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Showing posts from March, 2012

Lexis Advance "Certification"?

Over spring break, I received an email from my school's Account Executive, as did all of my colleagues and, presumably, all of the students. This email discussed how a person could easily become "certified" on Lexis Advance over spring break, because, clearly, law school students don't have anything better to do at this time of the year. [By the way, this post should not be considered a criticism of the Account Executives; I recognize that they are just doing their jobs, which, unfortunately, includes sending out these emails. They are not responsible for the content of the email nor the linked videos.]

According to the email, the process for "certification" is easy and the rewards potentially great. To become "certified", all one has to do is watch six short videos on the LexisNexis Law Schools channel on Youtube, completing short quizzes after each one, and then ask one's Account Executive for "the link to the Lexis Advance national onli…

OpenCourt Project

OpenCourt is a pilot project that broadcasts the proceedings of the Quincy District Court in Massachusetts via the internet. The project is run by WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, in cooperation with the Quincy District Court and the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Video can be streamed live or accessed through the daily archive. The goals of the project are to increase public awareness of how the courts function and to serve as an example to courts around the country who may want to adopt this technology. The Quincy District Court, one of the busiest courtrooms in the state, handles both criminal and civil cases.

More information about OpenCourt can be found on the project’s FAQ page. To view the proceedings, go to the OpenCourt Live page or view the Livestream Schedule.


For those of you researching in the area of health law, it is often necessary to search in medical literature for information related to your topic. One great source to consult for this is PubMed. PubMed is a free resource from the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the National Library of Medicine that contains over 21 million citations to journal articles and books related to medicine, health care, and similar topics. In some instances, PubMed may also provide a link to the full-text of an article. Citations in PubMed generally span from 1946 to the present.

Each article in the database is assigned Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) such as “health care reform” or “genetic testing” depending on the topics covered in the article. These MeSH terms can be used to search for highly relevant articles on your specific topic. For more information about how to conduct searches in PubMed, including subject searches using the MeSH terms, see the PubMed Online Training website…

There's a GAO App for That

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), formerly known as the General Accounting Office, is the independent, nonpartisan congressional agency that under the authority of the Comptroller General is charged with auditing agencies to ensure public funds are spent properly and investigating illegal or improper activity by the agencies. According to a recent press release, the agency has now released an app for the iPhone and iPad that will provide access to the GAO reports and congressional testimony along with videos and podcasts. A similar Android app is expected to be launched in a few months.

Tax Amnesties

The law library has recently acquired Tax Amnesties published by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business deals with an emerging topic in the international taxation field. Tax amnesty is granted by countries to lift the tax liability on individuals in exchange for the disclosure of the offender's hidden assets whether it be in the form of real property, bank accounts, or investments in foreign corporations, and pay the tax owed. The conditions and benefits vary ranging from allowing the taxpayer to avoid criminal prosecution to lifting penalties or lowering the tax liability.

Tax Amnestieslooks at this issue from an international standpoint investigating what tax amnesty entails. First, it begins with the collapse of secrecy by the banks that historically allowed taxpayers to hide assets from their home countries and then provides a thorough survey of approaches taken by select nations throughout the globe. The legal impact of tax amnesties and their compatibility with international agree…