LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS Tools to help identify and explain the law
When should you use a legal encyclopedia? Great starting point! Gives an overview of an area of law.
SECONDARY RESOURCE Legal Encyclopedias Provide background information on an unfamiliar topic. Gives a conceptual review of legal principles and issues. References to primary authority.
Features of a Legal Encyclopedia Written in a narrative format. Arranged alphabetically by subject. Contain footnotes to cases on point. State legal propositions and cite to authority. Gives an non- analytical, basic, and objective, explanation of a topic. Remember, it is SECONDARY authority.
National Legal Encyclopedias American Jurisprudence 2d (Am. Jur. 2d) Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.)
Both sets... Include an extensive range of topics arranged alphabetically: Civil & Criminal topics. State & Federal jurisdictions. Substantive & Procedural issues.
What methods exist to access relevant topics? General Index. Index in each volume. Table of Parallel References (AmJur)or Table of Laws and Rules (CJS). Table of Statutes. Information on the volume spine. Online.
How to Best Use the Index Think TARP THINGS ACTIONS RELIF PARTIES If you know the topic go straight to text volume.
What is the Table of Parallel References (AmJur) or Table or Corresponding Sections (CJS)? It is a matter of currency. Entries are rewritten and updated. Early citation to specifics sections will not match up after revision. Consult the translation table located in the front of each volume.
What is the Table of Statutes and Rules Cited (AmJur) or Table of Laws and Rules (CJS)? If you are researching a particular section of a federal statute, Rule of Procedure, Model or Uniform Act, consult the cross reference table in each volume or the cumulative table at the end of the set.
How can you tell if you are in the “right” article? Check the SCOPE OF TOPIC paragraph. It is a concise statement of the basic contents of the article. In AmJur, If you have missed the mark, consult the segment labeled Treated Elsewhere.
What are AmJur Research References? Text references: specialized work written on the topic, in other words a TREATISE. Annotations: refer to the A.L.R. Series. Practice References: refer to practice oriented materials and form books.
What are CJS Library References? Provide access to the West Key number system on the particular topic.
Now that you have an article... Review the topic outline and the introductory material. The structure of the article may enlighten you to additional issues that you may need to address. In AmJur, look for the DIAMOND highlight feature: observations, practice guides, or cautions.
Helpful component of the Am. Jur. set Am Jur Desk Book -- Is a legal almanac with lots of legal facts and figures. statistical information historical documents international agreements hints for using WESTLAW and the West Digest scheme.
State Encyclopedias Most states have some type of legal encyclopedia Florida and Georgia have state specific legal encyclopedias: Florida Jurisprudence 2d References refer to only Florida cases and statutes. Georgia Jurisprudence References refer to only Georgia cases and statutes.
Special Citation Forms Rule 15.8 Rule 15.8 Special Citation Forms. (a) Frequently cited works. A few frequently cited works require special citation forms: 88 C.J.S. Trial § 192 (1955). 17 Am. Jur. 2d Contracts § 74 (1964). 15 Fla. Jur. 2d Contracts § 34 (1999).