Inter Alia - Minnesota State Law Library Newsletter - November 2017

Inter Alia

Legal Questions? Ask a Librarian!

Our reference desk handles around 7,000 reference questions every year. Our reference librarians receive questions ranging from requests to find a form online to in-depth research questions. As librarians, we do not (and cannot) give legal advice, but we can help you find resources or referrals to organizations who can help answer your questions. In a typical week, we handle questions about obtaining briefs and court opinions online, where to find forms to modify child support, and how to write a will and a power of attorney. We also receive questions that are more obscure: how to find marriage statutes from the 1940s, why and when a certain word of a statute was changed, and what the requirements were to be a juror in the 1800s. If you have a legal question, we can help you find the answer! We handle reference questions in person, by email at, through our online form, and by phone at (651) 297-7651

New Legal Subject Guides

Conciliation Court LibGuide Screenshot

If you are a regular user of the State Law Library, you have probably already discovered our Legal Topics pages: compilations of legal resources on over 300 topics. For topics requiring a more in-depth treatment, we have created LibGuides. We currently have 45 LibGuides on topics ranging from Child Custody to Landlord/Tenant Law to Probate and Estate Planning. On these guides, you will find links to statutes, rules, forms, websites, publications, videos, and legal referrals around each topic. We are excited to announce that we have two new LibGuides available: Conciliation Court, and Representing Yourself In Court.  

Research Tip: Case Law Research on Google Scholar

Services like Westlaw and LexisNexis are great resources for searching case law, but they can be expensive or inaccessible at times. You can research case law on Westlaw at the State Law Library during our business hours, but what about after hours or at home? Google Scholar is a great free alternative to find case law online. Google Scholar does not offer many of the popular Westlex features (like notes and decisions and associated court filings), but it is an easy-to-use way to find case law. Coverage includes U.S. Supreme Court cases from 1789 to the present, federal case law from 1923 to the present, and Minnesota cases from 1950 to present. If you have ever run a Google search, you will be able to search case law in Google Scholar. Users wanting to build more advanced searching skills can review these helpful tutorials on Using Google Scholar for Legal Research: Part 1 and Part 2 (or ask a law librarian for help!).  

Quick Links

News and Events

Library Closings

The holidays are fast approaching and the library will be closed on the following dates: 

  • November 23 and 24, 2017
  • December 25, 2017
  • January 1, 2018
  • January 15, 2018

Have a very happy holidays from all of us at the Minnesota State Law Library!

In the News: Governor's Veto Lawsuit

On November 16, 2017, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its ruling in The Ninetieth Minnesota State Senate, et al., v. Mark B. Dayton, concluding the litigation over Governor Dayton's line-item veto of the Legislature's budget. The court found that the veto was constitutional, but declined to consider whether the veto "unconstitutionally coerced" the Legislature. You can read the full opinion in our Opinions Archive.

In the News: Supreme Court to Hear MN Case

The Supreme Court of the United States accepted an appeal in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky on Monday, November 12, 2017. The case concerns Minnesota Statute 211B.11, which prohibits voters from wearing political buttons or clothing at a polling place. The Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether Minnesota's law is facially overbroad under the First Amendment. Oral argument will be held in Spring 2018. You can read more about the case from the National Constitution Center. 

Free On-Demand CLEs

The State Law Library offers FREE on-demand CLE credits. Check out our recently updated on-demand CLE course offerings, including sessions approved for ethics and elimination of bias credits.