Bloomberg BNA’s Corporate Law Report: What is it?

This is the first in a four part series spotlighting Bloomberg BNA’s Corporate Law Report.

The Corporate Law Report is Bloomberg/BNA’s current awareness newsletter featuring articles and insights on Corporate Law.  This hub connects you with current and past articles, current and past issues, global and national from some of the most well-known corporations in the world.

The Corporate Law Report home page provides different sections, beginning with the News page as seen below, followed by a tab for there INSIGHTS page.

Below is a view of the home page.

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To stay updated on a specific topic of interest, check out the recent news which can be accessed from the home page and is indicated by the green box below.

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For quick searches of the entire database, locate the search box at the top right corner of the page. For advanced searches, select “advanced search” to the bottom left of the search box. The advanced search tool allows you to search by title, author, keywords, topic, agency, location or tribunal. In addition, it allows you to narrow your search by type, and publication date. Note the collapsible search options in green.

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Access to the Corporate Law Report database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

 

HeinOnline’s Gun Regulation and Legislation in America: Hearings

This is the fourth in a four part series blog post spotlighting HeinOnline’s new database Gun Regulation and Legislation in America.

This blog post seeks to highlight the Hearings feature of HeinOnline’s Gun Regulation and Legislation in America database. This feature, allows you to search hearings related to Gun Regulation spanning back to 1788. Access to this feature is possible by clicking “Hearings” from the home page, as shown below.

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After selecting Hearings, you will be brought to the page shown below.

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As you can see below, indicated by the green boxes, you are able to sort the various hearings by title, author, date, or subject. Below, the documents have been sorted by date.

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Access to HeinOnline’s Gun Regulation and Legislation in America database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

HeinOnline’s Gun Regulation and Legislation in America: CRS Reports

This is the third in a four part series blog post spotlighting HeinOnline’s new database Gun Regulation and Legislation in America.

This blog post seeks to highlight the CRS Reports feature available on HeinOnline’s Gun Regulation and Legislation in America database.  First, a CRS Report comes from the Congressional Research Service and the reports are encyclopedic research reports meant to define issues in a legislative context.  The reports provided on this database pertain primarily to Gun Regulation.

Access to the CRS Reports feature from the home page is indicated by the green box below.

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After selecting CRS Reports, you will be brought to the page shown below.

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From this page, you can then select from various reports, and read about gun regulation related issues. For instance, if you select the seventh option:

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You will be brought to the page shown below.

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Like the last blog post highlighting Supreme Court Briefs, the same interactive features exist for CRS Reports. Such as: the download, print, email, link, and bookmark functions (shown below by the green box); the page selection tool (indicated by a yellow box); the citation tools (indicated by a blue box); and finally the viewing tools (shown by a purple box).

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Should you click the box represented by four squares (located in the purple box shown above), you can select how many pages of the report you would like to view at a time, as demonstrated below:

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As indicated above by the purple box, you can select 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 pages to view at a time.  Currently it is set to view three pages.

Access to HeinOnline’s Gun Regulation and Legislation in America database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

 

HeinOnline’s Gun Regulation and Legislation in America: Supreme Court Briefs

This is the second in a four part series blog post spotlighting HeinOnline’s new database Gun Regulation and Legislation in America.

This blog post seeks to spotlight the Supreme Court Briefs feature on the Gun Regulation and Legislation in America Database.  This feature is especially nifty because it allows you to explore a variety of briefs submitted to the Supreme Court with a focus on gun regulation.

Below, the green box indicates what to select from the home page.

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After selecting Supreme Court Briefs, you will be brought to the page shown below.

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From this page, you can then select from various briefs, and read about gun regulation related issues before the Supreme Court.  For instance, if you select the third option:

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You can see that this particular brief was submitted to the Supreme Court appealing a 4th Circuit decision. The functions above the brief allow you to download the brief as a pdf, print, email the brief to yourself, link the brief in a hyperlink, or bookmark or save the brief in your HeinOnline searches.

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The green box, depicted below, shows where you can skip to a particular page, should you need to.

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On the left hand side of the page is a button labled “cite”.  As depicted below, if you click the “cite” button, a box will appear, giving you the option to either cite to this brief or pinpoint cite.  The citations are provided in a variety of formats including bluebook.

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Access to HeinOnline’s Gun Regulation and Legislation in America database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

HeinOnline’s Gun Regulation and Legislation in America: What is it?

This is the first in a four part series blog post spotlighting HeinOnline’s database Gun Regulation and Legislation in America.

HeinOnline has provided this database as a platform for research and to promote civil discourse on the myriad issues related to gun regulation. Their goal is to help facilitate productive discussions and help to bring all sides of this argument together to effect positive change and prevent more senseless loss of life, in the wake of several of the most deadly mass shootings in United States history.

Below is a view of the home page.

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This database provides various sources relating to Gun Regulation and Legislation including: periodicals, legislative history, CRS reports, congressional hearing reports, Supreme Court briefs, scholarly articles, and external links for further research.

Below, the green boxes indicate where these sources can be located from the home page.

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Access to HeinOnline’s Gun Regulation and Legislation in America database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

December 2018 New Resources

2018 dec new book

In December 2018, the Law Library added the following new resources to the collection to support the research and curricular needs of our faculty and students.

New Resources

Foreign  International Law Resources Database (Part VII:  International Human Rights Law Institute) – Contained within HeinOnline, the International Human Rights Law Institute is the newest section of this vast database focusing on foreign and international legal material.  Part VII contains publications from the International Human Rights Law Institute. Topics within this section include information on sex trafficking, Middle East legal issues, and international extradition among others.

New Books

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE

  1. Joseph F. Hoelscher, Texas Drunk Driving Law (2017).

HEALTH AND MENTAL WELLBEING

  1. Christopher M. Norris, The Complete Guide to Stretching (2015).

LEGISLATION

  1. Shambie Singer, Statutes and Statutory Construction (2018).

TRIAL PRACTICE

  1. Judge Robert R. Barton, Fundamentals of Texas Trial Practice: Civil and Criminal (2018).

All these resources are available from the Law Library.  If you would like to check out any of these titles, please contact the circulation desk at either 806-742-3957 or stop by the Circulation Desk.

All electronic databases are available through the Library’s webpage, http://www.depts.ttu.edu/law/lawlibrary/index.php

Error of the Day & Maintaining Integrity of Algorithmic Results

If you’re into algorithms, you should absolutely subscribe to the MIT Technology Review newsletter called The Algorithm.

Earlier this month, the folks at The Algorithm asked “what is AI, exactly?” The answer is reproduced below.

The question may seem basic, but the answer is kind of complicated. In the broadest sense, AI refers to machines that can learn, reason, and act for themselves. They can make their own decisions when faced with new situations, in the same way that humans and animals can.

As it currently stands, the vast majority of the AI advancements and applications you hear about refer to a category of algorithms known as machine learning. These algorithms use statistics to find patterns in massive amounts of data. They then use those patterns to make predictions on things like what shows you might like on Netflix, what you’re saying when you speak to Alexa, or whether you have cancer based on your MRI.

Machine learning, and its subset deep learning (basically machine learning on steroids), is incredibly powerful. It is the basis of many major breakthroughs, including facial recognitionhyper-realistic photo and voice synthesis, and AlphaGo, the program that beat the best human player in the complex game of Go. But it is also just a tiny fraction of what AI could be.

The grand idea is to develop something resembling human intelligence, which is often referred to as “artificial general intelligence,” or “AGI.” Some experts believe that machine learning and deep learning will eventually get us to AGI with enough data, but most would agree there are big missing pieces and it’s still a long way off. AI may have mastered Go, but in other ways it is still much dumber than a toddler.

In that sense, AI is also aspirational, and its definition is constantly evolving. What would have been considered AI in the past may not be considered AI today. 

Because of this, the boundaries of AI can get really confusing, and the term often gets mangled to include any kind of algorithm or computer program. We can thank Silicon Valley for constantly inflating the capabilities of AI for its own convenience.

It’s good to be reminded of this definition as we contend with the latest releases of the legal research databases as the databases continuously tweak their underlying algorithms — the latest being Westlaw Edge.

With Westlaw Edge comes a revised “WestSearch Plus.”

Introducing the next generation of legal search. Get superior predictive research suggestions as you start typing your legal query in the global search bar.

WestSearch Plus applies state-of-the-art AI technologies to help you quickly address legal questions for thousands of legal topics without needing to drill into a results list.

We’re starting to see a time when the Google Generation is already predisposed to not drill into a results list and now the databases are actively advocating for the users to blindly rely on the top result in the list.

Along with the consequences of fake news on algorithmic results when using Google, for example, we must also be aware of the errors within the legal research databases themselves. To that end, a fellow law librarian, Mary Matuszak, has been collecting the errors that she finds during the legal research process in the various databases and distributes them via the Law-Lib listerv as “Error of the Day.”

From October 30, 2018:

Error of the Day  A  Lexis typo (possibly scanning error) in  Excessiveness of Bail in State Cases, 7 A.L.R.6th 487.   The following group of letters is used six times throughout the document, CocainesepBail.   A quick look at the Westlaw version shows that it should be Cocaine – Bail

From November 5, 2018:

In the Case People v Kindell, 148 AD3d 456 (1st Dept 2017), Susan Axelrod is listed as both the counsel for the Appellant and the Respondent.   The official version, the print, does not list the attorneys.

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I confirmed with ADA Axelrod that she did not represent the defendant and opposing counsel was not someone with the same name.   I also checked the defendant’s brief and it lists Ms. Moser as counsel.

While these errors are seemingly minute individually, the consequences are greater in the aggregate.

My own mentor, a law librarian who had been in the profession for 40 years, kept a print file of the errors that he found in the databases while performing legal research. The file was overflowing by the time I saw it roughly 3 years before his retirement.

Because an algorithm’s results are only as good as the underlying data, as we move toward an algorithmic society that relies heavily on algorithmic decision making, these errors could have consequences on the development of the law.