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Showing posts from June, 2014

Congress.gov Enhancements

This month, Congress.gov has added the following new features and enhancements:
Accounts-Users can sign up for accounts using an e-mail address and a user-created password. Nominations-Users can now access information regarding presidential appointments that require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Nominations can be browsed by Congress, type of nomination, committee, and status. They can also be accessed by a specific Presidential nomination number. Each nomination has a list of relevant events (including the latest action) and the particular committee considering the nomination. Saved Searches-users can now save searches from the search results page and have the option of accessing them later and making changes to the results.Congressional Record Speaker Feature-Each congressional member profile page has a link that will provide a list of articles from the Congressional Record.New "About" pages-provides information for legislation, committees, committee reports, members, an…

Alzheimer's and the Law

The ABA has published, Alzheimer's and the Law: Counseling Clients with Dementia and their Families by Kerry Peck and Rick L. Law (with Brandon Peck and Diana Law). According to the book, 4-5 million Americans have dementia, with Alzheimer's being the most common form. The authors expand on common legal issues faced by attorneys who represent clients with Alzheimer's including ethical issues, health care options and their impact on the patient and family, long term outlook for the patient, and safeguarding the family assets. Chapter one provides a background on Alzheimer's disease, and Chapter two covers the life, death, and care instructions and features a convenient chart that summarizes information for each state. Alzheimer's and the Law also discusses creating specialized trusts, government benefits available, guardianships and conservitorships, avoiding scams, and establishing agreements for personal care and contracts for long term care in a nursing home faci…

International Lawyers in Texas

The state of Texas may soon make it easier for international lawyers to serve as counsel of record in Texas courts.

This action is the proposed result of a plan commissioned by the Supreme Court of Texas, which established a task force to study international legal practice in Texas and to suggest rules to modernize and expand that practice.Under the proposed rules, attorneys with foreign law licenses may become eligible to sit for the Texas bar by acquiring an ABA-approved LLM degree; they should also have an easier time appearing pro hac vice with Texas co-counsel or practicing foreign law while in Texas.

The task force’s final report and an executive summary are both available from the Supreme Court of Texas website.

Today in Trademark Law

The United States Patent Office cancelled the Washington Redskins’ name trademark registrations today on the grounds that the team’s name is disparaging to Native Americans.

For those interested in examining the legal aspects of this case, the decision to cancel these six trademarks is Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc., Cancellation Number 92046185.The trademark was found to be in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a).

For those interested in researching trademark law generally, the following resources may be useful: The United States Patent Office offers a Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) as well as a database for Trademark Status and Document Retrieval for those researching U.S. patents. Google also offers a search tool for U.S. patents. The World Intellectual Property Organization provides a database of international Patent Cooperation Treaty applications. HG.org maintains anintroduction and guide to researching trademark law, along with links to relevant organizations and oth…

International Privacy Law Library Announces Expansion

The World Legal Information Institute (WLII) is currently expanding its International Privacy Law Library after receiving a grant of funds from the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner, according to a recent press release. The Library is the world’s largest freely accessible, searchable collection of materials related to data protection and privacy law, and contains over 8,500 items from the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, and elsewhere. The types of materials available include case law, legislation, international agreements, and secondary sources. For a detailed description of the Library’s search capabilities, see its user guide.

WLII is a member of a collective of legal information projects known as the Free Access to Law Movement (FALM), which aims to make legal information freely available online. This movement began in 1992 with the creation of Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, a resource that will be familiar to most lawyers and …

New Batch of Clinton Papers Released

Last Friday, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library released its fifth batch of documents previously restricted under the Presidential Records Act. The Act, signed into law by President Carter in 1978, establishes public ownership of all official records of the President. These records may be obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests beginning five years after the end of the President’s administration. However, the President may bar access to certain records for up to 12 years by invoking any of six restricted categories. The records now being released by the Clinton Library have been withheld under categories P2 (dealing with appointments to federal office) and P5 (dealing with confidential advice between the President and his advisers or between the advisers themselves).
This new batch of documents will be of particular interest to followers of the U.S. Supreme Court. It contains a series of memos advising President Clinton on his first nomination to the Cour…

Coming Soon: New Multimedia Archive for the Supreme Court of Texas and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Oyez.org, a project of  IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, has teamed up with the Texas Tribune to launch an online archive of cases from the Supreme Court of Texas and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Coming in late summer, the resource will provide case summaries produced by the Texas Tribune along with opinions, transcript-synchronized videos of oral arguments, and information about decisions and biographies of justices. The project is being financed with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

First developed in 1997, Oyez is a multimedia resource that provides free, open access to the materials of the Supeme Court of the United States including opinions, oral arguments, explanations of decisions in a format accessible to non-legal audiences. Oyez will not only be expanding to cover Texas courts, but is developing similar sites for California, New York, Illinois, and Florida.  Eventually, Oyez hopes to offer the same in-depth coverage for all state supreme court…

Texas Bar Exam Resources

The Texas Bar exam will take place on the 29th-31st of July, here is a list of some of the  resources available at the library to help you prepare for success.  Also remember that the Board of Law Examiners website has all the past exams (excluding the MBE) from February 2000 through February 2014 available to download. In addition, sample answers from questions from 2009-2014 are also available through the BLE website.
Sara J. Berman, Pass the Bar Exam : A Practical Guide to Achieving Academic & Professional Goals (KF 303.B45 2013).Neil C. Blond, Multistate Bar Exam, 5th ed. (KF 388.B57 2010).Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus, The Bar Exam in a Nutshell (KF 303.D37 2009).Steven I. Friedland, The Essential Rules for Bar Exam Success (KF 303.F75 2008). Best of luck to all of our graduates!