Tilikum, Circus Elephants, and Animal Rights

Animal Law, Current Events, Hein Blog, National Survey of State Laws, Navigating, Searching, Subject Compilations of State Laws, Tips and Tricks
Bonnie Hein


Tilikum was a 22 feet long, more than 11,000 pound killer whale and possibly the most famous orca in the world. Earlier this month, he died of serious health issues at an estimated 36 years of age. He was captured near his birthplace of Iceland and performed in captivity for decades, becoming notorious for aggressive behavior, including the death of three people. Tilikum was profiled in the documentary Blackfish, which helped to influence popular opinion on killer whales in captivity and on SeaWorld in particular. 

Similarly, the "Greatest Show on Earth," another long-time attraction, has received increasingly negative public sentiment regarding captive wild animals forced to perform as entertainment…

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2016 Year in Review

Author Profile Pages, Content News, Law Journal Library, Legal Classics, National Survey of State Laws, Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases, Slavery in America and the World, UNC Press, What's New
Shannon Furtak

What a tumultuous year 2016 turned out to be! Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States surprised the world; many entertainment icons passed away, including actor Gene Wilder, actress Florence Henderson, singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, legendary musician and performer Prince, and psychic Miss Cleo, among many others. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia also died suddenly, leaving a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court that has yet to be filled…

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History of Sales Tax in the United States

HeinOnline, National Survey of State Laws, Tax Foundation Archive Publications, Taxation and Economic Reform in America
Benjamin Boron


As we approach the end of November, we face the largest shopping season in the United States. The weekend following Thanksgiving has two specific days entirely dedicated to retail shopping—"Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday." Depending on where you live in the U.S., you may be paying a substantially higher or lower sales tax than fellow shoppers in neighboring states.

What constitutes a retail sale and which goods are subject to tax varies across the nation. The rates for sales tax fluctuate by jurisdiction and range from less than 1% to more than 10%. Almost all jurisdictions provide tax exemptions or lowered tax rates for numerous categories of goods and services. Most jurisdictions exempt food sold in grocery stores, prescription medications, and many agricultural supplies…

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National Survey of State Laws: Writing a Reference Book, Part II

National Survey of State Laws
Richard Leiter

The views expressed in this post are those of the author, and in no way represent the opinions of William S. Hein & Co., Inc. and HeinOnline.

Writing a Reference Book, Part II: Updating a Moving Target

State laws change. Constantly. Keeping a reference book that compares the most interesting and controversial laws in all 50 states current is like pushing a boulder up a hill that doesn’t have at its top a place for the boulder to rest. Every time you get it up there, it rolls back down; it’s a never-ending process. (It won’t surprise you to know that the laws change!) With the release of the first Interim Update to the 7th edition of National Survey of State Laws

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National Survey of State Laws Database Updated!

National Survey of State Laws, What's New
Shannon Furtak

We're excited to announce that the first update to National Survey of State Laws was part of our May HeinOnline content release, which is now available! A brand-new chapter was added, the chapter on Marijuana was updated, and two chapters that were removed between editions have been updated and reinstated.

Civil Shoplifting

Civil Shoplifting is a unique and little-known area of law which came to the attention of Professor Ryan Sullivan, a supervising attorney at the University of Nebraska's Civil Law Clinic, who authored this chapter. Many states have passed laws giving store owners the ability to pursue a civil action against accused shoplifters without requiring criminal prosecution…

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National Survey of State Laws, Part I

National Survey of State Laws
Richard Leiter

Who doesn’t want to be an author? I always loved to write and jumped at any opportunity to do so. In fact, I came this close to graduating with an undergraduate degree in creative writing. After reality set in and I got my first academic law library job at the University of Texas’s famed Tarlton Law Library, my mentor and eventual friend, Professor Roy Mersky, recommended, among many other things, that I pursue writing book reviews for American Reference Books Annual (ARBA). He had been an ARBA contributor for many years. One of Roy’s reasons for writing for ARBA was that he got to keep the books! Frankly, he often had young staff members write his reviews for him.

ARBA relied on word of mouth for recruiting authors…

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