Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Happy World Intellectual Property Day

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) established April 26 as World Intellectual Property Day in 2000 to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) in encouraging innovation and creativity.   This year’s theme is Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined.
Here at BC Law we recognize World Intellectual Property Day in our Intellectual Property Research course, next offered in the spring of 2017 along with Bankruptcy law Research, Insurance Law and Civil Litigation Research, International Legal Research, and Research for Criminal Law Practitioners.  If you can't wait that long for a topical legal research class, in Fall 2016 we are offering Environmental Legal Research and Tax Law Research.  If you are planning on practicing in any of these areas, or if you just have an interest in one of them, consider adding it to your schedule.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Adding to the Law Library's List of Databases: Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England & Wales

ICLR recently decided to offer digital access to their content on their own proprietary platform.  This content could formerly be found in both Lexis and Westlaw but has been removed from Lexis and will no longer be available on Westlaw by the end of 2016.

ICLR Online includes the full suite of UK case law in the Law Reports (1865 – present) and Weekly Law Reports (1953 – present), plus Industrial Case Reports (ICR, from 1972), Business Law Reports (Bus LR, from 2007), Public & Third Sector Law Reports (PTSR); and two case summary services, Case Notes (CN) and WLR Daily.  

A retrieved case can be viewed in HTML (with live links to other cases) and browsed by clicking ahead to segments of the document, such as “Catchwords,” Facts, Judgments and Orders. Users can also click through to appearances of search terms (“next match”). Cases can be viewed, printed or downloaded in PDF format. 

If you are looking up UK law, you've got this great resource at your fingertips through the Law Library List of Databases.  The List of Databases is highlighted on the BC Law Library website and lists all the databases you have access to as a member of the BC Law community.  

Click on the list link and navigate from the alphabetically listing of databases to ICRL.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Get Bloomberg Law Certified!

Are you heading to a firm with Bloomberg Law this summer?  Are you interested in learning more about Bloomberg Law’s transactional and litigation tools and resources?  If so, complete Bloomberg Law’s online certification program and get prepared for practice.

Bloomberg Law now offers certification in the following areas:
  • Introduction and Navigation
  • Fundamental Legal Research
  • Transactional Law
  • Litigation

To become certified in each area, you’ll watch a few videos and take short quizzes.  Upon successful completion of the quizzes, you’ll receive notification of completion and will be able say that you are Bloomberg Law certified!  Bloomberg Law Certification is a good way to show employers you have taken the time to practice and refine your research skills as well as a nice way to show on your resume that you’re prepared to practice.

To learn more about Bloomberg Law Certification and to start becoming certified, log into your Bloomberg Law account and click on the Bloomberg Law Certification Program link.

If you haven't yet created a Bloomberg Law account, visit www.bloomberglaw.com/activate to create your account today.  Be sure to register with your @bc.edu email address.

And remember – you can use your Bloomberg Law account all summer long no matter what your summer work plans are!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wrongful Convictions Research Resource -- National Registry of Exonerations

University of Michigan Law School maintains the National Registry of Exonerations, which is a database of detailed case information on every known exoneration in the United States since 1989 -- 1,761 exonerations as of the date of this blog post!  It is also an information portal for further reading and research into wrongful convictions and the tools useful in establishing actual innocence. 

The database itself is incredibly useful because you can browse it, search it by keyword and sort and narrow results by a number of tags and filters.  For example, to find out how many women have been exonerated in the U.S. since 1989, simply open the drop-down list of tags at the top of the "tag" column and click on F for female.  The results:  as of March 23, 2009, 161 women have been exonerated.  There are 20 different tags with which to construct surgically precise results, including whether a child was a victim, whether there was a jailhouse informant, or official misconduct, or ineffective legal assistance or a false confession (and many more filtering options).  Clicking on an exoneree's name in the database leads to a detailed discussion of the exoneree's case.

In addition to the database, the website contains a map, reports, graphs and infographics, newsletters, spreadsheets, links to legal services and recommended print and online resources for further research.



Friday, February 26, 2016

Come work on your short game in the Law Library!

On Wednesday, March 2, 2016 from 12:00 to 1:00pm, the Law Library will be hosting Supreme Court Putt Putt.  Come spend lunch time with the Justices and Reference Librarians.  We are excited to see who will get a hole in one and master the course.

Perhaps this will be a start to putting you on the Bobby Jones career path.  Jones spent the majority of his life working as an attorney, but won the US Open 4 times.

Tee-off is at noon, sharp.  Hope to see you on the green!

If you are interested in adding this event to your OrgSync calendar, here's the link to the posting there: https://orgsync.com/80020/events/1334190/occurrences/3006190.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Changes in European Court of Justice Case Publishing & Citation

For years, The Reports of Cases before the Court of Justice and the General Courtavailable in BC Law Library through HeinOnline, has been an old and loyal friend to us. Known as E.C.R. through Bluebook Rule 21.5.2, it is the official print reporter of European Court of Justice. However, unbeknownst to many of us, the print version has quietly ceased its publication in April 2014. Since then, the case law from ECJ has been published only online in monthly sets in a new arrangement.

To go with the new publication arrangement, ECJ has also implemented a new citation method based on case name, case number, and a newly created ECLI (European Case Law Identifier) for each case. With the new citation method, especially the newly created ECLI, the Court hopes to improve the accessibility of case decisions to the public, to increase the linguistic neutrality, and to facilitate the automatic insertion of hyperlinks in citations.

Here is an example of the new case citation. More details can be found on the Court's website.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Saying Goodbye to a Humorous Jurist

Today the body of Justice Antonin Scalia lies in repose inside of the Supreme Court.  His seat on the bench is cloaked with black out of respect and the public can visit the Court to pay their respects until 8 p.m. tonight. Watching or reading the news since the passing of Justice Scalia lets one know that as a jurist, Scalia was both loved and hated for his views; however, as many people will note, his opinions were rarely something to miss and often provided law students with a break from the typical court opinion they soldier through during long study sessions. Scalia, love him or hate him, was an interesting character on the bench - with a sharp wit and a very impressive writing style that many will miss.

Late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Scalia's wit was so well known that other justices have been heard to say that they had to hide laughter while they were on the bench with him, and it was even a subject discussed by researchers.  A study done during the 2011-2012 term that found Scalia was "the hands-down funniest justice" followed by his good friend, Justice Ginsburg.

Ginsburg and Justice Antonin Scalia ride an elephant in India in 1994.
Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States/Dey Street Books

If his humor wasn't what drew attorneys and law students to the opinions of Scalia, his writing style (something many work to emulate) certainly did.  Scalia's opinions were conversational in tone.  He wrote in a style that was easy to understand and interpret.  Scalia was also detailed and passionate in his writing.  These things made his opinions easier to digest and a welcome break from less skilled opinion writers. For students (and attorneys) wishing to learn more about how to write like Scalia, he even penned a book on how to make your case persuasively to judges - a tome often found on the book cases of those that have walked the halls of court houses and law schools.

Justice Scalia is no doubt a controversial figure, but there his humor and writing style will be missed by many who spend their days reading the law.