Author Archives: Hastings Law Library

USASpending.gov

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 mandated a user-friendly, searchable database of most federal spending , and the result, USASpending.gov, went live today. The White House budget office is responsible for publishing the web site, which shows taxpayers where their dollars go and which legislators, contractors and regions get the most.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 was sponsored by Senators Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). The site was created by Robert Shea, associate director of the Office of Management and Budget. It was modeled on a site pioneered by Gary Bass, director of OMB Watch, which has been a harsh critic of the budget office. You can search the site by contracts and grants, contractor names, congressional districts and lawmakers. It is easy to download data, and there are charts and rankings show who gets the most money. The site will be updated every two weeks even though the law only requires updating every month.

New Report on the Cost of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

There is a recently published report by the Joint Economic Committee Majority Staff, titled War at Any Price: The Total Economic Costs of the War Beyond the Federal Budget. The press release about the report, dated November 13, 2007, states:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) will join Joint Economic Committee (JEC) Chairman Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and JEC Vice Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) [today [and release ] a new report exposing the hidden costs of the war in Iraq. The Joint Economic Committee report investigates the costs of the war in Iraq that are not included in direct budgetary appropriations, including long term veteran’s health care, foregone investment, oil market disruptions and interest payments on borrowed war funding. The JEC estimates these costs could total in the trillions of dollars.

There were some errors in the report that were “quietly corrected”, a Republican press report noted.
Here are some of the individual charts on the costs:
The American Family Will Bear Heavy Burden to Pay for Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
With No Change in Course, Total Costs Incurred per Family Reach Almost $50,000 by 2017
The Projected Interest Costs of Iraq War Alone are Higher than
the Cost of Children’s Health Program and Health Research and Training

Taxpayer Spending on Iraq War vs. Federal Spending on Other Priorities

Terrorism Report Released

Are you interested in the types of terrorist activitites that have taken place in the United States? The FBI just released the latest edition of its report summarizing terrorist activities in the US, titled “Terrorism 2002-2005.”
The report “provides an overview of the terrorist incidents and preventions designated by the FBI as having taken place in the United States and its territories during the years 2002 through 2005 and that are matters of public record. This publication does not include those incidents which the Bureau classifies under criminal rather than terrorism investigations. In addition, the report discusses major FBI investigations overseas and identifies significant events-including legislative actions, prosecutorial updates, and program developments-relevant to U.S. counterterrorism efforts.”
The report includes a chart of “casualties of terrorism 1980-2005″ and a chronological summary of the terrorist incidents in the US between 1980-2005.

Noise & Food in the Library and Gold Reading Room

There have been repeated complaints about the noise level in the Law Library and Gold Reading Room. As we head toward the exam period, please be considerate of others and keep conversations to a minimum.
Additionally, there has been a problem with food, drink, and related waste being brought into the library and not properly discarded. Food is prohibited in the library. You may bring bottled water and other covered drinks into the library (but not into the computer lab).
Thanks for your cooperation.

1L Doctrines Set to Music!

A law student (Josh Keesan, class of 2009 , Boalt), dissatisfied with traditional study aids for 1Ls, has put considerable effort into creating an alternative. Check out: The Law of Rock, Vol. 1. For the first time, complex legal doctrines can be learned by resorting to these lyrical memory aids.
Samples from the album are available for the folowing topics:
* Contributory Negligence
* Promissory Estoppel
* Mens Rea

What is a Hornbook?

hornbook2.jpg A hornbook is a informative text that serves as primer for study. The hornbook originated in England in 1450, and has been favored in various areas of study over the years. Originally, it referred to a leaf or single-page of text containing basic study materials for children; it was covered with a sheet of transparent horn and then attached to a small wooden frame with a handle. In recent legal studies, a hornbook has become a common term used to describe a one-volume treatise written primarily for law students on subjects typically covered by law school courses. Unlike casebooks, which are collections of cases (or parts of cases) chosen to help illustrate and stimulate discussion about legal issues, hornbooks attempt to summarize and explain the law in a specific area. One popular set of hornbooks is “West’s Hornbook Series.” Hornbooks can be a great place to find a clear explanation of a point of law. The library has hornbooks on most subjects at the circulation desk. The library’s most popular hornbooks are listed on our study guides webpage.

Law Library of Congress is Digitizing Hearings

The Law Library of Congress has about 75,000 volumes of Congressional hearings. The library has partnered with Google, Inc. to digitize the hearings and make them freely available to Congress and the public. The first sets of digitized hearings have been released, at http://www.loc.gov/law/find/hearings.html. The topics covered are Freedom of Infomration/Privacy, Immigration, and the U.S. Census .

Library Access

We are 99% finished in the renovation and have now re-opened. Who can use the library?
• Current Hastings students can of course use the library during regular library hours.
• Members of the California Bar, Hastings alumni, and law students from other law schools may use the library whenever it is open (including evening and weekend hours). Library hours are listed here. These library patrons are required to sign-in at the first floor Security Desk after showing appropriate ID, and then they will be issued a visitor pass good for that day.
• The general public may use the Hastings Law Library from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. All library visitors are required to show a state-issued ID and to sign-in at the first floor Security Desk. Visiting library patrons will be issued a visitor’s pass good for that day, if they can state a valid reason for entering the library. Visitor passes must be worn at all times while in Hastings’ buildings. The Security Desk cannot issue visitor passes to members of the general public for evening and weekend access.

Writing a Law Review Note or Seminar Paper

Here are two books that might be helpful when you start thinking about writing your law review note or seminar paper:
- Scholarly Writing for Law Students: Seminar Papers, Law Review Notes, and Law Review Competition Papers, by Elizabeth Fajans and Mary R. Falk (3rd ed. 2005) [See description on publisher's website]
- Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminar Papers, and Getting on Law Review, by Eugene Volokh (2d ed. 2005) [See author's website]
They both include information about choosing a topic, writing & editing your paper, and getting your paper published.