Supreme Court to hear Civil Procedure Cases

Supreme Court to hear Civil Procedure Cases

Current and former United States law students will no doubt fondly recall the Supreme Court case of International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945), from their first-year Civil Procedure classes.  Students of Civil Procedure know that the jurisdiction of state courts in the United States covers the state in which the court sits, and as far beyond those bounds as may be consistent with the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.[1]  Federal district courts will draw the limits of their own jurisdiction from the laws governing the courts of the state where they sit.[2]  Courts may exercise specific jurisdiction over a corporate defendant in cases where “the activities of the corporation [in the state] have not only been continuous and Continue reading

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Summer and Post-Graduation Access to Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and Westlaw

Graduating 3Ls:

  • Bloomberg Law – Your access to Bloomberg Law will continue for six months after graduation.  During that time you may use Bloomberg for research related to bar preparation, interview preparation, private study or employment. You do not need to register for this extended access.
  • Lexis Advance – Your access to Lexis Advance will continue until December 31, 2017 but it must be accessed through  On July 1st your Lexis landing page will change to job and career information. You have until June 30th to spend any accumulated Lexis points. Graduating students who will be employed by nonprofit organizations can also apply for the Lexis ASPIRE ID Program which gives you 12 months of free access to Lexis primary materials and select secondary materials. See the grad access link for more information.
  • Westlaw – Your access to Westlaw will be severely limited after graduation unless you take their survey for Graduate Elite access.  The Graduate Elite program provides up to 60 hours of searching per month until November 2017. Logon to your Westlaw account and click on the Graduate link for details on eligibility.

Current 1Ls and 2Ls – Summer Access:

  • Bloomberg Law – Your access to Bloomberg Law will not change. You may use either system for research related to any school work, private study or employment during the summer.
  • Lexis Advance – Your access to Lexis Advance will not change. Lexis permits research related to any school work, private study or employment during the summer. Note that some employer policies require the use of firm accounts.
  • Westlaw – Your access to Westlaw will be limited to a set number of hours for academic use per month during June and July unless you register for summer access before the end of May. You may register for summer access if needed for academic purposes, such as:
    • work on Moot Court or a law review or journal
    • an unpaid externship for which you receive law school credit
    • or work as a faculty research assistant.

To register for summer access, logon to your Westlaw account and look for Summer
Westlaw Use information. Click the Extend your password link.

Questions about post-graduation and summer access to these databases may be sent to Regina Kozul or Lori Corso.

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Quick Overview: Admiralty & Maritime Law

by Robert Hegadorn

Admiralty & Maritime Law is a comprehensive body of American law dealing with ships  (vessels) and commerce conducted over bodies of water.  Included within the scope of admiralty law are concepts of contract law, tort law, labor law, and more.  The admiralty jurisdiction of American courts is specified in Article III the United States Constitution, granting subject matter jurisdiction over admiralty and maritime cases to the federal judiciary.  See U. S. CONST. art. III, § 2, cl. 1.  “Bodies of water” that may be subject to the jurisdiction of federal admiralty courts include, as you might expect, the world’s oceans, and other “navigable waters.”  These navigable waters include those waters that

are navigable in fact. . . . [T]hey are navigable in fact when they are used, or are susceptible of being used, in their ordinary condition, as highways for commerce . . . [and] when they form in their ordinary condition by themselves, or by uniting with other waters, a [continued] highway over which commerce is or may be carried on with other States or foreign countries in the customary modes in which such commerce is conducted by water.

The Daniel Ball, 77 U.S. 557, 563 (1870).  This means that, potentially, any claim that arises involving your favorite recreational stream or lake may fall under the admiralty jurisdiction of the federal courts, if that body of water is “navigable” for purposes of interstate commerce.  Beyond this, admiralty jurisdictional issues can be complex, and require careful research.  In some matters, invoking a court’s admiralty jurisdiction is the only way a litigant can bring their action, and some types of claims are statutorily subject to federal admiralty jurisdiction (e.g., 46 U.S.C. §§ 31321-31330).  But in an appropriate case, a litigant can choose to take advantage of the “savings” clause of 28 U.S.C. § 1333 to seek remedies at law.  Litigants may seek to do this where they may, as admiralty claims generally do not have a right to a jury trial (see F.R.C.P. 38(e)).  Other special features of American admiralty law are limitation of liability (see 46 U.S.C. § 30505), and in rem jurisdiction over a vessel (a court may issue “arrest warrant” for a ship—not the ship’s owners, officers, or crew, but the ship itself—see F.R.C.P. Supplemental Rule C(3)(a)).

There is, of course, far more substance to American admiralty law then can be dealt with in a short blog post.  Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law students that have an interest in this field can find resources in the Library to aid their research into such matters, including the Library’s Admiralty & Maritime Law LibGuide.  Contact a Reference Librarian for further assistance in researching this complex, but unique and fascinating, area of American law.

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Farewell, Dean Feliú

Dean Vicenç Feliú with one of his parting gifts

Dean Vicenç Feliú with one of his parting gifts

As most of the Villanova Law community already knows, last week we said goodbye to our beloved law Library Director and Associate Dean, Vicenç Feliú.  Vicenç is off to warmer climates at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law as Associate Dean for Library Services and Professor of Law.

Five years ago, Dean Feliú took the reins at our law library at a shaky time, but through his vision and dedication we have been able to weather the storm and come out much stronger at the end of his tenure here.  Under his supervision, the law library has become much more active within the law school community, helped redesign the law school’s website, created an institutional repository to archive the school’s publications, and has strengthened our relationship with the faculty via our library liaison program. Vicenç has been a tireless advocate for the library, and has pushed all of us to work hard for the law school.

Anyone who has had the pleasure to talk with Dean Feliú knows how much fun he is as well.  Beloved by his students, advisees, members of HALSA, and everyone else he has befriended here, a conversation with the Associate Dean could go anywhere from zombies to “The Big Lebowski” to stories of his time in the Marine Corps.  And although there were times he wanted to “stick a pencil in his eye,” that didn’t stop him from greeting everyone with a smile.

We will miss Vicenç very much, and we wish him all the best in his new position at Nova Southeastern.  To paraphrase the man himself, “he’s a great guy, we don’t care what all those people said about him!”

The library wishes you all the best!

The library wishes you all the best!

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Interested in International Law?


by Robert Hegadorn

“International Law” is not just a buzz-phrase heard on the news, or exclusively the province of the scholars of legal history, poring over dusty documents from the Nuremburg Tribunal.  “International law” issues can find their way into the most domestic, work-a-day legal practice, simply by a client pursing an opportunity to do some business with parties “overseas,” (for example, in Canada, or in Mexico, or in Burkina Faso), or in handing a divorce case, when an angry spouse takes the children and “goes home to Mother” in France or Russia.  A matter of “International law” may entail “public international law,” perhaps dealing with great questions of war and peace; or “private international law,” addressing matters of international child custody and marital status; or, issues of “foreign law,” such as when an multilateral international convention allows for the serving of process in a foreign court, but the filing permitted by treaty must be carried out in accord with the foreign court’s local procedures.

For Villanova Law students interested in International Law, the Law Library provides a number of resources.  The Library maintains a “Foreign, Comparative, & International Law” research guide to help students get started into researching these fields.  Featured within this guide are several popular and valuable research resources, such as Globalex, maintained by NYU School of Law (and featuring a recently updated article by Professor Vicenc Feliu on International Trademark Law); the Foreign Law Guide, recommended as the go-to source to begin research on the legal systems of foreign nations; and the American Society of International Law’s Electronic Resource Guide (e-RG), among many others.  Print material on international legal studies may also be found in the Law Library using the Library’s OPAC (catalog), ARTHUR.  Classes and special programs dealing with international law are also available to Villanova Law students.  As always, for more information on these opportunities at Villanova, and for research assistance in international law, remember to consult your friendly and helpful law librarians.

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The Enid H. Adler, Esq. Collection on the International Criminal Court

Adler CollectionThe International Criminal Court (ICC), an outgrowth of the WWII Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders, is the world’s only permanent, independent, treaty-based international criminal court with jurisdiction over individual culpability for Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, Genocide and the Crime of Aggression. Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law alum, Enid H. Adler ’88, participated in the creation of this historic Court at a Treaty Conference of Nations, held in Rome in 1998. Over the years since Rome, Adler continually has been and is committed to active involvement in the growth and development of this Court, to international human rights and the rule of law. This takes her annually to The Hague, the seat of the Court, for meetings of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) whose membership embodies the 125 countries who currently have ratified the ICC Treaty/Rome Statute.

Adler has agreed to donate to the Law Library her personal, extensive and unique collection of historical materials from the Court’s inception in 1998 to the present plus inclusion of future updates. Among the collection are her copious meeting notes and observations; transcripts, emails and other correspondence produced by non-governmental organizations whose participation is integral to the development and workings of the Court; Court cases; the Trust Fund for Victims; official statements from participating governments; multiple negotiations;  numerous publicity materials, printed session materials, official ICC publications;  and, as an amateur photographer, a narrative of events through her personal photos.

As a participant in the nongovernmental (NGO) Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), Adler represented the Union Internationale des Avocats in Rome and, in succeeding years, the Philadelphia Bar Association, the American Bar Association and ABA Center for Human Rights, Americans for the ICC (AMICC), and continues her work in the Washington Working Group for the ICC (WICC). She was appointed to the CICC negotiating team to partake in eight years of deliberations with country delegates to develop criteria for the Crime of Aggression, not completed in Rome, thus coming under the Court’s jurisdiction through Amendment that was approved by the Assembly of States Parties at the Court’s First Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda in 2010.  At this meeting, Adler’s additional responsibilities included her appointment to the ABA 2010 Task Force for the Kampala Review Conference.

The documents will be preserved by and made accessible in the Villanova Law Library. When completed, they will be digitized on the library’s online digital repository.  Mrs. Adler stated, “I am thrilled to make my historic and comprehensive collection available for use by current, past and future VLS students and alums, researchers and the general public.”

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Local Law Librarians Learn and Practice Storytelling at the GPLLA Institute

On June 3rd, the Greater Philadelphia Law Library Association (GPLLA) held its annual end-of-season institute at Temple University to wrap up the year, socialize, and engage in some serious professional development.  The theme of this year’s institute was “Telling Our Stories: Developing and Presenting Professional Narratives of Law Library Success.”  Storytelling has become a popular trend in business and sales, as people understand more and more how all of our interactions can be enhanced by the power of stories. Continue reading

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