SCOTUS, Health Care and the Tax Power

In its Tax Notes Today database, Tax Analysts published a recent speech by tax lawyer Jasper Cummings, 222 Years of the Supreme Court, The Constitution, and Federal Tax. It’s both a good read and an illuminating consideration of the Court’s historical role in tax cases, constitutional tax doctrines and and its expansive reading of the federal taxing power. Continue reading “SCOTUS, Health Care and the Tax Power”


Study Aids from LexisNexis

LexisNexis offers study aids/outlines for the basic legal courses.  According to LN:

These outlines provide an overview of the essential topics of a legal subject and can be used to prepare for class, organize your notes, and study for exams. For comprehensive and treatise-like coverage of these and other legal subjects, see theUnderstanding series.

These Area of Law Outlines are now available for free viewing and downloading:

      Constitutional Law html | word (512k) | pdf (428k)
      Contracts html | word (548k) | pdf (334k)
      Criminal Law html | word (315k) | pdf (364k)
      Criminal Procedure html | word (772k) | pdf (256k)
      Evidence html | word (585k) | pdf (317k)
      Property html | word (275k) | pdf (381k)
      Torts html | word (448k) | pdf (425k)
      Trusts and Estates html | word (503k) | pdf (482k)

Restricted Access Starts December 5

From December 5 until the end of finals, access to the law library will be restricted to law students.  There are limited exceptions, like need to use a specific resource, but otherwise, it’s just law students.

For information on library hours during the reading and exam period, see here.


Beyond Stressed

This is a busy time of the semester, and it is normal to feel overwhelmed between exams and seminar papers, let alone anything else that may be going on in your life. If, however, you feel more than this common exam anxiety, please know that counselors at Behavioral Medicine are ready and willing to help you through these difficult times. The services at Behavioral Medicine are free to currently registered full-time BU students, and all sessions are confidential. An initial appointment is required, and can be set up by calling 617-353-3569. Our “Clinician in the College” is Phil Sandler, but you can make an appointment with any of the staff members at Behavioral Medicine.

“The healthy, the strong individual, is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he has an abscess on his knee or in his soul.” – Rona Barrett


The Legal Research Skills Law Firms Expect You to Know

Patrick Meyer, Acting Library Director at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, reported the findings of his 2010 survey of law firms on what new hires should know in terms of legal research. You can download the article (which includes all of the respondents’ comments) here. Law firms expect new hires to be able to search:
• Statutes
• Secondary Sources
• Case Reporters
• Administrative Codes
• Digests
cost effectively. This sometimes means using print resources (and the finding tools within) instead of searching online. The importance of using secondary sources to gain an understanding of the legal issue before searching for primary law was also stressed by the firm librarians who responded to the survey. An overwhelming majority of the librarians (76.7%) opined that this secondary source research should be done in print.

When you arrive at a firm, it is important to understand exactly what you will be charged for in each database. Make sure you learn how to identify which resources are outside of your plan and what procedure you need to follow if your research requires information in one of those resources.

Are you concerned that your legal research skills may not meet your future employer’s expectations? The library will be offering sessions covering these legal research skills and more as part of its Certificate in Research Skills for Practice program next semester. Stay tuned for more information on this program.


Analysts Weigh in on SCOTUS and Health Care

Since Monday’s announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court had granted certiorari to a cluster of cases, and scheduled 5-1/2 hours of oral argument, regarding the validity of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there has been a lot of commentary. This article in BNA’s Health Law Reporter provides comments from legal and health care analysts on the issues the court has agreed to address and political fallout. Continue reading “Analysts Weigh in on SCOTUS and Health Care”


Supreme Court to Hear Appeals on ACA

In breaking news this morning, the Supreme Court has announced that it will hear several appeals related to challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This report from Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSBlog explains the orders in the three cases, and the issues that Court has agreed to hear on appeal from lower courts.

The Court’s Order List includes the orders granting certiorari in these cases.

See also this roundup of press coverage from November 14 and this YouTube video of a debate between Laurence Tribe and Paul Clement on the Constitutionality of PPACA.


Finding Cases Without Keywords

Have you ever struggled to find a case addressing a particular issue because you can’t come up with the “right” keywords? Next time you find yourself in this situation, try out West Key Numbers, available on both and WestlawNext. I have included videos below on how to access cases on the immunization of students in public schools using the Key Number outline on both WestlawNext and Notice that once you have chosen the key number(s) you want to search, you can choose the appropriate jurisdiction as well. also includes an option to search relevant secondary sources, including Am.Jur.2d and ALR annotations. Watch both videos and see if you can spot some additional differences between WestlawNext and As you will notice, the video screens had to be compressed to fit within the blog. Once you hit play, if you hover over the bottom of the screen, the full screen button will appear in the right hand corner, allowing you to magnify the video to readable size.

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