Tag Archives: search strategies

ALR Student’s Corner: Regulations.gov Blog

The Regulations.gov is a great place to locate information on the development of Federal regulations (e.g Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and Environmental Protection Agency) issued by the United States government. This site provides helpful information regarding various rules, proposed rules, and public comments on regulatory issues that affect the entire society.  Regulations.gov is managed by the eRulemaking Program Management Office with the assistance of several federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency. The eRulemaking Program was created in 2002 as an E-Government project. Additionally, Regulations.gov aims to promote more efficient and effective rulemaking through public involvement.

Searching Regulations.gov.

 

Let’s research whether the Bureau of Prison has enacted or proposed any new rules that deal with overcrowding and housing conditions in federal prisons.  First, we need to click the Advanced Search link located in the middle of the page, just below the main search box.  When using the “Advance Search” field, there are options to limit your search results to keywords, document types, and by agency or docket.  A keyword search is search based on a general topic and common words used in the rule or topic. The document type option allows the user to limit the search result document to public submission, notice, rule, proposed rule and/or other supporting and related material.

Let’s now run a keyword search by typing “housing condition” in the text box.  Scroll down to middle of the page and in the “By Agency” box, type “Federal Prisons Bureau.” This section encompasses an auto-fill feature that allows the user to limit the agencies results as the text is being typed. Then click, search.  When searching by agency filed, we can search particular agencies to locate documents in a particular area of law.

After the page redirects, you will see a list of two proposed rules, one enacted rule, and three public submissions.  The page is displayed by title, document type, agency,  document identification, and posted date. Using the option field located at top left of page, you can sort your results by display topic, filter the result by other agencies, by category, or by comment status.

By clicking on an enacted rule, you can review the comments, the summary of rules, and the contents of the new rules.  By clicking on the Proposal Rule, you can review the notice of proposal changes, the deadline, the procedure for submitting comments, and the summary of proposal changes. The Public Submission is a detailed list of comments submitted by the community.

After reviewing the regulation of interest, you can provide comments to a document that is open for comments. To do so, click the “Submit a Comment” link either on the Search Results page or Document Details page.

After click the “Submit a Comment” link, a web form will open and allow you to enter your contact information and submit a comment.  The comment will be sent directly to the particular agency.

After submitting your comment, a comment tracking number will be issued.  This number can be used to quickly search for and locate your comment once it has been posted to Regulations.gov. This number is also permanently tied to your comment.  (Note: Since the Federal Prison Bureau comments for housing condition have closed, the section above is an illustration on how to submit a comment.)  

~Brian Tyson, L’12~

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ALR Student’s Corner: LegalTrac

LegalTrac is a resource which can be used to find legal publications.  It provides indexing for more than 1,400 titles including major law reviews, legal newspapers, bar association journals and international legal journals, along with law-related articles from over 1,000 additional business and general interest titles.  All articles contained in LegalTrac have been published between 1980 and 2012.  Currently 1,635,213 articles can be found in LegalTrac as of April 1, 2012.

LegalTrac may be accessed through the Charlotte School of Law homepage by clicking on “Law Library”–>”Electronic Resources”–>”A-Z Index of Databases” tab, then locate “LegalTrac” under “L”.

To locate articles within LegalTrac you may begin with a basic search.  This basic search allows you the choice of searching either by keyword, subject, publication title, or entire document.  As you enter one or more words into the input box to begin a search, a “search assist” feature will make suggestions based on the text you type.  You may further limit your search by checking one or more of the boxes below the input box.  And it is that simple!  Just click the search icon and the system will display your results, with the documents organized by type of content.  You may further refine your results in the left-hand sidebar.

You may also choose to search for a publication by clicking on the “Publication Search” tab.

This screen allows you to search for a specific publication.  You may either click on “List All Publications” above the search box which yields a list of all 2,757 publications in LegalTrac’s database, or you can type a search term to locate a relevant publication.  For example, if you wished to find a publication on criminal law you would begin by typing “criminal law” into the search box.  As you type this term search assist will begin populating relevant publications in a dropdown form as illustrated:

You may either select a publication which populates or finish typing your term then click on the search icon to receive a list of relevant publications.  You may further refine your results to publications with full text and/or to peer-reviewed publications.  It is important to know, as well, that not all articles are available in full text, but rather some articles found in LegalTrac are only available as citations or abstracts.

LegalTrac can be a valuable resource in a search for legal articles and publications.  You will find the site is very user-friendly unlike some other electronic research resources.

~Emily Little, L’12~

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ALR Student’s Corner: LLRX

LLRX.com is an online journal that provides legal and other professionals with up-to-date information on research and technology-related issues.  The best part is LLRX is completely free!

LLRX.com provides monthly installments of new guides, articles, and topical resources. The areas in which LLRX covers can be categorized into three broad topics: (1) Court Rules, Forms, and Dockets; (2) Articles; and (3) beSpacific, an awareness monitoring blog on breaking legal, technology, and research related news and primary resources. Sabrina Pacifici, the founder, editor, and publisher of LLRX, has authored the blog since August 2002 winning multiple awards including Best Overall Legal Blog of 2004 and Best Law Librarian Blog of 2005. Now, let’s browse each helpful feature individually.

Accessing LLRX.com

The online journal is available at www.llrx.com. The website is also accessible by clicking the LLRX hyperlink made available on Charlotte Law Library News’ homepage under Legal Research Websites.

Court Rules, Forms, and Dockets

Let’s begin with a simple task: you are a newly sworn-in attorney in the state of Washington and need to access local court forms and rules.

1)      Locate the Court Rules, Forms & Dockets tab at the top of the homepage. Click the tab to access LLRX’s compilation.

2)    Scroll down to find the states listed in alphabetical order. Locate and select Washington.

3)     LLRX sorts rules, forms, and dockets in Washington into multiple helpful categories, such as U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Washington and State Court, with links to official and unofficial websites that contain relevant information. Thus, to access Washington State Court Forms, select the Washington – State Court (Washington) – Court Forms and Instructions as shown below. LLRX will redirect you to http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/.

Articles

This round, you are a family law practitioner searching for articles, news, and blogs on your practice area.

1)      From the LLRX homepage, select Article Archives and Legal Research as a subtopic.

2)    Next, select United States Law from the box labeled Subcategories of Legal Research.

3)     LLRX will then direct you to a box indicating Subcategories of United States Law. Click on Family Law in the right column.

4)    The journal provides three options; however, I chose the most current resource, Criminal Justice Resources: Juvenile Law and Family Court Resources. This source contains an abundance of helpful information for family law practitioners including links to family law related news, journal, and law review articles. Additionally, ABA standards, reports, studies, and secondary sources are provided.

 

beSpacific Blog

Finally, you are a law student interested in staying current on legal issues involving cybercrime.

1)      Utilizing the LLRX.com homepage, locate and select the beSpacific Blog tab. You will be redirected to the homepage of beSpacific.

2)    Locate the topic list to the right of the screen. Find and select Cybercrime from the options.

3)     You have arrived! Here, you will find a variation of articles, blogs, programs, and more relevant to cybercrime. The resource is updated multiple times a month for accuracy.

As you can see, LLRX and beSpacific are excellent resources for practicing attorneys, law students, and law librarians regardless of practice area.

~Brittany Schott, L’12~

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Bloomberg BNA Environment Reporter: Customizing the Reporter to Provide Current Research for YOU

The Bloomberg BNA Reporters can be accessed through the Law Library section of the Charlotte Law website and using the A-Z Index of Databases or at the link above. The Bloomberg BNA Newsletter Package provides you with BNA resources for nearly all areas of law and can all be customized for a personalized reference to current research.

The Bloomberg BNA Environment Reporter is a multi-part environmental resource that is published and updated weekly.  The Environment Reporter is an excellent resource to stay up to date on rapidly changing developments in courts, Congress, federal agencies and environmental organizations.  While this post focuses on the Environment Reporter, many of these features can be used for any of the other Bloomberg BNA Reporters of interest.

The Reporter can be customized in many easy ways in order to provide a user with relevant sources depending on their preferences.  First, along the left side of the main screen, the Recent Topics, Agencies, States, Courts and Federal Statutes can all be customized to narrow the subscriber’s research results quickly.  As you can see below, I have customized the Recent Topics Section to include topics of interest for an upcoming project on Renewable Energy Law.

After clicking on one of the Topics, a window opens with relevant research regarding that Topic only, organized by date from newest to oldest, as shown below.

This feature can be very helpful in narrowing results not only from topics of interest, but from articles pertaining to North Carolina only, specific jurisdictions or specific regulatory laws or federal statutes.

After locating relevant articles, BNA makes it very easy to save the research using the MyFolders tab and organize it by Project, Name or Date Added.  Above the full text version of an article, BNA gives an option to Add to MyFolders, Share or Print, as shown below in the upper left hand corner.

The MyFolders tab is located at the top of the Reporter and will list all saved articles and organize the information by Project, Name or Date Added.  This feature provides an efficient way to accumulate relevant research and save it for future use.

Finally, one of the easiest customized features provided by Bloomberg BNA is the BNA E-mail Registration.  Each Reporter gives you the option to receive alerts outlining the current highlights in the news, as well as the ability to select how frequently you would like to receive them.  Links are provided to the articles listed, and can be saved to MyFolders after opening for easy access later.  Below is an example of the E-mail the Environmental Reporter sends each week, according to my preferences, organized by Topic.

With minimal effort, the Bloomberg BNA resources can be customized to each subscriber’s personal interests allowing an efficient way to stay up to date on areas of law for personal or professional use.

~Sara Garske, L’14~

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ALR Student’s Corner: Bloomberg BNA Antitrust & Trade Regulation (A&TR) Report

When it comes to learning about competition law and fair business practice amongst government regulators and international market traders, the Bloomberg BNA Antitrust & Trade Regulation (A&TR) Report houses all the necessary information needed to stay up to date on the practice area. Since 1961, the A&TR Report has covered all the major topics of competition law, including monopolization, mergers and acquisition, and price fixing while also tracking the progress of cases and international enforcement initiatives for the  DOJ and FTC.

With all the website has to offer, including recent U.S. and international court decisions and a list of law firms who were recently involved in antitrust litigation, I will focus on using the search feature in “Recent Topics”.

Let’s use this example: As a compliance director for a university, you are concerned with the growing number of student-athletes who are being harmed because of their involvement with sports agents. You wish to see if there are any federal laws regulating the interaction between sports agents and student athletes.

First, visit CSL’s website, hover over “Law Library” in order to click on “Electronic Resources,” click on “A-Z Index of Databases” and scroll down to the A&TR Report listed in the A’s. After clicking on the link, it will take you to the home page, which will feature highlights from the issue of the particular week.

Near the top of the screen and towards the middle, you will the tab “Recent Topics,” which will give you an alphabetical heading list, that can be broken down to give you particular cases, legislation or official action within that area. Next you can click on the letter “S” at the top of the next screen and then click on the “Sports” tab to expand the heading.

This does not provide you with much help, so in order to locate additional articles, use the “Search” feature of the index located near the top of the screen on the right hand side. You type “sports” in the general search box, hoping that there is more information available to you regarding the area than the first search provided. You receive more than 300 documents back, which is good to know but you do not have the time to look through each one to figure out if it pertains to you.

Using “Advanced Search”, right under the search box, you can focus on terms like “sports agent” and “student athletes,” while also limiting the search to the past 10 years to get exactly the results you are looking for.

While the only real limitation I see is that you have to search the entire report for a topic rather than one index at a time, the resource is a great tool for all attorneys, no matter the area of practice we may end up in.

~Taurian C. Houston, L’13~

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ALR Student’s Corner: The Bloomberg BNA: White Collar Crime Report™

White collar crime is an ever-expanding and complex legal field with very little Congressional guidance and much room for advocacy and judicial interpretation.  As such, it is helpful for both prosecutors and defense attorneys to have a resource to share and research different news articles, court decisions, and passage of laws in the field of white collar crime.  For those interested in this growing and fascinating field, the Bloomberg BNA offers the White Collar Crime Report™, provides that marketplace for practitioners and lawmakers to see the recent news in the area and tailor either an effective strategy or lawmaking pursuit based on success and failures in other jurisdictions.

To gain access to the Bloomberg BNA White Collar Crime Report™, simply go to the Charlotte School of Law website.  Scroll over “Law Library” on the left side of the screen and then select “Electronic Resources.”  Next, you will see the ResearchGuides page of the Charlotte School of Law library.  Click on the tab titled “A-Z Index of Databases.”  Select “B” and click on “Bloomberg BNA Newsletter Package.”

You will then have the option to select whichever Reporter you wish.  Scroll down towards the end of the page and select “White Collar Crime Report” which is third from the bottom.

Congratulations!  You have entered your white collar crime paradise.

The White Collar Crime Report™ is a wonderful and user-friendly resource.  The first thing I did was sign up for the free listserv so I can receive daily updates on current white collar crime news and reports.  To do this, scroll halfway down the page and on the far right, click on “Sign Up for E-Mail.”

Type in your E-Mail Address, and click “Submit.”  You then get the option to Sign-Up for whatever Bloomberg Newsletters you want.  As you can see, I am signed up for the Criminal Law Reporter, U.S. Law Week, and White Collar Crime Report.

While signing up for the email listserv is a great way to stay connected without having to visit the site every day, The White Collar Crime Report™ offers the white collar crime attorneys the opportunity to search for recent news in their particular practice area or area of interest.  Let us say that you are a local defense attorney who, after successfully defending your client Ima Crook from a bribery charge, has taken an interest in other bribery cases around the country.  If you want to find recent news on bribery, you can search the White Collar Crime Report™ Index.  Click on the “Browse Indexes” option under Finding Tools on the right side of the page.

 You are given an alphabetical search option for different states and / or practice areas.  First, however, you want to select your time parameters.  You want to see fairly recent happenings in the world of bribery, so under the dropdown menu in the middle of the page, select Index Jan. 13 – Feb. 24, 2012.

Now that you have set your date parameters, click on “B” and select “Bribery.  You now see a list of different issues regarding bribery.  Having friends in New York, you have recently heard about the lobbyist who pled guilty back in January for bribes to a certain N.Y. state senator.  You can see the story by clicking on the link located next to the story.

You can now read what exactly happened when the lobbyist pled guilty on January 4 in the U.S. Southern District of New York.

However, after reading the article, you are worried that Ima Crook, who has friends who are lobbyists, might be a possible return client.  Therefore, you want to search for issues regarding lobbying.  At the bottom of the story, there are “Related Articles” by “Topics” and “Courts.”  Lobbying happens to be conveniently located at the bottom.

Clicking on “Lobbying” will open up all relevant headlines regarding lobbying.  At the very top is a story from March 9, 2012 regarding the White House announcement on March 8 that it has created “ethics.gov.”  This resource is meant to provide people easy access to a centralized location regarding lobbying reports.  While you are sure that Ima Crook is a respectable citizen, you might want to pass along this information you learned to him, just in case.

The ease of locating topics is just one of the many options that are available on the Bloomberg BNA White Collar Crime Report™.  You can also locate Hot Topics off to the left side of the main screen, sort through the news by prominent white collar crime Law Firms, or read some interesting commentary From the Editors.  Enjoy the White Collar Crime Report™!

~Allen Souza, L’12~

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ALR Student’s Corner: GlobaLex – How Can This Help Begin My Research?

GlobaLex is an electronic legal publication sponsored by Hauser Global Law School Program at New York University School of Law. GlobaLex distributes high level international, comparative and foreign law research tools in order to assist the needs of legal practitioners globally. This resource can be found by clicking the GlobaLex link above or by going to the CSL library website under “Electronic Resources” and searching in “G” in the A-Z list.

International Law

The International Law section of GlobaLex focuses on various legal disciplines that have been agreed upon between various nations. This sections includes research on disciplines like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), International Treaties, International Tax Law, International Criminal Law, the norms and customs of the African Union, and legal materials of the European Union just to name a few.

If a lawyer wanted to conduct research on international tax law, he or she would go to the GlobaLex home page and click International Law. Next they would click the International Tax section. The actual page gives lawyers a research overview of where they can go to look for primary and secondary sources of international tax information. Primary sources include: tax treaties, tax conventions, and general principles of tax law. Secondary sources include treatises, journals, current events, and online research. The actual citations are listed as well for easy access to the sources.

Comparative Law

Comparative Law is a database that compares organizations under the same discipline. For example, there is a Canon Law section under the Comparative Law section. This section parallels the different organizations that practice Canon Law with one another. One interesting part of the section is that it also has a research database for a region. A lawyer could find legal information regarding Latin America and the various countries that make up Latin America. Within this section, the lawyer could find a country-by-country guide on the laws, a link to all the constitutions of the different countries, and the specific Latin American laws that detail legislations and treatises that exist between the countries.

Foreign Law

Foreign Law is 157 country databases providing legal research on the legal system of each country. If a lawyer was moving to Switzerland and he or she were interested in knowing the legal structure of the country, he or she would begin their search here. The section begins with an overview of the political structure of Switzerland. Next the site details the various branches of government which for Sweden include the Federal level, Cantonal level, and the Municipal level. The remainder of the site includes a brief overview of languages, legislation, case law, legal profession, legal literature, legal publishers and law reform in Switzerland.

The GlobaLex database is an excellent starting point if you are unfamiliar with one of these areas of law.

~Lawrence Wooden, L’13~

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