Westlaw Table Day

Westlaw is hosting a “Welcome Back” table tomorrow, January 8, 11:30 am -1:00 pm.  Students can stop by for sweets and Westlaw goodies — and  those who show a document on WestlawNext will receive 100 points and entered to win a pack of four top law movies.  Questions?  Contact our Thompson Reuters Account Manager, Annemarie Milton.

Tragedy in Norway: Breivik Sentenced

Just over a year ago, I shared information here about the tragic events in Norway and the legal process that would follow. Today the Norwegian court found Breivik sane and therefore legally responsible for killing 77 people. This decision will keep Breivik in prison for a least 21 years but likely more, as this maximum punishment under Norwegian Law may be enhanced if he is deemed a danger to society.

Interested in locating international news sources about this or other topics?  One option is a Google “news” search. GMU patrons also have access to several news databases, including NewsBank which includes several hundred international newspapers, news services and broadcast media

 

Training for LRWA III Students

Vendor representatives will offer optional training sessions for LRWA III students:

Bloomberg Law

  • August 20:  9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm
  • August 21:  3:00 pm, 5:00 pm
All Bloomberg Law sessions will be held in the library training lab, Room 342.

Lexis

  • August 20  noon, 5:00 pm
  • August 21 noon, 5:00 pm

Noon sessions will be held in Room 332, 5:00 sessions will be held in Room 221.

 Westlaw

  • August 20 12:30pm, 3:00 pm
  • August 21 1:00 pm, 5:30pm

All Westlaw training sessions will be held in Room 121.

The Second Anniversary of Dodd-Frank

Tomorrow it will be two years since Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  The law was designed to provide comprehensive reform to financial regulation in response to the major crisis that hit the U.S. financial system in 2008. The law’s stated purpose is:

To promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end ‘‘too big to fail’’, to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes.

This voluminous statute has spawned thousands of pages of regulation. Its provisions include the establishment of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, chaired by the Treasury Secretary and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A Congressional Research Service Report summarizing the policy issues and provisions of the law is available here.  Not surprisingly, the law has generated vocal adherents and detractors.  A Google News search for “Dodd-Frank” and/or a search limited to ”Blogs”* will reveal many of these opinions.

*To find blogs on Google: Search for the desired keyword>From the results page, expand the left hand toolbar at “More”>Select “Blogs”

 

Happy Fourth of July!

Independence Day marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. But what exactly is this document?  It is printed in Statutes at Large.  It is included in the United States Code as one of “The Organic Laws of the United States of America.”  It has been mentioned periodically in Supreme Court decisions. Not surprisingly, the relevance of this document has been the subject of some debate in the legal academy. “Declaration of Independence” as a title search in HeinOnline will yield several articles.

Visit the National Archives website to view images of the Declaration of Independence and to read a brief history of this document.  The original is housed in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom.  You can also view a 1998 video of then members of the Supreme Court reading the complete text.

The law library will be closed on Wednesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.  Enjoy the fireworks!

Happy Ratification Day!

Under Article VII of the U.S. Constitution: “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.” On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, allowing it to become the nation’s governing document.

Want to learn more about Constitutional History?  Two sources for GMUSL patrons to explore are:

HeinOnline’s Legal Classics Library:  Includes more than 2,700 works “from some of the greatest legal minds in history.” The collection focuses on constitutional law, comparative law, and political science.  Browse by  title, name, author, or subject.

The Making of Modern Law Primary Sources, 1620-1926:  Searchable digital archive that includes published records of the American colonies and state constitutional conventions.

Survey Response: Can the Library Provide Access to Pacer?

Many suggested that we provide access to PACER, the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system, so that students can download litigation documents, such as complaints and motions, in federal court cases. We do provide PACER access! Because the library pays a charge for every page downloaded, we ask you to see a Reference Librarian for assistance in using PACER for academic purposes (class, note, journal, etc.).

What’s more, though, all PACER documents are available for free to academic users through Bloomberg Law. Search Dockets on BLaw. Be sure to “Update” your docket at the top of the page. Download the document(s) you want. When the notice of PACER fees pops up, ignore it, and submit your document request. BLaw does not charge academic users to retrieve these documents. The document will arrive in your email inbox within moments.

Congratulations Graduates!

The law library staff congratulates 2012 George Mason University School of Law Graduates!

Please remember that library services continue to be available to you after graduation. Student IDs are valid through October 8, 2012—so recent grads may reserve study rooms, check out books (until Sept. 30), and use the computer labs.

The library is open to the public, so please feel free to use our print resources and publicly available databases (includes in-library access to Keycite, Shepards, Bloomberg Law, and Westlaw Patron Access Terminals).  Reference librarians are also happy to assist you in person, by phone, or via email.

Best of Luck Class of 2012!!

 

 

Student Survey Response: Where Can I Find Older Law Review Articles?

Thanks to all students who have responded to the Library and Technology Survey.  If you haven’t completed the survey yet—there’s still time!  We’ve received some great questions/comments so far and will post responses to some of those issues.  Here’s our first response:

HeinOnline is an outstanding resource for law review articles.  GMU law students may link to HeinOnline from the law library’s listing of Law-Related Databases.

Features of HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library:

  • Contents: more than 1,620 law and law-related periodicals.
  • Coverage: from the first issue published for all periodicals to recently published issues.
  • Search: by article title, author, subject, state or country published, full text, and narrow by date.
  • Format: all of the articles are PDF images of the original journal, meaning footnotes are at the bottom of the page and you can use this version for your journal work.

A short reference guide to using HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library is available here. HeinOnline also offers several training videos.

Summer Access: Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law

If you need summer access to the major legal research platforms, take note of the following. If you registered your Lexis Advance password, you can use Lexis Advance for academic purposes without taking further action. For Lexis and Westlaw (including WestlawNext), you will have to fill out the form for summer access by June 1. The link is on the right on Westlaw and is the 3rd “story”/button on the top of the Lexis page. Bloomberg Law is available for you to use all summer with no restrictions (e.g., you can use it at work) and you don’t need to take any action to have summer access.