STATUTORY RESEARCH
West’s Instructional Aid Series
CONTENTS
• Introduction
• The Legislative Process
• Anatomy of a Statute
• Statutory research: Print and Online
• Updating...
INTRODUCTION – SOURCES OF AMEICAN
LAW
• Statutory Law is enacted by
Legislatures.
• Case Law is decided by the Courts.
• R...
INTRODUCTION – FEDERAL STATUTES
• Federal statutes are codified in the
United States Code.
– The United States Code (USC) ...
INTRODUCTION – STATE STATUTES
• Each state has a statutes publication.
The publication might be called
statutes, statutes
...
INTRODUCTION – STATE LEGISLATIVE
PROCESSES
• Most state legislatures are modeled after the
United States Congress and cons...
STATUTES: THE NEGLECTED SIDE OF
LEGAL RESEARCH
• Most of what you learn in school will be based on
the common-law traditio...
STATUTES ARE THE NEGLECTED SIDE OF
LEGAL RESEARCH BUT…
• Statutes are around to stay. They are the
cornerstone of our lega...
CONTENTS
• Introduction
• The Legislative Process
• Anatomy of a Statute
• Statutory research: Print and Online
• Updating...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
• Introduction of a bill (proposed legislation)
• Passed by both houses of Congress
• Signed by pr...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A BILL IS
INTRODUCED
• A bill is introduced by a sponsor(s) in one or both
houses of Congress.

•...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A BILL IS
INTRODUCED
• A companion bill may be introduced in the other
house of the legislature a...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A BILL IS
INTRODUCED

Bill S. 940
Sponsors
Short Title

• Federal bill S. 904 (Leave No Child Beh...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A BILL
BECOMES LAW
• When the bill passes one house, it is sent to the
other house for considerat...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A BILL
BECOMES LAW
• If signed (or not vetoed within 10 days), the bill
becomes a “session law” o...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A PUBLIC
LAW MAY…
• add a section (statute) in the statutory code,
• change language in a section...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A PUBLIC
LAW IS PUBLISHED
• An enacted law is first published officially by the
Government Printi...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A PUBLIC
LAW IS PUBLISHED
• The U.S. Code
• Public laws are
Congressional and
also published in
A...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A PUBLIC
LAW IS PUBLISHED

• A slip law as it appears on Westlaw in the US-PL database
shortly af...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A PUBLIC
LAW IS CODIFIED
• The public law then changes the statutory
code to:
– bring all laws on...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: THE
UNITED STATES CODE
• United States Code is
organized in broad
subject categories
called title...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: THE
UNITED STATES CODE

• Each title is further divided into individual
sections, which contain t...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: CHANGES
TO THE UNITED STATES CODE
• A public law may amend/affect sections in different USCA titl...
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS:
CODIFICATION TO THE U.S. CODE

Sections
in the
public law

Public Law 106-120, the Intelligence A...
SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS

Bill Passes
Congress or
State Legislature

President or
Governor
Signs Bill

Session L...
QUESTION
Which of the following is a true statement?
1.

Each public law amends a single statute.

2.

A slip law is the f...
CONTENTS
• Introduction
• The Legislative Process
• Anatomy of a Statute
• Statutory research: Print and Online
• Updating...
ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE U.S. CODE
The United States Code (USC)
• Is issued every six years
• Is updated annually
• Is ar...
ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE U.S. CODE
• The United States Code (USC), as published by the
government, has several drawbacks
...
ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED
STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA)
• The USCA contains the text and features of the
statute as ...
ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED
STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA)

Citation :
18 USCA 241

The text of the statute in the USCA...
ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED
STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA)
Credits (Text Amendments) are
past session laws that enacted...
ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED
STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA)
Cross-references
(to other USCA sections)
Library references...
ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED
STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA)

Index to the Notes of
Decisions
(annotations). Subjects
are...
ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED
STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA)
• Notes of Decisions
(annotations) are
summaries of how
cour...
QUESTION
Notes of decisions are also called:
1.

Headings

2.

Annotations

3.

Credits

4.

Statutory history
CONTENTS
• Introduction
• The Legislative Process
• Anatomy of a Statute
• Statutory research: Print and Online
• Updating...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: PRINT & ONLINE
• An alphabetical General
Index aids you in finding
relevant statute sections.
– The in...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: PRINT & ONLINE
Sarah Jones has finished law school, passed the
bar, and found a job with a legal aid s...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: ONLINE AND
THE FIND FEATURE
• There are several different but effective ways to find the
Exceptions to...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: FINDING A
STATUTE BY CITATION ON WESTLAW.COM
• You can type the following in the Find this
document by...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: STATE STATUTE
TEMPLATES
• A template for the state’s
statutes is displayed.

• Just type in the statut...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: DOCUMENTS IN
SEQUENCE ON WESTLAW.COM
• If Sarah isn’t sure she retrieved the correct section but
belie...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: DOCUMENTS IN
SEQUENCE ON WESTLAW.COM
• Now you are viewing 11 USCA 524.
• The Documents in Sequence ar...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: TABLE OF
CONTENTS ON WESTLAW.COM
Sarah could also access
the Table of Contents
service, which is
avail...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: CAPTION &
PRELIMINARY FIELD SEARCHING
• If Sarah knows that Title 11 is the bankruptcy title and she
n...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: DIGEST FIELD
SEARCHING IN CASES
• Sarah could try a Terms and Connector search in the
digest field of ...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: DIGEST FIELD
SEARCHING IN CASES

51k3371(1)

Sarah notices
that one
headnote states
that undue
hardshi...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: NATURAL
LANGUAGE SEARCHING
• Sarah could run a Natural Language search, which
can be very effective in...
Student loan

educational loan

11 USCA 523 is the first document displayed. The “best” portion of
the statue is in the an...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: USING
KEYSEARCH TO FIND STATUTES & CASES

• If Sarah is unfamiliar with both the language of the
law a...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: USING
KEYSEARCH TO FIND STATUTES & CASES

• KeySearch divides the law into widely recognized
areas of ...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYSEARCH

• The opened Bankruptcy folder reveals the bankruptcy
subtopics, one of which is Discharge....
STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYSEARCH
• Sarah selects the All
Federal Cases
(ALLFEDS) database.
• She could click the
View/Edit Fu...
STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYSEARCH
• This is one of the
cases retrieved
from the
ALLFEDS
database and it
talks about
dischargin...
CONTENTS
• Introduction
• The Legislative Process

• Anatomy of a Statute
• Statutory research: Print and Online
• Updatin...
UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
VERIFYING THAT STATUTE IS CURRENT
• Sarah has found the statute and interpreting case
law tha...
UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
OFFICIAL PRINT UPDATES
• Print updates
– Slip laws are individually printed and sent to all U...
UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
PRINT & WESTLAW CURRENCY
• U. S. Code Congressional and Administrative
News (USCCAN) issues m...
UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH: U.S.
CODE UPDATES
• Always check in the following
print publications to determine
current law...
UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
KEYCITE ON WESTLAW
Use KeyCite History

to determine whether the statute is good law
UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
KEYCITE ON WESTLAW
This statute has been
declared unconstitutional
or preempted.

• A red fla...
• Click the red flag or History on the Links for tab to see
that this statute has been held unconstitutional by
several co...
UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
KEYCITE ON WESTLAW
Both KeyCite History and
Citing References link to
display Pending
Legisla...
• Click the yellow flag on the Links for tab to display this
statute’s Pending Legislation.
• Note that you can link to th...
UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
KEYCITE HISTORY FOR STATUTES
• Updating documents (recently passed public laws
that have amen...
QUESTION
A red flag on a statute can mean that the statute
1.

Has been declared unconstitutional

2.

Has pending legisla...
CONTENTS
• Introduction
• The Legislative Process

• Anatomy of a Statute
• Statutory research: Print and Online
• Updatin...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH
• KeyCite Citing References

• Case law that has interpreted or applied the statute
– Annotat...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
KEYCITE CITING REFERENCES

Many USCA sections have many citing references. In the right
fram...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
USING KEYCITE
• KeyCite Citing References consists of citations to
legal documents that disc...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
LIMITING KEYCITE CITING REFERENCES

Limit KeyCite Display

• 11 USCA 523 (the Exceptions to ...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
LIMITING KEYCITE CITING REFERENCES
• You can limit citation
results by any number or
combina...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
LIMITING KEYCITE CITING REFERENCES

The original 41,791 citing documents have been reduced t...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
NOTES OF DECISIONS
• Many statutes are obscurely worded and must be
interpreted by case law....
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
NOTES OF DECISIONS
• Notes of decisions can be accessed by clicking the
Notes of Decisions l...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
NOTES OF DECISIONS

• Above are the Notes of Decisions for 11 USCA 523 under the
Educational...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
NOTES OF DECISIONS IN PRINT
• As in the online Notes of
Decisions, the print
Notes of Decisi...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
• Because so many statutes are obscurely worded:
– courts often look to ...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
EARLY LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
• Legislative history may include documents that exist
even before...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY IN ANNOTATIONS
• You can access Legislative History directly from the li...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY IN ANNOTATIONS
• You can also link to the Editor’s Notes, also called th...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
EARLY LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
• Early congressional hearings and testimony can be
found in sever...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: BILL
DISCUSSION & TESTIMONY
• Discussions/debates regarding a federal bill can be
found in
–...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
HISTORY OF MODIFICATION TO BILLS
• Language of bills as they are modified in the legislative...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
CURRENT STATUS OF A BILL
• The status of a bill can be found in:
– Federal materials
•
•

pr...
Bill Referred to Committee

Under Add a
Tab, you can
set up a
Legislative
History Federal tab.

When you click any step in...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
SECONDARY SOURCES
• Secondary sources are analytical materials that
comment on, explain, and...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
SECONDARY SOURCES
• The following are some of the secondary sources that
are available in pr...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
SECONDARY SOURCES
• This is a portion of an ALR
article discussing the legislative
history o...
EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH:
SECONDARY SOURCES

• One of several American Jurisprudence sections that discuss
whether loa...
CONCLUSION
• There are many ways to approach statutory
research. No one method is correct.
• If one method doesn’t seem to...
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Statutory research complete_show2

  1. 1. STATUTORY RESEARCH West’s Instructional Aid Series
  2. 2. CONTENTS • Introduction • The Legislative Process • Anatomy of a Statute • Statutory research: Print and Online • Updating Statutory Research • Expanding Statutory Research – KeyCite® – Case Law (Annotations) – Legislative History – Secondary Sources
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION – SOURCES OF AMEICAN LAW • Statutory Law is enacted by Legislatures. • Case Law is decided by the Courts. • Regulations are issued by the Executive Branch (Agencies).
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION – FEDERAL STATUTES • Federal statutes are codified in the United States Code. – The United States Code (USC) is the official version of the statutes and is published by the Government Printing Office. – The United States Code Annotated® (USCA)® in print is published by West. – USCA is the database on Westlaw® that contains the USCA
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION – STATE STATUTES • Each state has a statutes publication. The publication might be called statutes, statutes annotated, laws, code, or code annotated. The annotated versions enhance your ability to find relevant cases and statutes. • XX-ST-ANN (where XX is the state’s two-letter postal abbreviation) is the database identifier for annotated state statutes on Westlaw.
  6. 6. INTRODUCTION – STATE LEGISLATIVE PROCESSES • Most state legislatures are modeled after the United States Congress and consist of two houses. Only Nebraska has a one-house legislature. • Legislation moves through state legislatures in much the same way it moves through Congress. • The governor signs or vetoes the legislation and there are state provisions for overriding a governor’s veto. • What is said about the federal legislative process is usually true of state legislative processes. The model for this presentation will be the federal statutes.
  7. 7. STATUTES: THE NEGLECTED SIDE OF LEGAL RESEARCH • Most of what you learn in school will be based on the common-law traditions of the courts. • Statutory law is often obscurely or ambiguously worded. • It must be interpreted by case law. • This case law often becomes a more accessible source of law than the statute. • Statutory research may seem complicated. This is due, in part, to the fact that most researchers are not trained in statutory research.
  8. 8. STATUTES ARE THE NEGLECTED SIDE OF LEGAL RESEARCH BUT… • Statutes are around to stay. They are the cornerstone of our legal system. • Only a court of competence can declare a clearly worded statute unconstitutional. • Don’t fight them. There is help!
  9. 9. CONTENTS • Introduction • The Legislative Process • Anatomy of a Statute • Statutory research: Print and Online • Updating Statutory Research • Expanding Statutory Research – KeyCite® – Case Law (Annotations) – Legislative History – Secondary Sources
  10. 10. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS • Introduction of a bill (proposed legislation) • Passed by both houses of Congress • Signed by president or president’s veto is overridden • Becomes a “session law” or “public law” • Incorporated into statutory code
  11. 11. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A BILL IS INTRODUCED • A bill is introduced by a sponsor(s) in one or both houses of Congress. • A bill is assigned a bill number (H.R. 14, 107th Cong., 1st Sess. (2001)). • This bill number usually follows the proposed legislation through hearings, amendments, congressional committees, etc., until enactment or the end of the current legislative period.
  12. 12. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A BILL IS INTRODUCED • A companion bill may be introduced in the other house of the legislature at any time. • Committee hearings may be held and amendments to the bill may be made. If the committee votes favorably on the bill, a committee report in support of the bill accompanies the bill back to the floor in many jurisdictions. • A bill may die in committee and never reach the full house for vote.
  13. 13. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A BILL IS INTRODUCED Bill S. 940 Sponsors Short Title • Federal bill S. 904 (Leave No Child Behind Act of 2001), sponsored by Senators Dodd, Wellstone, and Kennedy, as it appears in the Congressional Bills – 107th Congress database.
  14. 14. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A BILL BECOMES LAW • When the bill passes one house, it is sent to the other house for consideration. • The other house may approve and pass the bill to the president in identical form. • More likely, the other house will propose a variation of the bill and both houses must negotiate a compromise. • When both houses pass the bill in identical form, it is sent to the president for a signature or veto.
  15. 15. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A BILL BECOMES LAW • If signed (or not vetoed within 10 days), the bill becomes a “session law” or “public law.” • If the president vetoes the bill, the veto may be overridden by two-thirds majority in both houses. (If the president takes no activity on the bill at the end of a legislative session the bill is, in effect, vetoed. This is called a “pocket veto.”) • The public law is renumbered using the number of the congressional session and the numerical order in which the law was enacted: – P.L. 107-14 and P.L. 107-15 are the 14th and 15th bills to be enacted by the 107th session of Congress.
  16. 16. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A PUBLIC LAW MAY… • add a section (statute) in the statutory code, • change language in a section (statute), • repeal a section (statute) of the statutory code, • re-number a section (statute), • Or do all of the above
  17. 17. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A PUBLIC LAW IS PUBLISHED • An enacted law is first published officially by the Government Printing Office as an individual slip law and sent to government depository libraries and other libraries that subscribe to these publications. • Public laws are published in compiled volumes in chronological order in The Statutes at Large, the official government publication. There is a two to four-year lag in publication of these volumes.
  18. 18. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A PUBLIC LAW IS PUBLISHED • The U.S. Code • Public laws are Congressional and also published in Administrative News® the USCCAN (USCCAN), published by and US-PL West, issues monthly (United States pamphlets including newly Public Laws) enacted laws. databases on Westlaw. • The monthly USCCAN pamphlets are reissued in bound volume after each congressional session.
  19. 19. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A PUBLIC LAW IS PUBLISHED • A slip law as it appears on Westlaw in the US-PL database shortly after enactment. There are also archived public laws in the US-PL-OLD database, which contains public laws from 1973 to the previous session of Congress.
  20. 20. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: A PUBLIC LAW IS CODIFIED • The public law then changes the statutory code to: – bring all laws on the same topic together – eliminate all repealed or expired statutes – unite amendments with the original statute • This process is called codification – the United States Code is divided into 50 titles, often called codes (see next screen) – Title 11 is the Bankruptcy Code – Title 26 is the Tax Code
  21. 21. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: THE UNITED STATES CODE • United States Code is organized in broad subject categories called titles. The 50 titles are in rough alphabetical order.
  22. 22. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: THE UNITED STATES CODE • Each title is further divided into individual sections, which contain the actual text of the statutes. (The words section and statute are usually synonymous.)
  23. 23. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: CHANGES TO THE UNITED STATES CODE • A public law may amend/affect sections in different USCA titles • The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001 or P.L. 107-12 amended sections in Titles 42 and 15 of the USCA.
  24. 24. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: CODIFICATION TO THE U.S. CODE Sections in the public law Public Law 106-120, the Intelligence Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2000, has been codified in both Title 50 and Title 21 of the United States Code. The USCA-POP (USCA Popular Name Table) database on Westlaw shows where a public law section has been codified in the United States Code Annotated.
  25. 25. SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS Bill Passes Congress or State Legislature President or Governor Signs Bill Session Law/ Public Law Statutory Code Codification occurs when the language of the session or public law changes the statutory code in some way.
  26. 26. QUESTION Which of the following is a true statement? 1. Each public law amends a single statute. 2. A slip law is the final version of a statute. 3. Codification is the process in which sections of public laws amend, add to, or repeal the relevant portion(s) of the United States Code. 4. The president’s veto of a bill may be overridden by a majority of both houses.
  27. 27. CONTENTS • Introduction • The Legislative Process • Anatomy of a Statute • Statutory research: Print and Online • Updating Statutory Research • Expanding Statutory Research – KeyCite® – Case Law (Annotations) – Legislative History – Secondary Sources
  28. 28. ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE U.S. CODE The United States Code (USC) • Is issued every six years • Is updated annually • Is arranged into 50 titles • References the Statutes at Large citation • Includes historical notes and cross-references to related sections • Includes an index, a table of acts cited by popular name, and conversion tables that allow you to move between the present version and earlier versions of the Code
  29. 29. ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE U.S. CODE • The United States Code (USC), as published by the government, has several drawbacks – – There is a publication lag, especially for the annual supplements. There are no references to interpreting case law. • The meaning of a statute is often unclear and must be interpreted by the courts. The decisions of the courts often become more important sources of law than the text of the statutes.
  30. 30. ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA) • The USCA contains the text and features of the statute as they appear in the USC, plus: – references to legislative history, and federal regulations – references to the West Key Number System – references to law review and journal commentaries – library references – references to texts and treatises – Notes of Decisions (annotations)
  31. 31. ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA) Citation : 18 USCA 241 The text of the statute in the USCA is unchanged from how it appears in the USC, as published by the Government Printing Office.
  32. 32. ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA) Credits (Text Amendments) are past session laws that enacted or modified the statute. Historical and Statutory Notes (Editor’s Notes) are compiled by West attorney-editors and give a more detailed legislative history of the statute.
  33. 33. ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA) Cross-references (to other USCA sections) Library references (to many secondary sources) References to topic and key numbers ALRs and Encyclopedias Texts and treatises
  34. 34. ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA) Index to the Notes of Decisions (annotations). Subjects are listed alphabetically
  35. 35. ANATOMY OF A STATUTE: THE UNITED STATES CODE ANNOTATED (USCA) • Notes of Decisions (annotations) are summaries of how courts have interpreted the statute with links to the case law. • Notes of Decisions are the headnotes from cases that West attorney-editors have identified as significantly interpreting or applying the statute.
  36. 36. QUESTION Notes of decisions are also called: 1. Headings 2. Annotations 3. Credits 4. Statutory history
  37. 37. CONTENTS • Introduction • The Legislative Process • Anatomy of a Statute • Statutory research: Print and Online • Updating Statutory Research • Expanding Statutory Research – KeyCite® – Case Law (Annotations) – Legislative History – Secondary Sources
  38. 38. STATUTORY RESEARCH: PRINT & ONLINE • An alphabetical General Index aids you in finding relevant statute sections. – The index has “access words” that crossreference formal index headings. – The Index references the relevant title(s) and section(s) (statutes). • The Popular Name Table, in the last index volume, helps determine where a public law was codified. Popular Name Table
  39. 39. STATUTORY RESEARCH: PRINT & ONLINE Sarah Jones has finished law school, passed the bar, and found a job with a legal aid service. Four years of college and three years of law school have run her student loan debt to well over $100,000 and her salary will never stretch to make the payments on that amount. Sarah is considering filing for bankruptcy. Could this extreme measure solve Sarah’s problem?
  40. 40. STATUTORY RESEARCH: ONLINE AND THE FIND FEATURE • There are several different but effective ways to find the Exceptions to Discharge in Bankruptcy statute (section). • If Sarah knows the citation of the discharge statute, she can simply type it in the Find this document by citation: text box on the Paralegal page or click the Find link on the toolbar. Find
  41. 41. STATUTORY RESEARCH: FINDING A STATUTE BY CITATION ON WESTLAW.COM • You can type the following in the Find this document by citation: text box: – Enter xx st nnn.nn (where xx stands for the state’s two-letter postal abbreviation and nnn.nn stands for the citation number) – Example: mn st 313.01 (do not include paragraph letter or number, as in 313.01(a)(4)) • For code states or other states with irregular numbering, simply type xx st in the Find this document by citation: text box. See next screen.
  42. 42. STATUTORY RESEARCH: STATE STATUTE TEMPLATES • A template for the state’s statutes is displayed. • Just type in the statute number in the appropriate code’s text box. • Click GO beside the text box and you will retrieve the state statute, in this case, Texas Agricultural Code, section 41.002.
  43. 43. STATUTORY RESEARCH: DOCUMENTS IN SEQUENCE ON WESTLAW.COM • If Sarah isn’t sure she retrieved the correct section but believes she is very close to it, she can use the Documents in Sequence feature by selecting Previous Section or Next Section links at the top of the screen.
  44. 44. STATUTORY RESEARCH: DOCUMENTS IN SEQUENCE ON WESTLAW.COM • Now you are viewing 11 USCA 524. • The Documents in Sequence arrows allow you to move forward or backward, statute by statute, just as if you were paging through the statutes in print.
  45. 45. STATUTORY RESEARCH: TABLE OF CONTENTS ON WESTLAW.COM Sarah could also access the Table of Contents service, which is available for each statutory database on Westlaw and open it to the desired section. The Table of Contents service is also a great way to browse the sections around the desired statute to see if they any have relevance to Sarah’s situation. 11 USCA 524
  46. 46. STATUTORY RESEARCH: CAPTION & PRELIMINARY FIELD SEARCHING • If Sarah knows that Title 11 is the bankruptcy title and she needs the exceptions to discharge statute, the following field restricted search using terms and connectors would be effective: ca,pr(“title 11” & exception) • This search retrieves 11 USCA 523. The terms can be in either the caption or the preliminary fields. Prelim (pr) field Caption (ca) Field
  47. 47. STATUTORY RESEARCH: DIGEST FIELD SEARCHING IN CASES • Sarah could try a Terms and Connector search in the digest field of a case law database. (Here we will use the ALLFEDS database.) • For example: di(discharg! /p "student loan”) This search yields many cases and several relevant key numbers related to 11 USCA 523.
  48. 48. STATUTORY RESEARCH: DIGEST FIELD SEARCHING IN CASES 51k3371(1) Sarah notices that one headnote states that undue hardship is the only basis for discharging student loans. 11 USCA 523 • The key number 51K3371(1) assigned to this headnote links to other cases discussing the same point of law. Sarah will have to examine these cases to determine if her situation can be considered a “hardship.” • There are also references to the controlling statute(s).
  49. 49. STATUTORY RESEARCH: NATURAL LANGUAGE SEARCHING • Sarah could run a Natural Language search, which can be very effective in annotated statute database, in that. • The looser structure of a natural language search will often be more successful than a terms and connectors search in capturing the unpredictable language of a statute. • The search: – can student loans be discharged in bankruptcy retrieves the Notes of Decisions shown on the next slide.
  50. 50. Student loan educational loan 11 USCA 523 is the first document displayed. The “best” portion of the statue is in the annotations. Sarah retrieved this document even though the text of the statute does not mention a student loan exception to discharge in bankruptcy. The annotations use “student loan” and the text of the statute uses “educational loan”.
  51. 51. STATUTORY RESEARCH: USING KEYSEARCH TO FIND STATUTES & CASES • If Sarah is unfamiliar with both the language of the law and key numbers, Key Numbers could be the place to start research.
  52. 52. STATUTORY RESEARCH: USING KEYSEARCH TO FIND STATUTES & CASES • KeySearch divides the law into widely recognized areas of the law, such as Bankruptcy.
  53. 53. STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYSEARCH • The opened Bankruptcy folder reveals the bankruptcy subtopics, one of which is Discharge. • If Sarah opens the Discharge subfolder and she will find Educational Loans.
  54. 54. STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYSEARCH • Sarah selects the All Federal Cases (ALLFEDS) database. • She could click the View/Edit Full Query link to see the preformulated query. • Notice that the query is a combination of words and key numbers. • Sarah could add additional terms.
  55. 55. STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYSEARCH • This is one of the cases retrieved from the ALLFEDS database and it talks about discharging student loans on the basis of hardship. • There is also a reference to the discharge statute. Hardship 11 USCA 523(a)(8)
  56. 56. CONTENTS • Introduction • The Legislative Process • Anatomy of a Statute • Statutory research: Print and Online • Updating Statutory Research • Expanding Statutory Research – KeyCite® – Case Law (Annotations) – Legislative History – Secondary Sources
  57. 57. UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH: VERIFYING THAT STATUTE IS CURRENT • Sarah has found the statute and interpreting case law that says that student loans are not discharged in bankruptcy. • She has found cases that state the only exception is on the basis of undue hardship. • What if the statute has been recently amended or repealed or case interpretation of the statute has changed?
  58. 58. UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH: OFFICIAL PRINT UPDATES • Print updates – Slip laws are individually printed and sent to all U.S. government depository libraries. – The Statutes at Large is the earliest official compilation of all laws passed at the end of each session of Congress. • Published in chronological order • No general index • Publication lags about two years behind the enactment of the public laws
  59. 59. UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH: PRINT & WESTLAW CURRENCY • U. S. Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN) issues monthly pamphlets. • After each session, the monthly USCCAN pamphlets are reissued in a bound volume. • Laws are in the US-PL (United States Public Laws) database on Westlaw within hours of passage. • XX-LEGIS is the identifier for the state session law databases on Westlaw. State laws go online as soon as they are received by West.
  60. 60. UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH: U.S. CODE UPDATES • Always check in the following print publications to determine current law: – Cumulative pocket parts – Interim pamphlets and statutory supplements that include the public law changes to the code and recent notes of decisions from cases that have construed the statute since the last supplement was published.
  61. 61. UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYCITE ON WESTLAW Use KeyCite History to determine whether the statute is good law
  62. 62. UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYCITE ON WESTLAW This statute has been declared unconstitutional or preempted. • A red flag means that the statute has been – Recently amended – Repealed – Ruled unconstitutional – Preempted All or a portion of the statute may no longer be good law.
  63. 63. • Click the red flag or History on the Links for tab to see that this statute has been held unconstitutional by several courts.
  64. 64. UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYCITE ON WESTLAW Both KeyCite History and Citing References link to display Pending Legislation that might affect statute. • A yellow flag means that the statute – Has pending legislation – Has been renumbered – Has been transferred – Contains an editor’s amendment note. The statute is good law but should be monitored for changes.
  65. 65. • Click the yellow flag on the Links for tab to display this statute’s Pending Legislation. • Note that you can link to the pending bills.
  66. 66. UPDATING STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYCITE HISTORY FOR STATUTES • Updating documents (recently passed public laws that have amended or repealed the statute) • Pending legislation that may affect the statute • Credits (citations to past public laws that have enacted, amended or renumbered a statute) • Historical and statutory notes that describe the legislative changes that have affected that statute • Cases that have held that the statute is unconstitutional
  67. 67. QUESTION A red flag on a statute can mean that the statute 1. Has been declared unconstitutional 2. Has pending legislation 3. Has been amended 4. Both 1 and 3
  68. 68. CONTENTS • Introduction • The Legislative Process • Anatomy of a Statute • Statutory research: Print and Online • Updating Statutory Research • Expanding Statutory Research – KeyCite® – Case Law (Annotations) – Legislative History – Secondary Sources
  69. 69. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH • KeyCite Citing References • Case law that has interpreted or applied the statute – Annotations (Notes of Decisions) • Legislative history • Secondary sources – American Law Reports – American Jurisprudence 2d
  70. 70. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: KEYCITE CITING REFERENCES Many USCA sections have many citing references. In the right frame are some of the 41,791+ citing references to 11 U.S.C.A. 523.
  71. 71. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: USING KEYCITE • KeyCite Citing References consists of citations to legal documents that discuss or mention the statute. • Citing references include: – – – – – Pending legislation Notes of Decisions (Annotations) Cases on Westlaw that do not appear in notes of decisions Administrative materials (includes agency decisions) Secondary sources, such as ALR® articles, Am Jur 2d® sections, law reviews, and treatises – Briefs
  72. 72. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: LIMITING KEYCITE CITING REFERENCES Limit KeyCite Display • 11 USCA 523 (the Exceptions to Discharge statute) has 41,791 citing references. • Click the Limit KeyCite Display button near the bottom of the screen to limit the citing references to the ones of most use to you.
  73. 73. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: LIMITING KEYCITE CITING REFERENCES • You can limit citation results by any number or combination of: –Notes of Decisions (by sub-topic) –Locate terms –Jurisdiction –Date –Document type • Select the desired criteria and click Apply.
  74. 74. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: LIMITING KEYCITE CITING REFERENCES The original 41,791 citing documents have been reduced to 17 documents that meet the criteria we specified.
  75. 75. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: NOTES OF DECISIONS • Many statutes are obscurely worded and must be interpreted by case law. • Notes of Decisions (or annotations) are headnotes of cases that significantly interpret or apply the statute. • Case law compares the language of the statute with the language of other statutes, reconciles language within the statute, and explores legislative history concerning the statute to discover the intent of the legislature. • The language of the case law often becomes more useful for the researcher than the language of the statute.
  76. 76. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: NOTES OF DECISIONS • Notes of decisions can be accessed by clicking the Notes of Decisions link on the Links for tab when viewing a statute. • Notes of Decisions are preceded by a main index and, if needed, subdivision indexes. • Each subdivision deals with one topic of interpretation of the statute by the courts. Notes of Decisions NOD Index
  77. 77. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: NOTES OF DECISIONS • Above are the Notes of Decisions for 11 USCA 523 under the Educational or Student Loan subdivision. • Note the links to the full-text cases.
  78. 78. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: NOTES OF DECISIONS IN PRINT • As in the online Notes of Decisions, the print Notes of Decisions are the last portion of the annotated statute format. • The Notes of Decisions for some statutes may be hundreds of pages long.
  79. 79. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: LEGISLATIVE HISTORY • Because so many statutes are obscurely worded: – courts often look to the legislative history of a statute to determine the intent of the legislators. – debates in Congress or congressional committees, early drafts of the bill, testimony of experts, amendments to the language of the proposed statute, etc., often reveal the intent of the legislature. • Committee reports provide the most definitive evidence of legislative intent.
  80. 80. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: EARLY LEGISLATIVE HISTORY • Legislative history may include documents that exist even before a bill is enacted: – Presidential recommendations. – Congressional and committee hearings in sessions in which the bill was discussed but not passed. – Agency memoranda. REMEMBER – Don’t just limit your research only to the legislative session in which the bill was enacted.
  81. 81. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: LEGISLATIVE HISTORY IN ANNOTATIONS • You can access Legislative History directly from the link on the Links for tab in the left frame. Click Text Amendments, also called Credits. They are the public laws that created and amended the statute. Credits Public Laws
  82. 82. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: LEGISLATIVE HISTORY IN ANNOTATIONS • You can also link to the Editor’s Notes, also called the Historical and Statutory Notes, that follow each USCA section. Editor’s Notes give more detailed information regarding the legislative history of the statute, including House and Senate Reports, Committee Reports and explanations of the change in language from one report or public law to the next. Editor’s Notes
  83. 83. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: EARLY LEGISLATIVE HISTORY • Early congressional hearings and testimony can be found in several databases on Westlaw, including USTESTIMONY, USPOLTRANS, CQNEWS, BNA-TRACK and APN-HO. • Presidential messages can be found in the PRESDAILY, USPOLTRANS, USCCAN, BNAPRSCAL, and CQ-NEWS databases on Westlaw. • Committee Reports, the most definitive evidence of legislative intent, can be found in the LH database.
  84. 84. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: BILL DISCUSSION & TESTIMONY • Discussions/debates regarding a federal bill can be found in – the Congressional Record in print and on Westlaw in the CR database – United States Code Congressional & Administrative News (USCCAN) in print and in the USCCAN database on Westlaw
  85. 85. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: HISTORY OF MODIFICATION TO BILLS • Language of bills as they are modified in the legislative process can be found in: – microfiche in government depositories, including many law libraries – materials from the clerk of the legislature – Congressional Record and USCCAN in print – CR, USCCAN, CONG-BILLTXT, and LH federal databases on Westlaw – XX-BILLTXT (where XX is state’s two-letter postal abbreviation) databases on Westlaw.
  86. 86. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: CURRENT STATUS OF A BILL • The status of a bill can be found in: – Federal materials • • print status tables US-BILLTRK (United States Bill Tracking) – State materials • XX-BILLTRK (where XX is the two-letter postal abbreviation of the state) databases on Westlaw
  87. 87. Bill Referred to Committee Under Add a Tab, you can set up a Legislative History Federal tab. When you click any step in the legislative process, a search screen is displayed showing databases where that material can be found. Databases
  88. 88. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: SECONDARY SOURCES • Secondary sources are analytical materials that comment on, explain, and analyze a wide range of legal topics. • Secondary-source materials are prepared by legal experts in a non-litigious context. • Most contain a detailed discussion of the legal topic. • Most are carefully researched. Most include references to relevant cases and statutes and other secondary sources.
  89. 89. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: SECONDARY SOURCES • The following are some of the secondary sources that are available in print and on Westlaw that can be used to expand your statutory research. • American Law Reports (ALR) – ALR database • American Jurisprudence (Am Jur 2d) – AMJUR database • Law review articles – JLR (Journals and Law Reviews) database • Restatements – REST databases • West’s Digests – -HN is suffix for digest (headnote) databases, e.g., MN-HN, ALLFEDS-HN
  90. 90. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: SECONDARY SOURCES • This is a portion of an ALR article discussing the legislative history of 11 USCA 523 in reference to whether student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy. • The same ALR article could have been retrieved using the ALR link on the Links for tab while viewing the statute in the right frame. ALR
  91. 91. EXPANDING STATUTORY RESEARCH: SECONDARY SOURCES • One of several American Jurisprudence sections that discuss whether loans can be discharged in bankruptcy. This section discusses exceptions to the student loan exception of discharge of debt in bankruptcy.
  92. 92. CONCLUSION • There are many ways to approach statutory research. No one method is correct. • If one method doesn’t seem to be working, try another. • Still need help? • Call the West Reference Attorneys at 1-800-850-WEST (9378) • They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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