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Showing posts from October, 2013

The more things change...

Texas Probate Code Becomes Texas Estates Code
Beginning January 1, 2014, the Texas Estates Code is scheduled to replace the Texas Probate Code as part of the ongoing revision and codification of Texas statutes. Although the revision is non-substantive, codification will reorganize the statutes into titles, chapters, and sections, similar to other Texas codes. Anyone whose practice touches on wills, probate, guardianship, or power of attorney documents will have to spend some time acquainting themselves with the new organizational structure.
To assist with the transition, the Texas Legislative Council has included helpful documents in its Revisor’s Reports. At the beginning of each report, the foreword defines the scope of the revision and gives an overview of the new organization scheme. On a more practice level, each report contains a Disposition Table that shows the new section designation for each section of the Probate Code.
Legal publishers are also producing helpful tools. For exam…

Constitute Project

Ever wonder which countries have constitutional provisions protecting freedom of expression?  Or if the United States is unique in providing a constitutional right to bear arms?  A new resource from the Comparative Constitutions Project can help you answer these questions and more!  Their recently launched Constitute Project contains information about over 175 constitutions from around the world.  You can choose to read a particular country’s constitution, search the full-text of the documents, or browse constitutional provisions by topic.  If you browse by topic, you can select from over 300 different options and see a list of countries with provisions on that subject, along with the text from the constitutions.  Broad topic areas include Amendment, Culture and Identity, Elections, Executive, Federalism, International Law, Judiciary, Legislature, Principles and Symbols, Regulation and Oversight, and Rights and Duties. 

If you are interested in comparative constitutional law research, …

The Bluebook Needs You!

The editors of The Bluebook are starting to think about revisions for the upcoming 20th edition and they are looking for suggestions from you!  They are currently soliciting feedback through a survey that will remain open until November 8, 2013.  As a bonus, completing the survey will enter you for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite e-reader or a free copy of the 20th edition of The Bluebook with a two year subscription to the online version.

If you would like more information about the the survey, visit The Bluebook website.  Or go directly to the survey here.

Law Box 2013 App

Law Box 2013, discussed in iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers (ABA), by Tom Mighell, provides access to the full text of different sources of law.  Some of the collections are free including the U.S. Constitution, Title 28 of the United States Code: Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and different Federal Rules of Court (Appellate Procedure, Bankruptcy Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence). The Texas Statutes and Codes and the United States Code are available as added content for a fee. Other collections available include the codes for Arizona, California, Delaware, New York, Illinois, and Florida.  Law Box 2013 is available for the iPad, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices and can be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store.


Federal Legal Resources and the Government Shutdown

Legal researchers accustomed to accessing resources on federal government websites may find themselves temporarily inconvenienced, as some government websites have been closed during the current government shutdown.The following is a brief summary of what legal researchers can expect from a few of the more popular government websites during the shutdown:
The Library of Congress website has been closed, with the exceptions of the THOMAS and beta.congress.gov pages.FDsys will continue to update congressional materials, but Federal Register services will be restricted and no other collections will be updated.Older materials and search functions remain available.The National Archives will continue to update the Federal Register.The USA.gov website will remain available.The Department of Justice website will not be regularly updated, but existing reports and legislative histories remain available.The PACER website remains available.The Census website and the sites it hosts, such as Ameri…