It's a goldmine!
Jul 27, 2017
Having served as a public services law Librarian for going on 13 years, I have discovered some pretty cool resources that help people win (or not lose (there is a difference)) their cases. While most people generally dive right into California Forms of Pleading and Practice (Lexis) for state matters or Moore's Federal Practice (Lexis) for federal stuff, it's the materials they pass by on the way to those resources that can really save the (and their) day.
Take, for example, the Newly Minted attorney who came in the other day. Newly minted was looking to make his mark in the world by filing class action law suit. Turned out that Newly Minted had a client who had had been the victim of identity fraud. Seems Newly Minted's client had shopped at a nearby department store. For whatever insane reason, department store had stored client's personal data - including their credit card number and the security code they used when purchasing goods. Shortly thereafter, department store reported that data stored on department store's computers had been pilfered when "criminals" breached their firewall resulting in financial data from thousands of customer's information (including Newly Minted client) being stolen.
Client was angry enough to solicit the services of an attorney. Newly Minted was ambitious enough to think that if client was angry, he was betting the other customer's might be, as well. So, in addition to showing Newly Minted Newberg on Class Actions (TR), I also suggested he take a look at AmJur Proof of Facts. Turns out Volume 152 of POF 3rd series, page 409 has a chapter dedicated to the Liability of Businesses to Governments and Consumers for Breach of Data Security for Consumers' Information.
Where most resources may just talk about a subject, Proof of Facts (starting with the 3rd series) does that and a whole lot more. For example,
- Section 1-3 law out the legal facts of a data breach case,
- Section 4 speaks to the practice and procedures of a class action suit,
- Section 5 deals with defense considerations,
- Section six presents your burdens of proof, and
- Sections 7 - 9 speak directly to how to file a class action in federal court complete with a sample complaint, sample discovery questions, questions you would ask in a deposition, settlement issues as well as a section on damages
In addition to all the text and discussion, Proof of Facts includes literally hundreds of annotations to help you cover all your bases. Each volume of POF includes references to headnotes and key numbers, law reviews, treatises on trial strategies, model codes and restatements, and notations to legal encyclopedias and other information. In short order, Newly Minted had all the information he needed to develop his case against department store.
Yep, if what you want is a win in your next case, why not, instead of making a bee line to your favorite resource, take a minute and ask your the law Librarian if they can suggest some hidden nugget of knowledge that can turn your next case into a winner!
Bret is a Legal Research & Instructional Services Librarian at our Main Library.