Bloomberg BNA United States Law Week Featured Spotlight: BNA Insights

Bloomberg BNA United States Law Week Featured Spotlight: BNA Insights

This is the second post in a four part series spotlighting Bloomberg BNA United States Law Week.

BNA Insights is a featured portal on the BNA site that showcases a scholastic view of many important legal issues in civil and constitutional law. The portal consists of brief academic articles written by lawyers in the field of the topic of which they are writing. The portal adds articles at least once a week, although some days there will be multiple posts.

 

BNA Insights

An example of an article in BNA Insights is an article titled “ADA Equal Access, Company Websites and Attorney’s Fees”, which is written by two employment law attorneys. This article, like the others, analyzes a current legal topic and critiques the issues associated with the topic.  The articles are typically succinct with headings to guide the reader to each sub point and the conclusion. At the bottom of the page, Bloomberg provides related articles and groups those articles by topic, agency, and law firm.

 

ADA on Insight

Related Article -Insight

 

The BNA Insights feature is very easy to navigate. Readers can select the article they want by looking for the title or the date. The articles contain pictures and short biographies of all the articles’ authors so that those in the legal profession can easily recognize colleagues.

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

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.

404

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.

 

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.

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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%).

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

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

 

Fall 2016 ELR Class Schedule

Registration is now open for Fall 2016 classes in Texas Tech’s award winning Excellence in Legal Research Program.  Sign up for classes today to get a jump start on being a practice-ready attorney from Day 1 on the job!  Remember, attorneys in their first years of practice spend 35% of their time conducting legal research!

ELR schedule fall 2016If a course doesn’t show up in Blackboard, it means that it is already full.  Contact Alyson Drake at alyson.drake@ttu.edu to be placed on the waitlist for that course.  There are usually a few cancellations in the week before the class and we do our best to fit in every student who wants to attend.  Furthermore, if there is sufficient interest for a course, we can add an additional session.

You must be added to the ELR Program course on Blackboard before you can register.  To be added to the Excellence in Legal Research Program, contact Alyson Drake at alyson.drake@ttu.edu.  Then you can register using the instructions found on the ELR Program webpage.

We look forward to seeing you all in some ELR classes this fall!

Checkpoint by RIA Featured Spotlight: State & Local Reporters

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

Checkpoint’s state and local reporters is a useful resource that allows you to search for tax documents for the fifty states. It includes statutes, explanations, regulations, cases, forms, and a weekly newsletter.

To access this resource for Texas, click the “Home” tab on the top bar. Under the section “My Quick Links” click the link “State & Local Reporters.” Select “Texas” and click “Next.” This feature allows you to select a state, the type of tax, and the type of document you are looking for. Further, this search tool allows you to narrow the results by keywords.

As an example, say a client asks you a trust question: Who pays the income tax, the income beneficiary or the principle beneficiary?

Begin by selecting “Estate & Gift taxes” under the “Select Tax Types” section and “Statutes” under the “Select Document Type” section. Next, under the “Keywords” search box type “income tax,” and click “Search.”

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In our results we can see Texas Property Code Annotated Section 116.205 Income Taxes.

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Selecting the “Income Tax” link will take you to the text of the Texas Property Code Section 116.205, which will allow you to answer your client’s question.

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

 

Checkpoint by RIA Featured Spotlight: Form/Line Finder

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

Checkpoint’s form/fine finder is a practice aid with line-by-line summaries for individual, corporate, partnership, estate, gift, trust, and exempt organization returns. It is a quick and easy-to-use resource to find information on Internal Revenue Services’ forms and lines.

To access the form/line finder, click the “Home” tab on the top bar. Under the section “My Quick Links” click the link “Form/Line Finder.” This will take you to the Form/Line Finder resource. From here, enter the tax year, the form number, and optionally you may enter a form or schedule line number or schedule.

For example, if we wanted to find Form 8863 from 2015—Education Credits for qualifying education expenses—we simply enter “2015” into the “Tax Year” field, “8863” into the “Form Number” field, and click “go.”RIA Checkpoint 4

From the search results we can see the Education Credits form. Click the result to access the resource.

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Checkpoint provides information of the education credits including “choosing which credit to take; choosing not to take either credit,” and cross-references to other Checkpoint resources.

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