LECTURE 1
 PRIMARY SOURCES
– STATUTES
– JUDICIAL OPINIONS
– ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS
CHARACTERISTICS OF PRIMARY
SOURCES
 PUBLISHED CHRONOLOGICALLY
 BOTH OFFICIAL AND UNOFFICIAL
PUBLICATIONS [parallel citat...
FINDING TOOLS
WAYS TO ACCESS PRIMARY MATERIALS
 DIGESTS
 ANNOTATIONS [AMERICAN LAW
REPORTS]
 LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS
– CJS,...
SECONDARY SOURCES
Discuss/Analyze Primary Material
 LAW REVIEW ARTICLES
 HORNBOOKS
 TREATISES
 RESTATEMENTS
 PRACTICE...
LEGAL LANGUAGE
 DICTIONARIES
– ENGLISH LANGUAGE
– LEGAL
 BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY
 BALLENTINE’S LAW DICTIONARY
 HARVARD’...
THE BLUE BOOK
 SYSTEM OF CITATION USED IN ALL
MEMORANDUMS AND LAW REVIEW
ARTICLES [AND ALL PROJECTS FOR LAW
SCHOOL CLASSE...
COURT REPORTERS
 FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL
[COUNTY/MUNICIPALITY COURT
SYSTEMS
 REPORTERS FOR EACH LEVEL OF
COURT
 OFFICI...
OTHER SOURCES FOR CASES
 Looseleaf Services (e.g. U.S. Law Week-
S.Ct).
 Westlaw/Lexis/LoisLaw/Internet [e.g.
Cornell’s ...
FEDERAL SYSTEM
 UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
 UNITED STATES COURTS OF APPEALS
[13 CIRCUITS]
 FEDERAL DISTRICT COURTS
CORRESPONDING REPORTERS
 US REPORTS[official]/SUPREME COURT
REPORTER[West], LAWYERS’ EDITION
[Lexis] {U.S. LAW WEEK--LOOS...
STARE DECISIS
 Holding v. Dictum
– a case’s holding will govern other cases in the
same jurisdiction in which the facts a...
STATE COURTS: PENNSYLVANIA
 PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT
 PENNSYLVANIA SUPERIOR COURT
 PENNSYLVANIA COMMONWEALTH
COURT
 ...
STATE COURTS: PENNSYLVANIA
 PENNSYLVANIA REPORTS
 PENNSYLVANIA SUPERIOR COURT
REPORTS
 PENNSYLVANIA COMMONWEALTH
COURT ...
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Llm Lect1 00

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An introduction to basic legal research including key case finding strategies.

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Llm Lect1 00

  1. 1. LECTURE 1  PRIMARY SOURCES – STATUTES – JUDICIAL OPINIONS – ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS
  2. 2. CHARACTERISTICS OF PRIMARY SOURCES  PUBLISHED CHRONOLOGICALLY  BOTH OFFICIAL AND UNOFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS [parallel citations]  “THE LAW” [BLACK LETTER LAW]  IMPORTANCE OF CURRENCY
  3. 3. FINDING TOOLS WAYS TO ACCESS PRIMARY MATERIALS  DIGESTS  ANNOTATIONS [AMERICAN LAW REPORTS]  LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS – CJS, AM JUR  ANNOTATED CODES [USCA]  WESTLAW, LEXIS, INTERNET
  4. 4. SECONDARY SOURCES Discuss/Analyze Primary Material  LAW REVIEW ARTICLES  HORNBOOKS  TREATISES  RESTATEMENTS  PRACTICE MATERIALS  FORM BOOKS
  5. 5. LEGAL LANGUAGE  DICTIONARIES – ENGLISH LANGUAGE – LEGAL  BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY  BALLENTINE’S LAW DICTIONARY  HARVARD’S 1L LEGAL DICTIONARY
  6. 6. THE BLUE BOOK  SYSTEM OF CITATION USED IN ALL MEMORANDUMS AND LAW REVIEW ARTICLES [AND ALL PROJECTS FOR LAW SCHOOL CLASSES]  The abbreviations and formats in the secondary material usually DO NOT follow blue book format--you must “blue book” each citation
  7. 7. COURT REPORTERS  FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL [COUNTY/MUNICIPALITY COURT SYSTEMS  REPORTERS FOR EACH LEVEL OF COURT  OFFICIAL AND UNOFFICIAL REPORTERS  PARALLEL CITATIONS
  8. 8. OTHER SOURCES FOR CASES  Looseleaf Services (e.g. U.S. Law Week- S.Ct).  Westlaw/Lexis/LoisLaw/Internet [e.g. Cornell’s Legal Information Institute]  CD Roms  Newspaper Accounts (e.g. New York Times, Washington Post, Local Legal Newspapers [e.g. Legal Intelligencer])
  9. 9. FEDERAL SYSTEM  UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT  UNITED STATES COURTS OF APPEALS [13 CIRCUITS]  FEDERAL DISTRICT COURTS
  10. 10. CORRESPONDING REPORTERS  US REPORTS[official]/SUPREME COURT REPORTER[West], LAWYERS’ EDITION [Lexis] {U.S. LAW WEEK--LOOSELEAF]  FEDERAL REPORTER  FEDERAL SUPPLEMENT
  11. 11. STARE DECISIS  Holding v. Dictum – a case’s holding will govern other cases in the same jurisdiction in which the facts and issues are substantially similar to those of the case which generated the rule of law  - everything in a court’s opinion except the holding is dicta [“said by the way”].
  12. 12. STATE COURTS: PENNSYLVANIA  PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT  PENNSYLVANIA SUPERIOR COURT  PENNSYLVANIA COMMONWEALTH COURT  COURTS OF COMMON PLEAS  MUNICIPAL COURTS
  13. 13. STATE COURTS: PENNSYLVANIA  PENNSYLVANIA REPORTS  PENNSYLVANIA SUPERIOR COURT REPORTS  PENNSYLVANIA COMMONWEALTH COURT REPORTS  DISTRICT AND COUNTY REPORTERS  INDIVIDUAL COUNTY REPORTERS

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