As I mentioned when you came in, I'm Ralf, the Library's Head Librarian, and (since I'm a world famous, highly respected and much feared attorney, as well as the venerated legal advisor and confidant to most Kings, Presidents, Notable Jurists and Demented Despots) also its Chief Counsel & Legal Scholar in Residence. Now just follow me down this way, don't wander off, and I'll start by giving you a little background.
The Library's goal is to allow you to easily find and access law-related information and products that you want or need. I try to keep our collection eclectic: there's lots of material for legal professionals, businessfolks and formal and informal students of the law, but mostly we have things that just about everyone might find interesting or helpful at one time or another. And best of all, everything's free of charge, and worth every penny. Everything, that is, except for some stuff exclusively for members of our GoldCard Program that I'm forced to mention later in the Tour.
Once you start using the Library you'll find a few things that are different from most other internet sites. We try to keep most of the browsable material short because of the fact that reading from computer monitors causes dementia, lumbago, and Newt Gingrich impersonations. Most of our larger files - all clearly marked - are zipped [compressed] for downloading and use at your leisure with any word processor or text viewer.
You might also notice that most of our information files are plain ascii text and that we try to keep our html files and graphics simple and fast... No frames, jumping java doo-dads, or cookie thing-a-doodles... And just about everything in the Library is really here in the Library, not some linked-to file on another site that may, or may not, be functional.
And if you're confused by any of this, or ever have a question, just remember that complete details about the Library's policies, background, zipped files, news, usage, awards... about anything you could ever want to know... can be found in our Administrative Area, the 'Inner Sanctum'.
Among the literally thousands of items in our stacks are a few especially useful things mirrored from other sites, material from other sites that we've edited, formatted, or otherwise altered to enhance its usefulness, and also lots of things that can't be found anywhere else on the Internet.
In fact, the Library's collection got so large we had things you couldn't even find here... Until our Technical Department's experts invented a search engine -- The 'Lectric Law Looker-Upper. Though, like all cutting edge technology, it has a few glitches (like not working very well... when it works at all), it does allows you to access our archived excess material and not-yet added items while keeping our information areas manageable. You'll find its terminals scattered about the Library, but be sure to read its instructions to avoid wasting your valuable time.
Our Bookstore has the Net's biggest (we think) collection of law related software & e-books and in our Forms Room you'll find things from specialized litigation forms to sample wills and corporate minutes. And one of our visitors said our Reference Room, or Lawcopedia, "makes the Library of Congress look like an illiterate Albanian goatherder's garage sale." (though she also said the same thing about four doorknobs, a cockroach, and my shoelaces before spontaniously combusting). In any case, it does have tons of stuff including the Net's biggest & best law dictionary -- "The 'Lectric Law Lexicon".
And, as you can see from this hopelessly outdated map, we have lots of other rooms filled with all sorts of material.
OK, we're now entering the Rotunda. It's the Library's hub from which our various reading and research areas radiate like the spokes of a wheel. Its dome, as you can see, is covered with frescos by Michaelangelo and my brother and law partner, Randy - The Artist Formerly Known As 'Lousy'. It's 1600 feet in diameter and rises 946.17 feet above the floor which is tiled with marble from the Library of Alexandria and the Parthenon inlaid with fragments of the Ark of the Covenant, Hammurabi's Throne and John Marshall's...
Oops, I'm sorry, you're not here for the architecture. Anyhow, where was I?... Oh yeah, the Rotunda... It's basically useless and a real pain-in-the-butt to mop and dust, and that damn brother of mine keeps scribbling senseless Latin phrases in crayon on the wall. And speaking of pains-in-the-butt, a couple of FBI agents were here yesterday grilling me about violating some idiotic law I never heard of. And every time I blink some damn lawyer or judge is going berserk screaming at me about lawsuits or contempt... or someone's moaning and whining about the lack of books in Ebonic or Pali or Klingon... and that damn retired Chief Justice keeps trying to pinch the butt of every decent looking law student that comes within 50 ft... Hell, yesterday the senile old coot even tried to hit on me!
And we're still cleaning up from that damn riot last week... Holy Moly!! Good thing Jesse & Strom ran over from the Senate with their extra cattle prods or those damn commie bra-burners and bearded tree-huggers might have made it inside and injected each other with pot and free-loved all over all our files. Whatever happened to simple civility? Just because I sponsor Club Pediophile's Nuke A Whale - Club A Baby Seal Vacation Retreat and Burning Cross Weanie Roast, hoards of scrofulous miscreants try to storm the Library shrieking that I'm politically incorrect?... ME! Can you believe it?
Maybe if those damn Fidel-lovers stopped smoking all that crack LSD and dropping litters of marijuana addicted welfare babies, and got a bath and a job, they'd understand that good citizens need some clean, wholesome relaxation occasionally... And maybe they'd realize that I don't have a politically incorrect bone hanging in my entire closet!
Besides, after what Moby Dick did to that nice Captain Nemo gimp how can anyone NOT want to nuke every last damn, vicious, too-smart, one of the bastards? You know damn well that if that one in Cape Cod gobbled-up Teddy Kennedy instead of Richard Dreyfus, they'd be lining up to snatch the missiles out of my hands... And so what if those little seals are kinda cute (at least before we tap their noggins a few times)? I don't remember any damn liberal long-eared preverts bitching and moaning when me and Henry convinced Lyndon and Tricky to napalm all those Vietnamese kids... And they were cute too!... (At least before we crispy-crittered them.)
Next thing you know, those hairy-legged beatniks will say I'm prejudiced against Negrows, or colored people, or whatever they call themselves this week. Hell, I have the biggest collection of Amos & Andy tapes around, except for Willie Rehnguist's.... And I felt really bad when that Dr King boy got shot, even if he was a pinko trouble-maker. Hell, I think I even talked to one back in college... though he may have been Norwegian or a Jap. (They DO all look alike.) And I love tap-dancing and think Magic Jordan is the best damn goalie that ever kicked a home run!
And now my feet hurt, that damn migraine's back and I feel like I'm going to puke... I'm sick of giving these damn tours... So lets head back for your card. Anyone with half a brain should be able to figure this place out if they explore a little. Besides, there are signposts for all the main rooms in the 'Rotunda', and if you read the crap in the 'Inner Sanctum' you should be OK. Though if you're still stuck or something doesn't work, Sue Me! And since you look like you just fell off a turnip boat from Borneo or Iowa, please remember -- in fact, write it down right now -- those little slits in the wall are what we lawyers call 'electricity inlets' so don't stick your finger or tongue in them or you're liable to end up like Clarence Thomas who, instead of listening to me, was screwing around with a Coke can and a hair or something.
Oh Poop! I almost forgot... Unless I want to go back to sleeping on my old heating grate using that damn rat for a pillow, I have to mention some legalistic B.S. the alleged boss -- a world-class imbecile if there ever was one -- thinks is important.
1. The Library's general Position on Intellectual Property and Copyrights is that it's OK to Reproduce and Distribute a Limited Amount of Library Material for Non-Commercial Purposes, so long as it's done Free of Charge and includes Proper Attribution and Notices. However, before you do anything stupid, please Read our actual Copyright Policy in our FAQ in the 'Inner Sanctum' [http://www.lectlaw.com/files/faq-copy.htm].
Also, despite my best efforts, the damn morons on my staff still make mistakes, so If You Notice Anything in the Library that Might Violate Copyright or Other Restrictions, Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll Quickly Rectify It. (Hell, if yah don't sue me for infringement and I'll even send you a tape of me torturing the first idiot staffer I can pin it on.)
2. Unless otherwise stated, No One Connected with the Library, including Sponsors, Advertisers, and Content Providers: necessarily Endorses, Warrants or Approves of Anything in, or Connected to, the Library, or; Intends anything to be specific Legal Advice or to Solicit any Professional-Client Relationship.
3. You should realize that much legal information is always changing so before using any of the Library's material in a real-life situation Check its Accuracy with an authoritative source and If it's Important, Double-Check It! As I once told Socrates (or was it Pluto?): There nothing more dangerous than an outdated lawbook -- except maybe a pissed-off judge.
Although we try to insure the Library's holdings are accurate, with all these damn lawyers and judges running around doing god-knows-what, we can ONLY Guarantee that, as far as we know, nothing is Intentionally Fraudulent or Unlawful. Otherwise There's No Guarantee made or implied about the accuracy, currency, usefulness, functionality, safety, toxicity or anything else in, near, related to, or connected with the Library in any way. Use it at your own risk!
This means that if you use the Library's material for whatever purpose and, due to our completely negligent and idiotic error, you're embarrassed, imprisoned, bankrupted, flunked, deported, divorced, molested, castigated, outcast, crucified, sickened, beaten, excommunicated, drowned, ridiculed or elected to high public office -- Don't Bitch To Us About It! (On the other hand, if you become rich and famous, then you have both a moral & legal obligation to wrap a big handful of unmarked bills in brown paper, write "Personal to Ralf R. - Contains Worthless Garbage, Not Lots Of Money! Really!" on it and put it under the dumpster in the alley behind Mustapha's Kosher Deli & Law School on Main Street.)
4. We encourage & welcome your ideas, contributions, comments & suggestions, no matter how absurdly disconnected from reality they usually are. We even tolerate questions directly related to the Library, assuming they're not addressed in the 'Inner Sanctum'. However, Please DO NOT Send The Library Any Legal or How-Can-I-Find Questions!!! [Unless you also send lots of money as described above.] In the event you ignore this request, I've assembled a crack team of my best ex-Green Berets (I'm sure you know I founded the 'Berets' while a six-star Air Force Admiral in the early '60s.) that will track you down & brutally murder you... repeatedly, and then hidiously torture you till you scream I love Alfonse D'Amato. And while I love children (if properly cooked & seasoned), the same thing goes for anyone who brings their damn rug-rats here.... or mentions the Pittsburgh Penguins... or gefilta fish... or... Anyhow, Disregard the above and You WILL Die! You Have Been Officially and Legally Warned!!
OK, we're finally back at the main desk and here's your Library Card. It has a special coating that makes it invisible to fools, morons & imposters. Oh Poop! I dropped it again.... Where did it go?... Where is that damn thing?... Why does this always happen?... Can you see where it went?... Oh, good. You found it.
Now get the hell away from me! Just wipe your feet and go right into THE ROTUNDA. But remember, if I catch you screwing around in there I'll sue your butt from here to Upper Sloberovia... I'll yank your Library Card so fast you'll wish you were never born... I'll slap you with a Writ of E Pluribus Corpus so hard that you'll rue the day you ever....
Dear Respected Library Patron,
We beg your forgiveness as it appears that our universally beloved Head Librarian may have gotten a bit carried away during parts of his Tour, probably due to the stress caused by his involvement in so many philanthropic endeavors. We sincerely apologize and assure you that we hope to remedy this unintentional and embarrassing situation as soon as humanly possible.
Thank you for your generous patience and forbearance.
--- The Library Staff
p.s. Ralf forgot one important point: The vast majority of the Library's material is 'straight'; however we have been victimized by a number of cruel hoaxes apparently perpetrated by Ralf's many envious enemies. While the proper authorities have been notified and expect to apprehend the culprits any day now, until then please be skeptical regarding the accuracy of any material that mentions Ralf, Randy, other members of the Rinkle family, or any of their associated enterprises & 'accomplishments'.