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United Nations Yearbook Now Online

Earlier this month the United Nations launched a new web site providing free access to the Yearbook of the United Nations.  As the flagship reference source of the U.N., the Yearbook comprehensively documents the activities of all the main bodies of this complex organization by means of a detailed narrative overview peppered with useful cross-references and document citations.  It is thus an indispensable resource for those tracking the U.N.’s activities. Full Story »

Digitized Congressional Hearings Now Available

The Wells Library and the Law Library, together, have purchased a campus-wide subscription to the LexisNexis Congressional Hearings Digital Collection.

This digital collection is divided into three modules and the library has purchased a retrospective module of both published and unpublished hearings, covering 1824–1979.

Features include:

  • Abstracting and indexing records
  • Full-text searchable PDFs
  • Search for hearings by:
  • Keyword
  • Committee
  • Hearing numbers
  • Legislative numbers (bills, public laws, and Statutes at Large citations)
  • Subject terms
  • Title
  • Witness name or affiliation

Hearings contain the full transcripts of the congressional committee proceedings, including all oral statements, committee questions, and discussion. They also contain texts of related reports, statistical analyses, correspondence, exhibits, and articles presented by witnesses or inserted into the record by committee members and staff.

The Congressional Hearings Digital Collection is fully integrated into LexisNexis Congressional, which is accessible from the Law Library’s Online Resources page (find it alphabetically or under the Government Resources category).

Haunted Case Law

Though some may think that all cases are a little scary there are a few judges who go above and beyond. We mentioned in an earlier post the case against Satan, and it’s pretty scary that he got off, but there are also a couple of other cases worth a mention this All Hallows’ Eve.

One of many cases written in verse, In Re Love, 61 B.R. 558 (Bankr.S.D.Fla. 1986) takes on Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. A taste— Full Story »

Sen. McCain on Law

Recently the National Law Journal invited the major presidential candidates to comment on the legal priorities of the next administration. Sen. Obama has not yet commented, but Sen. McCain responded with a short article laying out his top three legal concerns—the neutrality of the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and constructionist judges. Go take a look—it’s never a bad idea to know what a potential President of the United States thinks of your particular field.

What Do You Look For in a Judge?

Every election brings up issues of what information is relevant for voters to know. How appropriate are attack ads? Is Sarah Palin’s daughter an important glimpse into her values, or should she just be left alone? Do the inflammatory statements of Barack Obama’s pastor reflect back on Obama, or are they a distraction from the issues? People have to make up their own minds, of course.

In a local example, the Bloomington Herald-Times printed an article today on the judicial candidates in Monroe County, Judge candidates have experience on other side of the bench ($). According to the article, three of the four candidates have in fact been defendants in a court room, mostly for small things like speeding tickets and the occasional tax problem. The article is interesting, and if you feel it is relevant it is most certainly worth a read. What is also interesting, though, is the reaction to it. If you look at the online version you’ll see there are several comments, some thanking the H-T for bringing this information to light, and some angrily accusing the paper of skipping substantive stories on the candidates for trivial ones. The commentators even get into questions of whether this story hurts or helps the candidates. Does a speeding ticket make a judge seem more irresponsible, or more human?

In any case the story is an interesting one, and you can either look at a paper copy, or look at the online H-T. (If you’ve never had cause to look at a newspaper through the library’s online subscription before, ask a librarian if you have any trouble getting on.)

Treats at the Law School

This Thursday OWLS (Older and Wiser Law Students) will again be sponsoring the annual Law School trick-or-treating event. This is a delightful event, and if you have a child you should certainly bring him or her. This event is usually a bonanza for candy, fun, and adorable children in costume. So please participate—the trick-or-treating is this Thursday, from 4:15 to 5:00.

Hope to see you there!

Baseball and the Law

There is no better time than the middle of the World Series to remember a few of the interesting legal cases about baseball. There are several baseball fans in the library, so we have in the past done some nice displays about it—the most recent one was only a few month ago and dealt with baseball and antitrust, especially the famous Flood v. Kuhn case.

Any number of different legal issues arise in baseball. There are the questions of misconduct—the Black Sox scandal, the recent flood of litigation on drugs, but also contracts, labor law, and intellectual property. So, you can either check out the Flood case, the Lajoie case, Sed Non Olet Denarius case, or you can just watch the World Series without feeling too guilty about it, because it still has a legal tie in. For more information, we also have several good books in the library—in addition to the Baseball Encyclopedia in the reference area, there are some baseball specific books in the general collection, including one called Baseball and the American Legal Mind which is a collection of document that runs the gamut from important cases to New York Times quizzes that compare famous legal minds to famous baseball players.

Rehnquist Papers Donated to Stanford

The Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University is now the proud owner of the papers of former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist. The collection comes with an important restriction—no papers can be released until all the justices involved have passed on. Cases heard after Justice Stevens joined the court in 1975 will not be released until his death. However, there are some important cases that can be made public immediately, most notably the papers dealing with the famous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. It is exciting to think that soon we will be able to examine the history of one of the most controversial cases in legal history.

Thanks to the Blog of Legal Times and Law.com for pointing this story out.

From the Mind of Doug Linder

A few weeks ago the always wonderful Indiana Law Blog pointed us in the direction of a series of websites by University of Missouri Law Professor Douglas O. Linder. Prof. Linder has collected an amazing amount of good information on famous trials, constitutional law, the jury system, and several other topics. He also includes some entertaining quizzes, and some of his own opinions. The cite is both entertaining and very useful, so go check it out.

Blogs and Professionalism

A letter from Houston attorney Jeff Murphrey recently made the rounds on several law blogs. Murphrey, who was recently hit by Hurricane Ike, missed a deposition because he was dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane, and wrote angrily to another lawyer on the case who was not, he felt, sufficiently sympathetic. The letter is funny and awful at the same time, and it inspired a fair amount of ill will toward its recipient in the blogging community. The recipient, one Dale Markland, has recently responded with his side of the story.

As with all such stories, they truth is almost certainly somewhere between the two sides of the story. It is an entertaining read, but it should also serve as a reminder of the importance of professionalism in blogging. Markland could probably have been more understanding of Murphrey. But, even if Markland is in every way as bad as painted was plastering that letter all over the online legal community really the appropriate action? It is probable that some people now think of Markland as uncaring and obsessed only with financial details. But there are also people who are going to remember Murphrey as the guy who made a bitter public spectacle of a private dispute.

Remember, whenever you get in a flame war with fellow law students, these people are going to be your colleagues for years to come. The legal community is surprisingly small. And similarly, when you are writing a blog, even just a personal one, remember that your employers and coworkers are likely to stumble across it at one point or another.

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