Monday, March 23, 2015

New WestlawNext feature - Uploading!

Starting today Boston College Law faculty, staff, and students have access to a new upload feature in WestlawNext.  This means you can now upload important documents to your WestlawNext folders and share those documents with others!

You can now upload Word, WordPerfect, Text, Rich Text Format, and PDF files up to 20 MB (increasing to 40MB soon) into WestlawNext folders.  Documents in other formats, like Excel, may upload, but you will need to download those files to open them.

If you are interested in checking out a quick tutorial on how to upload materials, visit:  An email is being sent out to the BC Law community with directions as well.

Benefits of uploading documents to WestlawNext folders include: 

  • Hyperlinking: Not only will hyperlinks be inserted next to your citations, but KeyCite information will be attached to those documents containing a yellow or red flag:

  • Annotations: You will be able to highlight and/or add notes within your document:

  • Sharing: When you share a folder, users with whom you are sharing will be able to see your uploaded files.  NOTE: Users will not be able to see your notes – however that ability is coming in 2016!
If you have any questions about this new, exciting feature in WestlawNext, please contact a Legal Information Librarian!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

BC Law Diversity Read Book Discussion

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s discussion.  
It was great to discuss such a  timely subject with you.  If you couldn't join us, but are interested in reading Redeployment, copies are available in the Popular Reading Collection on the main floor of the library.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

PLI - Free training!

Practising Law Institute is a premier provider of continuing legal education.  Did you know that PLI regularly offers free web-based training?  Here's an example of an excellent program for law students enrolled in clinical programs or internships: 
Representing the Pro Bono Client: Effective Written Advocacy 2015.  Skills covered in the program include drafting a concise complaint, preparing a witness declaration, and writing an effective brief.  The webcast is scheduled for March 5 and registrants can download the program handbook 24 hours before the program to become familiar with the materials.

All BC Law students and faculty have access to the entire PLI DiscoverPlus Library through the BC Law Library's database subscription.  So, even if you miss this program, you will be able to access the program materials at a later date. The PLI platform includes PLI treatises, course handbooks and the popular "Answer Books" geared to new practitioners. You can register and create a free account to receive e-mail notices of upcoming PLI programs as well - don't miss any of these great free training programs!  Questions?  Drop by and chat with a legal information librarian.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Need A Spring Break Read?

Spring Break is almost here!  If you're looking for a book to read on the airplane, at the beach, or even while enjoying a day without classes on the couch, the Law Library has something for you!  Stop by the Law Library's Popular Reading Collection located on the main floor and check out the various options we have - don't forget, we also have DVDs if you want to take a break from reading entirely!

If you are interested in participating in this year's Community Diversity Read - Spring Break is a great time to read this year's book, Redeployment.  We have plenty of print and electronic copies available for checkout.  Just stop by the information desk for a copy.  The Law Library and Student Veterans Association will be sponsoring a community discussion of Redeployment on Thursday, March 12 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Law Library Rm. 279.  We hope to see you there!

Monday, February 23, 2015

You vs. You

In a recent opinion handed down by the Utah Court of Appeals, citizens of Utah now have the right to sue themselves.  How you ask?  Just ask Barbara Bagley. 

Bagley appears as the representative of the estate of Bradley M. Vom Baur and as his heir.  She is also the defendant being represented by her insurance company because it will have to pay if Bagley (as defendant) is found liable for the accident that killed Vom Baur.  This unique setup makes Barbara Bagley v. Barbara Bagley possible. 

Bagley’s complicated case turns on a reading of Utah’s wrongful-death statute and the court’s interpretation of a clause discussing when a person’s heir can sue whoever causes a person’s death when their death “is caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another”.  The trial court interpreted the “of another” to mean someone who is not a negligent heir or personal representative and held that Bagley could not sue herself because she allegedly caused the death of Vom Baur.  The Court of Appeals, however, interpreted the statute to read the “of another”, since it was not separated by punctuation, to mean a person other than the decedent, allowing Bagley as heir and representative of the estate to sue herself.  

Unique situations such as this are referred to as "autolitigation" and if you are interested in reading about more cases like this (as well as some colorful commentary about the Bagley case) visit the law blog Lowering the Bar.

The Oscars edition of the Legal Eagle Blog

During last night’s Oscars ceremony, one of the most touching speeches came from Best Adapted Screenplay winner, Graham Moore. Moore wrote the screenplay for The Imitation Game, the popular Benedict Cumberbatch film about the team—led by computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turing—that broke the Nazi’s supposedly unbreakable Enigma code during World War II.

Moore’s speech included a moving tribute to Turing, whose suicide in 1954 was largely prompted by his prosecution under Britain’s gross indecency law for consensual sexual acts with another man. Turing was ultimately pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013, and the Human Rights Campaign and others are now seeking pardons for the other individuals prosecuted under this law and other similar ones.

All of this, naturally, made me curious about the actual laws involved, which in turn made me re-familiarize myself with some of the wonderful free resources that exist for researching UK law.

Turing was prosecuted under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. Oscar Wilde was also prosecuted under this law. To see a digitized copy of this piece of legislation, along with tremendously helpful background information, take a look at the British Library’s website. To learn about the debate surrounding the enactment of this law (the so-called Labouchere amendment), read the debate on the floor of Parliament, via the freely available digitized editions of the Hansard reports.

For the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which repealed Section 11 with regard to private homosexual acts between males in England and Wales, see the fabulous free site The site provides the full-text of UK laws from 1988-present and a partial dataset of pre-1988 laws.

If you’re interesting in learning more about Turing and the history of these laws, take a look at this story from the Huffington Post. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

HeinOnline January Updates

HeinOnline has added some nifty new features already this year.

  • Dropbox Integration:
With this feature, you have the ability to download PDFs directly from HeinOnline into your Dropbox account. If you use Dropbox, an online file storage system, you can now save to your Dropbox either from your search results or directly from an article on HeinOnline.



  • Congressional Record Daily to Bound Citation Locator:

Using HeinOnline's Congressional Record Daily to Bound Citation Locator you can quickly retrieve materials using the proper Bluebook citation.  This Locator has now been added to the Citation Navigator tab in the U.S. Congressional Documents Collection. Previously, this tool was available only from the Resources tab. Users can also access the citation locator at the top of the page to find both the Congressional Record Bound and Congressional Record Daily editions by their abbreviations.