4 major sources of law:
4- Administrative Regulations
Branches of Gov't and what they produce:
1- Executive branch= administrative regulations
2- Legislative Branch= statutes
3- Judicial= Cases
What are the 2 types of authority?
(1) Primary (legal rules)
(2) Secondary (anything not a legal rule; usually commentary on the law)
List primary mandatory authorities?
List primary persuasive authorizes?
- -1- constitutional provisions, statutes, and regulations WITHIN THE SAME JURISDICTION
-2- Decisions from HIGHER COURTS WITHIN SAME JURISDICTION
-1- Decision from courts from another, different jurisdiction
-2- Decisions from lower courts within the same jurisdiction
List secondary mandatory authorities?
List secondary persuasive authorizes?
Secondary authority is NOT mandatory authority; it is only persuasive authority.
Common methods of searching for legal authority:
-Words Search in the document (when searching electronically)
Structure of the Federal Court System (highest to lowest)
(1) United States Supreme Court
(2) US Courts of Appeals (11 circuits + DC and the federal circuit)
(3) US District Court (at least one is each state)
Structure of Most State Court Systems (highest-->lowest)
(1) Court of last resort (usually supreme)
(2) Intermediate appellate court (not all states have an intermediate level of review)
(3) Trial court
For Generating Search Terms--> Categories of Information:
-Places and Things
-Potential Claims & Defenses
When creating search terms what are two things you should consider?
- Increasing the breadth
- (IE: motel, hotel, inn)
- Increasing the Depth
- (IE: robbery, theft, crime)
Where are cases published?
-how are they organized?
-how are the case found within_____ published?
-Organized by jurisdiction and date
-Publish cases in chronological order.
What are used to locate cases?
-- summarize cases published in reporters
-- Organize case summaries by subject
Common Method of Searching for Cases:
-By words in the document (when searching electronically)
-By party name
Where do you locate all federal cases?
Where do you locate state AND federal cases from individuals states?
Where do you locate ONLY state cases within the region?
Where do you locate state AND FEDERAL CASES from ALL JURISDICTIONS?
- Where do you locate all federal cases?
- -WEST'S FEDERAL PRACTICE DIGEST
- Where do you locate state AND federal cases from individuals states?
- -STATE DIGESTS
- Where do you locate ONLY state cases within the region?
- -REGIONAL DIGEST
- Where do you locate state AND FEDERAL CASES from ALL JURISDICTIONS?
- -COMBINED DIGEST
Reporters v. Digests-- what are the differences?
Both are used to find cases...
Reporter organized by jurisdiction & date
Digest organize the cases by subject
*It's easier to find case in digest if just starting research b/c it's by subject.
What sources can be cited?
Should not cite SECONDARY SOURCES; remember it is only persuasive
What is the number of titles in the federal code?
What is the method of updating the USCA and USCS?
What is the descriptive word index?
Way to location statutes in the USCA with public law numbers
What are indexes for cases?
Digest, which are subject organized
What are found in West publications that help locate cases
Topic and key numbers in westlaw
Where is the best place to find cases citing a statute?
*remember annotations cannot be cited directly*
Translate what this citation means:
10 USC section 816
Title 10 section 816 in the United States Code
Et seq means?
look at the section following the one cited
What does the unofficial code have that the official US Code doesn't it.
What is the official version of the federal statutes?
USC- United States Code
Way to locate statutes in USCA in public law numbers
How are digests organized?
A case appearing in more than one reporter has what type of citation?
Where are NC supreme court cases published?
South Eastern Reporters and NC reporters
What are the names the regional digests that West publishes?
Atlantic, North Western, Pacific, and South Eastern
West DOES NOT publish North Eastern, Southern, or South Western digests.
List the ways to locate topic and key numbers in a PRINT Digest
- 1) From a case on point
- -use the headnotes at the beginning of the decision to ID relevant topics/key numbers
3) From a topic entry
- 2) From the Descriptive-Word Index
- -look up relevant subjects, check the pocket parts for new index headings, look up the topics/key numbers in the subject volumes
How do you update print digest research?
1- check the pocket part
2- check any cumulative or nonculmative interim pamphlets at the end of the digest set
3- Check the closing table on the inside front cover
4- Check the mini-digests in the back of each reporter volume published after the latest volume listed in the closing table
2 features of digests:
1- Table of Cases -- list cases alphabetically by both P and D's names
2- Words and Phrases- provides citations to cases defining terms
Common Methods of Searching for STATUTES
2- Subject (use an index/TOC)
3- Words in the statute (if electronic)
4- Popular Name
How do you update state and federal statutory research?
Shepard in LexisNexis
KeyCite in Westlaw
Common Methods of Searching for Secondary Authority
2) Subject (index/TOC)
3) Words (electronic)
Types of Secondary Sources?
- American Law Reports (ALR)
- Model Acts & Uniform Laws
Define Legal Encyclopedias:
Use for general background info and limited citations to primary authority
Am. Jur. 2d (LexisNexis) or C.J.S (Westlaw)
State encyclopedias provide an overview of law w/i individual states
Provide an in-depth discussion/analysis of an area of law
Provide citations to primary authority
Provide background info, citations to primary authority, in-depth analysis of a narrow topic; information on a conflict of law or undeveloped area of law
American Law Reports:
Overview of an area of law and citations to primary authority
Especially useful for locating persuasive authority from other jurisdictions
Use ALR3d or above... or else ALR and ALR2d may be out of date
Were are ALR Annotations available online?
Only on Westlaw... Annotations are not avaliable in LexisNexis
Research common-law subject
Locate mandatory & persuasive authority from jurisdictions that have adopted
Locate in print through the online catalog.
LexisNexis-Restatement rules and case annotations are SEPERATE
Westlaw-- rules and case annotations are COMBINED
Uniform Laws and Model Acts
Interpret a law adopted by a legislature
Locate persuasive authority from other jurisdiction that adopted the law
List Internet Searching Options:
- Google Scholar
- Google Uncle Sam
What is legislative history?
generic term used to refer to a variety of documents produced during the legislative process.
What is the best way to determine legislative intent?
What is a conference committee?
Committee that attempts to reconcile the 2 versions of a bill that was accepted by the Senate and Congress
4 major sources of federal legislative history (least to most persuasive):
- 1) Bills introduced in Congress
- 2) Hearings before committees/subcommittees
- 3) Floor debates
- 4) Committee Reports
Hearing before committee/subcommittee:
Testimony of experts and interested parties
+ detailed explanation and justification for and against
-Where are they published?
+Discussions, debate, and statements of legislatures. Bill sponsor provides info.
-Congress is allowed to amend/supplement statement made on the floor
Debates are not definitive of legislative intent; published daily in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD
Most authoritative legislative history
+analysis of the bill; views of advocates and dissenting
Methods of locating Legislative History:
- 1) Citation
- -Bill number; Public law number; statutes at large
4 sources of legislative histories:
1) Complied Legislative Histories
2) USCCAN-United States Code Congressional and Administrative News
3) CIS-Congressional Information Service
4- Congressional Record
Complied Legislative History:
May be complied for major pieces of legislation.
Contains the text of laws passed by Congress
-Organized by the Statutes at Large
Contains selected Committee Reports on bills passed into law
1997 USSCAN 2196
Citation of a committee report
Volume, source, page.
Congressional Information Service
Commercial publisher of legislative history
-complies committee reports/hearing and provides citations to floor debates published in the Congressional Record
Avaliable on Microfiche
Volumes are replaced annually; index and abstract volumes are published daily; for each 4 year period there is a cumulative index
CIS microfiche numbers:
CIS citations consists of the year document was created and the number assigned
- PL=public law
- J=joint documents
Record of all activity on floor of house/senate
- During Session-- published daily in the Daily Edition
- *separated into 2 sections: H and S and pages within each section are numbered separately
- End of Session-- Congressional Record called the Permanent or Bound Edition
- *All pages are number consecutively
Internet Resources and Subscription Services for Legislative History
Internet: Thomas and GPO
Subscriptions: HEINONLINE and LexisNexis Congressional