Upcoming Bloomberg Law, Westlaw and Lexis vendor training sessions

Here are the dates for upcoming vendor training sessions on their respective platforms:

Lexis: Click here

Westlaw: Click here

Bloomberg Law:

American LLM Training:

October 10: 2-3 in room 820

October 12 11-12 room 1420

JD Training:

Oct. 23 1-2 room 1420

Oct. 24 330-430 room 820

Oct. 25 1-2 room 1420

RSVP to Eric Malinowski emalinowski@bloomberg.net

or, register with a Bloomberg Law student representative at the Bloomberg Law table on Thursday’s from 10-2 in the Law Lobby.





New Book by Jeffrey Toobin on SCOTUS, Obama

Doubleday has just released Jeffrey Toobin’s new book, The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court.

This weekend’s edition of the New York Times’ Book Review includes a review by Prof. Garrett Epps, who praises the book and its author (“Toobin is one of the most talented reporters covering American law”). While some analysts were questioning the relevance of the Supreme Court just a few years ago, Epps notes, nobody is making that mistake now.

With Congress and the executive branch all but paralyzed, the Supreme Court today sits firmly in the center of American public life; its decisions crucially affect matters of race, sex, economics, political power and even national security. And in official Washington this fall, the most intriguing personality is neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney but John Glover Roberts Jr.

While there is a steady stream of new books on the Supreme Court, Toobin’s may be among the first to incorporate an analysis of the June 2012 health care decision. And it looks like a good read.


Think you know what legislative history is? Two preeminent legal minds have a very public feud on the issue!

It is not everyday that a US Supreme Court Justice engages in a public tit for tat with a respected legal theorist and judge in the popular media. What pressing controversy you might ask yourself could lead to such aberrant and unlikely behavior? Nothing less than the meaning of “legislative history.”

As law students you may well think that you have developed an above average understanding of this intricate and at times highly confusing research task—or you may realize that you know next to nothing about this subject in which case the Law Library has Certification classes in the Spring you should consider taking (schedule is still pending)—but it is highly unlikely that you have yet to manifest the passion on the subject that these two evidence in the series of volleys linked below.

Which of the two convinces you with their arguments?



Moot Court Research Sessions

Attention all Stone Moot Court Competition participants: we will be holding topic-specific research sessions this week, one for each problem. We will cover research materials for Sentencing Enhancements on Tuesday (9/25), Bankruptcy on Wednesday (9/26), and Title VII on Friday (9/28). All of the sessions will be from 1-2 PM in Room 334. If you have any questions about these sessions, please e-mail me at jekblaw@bu.edu.


Lying and Cheating: Don’t Give in to the Temptation!

The popular media often attributes lying and cheating to lawyers, and there has been quite a bit of discussion about lying and dishonesty in the media recently.  As Mark Herrmann’s post, Inside Straight: Turning Lawyers Into Liars, at Above the Law notes, the characterization of lawyers as liars is sometimes warranted.  There are certain rules (and conflicts between rules) that induce lawyers to be dishonest.  Sometimes you have to be dishonest to achieve the just result, right?  However, how far are you going to extend that reasoning?  Justification of dishonesty can quickly become a slippery slope, and the more you see others around you justify dishonest actions, the easier it becomes.  Some suggest that the breeding of lawyers’ unethical behavior begins here in law school.  The cutthroat nature of the curve and the pressure to be at the top of the class combined with time pressures can force you to cut corners.  A recent article in New York magazine on cheating at elite high schools and universities illustrates how these factors have played a large role in cheating rings amongst some of the nations’ highest achievers.

I know it is sometimes hard to see beyond this semester’s grades, but there will be a day (and it will come more quickly than you think!) when law school will be behind you, and you will have moments to reflect on how you got to where you are.  Don’t let your reflections be filled with regrets about “less than honest” actions.  In addition to regret, your memories will weigh you down with insecurity, because you will know that you don’t really understand that material or those skills that you cheated your way through, but everyone will expect you to know them because you made stellar grades.  Doing the right thing is often more difficult, but it will yield dividends both in your professional abilities and your reputation in the legal community.


As the issue of Same-Sex Marriage heads to the Supreme Court, one excellent history of its circuitous path.

One of the defining civil rights issues of our time is likely to be reviewed in this Supreme Court’s term: Same-Sex Marriage.

The myriad of judicial twists and turns that have led to the current crop of cases under review at various levels in the judiciary reads like a good (Constitutional law) mystery with a multitude of legal theories and propositions having been proposed  and at various stages rejected along the path that led these cases to where they are today.

The author of this fascinating read,William N. Eskridge Jr., the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at the Yale Law School,  writes, “As the litigation history of Hollingsworth v. Perry illustrates, the proponents of same-sex marriage bars are swiftly running out of arguments, more swiftly than anyone thought possible at the turn of the millennium.   As was the case with different-race marriage bars a generation ago, the protean nature of the public justifications for same-sex marriage bars today and the dearth of factual support for any of them are evidence that the discrimination rests upon animus or stereotypes and not upon a neutral public policy.”

Click here to see the entire blog.

Click  to read the Amici Curiae  brief filed with the US Supreme Court.


Two Cheers for the Constitution

One of the best things about the New York Times’ Opinonator blog is that Linda Greenhouse, the Times’ former Supreme Court correspondent and now a senior research scholar at Yale Law School, provides regular essays on law and the courts.

Greenhouse’s most recent post considers the requirement under federal law (the Byrd Amendment) that Constitution Day must be observed with an educational program by institutions that receive federal funding. Is this requirement constitutional?

In thinking through this issue, Greenhouse reflects on an implementing regulation from the Education Department, the opinions of Chief Justice Roberts and other Justices on the constitutionality of Medicaid provisions in the Affordable Care Act, and the practicality of cutting off all federal funding for, say, medical research if a university neglected to do its duty and properly observe Constitution Day. Greenhouse observes:

The fact is no one really knows what the impact of the court’s new turn on the Spending Clause will be. The Affordable Care Act decision marked the first time the Supreme Court had ever invalidated any law enacted under the Congressional spending power. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in dissent, called the decision all the more “unsettling” because the case for constitutionality appeared, to her and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, so simple. What, exactly, was the problem with the bargain Congress attempted to strike with the states?  Did it simply go too far and threaten too much? If so, when considering the next case, how far would be too far? How close a connection must there be between the desired behavior — honor the Constitution — and the threat — lose your federal money?

It isn’t every day that a newspaper provides such a rich examination of constitutional law.


The Coming SCOTUS Term

We’re just days away from the opening of the Supreme Court’s 2012-13 Term and the resumption of oral arguments on “the first Monday in October.”

Sources that provide a preview of the Court’s Term include:

See the indispensable SCOTUSBlog for its exhaustive coverage of the Court. Note the list and summaries of OT 12 Merits Cases. And follow the complete blog, special features, coverage and analysis by the dean Supreme Court correspondents, Lyle Denniston and more.

Numerous Court watchers anticipate the next Term–e.g.:

Stay tuned.