Appendix B | Fundamentals Of Legal Research

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GETTING STARTED

First, log onto the website for Lexis-Nexis. Second, complete the brief Tutorial on how to search. Then, complete the How Do I section which outlines the various sources of legal research including cases, articles, statutes, law reviews, etc. This exercise should take about an hour of your time, but the experience will yield a great result!

Abbreviations

F. Supp.

The Federal Supplement. Contains cases decided by the various United States District Courts. These are the federal trial courts.

F. (2D, 3Rd)

The Federal Reporter. Contains cases decided by the various United States Courts of Appeals.

Decisions Of The United States Supreme Court Are Reported In The Following Three Publications

U.S. – United States Reports (the official report of Supreme Court cases)

S. C. – Supreme Court Reporter

L. Ed. – Lawyers Edition

N.B. There are also other nominative reporters that existed from 1790 to 1874, so-called because they are reported under the names of individual Supreme Court reporters.

Other Federal Reporters

L.W. – United States Law Week. From time to time a Supreme Court decision will be reported in Law Week before it is published in the other reporters. This citation is sometimes used in order to publish the decision as soon as possible after it is issued.

F.R.D. – Federal Rules Decisions. Reports decisions of the United States District Courts not reported in the Federal Supplement.

Westlaw

An Internet database that includes decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, Federal courts, state courts, legal periodicals, etc.

Lexis-Nexis

An Internet database that includes decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, Federal courts, state courts, legal periodicals, etc. See the note regarding Tutorials, above.

Findlaw

General legal source finder.

Decisions Of State Courts Are Reported In Regional Reporters As Listed As Follows

N.E. – Northeastern Reporter. Cases decided in the state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

A. – Atlantic Reporter. Cases decided in the state courts of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.

So. – Southern Reporter. Cases decided in the state courts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

S.E. – Southeastern Reporter. Cases decided in the state courts of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

S.W. – Southwestern Reporter. Cases decided in the state courts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas.

P. – Pacific Reporter. Cases decided in the state courts of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Washing,ton, Oregon, and California.

N.W. – Northwestern Reporter. Cases decided in the state courts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

N.B. Some of the Reports have moved to the designation 2d or 3d, depending on the volume of decided cases.

Other Publications

N.Y.S. – New York Supplement. Cases decided in certain New York state courts. Some of these cases may also be reported in the N.E. Reporter.

Cal. Rptr. – California Reporter. Cases decided in the state courts of California. Some of these cases will also appear in the Pacific Reporter. The Cal. Reporter was started in 1960 and California cases decided prior to 1960 can be found in the P. Reporter

U.S.C. – United States Code. This contains a codification of the laws passed by Congress.

U.S.C.A. – United States Code Annotated. This contains the annotations to the United States Code and, there,fore includes cases that have been decided which interpret sections of the Code.

P.E.R.B. – Public Employment Relations Board.

P.E.R.C. – Public Employees Relations Commission. Various states have established such boards or commissions to conduct proceedings relating to collective bargaining by public employees in the state.

N.L.R.B. – National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB has jurisdiction over private employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act.

L.R.R.M. – Labor Relations Reporting Manual.

C.F.R. – Code of Federal Regulations. Federal Regulations are promulgated by federal agencies given the power by statute to adopt rules and regulations to carry out the purpose of the statute which that particular agency administers. Regulations have the force of law.

A.L.R. – American Law Reports. This reporter is annotated and contains discussion and other citations to similar cases after the reported case.

Am. Jur. – A legal encyclopedia.

A Legal Citation Will Usually Contain The Following:

Title of the Report or publication;

Volume number; (preceding the title)

Page number; (following the title)

Year of the decision (in parenthesis).

For example, 379 U.S. 241 (1964) would indicate that volume 379 of the U.S. Supreme Court Reporter, with the case beginning on page 241. The case was decided in 1964. Can you find the case on Lexis-Nexis and report its name?

 

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