Brooklyn Law School’s Scholarship & Special Collections

brooklynworks

BrooklynWorks is the online repository of Brooklyn Law School, providing open access to scholarship produced by the law school and to other collections of law school materials. The repository is a service of the Brooklyn Law School Library. Current collections focus on faculty scholarship, the law school’s journals and library special collections.

Within the law Journals collection, you can browse or search issues of the Brooklyn Law Review, the Brooklyn Journal of International Law, the Journal of Law & Policy, and the Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial, & Commercial Law.  Within the faculty scholarship collection, you can browse or search Brooklyn Law School’s faculty publications going back to 2010.

Within the Special Collections, you can browse the papers of David Trager from the 1986-1989 New York City Charter Revision Commissions.  Included in this historic collection are various drafts of the New York City Charter, meeting minutes and letters to the members of the commission.  The digitized documents were selected from materials he donated to the Brooklyn Law School Archives. To access the entire collection, you can contact the reference desk (refdesk@brooklaw.edu) and make an appointment to visit the archives.

World Refugee Day 2016

UNHCRThis week, Brooklyn Law School Library Associate Librarian Linda Holmes created a display of library material marking World Refugee Day. In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution, A/RES/55/76, designating June 20 as World Refugee Day to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Among the titles in the display case located on the first floor of the BLS Library opposite the elevator is The UNHCR and the Supervision of International Refugee Law edited by James C. Simeon (Call No. K3230.R45 U54 2013). The 384 page book is an in-depth analysis of the UNHCR’s supervisory role in the international refugee protection regime. It examines the part played by key institutions, organizations and actors in the supervision of international refugee law and provides suggestions and recommendations on Green Card Storieshow the UNHCR’s supervisory role can be strengthened to ensure greater State Parties’ compliance to their obligations under these international refugee rights treaties. Another title in the display is Green Card Stories by Saundra Amrhein and Ariana Lindquist (Call No. JV6455 .A826 2011), a coffee table style book that depicts 50 recent U.S. immigrants—each with permanent residence or citizenship—in powerfully written short narratives and compelling portraits.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in 2016, 65.3 million people are considered refugees, the largest count since WWII. Due to rising conflict in the Middle East and ISIS’ intent to destroy Christians and non-Muslims, the world now has a record number of people who have been displaced from their homes and have nowhere to go. Unfortunately, many countries have no desire to help them, especially displaced Christians from the Middle East. One reason is because many fear that ISIS members are disguising themselves. The UNHCR estimates that 24 persons are displaced from their home every minute due to conflict and persecution with 16 million qualifying as refugees due to persecution. It released its latest analysis of global displacement trends in a 68-page report. To help understand its key findings, see this 90-second video:

Artificial Intelligence in Law and Education

robot lawAn intriguing new title in the Brooklyn Law School Library collection is Robot Law by Law Professors Ryan Calo, A. Michael Froomkin, and Ian Kerr (K564.C6 R63 2016). The 402 page book brings together research on robotics law and policy written by scholars from law, engineering, computer science and philosophy on topics such as liability, warfare, domestic law enforcement, personhood, and other cutting-edge issues in robotics and artificial intelligence. The book is an in-depth look at an area of law that is growing in importance. Like the Internet before it, robotics is a technology that will transform the social and economic landscape of legal research and practice. Robot Law looks at the increasing sophistication of robots and their widespread use in hospitals, public spaces, and battlefields requiring rethinking philosophical and public policy issues, including how AI interacts with existing legal regimes and changes in policy and in law.

Whether artificial intelligence will one day displace human lawyers has become so important that, this past April, Vanderbilt Law School hosted the first legal conference on the topic, “Watson, Esq.: Will Your Next Lawyer Be a Machine”. Speakers included Richard Susskind, author of “Tomorrow’s Lawyers” and “The Future of the Professions,” and Andrew Arruda, whose firm ROSS Intelligence helped build ROSS (which does not stand for anything), the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney, on top of IBM Watson.  Designed by students at the  University of Toronto, ROSS is meant for use by lawyers. Asking it a legal question will yeild an “instant answer with citations and suggested readings from a variety of content sources.” ROSS reads and understands language, postulates hypotheses when asked questions, researches, and then generates responses (along with references and citations) to back up its conclusions. It learns from experience, gaining speed and knowledge the more users interact with it.

A recent Washington Post news piece reports that the law firm Baker & Hostetler announced that it is employing ROSS to handle its bankruptcy practice of nearly 50 lawyers. CEO and co-founder Andrew Arruda, says that other firms have also signed licenses with ROSS and expects more announcements soon. Although still in the prototype stage, ROSS shows great promise as an innovative legal research tool. Tasks that ROSS can do include:

  1. Giving relevant answers – not a list of results – to natural language questions;
  2. Learning from user’s questions – it learns and improves the more it is used;
  3. Providing a consistent, easy-to-use experience on any devices used to access it.

At this week’s CALIcon 16 being held at the Georgia State University College of Law, BLS Reference Librarian Harold O’Grady and Technology Educator Lloyd Carew-Reid will present a session, The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Legal Education, Research and Practice. Also participating will be:

  • Professor Heidi Brown (Director of Legal Writing at Brooklyn Law School);
  • Mikhail Jacob (a Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology); and
  • Dr. Mark Riedl (an Associate Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing and Director of the Entertainment Intelligence Lab).

Miranda v. Arizona: Fifty Years Later

ernestomiranda640On June 13, 1966 the United States Supreme Court handed down the decision in Ernesto Miranda v. the State of Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). This case was actually consolidated with three others: Westover v. United States, Vignera v. State of New York and California v. Stewart, however, this case has become known to be simply Miranda v. Arizona.

Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona in March 1963 based on circumstantial evidence linking him to the kidnapping and rape of an eighteen year old woman named Mary Adams ten days prior to his actual arrest.  At the police station, after hours of interrogation, he signed a confession. During the interrogation Miranda was not told of his right to counsel.  During the trial the prosecutor entered his confession as evidence; Miranda’s attorney objected, stating that the confession was not truly voluntary and should be excluded. This objection was overruled and Miranda was convicted of rape and kidnapping at trial. The Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s decision.

Miranda’s case and three other similar cases were appealed to the United States Supreme Court, with the Court handing down their decision fifty years ago this month.  The Miranda case has become famous because it establishes a defendant’s right to counsel and of the right against self-incrimination.  Judge Earl Warren wrote for the majority, in the 5-4 decision, that these rights were guaranteed by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution.

After the Supreme Court’s decision, the state of Arizona retried Miranda without the confession, but he was convicted on the strength of a witness and sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison. He served eleven years and died in 1976, after being stabbed in a bar fight.

“Miranda Rights” have come to be known by the public through television shows and movies as the “right to remain silent” and “anything said can and will be used against in a court of law.” Hundreds of law review articles have been written about this case and a defendant’s “Miranda Rights.”  The library also has a number of books about the Miranda case, including the titles listed below:

Miranda: the Story of America’s Right to Remain Silent by Gary Stuart (2004).

The Miranda Debate:  Law, Justice, and Policing by Richard Leo (1998).

The Miranda Ruling: Its, Past, Present, and Future by Lawrence Wrightsman (2010).

Miranda Revisited by Frank Schmalleger (2001).

Looking for Federal Government Information? Try the New Govinfo website.

Govinfo

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has launched a beta version of its new GovInfo web site.  After it completes its beta phase, Govinfo will replace FDsys, the federal government website currently providing  free public access to over 50 different collections of federal government information, including the United States Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, Congressional materials, and selected federal case law.   Users of GovInfo can browse by A-Z list, by category, by date, and by congressional committee content.  To see a list of collections available on Govinfo, visit here.

 

Episode 097 – Conversation with Prof. Heidi Brown

Episode 097 – Conversation with Prof. Heidi Brown.mp3

Heidi BrownIn this podcast, Brooklyn Law School Professor Heidi Brown talks about her article, The Emotionally Intelligent Law Professor: A Lesson from the Breakfast Club, 36 University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review 273 (2014). The article examines the importance of teaching Emotional Intelligence (EI) as part of the law school curriculum and as a component of “professionalism.” In April 2016, Professor Brown joined the faculty at Brooklyn Law School as Director of the Legal Writing Program after serving as Associate Professor of Law at New York Law School, where she helped launch that school’s Legal Practice program. Before that, she was an Associate Professor of Legal Research and Writing at the Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law in Orange, California. A prolific scholar and author on the importance of legal writing, she has published four books on predictive and persuasive legal writing and federal litigation, and other scholarly articles for law journals. Prof. Brown is  working on a forthcoming book The Introverted Lawyer.

Oyez Project Gets New Home

supremecourtThe Oyez Project, a free repository of more than 10,000 hours of U.S. Supreme Court oral-argument audio and other court resources, will be getting a new home.

Developed by Prof. Jerry Goldman, Oyez has had its home at the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law  for over 20 years.  It is a complete and authoritative source for all of the Supreme Court’s audio since the installation of a recording system in October 1955.  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.

Prof. Goldman is retiring this month and a new arrangement for the Project has been formed with Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute and Justia.   All of the information of the Oyez Project will not be available at the Legal Information Institute website.

Court Ruling in Touro Synagogue Dispute

This week the NY Times published an intriguing article on the resolution of a four year legal battle over ownership of personal property, silver Torah ornaments called rimonim, used in worship services in the nation’s oldest existing synagogue, Touro Synagogue in Newport, RI.  Judge John J. McConnell, Jr of the US District Court for the District of Rhode Island issued a 106 page opinion in favor of Congregation Jeshuat Israel, worshippers at the 252-year-old Touro Synagogue in Newport who have been battling Shearith Israel in New York City for control of the temple and the right to sell a pair of historic ceremonial ornaments worth millions of dollars. The suite was originally filed in Rhode Island Superior Court, Newport County, in November 2012 and later removed to federal court. Judge McConnell’s opinion begins;

Bricks and mortar of a temple, and silver and gold of religious ornaments, may appear to be at the center of the dispute between the two parties in this case, but such a conclusion would be myopic. The central issue here is the legacy of some of the earliest Jewish settlers in North America, who desired to make Newport a permanent haven for public Jewish worship. Fidelity to their purpose guides the Court in resolving the matters now before it.

torah bellsTouro Synagogue was established in 1763. During and after the Revolutionary War, most of the Newport’s Jewish residents moved away, many of them to New York. By the 1820s, no Jews were left in Newport, and Congregation Shearith Israel became Touro’s trustee. The two congregations began to feud when the Touro congregation tried in 2012 to sell the bells made by a noted 18th-century silversmith, Myer Myers to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for $7.4 million to improve the synagogue’s fiscal health. The New York congregation protested and Congregation Jeshuat Israel filed the lawsuit. Since, the museum withdrew the offer leaving the dispute to be decided by the federal court.

Touro Synagogue has become a national historic site drawing visitors from all over the world every year. Its most famous visitor was the nation’s first president George Washington who in 1790, stopped at Touro. After his visit he sent the congregants a letter saying the government of the United States “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” It is considered an important pledge of the new nation’s commitment to religious liberty. A search of Brooklyn Law School Library’s ProQuest Congressional database, available to members of the BLS community, will lead to 107 H. Con. Res. 62 dated July 17, 2001. The title of the resolution is “Expressing the Sense of Congress That the George Washington Letter to Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, Which Is on Display at the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington, DC, Is One of the Most Significant Early Statements Buttressing the Nascent American Constitutional Guarantee of Religious Freedom”.

Stay In the Know

While working at your summer job or internship, it is important to stay up to date on legal developments and current events.  One way to do this is to monitor legal news.  The library subscribes to several legal news providers.  Listed below are a few along with descriptions on how to access the sites.2009_reading_newspaper_NYC_4328271821

Legal News Providers

Law360:  Very current coverage of law.  Browse news by practice area or jurisdiction. Need to implement proxy instructions for off-campus access.

Law.com: Covers both national and regional legal news.  Publications include the National Law Journal, the New York Law Journal, and the New Jersey Law Journal.  Law.com also publishes topic specific news, such as corporate and security news, labor and employment news, and intellectual property news. Need username and password to access some articles.  Contact refdesk@brooklaw.edu for credentials.

New York Law Journal:  Covers New York legal developments.  It is the go to source for attorneys practicing in New York.  Browse news by practice area.  Also publishes decisions from New York State and Federal Courts. Need username and password to access some articles.  Contact refdesk@brooklaw.edu for credentials.

Jurist Law:  Free source supported by the University of Pittsburgh, School of Law.  Very current, real time coverage or U.S. and World Legal News.

BNA Law Reports:  Available via Bloomberg Law.  BNA publishes law reports on over a 100 different legal topics.  To access BNA Law Reports, sign on to Bloomberg Law and select BNA Law Reports from the “Getting Started” menu on the home page.

LXBN.com: Free legal blog aggregator that culls and vets legal blogs.  View blogs by practice area.  LXBN also publishes its own content.

Summer Access (& Beyond) to Bloomberg, Lexis & Westlaw

The three legal research databases, Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance and WestlawNext, are available to Brooklyn Law School students this summer.  May 2016 graduates will have access to these databases for six months after graduation.  See the details below:

bloomberglaw65Bloomberg Law:  Provides unlimited and unrestricted access over the summer.  Student accounts will remain active and available all summer.  Graduating students have continued access for six months after graduation.

For questions, contact Maxwell Sivin, Law School Relationship Manager, msivin@bna.com, 646-494-5244.

Lexis AdvanceLexis Advance:  Students will have continuing access all summer for academic, professional, and non-profit research.   All legal and news content will be available.  Your law school ID will remain active all summer.  Summer access begins on the date spring classes end through the beginning of fall classes.

Please check with your summer employer as to their ID guidelines. Some employers may request you use a work ID instead of your student access ID for employer work.

May 2016 graduate have access to Lexis for six months after graduation.

For questions, contact Mary Beth Drain, LexisNexis Account Executive, marybeth.drain@lexisnexis.com, 845-598-3203.

99b7a752.WestlawNext_logoWestlawNext:  Students must extend their passwords for the following academic uses:

  • Summer law school classes & study abroad programs
  • Law Review and Journal, including writing competitions
  • Research assistant
  • Moot Court
  • Unpaid internship/externship

Students with summer employment in law firms, corporations, government agencies and the like should not use their academic password for research and must use their firm issued password.

Students can complete the online summer extension form on the Westlaw homepage at www.lawschool.westlaw.com.  Students will see a banner if they are a 1L or 2L that says “Using Westlaw in the Summertime?”  Then, they should click on the banner and complete the online summer extension form to extend their Westlaw accounts.

Graduates will see an extension form that says “Grads, Want More Westlaw?”  on the Westlaw law school homepage.  Graduates can extend their student accounts by clicking on the banner form and then they will have their access extended through 11/30/16 (for six months after graduation).

For questions, contact Stefanie Efrati, West Academic Account Manager, stefanie.efrati@thomsonreuters.com, 212-548-7432.