Court Opinions webpage is an excellent source for locating recent Supreme Court of Georgia and Georgia Court of Appeals opinions. While researchers need a subscription to the Daily Report to view the full text of the opinions, non-subscribers can view the case name, area of law(s) the opinion addresses, and a one sentence summary of the court’s holding.
Produced by attorneys at Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP, the SCOG Blog is an good source for finding information on civil cases heard before the Supreme Court of Georgia. The blog routinely posts information on forthcoming and recent opinions.
By Wikignome431 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The 2015 Session of the Georgia General Assembly concluded on April 2, 2015. Following the final adjournment of the General Assembly, known as sine die
, the Governor has 40 days to sign any bills or resolutions received after the 34th day of the session, which took place on March 23, 2015.
The Georgia Constitution provides in Article III, Section V, Paragraph XIII that any bills or resolutions not signed or vetoed during the 40 day period will automatically become law. Researchers can review and keep track of which 2015 bills the Governor has signed into law by going to the following sources:
Following the Governor’s actions, the Office of Legislative Council will publish the Summary of General Statutes Enacted at the 2015 Session of the General Assembly of Georgia, which will provide researchers with a summary of all of the statutes of general statewide application signed into law, organized by the title they amend of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. Researchers will find the General Statutes Summary on the General Assembly’s website.
The full text of all the legislation enacted during the 2015 Session of the General Assembly will be published in the 2015 edition of Georgia Laws. Once published, researchers can access the most recent version of Georgia Laws on the Georgia Government Publications website.
Pursuant to Article III, Section V, Paragraph XII of the Georgia Constitution, the Governor will provide reasons for vetoing legislation. Generally, the Governor will post veto statements on the Press Releases webpage of the Office of the Governor website. Researchers can also find a veto statements in Volume III of Georgia Laws.
Do you want to work for the Law Library? We hope so, because we’re hiring GRAs for this summer!
The following positions will be filled:
Law Library GRA positions are open to all GSU law students who have completed their first two semesters of classes. Part-time students are eligible. Students applying for Summer positions must be enrolled in at least 3 hours of Summer classes. Students may apply for both type of GRA position, but cannot be hired for both positions at the same time.
Applications are due at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2015.
Reference GRA applicants: Email one document which includes a 1) cover letter, 2) current resume, and 3) completed availability form to Austin Martin Williams (email@example.com). Include your last name in the file name.
Research GRA applicants: Email one document which includes a 1) cover letter and 2) current resume to Pam Brannon (firstname.lastname@example.org). Include your last name in the file name.
This week, the Law Library and University Library are celebrating national Fair Use Week. This annual celebration highlights the doctrine of fair use, which is one of the exceptions of U.S. copyright law that allows teachers, students, and researchers to use copyright materials without permission from the copyright holder.
In celebration of Fair Use Week, the Law Library will be holding a program on fair use in the classroom.
- Program Title: What kinds of content can I use in my course? Working within the law and BOR Policy.
- Speaker: Gwen Spratt of Georgia State University’s Legal Affairs Office
- Location & Time: Thursday, February 26, from 3 – 4 p.m. in Room 170 of the Urban Life Building.
For more information on fair use, see the following:
The Public Interest Law Association (PILA) will hold its annual auction at the Georgia Freight Depot on Saturday, Feburary 28th. The auction raises money to provide scholarships to students who take public interest internships. Auctions items typically include tickets to events, free nights at a beach or mountain house, and dinner with a faculty member.
As has been a tradition for many years now, the Law Library will put one study room up for auction. A group of up to six students will have the chance to win the reservation rights to a study room for the rest of the semester.
flickr photo by roxweb
Back on this day in 1908, the 16th President of the United States of America was born in Hardin County, Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents of all time. He is also well known for the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address. But did you know that he was a lawyer in Illinois prior to becoming President?
At 29, he was admitted to the Illinois Bar (Richards 16). At the time of his admittance, he was in his second term in the Illinois legislature (Richard 19). Lincoln would go on to try a variety of cases, many in front of the Supreme Court of Illinois (Richards 19, 22). He also tried many cases in federal trial courts latter in his practice (Frank 7). Lincoln would eventually argue a case before the Supreme Court of the United States (Frank 79). The case was Lewis v. Lewis, 48 U.S. 776 (1849), which was cited in footnotes of a case as recently as 1999, Rogers v. U.S., 180 F.3d 349 (1999). You can locate the transcript of Lewis v. Lewis using Making of Modern Law: US Supreme Court Records and Briefs, 1832-1978, located on the Law Library’s Database List.
One of Lincoln’s most well known cases was People v. Williams “Duff” Armstrong (1958), also known as the “Almanac Trial” (Steiner 46). A witness in the Almanac Trial testified that he was able to see Armstrong strike the fatal blow “because the moon was high overhead” (Stiener 46). Mark Steiner states that Lincoln “helped secure an acquittal for his client by producing an almanac for the year that showed the moon was near the horizon at that time of night” (Steiner 46).
For further information about the life of Lincoln and his background as a lawyer, consult the following sources:
- Abraham Lincoln, the lawyer-statesman by John Richards
- Lincoln as a laywer, by John Frank
- Lawyer Lincoln, by Albert Woldman
- Abraham Lincoln, Esq., edited by Roger Billings and Frank Williams
- “Does Lawyer Lincoln Matter?,” chapter by Mark Steiner
- People v. William “Duff” Armstrong, Illinois State Bar
- Abraham Lincoln, History.com
- Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress
- Lincoln (2013), Law Leisure Collection (DVD)
We are already six days into the 2015 Session of the Georgia General Assembly. Even if you don’t have time to venture over to the assembly during this session, you can still keep track of legislation and proceedings using a couple few free and commercial resources.
- Georgia General Assembly Legislation Advanced Search (FREE): The legislation advanced search will allow users to locate legislation from the current session and past sessions of the general assembly. Once you locate a bill or resolution of interest, click on the number, and you will find information on who sponsored the bill, which committees reviewed the legislation, the first reader summary, the status history, and current and previous versions of the bill.
- Composite Status Sheets (FREE): The sheets provide a consolidated listing of the status of all bills and resolutions introduced during the session.
- State Bar Legislative Program (FREE): The State Bar of Georgia’s Legislative Program provides a weekly update on the assembly, as well as information on legislative matters of interest to the Bar or affecting the practice of law.
- WestlawNext Georgia Bill Tracking (Commercial): This database provides summaries and status information concerning current and recently-ended Georgia legislation. A WestlawNext username and password is required to access this database.
- Lexis Advance GA Bill Tracking Reports (Commercial): This database contains a summary and legislative chronology of all pending Georgia legislation in the current legislative session. A Lexis Advance username and password is required to access this database.
Viewing Floor Proceedings