Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Finding Federal Legislative History (1789-present) Online

Find selected federal legislative history (1789-present) online with LexisNexis Congressional . See the left frame under “Congressional Search Forms” and review the following search options:

  • Congressional Publications (For detailed content information, click Basic Search > congressional materials and legislative histories > What Publications are Contained in Each Results List Document Type?)
  • Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws
  • Members & Committees
  • Regulations
  • Daily Congressional Record & Rules
  • Political News/Hot Topics

Practice Assignment:
Retrieve legislative history for American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 including congressional publications, House/Senate bills and committee reports, and floor debates. Also check the news for all updates to this Act since 1999.

Assignment Search and Retrieval Options:
1. Congressional Publications (Basic Search, Advanced Search, or Search by Number):Click Advanced Search link. Click in “Enter search terms” template and type: American Inventors Protection Act of 1999.

Under “Search within,” select:

Committee Prints & Misc. Publications (1830-present)
CRS (Congressional Research Service) Reports (1916-present)
Hearings (1824-present)
House & Senate Documents (1817-present)
House & Senate Reports (1819-present)
Legislative Histories (1969-present)
Serial Set (1789-1969)

Under “Restrict by,” select Congress 106(1999-2000).
Click red SEARCH button and review retrieval abstracts.
Click each abstract and review document.
Scroll to and click live links and/or Replica of Original link for full text.

2. Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws (Keyword Search or Get a Document):
Click Keyword Search link.
Click in “Enter search terms” template and type: American Inventors Protection Act of 1999.
Under “Restrict by,” select Congress 106(1999-2000).

Run separate searches for:
Legislative Histories
Bill Tracking
Bills (Full Text)
Floor Votes
Click red SEARCH button and review retrievals for each search.
Click each abstract and review document.
Scroll to and click live links and/or Replica of Original link for full text.

3. Daily Congressional Record & Rules (Keyword Search or Get a Document):
Click Keyword Search link.
Click in “Enter search terms” template and type: American Inventors Protection Act of 1999.
Under “Restrict by,” select Congress 106(1999-2000).
Click red SEARCH button and review retrieval abstracts.
Click each abstract for full text.

4. Political News/Hot Topics:
Click Political News link.
Click in “Enter search terms” template and type: American Inventors Protection Act of 1999.
Under “In,” select Full Text.
Under “Search within,” select The Hill, Roll Call, and The Washington Post.
In “Restrict by date,” select Previous 10 years.
Click red SEARCH button and review full text.

Researchers can also access LexisNexis Congressional from the
Databases / Indexes link on the Westminster Law Library

For researchers who prefer to use microfiche, check back next week for a blog entry on FINDING FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE HISTORY ON MICROFICHE.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Email Updates From Hearsay

Subscribe to e-mail updates from Hearsay! Stay current on the latest announcements, new databases and research tips from the Westminster Law Library. There is now a registration form on the right side, near the bottom of the blog that will allow you to subscribe to updates. After you subscribe, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. You need to click on the link in the message to confirm your subscription and then you are all set.

Summer Westlaw & Lexis Access

Want to maintain access to Westlaw & Lexis over the summer? Because the SCOL has an academic contract with these vendors, you need to be aware that there are specific policies & procedures regarding summer access to Westlaw & Lexis.

Law student access in June and July goes down to two hours per month unless you apply for an extension. Extensions are permitted if you are taking summer law classes, doing law review and journal work, working on a project for a professor, participating in moot court or doing an unpaid non-profit public interest internship/externship or pro bono work required for graduation.

Graduating students are also given the option to extend their password. Extension allows graduating students 10 hours of additional access on their current password in June and July for bar exam preparation.

Use this link to the sign-on home page of you enter your password, you will be directed to the extension page.


Students and faculty may use their LexisNexis Law School Educational ID only for academic purposes. Academic purposes" include, but are not limited to:
  • class preparation and assignments
  • research associated with moot court or law review/law journal
  • research associated with pursuing a grant or scholarship
  • service as a research assistant to a professor (either paid or unpaid)
  • an unpaid internship, externship or clinic position for school credit
  • clerkship for credit
  • bar review

"Academic purposes" do not include research conducted for a law firm, corporation or other entity (other than a professor or law school) that is paying the student to conduct said research, or that is passing along the costs of said research to a third party. These are deemed "commercial purposes". As such, students’ access will be restricted to a limited menu of employment research related materials beginning June 1. These menu limitations will be lifted on August 1.

To sign up for summer access, go to the lexis law school home page and click on the rotating banner that advertises summer access. Fill out the form and you are all set.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Copyright & Education

Copyright laws are complex. University students and professors tend to assume that everything done in school is protected by the “fair use” doctrine. This may not be true, and the particular use of each work must be considered separately. There are a number of considerations applicable to copyright infringement. The following websites discuss the definition of “fair use”, among others, and should be reviewed in order to avoid copyright infringement in the university setting and elsewhere.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Open Access E-Books

Library users in Colorado now have access to tens of thousands of additional open-access digitized books and serials through the Prospector Library Catalog. The digitized items originate from the University of Michigan, a partner in the Google Books digitization project. Last year the University of Michigan made available bibliographic records for many of the out-of-copyright titles that Google digitized from its collections. The University then made available online files for each of the digitized works.

The bibliographic records were acquired and enhanced by librarians at the Auraria Library in Denver. After the records were loaded into Skyline, the Auraria Library online catalog, they were uploaded to Prospector, the union catalog of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries. Now library patrons from across Colorado have access to the online books via the Prospector catalog. Except for the University of Michigan where the books originated, the Auraria Library was the first library in the nation to make these books available to its users.

There are over 105,000 digitized books and serials freely available in this initial phase of the project. They cover a broad range of topics in the humanities and sciences and are in many different languages. They represent the rich collections found at the University of Michigan and complement local collections held in Colorado libraries. Moreover, the books are "open-access," which means they are in the public domain either because they were published before 1923 or because they are a government publication and therefore not copyrighted.

Adapted From Prospector Press Release, April 10, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Exalead Search Engine

Tired of using the standard search engines such as Google or Yahoo? Try Exalead instead!

Exalead, a newer search engine from France, was released on the Web in 2004. It currently offers the following types of searching: web searches from over eight billion pages for Web sites, Word documents, .pdf
files, etc. and image searches over two billion pages for photographs, illustrations, and icons.

Warning: multiple search terms are processed as an AND operation by default. (Adding more terms will more likely retrieve fewer results.) Prepare to launch a search by reviewing precise truncation and proximity search strategies in Web Search Features. Find images quickly by following search hints in Exalead Images Search Features Search Exalead exact phrases for more accuracy:

EXAMPLE: Type "Ruth Bader Ginsburg" in search box and click Web Search button.
Your Exalead result will include:
- Page title
- Keyword in context extract (or sometimes just a summary)
- Domain name
- File size
- Add to shortcuts link
- Thumbnail screenshot on the left
Click "Only recent results" link for current information. See "Narrow your search" options on the right for links to related materials. Change results display by clicking View icon for "show text only" or "show images and text view."

Personalize Exalead search engine by creating shortcuts to your favorite Web sites now! Just click an "Add a shortcut" link and type a URL and/or title in the template. Your shortcuts will be saved and accessible anytime you log onto the same computer you use to create the shortcuts. Access your shortcuts from any Internet-connected computer in the world. Just click "create my account" and your shortcuts will be saved in account preferences.

Find Exalead in the Law Library's Web Research Links under Non-Legal > Search Engines > Exalead.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oral Arguments

The Lawyering Process program is hosting live oral arguments for the Colorado Court of Appeals here at the Sturm College of Law on Thursday, April 9th from 4-5pm. Oral arguments in two cases will be heard before Judge Russell Carparelli, Judge Robert Hawthorne and Judge Diana Terry.

Student or staff id's are required to access the courtroom in Room 165. Space is limited so there will also be overflow rooms set up with a live feed of the proceedings. A reception follows in the Forum from 5-6:30pm. RSVP's are required for the reception.

This year's cases are DeHerrera v. EquityLink LLC and People v. Villaneuva. Briefs are posted on the LP website. The Reese Persuasive Writing Awards and Hartje Objective Writing Awards nominees are announced during the reception. Past award winners and photos of previous Judge's Day events provide some context for the event.

For a list of books and videos relating to oral arguments, see our earlier post.