Thanksgiving Holiday Hours

 

 

 

The BLS Library Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule

Wednesday, November 22:                                 9:00am – 10:00pm

Thursday, November 23, Thanksgiving Day:   CLOSED

Friday, November 24:                                          9:00am – 10:00pm

Saturday, November 25:                                     9:00am – 10:00pm

Sunday, November 26:                                       10:00am – 12Midnight

 

 

 

 

 

Beware the Bootleg Bluebook

Richard Posner doesn’t like the Bluebook. He has railed against it for years, devoting entire articles in the University of Chicago Law Review (1986) and the Yale Law Journal (2011) to the horrors of what he deems an ever-growing monstrosity. In a December 2016 article for Green Bag, Judge Posner stated that among the reforms he would implement at federal appellate courts, the first thing to do is burn all copies of the Bluebook, in its latest edition 560 pages of rubbish”.

Well, one person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure.  Enter the Bootleg Bluebook.  

Say what? Of all the things to make knockoffs of, why the Bluebook? It isn’t a literary bestseller like Harry Potter and it sure as heck isn’t Louis Vuitton. Even the Kelley Blue Book would seem a likelier candidate for a fake. Then again, with over 35,000 students matriculating at ABA-accredited law schools annually, the built-in demand means that a lot of Bluebooks are sold every year.

Unfortunately some BLS students who bought Bluebooks through third party vendors have been victimized by these fakes.  We’ve heard that students at other law schools have run into this problem too.

Imagine a student at Any Law School, U.S.A., meticulously poring over the Bluebook to make sure everything is cited correctly for their first legal writing assignment. Only to get his or her paper back, marked up to the hilt with corrections in red ink.

“But I cited to page 16 of the Bluebook. Id at 100, no period after Id

“That’s not correct and not what it says in my copy. Let me see your Bluebook.”

Sorry. It’s fake.

I feel for students who are using the Bluebook for the first time only to find out that their trusted source was a bootleg.  Fake news we can handle. But fake Bluebooks?

One of the BLS students was kind enough to lend us their bootleg copy.  It’s basically a case of OCR gone bad.  Periods vanished, text out of sync, commas turned to periods and vice versa, blurry text, off-kilter page numbers, and the most common error: missing spaces. New jersey losing its capitalization and making you think of swag rather than state — while the III for Illinois makes you want to yell “My kingdom for a horse!” Interestingly, the Chinese and Japanese characters seemed to be in good shape, though the bootleggers couldn’t decide what color print to use and kept switching back and forth between black and blue.    

 

 

      

So the Public Service Announcement for today: It’s best to get your Bluebook directly from the publisher or from a trusted retailer, rather than through a third party vendor.

It’s nice to know, though, that the bootleggers got this citation on page 510 right:

Richard A. Posner, The Bluebook Blues, 120 Yale L.J. 850 (2011).

 

 

Episode 101 – Conversation with Prof. Heidi Brown

Episode 101 – Conversation with Prof. Heidi Brown.mp3

Brooklyn Law School Library’s New Books List for November 1, 2017 has 40 print titles and 36 eBook titles. Subjects cover a wide range including Alexander Hamilton, administrative agencies, bar examinations, Christian lawyers, deportation, Donald Trump, Sharia law, technology and the law, and more.

brownOne title stands out: The Introverted Lawyer: A Seven Step Journey Toward Authentically Empowered Advocacy (Call No. KF300.B75 2017) by Heidi K. Brown, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Writing Program at Brooklyn Law School. The book explains the differences among introversion, shyness, and social anxiety and how each manifest in the legal context. It describes how the extrovert bias in law school and practice detrimentally can impact quiet individuals, fueling enhanced anxiety in a vocation already fraught with mental health issues. It also explores how quiet law students and lawyers offer greatly needed proficiency to the legal profession and presents a seven-step process to help introverted, shy, and socially anxious individuals amplify their authentic lawyer voices, capitalize on their natural strengths, and diminish unwarranted stress.

Professor Brown joins us today in a conversation that describes her journey as an attorney who did not fit the mold of the domineering litigator. She discusses her own introversion and her struggles with shyness and social anxiety. In addition to offering specific techniques for embracing the power of introversion, the episode begins with a frank discussion about depression and goes on to show how even extroverted lawyers can benefit from her tips to the introvert.

Let My People Dance

After years of efforts to repeal New York City’s outdated Cabaret Law, the City Council is on the verge of repeal. The New York Times reports today that After 91 Years, New York Will Let Its People Boogie. The “no dancing” law is set to be struck down with a new bill tomorrow according to a report. Councilman Rafael Espinal told the newspaper that he has the 26 votes needed to pass a repeal through City Council, as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approval. In 1926, while liquor was bootlegged and Jazz was shaking things up in Harlem, New York City instituted the Cabaret Law that required establishments serving food or drink to obtain a separate license before permitting any dancing or live music on their premises. This law successfully sought to police and restrict the interracial mixing happening in dance clubs uptown. Almost 100 years later, though times and racial attitudes have changed, the Cabaret Law is not only still in effect and enforced, but contemporary zoning regulations effectively make dancing illegal in large parts of the city.

Drafted by Brooklyn Council Member Rafael Espinal (D-37), first elected to the New York State Assembly at the age of 26 and currently in his first term as a council member, the bill will address a pernicious, racially motivated law that has followed “fringe” musical scenes in the city for nearly a century.

gigsThe Brooklyn Law School Library has in its collection Gigs: Jazz and the Cabaret Laws in New York City (Call No. PN2277.N5 C51 2005) by Paul Chevigny, an attorney and former civil rights activist, who recounts his efforts to repeal New York’s Cabaret Law. The book is also available as an e-book. Gigs provides a fascinating account of a unique victory for musicians against repressive entertainment licensing laws. It provides a much-needed study of the social, political, cultural and legal conditions surrounding a change in law and public attitudes toward vernacular music in New York City.

That was then, this is now

That was then, this is now: The transformation of BLS Library’s 3rd Floor in pictures.

Inside the old 3rd Floor Reading Room

Spring 2017, students voted on the chairs for the new reading room

Summer 2017, gutted and about to be renovated.

Fall 2017, getting things into place

Now new signage has been installed. Striking graphics and inspirational quotes adorn the walls.  The third floor space has been completely transformed in a few months.  

We hope you enjoy using the third floor Collaboration/Reading Room!

 

 

Congressional Legislative Research

With paper deadlines fast approaching, many of you may need to identify relevant Congressional documents for your paper.  Often legislative history research is cumbersome and time consuming.  The Brooklyn Law School Library licenses two useful databases to ease this process: Legislative Insight and Proquest Congressional.

Legislative Insight streamlines the research process by digitizing the majority of full text publications associated with an enacted statute’s legislative history.  These documents include all versions of enacted and related bills, Congressional Record excerpts, and committee hearings, reports, and documents.  Legislative Insight also contains other relevant material such as committee prints, CRS reports, and Presidential signing statements.

Unlike Legislative Insight, Proquest Congressional carries documents pertaining to both enacted legislation as well as the bills that do not become law.  This includes the text of bills, transcripts of unpublished and published hearings, Congressional reports, the Congressional Record, Congressional Research Service reports, voting records, etc.  The indexing of some of the material goes back to the signing of the Constitution.   A useful feature of Proquest Congressional is the Congressional Profiles which provide the historical context of each Congressional term, including an overview of party divisions and leadership, economic conditions, conflicts, major laws, Landmark Supreme Court cases and major event

To access Legislative Insight or Proquest Congressional from off-campus, you first need to implement the proxy instructions.

Your Librarians On the Go, To Keep You In the Know

The librarians on the BLS Library staff are members of several professional organizations that meet annually for professional development, information sharing, networking, etc.  The most important aspect of these meetings is to learn about new developments and resources from legal technology and and legal research vendors, and to bring that information back to our constituents: Brooklyn Law School students and faculty. This has been a particularly active year, and below is a summary of the organizations we belong to on behalf of Brooklyn Law School, and the meetings we attended or will attend in 2017.

Association of American Law Schools has a membership of 179 law schools.  Their mission is “to uphold excellence in legal education and improve the profession.”  Its annual meeting presents programs, offers mentoring for new faculty, and is a resource for discussions on legal issues.

Library Director and Professor Janet Sinder attended the AALS meeting in San Francisco in January 2017.  The theme was “Why Law Matters,” featuring over 250 sessions with hundreds of speakers covering a wide range of legal topics.

American Association of Law Libraries has over 5,000 members who work in law school libraries, law firms, corporations, and government libraries at all levels.  The goal of AALL is “to share knowledge of legal resources, promote the profession, and provide leadership in the legal arena.”  This year’s annual meeting was held in Austin, TX in July and the theme was “Forego the Status Quo.”  Topics ranged from “Attorney Research Skills: Continuing the Conversation Between Law Firm and Academic Law Librarians” to “How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform the Delivery of Legal Services.”  Reference Librarians Kathy Darvil, Loreen Peritz, and Eric Yap attended, along with Cataloging Librarian Judy Baptiste-Joseph, and Library Director Janet Sinder.

Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction is a consortium of U.S. law schools that provides legal educational resources to help law students succeed.  CALI has produced over 1,000 interactive tutorials covering 40 subject areas that are available to students in all member schools.  Their annual conference was held in Phoenix, AZ in June with Reference Librarian Harold O’Grady attending.  The topics offered ranged from artificial intelligence to video technology.

 

KOHA is the open-sources software the Library uses for acquisitions, serials control, and cataloging.  This year’s conference of the KOHA Users Group was held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in August and attended by Acquisitions Librarian Jeff Gabel.  One of the many programs offered was “KOHA Toolkit: Enhancing the User Experience.

 

North American Serials Interest Group is an organization that works “to facilitate and improve the acquisition and accessibility of information resources in all formats.”  This year’s conference, with the theme “Racing to the Crossroads,” was held in Indianapolis, Indiana in June and attended by Cataloging Librarian Judy Baptiste-Joseph. One of their many programs addressed the issue of “Accessibility of Library Collections.”

 

 

Federal Depository Library Program is a government program created to make U.S. government information available to the public through a network of designated libraries.  These libraries are called Federal Depository Libraries, and the BLS Library has been a Federal Depository Library since 1974,  The FDLP program is administered by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, and there are over 1100 depository libraries; 127 of them are law schools.  Linda Holmes, Associate Law Librarian, will attend the annual depository library conference in Arlington, VA in October. The keynote presentation at this conference will be given by Jane Sanchez, the Law Librarian of Congress.

 

International Association of Law Libraries “provides an international forum for networking and information sharing among legal professionals worldwide.”  IALL publishes the International Journal of Legal Information and offers an annual conference.  Jean Davis, Associate Librarian for International Law, will attend this year’s conference in Atlanta, GA in October.

 

As you can see from this brief survey of 2017 law-related library conferences, a very important element in these programs is the education and training of law students, and our goal by attending these conferences, is to assist them in learning both the breath and depth of legal resources.

Sixth Annual Research Fair Recap

BLS Library held its 6th Annual Research Fair yesterday, September 28, 2017. Representatives from Bloomberg Law, EBSCO, Lexis Digital Library, Lexis, Westlaw, and Wolters Kluwer were on hand to showcase their databases. Library Director Janet Sinder and Associate Law Librarian Linda Holmes also provided students information about Fastcase and HeinOnline. The turnout was excellent. Students stopped by vendor tables, chatting with vendor and student representatives, They picked up free mugs, tote bags, and pens, while learning about the latest database services and features.

The event also served as an occasion to showcase the library’s new collaboration/reading room on the 3rd Floor. Faculty and staff members came by to check out the space and the Research Fair. Many 1Ls were introduced to the space through the event. 2Ls and 3Ls who were visiting the collaboration room for the 1st time marvelled at how the 3rd Floor had been transformed over the summer.

The Research Fair was a success. Students said that they enjoyed learning about new research resources and would start using them right away. The cookies, candy, and other light refreshments provided by the library helped perk them up after a long week of classes. At the end of the Fair, Janet and Linda conducted the raffle drawing for students who had visited at least five vendors. Congratulations to the six lucky students who won $50 gift cards courtesy of BLS Library and participating vendors!

 

 

New Tax Titles at BLS

taBrooklyn Law School Library’s New Books List for October contains 10 print titles and 20 eBook titles. Among the print items are two on taxation both authored by BLS Professors. The first is Federal Taxation of Corporations and Corporate Transactions (KF6464.D43 2017) by Steven Dean and Bradley T. Borden. This first edition of Federal Taxation of Corporations and Corporate Transactions provides a comprehensive examination of tax principles with a unique practice-oriented approach to help students become practice ready with skills that they have developed in a setting that reflects practice in the real world. The casebook introduces students not only to transactional tax practice and the federal tax penalty regime, but also to the rules of professional ethics and the specific rules that govern professionals who practice tax law. It features an array of Deal Downloads that breathe life into complex material, presenting high-profile transactions involving Amazon, Apple, Ford and others.

LLCThe second title is Taxation and Business Planning for Partnerships and LLCs: 2017-2018: Client File: DD Pizza LLC (operating partnership) by Bradley T. Borden (Call Number KF6452.B673 2017). The materials in this Client File provide real-word problems, documents, and financials that direct the study of partnership taxation. They are an ideal accompaniment to partnership tax casebooks, especially the author’s own Taxation and Business Planning for Partnerships and LLCs. This first edition of the Client File includes memoranda and practice materials. It also includes recent developments that will not be in most casebooks. The Client File creates a practice setting that is ideal for studying issues that transactional tax attorneys’ clients face regularly.

The book is uniquely designed to help students become practice-ready with skills that they have developed in a setting that reflects actual practice. This new partnership tax casebook has several key features, including an accompanying client file created to help students learn the law in a practice-like setting. This comprehensive treatise-like casebook includes background information on non-tax topics, such as basic accounting and finance, concepts related to debt, and state-law entity transactions, as well as a general review of basic tax concepts that come up through the course of studying partnership taxation. The first edition of Taxation and Business Planning for Partnerships and LLCs also includes rules of conduct for attorneys and practice before the IRS.

The Chickenshit Club

chickenshitThe Brooklyn Law School Library has placed an order for The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives (Call No. KF9351.E37 2017) by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jesse Eisinger. The book is a blistering account of corporate greed and impunity, and the reckless, often anemic response from the Department of Justice. The book asks why no bankers were put in prison after the financial crisis of 2008 and why CEOs seem to commit wrongdoing with impunity. The problem goes beyond banks deemed “Too Big to Fail” to almost every large corporation in America—to pharmaceutical companies and auto manufacturers and beyond. Eisinger starts his account with a story that gives the book its title. In the early 2000s, James Comey was the U.S. Attorney in charge of the most important local branch of the Department of Justice, the Southern District of New York, whose jurisdiction covers Wall Street. At Comey’s first meeting with the prosecutors on his team, he asked who among them had never lost a case. Many proudly raised their hands. “My friends and I have a name for you guys,” he said. “You are members of what we like to call the Chickenshit Club.” Comey was challenging them to be aggressive, to risk losing. A character-driven narrative, the book tells the story from inside the Department of Justice. The complex and richly reported story spans the last decade and a half of prosecutorial fiascos, corporate lobbying, trial losses, and culture shifts that have stripped the government of the will and ability to prosecute top corporate executives.

The book begins in the 1970s, when the government pioneered the notion that top corporate executives, not just seedy crooks, could commit heinous crimes and go to prison. The book travels to trading desks on Wall Street, to corporate boardrooms and the offices of prosecutors and F.B.I agents. These revealing looks provide context for the evolution of the Justice Department’s approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early aughts and into the Justice Department of today. Exposing one of the most important scandals of our time, The Chickenshit Club provides a clear, detailed explanation as to how our Justice Department has come to avoid, bungle, and mismanage the fight to bring these alleged criminals to justice.

A more extensive book review by Thomas Fox can be found at JD Supra at this link. Fox also conducted an interview of Jesse Eisinger and Paul Pelletier, a key source for the book, at this link.

On Thursday, November 2, 2017, Cardozo School of Law will host a free event where the author will discuss his book. It will be held from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm in the Third-Floor Lounge at 55 5th Avenue, New York, NY. Register at this link if you want to attend.