Monday, September 23, 2019

SCC Online Now Available

The Goodson Law Library has recently subscribed to SCC Online, a database containing legal materials from India as well as dozens of other foreign and international jurisdictions. Access SCC Online via the Duke Libraries Catalog or Legal Databases & Links. First-time users will need to register with a username in order to access materials; this username will allow future access while connected to Duke's IP range. No password is required for IP login.

SCC Online's collection is strongest for Indian law, including current and historical case law, statutes and regulations, constitutional documents, and parliamentary bills. The "Browse Judgments by Courts" tab includes case law from dozens of additional jurisdictions for varying time periods, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and numerous African nations (including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe). International court materials are also included, such as the International Criminal Court, Permanent Court of Arbitration, and various human rights tribunals. A longer description of the contents within each category can be found at SCC's Data Coverage page.

Additional access points to SCC Online will be added to the library's various research guides to foreign and international law. In the meantime, you may also notice pointers to the database when researching in sources like Foreign Law Guide and GlobaLex, both excellent starting places for researching the law of particular jurisdictions. For additional help with foreign, comparative, and international law research, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, September 16, 2019

A New Look for Constitution Annotated

Tuesday is Constitution Day, which commemorates the signing of the United States Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. In celebration, the Library of Congress just announced a redesign of the website for The Constitution Annotated (CONAN), an invaluable treatise on constitutional history and practice. The revised web version of the publication (full name: The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation) allows readers to search from the main page, or to browse individual articles and amendments. Results provide a detailed overview of U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence on that particular article or amendment, written by staff members of the Congressional Research Service's American Law Division. CONAN also includes helpful tables on such topics as Supreme Court Decisions Overruled by Prior Decisions and Laws Held Unconstitutional in Whole or in Part by the Supreme Court.

A print edition of the most recent CONAN volume (issued in 2017) can be consulted in the library’s Reference Collection at Ref Docs Y 1.1/3: 112-9. PDF copies of this volume and prior print editions (back to 1992) are also available on the Government Publishing Office's website. For help with accessing CONAN in its various formats, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The State of State Bar Research Benefits

Effective September 1, members of the Utah State Bar now receive the legal research service Fastcase as a benefit of membership (press release). Previously, Utah attorneys received free access to Casemaker. Bar associations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia provide members with access to at least one of these two low-cost legal research alternatives, making them a cost-effective first stop in legal research by practicing attorneys.

To track the changes in bar association research offerings over time, the Goodson Law Library has maintained a map of Legal Research via State Bar Associations. The map covers only state-level offerings; local and county bar associations may similarly offer members access to one of these services.

Both Fastcase and Casemaker contain U.S. primary legal materials: federal and state case law, statutory and regulatory codes, court rules, and constitutions. Additional features vary within each service. Fastcase offers a number of secondary source libraries, including law journal access via HeinOnline, as well as treatises by various external publishers as well as its own Full Court Press imprint. Casemaker includes legal forms, a memo bank, and content from the vLex database, containing primary domestic legal materials for more than 100 countries.

Want to check out the free research benefit in the state where you plan to practice? The Duke University community has access to an academic version of Fastcase. Law students and faculty are also eligible to sign up for an educational version of Casemaker called CasemakerX. Students may also be eligible for free or deeply-discounted membership to the bar association in their intended practice state, such as the North Carolina Bar Association's free membership for law students.