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Legal Research in a Nutshell

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West Academic
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Finding and using legal resources effectively is an essential skill for lawyers. This comprehensive but succinct guide covers major Internet resources as well as online databases and library materials, with almost a hundred illustrations of print and online sources. Several hundred websites are discussed and placed in context for effective and productive use in research. Discussion includes coverage of legislative history, administrative law, specialized and interdisciplinary resources, and research in international and comparative law. Appendices list state research guides and treatises and services by subject.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. V
Acknowledgmentsp. IX
The Research Processp. 1
Introductionp. 1
The Sources of the Lawp. 3
The Forms of Legal Informationp. 6
Current and Historical Informationp. 6
Primary and Secondary Sourcesp. 8
Print and Electronic Resourcesp. 9
Legal Languagep. 13
Legal Citationsp. 14
Online Research Basicsp. 17
Westlawp. 18
Lexisp. 27
Other Databasesp. 31
Handling a Research Projectp. 32
First Stepsp. 32
In-Depth Researchp. 34
Providing Current Informationp. 35
Completing a Projectp. 36
Background and Analysisp. 43
Introductionp. 43
Overviewsp. 45
Legal Encyclopediasp. 46
American Jurisprudence 2d and Corpus Juris Secundump. 47
Jurisdictional Encyclopediasp. 50
Texts and Treatisesp. 52
Restatements of the Lawp. 59
Law Reviewsp. 61
Westlaw and Lexisp. 63
HeinOnlinep. 65
Periodical Indexesp. 66
Other Sourcesp. 68
Case Lawp. 76
Introductionp. 77
Electronic Researchp. 84
Westlawp. 85
Lexisp. 89
Other Resourcesp. 91
West Digestsp. 93
Finding Cases in Digestsp. 94
Jurisdictional and Regional Digestsp. 97
Decennial and General Digestsp. 99
Words and Phrasesp. 101
American Law Reports Annotationsp. 102
Format and Contentp. 103
Finding Annotationsp. 106
Citatorsp. 108
KeyCitep. 110
Shepard's Citations Onlinep. 113
Shepard's Citations in Printp. 115
Sources for Federal Court Casesp. 118
Supreme Court of the United Statesp. 118
Lower Federal Courtsp. 125
Sources for State Court Casesp. 131
Official Reportsp. 133
National Reporter Systemp. 135
Other Sourcesp. 137
Statutes and Constitutionsp. 159
Introductionp. 159
Publication of Statutesp. 161
Statutory Researchp. 165
Online Code Databasesp. 165
KeyCite and Shepard'sp. 168
Indexes and Tablesp. 171
Sources for Federal Statutesp. 174
Slip Laws and Session Lawsp. 175
The United States Codep. 177
Annotated Codesp. 181
Sources for State Statutesp. 183
Slip Laws and Session Lawsp. 183
Codesp. 185
Multistate Research Sourcesp. 187
Uniform Lawsp. 190
Interstate Compactsp. 192
The U. S. Constitutionp. 192
State Constitutionsp. 196
Legislative informationp. 216
Introductionp. 216
Federal Legislative History Sourcesp. 218
Billsp. 220
Committee Reportsp. 222
Federal Legislative History Sources- Continued
Debatesp. 224
Hearingsp. 228
Other Congressional Publicationsp. 229
Congressional Research Resourcesp. 232
Compiled Legislative Historiesp. 234
THOMAS and Other Congressional Websitesp. 235
LexisNexis Congressional and CISp. 236
USCCAN and Westlawp. 239
CQ and Other News Sourcesp. 241
Printed Status Tablesp. 243
Directoriesp. 245
State Legislative Informationp. 246
Administrative Lawp. 261
Introductionp. 261
Background Reference Sourcesp. 263
Agency Websitesp. 263
Guides and Directoriesp. 265
Federal Regulationsp. 267
Federal Registerp. 268
Code of Federal Regulationsp. 272
Finding and Updating Regulationsp. 275
Guidance Documentsp. 279
Administrative Decisions and Rulingsp. 282
Presidential Lawmakingp. 286
Executive Orders and Proclamationsp. 286
Other Presidential Documentsp. 288
State Administrative Lawp. 291
Websites and Directoriesp. 291
State Administrative Law-Continued
Regulations and Executive Ordersp. 292
Decisions, Rulings, and Other Documentsp. 293
Local Lawp. 295
Court Rules and Practicep. 307
Introductionp. 307
Court Rulesp. 308
Federal Rulesp. 308
State Rulesp. 313
Legal Ethicsp. 314
Briefs and Other Court Documentsp. 317
Directories of Courts and Judgesp. 325
Formbooks and Jury Instructionsp. 327
Specialized and Nonlegal Sourcesp. 334
Introductionp. 334
Looseleaf and Electronic Servicesp. 335
Current Awarenessp. 340
Legal Newspapers and Newslettersp. 341
Current Scholarshipp. 344
Blogs and Other Online Resourcesp. 345
General News and Business Informationp. 346
Statisticsp. 349
Interdisciplinary Researchp. 352
Legal History Resourcesp. 356
Directoriesp. 360
Specialized Research Guidesp. 363
International Lawp. 373
Introductionp. 373
Preliminary Researchp. 375
U. S. Practice in International Lawp. 378
Treatiesp. 378
Foreign Relations Documentsp. 385
General Treaty Researchp. 386
Cases and Arbitrationsp. 390
International Court of Justicep. 391
Other Courtsp. 392
Arbitrationsp. 397
International Organizationsp. 398
United Nations and Related Agenciesp. 398
World Trade Organizationp. 400
European Union and Other Regional Organizationsp. 402
Sources for Further Informationp. 404
The Law of Other Countriesp. 412
Introductionp. 412
Legal Systems of the Worldp. 413
Reference Sources in Foreign and Comparative Lawp. 415
Encyclopedias and Legal System Guidesp. 415
Research Guides and Indexesp. 418
Summaries and Translations of Lawsp. 420
Dictionariesp. 423
Original Sourcesp. 425
Links to Country Websitesp. 425
Common Law Jurisdictionsp. 426
Civil Law Jurisdictionsp. 433
State Legal Research Guidesp. 438
Major Treatises and Services By Subjectp. 454
Resource Indexp. 471
Subject Indexp. 489
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