Not Dead Yet: Santa Claus, Yogi Berra, and Source Verification (Churchill not Reagan)

No, Virginia, you can’t believe anything you read “on the Internet,” except of course that there is a Santa Claus.

Yogi Berra is still alive.

And, from the Net for Lawyers blogThe ‘Death’ of Judd Nelson, Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum, et al: The Importance of Verifying Sources on the Internet”

And, last but not least, Mr. Churchill came before Mr. Reagan with an admonition to verify sources.

Landlord-Tenant Law Guide (from the Law Library of Congress)

Just because landlord-tenant law is state-specific and local law for most of us mere mortals doesn’t mean there aren’t some excellent treatises and resources on the subject for those times we need to read about multi-state landlord-tenant practices and policies. If that is where your research is taking you, mosey over to the LLLoC blog post:

Landlord-Tenant Law: A Beginner’s Guide

Judges who Blog

From LawSites: New Blog Serves as Training Hub for Minnesota Judges, Trial Lawyers

And, see links to this at the bottom of the blog post:

“For more examples of judges who blog, see my [Bob Ambrogi's] earlier posts:

A Quick Survey of Blogs Written by Judges.
More Judges Who Blog.Are you a judge with a blog? Let me know and I’ll add it to my list.

LawSites homepage.

Free Public Access to Federal Materials on “Guide to Law Online” (WOW x 1,000!)

“Free Public Access to Federal Materials on Guide to Law Online
October 14, 2014 by Donna Sokol
This is a guest post by Ann Hemmens, legal reference librarian at the Law Library of Congress.

Through an agreement with the Library of Congress, the publisher William S. Hein & Co., Inc. has generously allowed the Law Library of Congress to offer free online access to historical U.S. legal materials from HeinOnline. These titles are available through the Library’s web portal, Guide to Law Online: U.S. Federal, and include ….” [Link to blog post and guide.]

This is more amazing than you might imagine. Access include the following!

United States Code 1925-1988 (includes content up to 1993)

United States Reports v. 1-542 (1754-2004)

Code of Federal Regulations (1938-1995)

Federal Register v. 1-58 (1936-1993)

Thank you, thank you, thank you to HeinOnline AND the Law Library of Congress!!

Free Federal Tax Law Research: Legalbitstream and More

About once a quarter we’re asked where to find IRS Private Letter Rulings and other IRS documents that used to be tough to find outside a law library that subscribed to expensive tax databases and treatises.

You can still find these documents in the usual fee-based resources, Lexis, Westlaw, and (maybe) Bloomberg (we don’t subscribe to Bloomberg, so I don’t know).

But there are also some free sources. One of those is Legalbitstream: “Your Source for Free Federal Tax Law Research, Comprehensive and timely updated databases.”

You can find other sources for IRS Private Letter Rulings, and other IRS documents, from InfoPro Zimmerman’s Research Guide, Internal Revenue Service. (For more legal research tips, visit Zimmerman’s Research Guide Homepage.)

Legislative Words: What are Congressional “Terms,” “Sessions,” “Adjournment,” and “Recesses”?

The dance of legislation has more steps and rules (and foot and toe stomping opportunities) than a few words defined, but learning the Language of Congress is a good place to start:

Sessions, Adjournments, and Recesses of Congress, by Richard S. Beth, Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process, and Jessica Tollestrup, Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process, February 27, 2013:

“The House and Senate use the terms session, adjournment, and recess in both informal and more formal ways, but the concepts apply in parallel ways to both the daily and the annual activities of Congress. A session begins when the chamber convenes and ends when it adjourns. A recess, by contrast, does not terminate a session, but only suspends it temporarily…. [Link to full CRS Report

A regular annual session of Congress begins when the two chambers convene in January, pursuant to the Constitution (or to law). An annual session ends with an adjournment sine die. Until the next annual session convenes, Congress is then in a period of sine die adjournment (or “intersession recess”). If the President were to call an additional, “extraordinary” session, it would be procedurally similar to a regular annual session. …[Link to full CRS report.]

New 2014 Edition: Universal Citation Guide

From HeinOnline:The Universal Citation Guide, 3rd ed. recognizes the current practices of legal researchers who often consult an electronic research tool without ever seeing a print volume of a reporter or code sitting on a library shelf.”

…. As states publish primary documents on their own web sites and researchers utilize a wide variety of options to access legal materials, it is necessary to have a universal system of citation that helps users locate information across all formats, platforms, and publishers….” [Link to HeinOnline blog post and order information.]

PACER Update: How to Find Federal Court Documents Removed by the U.S. Administrative Office of the Courts

The University of North Carolina Law Library has developed a guide on:

Accessing Docket Information Directly from the Courts Affected by the Removal of Information.

Previous OLR blog posts on the most recent removal of PACER documents:

Updates (and venting) on PACER and AOC Removal of Court Documents
It’s not all online, folks: PACER Removes Many Federal Court Documents