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PRIMARY LEGAL AUTHORITY. Created and presented by Shaun Esposito Head of Public Services University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law Library Spring Term 2005. Statutory Law. Statutory Law. the law passed by legislatures not very significant in early part of U.S. legal history

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primary legal authority

PRIMARY LEGAL AUTHORITY

Created and presented by

Shaun Esposito

Head of Public Services

University of Arizona

James E. Rogers College of Law Library

Spring Term 2005

Statutory Law

statutory law
Statutory Law
  • the law passed by legislatures
  • not very significant in early part of U.S. legal history
  • now produces greatest volume of American law
  • produced at all levels: Congress, General Assembly, City Council, etc.
statutory v common law
Statutory v. Common Law
  • statutes deal with general problems affecting many people; common law involves individual problems of parties in case before court
  • statutory law can anticipate problems; common law does not, must wait until problem has arisen and parties have gone to court
statutory publication forms
Statutory Publication Forms
  • first appear as session laws
  • usually then codified or folded into existing codification scheme
  • codes may be annotated or unannotated
    • annotated codes contain publisher’s enhancements such as summaries of cases interpreting the statute and citations to relevant secondary materials
    • unannotated codes do not contain these enhancements, but only contain text of statute with historical notes
access points for statutory codes
Access Points for Statutory Codes
  • General Index
  • Index in Particular Volume
  • Title Outline Approach in United States Code
    • in appropriate title look at detailed outline of titles to code sections
    • similar detailed outlines appear in state statutes
    • can be helpful if index only places researcher in general area in code rather than specific section
  • Tables
    • popular name
    • conversion tables--public law to U.S. Code
federal statutory law

FEDERAL STATUTORY LAW

A CODE IN THREE VERSIONS

united states code annotated usca
UNITED STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA)

This annotated version of the United States

Code, in annotations following each statutory

section, provides a wealth of citations to:

  • case law
  • law review articles
  • other relevant material

To access the information look under

the relevant statutory section

For ease in locating proper statutory

sections, USCA has extensive index

volumes with multiple cross references

to find a relevant statutory section first consult the index appearing at the end of the usca set
To find a relevant statutory section, first consult the index appearing at the end of the USCA set.
slide14
Follow the reference to the USCA title and section number to the appropriate volume(s) of the USCA set.
slide16

Following the text of the statutory section, the publisher, West, provideshelpful cross references as well as an annotation providing citations to cases which have discussed the statutory section

slide17

As with all legal research, be sure to check the pocket part or supplementaccompanying the main volume to uncover any changes to the statute oradditional cases in the annotation.

slide19
To begin research in the USCS, consult the index volumes for topics relevant to the research question under consideration.
uscs pocket part
USCS Pocket Part

To obtain the most up-to-date information, don't forget to check the

volume's pocket part or separately bound supplemental volume.

westlaw u s code search result page with keycite information search terms highlighted
WESTLAW—U.S. Code Search Result Page with KeyCITE Information & Search Terms Highlighted