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Chapter 4 Researching the Law.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 Researching the Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4 Researching the Law

2 Popular, Scholarly, and Professional Sources
Popular Literature Publications written for the layperson Found in Time, Newsweek, or Reader’s Digest Any resource to learn law must understand the limitations of that particular resource. Reader’s Digest will present material differently than United States Law Week

3 Popular, Scholarly, and Professional Sources
Professional Literature Publications written for the practitioner in the field This includes Police Chief, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Corrections Today, UCLA Law Review, and Journal of Municipal Government

4 Popular, Scholarly, and Professional Sources
Scholarly Literature Publications written for those interested in theory and research This includes Justice Quarterly, an official publication of the Academy of Criminal Justice

5 Primary and Secondary Sources
Sources of primary information for legal research include the U.S. Constitution, the constitutions of the 50 states, the statutes of the U.S. Congress and of the 50 state legislatures and appellate court decisions of the federal and state courts.

6 Primary and Secondary Sources
Primary Information Sources Presents the raw data or the original information Secondary Information Sources Presents data or information based on the original information. Among the important secondary information sources for legal research are periodicals, treatises/texts, encyclopedias and dictionaries.

7 Primary and Secondary Sources
Legal Periodicals Three groups of legal periodicals can provide important information: Law school publications such as the Harvard Law Review Bar association publications such as the American Bar Association Journal Special subject and interest periodicals such as the Black Law Journal and the Women Lawyers Journal

8 Primary and Secondary Sources
Treatises/Texts Treatise is a comprehensive document on a legal subject These go into a specific subject in depth

9 Primary and Secondary Sources
Legal Encyclopedias These are narratives arranged alphabetically by subject. The three types of legal encyclopedias are: General law Local or state law Special subject Corpus Juris Secondum American Jurisprudence 2d Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice Guide to American Law

10 Reading Legal Citations
Standardized way of referring to a specific element in the law String Cites Additional legal citations

11 Opinions Court decisions are recorded as opinions.
Opinions describe what the dispute was about, what the court decided and why.

12 Contents of an Opinion Caption
The title of the case setting forth the parties involved. ie.) Brandenburg v. Ohio

13 Contents of an Opinion The Court issuing the opinion
Supreme Court of the Untied States The reference volume containing a copy of the entire opinion 395 U.S. 444 The date the opinion was issued 1969 (the full date at the beginning)

14 Contents of an Opinion The author of the opinion
By name Per Curiam The rationale of the Court The conclusion of the Court

15 Case Law Trial court has two basic responsibilities:
find out what happened determine what legal rules should be used in deciding the case Only legal issues will be reviewed on appeal, as new evidence is not permitted.

16 Case Law Opinions include more than simply a statement of who won the court case. They tell the story of what occurred, what rules were applied and why the judge decided the case as they did.

17 Case Law Opinions contain five important components:
Description of the facts Statement of the legal issues presented for decision Relevant rules of law The holding Policies and reasons that support the holding

18 Case Law Holding Affirm Concur
Rule of law applied to the facts of a case Affirm A court agreeing with a lower court’s decision Concur Agreeing with a lower court’s decision

19 Case Law Reverse Remand Brief Dicta
Overturn the decision of a lower court Remand Return a case to the lower court for further action Brief Summary of a case Dicta Statements by a court concerning a case

20 Shepardizing Using the resource Shepard’s (set of bound volumes and pocket parts published for each set of official volumes of cases) to determine if a case’s status has changed

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