Mar 28 2015

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Legal History and Digitization

Filed under Law Library

One of the areas that has really boomed in this era of digitization is legal history.  Want to see a first edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries?  We have it – LLMC Digital has put Yale’s entire collection of Blackstone’s Commentaries online.  Looking for the trial of Lizzie Borden?  We have it – Hein has collected famous World Trials.  Looking for the laws passed by the French National Assembly in the wake of the French Revolution?  We have it – Gale has created a set of databases called the Making of Modern which has foreign primary sources.  Get your legal history now!

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Mar 27 2015

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200 Years of Free Legal Information in Massachusetts

Filed under Free!,Massachusetts

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries hosted a reception to celebrate 200 years of free legal information in the Commonwealth.  In conjunction with this event, they created a book that traces their history.  If you are interested in checking this book out, it may be found online at: http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/lawlib/mtcll200.pdf.

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Mar 26 2015

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Bloomberg Law for Court Documents

One of the most useful features of Bloomberg Law (BL) is the ability to access court dockets and filings in current and recent cases. For federal District and Circuit Courts of Appeals cases, BL allows you to access documents provided through the Federal Courts’ PACER system. Using your academic passwords, you can do this without paying the charges that PACER customers incur, which is generally 10 cents per page for each document accessed.

During a BL session, go to the Litigation & Dockets tab; then select the Search Dockets feature. From the resulting search screen, there is a two step process: first, select the court from the browse menus; then search for the particular case for which you are seeking docket information. (If you are seeking federal court information and already know the docket (or file) number for the case, these two steps can be merged into one search.) Click below to expand images.

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For example, consider David King v. Sylvia Burwell, the case that challenged the legality of federally-sponsored insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, currently pending before the Supreme Court. That case originated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the trial court ruling was appealed the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Suppose you were seeking documents from the District Court proceedings.

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At the search page on BL, the first step is to select the court; here, the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. To run a search for the case, you could search for the name of a party, David King; the search retrieves two cases. Selecting the most appropriate case retrieves the docket. Access listed court filings by clicking the “View” or “Request” link for that item. Listed first, the Complaint is available as a PDF file, which appears in a window within the BL environment. Documents can be downloaded, printed or emailed.

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Mar 26 2015

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Efficient workflow…an essential skill.

Looking for an easy way to mange your digital downloads? HeinOnline has just announced a useful enhancement to its database allowing users with a dropbox account to directly “drop” their files into their cloud storage. This is a great new tool. Read the full details here:

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Mar 23 2015

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Researching International Arbitration

Filed under Law Library

There are several different types of international arbitration: between commercial entities, between commercial entities and governments, and between governments.  The best resource for all of these is Kluwer Arbitration.  International arbitration between governments has been in the purvue of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague.  Investment claims are the majority of disputes between businesses and governments, and we have Investment Claims Online which covers this topic.  These are often before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).  For arbitrations between between businesses there are many venues: London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the International Court of Arbitration from the International Chamber of Commerce.  All these forums for arbitraiton have their own rules and standard clauses for contracts.  Most of their decisions are never published, because businesses prefer to have their disputes settled privately.
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Mar 20 2015

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Locating Legal Articles Online

Filed under Free!,Hein Online

Looking for an article?  Consider checking out the Law Journal Library on HeinOnline.  This collection includes American Bar Association journals, U.S. law journals, and international law journals.  To access it, either click on the HeinOnline link in the Quick Links box on the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries’ homepage or find it on the Libraries’ eResources A-Z List.

HeinOnline Articles

You may also want to try using the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC).  As noted on its website, this “free search engine searches the free full-text of over 400 online law reviews and law journals, as well as document repositories hosting academic papers and related publications such as Congressional Research Service reports.”  It also provides links to a variety of law journal websites.  To search LTRC, type a title, author name, or subject (such as environmental law or family law) into the search box.

LRTC Articles

Finally, Google Scholar  and the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) are two additional free tools that may also help you find what you are looking for.

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Mar 19 2015

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Two days left to make-up missed Certification classes

Filed under Law Library

One class short of completing your Certification in Legal Research Skills for Practice?

 

Today, Thursday, and tomorrow, Friday March 20th is your last chance to take one of the following make-up classes on offer:

Thursday, 1pm, Administrative Law (Rm 335) and Free Legal Research (Rm 336)

Friday, Finding the Best Way (Rm 335) and Statutory Research in Print (Law Library, Tax Library) are both offered at 12pm.

Go HERE to Register and for more details.

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Mar 18 2015

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The State of Same-Sex Marriage and the Law

Over the past year, no U.S. legal issue has generated more news coverage and commentary than the legal status of same-sex relationships, particularly the questions whether the Constitution requires states to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize such licenses grated in other states.

In June 2013, the Supreme Court decided United States v. Windsor (2013), which struck down as unconstitutional a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined “marriage” under federal law to exclude same-sex couples. After Windsor, numerous federal and state courts ruled that the Constitution requires states to recognize same-sex marriages. In November 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reached a different result, upholding bans on same-sex marriage under the laws of several states.

By granting certiorari in cases from the four states comprising the Sixth Circuit–Bourke v. Beshear (KY), DeBoer v. Snyder (MI), Obergefell v. Hodges (OH) and Tanco v. Haslam (TN)–the Supreme Court decided to address two questions left unresolved by Windsor. (Click below to expand image.)

 SSM questions

The Court has scheduled oral argument for April 28. In the past two weeks, dozens of briefs have been filed. Many of them are amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) briefs, filed by persons or entities that are not parties to the case but wish to provide their perspectives to the Court. Most of them–including those of The American Psychological Association, The Cato Institute and the United States government–support the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Court’s decision is expected by the end of June, with these cases among the last to be decided in the Court’s October 2014 Term.

For those monitoring the topic, some of the best information sources are organizations that have been involved in the legal battle–e.g., Freedom to Marry and Lambda Legal. Other good sources include The New York Times and SCOTUSblog.

For worldwide information, the Jones Day law firm provides a database of jurisdictions, detailing the degree to which each country recognizes the status of same-sex relationships.

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Mar 17 2015

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Certification Makeup Class: Keeping Up With the Law

The class on current awareness tools, Keeping Up With the Law, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, 1 p.m. (Room 335).

Slots are still available. If you haven’t registered, you can do so at:  http://lawlibraryguides.bu.edu/certification/register

Class page: http://lawlibraryguides.bu.edu/cert2015_keepingup

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Mar 16 2015

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Environmental Law Research

Filed under Law Library

Environmental law is a tangle of regulations and agency guidance.  Sorting out this tangle is best accomplished with a good treatise on your area of law.  With BU Libraries Search you can find books like Greenhouse Governance: Addressing Climate Change in America which is available online to help you see the larger structure of this area of the law.

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Then you can use a one-stop shopping resource like the Environmental Law Reporter to see if there are any federal laws, regulations, agency guidance or state developments.

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