Home > Fee-based Electronic Resources, Legal Research, Uncategorized > NCBA, ABA, A.K.A, ROTFL, or LOL… BNA?


With all the new acronyms out there, have you heard of the BNA?  If not, BNA is a company that publishes a multitude of legal materials. And here is more information about them.

BNA-At-A-Glance: “BNA is the largest independent information provider with a network of thousands of reporters, correspondents, and leading practitioners. Since 1929, BNA has been providing professionals with intelligent reporting, expert insights, commentary, and practical guidance.” (More about BNA’s history and governance)

What makes BNA unique?  Instead of pulling together information from various news sources, BNA utilizes their own professionals for the sources of their information.   BNA compiles and publishes all original content.

Where to get started?  If you are looking to quickly discern the new, potentially influential, court decisions that are handed down each week at the federal level, look at the United States Law Week.  The lawyers and editors employed for BNA filter through hundreds and thousands of federal and state court and administrative cases and select those important cases that “establish new precedents, address new statutes, contribute to emerging legal doctrines, tackle current controversies, or further splits in the Circuits.” U.S. Law Week is just one of the 80+ BNA titles to which we subscribe.

What are circuit splits? The Circuit Splits are one of the Key Features of U.S. Law Week, and provides a description of  new legal issues where circuits have ruled differently on points of law.  For example, schools and discinplinary action is one of the recent issues where circuits are split.  The issue is whether or not schools are “allowed to punish vulgar student speech on the internet?”  According to Layshock v. Hermitage School District and J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District, “the Third Circuit says derogatory profiles about their principals posted on MySpace by two students were protected by the First Amendment[, whereas, t]he Second Circuit, faced with different facts, however, has allowed a school to punish vulgar internet speech by a student.”  See 79 U.S.L.W. 2739 for more information.

As a side note, each BNA newsletter has special features, such as insights from practicing attorneys and subject matter experts.  These features are also a good place to get published if you’re interested in a particular subject.  Since BNA is wholly written by staff writers, they are always accepting submissions to be published.

For example, here is a snippet from the latest issue of U.S. Law Week:

  • Attorneys—Fees Apointed Lawyer Has Takings Claim for Fair Fees  “Services rendered by a court-appointed attorney in representing an indigent criminal defense client qualify as “property” subject to the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled June 21….”
The lawyer-editors at BNA make finding cases and articles easy through their intricate finding tools, which allows you to find relevant materials quickly by looking up your keywords in the index.  You’ll see the subject headings at the beginning of the case summaries, if you sign up for bi-weekly email updates.  Now, I’m not one for a ton of email updates, but this newsletter gets my recommendation.  It is extremely helpful in staying up-to-date with what is happening in the courts, but it does not overload your inbox to the point of unsubscribing agitation.

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