Friday, July 25, 2014

Rulemaking under the Affordable Care Act

Need help in locating the regulations, reports and guidance documents issued for the Affordable Care Act? The BC Law Library's Knowledge Mosaic database is an excellent tool in tracking Affordable Care Act developments. Using the Law Library's database list, select Knowledge Mosaic, and locate the icon of a Saint Bernard dog (yes, known for helping lost individuals!) to enter the A.C.A. Tracker tool. A chart is provided with final rules, proposed rules, and guidance documents; each chart entry will link to the source documents and effective dates of regulations are included.

Monday, July 21, 2014

New database for Appeals to the Privy Council

A wonderful new resource for legal historians has recently been released online from two familiar faces at Boston College Law School: Sharon Hamby O'Connor, Professor Emerita, and Mary Sarah Bilder, Professor and Lee Distinguished Scholar. The database is called "Appeals to the Privy Council from the American Colonies: An Annotated Digital Catalogue" and currently offers access to all known cases appealed from the thirteen colonies that would become the U.S. to the Privy Council. That court heard appeals from the British colonial courts and ruled on all sorts of matters that would come to shape the law in these colonies, including U.S. constitutional law.

For these known appeals, the database provides links to digitized images of the original documents, where available. Fifty-four of the appeals include "printed cases" or briefs that lay out the reasons for the appeal. Contents are searchable via an internal search engine or via lists arranged in a variety of different ways (by colony, year, case name, etc.--be sure to look at the "Useful Lists" link on the bottom right of the homepage). 

Law students and scholars new to this type of research should review the compilers' memorandum, "Opportunities for Further Research, Discovery, and Investigation on Appeals to the Privy Council." Also, keep an eye out--the catalogue will expand to include appeals from Canadian and Caribbean colonies. In the meantime, have fun browsing through this rich source of U.S. legal history! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lexis Advance will have a new look!

Later this summer, Lexis Advance will launch its new user interface. In addition to aesthetic changes for a modern and clean look, the new design will also re-tool many of the searching and filtering functions, all aimed to make your reading, scrolling, and navigating experience easier and more streamlined.

To give you a preview of all the changes to take place on Lexis Advance, here is a Before & After Guide to show you the main features and functions in a screen-by-screen comparison format. New enhancements are also highlighted below each section.

Stay tuned!

Monday, June 30, 2014 Enhancements, the official web site for United States legislative information, has rolled out some new enhancements this month, including:

  • Nominations: information about presidential nominees from 1981- present;
  • Individual Accounts: ability to set up an account to save searches; 
  • Congressional Record Speaker: ability to search the Congressional Record for speakers; and
  • Committee Reports: increased availability and searching features for committee reports.
Read more about these and other recent enhancements at About

Monday, June 16, 2014

U.S. Court of Appeals Holds Building a Searchable Full-text Database of Books is Fair Use

Fans of fair use are encouraged by the June 10 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the case of Author's Guild v. HathiTrust in which the court upheld the finding that the building of a searchable database of books scanned during the Google Books Project is transformative and a fair use under the copyright law.  The court clarified that it is not the value of the contribution to the progress of science and the arts mentioned by the court below that makes this use transformative, it is that it serves a new and different function from the original work and is not a substitute for it.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Has your Swiss bank registered under FATCA?

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act requires foreign banks and financial institutions to register with the IRS by July 1, 2014.  The purpose behind FATCA is to reduce noncompliance by U.S. taxpayers in reporting their foreign accounts.  The IRS has a page explaining FATCA as well as a special list and download tool to locate registered financial institutions.  So, if you have a Swiss bank account, it's now a simple step to see if that bank has registered to share account information with the U.S.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Resource on the Inter-American Human Rights System

The International Justice Resource Center recently published a webpage of resources on the Inter-American Human Rights System.  The webpage includes a brand new ebook, Advocacy before the Inter-American System: Manual for Attorneys and Advocates, a series of informational videos on the Inter-American System, links to the various treaties and international agreements of the Organization of American States, such as the American Convention on Human Rights, the Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and links to the statutes, procedural rules, cases, advisory opinions, studies and reports of the three branches of the Inter-American System: the  Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights.