Tag Archives: BNA

ALR Student’s Corner: So You Want to be an Employment Lawyer? – Bloomberg BNA’s Employment Discrimination Report

If you are considering a career in Employment law, Bloomberg BNA’s Employment Discrimination Report is the key resource for you. It provides coverage of judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in the practice area of equal employment opportunity, spanning all areas of EEO policy and practice. With the Employment Discrimination Report you can:

  • Prepare for any practice question
  • Keep up with key case law
  • Look out for updates
  • Create action plans for the future
  • Review summaries of court documents
  • Know what experts know
  • Get insights into the changes and impact
  • Protect your clients

To make this resource even easier, email summaries are available for the busy practitioner who needs to find out about new updates quickly.

To access this resource go to:

  • Charlotte Law Homepage
  • Click Law Library
  • Click Electronic Resources
  • Click A-Z Index of Databases
  • Click Letter “E”
  • Click Employment Discrimination Report

The homepage of the Employment Discrimination Report provides a wealth of information to stay up to date on employment law. As soon as you land on the homepage you can see highlights in the practice area, hot topics, and a search bar in the top right corner if you know exactly what you are looking for.

The bottom of the homepage displays a table of contents of the current edition of the Report.

For example, if you wanted to find out whether or not there was any news related to disability law, you could type disability in the search bar on the main page:

You retrieve 1000 results:

These results are organized by date with the most recent case appearing first and identifiers that precede every article. For example, one article is called “Maryland Teacher With Neurological Disorder Could Not Show ADA Violation, Court Decides.” This case is preceded by the header Disabilities/Retaliation. When you click on the case it opens the full article:

On the left of the screen, you links to key features, hot topics, and recent topics are still readily available to link to other featured content.

At the bottom of the article, there are links for related content organized by Topics, Agencies, Courts/Tribunals, States, and Federal Laws. Plus, the full text of the opinion to this case is easily accessible for someone who may need more information about the case.

Overall, The Employment Discrimination Report is a great database to access if you need to stay abreast of particular areas of law. It features a great supply of information related to many facets of employment law and keeps attorneys on top of their expertise, so they can provide the best advice to their clients.

~Ashely C. Washington L’13~

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ALR Student’s Corner: Bloomberg BNA – Legal Portfolios

Bureau of National Affairs, also known to many as BNA, is a great online source of information for lawyers and many other professionals.  It has a large network of experts who analyze and report on current legal trends in tax, accounting, employment, intellectual property, health care, and environmental law.  Early this year, BNA became a subsidiary of Bloomberg News, so the new “logo” for the company is Bloomberg BNA.  This change does not seem to have affected the content of the website.  BNA is perhaps best known for the periodical United States Law Week, which provides excellent weekly updates on a variety of legal issues.  While US Law Week is a great way to stay current on hot legal issues, BNA also provides many journals, newsletters, and portfolios on a variety of legal subjects.  BNA Portfolios may be of particular interest to soon to be graduating students who might find themselves out in the real world facing scary scenarios at their first job such as, “My boss wants help with a tax case,” or “I have to go before the National Labor Relations Board and I don’t even know where to start!”

While there are many sources of case law, administrative code, even state and federal websites that may give insight to the practical aspects of the legal profession, BNA Portfolios put all the practice-ready information about forms, regulatory filing rules, sample documents, and relevant statutes into one source.  Think of it as a crash course in a particular area of law.  Just like the name suggests, Portfolios include just about everything you would need to practice in a particular area of law.  Let’s look at the example of the State Tax Portfolio which can be accessed for free through the Law Library here at the Charlotte School of Law.

From the Charlotte School of Law homepage, www.charlottelaw.edu, follow the “Law Library” link on the left side of the homepage to the list of library resource and click on “Electronic Resources.”  This will take you to the Library’s list of electronic databases and online research resources.  Across the center of the page are a series of tabs and by clicking on “A-Z Index of Databases” you will pull up a list of all the Library’s databases in alphabetical order.  Scroll down to the “Bloomberg BNA Newsletter Package” and click on the link.  From this link, you will find a list of all kinds of great BNA resources, including a few Portfolios.  Down the list is “TM State Tax Portfolios.”  By following this link, you can find a mountain of information in BNA’s Tax and Accounting Center.  If you scroll down the left side, under the heading of “Source Documents” there are Portfolios on each state’s tax statues and regulations, agency rulings, and state case law (This area has been especially handy, since my home state test taxes on the bar exam).  Clicking on one of these links takes you to a list of all fifty states where you can expand information on a particular state.  On the right side of the page of the Tax and Accounting Center site are great links to recent news and articles.  You can even sign up for email updates and get the latest tax news sent directly to your inbox.  In the center of the site you will find State Tax Portfolios.  Under these links you can find useful and detailed information on corporate taxes, business tax credits, tax procedures and administration, even info on “Registering to Do Business”.

Much of this information might be a bit specialized, but that is the point of the Portfolio!  Once you know the area of the law in which you will be working, it might be well worth the time and effort to take a look at Bloomberg BNA’s list of Portfolios.  The comprehensive files, reports, documents, and information may be everything you are looking for to get up to speed on specific practice areas of the law.

Charlotte School of Law Library offers a great variety of products from BNA, but it is also worth a quick look at what BNA offers to the outside legal world.  Other useful Portfolios, as well as newsletters, journals and legal articles, can easily be found by going on the Bloomberg BNA homepage, http://www.bna.com/.  Once on the homepage, you will see blue tabs running across the page just below the Bloomberg BNA logo.  These four choices of 1.Legal & Business, 2.Tax and Accounting, 3.Environment, Health & Safety, and 4.Human Resources, are also repeated below the tabs and graphics under the “Latest News,” which offers quick links to timely updates.  Each of the four tabs has tremendous resources, but first tab, Legal & Business is especially helpful.  Clicking on this tab will take you to the Legal & Business section.  This page features news and current events in the center of the page, which changes often.  To the right are featured products by BNA.  If you look at the left column, you will find a list of items that does not change.  This list includes many links to areas of the law and at the bottom is a link to “Portfolios.”  If you click on this link it takes you to the Legal & Business Portfolio page.  There you will find a vast list of individual Portfolios both in a drop-down list to the left, and in the center of the page.

While perusing the site, one will notice the obvious price tag attached to each Portfolio.  Each is $195.  Not an insignificant price, but not overly pricey considering the amount of information contained in each Portfolio.  The price might be worth it, especially if your future law firm or practice does not have a databank of relevant and up-to-date documents.

As with many databases and websites in law school, students have access to a few BNA Portfolios and I encourage students to try them out now while these are free!  Once you are comfortable and confident with seeking out other sources of legal information, a world of resources will open to you.

~Charlie Schmidt, L’12~

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ALR Student’s Corner: BNA/Bloomberg Tax and Accounting Center

When the time comes to pay your taxes, you can help to ensure that you are compliant by utilizing the BNA/Bloomberg Tax and Accounting Center.  The Tax and Accounting Center is an integrated tax planning resource.  It is an excellent source for tax and accounting research, related news, practice tools, and guidance for tax attorneys and accountants.

BNA stands for the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.  It was founded in 1929 as a subsidiary of what is now known as U.S. News & World Report.  Bloomberg acquired BNA in September, 2011.

The Tax and Accounting center is organized by practice area.  Clicking on the tabs located just below the page heading allow the user to access his/her desired practice area.  Users can choose which practice areas to subscribe to.

If you prefer to search the Tax and Accounting Center, there are four different ways to do so: (1) quick search; (2) advanced search; (3) guided search; and (4) go to.  These search options can be found at the upper right corner of the screen:

To perform a “quick search”, enter any word or phrase into the search box and click “search.”  The Tax and Accounting Center will search the practice areas that you are subscribed to and return relevant results.

If your “quick search” returned excessive results, the “Advanced search” feature will allow you to enter additional criteria in an attempt limit the scope of the search.  To perform an advanced search, click on the advanced search button just under the search box at the top right of the screen.  This link will direct you to another screen where you will be prompted to enter additional search criteria.

If you are truly unfamiliar with your subject matter, a “guided search” might be your best bet.  This type of search will present the user with a form to fill in that is appropriate to the collection being searched.  For example, if you were interested in searching the practice tools collection, you would be asked to fill in a form to indicate which particular collection you wished to search.

Lastly, the “go to” search option is the choice for those who want to quickly retrieve specific documents.  This option allows you to retrieve documents and cases by citation.  Additionally, the “go to” option allows you to use dropdowns menus to navigate BNA’s expert analysis portfolios.

 This is truly a great resource for students and tax professionals alike.

~Greg Merkel, L’13~

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ALR Student’s Corner: A Helpful Guide to the ABA/BNA Lawyer’s Manual on Professional Conduct

The ABA/BNA Lawyer’s Manual on Professional Conduct is a useful resource which students and lawyers can access to help with any news or questions they may have on every aspect on attorney conduct and legal ethics.  The website is categorized into four sections: the Practice Guides, the Ethical Rules, Current Reports, and Ethics Opinions.

Practice Guides are located on the left side of the website’s homepage.  They are separated into topics.  Once you click on a topic, you can find information ranging from an introduction on that topic, an analysis of the law, and also information regarding how courts have applied the law in certain situations.  Practice Guides are an easy way to research certain areas of the professional conduct like: Fees, the Lawyer-Client Relationship, and also conduct in Trial.  By clicking on any of the available topics, you can search for rules/guidelines on that topic.  The Practice Guide gives you the corresponding rule, what it states, and the rationale for that rule.

The Ethical Rules, as you may be familiar with, houses the entire Model Rules of Professional Conduct.  This section is on the right side of the home screen.  This section also has valuable links to the various state ethics rules and also an entire section on which rules have been amended and changed slightly by different jurisdictions.  By clicking on the ‘Search Ethics Rules’ link you can easily search for terms or phrases.

Once you click ‘Search Ethics Rules’ the results will return links and documents for you to choose from accordingly.  For example if you search Confidentiality and then click search, the website will list out seven documents.  These results range from: state ethics rules, the actual ABA rules, and also under Judicial Enforcement.

The section on Current Reports houses up to date information on recent decisions, disciplinary actions, and all other relevant news within all jurisdictions in the United States.  The reports are updated twice a week and is a great section in which you can see what is happening in your area.  You can even search within all the reports that have been posted on the ABA website.  By clicking on the Current Reports link from the homepage, you can then choose on the left hand side whether you want the reports to be listed alphabetically or by the date they were issued.  By clicking on the Index archive you may search by alphabetical order and then search within the topic of your choosing simply by clicking on the (+) option next to each section.

The last section of the ABA manual website is also a useful section when you want to research information specific to your state’s jurisdiction.  Located on the top right hand side of the home page this section has the ABA Ethics Opinions and also brief summaries of opinions by both state and local bar associations.

Together all four sections comprise the entire website.  This is a useful tool all around to answer all ethical questions you may have.  This website is great for students in law school to use as a supplementary resource when taking their Professional Responsibility Course.  It is useful for professors who want to teach the course to be able to choose great articles and documents for their students.  The guides will be a great place even for final exam questions! Finally, the website is an excellent resource for any practicing attorney because it holds anything and everything an attorney needs to know when he or she has questions on professional conduct.  We may not understand it now because most of us have taken the Professional Responsibility course, but once we are out in the real world we do not want to feel as though we are lost and have no one to go to when we have questions.  This website will be a great tool for all of us to seek guidance on all aspects of our professional career.

Resources:

To check out the actual website please follow the following steps:

  1. Visit the Charlotte School of Law website
  2. Click on Law Library
  3. Click on Electronic Resources
  4. Search the tabs on the home page and click on their ‘A-Z Index of Databases’
  5. The ABA/BNA website link should be the first one listed!

To view the Model Rules of Professional Conduct

  1. Go to the ABA’s website at: http://www.americanbar.org/aba.html
  2. Search for the Model Rules of Professional Conduct

~Ashley Thomas, J.D. Candidate ’12~

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A Cautionary Tale

On October 13, 2010, the ABA Journal featured a cautionary tale for all law students to take heed.  A lawyer from Kansas City, Carlos Romious, was disbarred for “for charging a soldier a fee of $3,500 an hour, shouting profanities at court clerks, brawling with court security officers and suggesting that a judge is pedophile,” according to the ABA Journal article, the National Law Journal and the Legal Profession Blog.  According to the National Law Journal, “Romious had originally agreed to represent the soldier for a flat $3,500 fee, but later claimed the amount was his hourly charge,” and in a different instance, according to the full-text of the Supreme Court the opinion (PDF), “the court says, Romious asked a judge whether he was a pedophile and said, ‘You’re going to sit up there with the audacity and the smugness of your holiness.’”  In addition to Romious’ “abusive and bizarre behavior,” as cited by the court, the court points to Romious’ interactions with courtroom personnel, including security officers and clerks.  Specifically, the court cited where “Romious brawled with security officers after he set off a magnetometer,  he called a court clerk a ‘f—ing b—-,’ said he wanted to ‘ ‘f—ing’ file his papers, and declared that he was smarter than anyone in the clerk’s office.”  As a result the court said Romious’ behavior had resulted in two criminal convictions, an active sentence in jail and a contempt citation. The court opinion outlines all of  Romious’ behavior, including outrageous statements against opposing counsel, demands upon the prosecution, attempts to file incomplete or otherwise improper documents, failures to appear for hearings and court proceedings, and numerous other strange interactions.

Are you curious about the professional rules of conduct for your state? If so, most states publish the rules of professional conduct on the web (either the state bar website or a website designated for court rules and procedure) for easy searching ability.  For example, based on the situation presented above, the hearing panel stated Romious violated “KRPC 1.1 (2009 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 410) (competence);  1.5(a) (2009 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 460) (fees); 3.4(c) (2009 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 552) (fairness to opposing party and counsel); 3.5(d) (2009 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 558) (engaging in undignified or discourteous conduct degrading to a tribunal); 4.4(a) (2009 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 572) (respect for rights of third persons); 8.4(b) (2009 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 602) (commission of a criminal act reflecting adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer); 8.4(c) (engaging in conduct involving misrepresentation); 8.4(d) (engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice); 8.4(g) (engaging in conduct adversely reflecting on lawyer’s fitness to practice law); and Kansas Supreme Court Rule 211(b) (2009 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 321) (failure to file answer in disciplinary proceeding). If you’re looking for the ABA model rules or other ethics materials, check out the ABA/BNA Lawyer’s Manual on Professional Conduct, which provides access to practice guides, indexes, highlights, ethics opinions, and ethics rules.  If you have a second, take a quick tour of the database!

What the ABA/BNA Lawyer’s Manual on Professional Conduct is:

Well known among the nation’s lawyers as the most authoritative source for news and guidance on virtually every aspect of attorney conduct and legal ethics, trust the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct to help you practice ethically.

What it helps you do:

Protect yourself and your clients by consulting this service as soon as a question arises, and avoid malpractice suits and disciplinary actions.

Each topical Practice Guide in the Manual includes an overview, detailed background information and analysis of the law, and descriptions of how courts and ethics committees have applied the law in particular fact situations.

Stay ahead with Current Reports on recent court decisions, ethics opinions, disciplinary actions, and other news, all fully indexed.

Refer to American Bar Association standards and ethics opinions in full text, materials on state ethics rules, and synopses of opinions by state and local bar associations.

Stay ahead with Current Reports on recent court decisions, ethics opinions, disciplinary actions, and other news

- Liz McCurry -

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Kagan approved.

According to BNA, “with one Republican vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee July 20 voted 13-6 to approve the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan as an associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as the lone GOP member to support her.”

Graham remarked before the committee vote that, “I believe the last election had consequences and this president chose someone who is qualified, who has the experience and knowledge to serve on this court, who is in the mainstream of liberal philosophy and understand the difference between being a judge and a politician.”

In order to stay up-to-date with breaking news from D.C. make sure to sign up for updates from BNA Law Week – “a library-must have for 1Ls.” BNA offers a wide selection of newsletters (weekly and bi-weekly), see if there’s one for you!

-Liz McCurry-

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Befuddled and bemused by your tax forms?

Come to the library!

Do you know about the Lifetime Learning Credit for higher education expenses?  How about the Hope Credit?  Stop by the library and check out the tax materials displayed in the hallway near the Reference Desk.  Charlotte Law provides access to a variety of databases, practice guides and books that will help you navigate the IRS maze, particularly BNA’s Tax and Accounting Center and CCH’s Tax Library.  CCH offers extensive tax resources, providing information on federal, international, state, and local taxation, financial and estate planning, wealth management, pensions and payroll, and tax tools (calculators, practice aids, tables, and quick-answer charts).

April 15 will be here before you know it so don’t forget to file!

-Mary Susan Lucas-

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U.S. Supreme Court Term In Review: Criminal Law Developments

According to the U.S. Law Week Reporter, “the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008-2009 term’s criminal law decisions included important, need-to-know rulings on double jeopardy, the admissibility of forensic laboratory reports, vehicle searches, prosecutorial immunity, and the scope of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.”

One particular decision that I found interesting was the Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (06/25/2009)  Supreme Court decision because until this term, state and federal courts were divided as to how the new regime under Crawford v. Washington impacted the widespread practice of allowing prosecutors to present self-authenticating documents certifying the results of drug analyzes or other lab work without the supporting testimony of the analyst.  Thinking in terms of DWI cases, where the lab results of blood-alcohol levels of defendants can be admitted without the live collaborating testimony of the analysis assigned to process the blood tests.  With the Melendez-Diaz decision, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that lab reports of the analysis of controlled substances are “testimonial” in nature and are subject to Crawford’s admissibility requirements.

Now, “the practical impact on North Carolina DWI cases is just beginning to be felt. In the majority of DWI cases, the arresting officer is not the chemical analyst. In cases where there is a blood or a urine sample, the arresting officer is never the chemical analyst. The State is now in a position to where it either has to subpoena the analyst or try the case under an “appreciable impairment” theory which yields far less convictions than a chemical analysis. With regard to blood or urine tests, the State is in a particularly egregious situation as there are only 8 to 12 analysts handling blood and urine tests for all 100 counties in the State of North Carolina.” Supreme Court Ruling in Melendez-Diaz Requires the State to Produce the Chemical Analyst in All DWI Prosecutions 08-07-2009 Michael A. Dye.

The legal community is a buzz of the impact of this Supreme Court decision.  To illustrate that point, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly published the featured article for this week about the Melendez-Diaz decision: N.C. confronts Melendez-Diaz ruling: High court decision could have major impact on DWI cases by Guy Loranger.  And the North Carolina Criminal Law blog (UNC School of Government) featured a post titled “Melendez-Diaz: Crawford Applies to Lab Reports.”

-Liz McCurry-

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