The first Monday in October is the official start of the U.S. Supreme Court’s new term.  The nine justices, for the first time including three women, start right in on October 4 with oral arguments: 2 on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, and 2 on Wednesday.  The cases on Wednesday focus on very personal stories.  Snyder v. Phelps pits the grieving father of a marine killed in Iraq against infamous Rev. Fred Phelps, whose group displayed hateful signs such as “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” near the funeral.  In Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, the Court will rule on the legal right of parents to sue when their children have been injured by vaccines, such as Hannah Bruesewitz who developed a seizure disorder after getting a vaccine when she was six months old.

A great web site to find all the briefs on the merits and the amicus briefs is the ABA’s site for “PREVIEW of United States Supreme Court Cases,” which provides “expert analysis of the issues, arguments, background, and significance of every case slated for argument.”  Another great resource for case previews is the Cornell Legal Information Institute's Supreme Court Bulletin, which provides case summaries and analysis written by Cornell Law students.  If you can’t be in Washington this week, you can still find the transcripts and audio of the oral arguments.  Check out “U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments: A Research Guide” by Cornell Research Attorney Matt Morrison for guidance.

Bloomberg Law LogoBloomberg recently joined the online legal research scene with their special brand known as Bloomberg Law.  Law students and faculty at Cornell are already using this subscription Web service that pulls together case law and statutes with the unique financial data, news, and company information that Bloomberg does so well.  Indeed, Bloomberg positions its product in direct competition with Lexis and Westlaw, so if you have a corporate interest, this product is a must for your legal research.  Recognizing the reliability and authoritativeness of Bloomberg Law, the new 19th edition of The Bluebook authorizes citation to Bloomberg for unreported cases.  Here’s a sample citation from Bluebook rule 18.3:

Ortho-McNeil Pharm., Inc. v. Teva Pharm. Indus., Ltd., No. 2008-1549, 2009 BL 181480, at *4 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 26, 2009).

If you don’t have your own Bloomberg password yet, come see our Bloomberg representative next week in the Reading Room on Thursday, October 7, to sign up for access to this treasure trove of legal and financial data.

If you are headed up to Olin Library for library materials, your trip may not be instantly rewarding.  Olin is in the midst of a Fire Safety Improvements Project, which means various floors of the library and certain collections will not be accessible.

For specifics on the status of collections at Olin, check their schedule online, as well as the latest updates.

In the closed areas, the materials are still available but library staff will have to get them for you.  They will retrieve materials once a day, Mondays through Friday, after 2:00 pm.  No weekend retrievals.

To avoid a wasted trip, remember that many books can be sent to you here at the Law Library from Olin (and other libraries on campus).  When you find the item in the online catalog, click “Requests” on the screen and complete the information, selecting LAW as the library to which you want it sent.

Pardon the dust while safety improvements are underway!

Franklin Delano RooseveltOn this day in history--July 22, 1937--the U.S. Senate rejected the court-packing plan of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) by a vote of 70-20.  After his landslide reelection to a second term as president, FDR proposed to expand the Supreme Court by adding one new justice for every sitting justice over the age of seventy.  This scheme was defeated in Congress, but in his next three terms as president FDR appointed all the members of the Supreme Court, and these new justices were much more aligned with his economic reforms.

For more extensive history on this constitutional battle, these books in the Cornell Law Library will be of interest:

You can gain vital research skills for your career with one of the six courses offered next year by the Research Attorneys.  Most of the courses last just 6½ weeks – you have room in your schedule for that!  Take your pick from:

  • Administrative Law Research (one credit)
  • Business Law Research (one credit)
  • International and Foreign Legal Research (two credits)
  • Online Legal Research:  Free Sources (one credit)
  • Online Legal Research:  Subscription Sources (one credit)
  • U.S. Legal Research for LL.M. Students (one credit)

You can read full descriptions and contact the course instructor for more information.

Next year the three-credit Advanced Legal Research seminar will not be offered.  So take advantage of this large number of research options in a course or two of your choice.  The skills and confidence you will gain are invaluable!

Will you be in New York City over Spring Break?  Here’s an opportunity to sharpen your competitive edge and learn more about legal research from the experts.

On Friday, March 26, you can participate in Bridge the Gap, a program to build legal research and career development skills for summer employment and beyond.  There will be programs on criminal law research, company/business research, international law research, New York Internet research, and much more. Bridge the Gap is presented by LLAGNY, the Law Library Association of Greater New York.

The full-day Bridge the Gap program will be held at the House of the New York Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street in Manhattan, from 9am-4pm. Cost is $30 and includes breakfast, lunch, and three research sessions you choose.  Your registration and check must be received by Friday, March 19.  The registration form is available here.

Enjoy your Spring Break, and cap it off with a day dedicated to sharpening your research skills!

Maryland suffragette’s picketing the White HouseMarch is National Women’s History Month.  And you live in a great location to get in the spirit of the celebration, since we are so close to Seneca Falls, located at the northern end of Cayuga Lake.  Seneca Falls is considered the birthplace of women’s rights because the first women’s rights convention was held there in 1848 at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.  In downtown Seneca Falls, you can visit the Women’s Rights National Historic Park, as well as the Women’s Hall of Fame.

As we focus on writing women back into history this month (the 2010 theme of the National Women's History Project), take a look at the Women’s Legal History Biography Project at Stanford Law School which provides extensive material on the lives of hundreds of early women lawyers.  Museums and libraries in Washington, D.C. are also providing exhibits and materials to help celebrate women’s achievements throughout the history of the United States.

Book Cover–Justice Older Than the LawIn February we celebrate National African American History Month, recognizing the contributions that African Americans have made to U.S. history.  President Obama issued a proclamation on National African American History Month, “call[ing] upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”  So from the library, we share with you some sources of legal information in the spirit of this special month.

The Law Library of Congress has an excellent guide to African American History Month with links to Congressional and Presidential documents.   The continuing legal struggles and achievements of African Americans are well documented by the NAACP.

And just a few of the books on this topic you will find at Cornell Law Library include:

Legacy and Legitimacy: Black Americans and the Supreme Court, by Rosalee A. Clawson and Eric N. Waltenburg. Call number KF8748 .C425x 2009

Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree, by Katie McCabe and Dovey Johnson Roundtree. Call number KF373.R686 M34x 2009

Critical Race Realism : Intersections of Psychology, Race, and Law, edited by Gregory S. Parks (Cornell Law ’08), Shayne Jones, and W. Jonathan Cardi. Call number KF4755 .C749x 2008

Vancouver 2010 Olympics logoSometimes work and play are intertwined, and so it is for sports lawyers and law students who really enjoy sports—especially now as the 2010 Winter Olympic Games begin in Vancouver, Canada.  Each sport has its own rules, and the Olympics themselves have any number of regulations and arbitration decisions, in addition to a code of ethics.

Legal issues in the Olympics include drug testing; copyright and trademark issues on the use of the name, logo, mascots, and images from the games; dealing with protesters; and broadcasting rights.  The Olympic Charter provides the legal basis for the institution of the Olympics and must be consulted if you are reviewing any Olympics legal issue.  Like corporations donating to political campaigns in the U.S., the International Olympic Committee has the status of a person and is responsible for sanctions against athletes and their organizations.

Olympics & International Sports Law Research Guide provides an excellent explanation and links to the most important sources for Olympics and the law. Take time out from your busy studies over the next two weeks to enjoy seeing your favorite winter sport competition – on whatever type of screen you like to use!

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