Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Insurance Forms Now Available Online and in Print

ISO standard insurance policies and forms are now available online. The Law Library subscribes to ISOnet Forms Library, a database of standard insurance forms filed with the Insurance Services Office. The forms include policies, endorsements, declarations, schedules, notices, applications and claims forms for all states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia from 1994 to the present. The forms can be viewed and downloaded in both pdf and MS Word format. Forms can be retrieved by ISO form number or partial form number. The database is full-text searchable, and searches can be restricted to specific lines of insurance, specific jurisdictions, and effective dates.

BC Law students, faculty and staff may access the ISOnet Forms Library via the alphabetical list of databases on the Law Library’s Research webpage. ISOnet Forms Library requires a password to login. If you need a standard insurance form, stop by the Information Desk and one of the reference librarians will be happy to log you on to ISOnet.

BC Law Library also has Miller’s Standard Insurance Policies Annotated, a multi-volume looseleaf set which contains most of the simplified ISO insurance policies and endorsements, along with annotations of cases construing the policy language. This useful set is located on Level 3 at KF 1160.M54.

Bloomberg Law - New web-based product

The Legal Information Librarians at BC Law met with Ken Sanchez, our Bloomberg Law representative, for a quick overview today of the forthcoming web-based BLAW product. We were impressed by the search features and screen designs; we anticipate that students will have a very favorable reaction as well. The planned shared workspace function in particular will enable faculty and students to conduct more collaborative research projects. We'll post more information when the new release is available.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Flare Index to Treaties

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies has launched a new database of over 1,500 significant multilateral treaties from 1856 to the present. Only the most significant treaties, conventions and agreements with at least three parties are included. Bilateral treaties are not included. Researchers can search by key words in titles, additional subject matter and organizational keywords, and the date and place where a treaty was concluded. The index provides links to digital copies on the Internet, when they are available; and information about where the full text of each treaty may be obtained in paper.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wikipedia Too Malleable...

The New Jersey Law Journal reported yesterday that a trial court’s admission of evidence taken from a Wikipedia entry has been reversed. Appellate division judges in Palisades Collection v. Graubard, A-1338-07, dismissed a judgment, noting that “Wikipedia describes itself as an online encyclopedia that ‘anyone can edit’ and warns that the content of any given article may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered…”

The moral of this story: Wikipedia can be a great place to begin your research, but it's not a reliable authority for serious research.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Legal Scholarship on the Run?

In a hurry and not wanting to spend too much time working your way through pages and pages of text and footnotes, or looking up arcane legal terms? Check out The Legal Workshop, a collaborative online magazine launched yesterday by law reviews at seven major law schools. Their mission is “to reconnect legal discourse and society at large by making legal scholarship widely available and easily understandable.” They aim to do this by providing what Larry Solum on his Legal Theory Blog describes as “both the "Reader's Digest" version and the full version of the article.” Solum notes, for example, that “The Legal Workshop” version of Alexander Volokh’s "Choosing Interpretive Methods: A Positive Theory of Judges and Everyone Else", is approximately 3,800 words--with 22 footnotes. It includes a link to the full article, which is published in the New York University Law Review. The full version is approximately 37,000 words long, and includes 345 footnotes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Legal Research Courses at BC Law

Students at BC Law will have ten upper-level legal research classes and a law practice technology class to enrich the course offerings during the 2009-2010 academic year. The complete research class list with course descriptions can be found here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Legal Researchers Beware

Profs Sue West Publishing

Two law professors, who claim they were falsely identified as the authors of the 2008 supplement to a treatise on Pennsylvania criminal law, are suing West Publishing. The professors allege the “pocket part” was “so poorly researched that it will harm their reputations;” added just three new cases when in past years they had added approximately 150 new cases each year; and failed to cite any of the cases that had been reversed in the past year by the state Supreme Court.

Thanks to Betsy McKinsey of Out of the Jungle for this story.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The End of Lawyers?

Richard Susskind, author of “The End of Lawyers” will be speaking at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society next Wednesday, 4/22 at 12:15 pm. Susskind, who is Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England, was the keynote speaker at this spring's ABA Technology show in Chicago; and the keynote speaker at a conference I attended last summer in the UK. He's a great and provocative speaker - I would love to hear his talk. Registration is free, but required.

If, like me, you must be somewhere else, the event will be webcast live.

Go to the Berkman website for more information:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Concordance Demo

Jackie Inserra, Director of Industry Relations for Litigation Services for Lexis/Nexis, visited the law school today and presented a session on Concordance to students in the Law Practice Technology course. Concordance software, which is used for electronic discovery and document management, is used on large cases being litigated and can handle over 33 million records per database. Students interested in learning more can “take a tour” or download a 30 day free trial at: http://law.lexisnexis.com/concordance

BC's Legal Assistance Bureau receives grant for innovative approaches to teaching and learning into the clinical classroom.

BC's LAB was awarded an Academic Technology and Innovation Grant (ATIG) worth $25,000.

ATIGs are College funded grants whose aim is to encourage the innovative use of technology in teaching and research. (http://www.bc.edu/offices/atab/atig.html).

LAB's project will provide digital recording of student lawyer-client meetings coupled with a video/audio tagging application and editing software that would allow clinical faculty to analyze and annotate law student video/audio performances.

One of new and innovative tools that LAB will utilize in their pilot is MediaNotes. The MediaNotes tools allows you to efficiently analyze recorded performances such as mock negotiations, legal depositions and sales presentations (http://www.medianotes-app.com/).

We foresee that this new technology will meet and exceed the curriculum needs of the clinical program, and allow for the injection of this technology into other clinical programs at Boston College Law School, and eventually other programs at the College.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Research tip: Docket searching on Bloomberg

Want to track a particular docket and set up an alert to learn when new entries are added to the docket sheet? Need to locate a state court docket? Bloomberg Law (BLAW) offers unique access to docket records on both the federal and state levels. BLAW is a subscription service available to the BC Law community and it also enables docket searching focused on specific federal practice areas, e.g. bankruptcy and securities dockets. For more information about BLAW generally, see http://aallnet.org/products/pub_sp0903/pub_sp0903_BLAW.pdf