Lecture04 Os Ffa
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  • Finding Cases Quickly When You Know the Citation Use “Find by citation” search bar to left on Welcome Page Type 410 US 113 into search bar. NOTE – no need to select jurisdiction as the citation is jurisdiction specific. Finding Cases When You Only Know the Party Names free sources – google search will sometime contain link that includes citation Search of “Roe v. Wade” = Wikipedia site that includes citation, 410 U.S. 113 Westlaw – For U.S. search, must choose appropriate database (more on that later). I believe Westlaw in the U.S. has an easy title search function without having to choose a directory. Here we are using “Westlaw International”. “Global Search” (U.K., Canada, EU) use “find” button on top Search Databases Box If you know the abbreviation for the database you want to search, then you type it in this box and it takes you directly to a box where you can type in your search requres. Odds are you do NOT know the abbreviation of the database you want. The directory of databases is on the Welcome Page. Click on the heading or subheading you want to be taken to more subheadings. This will help you find the proper database.
  • You likely will only need to use this method if you have come across a case name in a non-legal document (news article, blog, website). Legal documents will contain the citation!
  • This of NOTE Default tab is usually ”item related to current document tab” Click on ”Result List” tab to see other documents, with a summary of each, that came up in the search. Each search term is highlighted in document summary You can scroll to places in each document where a search term is used. You can move to the next document using ”next” arrow on the bottom.

Lecture04 Os Ffa Lecture04 Os Ffa Presentation Transcript

  • Legal Research
      • Basic Library
      • and
      • Westlaw Legal Research
  • Basic Legal Research
      • Understanding the Citation System
  • The United States
  • Typical U.S. Citation
    • Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)
    Name of the Parties Volume Report Name Page Number Year Decided U.S. = United States Reports
  • U.S. Supreme Court Cases
    • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510 (1965).
      • U.S. = U.S. Reports
        • Official government reporter
      • S.Ct. = Supreme Court Reporter
        • West Publishing
      • L.E.2d = United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers Edition
        • Lexis/Nexis
  • Federal Appeal Court Cases
    • United States court of appeals cases are published in the Federal Reporter (F., F.2d, or F.3d).
      • Published by West
      • No “official” reporter
    • Smith v. Jones, 3 F.3d 111 (3d Cir. 1993)
    Name of Parties Volume Reporter Name Page Court Year
  • Federal Court of Appeals
  • Federal District Court Cases
    • United States district court cases and cases from some specialized courts are published in the Federal Supplement (F. Supp. or F. Supp. 2d).
    • Smith v. Jones, 25 F. Supp. 2d, 444 (M.D. Ala. 2002)
    Parties volume reporter page court year
  • State Decisions
    • Published in several places
    • Many states have their own “official” reporters.
    • West publishes “unofficial” reporters that are grouped by region:
      • North Eastern Reporter, Atlantic Reporter, South Eastern Reporter, Southern Reporter, South Western Reporter, North Western Reporter, Pacific Reporter
      • NOTE – NY, Cal, and Ill also have West reporter.
  • Regional Reporter System
  • State v. Regional Reporter
    • City of Troy v Ohlinger, 438 Mich 477 (1991)
    • People v Ferency, 133 Mich App 526 (1984)
    • or
    • People v Ferency, 351 NW2d 225 (Mich. 1984).
    Parties Volume Reporter Page Year Court
  • The Full Citation
    • People v Ferency, 133 Mich App 526; 351 NW2d 225 (1984).
    • NOTE:
      • the state reporters can easily be identified because they use an abbreviation related to the state itself:
        • N.Y., Mich, Calif, Ill
      • Many state court rules require both the official and “unofficial” citations for cases.
  • Examples
    • Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R. Co., 248 N.Y. 339 (1928)
    • Glassroth v. Moore, 229 F. Supp. 2d 1290 (M.D. Ala. 2002)
    • Geary v. Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish Sch., 7 F.3d 324 (3d Cir. 1993)
    • Jackson v. Commonwealth, 583 S.E.2d 780 (Va. Ct. App. 2003)
      • State or Federal court?
      • Specifically, what court?
  • Pinpoint Citations
    • Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 158 (1973).
    What is this number?
  • Basic Legal Research
      • Conducting Research
  • Research in Stages
    • First must define the legal issue(s)
      • Look at facts obtained from client and witness interviews, discovery, etc.
      • Law School = Issue Spotting
    • Determine whether claim(s) are statutory, common law or both.
      • If statutory, find pertinent statute.
        • then see if there are cases interpreting it!
      • If common law, find caselaw.
  • Finding Statutes
    • Searches
      • Index in bound volume
      • Table of Contents
        • in bound volume or state website
      • search engine
        • state website, legal databases
      • Secondary Sources
        • Legal encyclopedias, treatises, law review articles, etc.
  • Finding Statutes
      • All Statutes Are Not Created Equal:
      • General Statutes
      • v.
      • Annotated Statutes
  • General Statute
  • Annotated Statute West's Key Number System leads you to cases Index of cases interpreting the statute Case Summaries Legal Encyclopedia Case Citation
  • Understanding Cases
  • Quick Info Access in a Case Browse the Headnote Summary Notice the Key Numbers Using Headnote Numbers
  • Case Finding Methods
    • Digests
    • American Law Reports (ALR), Encyclopedias and Secondary Resources
      • Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.)
      • American Jurisprudence (Am. Jur. 2d)
    • Electronic Database Search
      • Westlaw
      • Lexis/Nexis
  • What is a Digest?
    • Acts as an index to the National Reporter system (West Publishing)
      • find cases by legal issue or subject
    • A tool that collects and organizes cases by subject (“topic”) and narrow sub-headings (“key numbers”)
      • over 400 “topics” (e.g., contracts, negligence and criminal law)
    • Gives brief summaries of cases
      • headnotes from cases
  • Using Digest
    • Select “correct” jurisdiction.
    • Locate subject and key number
    • Read Case Summaries
  • Reading the Digest Key Number Subject/Topic Heading Case Summary as it relates to topic Case Citation
  • Finding Topic & Key Number
    • Annotated Statute
    • Digest Descriptive Word Index
    • Digest Table of Contents
    • One Good Case
  • Descriptive Word Index Start with general words. Use Descriptive Word Index to narrow down the topic. Use Key Numbers within the topic to further narrow the topic. General Word Specific Words
  • Digest Table of Contents Main Topic Sub-Topic Key Numbers
  • One Good Case
    • You have a case that is on point
    • Find the Topic and Key Number of the relevant issue (looking in headnotes)
    • Go to that Digest volume and search for cases in your jurisdiction
  • One Good Case Topic and Key Number!
  • American Law Reports
    • Full-text of important cases from variety of jurisdictions AND
      • “Articles” or “annotations” providing in-depth analysis and overview of legal topic
      • case citations and summaries
      • references to other secondary sources
    • Using general search and index, can narrow down topic similar to digest index search.
      • Index will direct you to specific volume of A.L.R.
  • Electronic Databases
      • Introduction to Westlaw
  • Westlaw Welcome Page Database Directory Find Case Immediately If You Know the Citations
  • Looking for the Citation Sometimes the summary will contain the citation for which you are looking. Put this citation into the Westlaw citation search box and hit GO.
  • Directories Click here to search law review directory Sample Search through Law Review Articles
  • Sub-Directory Database abbreviations to conduct a search through all law reviews or journal articles to find sub-directory of specific law reviews
  • Search Box name of current database To change database limit search by publication date Limit search by author, citation, title, etc. (adds search command to above search)
  • Natural Language Search No connectors! Just Plain Words! NOTE – this method will likely result in a broader, less efficient search consider broading your search using the thesaurus
  • Search Result Info related to current document Document List
  • Term Finder Term Finder Arrow Highlighted Search Terms
  • U.S. Cases Directory Link to Cases Sub-Directory
  • Cases Sub-Directories Search all federal cases Search only Supreme Court Cases Search only Court of Appeals Cases Search all cases Federal + State Search by State Court
  • State Court Cases Directory
  • Search for Case by Party Name Search conducted in ”All Cases” Directory Search by Party Name Option
  • Finding Key Numbers Key Search
  • Key Search Directory Traditional Table of Contents Main Topic Sub-Topic Search
  • Key Number Search Key Number Select Jurisdiction Search Order Search Terms Date Restrictions
  • One Good Case Method Link to Cited Case Key Number with Link