Thursday, September 30, 2010

Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposed in Senate

Yesterday, Senators Robert Menendez and Patrick Leahy introduced a long-awaited bill for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010, S. 3932. In April of this year, Senators Reid, Durbin, Feinstein, Leahy, Menendez, Schumer and Graham proposed a framework for immigration reform legislation dubbed Real Enforcement with Practical Answers for Immigration Reform (REPAIR). A bullet point summary of S. 3932 and a pdf of the REPAIR proposal are available for download at, the American Immigration Lawyers Association's website.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How to Find a Literary Quotation

Are you writing a paper for a class or source checking a law review article and need to attribute an epigraph? Do you have a perfect literary quotation, but can't for the life of you, remember who wrote it and in which book? One of the BC Online Databases, Literature Online (nicknamed LION), is a great place to start when trying to trace a literary quote to its source.

Imagine, for example, that you are trying to find who said something like "the world will end, not with a bang, but with a whimper". You need to find the precise wording of the quote, its author and the bibliographic information for the book in which the quote appears. Just go to Literature Online through the BC Online Databases List, and search all texts for the keyword string ' bang NEAR whimper'. There at the top of the results list is T. S. Eliot's 1925 poem, The Hollow Men, with its often quoted (and frequently misquoted) ending.

Literature Online offers more than 350,000 works of literature, poetry, drama and prose, from the 8th Century to the present. The focus is mainly upon literary works in English, but you can also find works originally written in other languages but translated into English.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Will Big, Clunky Casebooks Soon Be a Thing of the Past?

In the late 1800s, Harvard Law professor Christopher Columbus Langdell pioneered the case method of teaching law and created and popularized the now ubiquitous law school casebook. By World War II, the casebook was the predominant means of conveying legal doctrine to students. Today, researchers at Harvard's Berkman Center are developing a way to move this learning tool online. The idea is to provide free, up-to-date access to these case materials in a digital format that won't bust backpacks or cause chronic backaches. With the Berkman Center's suite of classroom tools, known as H20, professors can edit cases online and provide their own annotations so that their students are looking at a sort of customized casebook. The tools are still being developed and tested, but stay tuned!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Federal Register 2.0

The Federal Register website has a new look. The Office of the Federal Register and the Government Printing Office have launched Federal Register 2.0, Federal Register 2.0 is part of the Obama Administration's open government initiative. It converts the Federal Register website into a daily web newspaper with a clearer layout and with navigation tools to help users quickly find the government information they need. It is designed with the internet-savvy, 21st Century user in mind. Federal Register 2.0 is currently in the beta-testing stages; the Office of the Federal Register is encouraging the public to try out the website and leave feedback.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

SEC- Shareholders' Nominations for Directors- Proxy Access

As mandated under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the SEC issued new rules on August 25, 2010 regarding shareholders' access to the proxy for nominating directors to a company's board of directors. Specifically, the new rules published in Release 33-9136 will allow those shareholders who have held at least 3% of the company's shares continuously for the last 3 years to have their director nominees listed on the proxy. Shareholders have held this proxy access right under state law but the new rules will facilitate shareholders' nominees in being listed on the proxy as well as management's nominees. A summary of the new Rule 14a-11, as well as information on the effective date of the rules change, can be found in the SEC press release.

Pirates and Justice

The Law Library of Congress has posted a new digital collection of historical documents related to piracy trials pre-1923. Full-text documents are available, including this dying declaration of one pirate, Nicholas Fernandez, along with his "solemn warning to youth (and others) to beware the baneful habit of intemperance."

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Bluebook rule makes treaty citation easier

The new 19th edition of the Uniform System of Citation (The Bluebook) has an important rule change which will make citation of U.S. Treaties easier and more comprehensible.
New rule 21.4.5(i)and(ii)now includes the United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.) as the third preferred citation for a multilateral or bilateral treaty or agreement to which the United States is a party, after the United States Treaty Series (U.S.T.) and Treaties and Other International Acts Series (T.I.A.S.). This rule change will allow a researcher to use the United Nations Treaty Series citation for a treaty such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, rather than the more obscure citation to a Senate Treaty Document. The United Nations Treaty Series is available for searching as part of the United Nations Treaty Collection.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Technology in the law school classroom

As the new semester starts here at BC Law, we're always looking for new ways to engage our students and to enhance their classroom experience. Incorporating new technology into the classroom is one method to reach these goals. We're very fortunate to have a team of experts here and on the main campus to support us in this effort. Chester Kozikowski, our BC Law Educational Technology Specialist, has written an insightful article dealing with evaluating these new technologies. It's a good starting point for analyzing those "shiny new toys" that are promoted as the latest and best by vendors. Thanks, Chester!