Oct 07 2015

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New Books

Filed under Law Library

Interested in biographies?  Every month the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries release a list of our featured new books.  This month’s titles include several biographies such as:

  • Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World
  • Baghdad Lawyer: Fighting for Justice in Saddam’s Iraq
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: Civil War Soldier, Supreme Court Justice

To find more details on these other new titles, check out our list at: http://www.bu.edu/lawlibrary/newbooks/current/index.html.

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Oct 05 2015

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BUSL and the Restatements

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We often think of the Restatements from the ALI as codifying old rules on Torts or Agency, but often they are also helping to develop a field of law.  The National Labor Relations Board recently expanded the joint-employer standard in Browning Ferris Industries, citing the Restatement (Second) of Agency, and the Restatement of Law, Employment Law in its opinion.

In response to the NLRB decision, Rep. John Kline and Sen. Lamar Alexander introduced the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act (H.R. 3459, S. 2015).  At hearings in response to that legislation Associate Reporter for the Restatement of Law, Employment Law, BUSL Prof. Harper testified.

As a Reporter he is responsible for developing the principles of law articulated by the Restatements in a way that reflects caselaw and current practices.   A Reporter is an expert in the field of law being considered, usually a legal scholar, and with the help of research assistants, the Reporter does the basic research and prepares drafts that are then considered by the ALI as a whole.



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Sep 28 2015

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Holy Copyright, Batman!: Using Legal News to Keep Up

As I was reading the New York Times recently I came across an article about the Batmobile.  Turns out it is protected by copyright because it is a character- guess all those little kids making their own cardboard batmobiles never knew that.  I wanted to read the decision, so I immediately turned to Bloomberg/BNA – they have the best newsletters for keeping up with current legal developments.  The library e-Resources A-Z list pointed me to the Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal.  The article I find gives me the case name, the docket number and all the information I would need to find the decision and even the underlying court documents. I also looked at Law360 – great for keeping up with pending litigation – which pointed me to the other cases “before the Batmobile” which  protected characters.  WestlawNext and LexisAdvance both include legal newsletters that are subject-specific.  HeinOnline has ABA newsletters which cover various practice areas.  Most practicing attorneys use some newsletter – either Bloomberg/BNA, Law360 or a subject-specific newsletter – to keep up with developments in their practice area.   In about 5 minutes I was an expert on the Batmobile and how it was protected.


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Sep 25 2015

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Print Resources Discussed in the Research Classes

Filed under 1L,Bluebook

Curious about finding resources in print?

As mentioned in our research classes, the Bluebook often requires one to cite to print copies of a resource.  If you are interested in finding some of the materials that we discussed in class in print, search in the following locations:

  • The Massachusetts Practice Series (Mass Practice) is located on the second floor of the Libraries at call number KFM2480 .M3.
  • The Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) books are also located in the Massachusetts Collection on the third floor of the Libraries.  Although these books have different call numbers depending on their titles, they are generally shelved directly after the Mass Practice Series.
  • American Jurisprudence 2d (AmJur) is located in the Reference Collection at call number KF154 .A45.
  • American Law Reports (ALR) may be found near the Tax Library on the second floor of the Libraries.
  • Generally, state statutes may also be found on the second floor of the Libraries, where they are organized alphabetically by state.  The only exception are the statutes of Massachusetts, which are located in the Massachusetts Collection on the third floor.
  • The United States Code (U.S.C.), the United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.), and the United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.) may each be found on the third floor of the Libraries.
  • Lastly, regional reporters, such as the Pacific Reporter, may also be found on the second and the third floors of the Libraries.

The following maps may also be useful when you are searching for these materials:

Library Maps

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Sep 24 2015

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Bluebook Citation made easy [well, easier]

Filed under Law Library

The Bluebook introduced a new 20th edition in July. With the new edition comes some welcome changes.

If you are looking for some help navigating the Bluebook, (honestly, who isn’t????) please be sure to look at our Research Guide designed to help you sort out the Bluebook and all its intricacies…..

The Bluebook Research Guide

Remember, we are always available to help you at the Reference Desk if you still have questions!



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Sep 15 2015

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ProQuest Congressional is offering helpful training for Legislative History research. (Dates below.)

Filed under Law Library

ProQuest Congressional is a fantastic resource available through the Libraries’ A-Z e-resources list to assist you with any of your research on Congress, legislative histories (legislative intent) and even regulation-orientated tasks.



ProQuest is offering webinar sessions for all users to improve your skills. Here are the upcoming dates:

Using Legislative History to Find Legislative Intent

 This 90-minute session is designed for the summer associate, judicial, law firm or government agency law clerk, intern, extern or research assistant. You will learn how to use ProQuest Congressional Digital Suite & Legislative Insight, the premier legal research tools for federal legislative and government materials to:

  1. Develop an understanding of the legislative process both: 
  2. Procedurally – How did the language read as first proposed, what committees considered the proposal, when were amendments made and where was the proposal when it was amended;
    b. As an adversarial process – who was lobbying in support of the proposal and what were they trying to accomplish, who was active in opposition what were their objections, who was responsible for amendments to the proposal; 
  3. Become familiar with the documents available pertinent to your issue;
    3. Identify where in the process the changes you care about occurred – this provides a mechanism to narrow the scope of your search for explanations for why the language was changed;
    4. Learn how to identify both direct and circumstantial evidence of intent.

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Sep 14 2015

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Constitution Day Sept. 17, 2015

Sept. 17 is Constitution Day.  In honor of this day we would like to highlight the constitutional resources the library provides, as well as some of the other useful resources on the web.  We have access to all state constitutions on Oxford Constitutions of the World.  Foreign constitutions can also be found on the Oxford database and on Hein’s World Constitutions Illustrated.  The Senate puts out a very useful annotated constitution that includes all the important caselaw that has shaped the different articles and amendments of the constitution: The Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (2014).  The Library of Congress has a wonderful historical site on the United States Constitution.  You can also find historical sources like James Madison’s Journal of the Federal Constitution on LLMC which has been digitizing many important U.S. documents.


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Sep 14 2015

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New York Times Online – for Free

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The library has a subscription to the New York Times Online that allows you to set up you own account that you can access anywhere.  Create your account now.  If you have any questions just come to the reference desk.


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Sep 14 2015

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Curious about world news?  Through PressDisplay, you have access to over 4,000 newspapers in 60 languages from 100 countries.  When using this resource, you can either browse recent articles, or limit your search by topic or country of publication.  Looking for more?  Just ask a reference librarian!

Press Reader Lexology

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Sep 08 2015

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Library Services

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The reference desk is staffed by librarians with law degrees.  We can help you with legal research, academic research, citation questions, questions about the library and any other question you might want to ask us.  You can e-mail us at lawref@bu.educhat with us or just stop by the reference desk.

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