Thursday, 29 November 2007

Westlaw news

November's Westlaw newsletter of new features and databases has a few noteworthy items:
  • Search for Key Numbers is a fabulous addition: Click on the "Key Numbers" link at the top of the Westlaw research system page and you will pull up a page that lets you search for the key number that you want with your own keywords. For example I searched for the terms "landlord tenant light bulb" and it pulled up five key numbers that were pretty much perfect for what I wanted. No need for fancy query construction.
  • The US GAO Federal Legislative Histories (FED-LH) database contains the GAO's collection of comprehensive legislative history documents compiled for most U.S. Public Laws enacted from 1915 to 1995.This includes the Public Law, Reports, Committee Prints, Congressional Record entries, Bills and Resolutions, Hearing prints, Presidential signing statements, Presidential messages, and other documents, all in pdf format and broken down into three categories - Congressional Materials, Hearings, and Presidential Documents. There is a "rolling release" of these documents; the November 2007 release contains legislative histories for public laws enacted between 1988 and 1995.
  • Five Topical Views of ALR can now be searched as discrete databases:
    American Law Reports–Construction (ALR-CSTR)
    American Law Reports–Elder Law (ALR-ELD)
    American Law Reports–Environmental Law (ALR-ENV)
    American Law Reports–Immigration (ALR-IMM)
    American Law Reports–Workers' Compensation (ALR-WC) ; and remember that come January, Westlaw will offer exclusive access to the ALR.

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