Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Multinational Sources Compared

What are other nations doing to combat the financing of terrorist organizations? How do the United States' laws on family medical leave compare to the United Kingdom? What are the differences and similarities in corporation laws around the world? The Goodson Law Library's research guide to Foreign & Comparative Law has just been updated with a number of sources to help you find the answer to these and other comparative law questions.

In particular, the new HeinOnline database Multinational Sources Compared: A Subject and Jurisdiction Index is a great starting place to locate treatises and other publications which compare multiple countries' domestic practices on a particular topic. The database can be searched by keyword, browsed by subject, or browsed by country to see available publications.

For example, a subject search or browse for "Terrorism Finance" will identify three books comparing anti-money laundering law and practice in dozens of countries, including Money Laundering, Asset Forfeiture and Compliance: A Global Guide (online in Lexis Advance). A subject search or browse for "Corporations" would likewise return seven results, each featuring different countries and subtopics on corporate law. Each source's entry in Multinational Sources Compared briefly describes the contents of each work, lists the countries covered, and includes information about electronic access through legal research services such as Lexis Advance, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law. (Although each entry also features a "Get It @ Duke" button to link users with campus-wide electronic resources, keep in mind that these Law School-only restricted resources are not listed in the Duke University Libraries’ online catalog. Researchers will need to visit the research services separately, rather than relying on the Get It @ Duke link.)

Search options can also be combined. A search combining the subject "Family Leave" with the jurisdiction "United Kingdom" would retrieve three book results, including the Kluwer title International Encyclopaedia of Laws for Social Security Law. The International Encyclopaedia of Laws are a set of treatises which provide "National Monographs" outlining each featured country's practices on the topic. Countries covered will vary across the different IEL topics, and Multinational Sources Compared will quickly tell a researcher if a country of interest is included. (The IEL set can also be searched or browsed separately at Kluwer Law Online.)

The Foreign & Comparative Law research guide also contains resources for researching non-U.S. legal systems and introductions to comparative law methods. A separate section provides starting places for locating primary legal materials from other countries, either in translation or in the vernacular.

For help with locating comparative and foreign law materials, or with using the resources listed in the research guide, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Congressional Budget Office

Yesterday, a revised version of the American Health Care Act, intended to reverse a number of insurance measures enacted as part of the President Barack Obama-era Affordable Care Act, narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday afternoon, in a 217-213 vote. The bill passed despite vocal opposition from citizens concerned about a return to heightened insurance rates for patients with pre-existing conditions, as well as pushback from both health care providers and the insurance industry itself.

The controversial House bill now heads to the U.S. Senate, which is expected to draft its own version of Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace legislation. As the Washington Post noted today, though, the future of such legislation in the Senate is uncertain. One major reason? The Senate cannot take up consideration of the bill until the Congressional Budget Office completes its report:
First, the Senate's parliamentarian — or rules-keeper — cannot review the legislation and determine the rules of debate until the CBO submits its official estimate, which could take several more weeks to complete, according to congressional aides. That would mean that official Senate debate on the bill could not begin until June.
The Congressional Budget Office is an independent office in the legislative branch which provides non-partisan analysis of proposed legislation's budgetary effects. Established in 1974 by the Congressional Budget Act, CBO analyses are cited by Congress as useful assessments of a particular legislative proposal's effects. An earlier version of the American Health Care Act was pulled from a House vote in March after the CBO estimated that an additional 24 million Americans could be uninsured by 2024 as a result of its passage. The version which passed the House yesterday was voted on without a revised CBO score.

CBO reports are available on the office's website, back to its 1975 Testimony on Long Range Budget Projections. The federal Documents collections at the Goodson Law Library and elsewhere on campus also contain hard copies of many CBO publications, which can be found with an author search of the Duke University Libraries catalog for congressional budget office. More background about the CBO and its work can be found in the United States Government Manual.

For help locating information about the CBO or federal legislation, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Researching International Criminal Law

The 2013 and 2017 chemical weapon attacks on civilians in Syria have generated ongoing conversations about the role of international criminal courts in humanitarian crises. A new book in the Goodson Law Library, Christopher Rudolph's Power and Principle: The Politics of International Criminal Courts (KZ7230 .R83 2017), explores the history and politics behind international criminal courts, and their role in humanitarian law.

To learn more about international criminal tribunals, check out the Goodson Law Library's recently-updated research guide to International Criminal Law. This brief guide links to print and electronic resources for researching the International Criminal Court and other specialized international criminal tribunals, as well as guidance for locating books and other materials in the Law Library's collection. A more extensive overview of online research resources for international criminal law can be found on the American Society for International Law's Electronic Resource Guide for International Criminal Law, maintained by Penn State University Dickinson Law Library Director Gail A. Partin. (The Law Library's guide links to this and other helpful research starting places.)

For assistance with researching international criminal law in print or online resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

New Source for Supreme Court Records and Briefs

The Goodson Law Library has recently subscribed to ProQuest Supreme Court Insight, a source for U.S. Supreme Court case histories and records. By the end of 2017, this database will include records and briefs dating from 1975-2016. (Currently, the service covers from 2004-2016; earlier dates will be added throughout the year.)

At the moment, the new database duplicates years of SCOTUS brief and docket materials which are freely available through the Court's own website and through the ABA's Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases. Once complete, though, Supreme Court Insight will fill in gaps for electronic coverage of U.S. Supreme Court case materials, picking up around the tail end of The Making of Modern Law: U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs 1832-1978. (Records and briefs earlier than 1832 are not available at Duke Law, although they can be requested via interlibrary loan service from the set Appellate Case Files of the Supreme Court of the United States.)

For more information about locating court records and briefs, check out the Goodson Law Library research guide, which describes the electronic, print, and microform access to records and briefs which are available through Duke. For help using ProQuest Supreme Court Insight or other sources for court records and briefs, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Summer Access to Legal Research Services

Whether you're heading to a summer job or graduating this May, your access to legal research services like Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law will change.
Continuing Students
For rising 2Ls and 3Ls, your Law School access generally continues uninterrupted over the summer. Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law both allow student usage over the summer for educational as well as for commercial purposes. (However, check with your employer before using your Law School accounts for paid work – many employers prefer that summer associates avoid using their school accounts for researching firm matters.)

Westlaw restricts students' summer access to Westlaw, Practical Law and other Thomson Reuters products to non-commercial research purposes only. The eligible categories for summer access include:
  • Summer Coursework
  • Research Assistant Assignments
  • Law Review or Journal Research
  • Moot Court Research
  • Non-Profit Work
  • Clinical Work
  • Externship Sponsored by the School
2017 Graduates
For graduating 3Ls and LLMs, Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law automatically extend educational accounts for 6 months following graduation.

Lexis additionally offers the ASPIRE program, providing 12 months of free access to graduates who work in public interest. Proof of work with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is required. To learn more about ASPIRE, visit http://www.lexisnexis.com/grad-access/.

Westlaw's "Grad Elite" access continues for 18 months after graduation. Under this program, law grads are allowed 60 hours of usage per month for services like Westlaw and Practical Law, with no restrictions against using them for professional purposes.

For help with your summer access to these or other Duke resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian. The library's summer hours, which take effect at the end of final exams, are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Monday, March 27, 2017

New Database for ACLU Archives

Since its founding in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been involved in some of the most well-known constitutional law cases in American history. In the "Scopes Monkey Trial" of 1925 (which inspired the acclaimed play and film Inherit the Wind), the ACLU partnered with attorney Clarence Darrow to defend a biology teacher arrested for teaching evolution in his Tennessee classroom. In the 1960s, the ACLU provided free legal assistance to Richard and Mildred Loving, arrested for violating Virginia's ban on interracial marriage; the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia subsequently struck down prohibitions on interracial marriage on equal protection grounds. More recently, the ACLU has challenged Trump administration executive orders concerning immigration and border security.

Researchers at Duke now have access to archival materials from the ACLU's work in the twentieth century. The Goodson Law Library has just subscribed to The Making of Modern Law: American Civil Liberties Union Papers 1912-1990. The searchable collection consists of legal case files and news clippings on ACLU activities, organized into two sub-collections:
  • The Roger Baldwin Years, 1912-1950, contains subseries with clippings and files on academic freedom; censorship; legislation; federal departments and federal legislation; state activities; conscientious objectors; injunctions; and labor and labor organization correspondence.
  • Years of Expansion, 1950-1990, encompasses foundation project files on the Amnesty Project, 1964-1980; the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee, 1964-1976; and subject files on freedom of belief, expression, and association; due process of law; equality before the law; international civil liberties; and legal case files, 1933-1990.
The earliest materials, which pre-date the official formation of the ACLU, include correspondence and news clippings on jail conditions, sedition trials, and conscientious objectors during World War I. the collections can be searched on the main screen, or browsed under "Explore Collections." Keyword searches for broad topics like marriage will return thousands of pages of ACLU research and legal documents; a search for a case name, such as Loving v. Virginia, will retrieve a narrower set of results, with the relevant pages within each result flagged in a sidebar.

The digital collection provides a fascinating view of American history through the work of ACLU lawyers. For more information about the history of the ACLU, try a subject search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for American Civil Liberties Union. For assistance with using the new database or with locating other ACLU materials, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, March 20, 2017

AILALink Immigration Database Now Available

Immigration law is highly complex, and involves a number of specialized resources. Fortunately, the Goodson Law Library has just subscribed to AILALink, a research database from the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Current Duke University students, faculty, and staff can access AILALink from the Law Library's Legal Databases & Links page, or directly here. (Access is limited to 3 simultaneous users; please click "Sign out" in the top right corner when finished.)

AILALink includes primary and secondary legal materials on immigration matters, such as the full text of Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook (15th ed. 2016), a leading treatise for immigration law practitioners. Other books of interest include the Occupational Guidebooks series, including Immigration Options for Academics and Researchers and Immigration Options for Artists & Entertainers. Other AILA titles include Asylum Law Primer (7th ed. 2015), Essentials of Immigration Law (4th ed. 2016), and Immigration Law & the Family (4th ed. 2016).

Researchers should be aware that immigration law and policy can change quickly. AILALink provides supplements in the event of later changes, such as a chapter supplement to Immigration Law & the Family prompted by new agency guidance. However, primary law research is also essential to update the content of the book publications. The database also provides browseable and searchable versions of federal statutes, regulations, and agency materials related to immigration law and practice. Case law is available through AILALink's court opinions section, with an option to search Fastcase Premium for additional materials.

For further reading on immigration law, try a search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject heading emigration and immigration law – united states. You'll find titles like the multi-volume treatise by Gordon & Mailman, Immigration Law and Procedure (also available in Lexis Advance) and study aids on Reserve like Immigration Law and Procedure in a Nutshell.

For assistance with using AILALink or with locating immigration law materials in the Law Library, be sure to Ask a Librarian.