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SUCCESSFUL SUMMER STRATEGIES SPRING 2009 Federal and State Administrative Research.

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Presentation on theme: "SUCCESSFUL SUMMER STRATEGIES SPRING 2009 Federal and State Administrative Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 SUCCESSFUL SUMMER STRATEGIES SPRING 2009 Federal and State Administrative Research

2 What is Administrative Law? Law made by executive branch agencies or “independent” agencies (e.g., FDA, EPA, etc.) Such agencies may exist at federal, state, and local state levels; sometimes several layers of regulation Regulations – look like statutes, but made by agencies, not legislature Administrative rulings/decisions – look like case law, but made by agencies, not by courts Interpretive and guidance documents

3 Consult the TMLL “Successful Summer Strategies” Research Guide for pointers on administrative research


5 List of federal agency Web sites From TMLL Home Page

6 List of Maryland agency Web sites from TMLL Home Page

7 To do effective administrative research: It can help to do background research, on the Web or in print sources, to understand a particular agency’s mandate, powers, and procedures, and what publications it issues. Some good sources are the United States Government Manual, the Federal Regulatory Directory, or the Maryland Manual. Leah Chanin’s “Specialized Legal Research” (KF240.S64 2004 at TMLL) is a good resource for some subject areas. Treatises and law reviews may also be helpful.

8 You can search or browse the US Government Manual (print or electronic) for background information on a federal agency’s powers and pronouncements.

9 This is an example of agency background info on the Securities & Exchange Commission, taken from the U.S. Government Manual..

10 Currently the Federal Regulatory Directory is available only as a print publication: Reference Stacks KF5407.C6

11 From the Federal Regulatory Directory…..

12 The Maryland Manual, available online, provides similar background info about Maryland agencies




16 Authority to Make Regulations “Enabling legislation”  Statute(s) enacted by legislature to create agency  Directs agency to make regulations on certain subjects  Authorizes other agency activities (such as performing inspections, issuing permits, conducting hearings, etc.)  Regulations that exceed the scope of the authorizing legislation may be held invalid by courts  Bottom line: administrative research always involves statutory research as well

17 Authority to Make Regulations Administrative Procedure Act (APA)  requires agencies to give public notice when proposing regulations  requires agencies to publish both proposed and final regulations (in Federal Register or state equivalent)  requires agencies to hold hearings or otherwise allow public comment on proposed regulations before they become final  there is a federal APA; many states have one also

18 Sources of Federal Administrative Materials ■ Federal Register (FR) (print, Lexis/Westlaw, Internet)  published daily  A “notice” publication; includes proposed and final new and amended regs, as well as other agency materials ■ Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (print, Lexis/Westlaw, Internet)  topical arrangement of regulations currently in effect  each title is updated (republished) at least once a year ■ Agency Web sites  often include text of regulations, but not necessarily up-to- date

19 CFR and Federal Register….

20 Sources of Maryland Administrative Materials Maryland Register (print, Lexis/Westlaw, Internet)  published biweekly, proposed and final new and amended regs, other agency materials Code of Maryland Administrative Regulations (COMAR) (print, Lexis/Westlaw, Internet)  text of regulations currently in effect, arranged by topic  each title is updated at least once a year Agency Web sites  usually do not provide text of regulations

21 COMAR and Maryland Register


23 Federal Endangered Species Act ; authorizes Sec’y of Interior to promulgate regs Cross-reference to CFR

24 A cross-reference to the pertinent regulations is provided in the Lexis version of the U.S. Code (USCS)

25 Federal regulations are accessible for free on the Internet via GPO Access as well as other sources.

26 Although it is a beta version (not official), the e-CFR provides very up to date versions of federal regulations. For more info on updating federal regulations, see the TMLL Guide to Legal research or ask a librarian


28 Among other info, the list of endangered species is here




32 There are several free versions of the CFR available on the Web- see the “SSS” Research Guide

33 Maryland Endangered Species statute

34 The West version of the Md. statute provides a cross- reference to COMAR

35 COMAR is accessible for free on the Web







42 Recap: effective administrative research Identify and examine the enabling legislation Determine what agency(ies) are involved in rulemaking or adjudication Familiarize yourself with the powers of the agency; e.g., enforcement, adjudication, and the documents generated by agency activity Investigate whether federal, state, and/ or local agencies may have overlapping jurisdiction Be aware of the role of courts in reviewing agency regulations and opinions Determine what resources are available to research agency law: web sites, Lexis & Westlaw databases, topical databases, etc. Seek advice from librarians or agency staff

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