Friday, January 11, 2013
Against All Odds
Once upon a time I lived in Havre, Montana (which is about as far north as you can get in Montana). All along the top of Montana is a two-lane road called Highway 2. One day, three of my buddies and I were flying along HWY 2 and up ahead we see this prairie dog sitting on its haunches in the middle of the road. At the behest of my cohorts, I straddled both lanes, increased velocity, and bore down on the poor creature. For all intents and purposes, that animal should have been road kill. However, we noted, after passing over the animal at roughly 9,000 mph, that it was still sitting on its haunches in the middle of the road. Talk about a ballsy rodent! I bet his friends bet him a million nuts to pull off that stunt! There couldn't have been more than a centimeter clearance between his head and my muffler and yet, there he sat - a monument to unflappability!
Turns out there are lots of people in the world like that prairie dog - and some of them use our law library on a daily basis. Some of them are embroiled in criminal actions. Some are fighting custody battles. Some are fighting the IRS and then there are some who are fighting civil appeallate cases. The thing that ties them all together is the fact that not a one of them allowed the fact that they don't know anything about law to not try to win their case. Not a one of them said, "I don't know how to do legal research so I'm not going to try!" Nope, ALL of these people stood their ground, faced against their adversary and said, "Bring it on!"
Maybe you're like one of those who laugh in the face of staunch adversity. Maybe you're of those those who, while you don't know anything about law or legal research, you're looking for some direction and are willing to learn. If so, might I suggest you go to your local county law library and start with Witkin Summary of California Law (West), or Locating the Law (SCALL), or Represent Yourself in Court: how to prepare and try an winning case (Nolo Press), or even Primer on the Analysis and Presentation of Legal Argument (West).
So, next time you find yourself facing incredible opposing odds and you feel the entire world is against you (or out to get you), know that your local county law Librarian has what you need to help you dodge that proverbial bullet. Yeah, we are that good!