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Blog Posts by Subject: Law

Recent Activity in the Raphael Lemkin Papers

To honor April as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, this post recounts recent efforts to bring more attention to the Polish philologist and international lawyer who coined the word genocide. The Raphael Lemkin papers have been safely held at NYPL since 1982. We expect more people will realize the significance of this collection as scholars, researchers, and the general public discover the life and achievement of Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959.)Read More ›

Booktalking "'They're Bankrupting Us!' and 20 Other Myths About Unions" by Bill Fletcher

Twenty-one myths as presented in Bill Fletcher, Jr.'s book.Read More ›

elaws: Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses

Do you have employment legal issues and would like to seek help from an employment law advisor?

elaws may be an important source of legal information for you.

The elaws Advisors are one of a number of tools developed to further Department of Labor's dedication to provide clear, accurate and accessible information on its laws and protect the wages, health benefits, retirement security, safety and health of America's workforce.

The elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small 

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September Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

The centrality of sunshine… the most fascinating New York Times obits of the year… the riddle of the

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Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decisions: A Book List

Last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

In 1996 DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, barring federal recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes such as Social Security survivors' benefits, insurance benefits, immigration and tax filing.

Section 3 of the law defines marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband 

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Booktalking "Stealing Your Life: The Ultimate Identity Theft Prevention Plan" by Frank Abagnale

Writing a personal check... purchasing items online... throwing out the trash, and bringing in the mail. You probably did not think that these activities could be putting you at risk, but you could be wrong. Personal checks are full of information that identity thieves relish. Hackers love stealing personal information online, possibly while sipping a 

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Closing the Equal Pay Gap: 50 Years and Counting

President Barack Obama officially declared Tuesday, April 9, 2013 as National Equal Pay Day. In a statement issued Monday, April 8, Obama said, "Women, who make up nearly half of our nation's workforce, face a pay gap that means they earn 23 percent less on average than men do. This disparity is even greater for African-American women and Latinas. On National Equal Pay Day, we recognize this injustice by marking how far into the new year women have to work just to make what 

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What's Next? WestlawNext: A Legal Resource for NYPL

Free legal resources on the Internet are great for everyone's needs. Until they aren't. So, what do you do next?

Libraries — public libraries — are for many a community the place where citizens expect to find law-related resources: Federal and State legislative and regulatory materials, and in many larger communities case law and lawyer-oriented secondary sources for those carefully researching legal issues. The move to web-based legislative, administrative and other legal resources by Federal and State governments and court systems is, of course, a trend 

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Happy Public Domain Day, 2013!

No copyright!

Our markets, our democracy, our science, our traditions of free speech, and our art all depend more heavily on a Public Domain of freely available material than they do on the informational material that is covered by property rights. The Public Domain is not some gummy residue left behind when all the good stuff has been covered by property law. The Public Domain is the place we quarry the building blocks of our culture. It is, in fact, the majority of our culture. —James Boyle, The Public Domain, p.40f, 2008, quoted on the ... Read More ›

I.P. Guide: International Patent Information at NYPL

We pride ourselves on our United States patent system. But, to misquote, all patents are local (or at least national). So anyone who wants patent protection in another country will have to meet the filing and legal requirements of that national government. And, of course, do a patent search!

Fortunately, there is an online patent search site that will search almost all international patents (including United States patents): Espacenet (discussed below). Of course, as with United states patents, some types of research into patents for other 

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I.P. Guide: United States Patent Information at NYPL

Government Information: Guides to Official New York State Resources

Some may regret the passing of libraries receiving goverment information in paper form. But the goal of digitization isn't sensory deprivation; and anyway, paper materials started to disappear before the Internet came along — think microfiche, microfilm, even microcards (and yes, we have some of those at NYPL). Maybe someday all official goverment documents will be available online. However, not yet — there are still paper, and microform, collections here at SIBL.

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How to Research and Employ an Attorney

At some time in their life, most New York City residents will need to employ an attorney. This may reflect the need to make a will, a

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Haiti's Patent Law of 1826 - Solution and Wrap-Up

Last June, I made note of one of SIBL's patent pamphlets cataloged long ago as the Haitian Patent Law for 1826. I had my doubts about it, and wondered if anyone could help. Now, to wrap things up I thought I'd share some of what I learned here... and give an answer to the question "what is it?"

The document's title is Loi sur les patentes. Patente is not French for what in everyday speech we call a patent. As I should have known from seeing it elsewhere, 

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How to Find Free or Low Cost Legal Services in New York City

These services are generally available only to those of limited financial means. However, there are also certain legal services that are available for those of moderate means. If you are a person of limited financial means who faces a civil legal issue — one that is not a criminal offense — certainly the most comprehensive source of information about your legal rights is LawHelp.org. Its assistance is also 

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Legal Resources at NYPL and Elsewhere in New York City

Without a doubt, the best location in the New York Public Library to conduct legal research about legal issues that arise in either the state or the city of New York is the Science Industry and Business Library. SIBL has a selective law library that contains such essential New York legal research tools as McKinney’s Consolidated Statutes of New York (annotated with New York and federal cases and state agencies that cite the 

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Freedom of Information Day 2012 at SIBL — Wrap-Up

Thursday, March 15 was Freedom of Information Day here at SIBL. I would like to offer a big round of thanks (I'd add a round of applause, but don't have the audio file) to our speaker this year, Robert Weissman, president of the advocacy organization Public Citizen. His informative and inspiring presentation was very much appreciated!

With Weissman's permission, I have attached a copy of his PowerPoint slides (with some changes made to pages containing 

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Gilbert King's "Devil in the Grove": Thurgood Marshall and A Cry of Rape

Arguably the most important American lawyer of the 20th century, Thurgood Marshall was on the verge of bringing the landmark suit Brown versus Board of Education when he became embroiled in an explosive and deadly case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life. Author Gilbert King's new book Devil in the Grove, published later this month by HarperCollins, is the definitive 

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I've Got a Secret: The Bureaucrat's Delight

I've Got a Secret. From a simpler time, it's a TV show title — one that, along with To Tell the Truth, becomes a whole lot darker in meaning in many a modern context. The simple, innocent deceptions that amused TV audiences in days of yore have given way to glaring problems in the public forum where stealth can disarm legitimate opposition and carry off the prize.

One reason we observe Freedom of Information (FOI) Day (observed at SIBL on March 15, 2012) is to give ourselves a 

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Intellectual Property Day at SIBL, November 2011 — Wrap-Up

The Hat - Patents and TrademarksThe talent pool in patents and trademarks at SIBL is deep — which means we're almost always ready to answer IP questions on the spot when they come up. But I've been lucky and have had the opportunity to wear the patent and trademark hat — yes, there is one, it won first place in a contest a few years ago! And among the privileges this brings is the opportunity to invite U.S. Patent and Trademark Office representatives to come to SIBL every couple of years for public and staff 

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