Global Arbitration Review… the “GAR” is here.

In addition to the new Oxford Legal Research Library mentioned earlier this week, the Library has just also added the Global Arbitration Review to its offerings covering international arbitration.

The GAR is a respected current awareness and news tool that provides daily updates if you subscribe using your BU e-mail address.  It also compiles an annual “GAR 100” and “GAR 30” report that ranks top international arbitration firms based on their proprietary formula.

This is a screen shot of the sign-in page highlighting the multiple types of information available to researchers:

GAR 2One important subscription limitation to note is the fact that our subscription only allows for viewing and downloading of current materials. Archived items may only be viewed and may not be saved or downloaded.



The “Nuclear Option” or less dramatically, ending the judicial filibuster

Today the US Senate voted 52-48 to end what has of late become the routine practice of filibustering  high-level Presidential appointments.

Despite the hyperbole—the Huffington Post ran an article with a nuclear cloud detonation under the headlines, “Senate Detonation: Reid Nukes Filibuster“— this move has been considered for a few years now. Clearly, as the chart highlights, the use of the  filibuster to block high-level executive appointments has accelerated under a Republican minority in the Senate.

Opinion is, of course, all over the proverbial map on this issue.  Here are some recent articles to peruse so you can impress the folks back home with your legal prowess at the Holiday table next week:



“The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

Oliver_Wendell_Holmes,_1902Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s famously unique way of phrasing just about everything is just one reason why you should consider browsing through the newly added electronic database ” Proquest History Vault: Law and Society since the Civil War: American Legal Manuscripts from the Harvard Law Library” by clicking HERE.

This database features 11 modules from the Harvard Law School Library including these notable selections: The papers of Supreme Court Justices Felix Frankfurter, Louis D. Brandeis and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The papersof legal theorists’ Albert Levitt and Livingston Hall,  Richard H. Field and Roscoe Pound and Sheldon Glueck as well as those of William H. Hastie (America’s first black Federal judge) and Zechariah Chafee Jr, the “dean of civil liberties scholarship” in the U.S.


vLex is a fantastic new tool for performing foreign law research…

It has a certain, je ne sais quoi, and is a powerful new online tool to consult when researching the laws of foreign jurisdictions….. The site allows searching across multiple countries and includes materials pulled from government websites as well as primary and secondary materials. There are even newspapers from many countries available.

Best feature? Everything can be translated out of the original source language into another language of your choosing and the translations, while not official, are enhanced by vLex to provide better legal translations than otherwise available with online translation sources.

vlex(We do ask you to please close out of your session after using vLex to allow others to sign onto the database as our subscription is limited to a select number of open sessions. Thanks!)


U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Day 2013

September 17th is officially designated “Constitution and Citizenship Day.”  The National Archives has compiled some interesting sites that allow us to explore this important document in interactive and engaging ways.
Have a look at some of these links and the mobile apps below:
And thanks to the American Bar Association for compiling the following list of civic-minded apps:
   Visible Vote 
Track how your legislators are voting,
give representatives feedback, and
participate in live events.
   White House App 
News from the White House blog and
press briefing room.
 WH Mobile
   Oyez Today
Latest information & media on the
current Supreme Court, including
searchable oral arguments and
   U.S. Constitution
Searchable U.S. Constitution and
Articles of Confederation and more.
   My Congress
Follow news, twitter feeds and
decisions of members of
   U.S. Citizenship 2013
Test your civic knowledge with flash
cards and quizzes.



New Database for Massachusetts Legislative History Research: InstaTrac

Anyone who has tried to do Massachusetts Legislative History Research knows it can be very challenging because the Commonwealth does not publish reports and other legislative documents for the general public.  We have acquired a new database, InstaTrac, which is collecting these reports, starting in 2011.  InstaTrac also allows users to track current legislation, and receive the Daily Journal and legislative news via email.  These updates are an excellent way to stay up to date on the activities of the General Court.

In addition to this great content, InstaTrac also provides helpful tips on how to use the system.  The database includes a document on How to Get the Most Out of Your MassTrac Service as well as a detailed Help section.  If you have any questions about using InstaTrac, please contact a reference librarian.


New electronic resource: Art Law and Cultural Property


Our newest addition, Art Law and Cultural Property offers the researcher two highly specialized databases:

“International Cultural Property Ownership and Export Legislation (ICPOEL) and Case Law and Statutes (CLS)—will help users navigate the increasingly complex and abundant body of legislation and case law regarding the acquisition and ownership of artworks.”

ICOPEL “contains legislation governing the export and ownership of cultural property from dozens of countries.” Its “links connect foreign legislation to relevant U.S. case law. There are also links to relevant international conventions and bilateral agreements. Also included is “Country Contacts,” information on the government official(s) in each country to whom a query regarding the legality of acquiring a work can be addressed.”

CLS ” contains an extensive body of primarily U.S. case law, including both litigated cases and, notably, hard-to-find, out-of-court settlements. The material is organized under eight topics: World War II-Era/Holocaust Related Art Loss; Cultural Property (Antiquities) Disputes Over Non-United States Property; United States Cultural Property; Art Theft (other than World War II and cultural property looting); Other Ownership Title Disputes/Claims Including Conversion and Breach of Contract; Art Fraud, Attribution, Authenticity, Forgery, Libel, and Defamatory Statements; Valuation/Appraisal; and Copyright, Moral Rights and Other Issues”

Check it out!  (Extra-credit if you can name the repository of Modern Art shown above….)


Lexis Social Studies

Despite the name of this app, it has nothing to do with a 4th grade class where you learned the history of whatever state you grew up in.  Lexis Social Studies attempts to bring you the best of Facebook, Google Drive, and LexisAdvance to help you organize your study group in one place.

How does it work?  After signing away your Facebook rights (allowing Lexis to post statuses and go into your notifications), you are asked to provide your Google identifier to match up with your Google Drive account.  From there, you can create your group: make it public or private, invite friends, etc.  Once you have your group set up, you can create documents that are stored on Google Drive (and have all of that functionality).  Additional features include the ability to create polls to determine the best time to meet and the ability to make comments on your group page.

Journals, think this would be a great place to put your source coordination documents?  It may be in the future, but not just yet.  PDF uploads are currently not supported.  Right now, you are limited to files that can be reformatted as Google Docs.

One thing I could not figure out is how to delete a file after uploading it.  I tried to delete it from Google Drive in my “Shared with Me” folder, but when you upload documents to the app, Lexis Social Studies is considered the author on Google Docs, not you, so that doesn’t work.  There is an arrow at the end of the file on the group page, implying there should be a dropdown (and maybe that’s where delete is hiding), but right now it is not functioning.

Want to learn more about Lexis Social Studies?  Check out the promotional video or get started creating your own group here.