Bloomberg Law has made significant enhancements to their citator, BCite, available on BloombergLaw.com:
“The enhanced Bloomberg Law Citator (BCite) makes it easier to navigate the content related to a case and to find related documents across all of Bloomberg Law. BCite now features separate tabs for the Direct History, Case Analysis, and Table of Authorities and provides expanded filtering options designed specifically for related tasks. For instance, the Direct History tab includes filter options for History, Court, and Date, while the Case Analysis and Table of Authorities tabs add filters for Analysis, Case Status, Citation Frequency, Court, and Judge. The new Citing Documents tab provides the ability to find documents citing to your court opinion across many content sets, including court materials, administrative and regulatory documents, legislative content, and secondary sources, like books, treatises, and BNA analysis.”
Users can now easily see all documents, including secondary sources, that cite to a particular case, and filter or search within those citing documents. Remember that BloombergLaw.com is free for all BLS students with no academic use restriction. Your passwords will be active until the end of the calendar year in which you graduate.
For questions on how to access or use BloombergLaw.com, see a Reference Librarian, or contact our BLS Bloomberg Relationship Manager, Erica Horton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For when New York City has more rain than shine…umbrellas are back and available to borrow in the library! We have been fortunate enough to receive replacements for the original Bloomberg umbrellas, courtesy of LexisNexis. There are currently 6 umbrellas that can be checked out from the library’s Circulation Desk for 24 hours. So the next time you see rain pouring down as you leave class for the day, stop by and borrow one – you can bring it back the next day.
In addition to umbrellas, remember that we have lots of useful things available to borrow besides books – USB drives, laptop locks, headphones, and dry erase markers. If you have suggestions for other items you might be interested in having available for loan in the library, please let us know.
Virtually every library database available to you on campus can also be accessed from home, most without a password (with the exception of BloombergLaw, Westlaw, and Lexis – they always require passwords). However, in order to access databases such as HeinOnline, Academic Search Premier, and other useful resources without coming all the way to school, you must first implement the Proxy Server Instructions so that you are communicating with these websites via the BLS server. Instructions for the browsers that work best with these databases can be found on the law school’s website. Please note that once you set up the Proxy Server, you will be required to enter your BLS Username and Password each time you attempt to access the web on the selected browser. Therefore, you may want to use a browser different from the one you normally use for web browsing.
If you have any difficulty setting up your browser using these instructions, feel free to stop by the Reference Desk and a librarian will be happy to assist you.
The Library recently installed a second mobile charging station. This charging station is in Library room 104M, which is our lounge for students. It is to the left as you enter the room and is a gift from Westlaw. The first charging station is on the ground floor and was described in the Library blog of July 3, 2013.
These charging stations are for cell phones and tablets only. When using either charging station, remember to sit nearby while your device charges. The Library is not responsible for unattended devices.
This week Brooklyn Law School’s Library instituted a new chat reference service. The service is accessible through the Library’s
BLSConnect page, and is available for Brooklyn Law School’s students, faculty, and staff.
Librarians are available to chat during regularly scheduled reference hours. Reference librarians attempt to respond to instant message questions as quickly as possible. If you do not get a response back, please leave your email address or phone number, and someone will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
The service is best suited for short, fact-based questions and general questions on finding the relevant resources for a given topic. If you have a more detailed question, we may encourage you to arrange a meeting with a reference librarian, or to stop by the reference desk during our normal reference hours.
Now that the NYS Bar Exam is over the library will be scaling back its hours till the beginning of the Fall school semester.
The BLS Library hours through Sunday, August 11th will be as follows –
Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 10:00pm
Sundays – 10:00am – 10:00pm
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Brooklyn Law School Professor Gregg Macey and former BLS Professor Christopher Serkin (now at Vanderbilt Law School) recently posted Symposium Introduction: Post-Zoning: Alternative Forms of Public Land Use Controls on SSRN. The full text of the introduction appears at 78 Brooklyn Law Review 305 (2013). The abstract reads:
Brooklyn Law School’s 2012 David G. Trager “Public Policy Symposium, Post-Zoning: Alternative Forms of Public Land Use Controls”, called for a critical new appraisal of modern land use regulation. In this Introduction, we describe the topic and introduce the outstanding papers produced for the Issue. Over the years, zoning has widened its reach and flexibility through innovations such as overlay districts and planned unit developments. But these regulatory tweaks continue to take the separation of incompatible uses of land as their point of departure. In this Introduction, we sketch zoning’s origins and suggest why its traditional goals may no longer be tenable. New challenges, from finer-grained externalities within communities to sea-level rise, demand that zoning respond to change at both broader and narrower scales. The impressive set of papers collected in the Symposium address, in varied and creative ways, zoning’s ability to adapt to new pressures on land use from the sublocal to the global. Included in this volume are papers by Vicki Been, Alejandro Camacho, Richard Epstein, Lee Fennell, William Fischel, Nicole Garnett, Rachel Godsil, Gerald Korngold, John Nolon, and Stewart Sterk.
The Brooklyn Law School Library has several items in its collection related to the Voting Rights Act. The latest is Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy by Gary May (Call #KF4893.M39 2013). This fast-paced history of the VRA offers a dramatic, timely account of the struggle that finally won African Americans the ballot—although, as May shows, the fight for voting rights is by no means over.
When the Fifteenth Amendment of 1870 granted African Americans the right to vote, it seemed as if a new era of political equality was at hand. Before long, however, white segregationists across the South counterattacked, driving their black countrymen from the polls through a combination of sheer terror and insidious devices such as complex literacy tests and expensive poll taxes. Most African Americans would remain voiceless for nearly a century more, citizens in name only until the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act secured their access to the ballot.
The author describes how black voters overcame centuries of bigotry to secure and preserve one of their most important rights as American citizens. The struggle that culminated in the passage of the Voting Rights Act was long and torturous, and only succeeded because of the courageous work of local freedom fighters and national civil rights leaders—as well as, ironically, the opposition of Southern segregationists and law enforcement officials, who won public sympathy for the voting rights movement by brutally attacking peaceful demonstrators.
Many argue that the 2008 election of President Barack Obama rendered the act obsolete, and there have been renewed efforts to curb voting rights and deny minorities the act’s hard-won protections. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Shelby County v. Holder declared the protections in Section 4 of the VRA unconstitutional. Recent actions by the Department of Justice make clear that Section 2 and other sections of the VRA remain in play as methods to promote the goal of increasing voting rights. See the Jurist article for more on this issue.
An interesting new case law research tool that Brooklyn Law Students can use to gain a better understanding of case law research is Casetext. It isa free, searchable legal database that readers can annotate. The beta version just opened to the public, and the site is building a community of annotators so that lawyers reading a case see related legal documents, articles, and commentary alongside the text.
The database currently contains the bulk of federal cases (all Supreme Court, circuit courts from 1 Federal Reporter 2d, and district courts from 1980); it also has Delaware cases in the Atlantic Reporter from 30 Atlantic Reporter. Co-founders Jacob Heller (former president of the Stanford Law Review) and Joanna Huey (former president of the Harvard Law Review) decided to build Casetext for their own research.
This site is building a community of annotators so that lawyers reading a case can see related legal documents, articles, and commentary alongside the text. Instead of selling access to documents, the site will support itself by offering additional tools that enhance search and save time. It will benefit from user feedback as well as their annotations.
See the instructional video below for more on how to use the database:
The library recently acquired a new legal research database: Legal Source. This database may be accessed from the library homepage in the alphabetical list of databases or here.
Legal Source is a single resource for the extensive content previously found in the Index to Legal Periodicals and Books from the H. W. Wilson Company as well content from EBSCO Information Services, a provider of research databases and e-journals.
Legal Source includes over 1,200 full-text journals and over 2.5 million records. Included is the Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective covering 1908-1981 and the Index to Legal Periodicals and Books with full-text available for over 400 periodicals as far back at 1994.