"Nota Bene" means "note this well" or "take particular notice." We at the O'Quinn Law Library will be posting tips on legal research techniques and resources, developments in the world of legal information, happenings at the Law Library, and legal news reports that deserve your particular attention. We look forward to sharing our thoughts and findings and to hearing from you.

N.B: Make a note to visit "Nota Bene" regularly.

-Spencer L. Simons, former Director, O'Quinn Law Library and Associate Professor of Law



Saturday, June 18, 2016

Winning an Appeal, 5th ed.

The library has acquired the fifth edition of Winning an Appeal by Myron Moskovitz, which is published by Carolina Academic Press. This book is ideal for the attorney or law student interested in appellate advocacy at the state or federal level. The author provides tips on constructing an outline, with instructions on reading the court records filed and determining the issues. There is a chapter that focuses on the appellate brief, including the construction of the brief itself, advice on legal research, drafting the argument, and information regarding the respondent brief and appellant's reply brief. The last chapter covers the oral argument, addressing topics such as the opening statement, respondent's argument, appellant's rebuttal, answering questions, and the proper tone to use. Five sample briefs are included at the end. This book is now currently available on the library's new titles shelf under the call number KF9050.M63 2016.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Technology Tips for Lawyers and Other Business Professionals

The ABA's Solo, Small Firm, and Practice division has recently published, Technology Tips for Lawyers and Other Business Professionals by Jeffrey Allen and UHLC alumna, Ashley Hallene. The authors provide concise practical advice on a variety of technology topics useful to attorneys. The book covers matters related to hardware and equipment such as using a tablet in court and portable hard drives. Software topics as well as advice related to travel are also covered. Security and ethics issues such as password protection and encryption are discussed.  The Miscellaneous tips section focuses on topics such as blogging, Google search tips, storing data in the cloud, creating an inexpensive electronic signature, and electronic business cards. The library has just acquired this book and it can be found on the new titles shelf under the call number,
KF320.A9A 429 2016.

Friday, June 10, 2016

2016 Disclosure and Election Directory


The Federal Election Commission has released its combined Federal/State Disclosure and Election Directory for 2016.  This directory provides names and contact information for all parties responsible for disclosing financial information during the 2016 election season.

Anyone interested in financial disclosure requirements may find them in the relevant sections of the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations.  Researchers looking for further information may be interested in resources such as the reports created during the consideration of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 or the discussion of Davis v. FEC, 554 U.S. 724 (2008).

Friday, June 3, 2016

The 2016 Presidential Transition Directory

On January 20 of next year, a new president and vice-president of the United States will be sworn into office. This means a huge transition in government, with thousands of positions subject to new appointments by the incoming president. Have you ever wondered how a new administration prepares for such a transition?

Part of the answer is that they get a lot of help from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which has been responsible for supporting presidential transitions since 1961. Today, of course, much of that support is provided online. In November of last year, the GSA launched the 2016 Presidential Transition Directory, a website that provides access to key resources and policies related to presidential transitions. Those resources include the following:
  • The Plum Book – Officially titled “United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions,” the Plum Book contains data on over 8,000 positions in the executive and legislative branches that are subject to noncompetitive appointment. It is published alternately by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
  • Government Manual – This is the official handbook of the federal government, with information on agencies, boards, committees, and international organizations in which the U.S. participates.
  • Presidential Transition Guide to Federal Human Resources Management – This publication of the Office of Personnel Management provides information on ethical standards, positions subject to change in a transition, appointments, compensation, and personal identity verification.
  • Records Management Guidelines – The National Archives provide documents, policies, and training courses related to records management.
For more on the General Services Administration, see the Transition Directory’s About GSA page.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

New RSS and Email Alerts From Congress.gov

One of the best ways to keep up with current federal legislation is to subscribe to email alerts from Congress.gov. These alerts can be set up to notify you of the latest action on a particular bill, new legislation sponsored by a particular member of Congress, or new publications of the Congressional Record. Building on the popularity of these alerts, Congress.gov recently introduced new RSS and email alerts for the following categories:
  • Most-Viewed Bills
  • Search Tips
  • Bills Presented to the President
  • On the House Floor Today
  • On the Senate Floor Today
  • In Custodia Legis (blog of the Law Librarians of Congress)
To read more about these alerts, or to set up a free account, visit the RSS and Email Alerts page at Congress.gov.