Did you know that there was once a penalty imposed in Massachusetts if you celebrated Christmas? Check out this law from 1659 (with modern spelling):
“For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction, by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other countries, to the great dishonor of God and offence of others, it is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon such accounts as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shillings, as a fine to the country.”
To access this and other Massachusetts historical legal documents and laws click HERE.
Today, Christmas Day is celebrated as a legal holiday under M.G.L. c. 4, § 7, cl. 18. To find this and other Massachusetts laws, check out the Massachusetts General Laws Annotated at call number KFM2430 1958 .A2 in the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries, or visit the Massachusetts government’s website by clicking HERE.
There has been much controversy over the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. That Report is now available via the Federal Digital System web site as Senate Report 113-288. This PDF is 700+ pages and includes the Report as well as minority and other views.
WestlawNext and Lexis Advance include links to admiralty and maritime cases, statutes, court rules, regulations, administrative decisions, briefs, books and forms. To access this collection on WestlawNext, you can search by headnote or browse the practice area of Admiralty & Maritime Law. In order browse Lexis Advance’s collection, look under the topic of Admiralty & Maritime Law.
American Maritime Cases (AMC)
American Maritime Cases is a reporter devoted to maritime cases, which includes its own headnotes and digesting system. This source is available online from Lexis Advance and WestlawNext, or as a separate database through the Libraries’ catalog. It is also available in print in the Annex at call number KF1100 .A2 A4.
The reference librarians teach advanced legal research courses both semesters, and this semester we are teaching Administrative Law Research (1 credit) and Advance Legal Research (2 credits). Advanced Legal Research is currently full and there is a waiting list, but Administrative Law Research has spots. Many lawyers never anticipate how important understanding the organization of the executive branch and its agencies is to many practice areas. Tax, banking, environmental, energy, bankruptcy, securities, IP, immigration – these are just some of the area that are driven by regulations and agency guidance. Hit the ground running in any new job with the skills you can learn in this class. Administrative Law Research runs from Jan. 20 to March 3 and you must be present at the first class to participate. Advanced Legal Research runs from January 22 through April 9 and you must be present at the first class to participate.
Need a quick review before your finals? Consider checking out the flashcards in the Law in a Flash series.
Boxes of flashcards are organized by subject, and cover topics such as torts and professional responsibility. Each set contains cards that can help you review black letter law and definitions. Some cards even include hypotheticals to help you practice issue spotting. These sets can be found at the circulation desk, and may be checked out for two hours.
Suppose you’re researching an international legal issue for the first time. What are some good places to start?
If you begin with the library’s research guide on International Law (IL), you will find definitions of IL and related concepts, video discussions on the scope of IL and a frequently cited summary of the IL sources (listed in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice). To get started with your topic, starting places include secondary sources, such as the major treatises listed in the guide, the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, and journal articles that explore international legal topics.
Current awareness resources include blogs, subscription news updates and the news bureaus of the United Nations and other international organizations. These can be great tools for picking a paper topic, gathering information on recent developments and monitoring your topic as you work.
Practising Law Institute is a non-profit continuing legal education organization chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, founded in 1933 by Harold P. Seligson. PLI is dedicated to providing the legal community and allied professionals with the most up-to-date, relevant information and techniques which are critical to the development of a professional, competitive edge. We achieve these goals through the highest quality Seminars held annually in locations across the United States, annually supplemented Treatises, Audio CDs and DVDs, MP3s, Live Webcasts, Course Handbooks, and On-Demand Learning.
Hoping to follow the progress of a Massachusetts bill? Consider using MassTrac, a site designed to help you keep up to date with Massachusetts legislation. To access MassTrac, search for it on the Libraries’ eResources A to Z list.
If you’re looking for a particular bill or topic, just type your words into the search box at the top of the home screen. Once your search results appear, narrow your search by category, sponsor, status and more.
If you’re new to MassTrac, here is a short video to help you get started:
The BU Law Libraries, an integral part of the Boston University School of Law community, are committed to the continued growth of academic excellence by providing service, resources, and an environment that facilitates legal and law-related research, scholarship and curricular goals.