Goals: • To familiarize you with legal system in general, and online legal websites • To provide hands-on experience using some online legal websites.
Legal Research State the question clearly that you need to answer. Determine the jurisdiction , meaning the particular subject and locality. You must first determine which court or government agency can resolve the conflict before beginning legal research. Understand citations and abbreviations . Most law books are cited in the order of volume number, book and page. For example, 410 U.S. 113 would signify volume 410 of United States Reports, page 113. Statutes are cited by statute title and section number, such as 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for title 42 United States Code, section 1983. More info.: http://www.aallnet.org/sis/lisp/research.htm Minnesota State law library: http://www.lawlibrary.state.mn.us/mnlr.html Legal Topics: http://www.lawlibrary.state.mn.us/legaltopicsaz.html
Before you begin your research, you should know the following two pieces of information:
The public law citation or the Statutes at Large citation (e.g. P.L. 107-56; 115 Stat. 272)
The bill number and Congress of the Act or Resolution (e.g. H.R. 3162 from the 107th Congress)
GPO Access http://www.gpoaccess.gov
Century of Lawmaking http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html
Court Rules Federal rules of court – Several sets of general rules for the federal court. • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/ • Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcrmp/ • Federal Rules of Evidence www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/ • Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frap/ Also rules for U.S. Supreme Court, each federal Court of Appeal, each U.S. District Court, and each of the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts.
Cases US Courts Local: United States District Court, District of Minnesota (St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth) http://www.mnd.uscourts.gov/ Appeals: 8 th District http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/ US Supreme Court: www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html All Cases: Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com/
Condition of Education and Digest of Education Statistics
Health, United States
Variety of surveys
Secondary Authority Not Primary law. Helps locate and explain law. Examples of secondary sources are: • Law dictionaries ( http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/ ) • Legal encyclopedias • Legal periodicals You will not find much secondary authority on the free web. A few places where you can look for legal periodical articles are: • Law Reviews Online www.loc.gov/law/guide/lawreviews.html • University Law Review Project www.lawreview.org
Contact Brian R. Huffman Washington County Law Librarian 14949 62nd St N., Room 1005 Stillwater MN 55082 651-430-6954 [email_address]