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Showing posts from February, 2013

Arbitration Rules, Yes There’s An App for That Too!

The American Arbitration Association has created an app with helpful information about arbitration and mediation. The app provides users with access to AAA arbitration and mediation rules for a number of practice areas including Commercial, Construction, Real Estate and Environmental, Government and Consumer, International, and Labor and Employment. It also has information about the due process protocols for a variety of topics.

This app is free and available for iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad as well as for Android devices. To download the app, visit the iTunes Store or GooglePlay.

Copyright in Sherlock Holmes? It's a Mystery!

Here's a treat for those who love Sherlock Holmes (and who doesn't?): Back on Valentine's Day, an expert on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous character filed suit in Illinois federal court seeking a declaratory judgment that all copyrights in the character, his sidekick Mr. Watson, and any other characters or character traits that appeared in any of the works published in the United States before January 1, 1923 have expired and enjoining the Doyle estate from intefering with the upcoming publication of a book of new and original stories based on those characters.According to an article from the Hollywood Reporter about the lawsuit, Doyle's heirs, under the aegis of a company called Conan Doyle Estate Ltd, are objecting to the new book and insisting that a license agreement be procured under threat of an infringement claim. Apparently, although the copyright to all of Doyle's works expired in the UK in 1980 (see ¶ 18 of the complaint), the estate contends that co…

Mississippi Ratifies 13th Amendment! Who Cares?

In the last couple of days, a common fluff piece making the news rounds, just in time for Presidents Day, deals with the fact that the state of Mississippi finally ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Or, to be accurate, they ratified it back in 1995, but since the appropriate documentation was never submitted to the proper federal authorities, that ratification was not "official".While some may find it interesting that the movie "Lincoln" inspired a person, a recent immigrant from India no less, to research the 13th Amendment's ratification history only to discover that Mississippi had not yet officially ratified it, that state's ratification itself is, outside of its public relations value, absolutely meaningless.Per Article V of the US Constitution, a proposed amendment to the Constitution becomes a part of that esteemed document when it has been ratified by three-fourths of the states. In other words, once the…

History of Modern Same-Sex Marriage Litigation

On March 26 and March 27, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases involving same-sex marriage. The first, Hollingsworth v. Perry, addresses California’s Proposition 8, and will ask the question of whether or not the 14th Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The second, U.S. v. Windsor, will address whether or not the federal Defense of Marriage Act violates the equal protection guarantees in the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause, as applied to same-sex couples legally married in the laws of their own state. The resulting opinions of the Court in both cases will likely have long lasting effects on Constitutional law in the United States as well as the rights of same-sex couples throughout the nation. A new book in the law library's collection, From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the struggle for Same-Sex Marriage, by Michael J. Klarman (KF 539 .K58 2013) provides…

Mastering Partnership Taxation

Partnership taxation is perhaps the most challenging area of tax law to learn but the law library has some materials that will help those trying to become proficient in the concepts of this difficult subject.  Mastering Partnership Taxation (KF6452.L39 2012), recently published by Carolina Academic Press and authored by Professor Stuart Lazar, provides a thorough overview and is ideal for graduate tax students.  This source begins with an overview of the Internal Revenue Code's Subchapter K (26 U.S.C. §§ 701-771)  that has the provisions that deal with partnership taxation, then the author follows the life of the partnership from formation until liquidation, covering the tax issues involved. Chapter 9 contains a practical master checklist that summarizes the main points from all the chapters and there are tables of relevant authorities and an index. This book is now available on the new titles shelf in the library across from the circulation desk.

There  are a number of other sour…