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JUDICIAL BRANCH INFORMATION SOURCES. Government Information & Access Services SLIS 5660.001 Summer I, 1998 Dr. Yvonne J. Chandler. C.C. Langdell, Dean Harvard Law School.

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judicial branch information sources

JUDICIAL BRANCH INFORMATION SOURCES

Government Information & Access Services

SLIS 5660.001

Summer I, 1998

Dr. Yvonne J. Chandler

c c langdell dean harvard law school
C.C. Langdell, Dean Harvard Law School
  • We have…constantly inculcated the idea that the library is the proper workshop of professors and students alike; that it is to us all that the laboratories of the university are to the chemists and physicists, the museum of natural history to the zoologists, the botanical garden to the botanists.
where law is created in the american government
Where Law is Created in the American Government

Constitution

Judicial Branch

Executive Branch

Legislative Branch

three branches of government make law
JudicialBranch

Interpretation of laws known as Common Law or Case Law found in court opinions.

Three Branches of Government Make Law
common law
Common Law
  • The United States is a Common Law Country
    • The law of the land is viewed as an evolving body of doctrine determined by judges on the basis of cases which they must decide.
    • The law grows as the principles expressly articulated and codified are tested and adapted to meet new situations.
primary sources of the law
Primary Sources of the Law
  • Printed Cases and Opinions
  • Statutes or Legislative Enactment From Federal and State Legislatures
  • Administrative Rules and Regulations
secondary sources of the law textual treatments of the law
Secondary Sources of the LawTextual Treatments of the Law
  • Legal Encyclopedias
  • Periodicals, Law Reviews, Journals, Newspapers
  • Treatises
  • Looseleaf Services
  • Dictionaries and Words and Phrases
  • Directories
  • Finding Tools, Indexes, Digests, Annotations, Citators, Databases
characteristics of the primary sources of the law
Characteristics of the Primary Sources of the Law
  • Organized by the Source of the Law
  • Chronological Publication
  • Need for Finding Tools
  • Official & Unofficial Publication of Cases, Rules or Regulations & Legislation
  • Electronic Publication
slide9

Judicial Branch

The judicial branch interprets the laws and regulations made by the legislative and executive branches through the courts. The court is a tribunal established by the government to hear and decide matters giving redress to the injured and enforcing punishment against wrongdoers. The judicial system provides for a nonviolent resolution of criminal matters and private disputes.

powers of the judicial branch
Powers of the Judicial Branch
  • 1. Determines constitutionality of laws
  • 2. Characterization of cases
    • Courts determine the nature of the case; e.g., tort, contract.
    • Nature of the case determines legal rules to be applied.
  • 3. Promulgation of rules of court
    • Tells individual how to access the judicial system
    • Dictates proper forms and procedures to be followed
    • Rules of court may supersede statutes in conflict with rules
slide11

Levels of the Court System

1. Trial court level is where disputes of both civil and criminal matter are adjudicated . The first level of the court system where issues of fact and issues of law are determined

2. Intermediate appellate court

3. Supreme court is the "court of last resort"

precedent
Precedent
  • Under the doctrine of precedents, the decision of a common law court not only settles a dispute between the parties involved, but also sets a precedent to be followed in future cases. Much of legal research is the search for legal judicial precedent to support desired adversarial position, commonly called finding a "case on point.”
stare decisis the duty to follow precedent
Stare Decisis“The duty to follow precedent”

Stare Decisis

to stand on what has been decided

  • Stare Decisis is the fundamental principle of the Anglo-American Legal System that forms the basis and shapes the techniques of legal research.
  • The doctrine of Stare Decisis states that precedents should be followed. The concept states that people similarly situated should be similarly dealt with and judgements should be consistent rather than arbitrary.
the american legal system is based on precedent
THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM IS BASED ON PRECEDENT
  • In order for precedent to work, attorneys, judges, and ordinary citizens must have:
    • a record of the cases courts decide
    • a way to quickly locate the points of law in those cases
legal authority
Legal Authority
  • Legal Authority is any published source of law setting forth legal rules, legal doctrine, or legal reasoning that can be used as a basis for legal decisions.
legal authority types of legal information
Legal AuthorityTypes of Legal Information
  • Primary Authorities - authorized statements of the law by governmental institutions.
  • Case Law
  • Constitutions
  • Legislation
  • Rules of Court
  • Rules, Regulations, & Opinions of Admin. Agencies
legal authority persuasive authorities
Legal AuthorityPersuasive Authorities
  • Mandatory Authority(or binding): Court must follow the authority. Judicial decisions from the same jurisdictions are binding on a lower court
  • Persuasive Authority: Court can be persuaded to follow it. a judicial decision from a different jurisdiction are not binding but the court may be "persuaded" to follow the earlier ruling
court reports and reporters
Court Reports and Reporters
  • Law Reports are compilations of case reports or judicial decisions from courts arranged according to some grouping
  • Jurisdiction
  • Court
  • Period of Time
  • Subject Matter
  • Case Significance
court reports
Court Reports
  • Court Reports are organized:
  • By Jurisdiction - Supreme Court Reports, New York Reports
  • By Geography - North Western Reporter
  • By Subject - Labor Law Reports, U.S. Tax Cases, U.S. Patents Quarterly
official unofficial reports
OFFICIAL/UNOFFICIAL REPORTS
  • Official Reports are case reports officially sanctioned by state statutes or court authority. May be published by the state or a private publisher.
official unofficial reports1
OFFICIAL/UNOFFICIAL REPORTS
  • Unofficial Reports are case reports published by private companies not legislatively endorsed by state statutes. The unofficial reports duplicate the opinions in the official reports. Some may be the only source of publication of case reports.
forms of published decisions
Forms of Published Decisions
  • Slip Opinions:decisions paginated and published individually by the court
  • Electronic / Digitally Published Opinion: court decisions published in computerized databases.
forms of published decisions1
Forms of Published Decisions
  • Advance Sheet:pamphlets which contain the full text of the court decision; arranged chronologically and paginated sequentially as they will appear in the bound casebook
  • Case Reporter (Bound Volume): Bound case reporter is the consolidation of several advance sheets.
national reporter system
National Reporter System

Begun by West Publishing

in 1879 with the Northeastern Reporter.

(Ahistory of Westis found at their website2.)

National Reporter System publications cover over 600 courts across the nation and add over 130,000 decisions each year

national reporter system1
National Reporter System

It consists of three main divisions:

  • Cases of State Courts - 7 Regional Reporters & CA Reporter and New York Supplement
  • Cases of Federal Courts - Supreme Court Reporter, Fed. Reporter, Fed. Supplement, Fed. Rules Decisions
  • Cases of Special Courts - Bankruptcy, Military Justice, Federal Claims, Veterans Appeals Reporter
national reporter system2
National Reporter System

NRS reports are all presented in a uniform format

  • Format is the same no matter the origin of the case law
  • Consistent format aids researcher and speeds familiarity with the system
  • Key number system of headnotes provides uniform subject access to each case from different jurisdictions
national reporter system3
National Reporter System

State court reporters are grouped somewhat geographically and published as case reports in one set of books for each group

  • Geographic grouping allows for reports from neighboring states to be published in the same set of books
  • Case law for all states are available nationally
  • Over one-third of states use NRS as their official reports
national reporter system west editorial system
National Reporter SystemWest Editorial System
  • The reporters are linked by West's editorial system of headnotes and key numbers, digests and tables of cases reported, statutes and rules considered, and words and phrases defined. Editorial enhancements for case, keyword and subject access are published in each reporter volume including:
    • List of judges and officers
    • Table of cases reported in the volume
    • List of statutes construed in the cases in the volume
    • Cumulative list of words and phrases
    • Digest of key numbers for subject access
    • Court rules and orders
west thomson justice department settlement
West/Thomson Justice Department Settlement
  • Divestiture of 51 tiles; e.g., U.S.C.S. & L.Ed.
  • Extend Lexis/ license to Thomson databases
  • Permit states to re-bid their official reporter contracts
  • License the page numbers to West judicial opinions
court reports bound volumes
Court ReportsBound Volumes

Cases cumulate in bound volumes or on-line database versions of the hardbound volumes.

Include:

  • Table of Cases
  • Table of Statutes Opinions
  • Subject Index or Digest of Reported Cases
  • Judicial Definitions of Words & Phrases used in Cases
  • Changes in Court Rules
  • Lists of Judges
components of a published decision
Components of a Published Decision
  • CAPTION:Name or Style of the case lists the names of the parties involved and discloses what kind of case; criminal or civil.
  • DOCKET NUMBER:Unique number assigned to identify case
  • CITATION:Volume, Reporter, Page Num., and Year of Decision
  • PREFATORY STATEMENT: Explaining the nature of the case, its disposition and name in the lower or appellate court, and judge.
components of a published decision1
Components of a Published Decision
  • SYLLABUS:Summary of the cases facts and the court’s holding. Prepared by commentators or editors to aid research.
  • HEADNOTES:Included for each point of law discussed
  • NAMES OF THE ATTORNEYS:who represented the parties in the action
  • STATEMENT OF THE FACTS OF THE CASE
  • WRITTEN OPINION: Explanation or expression of the reasons why a decision or judgment was reached.
case citations
Case Citations
  • Roe v. Wade, 410U.S. 113(1973)
  • Case NameCitation to VolumeAbbreviation for ReporterFirst Page Number Where Text AppearsYear of the Decision
headnotes
Headnotes
  • A summary of individual points of law in a case as identified by the commentators or editors.
  • May not be cited as legal authority.
  • The number of Headnotes corresponds to the same number found in the text of the case to source each legal principle discussed in the particular headnote.
  • Each headnote has a key number assigned that cross references each to a legal digest.
  • Refers researcher to specific area of legal digest for cases with similar legal points.
types of opinions
Types of Opinions
  • Majority Opinion:written by one judge, representing principles of law that majority of judges deem operative in a decision
  • Separate Opinion: judge(s) may concur or dissent from the majority opinion
  • Concurring Opinion: judge(s) agree with the result reached by the majority, but disagrees with the reasoning
types of opinions1
Types of Opinions
  • Dissenting Opinion: judge disagrees with results reached by the majority & with the reasoning and/or principles
  • Plurality Opinion: Judgement agreed to by less than majority as to reasoning, but agreed to by a majority as to the result.
  • Per Curiam Opinion: Opinion by the court that expresses its decision in the case but the author is not identified
  • Memorandum Opinion:Very concise opinion of the court opinion
star pagination star paging
A cross reference device included within the text of opinions that indicates the beginning of pages in the official edition.Star Pagination / Star Paging
star pagination star paging1
This text aid enables the researcher to read the more useful and current commercial version, but have available the precise official citations to the case and to any page within the case.

Official citation page numbers are placed in brackets within the text of the unofficial, often with a star or asterisk.

The number in brackets indicates the top of the official reporter page

Star Pagination / Star Paging
harvard bluebook a uniform system of citation
Harvard BluebookA Uniform System of Citation
  • 16th Edition
  • Sections help with use
  • Practitioners’ Notes
  • Contains Three Parts 1. Rules for General Standards of Citation 2. Specific Rules for Citation of Cases, Statutes, Books, Periodicals, For. & Int Materials3. Tables of Authority & Abbreviations
organization of the bluebook
Organization of the Bluebook
  • GENERAL CITATION
    • RULES - 1 to 9
  • SPECIFIC CITATION RULES FOR CASES, STATUTES, BOOKS, etc.- RULES - 10 to 20
  • TABLES T.1 to T.9OF AUTHORITY TO CITE & ABBREVIATIONS
  • PRACTITIONER’S NOTES P1 - P7
federal court citation
Federal Court Citation
  • Jackson v. Metro. Edison Co., 348 F. Supp. 954 (M.D. Pa. 1972)
  • Specific Page Is Cited
    • Jackson v. Metro. Edison Co., 348 F. Supp. 954 , 955 (M.D. Pa. 1972)
  • History of the Case Citation
    • Jackson v. Metro. Edison Co., 348 F. Supp. 954 (M.D. Pa. 1972), aff’d 483 F. 2d 754 (3d Cir. 1973).
state regional citation
State/Regional Citation
  • Citing to the State Court/ cite official reporter and regional reporter
    • State v. Yoder, 49 Wis. 2d 430, 182 N.W.2d. 539 (1967)
statutory administrative citations
Statutory/Administrative Citations
  • Statutory Citation
  • 29 U.S.C. § 1001 (1976)
  • Administrative Citation
  • 40 C.F.R. §600.315-82 (1993)
  • 47 Fed. Reg. 40,443 (1982)
secondary sources
Secondary Sources
  • Book Citation
    • F. Wellman, The Art of Cross Examination (4th ed. 1936)
  • Periodical/Law Journal or Review Article
    • Vandevelde, “The New Property of the 19th Century: The Development of the Modern Concept of Property” 29 Buffalo L. Rev. 325 (1988)
  • Legal Encyclopedia
    • 63 C.J.S. Municipal Corporations 747 (1982)
    • 38 Am. Jur. 2d Guaranty 14 (1968)
legal citation online resources
LEGAL CITATION - ONLINE RESOURCES
  • LEXIS CITE
  • Voyager v. JPL, 1994 US App LEXIS 3112, 3
  • WESTLAW CITE
  • Voyager v. JPL, 1990 WL 3112, 3
  • (S.D.N.Y.)
united states supreme court
United States Supreme Court
  • The U. S. Supreme Court is the highest court . The Supreme Court of the United States consists of nine justices appointed for life by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Each justice is assigned to one of the courts of appeals for emergency responses.
united states supreme court1
United States Supreme Court

FACTS:

  • The Supreme Court meets on the first Monday of October each year and usually continues in session through June.
  • The Supreme Court hears about 5,000 cases each year, most by a brief decision that the subject matter is either not proper or not of sufficient importance to warrant review by the court. Cases are heard en banc, which means by all the justices.
  • Annually, the court decides about 150 cases of national interest, and about three-fourthsof such decisions are announced in full published opinions.
u s supreme court
U. S. Supreme Court
  • Explanatory information about the Supreme Court is available at:
  • Understanding the Courts - The Supreme Court
  • http://www.uscourts.gov/understanding_courts/8995.htmhttp://www.uscourts.gov/understanding_courts/899_toc.htm
publication of supreme court case law official
Publication of Supreme Court Case Law - Official
  • Bound Reporters
  • 1.United States Reports - The official reporter for the U. S. Supreme Court published by the U. S. Government Printing Office. Began publication in 1882 with Volume 91. Distributed by the U. S. government since 1922. Cite as U.S.
publication of supreme court case law official1
Publication of Supreme Court Case Law - Official
  • Supreme Court Decisions via GPO Access (Cases Decided between 1937 and 1975)
  • http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/supcrt/

Supreme Court Decisions Overruled by Subsequent Decisions

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/constitution/scourt.html

publication of supreme court case law unofficial
Publication of Supreme Court Case Law - Unofficial

2. Supreme Court Reporter published by the West Group.

  • Part of National Reporter System format
  • Starting with vol. 106 U. S. dated 1882
  • Uses star paging to reference official reporter.
  • Cite as S.Ct.
publication of supreme court case law unofficial1
Publication of Supreme Court Case Law - Unofficial

3. U.S. Supreme Court Reports Lawyers’ Edition published by Lawyers Cooperative

  • All reports since 1791
  • Uses star paging to reference original page
  • Cite as L.Ed.
parallel citations
Parallel Citations
  • Roe v. Wade
  • Official Citation -410 U.S. 113 (1973)
    • (United States Supreme Court Reports)
  • Unofficial Reporter Citation - 93 S.Ct. 705
    • (Supreme Court Reporter - West)
  • Unofficial Reporter Citation - 35 L.Ed.2d 147
    • (U.S. Supreme Court Reports Lawyers’ Edition - Lawyers’ Cooperative)
publication of supreme court case law unofficial2
Publication of Supreme Court Case Law - Unofficial
  • Looseleaf Reporters
  • U.S. Law Week’s Supreme Court Todaypublished by the Bureau of National Affairs
    • http://www.bna.com/newsstand/newsweb/2ad6.htm
    • http://www.bna.com/newsstand/newsweb/2ac2.htm
  • U.S. Supreme Court Bulletin published by Commerce Clearinghouse
publication of supreme court case law unofficial3
Publication of Supreme Court Case Law - Unofficial
  • Recent Decisions are published in:
  • Law Journal Extra Supreme Court Pages
    • http://www.ljextra.com/courthouse/supindex.html
  • Supreme Court News - Washington Post
    • http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/national/longterm/supcourt/supcourt.htm
computer assisted legal research online databases
Computer Assisted Legal Research Online Databases

LEXIS

  • http://www.lexis.com/home1.phtml
  • http://www.lexis.com/

WESTLAW

  • http://www.westpub.com/wlawinfo/wlawhome.htm
  • http://www.westpub.com/

Both provide star pagination to official and unofficial reporters and historical coverage of the court since 1790.

federal case law published on the internet
Findlaw Index of Legal Resources

http://www.findlaw.com/

Washlaw Web - Federal Case Law

Http://lawlib.wuacc.edu/washlaw

Federal Court Locator

Villanova Univ. Center for Information Law and Policy http://www.law.vill.edu/FedCt/fedcourt.html

Georgetown Univ. Legal Explorer - Federal Court Opinions

http://www.ll.georgetown.edu:80/Fed-Ct/

FEDERAL CASE LAW PUBLISHEDON THE INTERNET
federal case law published on the internet1
U. S. Federal Courts Finder

Emory Univ. Law School

http://www.law.emory.edu/FEDCTS

Federal Court Decisions - 11th Circuit Homepage

http://www.mindspring.com/ ~mdunn/

ALSO - American Law Sources Onlinehttp://www.lawsource.com/also/

The Law Office Quick-List - Legal Research Center

http://www.thelawoffice.com/Research/Research.htm

FEDERAL CASE LAW PUBLISHEDON THE INTERNET
supreme court decisions on the internet cornell university
Supreme Court Decisions on the Internet - Cornell University
  • The Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell UniversityHistoric Supreme Court Decisions By Party Name

Cornell Univ. Law Schoolhttp://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/cases/historic.htm

Recent Supreme Court Cases

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/

(An index to decisions since 1990)

  • Supreme Court Decisions via E-Mailhttp://www.law.cornell.edu/focus/bulletins.html
supreme court decisions on the internet
Supreme Court Decisions on the Internet
  • Fedworld/FLITE Database(Supreme Court Decisions between 1937 and 1975)

http://www.fedworld.gov/supcourt/index.htm

  • Findlaw(Supreme Court Decisions from 1937 to the present) http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html
  • USSC+ Online(Leading Supreme Court cases from 1793 - 1966; Comprehensive coverage from 1966 - 1996)

http://www.usscplus.com/frames.htm

http://www.usscplus.com/

supreme court decisions on the internet1
Supreme Court Decisions on the Internet
  • Supreme Court Opinions - Law Journal Extra(Searchable database of opinions from the Supreme Court from the 1994 Court to the present.) http://www.ljextra.com/cgi-bin/ussc
  • Villanova Univ. Center for Information Law and Policy - Supreme Court Databasehttp://www.law.vill.edu/fed-ct/sct.html
information about the supreme court on the internet
About The Court

USSC+ PLUS

http://www.usscplus.com /news/booklet.htm

Supreme Court Rules

Legal Information Institute - Cornell Univ. School of Law http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/supct/overview.html

Supreme Court Rules

Law Journal Extra

http://www.ljextra.com/courthouse /rules/suprules.html

Information about the Supreme Court on the Internet
information about the supreme court on the internet1
Supreme Court Calendar

Legal Information Institute: Cornell Univ. School of Law

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/calendar.html

Oral Argument Schedule

Legal Information Institute: Cornell Univ. School of Law

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/argcal97.htmlCourt Information

Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Oyez Oyez Oyez

http://oyez.at.nwu.edu/oyez .html

Information about the Supreme Court on the Internet
information on the supreme court justices
Information on the Supreme Court Justices
  • Biographical Information on the Supreme Court Justicesis available at the:
  • Legal Information Institute at Cornell Univ. School of Law on the Internet
  • http://www.law.cornell.edu /supct/justices/fullcourt.html
federal courts
Circuit Court of Appeals

Thirteen circuit courts including the D.C. Circuit and Federal Circuit

District Courts

Trial courts of the federal system

Each state has a minimum of one district and California, Texas, and New York have four districts

Federal Courts
publication on federal case law
Publication on Federal Case Law
  • Federal Cases - Federal Case Law from 1789 - 1879 and reprinted by West.
  • Federal Reporter - Began in 1880, includes cases from the circuit courts & district courts until 1932
  • Federal Supplement - Begun in 1932
  • Federal Rules Decisions
  • Specialized/Topical Court and Looseleaf Reporters - Military Justice Reporter, Bankruptcy Reporter, Federal Claims Reporter, Veterans Appeals Reporter, BNA Labor Law Reports
federal court citation1
Federal Court Citation
  • Jackson v. Metro. Edison Co., 348 F. Supp. 954 (M.D. Pa. 1972)
  • Specific Page Is Cited
    • Jackson v. Metro. Edison Co., 348 F. Supp. 954 , 955 (M.D. Pa. 1972)
  • History of the Case Citation
    • Jackson v. Metro. Edison Co., 348 F. Supp. 954 (M.D. Pa. 1972), aff’d 483 F. 2d 754 (3d Cir. 1973)
u s court of appeals decisions on the internet
U.S. Court of Appeals Decisions on the Internet

Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

Emory University School of Law

http://www.law.emory.edu/fedcircuit/

Georgetown University School of Lawhttp://www.ll.georgetown.edu/FedCt/cafed.html

District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals

Georgetown University Law Center Libraryhttp://www.ll.georgetown.edu/FedCt/cadc.html

u s court of appeals decisions on the internet1
U.S. Court of Appeals Decisions on the Internet
  • First United States Circuit Court of Appeals

Emory University School of Law

http://www.law.emory.edu/1circuit/

  • Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals

Touro Law Center

http://tourolaw.edu/2ndCircuit/

ttp://tourolaw.edu/abouttlc/2ndcircuit/main.html

Pace University School of Lawhttp://www.law.pace.edu/lawlib/legal/us‑legal/judiciary/secondcircuit.html

u s court of appeals decisions on the internet2
U.S. Court of Appeals Decisions on the Internet
  • Third United States Circuit Court of AppealsVillanova University Center
  • http://www.law.vill.edu/Fed-Ct/ca03.html
  • Fourth United States Circuit Court of AppealsEmory Law School
  • http://www.law.emory.edu/4circuit/
  • Fifth United States Circuit Court of AppealsUniv. of Texas Law School Web-Tarlton Law Library

http://www.law.utexas.edu/us5th/us5th.html

  • Sixth United States Circuit Court of Appeals

Emory School of Law Webhttp://www.law.emory.edu/6circuit/

u s court of appeals decisions on the internet3
U.S. Court of Appeals Decisions on the Internet
  • Seventh United States Circuit Court of AppealsEmory School of Law Webhttp://www.law.emory.edu/7circuit/

Chicago-Kent College of Lawhttp://www.kentlaw.edu/7circuit/

  • Eighth United States Circuit Court of Appeals

Law Journal Extra Presshttp://www.ljextra.com/public/daily/XD8ca.html

Washington Univ. School of Lawhttp://www.wulaw.wustl.edu/8th.cir/

u s court of appeals decisions on the internet4
U.S. Court of Appeals Decisions on the Internet
  • Ninth United States Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Villanova Univ. Center for Information Law and Policy

http://www.law.vill.edu/Fed-Ct/ca09.html

  • Tenth United States Circuit Court of Appeals

Emory Law School

http://www.law.emory.edu/10circuit/

  • Eleventh United States Circuit Court of AppealsEmory Law School
  • http://www.law.emory.edu/11circuit/http://www.mindspring.com/~wmundy/opinions.html
u s district court decisions on the internet
U.S. District Court Decisions on the Internet

Federal District Court Case Lawhttp://teddy.law.cornell.edu:8090/questciv.htm

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi - University of Mississippi School of Law Libraryhttp://sunset.backbone.olemiss.edu/

U. S. District Court of South Carolina - University of South Carolinahttp://www.law.sc.edu/dsc/dsc.htmhttp://www.law.sc.edu/

state case law reports
State Case Law Reports
  • Official Reports of State Case Law Characterized By:
  • 1. Discontinuation of publication of official reports by many states.
  • 2. Long delays in publication.
  • 3. Lack of auxiliary research aids.
  • 4. Lack of advance sheets for preliminary access to case decisions.
state case law reports1
STATE CASE LAW REPORTS
  • UnOfficial Reports of State Case Law Characterized By:
  • 1. More helpful editorial features.
  • 2. Faster publication schedules than the official reports.
  • 3. Many are part of the National Reporter System.
national reporter system4
NATIONAL REPORTER SYSTEM
  • DECISIONS OF THE COURTS FROM THE 50 STATES TRADITIONALLY PUBLISHED IN BOTH OFFICIAL AND UNOFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS.
  • WEST’S IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLISHER OF A LARGE NUMBER OF STATES COURT DECISIONS.
national reporter system5
NATIONAL REPORTERSYSTEM
  • The full text of court opinions plus West’s editorially-supplied headnotes, summaries, and Key Numbers are contained in the publications of the National Reporter System.
national reporter system6
NATIONAL REPORTERSYSTEM
  • Begun by West in 1879, consists of three main divisions
  • 1. Cases of State Courts - 7 Regional Reporters & CA Reporter and New York Supplement
  • 2. Cases of Federal Courts - Supreme Court Reporter, Fed. Reporter, Fed. Supplement, Fed. Rules Decisions
  • 3. Cases of Special Courts - Bankruptcy, Military Justice, Federal Claims, Veterans Appeals Reporter
state regional reporters
STATE REGIONAL REPORTERS
  • ATLANTIC REPORTER (A., A2d)
  • CALIFORNIA REPORTER (Cal. Rptr.)
  • NEW YORK SUPPLEMENT (N.Y.S., N.Y.S.2d)
  • NORTH WESTERN REPORTER (N.W., N.W.2d)
  • NORTH EASTERN REPORTER (N.E., N.E.2d)
  • PACIFIC REPORTER (P., P2d)
  • SOUTH EASTERN REPORTER (S.E., S.E.2d)
  • SOUTH WESTERN REPORTER (S.W., S.W.2d)
  • SOUTHERN REPORTER (So., So2d)
national reporter system reports are all presented in a uniform format
National Reporter System reports are all presented in a uniform format:
  • i. Format is the same no matter the origin of the case law
  • ii. Consistent format aids researcher and speeds familiarity with the system
  • iii. Geographic grouping allows for reports from neighboring states to be published in the same set of books
national reporter system reports are all presented in a uniform format1
National Reporter System reports are all presented in a uniform format:
  • iv. Case law for all states are available nationally
  • v. Over one-third of states use National Reporter System as their official reports.
  • vi. Key number system provides uniform subject access to each case from different jurisdictions.
publication format
PUBLICATION FORMAT
  • Advance Sheets or Slip Opinions precede the publication of the official bound case reports. Advance sheets include current awareness information.
  • The subscription to the Reporter System includes the advance sheets.
publication format1
PUBLICATION FORMAT
  • Selection of cases:
    • A court or the court reporter selects the cases for publication. Less important cases may be eliminated from the official reports.
editorial features
EDITORIAL FEATURES
  • HEADNOTES
  • TABLE OF CASES REPORTED IN THE VOLUME
  • TABLE OF STATUTES CONSTRUED IN THE VOLUME
  • CUMULATIVE LIST OF WORDS AND PHRASES JUDICIALLY DEFINED USED IN THE OPINIONS
  • KEY NUMBER DIGEST SECTION FOR SUBJECT ACCESS
  • LIST OF JUDGES & OFFICERS OF THE COURT
  • COURT RULES AND ORDERS
citations
CITATIONS
  • The Rules of each Court will determine whether a citation may require inclusion of both the official and unofficial report.
electronic publication of state case law
ELECTRONIC PUBLICATION OF STATE CASE LAW
  • Computerized legal research services, WESTLAW and LEXIS, provide full-text coverage of state case law for all fifty states from at least 1945, and for many states back to the 19th century
      • b. Star paging references to West's regional reporters is provided on WESTLAW and LEXIS
multistate sites for state case law on the www
MULTISTATE SITES FOR STATE CASE LAW ON THE WWW
  • State Court Locator - Villanova Center for Information Law & Policy http://www.vcilp.org/State-Ct
  • Judicial Opinions - Legal Information Institute http://www.law.cornell.edu/opinions.html http://www.law.cornell.edu:80/opinions.html
  • State Law - Social Law Library http://www.socialaw.com/irg/sl.html
  • StateLaw - State Government & Legislative Information - Washburn School of Law
  • http://lawlib.wuacc.edu/washlaw/uslaw/statelaw.htm
multistate sites for state case law on the www1
MULTISTATE SITES FOR STATE CASE LAW ON THE WWW
  • State Courts Online - Law Journal Extrahttp://www.ljextra.com/courthouse/states.html http://www.ljextra.com/courthouse/statelinks.html
  • FindLaw - State Resources http://www.findlaw.com/11stategov/
  • Georgetown Legal Explorer State, Local, Territorial http://www.ll.georgetown.edu:80/lr/lg/state.html
  • U.S. Federal Government ALSO-American Law Sources Online http://www.lawsource.com/also/usa.htm
finding tools
DIGESTS - published by West

ANNOTATED LAW REPORTS - published by Lawyers Cooperative

American Digest System

Total Client Library Service (TCLS)

FINDING TOOLS
digests
DIGESTS
  • Legal Digests are a systematic arrangement of concise summaries of the facts and holdings of a case that are pertinent to the point of law under which it is indexed and the reference to the source from which the summary has been taken - the case citation.
american digest system
AMERICAN DIGEST SYSTEM
  • MULTI-VOLUME SERIES COVERS NATIONAL, FEDERAL, REGIONAL, STATE, & INDIVIDUAL COURT JURISDICTIONS.
  • THE DIGESTS ARE PAIRED TO INDIVIDUAL REPORTERS
american digest system1
AMERICAN DIGEST SYSTEM
  • THE HEADNOTES IN THE UNIFORM FORMAT OF THE WEST REPORTERS FORM THE BASIS OF THE LEGAL DIGESTS
  • A summary of individual points of law in a case as identified by the commentators or editors.
  • Refers researcher to specific area of legaldigest for cases with similar legal points.
  • May not be cited as legal authority.
headnotes1
HEADNOTES
  • The number of Headnotes corresponds to the same number found in the text of the case to source each legal principle or point of law discussed in the particular headnote.
  • Each headnote has a key number assigned that cross references each to a legal digest.
finding tools digests
FINDING TOOLSDigests
  • West Key Number Digest System contains headnotes corresponding to the cases in the Nat. Rptr. System, classified into seven main classes
    • Persons , Property, Contracts, Torts, Crimes, Remedies, and Government
finding tools digests1
FINDING TOOLSDigests
  • West Key Number Digest System
    • The main classes are subdivided into over 450 Topics and further subdivided into subdivisions that are given paragraph numbers called KEY NUMBERS
what do the west editors do
WHAT DO THE WEST EDITORS DO?
  • EVERY DECISION WEST PUBLISHES IS EDITED IN THE KEY NUMBER SYSTEM
  • THE KEY NUMBER AND HEADNOTE WITH THE ABSTRACT IS PUBLISHED AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL OF THE WEST DECISIONS
  • THE KEY NUMBER IS COMPOSED OF THE SUBJECT/TOPIC DESIGNATION AND A CLASSIFICATION NUMBER
what does the key number system do
WHAT DOES THE KEY NUMBER SYSTEM DO?
  • THE KEY NUMBER BECOMES THE REPOSITORY OF CASE REFERENCES FOR CASES DISCUSSING SIMILAR POINTS OF LAW
contents of digests
CONTENTS OF DIGESTS
  • TITLE PAGE AND TABLE OF ABBREVIATIONS
  • OUTLINE OF THE LAW
  • DIGEST TOPICS
  • OUTLINE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER OF EACH VOLUME
  • POCKET PART UPDATE
finding the right key number
FINDING THE RIGHT KEY NUMBER
  • TABLE OF CASES
  • DESCRIPTIVE WORD INDEX
  • WORDS AND PHRASES VOLUME
finding the right key number1
FINDING THE RIGHTKEY NUMBER
  • REFERENCE WITH EACH HEADNOTE IN CASES
  • SUBJECT INDEX TO THE DIGEST
  • TABLE OF CASES IN THE DIGEST
  • TOPIC HEADINGS AND OUTLINE IN EACH DIGEST
  • CORPUS JURIS SECUNDUM
  • U. S. CODE ANNOTATED
updating the digest
UPDATING THE DIGEST
  • NEW DIGEST ENTRIES ARE PUBLISHED
    • IN THE ADVANCE SHEETS FOR EACH REPORTER
    • IN REPORTER VOLUMES
    • IN DIGESTS
west key number digests
WEST KEY NUMBER DIGESTS
  • CENTURY DIGEST
  • DECENNIAL DIGEST
  • GENERAL DIGEST
  • FEDERAL DIGESTS
  • SPECIALIZED DIGESTS
    • REGIONAL DIGESTS
    • STATE DIGESTS
    • SPECIAL SUBJECT DIGESTS
finding case law using west digests
FINDING CASE LAW USING WEST DIGESTS
  • KNOWN CASE NAME - Use the Table of Cases or Popular Name Tables from Shepard’s Acts and Cases By Popular Name or USCA
  • KNOWN KEY NUMBER
  • TOPICAL ANALYSIS
  • DESCRIPTIVE WORD INDEX
problems with the west key number system
PROBLEMS WITH THE WEST KEY NUMBER SYSTEM
  • Abstracts are not the primary source, must examine the case to be sure of the facts and that they are “on point.”
  • Universal nature allows use of system interjurisdictionally, but at the expense of recognizing differences between the states approaches to some legal issues.
problems with the west key number system1
PROBLEMS WITH THE WEST KEY NUMBER SYSTEM
  • Digesting choices are made by West editors and may be misleading or have an unwarranted impact on subsequent interpretation of a decision.
finding tools annotated law reports
FINDING TOOLS:Annotated Law Reports
  • Annotated Law Reports system is a series of selected case reports with annotations, each with a complete detailed treatise on a particular point of current law.
  • ALR is comprised of a selective number of court decisions. The decisions are in the opinion of the editors of general interest and importance to the legal profession. An annotated report contains elements of a case report, law review, and encyclopedia article.
finding tools annotated law reports1
FINDING TOOLS:Annotated Law Reports
  • Cases that are chosen for annotation and inclusion are those that:
    • Lend themselves to an exhaustive treatment of an important subdivision of the law of a major topic
    • Those that treat limited areas of the law which are not covered at all or are insufficiently analyzed in other law books.
american law reports
AMERICAN LAW REPORTS
  • A.L.R. IS - published in six series from 1919 to the present -
  • ALR Fed (1969 to date)
  • ALR 5th Series (1992 to date)
  • ALR 4th Series (1980-1992)
  • ALR Third Series (1965-1980)
  • ALR Second Series (1948-1965)
  • ALR First Series (1919-1948).
west digest alr what is the difference
WEST DIGEST/ALRWHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
  • Comprehensive reporting and indexing versus selective reporting and indexing.
  • The key number system is used throughout the National Reporter System for all decisions.
other case finders
OTHER CASE FINDERS
  • SHEPARD’S CITATIONS - lists every subsequent decision citing a case.
  • ANNOTATED STATUTES - United States Code Annotated or United States Code Service provides annotations including cases citing particular code sections.
  • WORDS AND PHRASES - Published by West, this specialized digest of judicial definitions of legally significant words and phrases provides citations to the cases discussing the terms.
other case finders1
OTHER CASE FINDERS
  • ENCYCLOPEDIAS & TREATISES - provide more in-depth subject treatment of topical areas.
  • PERIODICAL ARTICLES - law reviews and journals provide a good place to begin research on a specific topic.
  • LOOSELEAF SERVICES - provide subject analysis for a specific legal topic or area.
secondary sources of the law textual treatments of the law1
SECONDARY SOURCES OF THE LAWTextual Treatments of the Law.
  • Legal Encyclopedias
  • Dictionaries and Words and Phrases
  • Periodicals, Law Reviews, Journals, Legal Newspapers
  • Treatises
  • Formbooks
  • Looseleaf Services
  • Legal Directories
how do secondary sources help researchers
HOW DO SECONDARY SOURCES HELP RESEARCHERS
  • They help the researcher beginning a new project to learn basic knowledge on a legal subject.
  • They can serve as a refresher for broad concepts in an area of the law by providing background information.
  • They can serve as a finding tool or source of leads to other materials in an area of the law or legal topic
legal encyclopedias
LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS
  • Corpus Juris Secundum - published by The West Group
legal encyclopedias1
LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS
  • American Jurisprudence - published by Lawyers Cooperative
state encyclopedias
STATE ENCYCLOPEDIAS
  • Approximately one-third of the states have a state legal encyclopedia published following the format of CJS or AJS
  • State encyclopedias focus on the nature and resources of each state's legal system.
legal encyclopedias2
Corpus Juris Secundum - published by West

American Jurisprudence 2d- published by Lawyers Cooperative

Key Number System

Total Client Library Service (TCLS)

LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS
electronic publication of legal encyclopedias
CALR Databases

Corpus Juris Secundum is available on WESTLAW

American Jurisprudence is available on LEXIS

Internet Legal Encyclopedias

‘Lectric Lawcopediahttp://www.lectlaw.com/ref.html

Cyberlaw Encyclopedia http://gahtan.com/techlaw/

Nolo Legal Encyclopedia http://www.nolo.com/briefs.html

ELECTRONIC PUBLICATION OF LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS
legal dictionaries
LEGAL DICTIONARIES
  • Legal Dictionaries provide definitions of words in their legal sense or use
    • 1.Define legal words and phrases
    • 2.Refer to cases and other legal sources for authority
    • 3.May illustrate use of word in various legal situations
    • 4.Define foreign, Latin legal words and phrases
    • 5.Contain table of abbreviations of legal abbreviations and acronyms widely used in legal writing
legal dictionaries1
LEGAL DICTIONARIES
  • Black’s Law Dictionary
  • Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
  • Oxford University Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage
  • Bouvier’s Law Dictionary and Concise Encyclopedia
electronic publication of legal dictionaries
CALR DATABASES

BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY is available on WESTLAW

INTERNET LEGAL DICTIONARIES

BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY, 6th editionhttp://www.alaska.net/~winter/black_law_dictionary.html

ELECTRONIC PUBLICATION OF LEGAL DICTIONARIES
words and phrases
WORDS AND PHRASES
  • Words and Phrases is useful for identifying the judicial interpretation - definition or meaning of words and phrases.
  • Case Reporters include a Table of Words and Phrases defined in cases appearing in each volume
legal periodicals
LEGAL PERIODICALS
  • LAW SCHOOL REVIEWS (Yale Law Review)
  • LEGAL JOURNALS AND SUBJECT SPECIALITY REVIEWS (Journal of Taxation)
  • BAR JOURNALS AND MAGAZINES (ABA Journal)
  • LEGAL NEWSPAPERS (National Law Journal)
subject access to legal periodicals
SUBJECT ACCESS TO LEGAL PERIODICALS
  • INDEX TO LEGAL PERIODICALS (Wilson)
  • CURRENT LAW INDEX (Information Access Corp.)
  • LEGAL RESOURCE - LegalTrac INDEX(Information Access Corp.)
  • INDEX TO FOREIGN LEGAL PERIODICALS (Wilson)
legal directories
LEGAL DIRECTORIES
  • Legal Directories are used to locate information about a particular lawyer or law firm, judge or court, expert witness, law school, or government agency or administrator
  • They vary in scope : listing by country, region, state, or area of law
attorney or law firm directory
ATTORNEY OR LAW FIRM DIRECTORY
  • Martindale Hubbell Law Directory
    • 26 Volume set is divided into two sets
      • 16 numbered volumes and 3 unnumbered arranged alphabetically by state include:
        • Practice Profiles of Lawyers and Law Firms
        • Professional Biographies of Firms
        • Services and Suppliers Listing
        • Corporate and Other Law Departments Listing
attorney or law firm directory1
ATTORNEY OR LAW FIRM DIRECTORY
  • Martindale Hubbell Law Directory
      • Three unnumbered volumes include:
        • Alphabetical Listing of Individual Attorneys
        • Index to the Services and Suppliers
        • Areas of Practice
      • Unnumbered volumes that include:
        • Law Digest for the Fifty States
        • Canadian and International Lawyers and Firms
        • International Law Digest
legal directories on the internet
LEGAL DIRECTORIES ON THE INTERNET
  • MARTINDALE-HUBBELL LAWYER LOCATORhttp://www.martindale.com/locator/home.html
  • WEST LEGAL DIRECTORYhttp://www.wld.com
types of legal directories
TYPES OF LEGAL DIRECTORIES
  • Professional Association Directory
  • Speciality Directory
  • Judicial Directories
  • Academic Directories
    • Directory of Legal Academiahttp://www.law.cornell.edu/dla/
    • AALS Directory of Law Teachershttp://www.aals.org/members.html
  • Directories of Experts and Consultants
    • The Expert’s Pagehttp://www.expertpages.com