Opinions with Internet Citations are Safeguarded by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

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Courts increasingly continue to cite to Internet resources in opinions. Over time, it is rare to find hyperlinks that still work, resulting in link rot. Link rot occurs when the hyperlink no longer works or disappears, typically leading to the now ubiquitous 404 error—page not found—message. Since about 2007 Federal court law libraries have been preserving intent citations in opinions, including the Fifth Circuit.

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The Fifth Circuit, along with the other U. S. circuits, captures the cited Internet reference by converting the original documents and web pages as .pdf files. According to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Law Library, “[u]sing the URL referenced in the opinion, the original copy is saved with a watermark to denote the document’s archived status.” In addition to posting the archived URLs on the library website several Circuits are also adding the materials to the official case docket and PACER. Unfortunately, the Fifth Circuit has yet to do so.

Fifth Circuit opinions are arranged in descending docket number order. A sample entry is noted below. By clicking on a URL, one retrieves a .pdf copy of the resource as it existed at the time of filing with the Court. Each resource listed is a link to an archived copy.

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Bloomberg BNA U.S. Law Week Spotlight: What Is It?

BNA Law Week Spotlight: What Is It?

This is the first in a four-part series spotlighting Bloomberg BNA, The United States Law Week.

BNA United States Law Week is a database that contains many resources in regards to constitutional law, federal laws, civil practice and procedure, and the federal court systems. For example, the site gives access to noteworthy Supreme Court filings. The site also contains an “On the Merits Blog” where legal scholars and political analysts write about recent Supreme Court decisions and cases.

BNA law week

 

Users can access different pages of information by clicking the tabs in the top left corner. The tab that reads “Case Alert& Legal News” contains news articles on developing cases, legal news, and political happenings.

 

Case Alert &Legal News

 

 

The “Supreme Court Today” tab leads to a page that has noteworthy events in Supreme Court cases, oral argument news, and the latest judicial opinions.

 

Supreme Court Today

 

Other interesting features on the BNA Law Blog include podcasts and access to federal rules.

 

Access to Bloomberg BNA United States Law Week is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Database tab.

 

Databases to Help Jumpstart Your Legal Research Quest

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Welcome back!  This is one of the most exciting times of the semester.  All possibilities are open and everything is new.  Soon, you will need to start researching; whether it’s for class, papers, or journal comments, the search for information will begin.  Here are some resources to help get you started on your research quest!

One of our favorite go-to databases is HeinOnline.  This database is a collection of primary and secondary legal resources.  If you are looking for current federal law, historical state statutes, federal administrative law, U.S. Supreme Court cases, and especially law journals, then HeinOnline is a great place to start your search.  One fairly unique feature of HeinOnline is that all of the material is available as PDF files.  This means that each document is a scan of the actual physical item and not just an electronic copy of the data that may differ in content and appearance from the original print copy.  It’s easy to get to from the Texas Tech University Law Library’s main web page, just scroll down to “Research and Reference” and click on “HeinOnline.”

databasesAnother resource we have to help you locate difficult-to-find government documents is ProQuest Congressional.  This database has an extensive collection of legislative histories, committee hearings, prints, reports, and bill texts and tracking.  This database is also easily located from the Texas Tech University Law Library’s main web page (see image above).

As a reminder, don’t forget that there are many interdisciplinary databases and materials available to you from the main University Library’s webpage. While the Law Library’s collection of books and materials is focused on law and legal research and is the best place to start when doing legal research, the main University Library has material covering many other topics that can help you with interdisciplinary research.

mainThe main University Library database collection includes Academic Search Complete and EBSCO.  They also have access to JSTOR, which is a collaborative collection of digitized journals and books.  If you have the name of a journal and want to know if articles from it are available, start your search in E-Journals A-Z.

The main University Library is also the place to get materials through ILL (Interlibrary Loan).  If there is something you need and we don’t have it in our collection, use “Document Delivery” and get the item sent to you from another library.  It is free of charge and easy to use.

This is just a quick peek at some of the materials that are available to you to help with your research projects. As always, if you need help with your research, ask a librarian!  It’s what we’re here to do.

If you’re a student, contact Alyson Drake (alyson.drake@ttu.edu) with questions. If you’re a faculty member, contact Jamie Baker (jamie.baker@ttu.edu) or your faculty liaison for assistance.

During regular business hours, there is also an on-call librarian who can help. Stop by the Circulation Desk to ask for the on-call librarian.

New Law Library Catalog

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The Law Library has spent the past few months working on transitioning to a new Library Catalog platform.  We are now sharing a database with the other campus libraries, which will allow you to not only search just our law library collection but if necessary you will be able to search the University Library collection, the Southwest Collection, etc.

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When you visit the Law Library homepage you will see the search box immediately at the top of the page.  Performing a search from this screen will provide you with search results that are located here at the Law School.  Once you have entered the search results screens you will notice other options at the top.  These options include searching the Library Catalog (University Library holdings) or the Everything tab (which will search all campus libraries, including the Law Library).

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If you wish to search the holdings of other campus library collections, other than the University Library or the Law Library, you can do so by choosing the Library Catalog tab and then clicking the drop down list to the left of the Search button.  You will see a list of all of the different campus libraries/collections that you can choose from.

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You are also able to see/manage your library checkouts, fines, etc. from the My Account/Sign In links in the upper right part of the screen.

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Click on the Sign In link and you will be taken to a screen where you will select the TTU Students, Faculty and Staff (eRaider) option.

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Once you have successfully entered your eRaider login information you will see your personal information in the upper right portion of the library catalog screen.

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By clicking the My Account link you will then be able to see everything that you have checked out from any library on campus, not just the Law Library.  You will also be able to see Requests, Fines & Fees, etc.

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To help Law School faculty, staff and students learn to use the new system, Law Librarians will offer instruction throughout academic year 2016-2017.

If you have any questions about the new catalog please contact Sue Kelleher at 806-834-2615 or email sue.kelleher@ttu.edu.

Faculty Research Series Fall 2016

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Law Faculty – please join the Law Library on Thursday, September 8 from 12pm-1pm in the Faculty Conference Room for LUNCH as we welcome you all back for a wonderful fall 2016 semester!!

Fall 2016 Welcome Back Faculty

In addition, mark your calendars for the rest of the Law Library’s fall 2016 Faculty Research Series.

FRS Fall 2016

Checkpoint by RIA Featured Spotlight: Calculators

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This is the final post in a four-part series spotlighting Checkpoint by RIA.

Checkpoint has a variety of useful calculators. They are divided into a series of topics such as auto, credit card, loan, and tax. Each topic contains several calculators that allows the user to enter data into labeled boxes and the calculator will compute the entered information into an easy-to-interpret results page.

To access the calculators click the “Tools” tab on the top bar, and select “General” under the “Calculators” section of the drop down menu.

Under Personal you will find calculators such as Checkbook Balancer, Home Budget, Student Budget, and Credit Assessment. Under Tax you will find a 1040 Tax and a 1040EZ Tax Estimator calculator. The Savings sections contains calculators for Lunch Savings, College Savings Plan, and Savings Goals.

As an example, let us look at the “Lunch Savings” calculator under the “Savings” section.

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The calculator prompts you to enter the price of an “eat out lunch” and a “bagged lunch.” Next, enter the amount of bagged lunches to bring from home each month (average is 20), and the number of years you are going to save your lunch money. Finally, enter your expected rate of return on investment (the definitions section provides that the current S&P 500 annual rate of return of 7.76%).

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Click “Calculate.” The calculator predicts that the lunch savings over the next four years could be $6,734 or $120 per month.

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Access to Checkpoint by RIA database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

 

Fall 2016 ELR Class Schedule

Registration is now open for Fall 2016 classes in Texas Tech’s award winning Excellence in Legal Research Program.  Sign up for classes today to get a jump start on being a practice-ready attorney from Day 1 on the job!  Remember, attorneys in their first years of practice spend 35% of their time conducting legal research!

ELR schedule fall 2016If a course doesn’t show up in Blackboard, it means that it is already full.  Contact Alyson Drake at alyson.drake@ttu.edu to be placed on the waitlist for that course.  There are usually a few cancellations in the week before the class and we do our best to fit in every student who wants to attend.  Furthermore, if there is sufficient interest for a course, we can add an additional session.

You must be added to the ELR Program course on Blackboard before you can register.  To be added to the Excellence in Legal Research Program, contact Alyson Drake at alyson.drake@ttu.edu.  Then you can register using the instructions found on the ELR Program webpage.

We look forward to seeing you all in some ELR classes this fall!

Checkpoint by RIA Featured Spotlight: State & Local Reporters

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This is the third post in a four-part series spotlighting Checkpoint by RIA.

Checkpoint’s state and local reporters is a useful resource that allows you to search for tax documents for the fifty states. It includes statutes, explanations, regulations, cases, forms, and a weekly newsletter.

To access this resource for Texas, click the “Home” tab on the top bar. Under the section “My Quick Links” click the link “State & Local Reporters.” Select “Texas” and click “Next.” This feature allows you to select a state, the type of tax, and the type of document you are looking for. Further, this search tool allows you to narrow the results by keywords.

As an example, say a client asks you a trust question: Who pays the income tax, the income beneficiary or the principle beneficiary?

Begin by selecting “Estate & Gift taxes” under the “Select Tax Types” section and “Statutes” under the “Select Document Type” section. Next, under the “Keywords” search box type “income tax,” and click “Search.”

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In our results we can see Texas Property Code Annotated Section 116.205 Income Taxes.

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Selecting the “Income Tax” link will take you to the text of the Texas Property Code Section 116.205, which will allow you to answer your client’s question.

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Access to Checkpoint by RIA database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

 

Oyez Finds New Home at Cornell’s LII

Oyez has found a new home at Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.

Oyez will move to the LII as its new home, with infrastructure and technical support from Justia, which had already been quietly supporting the Oyez site for several years.

Oyez is a multimedia archive devoted to making the Supreme Court of the United States accessible to everyone. It is a complete and authoritative source for all of the Court’s audio since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. Oyez exclusively offers transcript-synchronized and searchable audio, plain-English case summaries, illustrated decision information, and opinions. Oyez also provides detailed information on every justice throughout history and offers a panoramic tour of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of several justices.

Launched in 1993, Oyez.org boasts nearly 9 million visits annually, ranging from students doing term papers to Supreme Court practitioners rehearsing upcoming arguments.

The project is now housed at Chicago-Kent College of Law under an agreement that expires soon. By the time the new term of the Supreme Court begins in October its home will be Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.

 

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