Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Last Day of Fall Semester and Exams!

Hello students!  You've almost made it through the Fall semester--one more day of class in a post-turkey dinner haze left to go.  November 30th marks the end of the classes and reading days this semester are December 1st and 2nd.  Final exams begin on Thursday, December 3rd and run through Thursday, December 17th.

During this time, please keep in mind that the library has two LibGuides that can give you some tips on making it through those trying two weeks!  The Exam Tips and Resources guide highlights the exam prep aids that we have here in our collection.  In addition, we understand that success requires balance, so you'll see a link in that guide to the Rest and Relaxation @ the BC Law Library guide.  Peruse through to see the items we have to help you destress and refocus by taking a well deserved break.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break, and good luck on exams!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Congratulations to the Law Library Movie Trivia Contest Winners!

We have our fabulous prize winners!
Congratulations to Lindsey Edinger, Stephanie Molina, and Kelsey Gasseling!  
Kelsey won a DVD of The Visitor!

Lindsey won a week's worth of chocolate!

Stephanie took home a $5 Starbucks gift card!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Trivia Contest!  We had 52 entries with correct answers!  If you are interested in checking out any of the movies (or a movie in general) stop by the Law Library's popular movie collection and check one out today.  You can also find information about our movie collection on the Rest and Relaxation @ BC Law Library libguide.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Closed Captioning and Written Program Transcripts Now Available from MCLE

Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) now provides users access to closed captioning and written program transcripts for on demand programs.  These additions can be used with on demand webcasts to help the hearing impaired better access the materials and also to help practitioners keep notes on important aspects of a seminar they are viewing.  These on demand webcasts are available about two weeks after the live presentation of a CLE course.

To access closed captioning while watching an on demand webcast, click on the universal CC symbol at the bottom of the screen.  Users can also access larger scrolling captions by selecting a pop-out box in the upper right-hand corner of the webcast screen.  This will direct you to another viewer so you can read the scrolling text as you view the course.

(Image provided by MCLE)

The written transcripts of programs will be made available in an unedited format to all registered participants of a CLE and to all MCLE OnePass subscribers.  This will greatly assist with note taking while viewing a CLE and also provide an opportunity for individuals to spend more time processing the materials presented since they can revisit the event word for word in written form.

BC Law students and faculty can access MCLE OnePass using the Law Library’s Database A to Z List.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Alternative Dispute Resolution and BITs

Recently, we received a few questions about BITs at the reference desk. Here are some basics about BITs and on how to find them.

Bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”) are international agreements establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one state in another state. One distinctive feature of BITs is that they allow parties to rely on alternative dispute resolution to settle a dispute, rather than suing in national courts. Many disputes involving BITs are resolved under the auspices of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”).

Here are a few good sources for you to find the text of BITs:
  1. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s International Investment Agreements Navigator. This database collects BITs among states all over the world. You may look for BITs concluded by a particular country or a group of countries. Advanced search options are also available for more sophisticated searches.
  2. ICSID's Database of BITs. ICSID starts to collect BITs since the early 1970s. This database is searchable by one party or between two parties, or by the year of signature. However, full text of the BIT is not available on the website. 
  3. United Nations Treaty Series (“UNTS”) is also a good place to look for BITs since the country may have registered the international agreements with UN. 
  4. Kluwer Arbitration, a subscription database on BC Law Library’s Database List, is an excellent research database for international commercial arbitration. It has the full text of over 1700 BITs, in addition to other primary and secondary sources. 
  5. BITs by United States are available at the Department of Commerce’s Trade Compliance Center (TCC).

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Entire U.S. Congressional Serial Set on Lexis Advance in pdf format

Before the advent of the free web, generations of lawyers, lobbyists and researchers relied upon a print resource known as the U.S. Congressional Serial Set to obtain copies of congressional documents.  The Government Printing Office began publishing the Serial Set with the 15th Congress in 1817.  The Serial Set contains committee reports on bills, congressional investigative and oversight reports, agency reports submitted to Congress, presidential communications with Congress, treaty documents submitted to the Senate for ratification and other documents submitted to Congress.

The entire U.S. Congressional Serial Set is now available to Boston College Law School students, faculty and staff via Lexis Advance in pdf format. To access the Serial Set on Lexis Advance, in the search box under "Browse Sources", type either Serial Set or Congressional Documents and add as your search filter.  Once you have found your desired result, click on the "Replica of Original Proceedings pdf download icon.  See screen shots below.  Less comprehensive versions of the Serial Set continue to be available to the BC Law community via the Readex platform (1817-1980), on the Library of Congress's A Century of Lawmaking website  (selected documents between 1817 and 1917) and on microfilm.

The Serial Set is an excellent resource for finding committee reports underlying older statutes which aren't otherwise available electronically.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Acting Librarian of Congress Adopts New DMCA Exemptions

The latest round of DMCA exemptions were published in last Wednesday’s Federal Register (80 Fed. Reg. 65944) (reader friendly version on Federal Register 2.0) by Acting Librarian of Congress David Mao.  The Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it a crime to circumvent technological measures that control access to copyrighted work – even for legal purposes – unless an exemption is given by the Librarian of Congress through triennial rule-making.  In addition to multiple exemptions for educational uses, this cycle includes exemptions for car repair and modifications, jailbreaking phones and tablets, and archiving and preserving video games.  The copyright office received nearly 40,000 comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking and held seven days of public hearings, three in Los Angeles and four in Washington, D.C.  Written comments and transcripts of the hearings are available on the Copyright Office website.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Federal Rules - Big changes coming

Mark your calendars for December 1, 2015 because significant changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and to the Official Bankruptcy Forms will take effect then.  The pending amendments to the eDiscovery rules will impact judicial case management and provide judges more input in the eDiscovery process.  Unless Congress chooses to amend the rules already approved by the Supreme Court, the changes to Rule 37(e) will provide for a uniform standard in determining sanctions for spoliation of electronic evidence.