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Showing posts from November, 2013

Giving Thanks for Government Documents

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the ideal holiday to celebrate by sharing historical legal information with family and loved ones: out of all holidays, on Thanksgiving there is the best chance that said family and loved ones will be too full to run away from the table quickly when the topic of historical legal research comes up.Even better, if one’s captive audience falls asleep one can blame it on the turkey.The following resources may be useful for either legal research or topical dinner conversation: Most of the popular characterization of the “First Thanksgiving” in 1621 is due to records written by two colonial governors: Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford and Mourt’s Relation by Edward Winslow.These documents were lost and only rediscovered in the 19th Century, when they became the basis for associating Thanksgiving Day with the feast shared by the Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoag Indians. During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress declared Thursday, December 18, …

Texas Voters Approve Proposition 9

Voters statewide on November 5 approved Proposition 9 that amends the Texas State Constitution to provide the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with more options on sanctions against judges for ethical rule violations (see Tex Parte blog for more details). Prior to the amendment, the commission could only issue public censure or removal of judge after a formal proceeding, but now in addition to these sanctions, less severe punishments are available. These include public admonition, warning, reprimand or requiring the judge to undergo additional training or eduction. Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 42, which allowed the voters to decide on expanding these sanctions was passed by the Texas State Legislature earlier this year and is available on the Texas Legislature Online's website. This website has the history of the bill's progress through the legislature, the full text of the different versions of the bill, bill analysis, and committee reports.

Bloomberg BNA Corporate Law Portfolios

The Tax Management Portfolios (which the law library has access to through the Bloomberg BNA Tax and Accounting Center database, and most of which are available in our print collection) need no introduction to those whose area of interest is tax law. However, Bloomberg BNA also publishes a set of corporate practice series portfolios, available through the Bloomberg BNA Corporate Law Resource Center. These are mini-treatises, each focusing a corporate law related topic such as corporate governance, compliance/regulations, mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance, corporate legal departments, financial reporting, and forms of business.

The Corporate Law Resource Center can be accessed by logging on to the law library's VPN, clicking "Bloomberg BNA Databases A-Z" from the drop-down menu under legal databases on the law library's website, and then by clicking "Corporate Law Resource Center" from the list. The portfolios then can be accessed by utilizing th…

Spying and International Law

With increasing numbers of foreign governments officially objecting to now-widely publicized U.S. espionage activities, the topic of the legality of these activities has been raised both by the target governments and by the many news organizations reporting on the issue.For those interested in better understanding this controversy by learning more about international laws concerning espionage, here are some legal resources that may be useful.

The following is a list of multinational treaties relevant to spies and espionage:
Brussels Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War (1874).Although never ratified by the nations that drafted it, this declaration is one of the earliest modern examples of an international attempt to codify the laws of war.Articles 19-22 address the identification and treatment of spies during wartime.These articles served mainly to distinguish active spies from soldiers and former spies, and provided no protections for spies captured in the act.The Hagu…