Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Research tip - Treatises

Really this applies all year round, but for those diving into legal research for a Summer job, remember to see if there is a treatise in your subject area.  Let someone else do the work for you!

You can investigate treatises on Bloomberg Law, Lexis or Westlaw (if you have access to these expensive systems - beware of high costs for resources outside of your plan).  Or, you can check out our Recommended Legal Treatises guide.  For NY specific research, this New York Treatises guide provides a detailed and extensive list.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer: Even Non-Humans Like To Swim

Like to swim during your Summer break? You aren’t the only one, and that preference transcends the human genus. Have a look here to see which animals share your enjoyment of natation, including pigs, moose, and yes, even certain felidae.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

U.S. Copyright Office: Fair Use Index

The U. S. Copyright Office launched a new tool for copyright researchers: the Fair Use Index.  "The Fair Use Index tracks a variety of judicial decisions to help both lawyers and non-lawyers better understand the types of uses courts have previously determined to be fair—or not fair. The decisions span multiple federal jurisdictions, including the U.S. Supreme Court, circuit courts of appeal, and district courts. Please note that while the Index incorporates a broad selection of cases, it does not include all judicial opinions on fair use. The Copyright Office will update and expand the Index periodically."

(Hat tip to Anne Guha)

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Driving, Mobile Devices, and State Laws

It's summer again, when we drive to new jobs, vacations, and other unfamiliar places both in and outside of New York. Current laws on the use of hand-held phones, texting, and other uses of mobile devices while driving, including penalties, can vary significantly from state to state and are subject to constant revision by legislators.  Justia, the free legal information site, has the current text of New York's laws on the use of mobile phones and other devices while driving.  Section 1225-c of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, relating to the "Use of Mobile Telephones," is available here.  Section 1225-d of the Law, covering the "Use of Portable Electronic Devices," (including their use for text messaging, games, and searching the Internet) is here.  For a quick look at other states' laws on these topics, check out the chart and state law maps provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, June 08, 2015

Bloomberg/LexisAdvance/WestlawNext Alerts - keeping track and updating your online research

So you have a long-term project and you have crafted a really good search query for the project.  Bloomberg/LexisAdvance/WestlawNext all have an "Alert" feature that permits you to save your query, set to run on a specified schedule, and send you an email when there are new search results or even if there are no results.

Alerts are an excellent way to track and update case law, pending legislation, news, dockets, or just about anything you can think to track.  Bloomberg/LexisAdvance/WestlawNext all make it easy to set and manage alerts.  In fact remembering to delete an alert when the need for it is finished may be the hardest part.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Lexis Advance Tips: Accessing and Signing up for Daily Newsletters

Law360 provides coverage of industry news and trends in forty different practice areas, state sections with litigation, legislation and regulation, corporate deals, and more.  Faculty and students can access Law360 website and the newsletter service through the law school’s LexisNexis subscription. Follow the instructions below to access as well as daily newsletters on topics of your choice.

Access the Law360 website
• Log into your school’s network
• Go to
• Read the latest legal developments or view recent articles by
practice area
Note: articles are also available as part of the
Legal News content on Lexis Advance.

Sign up for daily newsletters:
• Log into your school’s network and go to
• Select your school’s name on the top right
• In the drop down menu, select Newsletter Sign-up 1
• Enter your email 2 and select Practice Areas, Industries,
and Regions of interest.
Your email newsletter will arrive hours before the start of
business each day providing you with updates on the latest
legal developments in your areas of interest.

(Hat tip: Antoinette Stafilas, Esq., Lexis Law school Executive)

To access Lexis Advance, click here
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat