Voting in America

Do you want Bernie or are you for Rubio?  Massachusetts has already voted, but as the primaries progress in other states the press has been focusing on voter ID laws.  Many states have passed voter ID laws in the last few years, and a good way to keep up with these is to find a 50 state survey. The National Conference of State Legislatures keeps a close eye on developments across states.  Westlaw also has a good 50 state survey on voter registration.  50 state surveys are an invaluable tool to compare state practice in different areas of the law.



International Women’s Day

If you are interested in the topic of women and the law, the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries have a variety of resources that you may want to check out.  These include books such as Women and the Law Stories, which highlights cases addressing sex discrimination, working conditions, and reproductive rights, among others.  You may also want to explore articles on HeinOnline from journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender and the Women Lawyers Journal.  Lastly, in honor of International Women’s Day, many blogs are also posting interesting stories, such as the Library of Congress’ global history of women’s voting rights.


FBI Error Locked San Bernardino Attacker’s iPhone

In the ongoing legal battle between Apple and the F.B.I. over whether Apple must provide the F.B.I. with the technical help necessary to unlock the San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone, it has come to light that the F.B.I. caused the phone to be locked in the first place, by demanding county officials reset the iCloud password (Mr. Farook was employed as an environmental health specialist by San Bernardino county, which owns the iPhone Mr. Farook used). Apple suggests that had the F.B.I. followed their initial suggestion, to connect the phone to a known wireless network and see if the data could be downloaded, rather than having county officials  reset the iCloud password, the F.B.I. would not be in their present predicament. You can read more about it here and sign up for complimentary access to the New York Times through our group pass here.


EEOC takes up anti-gay discrimination in employment FINALLY under Gender Discrimination Laws.

In a move, long awaited by the LGBTQ community, the EEOC has finally challenged employers who discriminate against the community’s members under the Nation’s gender bias laws.

Read the full story here on Law 360, one of the several great sources we have available at the Library for keeping you current:

Law 360





Certification Class: Court Documents

When a case is filed in any court a docket is created.  This allows the court to track all activity with this case.  What if your boss askes you “What is happening in that 1st circuit case?”  Figure it out from the docket.  She asks “Can you find me the complaint in that copyright case that was filed in the Southern District of New York?”  Learn how to identify the docket number and use the tools necessary to find the court documents for most courts.

Monday Feb. 29th @ 1pm in Rm 335
Thursday March 2nd @ 1pm in Rm 335



Certification Class: Business Research

Competitive Intelligence 2Do you know if your corporate client has ever filed for bankruptcy? Come learn how to find company and industry information, including financials, consumer demographics, and how to use NAICS codes. Students will also be introduced to common online sources used for this research.

This class will be offered on Wednesday, February 24th, from 1PM-2PM and 2:15PM-3:15PM. Register for this and other classes at


Massachusetts Law

The library subscribes to Masstrac, a platform that tracks bills as they pass through the legislature – providing the closest thing Massachusetts has to online legislative history.  State House News, which updates you on legislative activities, is another library subscription.  Finally, we subscribe to the Social Law Library which has many agency decisions not found anywhere else.

Much of the legal information in Massachusetts is public.  The state legislature provides access to the legislative code (General Laws), session laws (from 1997) and bills from the current and previous two sessions.  The Governor’s office provides access to Executive Orders and legislation, as well as current information on legislation on the governor’s desk for review and action.

The Governor’s office provides access to Executive Orders and legislation, as well as current information on legislation on the governor’s desk for review and action. The state judicial branch provides a range of public information, including a docket search of the Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court; court decisions from the Reporter of Decisions; and a guide to Massachusetts Evidence Law.

Massachusetts Trial Court Libraries, including Massachusetts legal information by topic. MTCL provides access to the entire Code of Massachusetts Regulations (C.M.R.), access to state court rules, topical legal forms and city & town bylaws and ordinances.

The State Library has put together an impressive archive of official documents and its guide to conducting state legislative history research is the go-to source for researchers investigating legislative intent.