Monday, November 21, 2011

ABA Commission on Disability Rights -- New Name, New Website Features

The ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law has changed its name to the Commission on Disability Rights (CDR). Its mission is to "promote the ABA's commitment to justice and the rule of law for persons with mental, physical and sensory disabilities and to promote their full and equal participation in the legal profession". Along with the new name, the Commission is introducing a number of new online resources for law students and lawyers: 1) Directory for Bar Applicants, with information on procedures and deadlines for requesting testing accomodation, 2) Directory of State & Local Bar Disability Entities, with information on bar entities that offer support to lawyers with disabilities or handle substantive areas of disability law and 3) Legal Expert Author Pool, a new program seeking lawyers with disabilities to author ABA publications. The Commission also runs a mentoring program, whereby law students and recent graduates with disabilities are matched with experienced lawyer-mentors with disabilities.

The Commission is retiring its Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter, and is offering news releases on legislation, cases and legal trends in disability law, as well as its new quarterly newsletter, Disability Rights Record, on an open access basis. To check out these and other resources on the Commission's website, click on the title to this blog entry .

Friday, November 18, 2011

SCOTUS to Review Constitutionality of PPACA

On Monday, the U. S. Supreme Court granted review in 3 of the 6 pending petitions for certiorari on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P. L. 111-148. The Court granted review on 4 issues: 1) does Congress have power under Article I to enact the minimum essential coverage mandate in Section 1501 of PPACA, 2) is the minimum essential coverage mandate severable, 3) does the Anti-Injunction Act, 26 USC 7421(a) bar the pre-enforcement challenge to the individual mandate, and 4) did Congress exceed its enumerated powers in expanding the Medicaid program? The Court will hear oral argument on these issues in the spring of 2012.

The U. S. Supreme Court currently maintains a webpage on the constitutional challenges to PPACA, including the names and docket numbers of the cases and links to the briefs and appendices. Click on the title to this blog entry to see the Supreme Court's PPACA webpage. The cases accepted for review are: National Federation of Independent Business et als v. Sebelius, Docket Number 11-393; Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, Docket Number 11-398; and Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services, Docket Number 11-400.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Diversity Read - Vote for a title!

Boston College Law Library has hosted a Diversity Read for the law school community for the last 3 years. Each spring, students, faculty and staff read a diversity-themed book and meet over lunch to discuss it. Our previous titles have been: The Color of Water, Run, and Little Bee. This year, we will be conducting a survey to allow law students to choose the Diversity Read title. You can respond either by completing a paper survey form at the Library entrance or by answering an electronic survey via e-mail. Look for the survey soon! We will announce the selected title before semester break so that you can read it before the start of the spring semester.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Boston College Ranks #1 Producing Boston Big-Law Partners

I was drawn to this article in the November 2011 issue of National Jurist by the picture of Dean Rougeau. The good news is that Boston College's strong ties to the local community helps connect our students to law firm jobs. A comprehensive study of partners at the nation's 100 largest law firms showed that, of the partners who graduated law school within the last 25 years, Boston College ranked #1 in the Boston area with 120 partners, compared to Harvard's 93. Paper copies of the article are still available in the law school halls if you want a nice picture of the Dean to hang in your locker.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Goodbye GPO Access, hello FDsys

GPOAccess, once the U.S. government go-to site for legal research involving the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations and much more, will no longer be updated with new content after Nov. 4, 2011. All new content, including the daily Federal Register and Congressional Record, will be loaded to the new FDsys (Federal Digital Sysytem) site. We will continue to see GPOAccess survive as an archive-only resource while the U.S. Government Printing Office creates one-to-one links from GPO content to its equivalent on FDsys. Eventually, GPO Access will be shut down sometime in fiscal year 2012.