C-SPAN’s Historic Supreme Court Decisions

By: Zach Dalton


C-Span is starting a new series for the fall season entitled 12 Historic Supreme Court Decisions. This series will outline the decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States in each of these landmark cases and go into detail about the parties involved in each case. The series will also delve into the lawyers and justices who were central to these important cases. The show will attempt to put human faces to these decisions which often fade to just words on a page for law students. Episodes start with Marbury on 5 October, 2015 at 9 P.M. To get more information on the series please visit the 12 Historic Supreme Court Decisions website.

The decisions covered will be (click for more information on each case):

Marbury v. Madison

Scott v. Sandford

The Slaughter-house Cases

Lochner v. New York

Schenck v. United States

Korematsu v. United States

Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer

Brown v. Board of Education

Mapp v. Ohio

Baker v. Carr

Miranda v. Arizona

Roe v. Wade

The Joys of Public Transportation

by John Evans

image by flickr user sean_marshall

image by flickr user sean_marshall

By now we have all lived in Atlanta for at least a month and a half, and even those who are new have learned one thing: traffic in Atlanta is rough. Coming in for those 9 a.m. classes or leaving around 5 p.m. is guaranteed to cause frustration when we get behind the wheel. I have even heard rumors that it has taken some people over an hour to get out of T-deck before even dealing with the traffic on the road. Fortunately for me, I am always at home relaxing an hour after I leave the building. What is my secret? MARTA.

For those of you who don’t know, our new building is right beside the Peachtree Center MARTA station.  From the front doors of the building, all you have to do is turn right, cross over John Wesley Dobbs, walk across the Peachtree Center pavilion, and you’re there. After taking what might be the longest escalator in the world down to the platform, you are on the train and on your way. Even better, most stations that are not close to downtown have free daily parking if you want to finish your commute in your car, and all stations have bus routes that could take you home. For people living further out, there are connecting services with Gwinnett County and Cobb Community Transit.

MARTA is also easy on the budget, which as law students most of us could use. If you are on campus 5 days a week with an average 4 weeks in a month, parking with a budget card will cost you $70 a month. A monthly MARTA pass is only $61 a month if you buy the pass from GSU before the 15th of the previous month. Added to this savings less gas used and less wear on your car, and we are talking serious money.

Those commutes stuck in traffic can be stressful. When you hop on MARTA, you can watch movies or catch up on social media on your phone, read a book for fun, or if you’re really ambitious get some of those cases read.  I’ll admit that occasionally there are some interesting people on MARTA, but this really is more the exception then the rule, and most rides are completed in peace.

Now, MARTA is not for everyone. Some people don’t live near a bus or train station, some people have worked their schedules around so that they avoid rush hour traffic, and others may need a car downtown for another purpose but for many of us, use of Atlanta’s public transit system may be a good way to save time and money while reducing our daily stress.

Kwikboost Lockers

pl-GeorgiaStateLaw-Rend1.2By Zach Dalton

Georgia State Law School is introducing an exciting new service for students. Soon we will have 6 Kwikboost charging lockers installed throughout the law school. These charging lockers allow students to put their mobile device in one of the eight compartments per locker, set a combination, and leave their device plugged in and charging while they go about their busy lives.

The combination locks work similar to a valuables safe in a hotel. The user sets a one-time combination when they lock the door to the compartment and enter that combination when they come back to retrieve their item. The lock will reset between each user and are easy to program with a number combination.

The charging station is manufactured by the same company as the Westlaw charging station currently located on the 5th floor of the Law Library, so you know that it will work well. The lockers will charge students phones or tablets quickly and safely.

Discovering New Food and Coffee Places Near the Law School

by Murtaza Khwaja

image by Flickr user angel_e

image by Flickr user angel_e

Starting off a new semester can be rough, stressful, and extremely time consuming. Despite all the pizza, sandwiches, and other free goodies all the clubs throw our way, it is hard to eat well and healthy. Thankfully, the new law school building is located in the heart of downtown right by some of Atlanta’s tastiest and best restaurants, so eating right should never be one of the things stressing you out.

Here’s just a short list of some of my favorite food joints by the new law building:

  • Aviva by Kameel
    • The top rated Atlanta restaurant and the #17 highest ranked in America Yelp! And for good reason. You will get some of the most delicious Mediterranean food you have ever eaten prepared by one of the most helpful, friendly, and polite serving staffs.
    • Kameel is always around with a big smile and extremely good-natured personality. Be prepared to enjoy nothing but the freshest ingredients and, of course, complimentary watermelon to finish your meal.
  • Brickstone Café
    • Quick, diverse, and delicious, Brickstone never fails to satisfy my hunger or palate. With extremely tasty hot or cold sandwiches, soups, pastas, and more at a very affordable price, Brickstone is definitely one of my top choices for places to eat.
  • Baraka Schwarma
    • Tucked away on Walton Street, your prototypical hole in the wall Mediterranean food but with a twist. Delicious schwarmas and wraps AND a 10% student discount to boot.
  • Dua Vietnamese
    • As soon as you step in you will understand immediately why Dua appears on my list. From the moment you open the door you are greeted with a to-die-for aroma. Lots of flavor and spice but definitely a go-to if you are in the mood for Asian food.
  • Benihana’s
    • Hibachi x25! Located on the bottom floor of Peachtree Center some of the best hibachi you can find in Atlanta!
  • Tin Lizzy’s
    • A tastier, healthier, and more trendy version of Chipotle. Located at the top of Peachtree Center, they have great food and also a very chill atmosphere.
  • Corner Bakery
    • All the way down Peachtree but well worth the walk.

And  don’t worry, I know all of us need our daily (at minimum) caffeine fix, so here’s just a short some of the best coffee spots close by:

  • Ebrik
    • Hands down some of the finest coffee in Atlanta. Not only are the drinks made just right using some of the best coffee grounds in the city, but it is also owned and managed by the friendliest of brothers who will ALWAYS remember a face and a name. Go there once and see why everyone keeps going back. A very chill and relaxed vibe inside make Ebrik a great place to study as well.
  • Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts
    • If you are in a hurry or “just want to sell out,” in the words of an anonymous Research Methods professor, these two classics are just across the street.
  • Caribou
    • A further walk than either of the others since it’s inside Peachtree Center but provides a happy medium of selling out and still getting some (not much) indie coffee cred.

Here our links to some suggestions made by your very own Georgia State College of Law faculty and their locations on Google Maps:

But if none of those suggestions catch your fancy, here’s a more complete list of all the potential food options close by:

Restaurants on Broad Street

  • Anatolia Cafe and Hookah Lounge
  • Dua Vietnamaese Noodle Soup
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill
  • Ginseng Café
  • Best Cajun Asian Restaurant
  • Hot & Spicy Wings
  • Mama Mia Pizza
  • Smoothie King
  • Ali Baba’s
  • Brickstone Café
  • Reuben’s Deli
  • Naan Stop
  • Rosa’s Pizza

Restaurants in Peachtree Center

  • Aviva by Kameel
  • Benihana’s
  • Gigney’s Pub
  • Gus’ Famous Chicken
  • Hsu’s Gourmet Chinese Restaurant
  • Metro Café Diner
  • Tin Lizzy’s
  • Michon’s BBQ Bistro
  • Au Ban Pain
  • Bistro 7
  • Café Momo
  • Caribou Coffee
  • Checkers
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Dairy Queen
  • Farmer’s Basket
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Great American Cookies
  • Great Wraps
  • GW Cheesesteaks
  • Noodle Café
  • Roman Delight Pizza
  • Willy’s Mexicana Grill
  • Yami Yami Sushi
  • GLF Café
  • Malibu Wings
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill
  • My Friend’s Place
  • Planet Smoothie
  • Subway
  • Tropical Cajun
  • Turmeric Indian Bistro

Other restaurants close by:

  • Subway
  • Rising Roll Gourmet
  • Quiznos (20% off!)
  • Alma Cocina
  • Hard Rock Café

Celebrity “Citings” in Case Law

By Catherine Schutz

Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha S. Brezon recently cited comedian and political commentator John Oliver, host of HBO show Last Week Tonight, in her opinion in Paeste v. Guam, 2015 U.S. App LEXIS 15067. Oliver’s show on March 8 of this year concerned the impact a set of Supreme Court decisions from over 100 years ago currently has on U.S. territories, and Judge Brezon used this show as evidence of popular criticism of what she described as such “insular cases.”

Happily, this is not the first time that Judges have cited popular culture in their opinions. Any law student is familiar with the comic relief that humorist Judges can provide during weekly readings. Here are a few more notable examples:

  • In U.S. v. Stapleton, Judge Amul R. Thapar likened a criminal defendants attempts at using civil procedure as a diversionary tactic to “the legal equivalent of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s ‘These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. (U.S. v. Stapleton, 2013 WL 3967951 (E.D. Ky. 2013)).
  • Third Circuit Judge Evans cited Yogi Berra’s famous quote “A oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on” in lamenting the fact that the musical group the Butthole Surfers had not written up a deal they entered into with a record distributor (Walthal v. Rusk, 172 F. 3d 481 (7th Cir. 1999)).
  • In the dissenting opinion of Chambers v. State, Minnesota Supreme Court Judge Anderson objected to what he viewed as the “unconstitutional sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release” by referencing Danish physicist Niels Bohr famous quote: “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” (Chambers v. State, 831 N.W.2d 311 (Minn. 2013)).
  • Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Glenn T. Harrell prefaced his opinion in In re: Tyrell A., a case concerning a flight that broke out between two high school students at their school, with a quote from the movie Fight Club: “The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.” He later commented that the boys had regrettably not followed that rule. (In re: Tyrell A., 112 A.3d 468 (Md. Ct. App. 2015))
  • In his dissent to Sprint Communis. Co., L.P. v. APCC Servs., Chief Justice Roberts described his belief that respondents lacked Article III standings as “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose”, quoting Bob Dylan’s song Like a Rolling Stone. This was allegedly the first time a Supreme Court Justice has cited a rock lyric in an opinion. (Sprint Communis. Co., L.P. v. APCC Servs., 554 U.S. 269 (2008)).
  • Finally, even Justice Scalia is not immune to the draws of pop culture, referencing the movie Casablanca in his plurality opinion in Rapanos v. United States. He thanked the lower court for the original reference and included the following exchange between Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains as an illustration of “the absurdity of finding the desert filled with waters”:  “‘Captain Renault [Claude Rains]: “What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?” “‘Rick [Humphrey Bogart]: “My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.” “‘Captain Renault: “The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.” “‘Rick: “I was misinformed.”‘” (Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006)).

LexisNexis Courtroom Cast

By Zach Dalton

LexisNexis Courtroom Cast (formerly AudioCaseFiles) is a valuable resource available to Georgia State law students for free. Students can sign up for the site using their Georgia State email address.

Courtroom Cast provides students with access to audio and video of real court cases containing concepts learned in class. This can facilitate a deeper understanding of how concepts come together when representing a client.

Audio Versions of Cases

The site contains audio versions of selected cases from your casebooks. To access these audio files, one must scroll down to the bottom of the page, select the proper subject under the heading of “Browse Audio by Casebook,” and then choose the casebook which is being used for your class. You can listen to the cases using your favorite audio program or by downloading the MP3 to your chosen digital audio device. Unlike having a computer read the text of the opinion, these use real people and are much easier to listen to. These audio versions can be very helpful for those who have a significant commute each day. This can also be helpful for those who just get tired of reading so many pages each week.

Courtroom Training Videos

Upper level students will appreciate the courtroom training videos. These cover a variety of topics, such as trial advocacy, rules of evidence, and appellate advocacy. The videos break these different skills down into manageable sections and provide commentary and analysis to improve one’s ability to better represent a client.

The site also contains videos of complete trials, including many from Georgia. If you were ever interested in how a trial proceeds while in the courtroom, this could be very helpful. Individual sections of the trials are also able to be viewed. This could allow you to watch a specific section (ex. opening statements) in dozens of trials if you are having difficulty in that specific area.

LexisNexis Courtroom Cast is another of the many free resources available to Georgia State Law students. Go to the site and give it a try.




Taking Advantage of Law Library Resources

By Blake Williams and Zach Dalton

Study Materials

The Law Library provides several types of print and online resources that students can use to study and supplement course readings.

CALI Lessons

  • The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction maintains a collection of almost 1,000 interactive, computer-based lessons covering 33 legal education subject areas. The interactive tutorials are written by law faculty to supplement traditional law school instruction. The format of the exercises varies according to the authors’ objectives.

To access CALI lessons:

  1. Go to www.cali.org
  2. Enter the email and password you created at registration. (If you have not registered, you will need to create a new user account. Contact Austin Williams to obtain an authorization code.)
  3. Click on Login
  4. Select Lessons (from Quick Links) and then choose a specific lesson
  5. Click on Web/HTML to use online or Win/Download or Mac to download lesson

Exam Archive

  • The Law Library’s website provides an archive of sample past examinations from many College of Law professors.

Study Aids

  • The Law Library provides students with a robust collection of study aid resources and supplements. The collection includes many notable series, including Examples & Explanations, Crunchtime, and Acing.

Study Space in the Law Library

The Law Library offers different types of study areas with wireless coverage available throughout the entire library.

Study Carrels, Work Spaces, and Soft Seating

  • The Law Library has nearly 300 seating options, including study carrels, work spaces, soft seating, and a formal Reading Room. These seats are available on a first come/first served basis and many provide power outlets and non-data USB ports for charging mobile devices.

Group Study Rooms

    • The Law Library has 27 group study rooms for use by Georgia State Law students. Students in groups of two or more may reserve study rooms on a first come/first served basis. All study rooms contain tables with power outlets, dry-erase boards, and five of the study rooms (530-533 and 537) have large format televisions for viewing audio visual materials. Most study rooms seat up to 6 people. Rooms 537 and 603 can seat up to 10 people.


    • Law students can make group study reservations using the online booking system or at the Circulation Desk.

Quiet Floor

  • The Law Library established the 6th floor as as area for quiet study.  Please refrain from conversation while using this area.

Law Library Student Computer Lab

  • The Law Library hosts a 16 workstation student computer lab with general purpose and research-service-specific printers located just outside the door. The  student computer lab is available to law students during the library’s operating hours.