Monday, June 27, 2016

Brexit - Press Coverage in the U.K. and Beyond

Interested in tracking Brexit coverage in the U.K. press and in other countries?  You can access the full-text of the last 60 days of newspapers from 100 countries - including same-day newspapers - using the Press Display database.  Press Display contains the actual newspaper images so  photos, graphics and all content are accessible. All members of the Boston College community have access to Press Display.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Is Starbucks in hot... coffee?

Nearly everyone has popped into Starbucks on a sleepy morning or in the middle of a long day of work or studying in hopes of getting a little shot of caffeine to help them get by.  However, some Starbucks customers are claiming they've been routinely shorted when ordering their much needed lattes by about 25 percent.  These thirsty consumers want justice, and they've filed a class action complaint to get it!

The case, Strumlauf et al v. Starbucks, was filed in March of this year, and recently, a judge has ruled that the case can go forward on the several of the plaintiffs' claims - particularly in regards to claims that is is plausible customers didn't realized they were getting less liquid than advertised by Starbucks.  This case will be interesting to watch as it moves forward, especially because Starbucks faced similar claims in regards to iced beverages earlier this year.

As this case unfolds, coffee drinkers may wish to keep their eyes on it - and using dockets is a great way to do so.  Dockets can easily be accessed via Bloomberg Law.  Just click on the Litigation and Dockets tab and select the Search Dockets option.  Bloomberg Law pulls from PACER, so you can feel confident that you are getting up to date materials - just remember to update the docket!

If you have questions about doing docket research, stop by the Law Library and see a Reference Librarian!

Friday, June 10, 2016

CRIN: Free Legal Database to Track Children’s Rights around the World

To help you research children’s rights around the world, the Child Rights International Network (CRIN) provides a legal database that pulls all the significant sources together and provides excellent search functions.

The database is freely available to the public and fairly up to date. You may search the database by keyword, types of instrument, date, monitoring body, theme, region, country, etc. The database covers international treaties, national laws, cases, standards, and other binding or non-binding legal instruments significant for children’s rights. Particularly, it is notable for its collection of case law from around the world concerning children’s rights. It features case law from domestic, regional and international courts and from other complaints mechanisms. In addition to that, you may locate case law tied to international treaties or conventions, e.g., the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

To aid your quick understanding of the case, each case is briefed in a short summary highlighting the case’s background, issues, resolution, and the court’s reasoning. The link to the full text of the judgment is usually provided at the end of the summary if you are interested in further reading.

Here is the link to the CRIN Legal Database,

Monday, June 6, 2016

Professional Development and Self-Improvement Opportunities via BC Online Databases

The BC Law School community (students, faculty and administrative staff alike) can access professional development webinars, interactive online lessons, lecture transcripts and instructional videos on a wide variety of subjects – from learning a foreign language or learning new dance techniques to continuing legal education webinars.  Here is just a sampling of the professional development and self-improvement opportunities via BC online databases:

MCLE Online Pass
Students, faculty and staff have unlimited access to Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education webinars (including links to the handouts), downloadable MP3 audiocasts, MCLE practice manuals and ebooks.

Courtroom View Network 
In addition to providing access to downloadable audio versions of legal decisions from 1L casebooks, Courtroom View Network also provides videos of trials, motion hearings and administrative agency proceedings.  Another feature of Courtroom View Network is the Courtroom Cast Training Library with video highlights of court proceedings with expert commentary and analysis. The training libraries include trial advocacy and evidence, with appellate advocacy coming soon.

Practising Law Institute Discover Plus
In addition to providing access to legal treatises, the PLI answer book series, and legal forms, this database also includes course handbooks and transcripts of PLI continuing legal education programs.

Hague Academy of Collected Courses Online
This HeinOnline library contains the publications of various workshops held at Hague Academy of International Law and over 1200 lectures in international law published in the book series Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law.

The CALI Library of Lessons includes more than 600 self-paced, interactive computer-based lessons in a wide variety of legal topics.

All About Strength Training 
This anatomy and kinesiology online visualization tool includes strength training instructional videos.

Dance in Video 
This database includes nearly 70 dance instruction videos as well as videos of iconic performances and documentary films on dance.

Mango Languages 
This database is a self-paced interactive language instruction system with lessons in 72 languages.  The database’s motto is “pick one and conquer the world”!

Also, is another great self-improvement database which is available to those who have Boston Public Library cards and/or premium LinkedIn accounts.  This database features more than 5000 online courses on such subjects as project management, leadership, music, CAD, photography, data management and marketing.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Massachusetts considering a mandatory death benefit in automobile insurance policies

The Massachusetts General Court is considering H. 928 which would amend Massachusetts General Laws chapter 90 to add a compulsory death benefit of $100,000 to the standard Massachusetts automobile insurance policy.  The death benefit would be available to “the estate of any person killed by the negligence of the operator of a motor vehicle” so long as the decedent was survived by a minor child, spouse or a dependent parent.   The bill is designed to protect families who have lost a breadwinner in a motor vehicle accident.  Compulsory automobile liability coverage in Massachusetts is currently $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident.  See M.G.L. ch. 90, §34a.  For the surviving dependents of someone killed in a motor vehicle accident, the current compulsory liability coverage is woefully insufficient, particularly given the realities of medical costs and funeral expenses.  If enacted, this mandatory death benefit would be among the highest in compulsory automobile liability insurance in U.S. jurisdictions.  Compulsory automobile liability insurance coverages for bodily injury and death range from $0 (Florida and New Hampshire) to $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident (Alaska and Maine).  The Insurance Information Institute (III) publishes a 50-state survey of compulsory automobile liability coverages.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Legal Research Fall 2016: Sections Open for Enrollment

Hello students!  Those of you who are still adjusting your Fall 2016 schedule of classes, consider enrolling in a legal research course.  There is still space in both Environmental Legal Research and Tax Law Research.  You'll learn the same skillset as in Advanced Legal Research, but focused on a specialized area.  Don't miss out on the opportunity for one of these great classes, as they are not offered every semester.

Past ALR students can attest to the skills they learned through the courses.  Students especially enjoy a chance to show their competitive side in Legal Research Jeopardy at the end of the semester.  Just look at the smiles on this semester's champion team from Mary Ann Neary and Anupama Pal's ALR class:

Monday, May 16, 2016

HathiTrust May Aid Your Federal Legislative History Research

While doing federal legislative research, users often run into documents published on the United States Congressional Serial Set. The Serial Set, often considered a “must” for people collecting legislative history documents, began its publication from the 15th Congress in 1817 and contains the numbered House and Senate Documents and the House and Senate Reports. Although the print volumes of the Serial Set have adorned the shelves of many of the nations’ law libraries, little do people know that digital copies of most of those volumes also exist in HathiTrust----one of the world’s largest and first-of-its-kind shared digital library.

HathiTrust, a partnership of academic and research institutions, was launched in 2008 with a mission to preserve the cultural record and make it accessible long into the future. Hathi (pronounced hah-tee) is the Hindi word for elephant, an animal highly praised for its memory, wisdom, and strength. Initially conceived as a collaboration of 13 universities, HathiTrust has now grown to include over 110 members from around the world, including Boston College.

To locate the volumes of the Serial Set in HathiTrust, users may first locate HathiTrust through the Law Library’s Database List, and search for the title in the database. To locate other relevant documents, users may narrow down or expand the searches by paying attention to the filters on the left, for example, relevant “subjects” or “authors.” For works in the public domain, as many of the Serial Set volumes are, the digital content in HathiTrust is open to all users—whoever and wherever they may be.