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Showing posts from November, 2015

Who Represents Them? Researching the Law Firms Major Companies Engage in Litigation

One of the hottest topics in legal information today is the use of data analytics, or harnessing large amounts of data to create assessments and make predictions. Legal research vendors are now offering their own, specialized tools that subscribers can use to take advantage of the copious amounts of data already present within the system’s databases.
One of these vendors, Bloomberg Law, has introduced a feature they call  Law Firm Representation Analytics. This tool uses Bloomberg Law’s popular and expansive database of court dockets to show users the top law firms representing a particular company in federal litigation. 
To use the tool, simply search for the company’s name using the “Go” bar at the upper-right hand side of any Bloomberg Law page.  Once the company’s name appears on the list of Suggested Companies, select it. The federal litigation analytics will display on the company’s page, along with other information about the company and its performance if it is a publicly-tra…

The Greenbook: Texas Rules of Form, 13th Edition

The thirteenth edition of The Greenbook was published this fall and it has a few changes of note that Texas lawyers and law students may find useful. The Greenbook’s editors remind us in the introduction to the new edition that it is neither a complete citation guide nor style guide, but rather a “lens through which Texas legal materials may be cited and understood.”  Or, perhaps, a Texas-sized supplement to the Bluebook , tailored to the Texas practitioner. Some of the more notable changes and additions include:
Citation to Opinions on Court Websites:  Rules 2-4 have been supplemented to provide more guidance for citing Texas court opinions appearing on court websites. Acknowledging that recent cases are most reliably accessed through court websites, the rules provide suggestion for pin cites to unpaginated versions of opinions available online.
Pet. Pending: You may be surprised to learn that a fourteenth citation form has been added for describing the status of a petition for review…

The History of International Law Timeline

Oxford University Press recently launched a free, interactive History of International Law timeline.It provides information about over 100 major events in the development of public international law including “the signing of major treaties, the foundation of fundamental institutions, the birth of major figures in international law and milestones in the development of some of the field’s best-known doctrines.”The timeline covers over 500 years, starting with the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 and ending with the Arms Trade Treaty in 2014.
For each event, the timeline allows users to find out more about the topic by providing free access to portions of Oxford University Press resources such as Oxford Historical Treaties and the Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Public International Law as well as blog posts and journal articles.For more information and to explore this resource, see The History of International Law website.

New Report on Federal Agencies' Responsiveness to FOIA Requests

We at Nota Bene have written before about TRAC, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. TRAC is a research organization at Syracuse University that uses Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to gather data for its reports on various government activities, including staffing, spending, and law enforcement. These reports are then published on the TRAC website.

Recently, TRAC published the results of its latest FOIA survey, which assesses the responsiveness of 21 federal agencies to FOIA requests. These requests were designed to ask only about information the agencies are legally required to maintain, and to avoid asking about sensitive information that might have to be redacted. The report indicates that two-thirds of the agencies “are now responding and providing usable data,” and this “represents an improvement over just seven agencies that gave adequate responses in April.” Six agencies have failed to provide an adequate response, and one—the Central Intelligence Age…

Treasury Department Launches New Spending Data Website

The United States Treasury Department recently launched an open beta version of its new website for tracking government spending. The Department is asking users to provide feedback on demo versions of new search tools, including live filters, SQL search, and a search builder using drop-down menus to filter on specific fields. The idea is to determine what kinds of functionality users want and to “add new features and functionalities on a rolling basis.” The new site will also allow users to make charts, graphs, and maps from their search results. The final version is scheduled to go live in May 2017. Until then, the Department’s original website for spending data is still available here.

Contract Law: Analyzing and Drafting

The ABA has just published Contract Law: Analyzing and Drafting, which is now available in the library (see the new titles shelf, which is located across from the reference desk, next to the public computer terminals) (KF801.C6135 2015). This book, edited by Karen F. Botterud, contains nineteen chapters (each authored by different attorneys who are experts in contract law) focusing on the concepts of contract law as well as contract drafting. The topics covered include, among others, essentials of contract formation, problems in contract formation, contract formation under UCC Article 2, statutes of fraud, parole evidence rule, contract performance, breach of contract and nonperformance, warranties, disclaimers, and limitations, and equitable remedies. There is even a chapter that covers drafting specific contract clauses in employment agreements. This book is thoroughly researched as indicated from the numerous excerpts from the Uniform Commercial Code, Corbin on Contracts (KF801.C6)…

CasemakerX Database Available for Law Students and Faculty

This post is a reminder that CasemakerX, which is available to members of the Texas State bar, is also available to law students and faculty. This database provides access to primary sources of law at the state and federal level. Statutes and regulations can be browsed easily and all sources are fully searchable (Casemaker X uses boolean connectors and proximity search). Users can locate the following (among other sources) on Casemaker X:
United States CodeCode of Federal RegulationsFederal RegisterFederal Agency Materials  Federal Case LawFederal Rules of CourtTexas Statutes (Texas codes and session laws) Texas Administrative CodeTexas RegisterAttorney General OpinionsTexas Case Law Texas Rules of Court Law students and faculty can register by visiting http://www.casemakerx.com/ and clicking "sign up now." The CasemakerX mobile app is available to those already registered by clicking "available mobile application" link located toward the top of the search page.