Presentation on theme: "Intro to U.S. Legal Research Dana Neacsu. What Are Primary Sources? The law: official pronouncements of lawmakers Statutes But also Rules and regulations,"— Presentation transcript:
What Are Primary Sources? The law: official pronouncements of lawmakers Statutes But also Rules and regulations, and Court decisions (Common Law System) Sources which may be binding authority Repositories of law (its tangible aspect)
Federal Repositories of Statutory Law Statutes Statutory law -- Session laws (chronological compilations) Codes (subject matter compilations) Federal Statutory Law: United States Statutes at Large (Stat.) P.Law Congress – Sequential Identifier United States Code (code) U.S.C. U.S.C.A. (West) U.S.C.S. USC: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/uscode/browse.html
The Bluebook: Citing Statutes Federal statutes should be cited to the current official code (the United States Code, which is abbreviated as U.S.C.) Rule 12: a codified statutory citation contains four basic elements: 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2000). Rule 12: a citation to the official compilation of federal session laws (Statutes at Large, abbr: Stat) contains six basic elements: An Act to Permit Civil Suits under Section 1979 of the Revised Statutes (42 USC 1983)…, Pub. L. No. 96-170, § 1, 93 Stat. 1284 (1979) (amending, An Act to Enforce the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S., c. 22, 17 Stat. 13 (1871))
Lets Look at a Federal Statute! 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2000) 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Ch. 22, 17 Stat. 13 (1871) amended by17 Stat. 13 Pub. L. No. 96-170, 93 Stat. 1284 (1979)93 Stat. 1284
Federal Repositories of Case Law Cases Decisional law Reports Jurisdictional compilations of cases (federal, state, etc). Federal Reports: United States Supreme Court Reports (3) U.S. S.Ct. L.Ed Federal Reporter (West): F, F2d, F3d Federal Supplement (West): F.Supp, F.Supp.2d
The Bluebook: Citing Cases Rule 10: a full case citation includes four elements The name of the case; The abbreviation of the published source where it can be found (reporter); A parenthetical that indicates the court and jurisdiction; and The date or year of the decision.
Lets Look at a Case! Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1 Cranch)(1803): Reporters Print Digital Free-of-charge repositories (Oyez; Curiae- Yale; lexisOne; Findlaw; Google Scholar)OyezlexisOneFindlawGoogle Scholar Fee-based repositories (Westlaw Lexis & Bloomberg)
NY State Law (research w Westlaw/Lexis/ Bloomberg) NY State Statutes McKinneys NY State Statutes http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LA WS http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LA WS NY Case Law (reporters) NY Case Law Official (New York Reports: 3) Commercial (New York: 1)
Repositories of Administrative Law Rules and Regulations Administrative law Administrative Register (chronological compilations) Codes (subject matter compilations) Federal Administrative Law: Federal Register (chronological compilation) Code of Federal Regulations (code) http://www.gpoaccess.gov/CFR/
The Bluebook: Citing Rules Federal administrative rules should be cited to the current official code (the Code of Federal Regulations, which is abbreviated as C.F.R.) Rule 14: a codified citation contains four basic elements: 7 C.F.R. § 319.77-2 (2007). Rule 14: a citation to the official chronological compilation of federal rules (Federal Register, abbr: Fed.Reg.) contains five basic elements: R egulated Articles, 71 Fed.Reg. 40,878 (July 19, 2006)
Overview Primary Sources Statutory & Administrative Law Research Codes, Session Laws, etc. Legislative History tools and techniques Rules and Regulations Case Law Research Full-text searching Other approaches
Helping a Patron Do Legal Research -- Framing a legal inquiry What information do you know? What information do you need to know? Case law or statutory law? Are you ready to start researching cases/statutes, or do you need to learn more about the topic first?
Using Secondary Sources – Legal Scholarship - Treatises A client has negotiated a million-dollar deal to purchase a piece or real property commonly known as The Brooklyn Bridge, with an option to purchase the Lincoln Tunnel for a fixed price of $1 million paid in six installments. The agreement is completely oral. She has already sent a check with the first installment.. What is the legal issue? How can one search it?
Framing your Inquiry Issue Statute of Frauds (oral K) Mistake/error as to the object of the K (rescission)
Where should your patron start? Secondary Source Finding Aids library catalogs index to legal periodicals Legal Scholarship treatises law review articles
Using Electronic Sources for Finding a Treatise on Westlaw & Lexis Lexis publications are on Lexis Corbin on Contracts Nimmer on Copyright West publications are on Westlaw Wright & Millers Federal Practice and Procedure Williston on Contracts
What primary sources should be used? NY Case Law Update results Good luck with your exam!