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Review: The Legal Research Process

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by

Ashley Ahlbrand

on 10 June 2014

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Transcript of Review: The Legal Research Process

Review: The Legal Research Process
Secondary Sources
Purpose
: provide overview and analysis of different areas of law
For a general overview - legal encyclopedias, nutshells
More detailed - legal treatises, hornbooks
Most detailed -
American Law Report
s, law review articles

Good place to
start
or
expand
your research

Persuasive, but
not binding

Generally
not citable
Finding Statutes
How?
From
annotations/footnotes in a secondary source
Browsing statutory tools -
Table of Contents, Index, Popular Name Table
Keyword search

Where?
WestlawNext
- general keyword search and filter; use the Federal or State Materials tabs; or select Statutes & Court Rules under All Content
Lexis Advance
- general keyword search and filter; Browse Sources and limit by jurisdiction and content type - Statutes & Legislation
Bloomberg Law
- general keyword search and filter in GO bar; Search & Browse tab - legislative; or Legislative & Regulatory - search legislative
Free sources
, such as government websites
Finding Cases
How?
From
annotations in a secondary source
, or an
annotated code
From
citator
- KeyCite (citing references), BCite, Shepard's
Using
key numbers
and
headnotes
Keyword search

Where?
WestlawNext
- keyword search and filter; All Content - Cases; or Federal or State Materials tabs
Lexis Advance
- keyword search and filter; Browse Sources and narrow by jurisdiction and Content Type - Cases
Bloomberg Law
- keyword search and filter; Search & Browse tab - Court Opinions; or Litigation & Dockets tab - Search Court Opinions
Free resources
, such as Google Scholar
Conclusion:
Knowing
when to stop!
Make sure any law you're relying on (statute or case) is
current
, check for
positive or negative treatment

Stopping point is not clear-cut, look for triggers, such as the same cases cropping up over and over again.

Other resources:
LRW Research Guides -

http://law.indiana.libguides.com/LRW
Starting your research
What are the pertinent facts?
Walsh is a member, and former leader, of BBFP
BBFP protesting the building of a Lowe's in town
The Niles Daily Times
wrote an article accusing BBFP and Walsh of aggressive/deceptive/criminal methods of influencing zoning board's decision
What are the issues of law?
Defamation
Public v. private figure
Limited purpose public figure
What is your jurisdiction?
What resources will best answer your research questions?
Full transcript