"Nota Bene" means "note this well" or "take particular notice." We at the O'Quinn Law Library will be posting tips on legal research techniques and resources, developments in the world of legal information, happenings at the Law Library, and legal news reports that deserve your particular attention. We look forward to sharing our thoughts and findings and to hearing from you.

N.B: Make a note to visit "Nota Bene" regularly.

-Spencer L. Simons, former Director, O'Quinn Law Library and Associate Professor of Law



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Spring 2017-Brown Bag Presentation Series

Each semester the law library presents a series of presentations covering legal research topics. These presentations are held at 12 noon on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will take place in Room 4 BLB. We will be offering the following sessions for the Spring 2017 semester:

1. International and Foreign Law Research
Tuesday, 1/31, Wednesday, 2/1
Dan Donahue, International and Foreign Law Librarian

2. Researching Texas Agency Regulations
Tuesday, 2/7, Wednesday, 2/8
Emily Lawson, Reference and Research Librarian

3. Texas Legislative History Research
Tuesday/ 2/14, Wednesday, 2/15
Robert Clark, Reference and Research Librarian

4. Researching Oil & Gas Law
Tuesday, 2/21, Wednesday, 2/22
Chris Dykes, Reference and Research Librarian

5. Resources for Legal Practice
Tuesday, 2/28, Wednesday, 3/1
Katy Badeaux, Reference and Research Librarian

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Historic Federal Register Issues to be Digitized


The United States Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) are partnering to digitize and publish historic issues of the Federal Register.

Legal researchers interested in historic issues of the Federal Register may currently access scanned images from the Library of Congress website, but this new project will make those issues searchable using the GPO's online system.

As of the date of the date of this post, the GPO and OFR have already made issues of the Federal Register published from 1990 to 1994 available online through this new project.  The project plans to digitize all historic issues going back to the first issue of the Federal Register published in 1936.

Friday, January 6, 2017

White House Social Media Archives Announced


Yesterday the White House announced a series of archival projects related to “the first Social Media presidency.” These include a searchable archive of over 250,000 social media posts from the Obama White House, a comprehensive collection of Obama GIFs, an interactive tool that analyzes White House tweets, and complete archives of the White House’s Twitter, Facebook, and Vine accounts. The Internet Archive will also be making White House social media data available on its website. You can read more about these projects here

In related news, the Internet Archive recently launched its Trump Archive, an ongoing project that already includes over 520 hours of video related to President-elect Donald Trump.    

Monday, December 12, 2016

Digital Access to the Congressional Record Expanded

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Library of Congress released for the first time public access to electronic versions of digitized historical content. The GPO has partnered with the Library of Congress to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1981-1990 on GPO's GovInfo website (https://www.govinfo.gov/). This release covers debates and proceedings of the 98th thru the 101st Congresses, exactly as it appears in the permanent bound editions. Prior to this release, there were no official digital releases of the Congressional Record during the 1980s that the public could access freely online. The GPO and the Library of Congress  released the digital version of the historical Congressional Record for the 1990s in September and will continue to collaborate on this important project and release digital versions of the bound Congressional Record back to the first one published by GPO on March 5, 1873.

The GPO’s GovInfo website will eventually replace the Federal Digital System (FDsys) public website. As of this writing the GovInfo site and its content are in beta-testing, but anything you are used to finding through FDsys can now be accessed through GovInfo. GovInfo, with a cleaner design, increased search and browse options, and mobile-friendly interface will eventually replace FDsys.

Law Center users who would like to access digital versions of the complete Congressional Record are currently able to do so through HeinOnlin's U.S. Congressional Documents library. It is heartening, though, to see that all citizens now  have increased access to the reports of Congress throughout our nation’s history.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Edition of The Plum Book Released


Every four years after the presidential election, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs or the House Committee on Government Reform releases the new edition of The Plum Book.  According to the govinfo website, this publication includes information regarding “over 7,000 Federal civil service leadership and support positions in the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment, nationwide.”  The Plum Book was first published in 1952 as a way to identify presidentially appointed positions.

The 2016 Plum Book is now available on the govinfo website as a PDF file, but it is also available as a mobile website, which will allow users to filter the positions in a number of ways such as by agency, location, and appointment type. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Federal Jurisdiction, 7th Edition

Wolters Kluwer has just published the 7th edition of Federal Jurisdiction by Erwin Chemerinsky, which is now available on the law library's new titles shelf (located next to the public computer terminals across from the reference desk, under the call number KF8858.C48). This source, a part of the Aspen Student Treatise Series, covers topics related to constitutional and statutory limits on federal court jurisdiction, federal court relief against governments and government officers, and federal court review of state judgments and proceedings. There is a table of cases, subject index, and the appendices contain the full text of the U.S. Constitution along with relevant statutes. This treatise is is an excellent source to supplement exam preparation.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

U.S. International Tax Guide

Bloomberg BNA has just published the 2016 edition of the U.S. International Tax Guide (KF1276.A2H47), which is now available in the law library. This handbook is an excellent source for U.S. tax attorneys involved in international tax. It provides an overview of topics related to general principles of international taxation, taxation of foreign persons' U.S. activities and U.S. persons' foreign activities. Matters pertaining to U.S. income tax treaties, and withholding and compliance are also discussed. There are numerous examples available throughout this book that will illustrate international tax concepts. There are also annotations to relevant primary sources of tax law including the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Regulations, tax cases, administrative pronouncements, and the Internal Revenue Manual. This source is also available electronically on BloombergLaw.com.