"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, October 29, 2016

Federal Taxation in America: A History

Cambridge University Press has recently published the third edition of Federal Taxation in America: A History by W. Elliot Brownlee. The author thoroughly reviews the history of U.S. tax regimes covering the tax programs during the revolutionary crisis, the Civil War, World War I, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency. The Tax Reform Act of 1986, the 1990's Contract with America, the 2001 tax cuts, and tax policy during the Great Recession are also discussed. This book is now on the law library's new titles shelf (KF6289.B76 2016).

Friday, October 28, 2016

Understanding Federal Income Taxation, 5th ed.

Carolina Academic Press has just published, Understanding Federal Income Taxation, 5th ed. by J. Martin Burke and Michael Friel, which is now on the law library's new titles shelf (KF6369.3.B87 2016). This is an excellent source for those wishing to obtain a background in federal income tax law and ideal for those taking a federal income tax class. This forty-four chapter book includes excerpts of relevant Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) sections as well as examples and analyses that illustrate tax concepts. Computation of tax liability, gross income concepts and limitations, capital gains and losses, bad debts, fringe benefits, like-kind exchanges, gifts, discharge of indebtedness, depreciation, travel and education expenses, deductions, limitations on tax shelters, and the alternative minimum tax are among the topics covered. There are tables of statutes, cases, and agencies as well as a subject index.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Political TV Ad Archive


With the election just 26 days away, it’s time for another flurry of political campaign ads on television. This year, there is a new online resource for information about those ads. The Political TV Ad Archive, a project of the Internet Archive, is a searchable video library of this election season's political ads, along with metadata and fact-checking items from journalistic sources. The metadata categories include the subject of the ad, who sponsored it, and where and when it was aired.

A word of warning: the archive is not comprehensive. During the primaries, it collected ads from 20 markets in nine states. In the general election season, it is collecting ads from major broadcast stations in ten markets in ten battleground states: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It also collects some ads that may air exclusively on social media. Even with its limited selection, however, the archive is a valuable resource for anyone interested in political advertisements, campaign spending, or the state of electoral politics in general.

You can learn more about the archive on its About page, or by watching this video.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New CRS Report on Federal Internships


If you are a student looking for an internship or other work experience with the federal government, you might want to check out this new report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). It provides information on internship opportunities with the executive branch, Congress, the federal courts, and independent agencies such as NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency. It also contains a bibliography for further reading. 

This CRS Report was made available online by the Federation of American Scientists. For more information on finding CRS reports online, see our blog post on the subject.