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Showing posts from March, 2015

The Strange Legal History of the Alamo & The Daughters of the Republic of Texas

In our last entry, we discussed the current legal battle between the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the State of Texas over the materials archived in the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library. As mentioned in the previous post, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas served as the custodial stewards of the Alamo complex from 1905 to 2011. The uneasy relationship between the State of Texas and the DRT began long ago, at the dawn of the 20th century.

The San Antonio de Valero mission was founded in 1718 and the construction of its famous chapel (what most people think of as “The Alamo”) was completed in 1744. After its abandonment in 1794, Spanish soldiers occupied the mission during Mexico’s war for independence. The mission was occupied by Mexican soldiers in 1803 until December 1835, when the company surrendered to Texan forces. The siege of the Alamo began on February 23, 1836 and continued until all Texan combatants had been lost, on March 6, 1836. For the next forty ye…

Who Owns the Library? The New Battle of the Alamo

This week the Daughters of the Republic of Texas  (DRT) filed a lawsuit against the General Land Office of Texas. The petition, filed in the 407th Bexar County District Court, alleges that the General Land Office and the State of Texas have illegally claimed ownership of the DRT’s library collection as an unconstitutional  taking of private property. 
The dispute arose after the Texas Legislature, in 2011, turned over responsibility for the “preservation, maintenance, and restoration of the Alamo complex,” (Act of May 30, 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., ch. 1046, § 2, 2011 Tex. Gen. Laws 2676) from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas to the state’s General Land Office (GLO). In June 2010, the Office of the Attorney General began an investigation of the DRT’s management of the Alamo. Once the investigation began, public scrutiny and highly publicized structural problems at the Alamo prompted the Texas legislature to act and end the DRT’s stewardship of the Alamo before the investigation was c…

Mobile Security Apps

Legal professionals handle a great deal of confidential information.As more and more people have transitioned to using mobile devices for work-related tasks, the issue of mobile security has become more important as well.There are several ways you can help protect sensitive data on mobile devices.One way to help secure your device is to install an antivirus app.For instance, try the AvastMobile, McAfee, or Norton security apps. In addition to scanning for and removing viruses, mobile security apps like these may also allow you locate your device if it is lost as well as remotely lock it or wipe its memory.

There are some other ways to protect information on your mobile devices.If you store confidential files on your device, you might try an encryption app such as the SSE Universal Encryption App, which will allow you to select specific files you want to encrypt so that they cannot be read by others.If you work in public places on public Wi-Fi, you may want to take a look at an app lik…

New Judicial Business Report

Good news for number crunchers: the Administrative Office of the United States Courts recently released its annual report on the business of the federal judiciary. The report presents data and statistics for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, with separate sections for district courts, bankruptcy courts, courts of appeals, and so on. Here are some of the highlights:
Defendant filings for drug crimes declined 14 percent from the previous year, while those for firearms and explosives crimes declined 10 percent.The number of defendants prosecuted for immigration crimes fell by 8 percent.Five southwestern border districts accounted for 77 percent of immigration defendant filings.Bankruptcy filings fell by 13 percent.  You can read the full report here. You can also compare this year’s numbers to those of previous reports, which can be found in the Judicial Business Archive.

Senate Finance Committee to Hold Hearings on "Tax Schemes and Scams"

The Senate Committee on Finance has announced that it will hold hearings on Thursday, March 12 at 10:00 .am. EST on tax scams. The hearings official titled, "Protecting Taxpayers from Schemes and Scams During the 2015 Tax Filing Season" will explore how to protect taxpayers from scams ranging from refund scams to identity theft. The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

Caroline D Ciraolo, Acting Asst. Attorney General, Tax Division, U.S. Dept. of JusticeTimothy P. Camus, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, U.S. Department of the TreasuryMike Alley, Commissioner, Indiana Dept. of RevenueJohn L. Valentine, Commissioner Chair, Utah State Tax Commission
The IRS focused on different "Dirty Dozen" tax scams in information releases (I.R.) issued each business day from January 22-February 6, this year to help taxpayers avoid falling victim to these scams.

Immigration Law Sources

Immigration law is a very important field and whether you have an interest or plan to practice in this area, the law library has access to several sources in its print and online collections such as the following titles:

See Title 8 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) (KF62.A2) (available on GPO's FDsys); United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.) (KF62.U5) (available on Westlaw Next); United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.) (KF62.U6) (available on Lexis Advance)Regulations:
See Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) (KF70.A3) (available on GPO's FDsys)Case Law:
Federal Practice Digest 5th (KF127.M63 5th) (this source is an index to court cases and will provide listing and summary of cases) (this same is used on Westlaw Next and can be accessed by clicking "Key Numbers" from the main search page.
Secondary Sources:
The Immigration Law Sourcebook (ABA)(KF4819.85I46 2015)Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook, 14th ed.(Reserves, KF4819.3K87) Understanding …