1. Federal Case Law Research Using the Federal Practice Digest to Identify Relevant Cases 10/7/2011 The Fred Parks Law Library, South Texas College of Law
2. Locate the Federal Practice Digest on the third floor of the library at call number KF127.W454. (4th Series) Set faces the east window.
3. AND OR Peruse the list of Digest Topics in the beginning pages of each volume and choose a possible topic. Use the Descriptive Word Index and identify a Digest Topic and Key Number
4. Federal Practice Digest 4th Descriptive Word Index volumes
5. Identify key word(s). Examples: assault, contract, due process, employment, etc. Find Digest Topics and Key Numbers
6. Some of the Digest Topics List is in every volume of the Digest.
7. Example of a key word search in the Descriptive Word Index. Topics and Key Numbers are in bold. Due Process
8. Additional Information to look for in the digest:. The translation table is after the topical outline. Key numbers change. Check the Key Number Translation Table. Not finding what you need? Maybe the issue is covered by another topic? At the beginning of the topical outline is a section on whether an issue is actually treated by the topic.
9. The Topical Outline is a Valuable Tool Digest Topics are broken down into subdivisions .
10. Case summaries under Con Law Key Number 4478 Select cases to read and analyze .
11. What's in a Case Summary? court abbreviation If the opinion cites a statute it is in a case summary. If so, search U.S.C.A or U.S.C.S. to expand and check research. case citation
12. Anatomy of a Federal Case Citation Aon Financial Products, Inc. v. Societe Generale , 476 F.3d 90 (2nd Cir. 2007) case name volume reporter abbreviated title page number court abbreviated name year of decision
13. Major Abbreviations for Federal Courts <ul><li>United States Supreme Court </li></ul><ul><li>Courts of Appeals </li></ul><ul><li>United States District Courts </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>5 th . Cir., D.C. Cir., etc. </li></ul><ul><li>S.D. Tex., D. Mass., etc. </li></ul>
14. Major Reporter Abbreviations <ul><li>United States Reports </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court Reporter </li></ul><ul><li>United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer's Edition </li></ul><ul><li>United States Law Week </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Reporter </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Supplement </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Rules Decisions </li></ul><ul><li>U. S. </li></ul><ul><li>S. Ct. </li></ul><ul><li>L.Ed, L.Ed.2d </li></ul><ul><li>U.S.L.W. </li></ul><ul><li>F., F.2d, F.3d </li></ul><ul><li>F. Supp., F.Supp. 2d </li></ul><ul><li>F.R.D. </li></ul>
15. . Always check the pocket parts and supplements. Consult information in the front of the digest volumes for court and publication abbreviations. A key number is no good without a Digest Topic. You need both to find a relevant case. Remember