Presidential Impeachment Library

Through our subscription to HeinOnline, you can now access Hein’s Presidential Impeachment Library, an online collection bringing “together a variety of documents both contemporaneous and asynchronous to each president’s impeachment, presenting both a snapshot of the political climate as each impeachment played out and the long view history has taken of each proceeding.” The collection will continue to grow as the current impeachment process plays out.

First Monday in October 2019

The new Supreme Court term is set to begin this year on Monday October 7, 2019.

For previews of arguments scheduled for this term, visit the SCOTUSblog. Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII) also offers a comprehensive preview of the upcoming term.

You can listen to oral arguments at the Supreme Court’s Oral Arguments link, where the audio is posted at the end of each argument week. You can access the parties’ briefs at the Supreme Court’s web site. (Under Case Documents click the link for Docket Search.)

Selecting Your Courses for Next Year: Why You Should Consider Legal Research

Among the most important skills all lawyers rely upon is the ability to do legal research– to find what’s needed to to interpret and analyze legal issues. Legal research is an integral part of the “competencies” that NYLS and the ABA require of law students. Effective research skills are vital to students engaged in any type of legal writing, to those who are clerking or participating in externships, and to those entering legal practice.

To help you prepare for the realities of law practice, we offer a number of courses that build upon skills learned in the first year and will make you a more efficient, confident and successful researcher.

Legal Research: Practical Skills (1 credit)
Builds on fundamental research skills through refining students’ techniques, introducing shortcuts and new approaches, and developing effective strategies. The course focuses on finding legislation, administrative materials, and related cases; using the secondary sources relied on by practitioners; attaining greater proficiency and comfort with Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg BNA, and other online research tools, including reliable free and low-cost sources. We also offer this class with a focus on a particular substantive practice area, including Corporate & Business Law; Criminal Law; Family Law; Foreign and International Law; Intellectual Property Law; Labor and Employment Law; and Real Estate Law.

Legal Research: Skills for the Digital World (3 credits)
Continues to build on the fundamentals described in Legal Research: Practical Skills. Students concentrate on more advanced techniques and strategies and learn to evaluate online and print materials in order to choose the best and most cost effective source for particular projects. Some assignments are geared to students’ individual subject interests. Take-home assignments test and enhance students’ ability to perform various research tasks and strengthen their understanding of important research process and strategy considerations.

Want more information? Contact Prof. Camille Broussard or Prof. Michael Roffer

Listen to Second Circuit Court of Appeals Arguments

If you can’t make it to the U.S. Courthouse in Foley Square to attend oral arguments before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, next month you’ll be able to access audio recordings of them from the court’s own website.  See the court’s announcement here or here.

The recordings will become available on August 15, 2016, the first day of the court’s 2016 term.

Most of the other circuit courts of appeals also make audio recordings available on their respective web sites.  The 10th and 11th circuits are the exception.

Michael H. Roffer wins The Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award!

At this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries, our very own Michael H. Roffer, Associate Librarian for Reader Services & Professor of Legal Research will be honored with The Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award, for his book The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law. 

Established in 1967 to honor Joseph L. Andrews, reference librarian at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Andrews Legal Literature Award recognizes significant textual contributions to legal literature.  To find out more about Michael’s book, click here or stop by the Library and check it out.

Congratulations, Michael!  Your Library family is proud of you!

mhr law book

The Natural Born Citizen

There’s been a lot of debate lately about the citizenship of presidential candidates and the constitutional requirement that only a “natural born Citizen” is eligible for the Office of President.  You can find the relevant provision in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution.

It was not until 1868, however, that the Fourteenth Amendment established “birthright” citizenship, declaring all persons born in the U.S. to be citizens.  That was only one aspect of the amendment’s profound importance.  For a brief introduction to what historians and scholars describe as the most important amendment since the adoption of the Bill of Rights in 1791, see this excerpt from Professor Michael Roffer’s recently published The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law.

Free E-Book Provides Overview of Emerging Law Office Technology

The former director of the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center  recently published an e-book, Law Practice Technology: An Introduction for Law Students, that introduces law students to current law office technology.  Targeting law students interested in starting their own practice, the e-book covers cloud computing, calendaring, security, training, document management, speech input to create documents, intake and conflicts checking, and technology to assist with discovery.  It’s short enough to read or browse quickly and it links to additional internet resources. We recommend checking it out!


Every May 1 the United States observes Law Day, which President Dwight D. Eisenhower set aside as a day for Americans to reflect on the role of law in the foundation of our country and its importance for society.  The theme for 2012, No Courts | No Justice | No Freedom, focuses on the importance of courts, their role in ensuring access to justice for all Americans and how severe funding cuts are affecting the court system’s ability to fulfill this role.  Explore the links below to learn more about Law Day and the many related events.

Making the Case: Highlighting the Importance of the Nation’s Courts

New York City Bar Association Law Day Event

First Monday in October

The 2011-2012 term of the United States Supreme Court begins Monday, October 3, 2011, the first Monday in October.  In most terms, the Court usually completes its work by the following July 1.  Of the approximately 10,000 petitions filed with the Court each term, very few cases are granted review and receive signed opinions.

Many interesting cases are on the 2011 October Term docket, including the indecent broadcast regulations case between the FCC and Fox Television and the 4th amendment case dealing with the warrantless use of a GPS tracking device.  Two great sources for learning about the new term are the ABA’s Preview of the United States Supreme Court Cases and Scotus BlogPreview is published eight times during the term.  Each issue provides a concise analysis of cases granted review and summarizes decisions reached by the Court.  The Preview website links the researcher to a list of the cases granted certiorari for the 2011-2012 term with links to the merits briefs filed in each case.  Scotus Blog provides comprehensive coverage and discussion of the Supreme Court and generally reports on every merits case before the Court at least three times: before argument; after argument; and after decision.

In preparing for the new term, you may also want to look back at earlier terms.  At the end of each term, a number of journals and blogs provide a wealth of information on the types of cases heard by the Court, a breakdown of cases by major subject areas, analysis of key cases and opinions, and discussion of interesting voting trends.  For example, the eighth issue of Preview is a special issue devoted to a review of the newly completed term.  Harvard Law Review devotes its November issue to coverage of the previous term and the Scotus Blog provides a comprehensive end-of-term statistical analysis.  As noted in the analysis of this past term, the Court decided a total of 82 merits cases.  That number includes 75 signed opinions, five summary reversals, and two cases that were affirmed by an evenly divided court.  End-of-term reviews are a great way to learn more about the work of the nation’s highest court.


Harvard Law Review (via HeinOnline)


FCC v. Fox Television Stations, No. 10-1293, 613 F. 3d 317 (2d Cir. 2010)

United States v. Jones, No. 10-1259, 615 F.3d 544 (D.C. Cir. 2010)


Remembering Seven Dirty Words

Can you name all seven dirty words?  Justice Stevens can, and did — in FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978), decided 33 years ago on July 3.

In December, 1973, the Federal Communications Commission received a letter from John Douglas, a member of Morality in Media.  He and his fifteen-year-old son had heard a weekday afternoon radio broadcast of George Carlin’s “seven dirty words” routine.  It had been aired by WBAI, part of the Pacifica Foundation public radio network. The FCC subsequently issued a declaratory order holding the broadcast indecent.  No fine was imposed but the order was placed in the station’s license file.  All parties viewed the issue as an exciting test case and Pacifica appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed.

The Supreme Court then reversed the Court of Appeals in a 5-4 decision.  The majority opinion, authored by Justice Stevens, concluded that the FCC’s order did not violate the First Amendment.  The court held that in the context of broadcasting, the interests of child welfare and possibly unwilling audiences justify regulatory efforts to limit indecent content to certain time slots.  The opinion was cited frequently in the Supreme Court’s recent “fleeting expletives” case involving Fox Television Stations.

Further resources:

Nadine Strossen, Constitutional Law and Values – Version ’08 (Not Necessarily an Upgrade), 53 N.Y.L.S. L. Rev. 735 (2008-2009).

George Carlin, Last Words (2009).

Exploring Constitutional Conflicts: Regulation of Indecent Speech, (last visited June 25, 2011).

Richard A. Parker, Free Speech on Trial: Communication Perspectives on Landmark Supreme Court Decisions (2003).

Adam M. Samaha, The Story of FCC v. Pacifica Foundation (and Its Second Life) (Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper No. 314).

Categories: Law