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Legal Research Cases Leah Sandwell-Weiss Reference Librarian Prof. Hegland’s Small Section www.law.arizona.edu/library/PowerPoint/SWcases.ppt Cases Reporters – contain cases Organized by jurisdiction Cases in chronological order

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legal research cases

Legal ResearchCases

Leah Sandwell-Weiss

Reference Librarian

Prof. Hegland’s Small Section

www.law.arizona.edu/library/PowerPoint/SWcases.ppt

cases
Cases
  • Reporters – contain cases
    • Organized by jurisdiction
    • Cases in chronological order
  • Digests – summaries of legal issues in every case organized by subject
    • Summaries often called “headnotes”
    • Subjects are called topics
      • Further broken down by “key numbers”
federal courts reporters
Federal Courts & Reporters

Supreme Court =

  • U.S. Reports (U.S.)
  • Supreme Court Reporter (S. Ct.)
  • U.S. Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer’s Edition (L. Ed., L. Ed. 2d)

Courts of Appeals =

  • Federal Reporter (F., F.2d, F.3d)

District Courts =

  • Federal Supplement (F. Supp., F. Supp. 2d)
american digest system
American Digest System
  • Tied into West’s National Reporter System
  • All cases on a given legal point collected under the same digest topic & key number
  • Digest topics & key numbers consistent through all West digests
selecting print digests
Selecting Print Digests
  • West’s Federal PracticeDigest (various series)
    • All federal cases
  • State digests
    • State & federal cases from an individual state
  • Regional digests
    • State cases within the region – no federal cases
  • Combined digests (Decennials & General)
    • All cases, all jurisdictions
how to use digests
How to Use Digests
  • From a case on point
    • Use the headnotes to identify relevant topics & key numbers
  • From the Descriptive Word Index
    • Look up relevant subjects
    • Check for new entries in pocket part
  • From a topic entry
    • Check out the outline of key numbers
how to use digests cont d
How to Use Digests, cont’d
  • Find topic & key number in right volume
  • Check court & dates to target appropriate cases to read
  • Read summaries
  • Update with pocket parts or interim pamphlets
additional features of digests
Additional Features of Digests
  • Table of Cases
    • Lists cases alphabetically by both Plaintiff’s & Defendant’s names
  • Words & Phrases
    • Provides citations to cases defining terms
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