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Showing posts from July, 2012

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) website

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) website is a great source for news and information relating to the national banking system.For instance, on July 26, 2012, the OCC announced that it was taking action against Capital One Bank due to that bank’s failure to provide relief to servicemembers from certain credit obligations when military service interferes with civil liabilities, such as a mortgage.The OCC is an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.The OCC is charged with chartering, regulating, and supervising all national banks and federal savings associations.The Comptroller of the Currency is also a director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which insures each depositor up to $250,000 per insured bank.  In regulating national banks, the OCC has many powers:The OCC can examine all national banks.  The “Examinations” section of the OCC website provides information about the “Bank Supervision Process.”The OCC can approve or deny ap…

Sources for Roman Law

Recently, a previous blog post on Nota Bene dated November 17, 2011 and entitled “This Week in Legal History – Justinian the Great” has received some discussion among members of the University of Houston Law Center community.This insightful post introduces theCorpus Iuris Civilis and provides direction for further reading concerning Justinian and his law code.
The term “Roman law” refers to the legal system which developed in ancient Rome between the adoption of the Twelve Tables by the Roman Senate in 449 B.C. and the promulgation of the Corpus Iuris Civilis by Justinian in A.D. 529.The development of Roman law comprises almost a thousand years of jurisprudence--from the Twelve Tables to the Corpus Iuris Civilis.Roman law served as a basis for legal practice in some parts of continental Europe until A.D. 1453.
For studies on Roman law in general held by the O’Quinn Law Library, please see: Bever, Thomas. A Discourse on the Study of Jurisprudence and the Civil Law: Being an Introduction …

America Votes! A Guide to Modern Election Law and Voting Rights, 2d ed.

ABA's Section of State and Local Government Law, has recently published the second edition of America Votes!. This book, edited by Benjamin E. Griffith, is comprised of seventeen chapters, each written by a legal expert. The first section covers issues pertaining to redistricting, beginning with a discussion of different methods of defining "population," such as the U.S. Census, American Community Survey, and the Redistricting Data Program (RDP), as well as the constitutional implications with respect to defining "populations." Other matters discussed as a part of redistricting include the impact that non-citizens have on redistricting, recent court challenges to redrawing congressional districts, advice to attorneys, alternatives to redistricting, and citizen involvement. The second section looks at the Voting Rights Act, focusing specifically on protections for language minority voters, the new 2011 guidelines for Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, whic…

FDA to Issue Guidelines for Medical Mobile Apps

According to an article available on the Health Care Finance News website, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could release guidelines for regulating mobile medical apps before the end of this year. The FDA, announced  on July 19, 2011, that the agency was seeking input on such oversight as more of these apps become available for Apple, Android, and other devices. A major hurdle was cleared when Congress enacted the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, giving the FDA the power to implement these regulations. The article also reports that the Department of Health and Human Services is in the process of developing a report regarding "appropriate" regulatory framework for "health information technology," which includes regulating medical mobile apps. The draft guidelines are available on the FDA's website.

Wikipedia in State Courts - Part 3

In the last few months, I have posted about citations to Wikipedia in decisions from the federal courts of appeals and in decisions from federal district courts. Now, to complete the trilogy, I'd like to briefly report some statistics regarding Wikipedia citations in state court decisions.As of this writing, based upon an examination of search results performed using both lexis.com and Westlaw, there have so far been 214 decisions from the various state courts that cite to Wikipedia. (Decisions that merely mention Wikipedia, usually in the context of addressing a litigant's use of the website, were excluded.) Of those, 175 have been since 2007, the cut-off used in the past postings, which stems from a report that was posted to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.Before I go any further, I'd like to point out the limitations of this analysis. Although practically every federal decision since Wikipedia's release in 2002 is available through lexis.com and/or Westlaw, the sam…

Some Good News for Lexis Advance

Casual readers of this blog may assume that my attacks on Lexis Advance are based on some type of animosity I have against LexisNexis or because I am a West stooge, but regular readers of this blog will know that I am routinely critical of Lexis Advance because of my affinity for lexis.com. If Lexis Advance is going to replace lexis.com, then I am going to do everything in my power to ensure that Lexis Advance is as capable of performing the types of research tasks that lexis.com makes possible. Unlike Barney Stinson, I don't believe that "new is always better", and I intend to fight against inefficient and expensive "change for the sake of change".So why haven't I attacked WestlawNext as vehemently? Well, there's two reasons for my relative silence regarding that product. First of all, my interest in and experience with lexis.com greatly exceeds my interest in and experience with Westlaw. I am not a fan of Westlaw and only use it when I absolutely have…

Finding Facts with the U.S. Census Bureau

The first United States Census was undertaken in 1790, in order to carry out Article I, Section II of the Constitution. That section calls for an enumeration of persons for the purposes of correctly apportioning both taxes and representatives. In 1850, the census began to include the names of all free persons in a household, and their occupations in 1860. By 1890, the amount of data gathered in the decennial census took another ten years to tabulate, leading to census bureau Herman Hollerith's invention of the Hollerith tabulation system of punch cards. This system would lead to the formation of the Tabulating Machine Company, that would later become IBM. Technology used by the Census Bureau has improved over each decade, and now you can find specific, up to date data about a state or the nation with only a few clicks.

One resource of note is the Bureau's Facts for Features, which tabulates data of interest for Americans. For example, a recent fact sheet was released to coinci…

ALI & ABA End CLE Partnership After 65 Years

Beginning in 1947, the American Bar Association and the American Law Institute partnered as ALI-ABA Continuing Professional Education to provide continuing legal education to American attorneys. The American Law Institute Council and the American Bar Association Board of Governors both voted to dissolve the longstanding partnership this spring. Both groups will continue to provide CLE programming, but as individual entities. The ALI-ABA.org website now announces its new name as ALI CLE, and ABA CLE programs can be found at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/cle.html.

The two entities making up this long-standing purveyor of continuing legal education are both much older than their recently-ended partnership. The American Bar Association was founded on August 21, 1878, by 100 lawyers from 21 states. The American Law Institute was established in 1922, after a study found that uncertainty and complexity were the two major problems of existing American law. The ALI was incorporated in 1923…