Sep 09, 2016
So, I'm grazing the recent news offerings and, catching my attention, I see an article entitled, "10 chef secrets: What happens to bread, and what not to order and more." Some of the main points included bread not eaten is often passed on to another table, many chefs follow the 5-second rule (ick), chicken and pasta dishes are the most over priced, cockroaches abound in most restaurants, the special isn't, vegetarian dishes aren't, and chefs often times do nasty things to customer's orders out of revenge.
Of course, this all brings to (my) mind the importance to avoid some research tools over others that are more vastly more helpful. For instance, the single most time wasting research tool (that lawyers and librarians alike use) is the general word index. Two imminently better (and more useful) resources are the Table of Cases and Table of Statutes.
For example, say you were in court and the judge says, "you know, we could all avoid this if you would just file a CCP 2030.090(b) motion (relief from discovery)." You say, "What?!" and the judge says go to the law library and talk to the law Librarian - they'll know what to do.
As it turns out, we do and any astute law Librarian will tell you the best way to find a motion (when you already have a code section) is to use the Table of Statutes. So, first thing I would do is go to California Civil Discovery Practice (CEB), look in the Tables tab for Table of Statutes, look under Civil Procedure, look for 2030.090 which will then direct you to §§ 7.87, 7.123-124, 7.155-156,... and you're off and running. With the general index, you'd still be sloughing through everything related to Tom, Dick, and Harry hoping to find something you recognize. Yep, that's what the general index does for you.
Thing is, I could go on for hours and hours on how much easier your life would be if you'd lean to avoid the General Index but this should hold you for now. If ever you need an expose on the power of your law Librarian, though, do not hesitate to stop on by the RCLL and let us help you get to where you need to be.
Bret is a Legal Research & Instructional Services Librarian at our Main Library.