Opinions with Internet Citations are Safeguarded by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Courts increasingly continue to cite to Internet resources in opinions. Over time, it is rare to find hyperlinks that still work, resulting in link rot. Link rot occurs when the hyperlink no longer works or disappears, typically leading to the now ubiquitous 404 error—page not found—message. Since about 2007 Federal court law libraries have been preserving intent citations in opinions, including the Fifth Circuit.


The Fifth Circuit, along with the other U. S. circuits, captures the cited Internet reference by converting the original documents and web pages as .pdf files. According to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Law Library, “[u]sing the URL referenced in the opinion, the original copy is saved with a watermark to denote the document’s archived status.” In addition to posting the archived URLs on the library website several Circuits are also adding the materials to the official case docket and PACER. Unfortunately, the Fifth Circuit has yet to do so.

Fifth Circuit opinions are arranged in descending docket number order. A sample entry is noted below. By clicking on a URL, one retrieves a .pdf copy of the resource as it existed at the time of filing with the Court. Each resource listed is a link to an archived copy.

5th cir sample

Bloomberg BNA U.S. Law Week Spotlight: What Is It?

BNA Law Week Spotlight: What Is It?

This is the first in a four-part series spotlighting Bloomberg BNA, The United States Law Week.

BNA United States Law Week is a database that contains many resources in regards to constitutional law, federal laws, civil practice and procedure, and the federal court systems. For example, the site gives access to noteworthy Supreme Court filings. The site also contains an “On the Merits Blog” where legal scholars and political analysts write about recent Supreme Court decisions and cases.

BNA law week


Users can access different pages of information by clicking the tabs in the top left corner. The tab that reads “Case Alert& Legal News” contains news articles on developing cases, legal news, and political happenings.


Case Alert &Legal News



The “Supreme Court Today” tab leads to a page that has noteworthy events in Supreme Court cases, oral argument news, and the latest judicial opinions.


Supreme Court Today


Other interesting features on the BNA Law Blog include podcasts and access to federal rules.


Access to Bloomberg BNA United States Law Week is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Database tab.


Databases to Help Jumpstart Your Legal Research Quest

Welcome back!  This is one of the most exciting times of the semester.  All possibilities are open and everything is new.  Soon, you will need to start researching; whether it’s for class, papers, or journal comments, the search for information will begin.  Here are some resources to help get you started on your research quest!

One of our favorite go-to databases is HeinOnline.  This database is a collection of primary and secondary legal resources.  If you are looking for current federal law, historical state statutes, federal administrative law, U.S. Supreme Court cases, and especially law journals, then HeinOnline is a great place to start your search.  One fairly unique feature of HeinOnline is that all of the material is available as PDF files.  This means that each document is a scan of the actual physical item and not just an electronic copy of the data that may differ in content and appearance from the original print copy.  It’s easy to get to from the Texas Tech University Law Library’s main web page, just scroll down to “Research and Reference” and click on “HeinOnline.”

databasesAnother resource we have to help you locate difficult-to-find government documents is ProQuest Congressional.  This database has an extensive collection of legislative histories, committee hearings, prints, reports, and bill texts and tracking.  This database is also easily located from the Texas Tech University Law Library’s main web page (see image above).

As a reminder, don’t forget that there are many interdisciplinary databases and materials available to you from the main University Library’s webpage. While the Law Library’s collection of books and materials is focused on law and legal research and is the best place to start when doing legal research, the main University Library has material covering many other topics that can help you with interdisciplinary research.

mainThe main University Library database collection includes Academic Search Complete and EBSCO.  They also have access to JSTOR, which is a collaborative collection of digitized journals and books.  If you have the name of a journal and want to know if articles from it are available, start your search in E-Journals A-Z.

The main University Library is also the place to get materials through ILL (Interlibrary Loan).  If there is something you need and we don’t have it in our collection, use “Document Delivery” and get the item sent to you from another library.  It is free of charge and easy to use.

This is just a quick peek at some of the materials that are available to you to help with your research projects. As always, if you need help with your research, ask a librarian!  It’s what we’re here to do.

If you’re a student, contact Alyson Drake (alyson.drake@ttu.edu) with questions. If you’re a faculty member, contact Jamie Baker (jamie.baker@ttu.edu) or your faculty liaison for assistance.

During regular business hours, there is also an on-call librarian who can help. Stop by the Circulation Desk to ask for the on-call librarian.

New Law Library Catalog

The Law Library has spent the past few months working on transitioning to a new Library Catalog platform.  We are now sharing a database with the other campus libraries, which will allow you to not only search just our law library collection but if necessary you will be able to search the University Library collection, the Southwest Collection, etc.

Law Lib Cat1

When you visit the Law Library homepage you will see the search box immediately at the top of the page.  Performing a search from this screen will provide you with search results that are located here at the Law School.  Once you have entered the search results screens you will notice other options at the top.  These options include searching the Library Catalog (University Library holdings) or the Everything tab (which will search all campus libraries, including the Law Library).

Law Lib Cat2

If you wish to search the holdings of other campus library collections, other than the University Library or the Law Library, you can do so by choosing the Library Catalog tab and then clicking the drop down list to the left of the Search button.  You will see a list of all of the different campus libraries/collections that you can choose from.

Law Lib Cat3

You are also able to see/manage your library checkouts, fines, etc. from the My Account/Sign In links in the upper right part of the screen.

Law Lib Cat4

Click on the Sign In link and you will be taken to a screen where you will select the TTU Students, Faculty and Staff (eRaider) option.

Law Lib Cat5

Once you have successfully entered your eRaider login information you will see your personal information in the upper right portion of the library catalog screen.

Law Lib Cat6

By clicking the My Account link you will then be able to see everything that you have checked out from any library on campus, not just the Law Library.  You will also be able to see Requests, Fines & Fees, etc.

Law Lib Cat7

To help Law School faculty, staff and students learn to use the new system, Law Librarians will offer instruction throughout academic year 2016-2017.

If you have any questions about the new catalog please contact Sue Kelleher at 806-834-2615 or email sue.kelleher@ttu.edu.

Checkpoint by RIA Featured Spotlight: Calculators

This is the final post in a four-part series spotlighting Checkpoint by RIA.

Checkpoint has a variety of useful calculators. They are divided into a series of topics such as auto, credit card, loan, and tax. Each topic contains several calculators that allows the user to enter data into labeled boxes and the calculator will compute the entered information into an easy-to-interpret results page.

To access the calculators click the “Tools” tab on the top bar, and select “General” under the “Calculators” section of the drop down menu.

Under Personal you will find calculators such as Checkbook Balancer, Home Budget, Student Budget, and Credit Assessment. Under Tax you will find a 1040 Tax and a 1040EZ Tax Estimator calculator. The Savings sections contains calculators for Lunch Savings, College Savings Plan, and Savings Goals.

As an example, let us look at the “Lunch Savings” calculator under the “Savings” section.

RIA Checkpoint 11

The calculator prompts you to enter the price of an “eat out lunch” and a “bagged lunch.” Next, enter the amount of bagged lunches to bring from home each month (average is 20), and the number of years you are going to save your lunch money. Finally, enter your expected rate of return on investment (the definitions section provides that the current S&P 500 annual rate of return of 7.76%).

RIA Checkpoint 10.png

Click “Calculate.” The calculator predicts that the lunch savings over the next four years could be $6,734 or $120 per month.

RIA Checkpoint 15

Access to Checkpoint by RIA database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.