Reference Services

Public service staff members provide reference service designed to aid patrons in the use of the collection, not to assist in the interpretation or application of the law. Reference service is free to UNH School of Law library patrons. Available times:

Phone (603) 228-1541during the above hours and ask for:

In addition to direct reference; the library provides:

About Case Law

By Roberta Woods, Reference Librarian

Created: 2009, Updated: May 2010 by Tom Hemstock

Contents:

Introduction | Official and Unofficial Reporters | Finding Caselaw (graph)

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Introduction

Court opinions, or cases, are published in reporters.  Reporters collect cases in chronological order.  Often sets of reporters are limited to opinions from a single jurisdiction or a single court.  Federal reporters contain opinions from federal courts while state and regional reporters offer opinions from a state or states in a particular geographic region.  Regardless, all reporters are arranged chronologically.

Not every case heard by a court is reported.  Typically only cases coming out of appellate courts are reported.  Trial court cases are not usually reported though some U.S. District Court opinions are published in the Federal Supplement ( F. Supp., F. Supp. 2d) and the Federal Rules Decisions (F.R.D.).

Official and Unofficial Reporters

Official Reporters

A reporter published under government authority is known as an official reporter.  The official reporter for United States Supreme Court decisions published by the federal government is United States Reports (U.S.).

Unofficial Reporters

A reporter published by a commercial publisher are unofficial reporters even though they will contain the same cases as the official reporters.  Often unofficial reporters have editorial enhancements to help the legal researcher determine the significance of a particular case.  Two unofficial reporters for United States Supreme Court decisions are Supreme Court Reporter (S. Ct.) published by West Publishing, and United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer's Edition (L. Ed., L. Ed. 2d) published by LexisNexis.

Finding Case Law

 

West Digests

Print Access Points: Descriptive Word Index (DWI), Table of Cases, Words & Phrases

Online Access Points: Available only via Westlaw. Key Search or Keynumber Browse.

Additional online resources:

          Best use: Finding similar cases on narrow topics of law.

       Reporters

       Print Access Points: By citation in print volumes

       Online Access Points: CasemakerX, LexisNexis, Westlaw, Google Scholar

       Best use: To retrieve a published opinion.

 

      Secondary Sources

       There are many secondary sources available that cite and explain caselaw. These   sources include: ALRs, Journals and Law Reviews, Treatises, Looseleafs, Restatements and Legal Encyclopedias (CJS and AmJur). All of these sources are available both in print and online via LexisNexis/Westlaw and in other electronic resources

 

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Administrative Law Research Guide

 

By Cindy Landau, Assistant Library Director

Updated:  June 2010

Contents:

Introduction | Finding Federal Regulations | Federal Register | Code of Federal Regulations | Updating Your Regulation | Publication of Judicial Decisions and Administrative Decisions | Accessing Administrative Decisions

 

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Regulations

Regulations, or administrative rules, are primary authority and exist on both the federal and state levels. They are delegated legislation since Congress or the state legislature delegate rulemaking and/or adjudication authority in a statute to executive agencies to implement the statute. Regulations have the force of law when an administrative agency properly promulgates them.

During the rulemaking process and before final approval, federal administrative agencies frequently solicit comments from the public regarding the anticipated effect of the proposed rules, and may include the agency’s response to information received during this process in the publication of the final rules. Regulations frequently provide detailed instructions on how to comply with a law. By promulgating rules within their scope of power and adjudicating them, agencies use their special expertise to help implement and enforce the statute.

How do I locate a federal regulation?

Regulations are published both chronologically and topically. Chronological publications are called administrative registers. Topical arrangements of regulations are called administrative codes.

United States federal agency regulations are published daily (excluding weekends and holidays) and are arranged chronologically for each agency in the Federal Register as either Proposed Rules or Rules and Regulations (final rules), and are cumulated annually and arranged by topic in the Code of Federal Regulations.  There are several ways to locate a federal regulation:

 

FEDERAL REGISTER

If you think the final regulation has been promulgated recently, you are looking for any proposed regulation, agency guidelines or standards, or you are trying to ascertain the "administrative intent" or information on comments received during the rulemaking process, you should look for it in the Federal Register (stack 3 and fiche cabinets 1-2 and 1-3) and various online sources listed below.

You may locate it by:

(A) Using the government’s print index (stack 3), which is published every month; however its usefulness is limited because it does not provide in-depth coverage. Hein Online, http://0-heinonline.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/HOL/Index?collection=fedreg&set_as_cursor=clear linked through Quick Clicks, also includes this index from1939-2008, providing retrospective coverage. 

(B) For retrospective access, 1984-1998, to federal regulations, use the CIS Federal Register Index (stack 3). Look in the index under a subject, the name of the enabling statute, or the name of the agency to locate the Federal Register cite. NOTE: Although this was a great commercial index and it is still on the shelves, it is no longer being published but is still useful for historical research.

 (C) Using a key word search in either WESTLAW (FR) or LEXIS (FEDREG) databases. Both cover from 1980 to the present; you need to add a date restriction to narrow your search to locate only recent regulations.

EXAMPLE: on WESTLAW type "da(aft 7-1-2008) and [subject]"

(D) The full text of the Federal Register, 1994 to date, is available on the Internet on a free web site through FDSys, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR, which is linked through QuickClicks. Once you are in FDSys, click on the Federal Register, and do a word search for your regulation. This site is updated daily.

(E)  The full text of the Federal Register, 1936 to date, is also available from Hein Online, linked through QuickClicks.  You can select a year or span of years and do a word search.
http://0-heinonline.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/HOL/Index?collection=fedreg&set_as_cursor=clear

 

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CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS

If you think the regulation was promulgated long enough ago so that it has been included in the most recent annual cumulation of agency regulations, look for it in the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) (stack 3). The C.F.R. only includes final regulations, and does not include proposed regulations or the interpretive information mentioned above. The C.F.R. is arranged by 50 broad topics or titles, and is updated annually, on a quarterly, rotating basis. You may locate regulations in it by:

(A) Using the print Index volume at the end of the Code of Federal Regulations in stack 3. Frequently, the access from this subject index is not specific enough to be helpful, although it may get you to the correct general area of the regulations.  A more helpful approach using this index volume is to consult the table near the end of this index volume, which give the enabling statute cite (U.S.C.) and the corresponding regulations (C.F.R.) which have been promulgated under the authority of the statute. This index is updated once a year. (The commercially published print index to the C.F.R., the CIS Code of Federal Regulations Index (stack 3), 1977-2001, has ceased publication, and is therefore only useful for historical research.)

(B)  Using West’s Code of Federal Regulations General Index (stack 3). This new, annual index, 2006 to date, provides the best print access to the current edition of the C.F.R.

(C) Using a key word search in either WESTLAW (CFR) or LEXIS (CFR) databases. Both cover regulations in effect as of the current year. LEXIS also has a combined library ALLREG which allows you to search both C.F.R. and the FEDREG file simultaneously. Both cover earlier C.F.R. editions, Lexis from 1981 to date and WESTLAW from 1984 to date.

(D) Click on FDSys and go to the Code of Federal Regulations section, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionCfr.action?collectionCode=CFR . Once there, do a word search. This free web site covers C.F.R. editions from 1996 to date.
(E)  The full text of each edition of the Code of Federal Regulations, 1938 to date, is also available from Hein Online,http://0-heinonline.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/HOL/Index?collection=fedreg&set_as_cursor=clear linked through QuickClicks. You can select a year or span of years and do a word search.
(F) The cross references after the text of the federal statutes in the print or online version of the U.S.C.A. or U.S.C.S. may contain some limited references to the Code of Federal Regulations, although these references rarely give complete or specific enough information. Additionally, WESTLAW also links to the C.F.R. from the Results Plus window on the left side of the U.S.C.A. page. This gives excellent access to the regulations directly from the enabling statute. 

(G) Issues from the past few months of the Federal Register and the current year’s Code of Federal Regulations are located on stack 3. All earlier issues and editions of each are available in microform (cabinets 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, and 1-6) in the first floor microforms area. As noted above, some of this historical information is also available on WESTLAW, LEXIS, Hein Online, and FDSys.

 

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UPDATING YOUR REGULATION

How do I update a federal regulation?

Once you locate a federal regulation you MUST update it to see if there have been any subsequent changes.

 

TO DO THIS IN PRINT:

To update in print, you locate and read any newer federal regulations (as contained in the Federal Register) relevant to your topic issued since the date of the most recent C.F.R. annual compilation.  Currently  there is no way to do this in print effectively and completely, given the slow way the government is publishing the Federal Register and the list of Sections Affected (L.S.A.).  (The L.S.A. is a table published monthly listing C.F.R. sections and any corresponding Federal Register sections updating those C.F.R. sections.)   Updating on e-CFR (described below), or on WESTLAW or LEXIS is therefore more dependable, since the recent Federal Register sections are already integrated within the C.F.R. text, with the exception of any issued within the last few days.

However, the L.S.A.’s are still valuable in tracing historical changes of regulations over time.  Retrospective electronic coverage of L.S.A.’s is on FDSys, 1986-2010 and Hein Online, 1949-2000. Both of these sites are linked through QuickClicks.  We also have this in print, 1949-2000, in stack 3.

TO DO THIS ELECTRONICALLY:

(1)  The U.S government has a new beta test site called e-CFR which provides the most current text of the C.F.R., usually being current within two days of the current date.  It integrates the text of any relevant Federal Register section into the C.F.R., thereby updating the C.F.R.  You can find this site by going to FDSys, linked through QuickClicks. This is the best place to check for the most current version of the C.F.R., and is more current even than C.F.R. on WESTLAW. Currently, LEXIS is as up to date as e-CFR. 
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html  (eCFR is not yet on FDSys but is linked from it.)

(2) WESTLAW and LEXIS are now both fairly quickly integrating new regulations from the Federal Register into the C.F.R. text.  Generally, WESTLAW shows about a one week lag and LEXIS shows about a two day lag. You can look at the C.F.R. text and know that you only have to check the Federal Register for updates for a very brief time period.

(3) To update from the WESTLAW or LEXIS C.F.R. text, go to the Federal Register database or file and type in your C.F.R. cite and a date restriction to cover the time since the publication of the C.F.R. volume in which you found the regulation.

EXAMPLE: CFR(20 and 404.15) and date aft 4/1/2010

(4) On the Internet: The L.S.A.’s are available on FDSys, the government Internet site. The LSA date on the Internet site parallels that for the print L.S.A.’s. The way to update on the Internet is, as described in (2) above; check the most recent L.S.A. on FDSys and then do a search with the CFR cite with a date restriction to cover the later time period in the Federal Register portion of FDSys.   Although this site is still available, e-CFR described under (1) above is much more current and easier to use and will hopefully one day replace this site.
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/lsa/index.html.

 

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PUBLICATION OF JUDICIAL CASES AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS

Cases decided by Article III courts (regular federal judicial courts) interpreting statutes and regulations are published in the National Reporter System and may be accessed through annotated statutes in print and on WESTLAW and LEXIS, the West digest, linked  directly from the regulations in the Westlaw Results Plus window on the left side of the page, and through validating the regulation which they interpret.

Decisions from Article I courts (administrative courts) are not published in the National Reporter System and are not accessible through most annotated statutes or the West digest system.

Administrative decisions are published:

 

(A) Officially in print or online by the government,

 

(B) Unofficially in print or online in loose leaf services,

 

(C) In WESTLAW and LEXIS in topical databases or file,

 

(D) On the Internet for some agencies.

 

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ACCESSING ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS

The official publication of C.F.R. in print by the Government Printing Office is not annotated, however, WESTLAW does now provide an annotated C.F.R. (through KeyCite), providing links to both judicial cases and administrative decisions.  You can also access these decisions by:

(A) Using a loose leaf service,
(B) Checking case annotations in U.S.C.S. under the enabling statute – U.S.C.S. includes some coverage of administrative decisions as well as judicial cases,
(C) Doing a word or citation search in a topical database in WESTLAW or topical file in LEXIS,
(D) Validating the C.F.R. citation in either online Shepards or KeyCite.  WESTLAW’s ResultsPlus feature also will link you to both federal and state administrative decisions interpreting a federal regulation, or
(E) Doing a word search in Hein Online's U.S. Federal Agency Documents, Decisions, and Appeals site, http://0-heinonline.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/HOL/Index?collection=usfed, or 
(F) Looking for them at specific agency Internet sites. The QuickClicks section of the Law Library home page provides a link to all federal agency home pages, http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/fedgov.html

 

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Books/Treatises

 

Secondary sources are works that are not the law but discuss or analyze legal doctrine. Treatises and law journal articles are secondary sources. Secondary sources are often the best place to begin legal research as they can help to clarify legal issues and lead to primary as well as other secondary materials.

The listing of treatises here is a starting point and not an exhaustive list. To see the Library's holding on a particular topic, you should conduct a search on MELcat. In general, treatises are shelved in the main stacks on the first floor of the library. Some are shelved in the IP collection on the third floor while others are on reserve. For the most part, this list was derived from Recommended law books edited by James A. McDermott (reference collection).

Famous treatises in the stacks or on reserve at the circulation desk:

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Administrative law treatise by Kenneth Culp Davis, Richard J. Pierce, Jr. KF5402 .D32 1994

Administrative law & practice by Charles H. Koch, Jr. KF5407 .K63 1997

ADMIRALTY

Benedict on admiralty KF1104 .B46

The law of admiralty by Grant Gilmore and Charles L. Black, Jr. KF1112 .G5 1975  

AGENCY & PARTNERSHIP

Handbook of the law of agency, by Warren A. Seavey. KF1345.S42 H35 1964

The law of agency and partnership by Harold Reuschlein & William Gregory, KF1345 .R48 1990 (on Reserve)

ANTITRUST

Fundamentals of antitrust law by Phillip E. Areeda & Herbert Hovenkamp, KF1649.3 .A73 2004

Antitrust law by Richard A. Posner , KF1649 .P66 2001

ARBITRATION

Domke on commercial arbitration KF9085 .D61 2003-

Business arbitration--what you need to know by Robert Coulson. KF9085 .C65 1991

BANKRUPTCY & CREDITORS' RIGHTS

Collier on bankruptcy / Lawrence P. King, editor-in chief. KF1524 .C6 1996-

Bankruptcy law manual / Alan N. Resnick. KF1524 .W387 2002-

BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS

Business Associations by Larry E. Ribstein, KF1355 .R5 2003

CIVIL PRACTICE & PROCEDURE

Moore's Federal Practice KF8840 .M6 1997-  

Federal practice and procedure. KF8840 .W69

Law of federal courts by Charles Alan Wright, Mary Kay Kane. KF8840 .W7 2002 (On Reserve)

COMMERCIAL LAW

Anderson on the Uniform Commercial Code, KF879.514 .A53

Uniform commercial code reporting service KF880.A2 A5

COMPUTER LAW

Computer law by David Bender, KF3024.C6 .B36 1978- (IP Stacks)

CCH Guide to Computer Law, KF390.5.C6 .G8 1989- (IP Stacks)

CONFLICT OF LAWS

Conflict of laws by Eugene F. Scoles KF411 .S28 2000

American conflicts law by Robert A. Leflar. KF411 .L4 1977

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

American constitutional law by Laurence H. Tribe. KF4550 .T785 2000

Constitutional Law by John Nowak & Ronald Rotunda KF4550 .R63 1986

Constitutional law principles and policies by Erwin Chemerinsky KF4550 .C427 2002

CONTRACTS

Corbin on Contracts  KF801 .C66 1993

A treatise on the law of contracts / by Samuel Williston. KF801 .W5 1990

Calamari and Perillo on contracts / Joseph M. Perillo. KF801 .C26 2003 (On Reserve)

COPYRIGHT

Nimmer on Copyright KF2991.5 .N5 1978 (IP Stacks)

Copyright principles, law, and practice by Paul Goldstein, KF2979 .G63 1989 (IP Stacks)

Latman's The copyright law / William F. Patry. KF2994 .L38 1986 (IP Stacks)

CORPORATIONS

Cox and Hazen on Corporations KF1414 .C69 2003

Fletcher Cyclopedia of the law of private corporations. KF1384 .F56

CRIMINAL LAW

Substantive Criminal Law by Wayne LaFave & Austin Scott KF9219 .L386 2003

Wharton’s criminal law by Charles E. Torcia KF9219 .W45 1993

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

Criminal procedure by Wayne Lafave, et al. KF9619 .L34 1999

Wharton’s criminal procedure by Nancy Hollander, et al. KF9619 .W45 2002–

E-COMMERCE

The law of electronic commerce by Benjamin Wright & Jane Winn KF390.5.C6 .W75 2001 –

Federal telecommunications law by Peter Huber KF2765 .K45 1999

EDUCATION LAW

Education law by James A. Rapp KF4119.E275 1984 -

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

Environmental law and policy by Peter S. Menell, Richard B. Stewart. KF3775.A7 M46 1994

Environmental law by William H. Rodgers, Jr. KF3775 .R63 1994

ESTATE PLANNING

Estate planning by A. James Casner & Jeffrey N. Pennell KF749 .C3 1995 –

Manning on Estate Planning KF749 .M36 1995 -

EVIDENCE

Wigmore on Evidence KF8935 .W54 1983

Weinstein’s Federal Evidence KF8935 .W4 1997 -

Federal rules of evidence manual by Stephen A. Saltzburg, Michael M. Martin, Daniel J. Capra. KF8935 .S2 2002

McCormick on Evidence KF8935 .M29 1999 (on Reserve)

FAMILY LAW

Family law and practice by Arnold H. Rutkin KF505 .F36 1985 –

The law of domestic relations in the United States by Homer Clark KF505 .C55 1987

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

Banking law and regulation by Michael P. Molloy KF974 .M34 1994 -

Michie on banks and banking KF974 .M5

HEALTH CARE LAW

Treatise on health care law KF3821 .T74 1991 -

Hospital law manual KF3825.A6 A85

IMMIGRATION LAW

Immigration and nationality law by Charles Gordon and Ellen Gittel Gordon. KF4819 .G67 1984

Immigration Law Service, 2d ed. by Anna Marie Gallagher, KF4815.I45 2004

INDIAN LAW

Handbook of federal Indian law by Felix S. Cohen KF8205 .A33 1982

American Indian law deskbook KF8205 .A76 2004

INSURANCE

Couch on insurance KF1159.5 .C65 1995-

Insurance law and practice, with forms by John Alan Appleman and Jean Appleman. KF1164 .A66

INTERNATIONAL LAW

International law by Barry Carter & Phillip Trimble KZ1242.5 .C37 1999

Principles of public international law by Ian Brownlie JX3225 .B78 1998

A modern introduction to international law / Michael Akehurst. JX1308 .A43 1984

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS

The developing labor law by A Joseph Harper (ed.) KF3369 .D48

Employment discrimination law by Barbara Lindemann Schlei, Paul Grossman. KF3464 .S34 1983

Basic text on labor law : unionization, and collective bargaining / by Robert A. Gorman, Matthew W. Finkin KF3389 .G67 2004

Larson’s workers’ compensation law KF3615 .L3 1952 -

LAND USE

Anderson's American law of zoning KF5698 .A76 1996-

MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS

The law of municipal corporations (McQuillin) KF5305 .M35 1971

NATURAL RESOURCES

Energy law by Donald N. Zillman and Laurence H. Lattman KF2120.A7 Z54

Public natural resources law by George Cameron Coggins KF3775 .A73 E54 PNR 1990 –

Hemingway’s oil and gas law KF1849.H44 2004

NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Nonprofit corporations, organizations & associations by Howard L. Oleck, Martha E. Stewart KF1388 .O44 1994-

The law of tax-exempt organizations by Bruce R. Hopkins KF6449 .H6 2003

PATENTS

Chisum on Patents KF3114 .C45 (IP Stacks)

Moy's Walker on patents KF3114 .W32 (IP Stacks)

Patent Office rules and practice KF3120 .H6 (IP Stacks)

Patent law fundamentals KF3114 .R65 1980- (IP Stacks)

World patent law and practice. Patent statutes, regulations, and treaties K1505.4 .W674 (IP Stacks)

PRODUCTS LIABILITY

Madden & Owens on products liability KF1296 .M32 2000

American law of products liability KF1296 .A97 1987

PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

ABA/BNA lawyers' manual on professional conduct KF306.A6 A4 (Reference)

Legal ethics by Raymond L. Wise KF306 .W5 1970

The law of lawyering by Geoffrey C. Hazard & W. William Hodes KF306 .H33 2001 -

Legal malpractice by Ronald E. Mallen and Jeffrey M. Smith KF313 .M34 2000

PROPERTY

Powell on real property by Richard R. Powell and Patrick J. Rohan KF568 .P68

Contracts and conveyances or real property by Milton Friedman KF670 .F7 1998

The law of property by William B. Stoebuck & Dale A. Whitman KF570 .C86 2000

Anderson's American law of zoning KF5698 .A76 1996-

PUBLIC UTILITIES LAW

The regulation of public utilities : theory and practice / Charles F. Phillips, Jr. HD2766 .P55 1993

Principles of public utility rates HD2763 .B63 1988

REMEDIES

Law of remedies : damages, equity, restitution by Dan B. Dobbs. KF9010 .D6 1993 (On Reserve)

The law of restitution by George E. Palmer. KF839 .P34

SALES

Williston on Sales KF915 .W5 1994 -

SECURITIES REGULATION

The law of securities regulation by Thomas Hazen KF1439 .H39 2002

Fundamentals of securities regulation / Louis Loss, Joel Seligman KF1438 .L6 2004

STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The law of municipal corporations KF5305 .M35 1971

Antieau's local government law KF5300.A6 A58 1955-

STATUTES MAKING & CONSTRUCTION

Statutes and statutory construction (Sutherland) by Norman J. Singer KF425 .S9 2000

Legislation and statutory interpretation by William N. Eskridge KF425 .E834 2000

TAXATION (FEDERAL)

The law of federal income taxation by Jacob Mertens KF 6300 .A6 M40

Tax management portfolios KF6289.A1 T39

Federal taxation of income, estates, and gifts by Boris Bittker & Lawrence Lokken KF6369 .B5 1999

Principles of federal income taxation by Daniel Q. Posin & Donald B. Tobiu KF6369 .P673 2003

Partnership taxation by Arthur B. Willis, John S. Pennell, Philip F. Postlewaite KF6452 .W55 1997-

Federal income taxation of corporations and shareholders by Boris Bittker & James Eustice, KF6464 .B5 2000-

TORTS 

The law of torts by Dan B. Dobbs KF1250 .D63 2000

The Law of torts by Fowler V. Harper, Fleming James, Jr., Oscar S. Gray KF1250 .H37 1986

Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts KF1250.P73 L39 1984

The American law of torts by Stuart M. Speiser KF1250 .S568 1983- 

TRADEMARKS & UNFAIR COMPETITION

McCarthy on Trademarks KF3180 .M33 1996-  (On Reserve)

Trademark protection and practice by Jerome Gilson KF3180 .G54 (IP Stacks)

The law of unfair competition trademarks and monopolies by Rudolf Callmann KF1609.C33 L4 (IP Stacks)

Trade secrets by Roger M. Milgrim KF3197.A6 M5 (IP Stacks)

WEALTH TRANSMISSION

Murphy’s will clauses KF755 .A65 M87 1960–

The law of trusts by Austin Wakeman Scott & William Franklin Fratcher KF730 .S37 1987 -

WILLS

Page on the law of wills: including probate, will contests, evidence, taxation, conflicts, estate planning, forms, and statutes relating to wills KF755 .P3

WORKERS COMPENSATION

Larson’s workers’ compensation law KF3615 .L3 1952 -

Education Law Resources

RESEARCH GUIDE TO EDUCATION LAW RESOURCES
2011

 

SCOPE OF THE FIELD

Education law encompasses a wide variety of topics:

  • tort liability and discipline issues relating to supervision of students’ physical and educational needs by the school district, administrators, teachers, principals, staff, and other students;
  • special education issues relating to appropriate treatment, discipline and individualized education program (IEP) for students with various learning disabilities;
  • first amendment issues relating to the separation of church and state, establishment clause, private schools, their obligations and funding, use of vouchers, free speech, school prayer, school dress codes;
  • fourth amendment issues relating to searches of student lockers and other areas, seizure of evidence found during those searches, criminal activity of students while at school or school functions, weapons and student or outsider violence at school, illegal drug activity; bullying, school safety;
  • discrimination issues, including affirmative action, sexual harassment between teachers and students or peer-to-peer, gender equity, especially relating to sports programs;
  • educational equity, relating to funding adequate and equal education for all students, regardless of the economic condition of the neighborhood and school;
  • educational policy and reform, which concerns the way our government values, funds, and tests students’ education achievement and teacher preparedness, trends to improve the system, and the school choices available to parents and students;
  • individualized school policy relating to many issues which helps direct teacher and administrative procedure and behavior in certain defined situations;
  • intellectual freedom, copyright issues relating to print or online materials, distance learning issues, privacy issues, especially in the digital environment;
  • teacher and staff employment, labor, academic freedom and tenure issues; and
  • higher education issues unique to colleges, universities and graduate schools.

See the 2010 Deskbook Encyclopedia of American School Law, REFERENCE KF4114.D47 for a brief discussion of many of these issues, with reference to applicable state and federal appellate court decisions.

THE NATURE OF AN EDUCATION LAW COLLECTION

The general law library materials, such as the statutes, regulations, court reporters, legal encyclopedias, American Law Reports, non- education law treatises and legal periodicals provide coverage of these education issues within their specific scope and context. This guide, however, does not focus on these general tools, but rather on the specialized tools which exists and deal primarily with education law issues.

Compared to many other areas in a law library collection, and especially considering the broad scope of the field as discussed in the first paragraph, there are surprisingly few materials which focus on education law topics. Although there are a few specialized treatise materials for the attorney interested in education law issues, many of the materials are written for the layperson...the teacher or principal who is trying to figure out what the law is so that he or she can comply with it. West Group offers a few basic titles, and LRP Publishers offers some materials for the practitioner and many for teachers, especially strong in special education law. Matthew Bender offers the only comprehensive treatise in the field. Individual associations publish more materials; the Education Law Association (formerly National Organization on Legal Problems in Education (NOLPE)) produces a variety of useful short works on a variety of practical topics. A few of the practitioner’s titles are loose-leaf and updated, but the lay person’s titles are not usually updated. They are inexpensive, though, and occasionally new editions do appear. There are other miscellaneous publishers which offer coverage of other education issues. The Department of Education produces relatively few documents through the U.S. Federal Depository Program. And, as mentioned below, searching the legal periodicals, both general journals and those focused on specifically on education, is a particularly productive research source since they provide a broad and rich coverage for many issues, and especially for current issues.

CONSTITUTION, STATUTES, REGULATIONS AND GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS

FEDERAL: Most federal statutes relating to education are in 20 U.S.C. Federal regulations relating to education promulgated by the U.S. Department of Education are in 34 C.F.R.

See The United States Government Manual, REFERENCE JK421.A3, or through http://www.archives.gov/federal-register, for the official handbook of the government, which gives flow charts and other information about federal government agencies. For more detailed federal agency information, see the Federal Regulatory Directory, 13th ed., REFERENCE KF5406.A15F4.

The Department of Education website: http://www.ed.gov/, links to the statutes, regulations and guidance documents related to the topics given on the website, linked through the federal agency section of http://library.law.unh.edu/quickclicks.

Both West Group and LEXIS Publishing annually offer separate print compilations containing the selected text of relevant statutes, regulations and guidance documents.

Levin, Michael I., ed. 2009 United States School Laws and Rules. [Eagan, MN:] West Group, 2009. 2 vols. RESERVE KF 4105.99.U55

This publication contains many authorities relevant to education law: U.S. Constitutional provisions, selected federal statutes (most of 20 USC and selected other federal statutes relating to labor, tax, discrimination, etc.), selected regulations (much of 34 CFR and other selected regulations relating to agriculture, labor, discrimination, transportation, etc.) and many guidance documents relating to education law.

Federal Education Laws and Regulations. Charlottesville, VA: LEXIS Publishing, 2001 Edition. (We no longer have.)

GUIDELINES OR GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS are internal agency documents which represent the federal Department of Education’s interpretation of the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, frequently in the context of specific facts. They are sometimes very specific and detailed, providing formulas and illustrations to help school administrators, teachers and parents understand legal requirements relating to education. They are not legally binding and do not impose any requirements beyond those given in the statutes and regulations. However, they do represent the agency’s current thinking on a particular topic and are a valuable secondary source. They are issued by the U.S. Department of Education and published in the Federal Register and are also published in some of the more complete education law treatises. Generally, they are not published in the Code of Federal Regulations. They are published selectively in the West compilation mentioned above and they are available from the Department of Education website.

STATE: The publishers of the state statutes frequently offer similar selected education law annual statute volumes on the state level for the most of the state statutory sets which it publishes, which is merely an extraction of selected statutes from the full state statute publication. For example, New Hampshire has New Hampshire Education Laws Annotated (in REFERENCE collection at the end of the N.H. Revised Statutes Annotated), an annual publication providing a handy one volume copy of state education laws.

ONLINE: WESTLAW and LEXIS offer topical databases in education law. These provide extractions from the general databases of federal statutes, regulations, other administrative authorities, cases, and secondary authorities relating to education law. It does not appear that either of these cover the Department of Education’s guidance documents separately, although they should be included in the Federal Register coverage within this topical database. These databases also cover state statutes and case law relating to education.

JUDICIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE CASES

West’s Education Law Reporter. St. Paul, MN: West Pub. Co., 1982 to date. KF4110 .A2W47

Covers federal and state appellate judicial cases and American Tribal Law Court cases which are also published in the National Reporter System, decisions from the U.S. Department of Education (since 1990); each volume also includes a few periodical-type articles on education law topics. Some book spines in random volumes of the reporter shows presence of a cumulative index to these periodical articles. Each volume (since 1990 ) also contains a cumulative index to the Department of Education decisions. Kept up to date with advance sheets, in typical West Group fashion. The page numbers to the NRS version of the cases appears at the top of the page, and the page numbers to the Education Law Reporter version appears in brackets at the bottom of each page.

Education Law Reporter Digest. St. Paul, MN: West Pub. Co., 1983 to date. KF4110.3 .W47 1999

A complete index to all judicial cases reported in the Education Law Reporter. The predominant digest topics are Schools, Colleges and Universities, Civil Rights, and Constitutional Law, but the digest also includes coverage of other headnotes in those cases which may not be related to education topics. The digest does not include coverage of the U.S. Department of Education decisions; one must use the index found in each of the later volumes of the Education Law Reporter for access to these administrative cases. This digest does contain a Table of Cases, Words and Phrases section and a Descriptive Word Index.

ONLINE: WESTLAW and LEXIS

Although West’s Education Law Reporter is not on WESTLAW as such, all of the content is. Federal and state judicial cases relating to education topics are available in the WESTLAW Education database. These cases typically date from the earliest reported case publication, rather than from 1982, the start of coverage of the West’s Education Law Reporter. Obviously, most of these cases will include West’s topic and key numbers with the headnotes, enabling you to do a digest or topic and key number search. Doing this search in the Education database rather than generically will improve your searching since it guarantees that you always will retrieve education cases. The journal articles published in the Education Law reporter are also included in the topical WESTLAW Education database.

The topical WESTLAW Education database also includes coverage of the administrative decisions from the U.S. Department of Education, including the Office of Hearings and Appeals Decisions from 1989 and the Education Civil Rights Reviewing Authority from 1966-1997.

LEXIS’ topical Education Law Library covers federal and state judicial cases dealing with education issues, and includes coverage of the administrative cases mentioned in the previous paragraph.

TREATISES

There are many treatises or books on education law issues. A complete list of the Law Library’s holdings is available separately. The most comprehensive general education law treatise is:

Rapp, James A. Education Law. New York: Matthew Bender, 1984 to date. 7 volumes KF4119.E275 1984. It also is available on LEXIS.

(Volume 6 contains forms and volume 7 contains reference materials, index and tables.)

The only loose-leaf service (as distinguished from a loose-leaf treatise) in education law is:

Individuals with Disabilities Education Law Report (IDELR). Horsham, PA: LRP Pubs. This service is also on WESTLAW from 1986 to date. The Law Library has from volume 20 (1990) to date. KF4210.A6I52

The set offers the complete text of federal statutes and regulations in the special education area, the complete text or concise summaries of decisions, rulings and memoranda from federal and state courts, U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Office of Special Education Programs, and the USDOE Office of Civil Rights, and state educational agencies. It is indexed by topic, statute and regulation and updated 22 times a year.

PERIODICAL ARTICLES

There are relatively few specialized legal periodicals, listed below, which are devoted solely to education law.

Brigham Young University Journal of Law and Education, vol. 1, 1992; Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, vol. 2, 1993 to date.
Chronicle of Higher Education
Education and the Law Journal (Canadian)
Education Law Reporter contains several articles in each volume
Journal of College and University Law (National Association of College and University Attorneys)
Journal of Legal Education (AALS)
Journal of Education Finance (ASBO International)
Journal of Law and Education (Jefferson Law Book Co.)
Journal of Legal Studies Education (Florida International University)
Journal of Professional Legal Education (Gaunt)
Law Teacher (Sweet and Maxwell)
School Law Bulletin (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Yearbook on Education Law

However, there are an extraordinary number of articles published every year relating to education law issues listed above which appear in generic legal periodicals. Check the Legal Resource Index on WESTLAW or LEXIS, or the LegalTrac available on http://library.law.unh.edu/quickclicks for an index approach to a broad array of journals; use Hein Online for any you cannot find full text from Legal Resource Index or LegalTrac or for access to pre-1980 journals; check the full text databases of journals on WESTLAW and LEXIS for the more powerful full text searching of a somewhat smaller number of journals.

NEWSLETTERS

There are many newsletters devoted to various aspects of education law.

Arbitration in the Schools (LRP)
The College Administrator and the Courts (College Administration Pubs.)
College Digest (National Association of College and University Attorneys)
The College Student and the Courts: Cases and Commentary (College Administration Pubs.)
Education Daily (Aspen)
Education Funding News (Thompson)
Education Grants Alert (Aspen)
Education Law News (Borden Ladner Gervais)(Canadian)
Education Technology News (Business Pubs.)
Education USA (Aspen)
ELA Notes (Education Law Association)
ELA School Law Reporter (Education Law Association)
FERPA Bulletin (student records and privacy) (LRP)
First Amendment Rights in Education (First Amendment Rights in Education Project)
Higher Education Legal Alert (Oakstone)
Higher Education Technology News (Oakstone)
IEP Trainer (Brownstone Pubs.)
Inclusive Education Programs (LRP)
Inquiry & Analysis (National School Board Association)
A Legal Memorandum (National Association of Secondary School Principals)
Legal Notes for Education (Oakstone)
Managing School Business (LRP)
Maintaining Safe Schools (LRP)
Private Education Law Report (Oakstone)
Private School Director’s Legal Guide (Brownstone Pubs.)
The School Discipline Advisor (LRP)
School Employment Legal Alert (Oakstone)
School Law Briefings (LRP)
School Law Bulletin (Quinlan Pubs.)
School Law Bulletin (UNC - Chapel Hill)
School Law News (Aspen)
School Law Reporter (Education Law Association)
School Superintendent’s Insider (Brownstone Pubs.)
School-to-Work Report (Business Pubrs.)
The Schools and the Courts (College Administration Pubs.)
Section 504 Compliance Advisor (LRP)
Special Education Law Bulletin (Quinlan)
Specail Education Law Monthly (LRP)
Special Education Law Update (Oakstone)
Special Education Report (Aspen)
The Special Educator (LRP)
Student Aid News (Aspen)
Synfax Weekly Report (College Administration Pubs.)
SYNTHESIS: Law and Policy in Higher Education (College Administration Pubs.)
Title IX Compliance Bulletin for College Athletics (LRP)
Title I Monitor (Thompson)
Your School and the Law (LRP)
Today’s School Psychologist (LRP)
What’s Working in Special Education (LRP)
Your School and the Law (LRP)

These are not indexed anywhere.

WEB SITES

The following list provides a few Internet sites relevant to education law as well as a few general law sites helpful to education law rec search. There are, of course, many other relevant internet sites not included here. See e-Government and Web Directory: U.S. Federal Government Online 2009, REFERENCE ZA5075.G68, Chapter 7, for a full listing of education government web sites.

Department of Education website: http://www.ed.gov/, linked through the federal agency section of http://library.law.unh.edu/.

ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center), http://www.eric.ed.gov/, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, is a bibliographic and sometimes full text database which contains education-related journal articles and other publications from many sources. This is available in the UNH Dimond Library.

UNH Law Library web page, http://library.law.unh.edu/ links to useful general web sites:

  • THOMAS, http://thomas.loc.gov/, a free legislative site sponsored by the Library of Congress. Provides an amazing amount of information about recent federal legislative activity, status of bills, access to committee reports, text of bills, etc.
  • fdSYS (formerly GPO Access), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action, a major free U.S. government site providing access to Internet versions of U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register, Weekly Compilations of Presidential Documents, U.S. Government Manual, etc.

***************

See also:

Fact Research

Updated: January 14, 2009

 

Browsers/ Search Engines/Web Finding People
Company Research Medical Research

 

Scientific Research Environmental Research

 

Transportation Research Intellectual Property

 

Public Records Phone

 

Finding Assets Statistics

 

Federal Government

 

*The original information on this page was originally developed for a 2005 NH Bar CLE, "FILLING YOUR TANK: REGULAR, SPECIAL OR PREMIUM?" It was presented by Kathy Fletcher and Roberta Woods. PART OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE BAR ASSOCIATION CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION PROGRAM HELD MAY 17, 2005.

Federal Legislative History

A legislative history is a collection of the documents created by Congress or a state legislature during the process leading up to the enactment of a law. The legislative history provides evidence that members of the legislative body were aware of particular issues and facts, and includes comments and recommendations of committees and individual members of the legislative body.

A legislative history helps determine the intent of the legislators when a particular statute was passed. When a question arises concerning the applicability or interpretation of a statute, a legislative history can be consulted to better understand the reasons for the enactment of that statute.

WHAT DOCUMENTS MAKE UP A FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE HISTORY?

A federal legislative history includes documentation from all steps in the law-making process. Different documents carry varying degrees of weight in showing congressional intent. The documents that can make up a legislative history include:

  1. Bills and amendments. The text of a bill as introduced, reported from committees, and acted upon by either or both houses, provides information on the original language of its sponsor as well as evidence of deliberate exclusions and inclusions to the bill as it made its way through the legislative process. Bills are numbered consecutively by the chamber in which they were introduced for the two sessions of each Congress (e.g. S.2 is the second bill introduced in the Senate during a particular Congress).
  2. Hearings. These are primarily transcripts of the testimony of witnesses before House and Senate committees. Hearings are used to illustrate that certain issues and considerations were made known to Congress through the hearing process. Hearings may be held on an individual bill or a group of bills on the same or similar subject. Not all hearings are published. There is often a lengthy delay for those hearings which are officially published. Final official versions may include other documentary evidence presented to a committee during the hearing process.
  3. Committee Prints. Committee prints can be research studies, compilations of materials or statutes, background information, or working drafts of a bill. Not all committee prints are published or distributed. Some may be reissued as a House or Senate Document or Report or published in the Congressional Record. Although not significant in determining legislative intent they can provide valuable and often hard to find information for the researcher.
  4. Committee Reports. These are committees' official communications to Congress explaining the purpose of a bill and setting forth the recommendations for passage of the bill. Many also contain a report by the minority members of the committee on their objections to the language or purpose of the bill. Reports may be issued by House, Senate and Conference (i.e. joint) committees, and are numbered consecutively for each Congress. Committee reports, especially Conference committees, tend to carry a great deal of weight in ascertaining congressional intent.
  5. Debates. These include all activities which occur on the floor of the two houses of Congress. While individual comments during debates are not proof of congressional intent, statements by the bill's sponsor or chair of the committee reporting the bill, especially those with the stated intention of clarifying or explaining the bill, can have significant weight. Debates are particularly important when amendments to the bill are offered on the floor of the House or Senate.
  6. Presidential Messages. Sent to Congress by the President, these messages are the comments by the President explaining the reasons for suggesting, signing or vetoing legislation.

WHAT ARE THE MAJOR FINDING TOOLS FOR COMPILING A FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE HISTORY?

  • Print Finding Tools

    1. Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories

      REFERENCE STACKS   KF42.2 1979

      This is a checklist of legislative histories that have been compiled for enacted laws which are published in government documents, periodical articles and books. It indicates whether the source provides citations only or reprints the documents that make up the legislative history. Not all Public Laws are included. It begins with the 1 st Congress and is updated periodically. To find a legislative history you need either the Public Law number or popular name of the law.

    2. US Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN)

      (1941 to date)
      (1941-1950 entitled United States Code Congressional Service)

      MAIN STACKS - STACK 1

      USCCAN publishes the texts of all Public Laws enacted in a particular session of Congress. The legislative history volumes reprint selected Committee Reports (House, Senate, and Conference) for each of the laws. 1941-1947 volumes contain congressional comments which describe the contents of important reports. Both the biweekly advance sheets and the bound volumes contain a legislative history table which lists for each Public Law: date approved, Statutes at Large citation, bill and report numbers, committees that recommended the bill, and dates of consideration and passage in the House and Senate.

    3. CCH Congressional Index

      MICROFICHE

      This index is a good source for finding the current status of bills. Bills are indexed by bill number, author and subject. References are given to reports, hearings, Public Law number and voting records. Publication began with the 75 th Congress (1937).

    4. CIS/Index and Abstracts

      Legislative History Shelf facing the Microfiche Area
      (also in LexisNexis Congressional Universe - see electronic finding tool #3)

      CIS abstracts and indexes most congressional publications (except the Congressional Record ) issued since 1970. CIS is published monthly and cumulated annually in two parts: a subject index, and abstracts of the indexed publications. The legislative history documents can be located by bill number, Public Law number, report number, subject, title, author or witness name. Multi-year cumulative indexes have been issued, covering 1970-74, 1975-78, 1979-82, and 1983-86, 1987-1990 and 1991-1994. Starting in 1984 an annual Legislative Histories volume was added. Arranged by Public Law number, this volume indexes and abstracts all documents relevant to a public law even if the documents are from Congresses prior to the enactment of the law.

    5. Congressional Quarterly Almanac

      MAIN STACKS KF178 .C6 (1948 to date)

      CQ contains summaries of congressional (and other federal government) activities, status of major legislation, lists of recently-passed public laws, and analyses of important legislative issues. This is particularly useful for tracking complex legislation that involves numerous amendments or researching the political background of legislation.

    6. Congressional Record Index - "History of Bills and Resolutions" section

      MICROFICHE (semi-monthly index)

      This index is arranged by bill number, with the title and action noted, and a reference to the Congressional Record page on which the record of the action can be found. A bill number will appear in the semi-monthly index only if the bill has been acted upon during those two weeks; if listed, however, all previous actions for that session will be recorded.

    7. Congressional Record

      MICROFICHE

      This digest provides a daily summary of actions taken on bills with page references to the Congressional Record . As its title implies, it is a section of the daily issue of the Congressional Record . A separate cumulative volume, published at the end of each session, provides both subject access and a table, "History of Bills Enacted into Public Law" (arranged by Public Law number). This "history" table gives the title, bill number; dates introduced and reported hearings, report numbers, and Congressional Record citations.

    8. CIS/US Serial Set Index (1789-1969)

      INDEX AREA (Item is located on the 1st floor, through door within the photocopy area, immediately to the left as you walk in.)

      (Also in LexisNexis Congressional Universe - see electronic finding tool #4)

      The US Serial Set, compiled under direction of the Government Printing Office, is an ongoing collection of congressional publications including House and Senate committee reports and documents. The Serial Set Index provides access by subject, keyword, and number. Hearings and the Congressional Record are not included in the Serial Set.

  • Electronic Finding Tools

    1. Thomas: Legislative Information on the Net - http://thomas.loc.gov and          congress.gov

      Thomas makes available a wide range of federal legislative information starting in 1989 (101st Congress). Of interest in compiling legislative histories are the Legislation , Congressional Record and Committee Information databases. Most databases within Thomas cover 1989 - current year.

      The Legislation database includes a "Public Laws by Law Number" section which provides summary and status records for bills which became law. Coverage begins in 1973 (93 i rd Congress). A Congress is searchable by Public Law number or by word/phrase, subject, or bill number. For Public Laws enacted since 1989, the "Bill Text" section provides the full text of all versions of bills (including those which were not enacted). This section also provides links to Congressional Record pages. The "Bill Text" section is searchable by word/phrase or bill number.

      The Committee Information database contains a "Committee Reports" section which provides full text of most House and Senate committee reports (including conference reports) issued since 1995 (104 th Congress). This database is searchable by word/phrase, report number, bill number and committee.

      The Congressional Record database contains the "Congressional Record Text" section and the "Congressional Record Index" section. The full text of the daily Congressional Record is available from 1989 to the current issue. It is searchable by word/phrase, member name, date, or date range. The Congressional Record Index is available from 1994 (103rd Congress, 2d Session). It is searchable by index terms (topics) and bill numbers or you can browse by index terms arranged in alphabetical ranges.

    2. GPO Access - http://www.gpoaccess.gov

      This website provides access to a number of full text document databases essential to legislative history research. Each database is searchable by phrase (include " " around a phrase) or by use of the Boolean operators adj, and, or. Sample searches are provided.

      The databases are:

      Congressional Bills (1993 to date)
      Congressional Documents (House, Senate and Treaty documents - 1995 to date)
      Congressional Record (1994 to date)
      Congressional Record Index (1983 to date)
      Congressional Reports (1995 to date)
      History of Bills and Resolutions (1983 to date)
      Public Laws (1995 to date)

      Although Committee Prints and Committee Hearings databases are available at this site they are limited in coverage.

    3. LexisNexis Congressional Universe - http://web.lexis-nexis.com/congcomp

      Congressional Universe provides electronic access to the information in the CIS Index and Abstracts described in print finding tool #4. The abstracts are searchable by subject, Public Law number, committee, witness, bill number and publication title. Many are linked to the full text of the documents. Keyword searching of the compiled histories is also available. In addition, the "Publications," "Testimony," "Bills" and "Laws" segments are most useful to legislative researchers. They provide searchable access to the full text of congressional documents including the Congressional Record. Our subscription to Congressional Universe provides for access from law library workstations only. A selected list and dates of full text coverage are provided below.

      Committee Reports (1989 to date)
      House and Senate Documents (1995 to date)
      Committee Prints (1993 to date)
      Testimony (Committee Witnesses) (1988 to date)
      Bill Texts (1989 to date)
      Congressional Record (1985 to date)
      Public Laws (1988 to date)

    4. LexisNexis Congressional Universe - Congressional Indexes 1789-1969 - http://web.lexis-nexis.com/congcomp

      This searchable database within Congressional Universe allows Boolean searching of the index and abstract information Congressional materials including:

      • CIS/US Congressional Committee Hearings Index
        This index provides access to published US Congressional committee hearings (House and Senate.)
      • CIS Index to Unpublished US Senate Committee Hearings
        This index provides access to unpublished US Senate hearings.
      • CIS Index to Unpublished US House of Representatives Committee Hearings
        This index provides access to unpublished US House of Representatives hearings.
      • CIS/US Congressional Committee Prints Index
        This index provides access to a variety of prints prepared for internal committee use.

HOW DO I COMPILE A FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE HISTORY?

To compile a legislative history you must first obtain citations to the documents that comprise a legislative history, then locate and read the documents. Listed here are steps to follow and finding tools to use.

  1. To see if a legislative history has already been compiled:

    If you have:

    From:

    You can use:

    Public Law Number

    major legislation only - any date

    Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories

     

    1941 or later

    US Code Congressional and Administrative News

     

    1970 - 1983

    CIS Annual Abstracts volumes (1970-1983), "Legislative Histories" section

     

    1983 or later CIS

    Legislative Histories volumes

     

    1970 or later

    Lexis-Nexis Congressional Universe "CIS Index" database

     

    1973 or later Thomas

    - "Public Laws by Law Number"

    Statutes at Large citation

    major legislation only - any date

    Sources of Compiled Legislaive Histories t

     

    1941 or later

    US Code Congressional and Administrative News

     

    1970 or later

    LexisNexis Congressional Universe "CIS Index" database

    Popular Name

    major legislation only - any date

    Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories

    Year or Congress and Bill Number

    1973 or later

    Thomas - "Bill Summary & Status"

     

    1970 or later

    LexisNexis Congressional Universe "CIS Index" database

  2. To find a Public Law number:

    If you have

    From:

    You can use:

    US Code, USCA, or USCS citation

     

    The credits/history citations at end of code section text

    Popular Name

     

    Shepard's Acts and Cases by Popular Name;

    Popular Names Table of the US Code , US Code Annotated or US Code Service

     

    legislation enacted in 1983 or later

    CIS Index Legislative Histories volumes - "Index of Subjects and Names" table

     

    legislation enacted in 1937 or later

    CCH Congressional Index - Enactments section; "Names of Laws Amended/Enacted"

    Year or Congress and Bill Number

    legislation enacted in 1983 or later

    CIS Index Legislative Histories volumes - "Index of Bill Numbers"

     

    legislation enacted from 1970 - 1983 CIS Cumulative

    Index volumes - Supplementary Indexes section - "Index of Bill Numbers"

     

    legislation enacted in 1983 or later

    Congressional Record - "History of Bills and Resolutions" section

     

    legislation enacted in 1973 or later

    GPO Access - History of Bills and Resolutions database

     

    legislation enacted since 1941 Thomas - "

    Summary of Bills & Status"

     

    legislation enacted since 1937 US Code

    Congressional and Administrative News - "Bills & Joint Resolutions Enacted" table

     

     

    CCH Congressional Index - Enactments section; "Enactments by Bill/Resolution Number"

  3. To find a bill number:

    If you have

    From:

    You can use:

    Public Law Number or Statutes at Large citation

    legislation enacted in 1901 or later

    United States Statutes at Large

     

    legislation enacted in 1941 or later

    US Code Congressional and Administrative News - "Legislative History" table

    Public Law Number

    legislation enacted in 1973 or later

    Thomas - "Public Laws by Law Number"

     

    legislation enacted in 1983 or later

    CIS Index Legislative Histories volumes

     

    legislation enacted from 1970 - 1983

    CIS Annual Abstract volumes - "Legislative Histories" section

     

    legislation enacted in 1937 or later

    CCH Congressional Index - Enactments section "Enactments by Public Law Number"

    Subject or topic information only

     

    CCH Congressional Index - Subject Index

     

     

    Thomas - "Bill Summary and Status"

     

     

    GPO Access - History of Bills database

     

     

    Congressional Record database or Congressional Record Index database

     

     

    CIS Congressional Universe - "Bills" database

  4. To determine what actions have been taken on a bill:

    If you want:

    From:

    You can use:

    Committee actions, committee reports and floor activities

    legislation in 1973 or later

    Thomas - "Bill Summary & Status"

     

    for legislation in 1937 or later

    CCH Congressional Index - "Status" section

    Committees, Reports, floor activities only

     

    Congressional Record Index - "History of Bills and Resolutions"

  5. To locate citations to committee reports:

    If you have:

    From:

    You can use:

    Report numbers only

    1873 or later

    Congressional Record - Daily Digest - "History of Bills Enacted into Public Law"

     

    for laws enacted in 1941 or after

    US Code Congressional and Administrative News (may also include text of selected reports)

    Reports numbers, abstracts, and references to CIS microfiche

    legislation in 1970 or later

    CIS/Index and Abstracts

    LexisNexis Congressional Universe - "Congressional Publications" (also provides full text of reports from 1995 and later)

     

    legislation in 1937 or later

    CCH Congressional Index - "Status" section

     

    legislation from 1789 - 1969

    CIS US Serial Set Index

    LexisNexis Congressional Universe - "Congressional Indexes 1789-1969" database

  6. To find citations to hearings on a bill or general topic

    If you have

    From:

    You can use:

    Bill number, subject information, or persons testifying

    legislation in 1970 or later

    CIS Index - "Index of Subjects and Names" or "Index of Bill Numbers" (a supplementary index contained within the "Index of Subjects and Names")

     

     

    LexisNexis Congressional Universe "CIS Index" database (also provides full text of selected testimony from last 10 years)

     

    legislation from 1833 - 1969

    CIS Congressional Committee

    Hearings Index

     

    legislation from 1789-1969

    LexisNexis Congressional Universe "CIS Index" database 1789-1969

  7. To find citations to Congressional debates

    If you have:

    From:

    You can use:

    Bill number

    1873 or later

    Congressional Record Index - "History of Bills and Resolutions"

    Name of sponsor or subject information

    1873 or later

    Congressional Record Index

     

    1989 or later

    Thomas - Congressional Record database

     

    1983 or later GPO

    Access - Congressional Record Index database

  8. To find Presidential messages

    If you have:

    From:

    You can use:

    Bill number

    1873 or later

    Congressional Record Index - "History of Bills and Resolutions"

     

    1983 or later GPO

    Access - Congressional Record Index database

     

    1965 or later

    Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents

FURTHER REFERENCE

Cohen, Morris L., Robert C. Berring, and Kent C. Olson, How to Find the Law (West Publishing). Chapter on "Legislative History." Main Stacks   KF240 .H65 1983

Morehead, Joe, Introduction to United States Government Information Sources (Libraries Unlimited). Chapter on "Legislative Branch Information Sources." Library Office   Z1223.Z7 M665 1999

Singer, Norman J., Statutes and Statutory Construction [Sutherland on Statutory Construction ] (Clark Boardman Callaghan). Chapter on "Extrinsic Aids-Legislative History." Reference KF425 .S9 2000

Wren, Christopher G. and Jill Robinson Wren, The Legal Research Manual (A-R Editions). Appendix on "Researching Legislative History." Main Stacks KF240 .W7 1986

*Copyright 2003, The Boston College Law Library. Used with permission. Not for sale.

Finding Cases

How are cases organized?

While not all judicial decisions are published, those that are published are issued chronologically in case reporters by court, court system, or broad subject matter. As a result, cases about totally different topics may appear next to each other in a reporter. Even topical reporters such as the Bankruptcy Reporter or Federal Rules Decisions, which contain cases on a limited area of the law, require a method of finding cases that discuss particular topics or points of law.

What is the best way to find cases?

There are a number of ways to find cases. The best way depends on what you are looking for, what materials are available, how much you already know about the topic, and whether you already have relevant cases on point. Case research can be done manually using print sources and online using computer-assisted legal research.

 Law students, staff, and faculty have access to two commercially available online research systems, LexisNexis and Westlaw . Both contain the full text of cases and allow you to search for cases that contain relevant words or phrases. These systems work particularly well for research problems involving unique factual terms and for certain types of specialty research, such as identifying opinions written by a particular judge. Training in both LexisNexis and Westlaw is available throughout the year.

The Internet is an increasingly useful tool for finding cases. Begin your research by visiting the Law Library's Web page at http://library.law.unh.edu/QuickClicks or by selecting Research from the menu bar on any  Law Library page. Click on either " LexisNexis " or " Westlaw ," then select the relevant jurisdiction (U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals, or state courts) to begin searching for cases. The Law Library does not maintain the case law web sites; before beginning your research be sure to read each web site's instructions about how to search its case law database.

Another easy way to start your research is to use secondary sources, such as law reviews, to lead you to case law. Whether you start with secondary sources or jump right into case law research, the digest is an important tool for finding cases.

How do I find a case when all I know is the case name?

If you know the case name, use the Table of Cases in the appropriate digest. These are usually located at the end of the digest set.

What is a digest?

A digest is a topical arrangement of very brief summaries of the points of law found in a case. The digest arranges these summaries, called headnotes or annotations, topically so that once you have found one case on point, you can easily find other cases on that point or related points. The headnotes include citations to cases so they may be read in full.

The well organized, logical approach of the digests helps you to understand legal issues in context. A digest allows you to redefine your research goals and theories to find the best precedents for your research problem. Your research is not complete if you haven't considered using digests.

An initial word of warning: Never cite to a case that you have not read in full. A digest is a case finding tool and should not be relied upon to interpret cases. Digest editors can and do make mistakes, and small excerpts from cases are often misleading about the actual statement of law found in a case.

Example of a headnote from a West Key Number Digest:

Headnote showing Prisons 4 - Regulation and Supervision.

What types of digests are there?

Some digests are separate sets of books. Others are just sections of larger works, such as those found in looseleaf services. Digests are characterized by the information they digest. Digests may contain headnotes of cases from an individual court, a court system, a group of related courts, or from cases related by subject matter or date of decision.

How are digests organized?

Digest headnotes are arranged by topic (broad subject area) and key number or section (subdivisions of a topic that represent more specific points of law). The most extensive publisher of digests, West Group, uses the same topic and key number system for all its digests. At the beginning of each digest topic is a Topic Analysis that explains what each key number within that topic represents. When no cases are digested under a particular topic and key number, that key number refers the researcher to the topic analysis section to find another related key number.

How can I be sure I'm using digests effectively?

Here are five hints for using digests effectively. They are more fully explained later in this guide:

  1. Choose the correct digest, one that contains cases from the courts you are looking to for precedent.
  2. Use the index volumes at the end of every digest set to identify appropriate topics and key numbers that address the points to be researched.
  3. Check all appropriate digest volumes, pocket parts, and pamphlets to be sure that your research is thorough and up to date.
  4. Use specialty features of digests such as the table of cases or the defendant-plaintiff table when appropriate.
  5. Use other sources such as annotated codes or treatises to help you begin research using digests.

How do I choose the correct digest?

Select the digest that contains the court(s) or type(s) of material you need without including unnecessary material.

  • To find cases:

    • in an individual state - use the individual state digest
    • in a related group of states - use a regional digest
    • in U.S. Supreme Court - West's Supreme Court Digest or Lawyers' Edition Supreme Court Digest
    • in all Federal Courts

      • 1754 - 1939 West's Federal Digest
      • 1939 - 1961 Modern Federal Practice Digest
      • 1961 - 1975 West's Federal Practice Digest 2d
      • 1975 - 1987 West's Federal Practice Digest 3d
      • 1987 - to date West's Federal Practice Digest 4th
    • in all state and federal courts

      • Decennial Digests
      • 1996 - present General Digest (not cumulative)
  • To find cases:

    • that judicially define terms - use Words and Phrases volumes
    • on a topic covered by a looseleaf service - use the digest or index section of the looseleaf service

How do I find the correct digest topics and key numbers?

There are a variety of ways to find topics and key numbers to lead you to cases on point. Some approaches use finding aids within the digest itself, such as the descriptive word index. Some methods rely more heavily on the researcher's previous knowledge. To make your research more effective, make use of the information you already have to find cases in the easiest way.

If you know:

  • a case on point - use headnotes from the case to identify appropriate topics and key numbers
  • little about the topic - use secondary sources to find relevant cases and useful background information
  • specific terms - use descriptive word index in appropriate digest to identify relevant topics and key numbers
  • words needing judicial definition - use Words and Phrases volumes to find cases defining them

Using a combination of methods may yield the best results. Remember that you will probably find more than one relevant key number. Once you have found one or more topics and key numbers that seems on point, you should consult the topical analysis outline in the digest volumes to see if there are other key numbers under that topic that may also be relevant to your research problem.

How can I be sure my research is thorough and up to date?

  1. Check the years of coverage of the bound digest volumes. Earlier digest series are supplemented by later digest series. Current digests are supplemented by pocket parts and pamphlets.
  2. When you are using a current series of a digest be sure to check your topic(s) and key number(s) in the pocket part as well as the bound volume. If there is no pocket part, look instead for a free-standing pamphlet that updates that particular volume.
  3. Look for supplementary pamphlets at the end of the digest set that update the annual pocket parts for the entire digest set. If you find some, check the appropriate topic(s) and key number(s).
  4. Check the "Closing with Cases Reported in" section at the front of the most recent pocket part or pamphlet used so far. Find the West case reporter that is likely to have cases on your digest topic.
  5. Go to the case reporter that you identified in step 4. Look in the digest sections in the back of all bound volumes and the front of all advance sheets beginning with the volume number listed in the "Closing with Cases Reported in" section of the digest to see if any recent cases have appeared under your topic(s) and key number(s).

    For example, this Closing Table shows that cases reported up to 689 N.E.2d 1039 are included in the most recent digest supplement. To find more recent cases, go to North Eastern Reporter 2d and check the digest sections of all bound volumes and advance sheets beginning with volume 689.

    Table at the front of West's Illinois Digest.

    Table at the front of West's Illinois Digest 2d
    April 1998 Pamphlet Directly Supplementing
    1997 Pocket Parts and December 1997
    Pamphlet: 3

  6. Don't forget to Shepardize or use other citators to verify that cases you rely upon have not been overruled.

Where are digests shelved at the Law Library?

The Federal digests are on stack 9; General and Decennial digests are in stack 13; Regional digests are in stack 10; and the State digests are in stacks 10 to 11 and stack 19. All are shelved in the General Collection on the first floor of the library.

The  Law Library holds regional digests for the Atlantic, California and Pacific, North Western, Pacific, South Eastern, and Southern regions.

The Law Library also has state digests for 14 states. The 4 sets of New Hampshire Digest held by the library are shelved in the Reference stacks, stacks 11 and 19, and in the Attorney Member Room on the first floor of the library.

How do I find cases that interpret statutes?

The easiest way to find cases that interpret statutes is to use an annotated code. A code is a topical arrangement of all the permanent general laws in force in a particular jurisdiction. Annotated codes add headnotes from cases that interpret individual code provisions. These appear after every code section.

Where can I get information on pending cases?

Most of the cases found in law libraries are not pending cases but judicial opinions, primarily from appellate courts. However, there are limited instances in which law libraries contain information on pending litigation.

Cases pending in the U.S. Supreme Court may be tracked using U.S Law Week. Current issues are on reserve at the Circulation Desk.

For information on trials in progress the best source is usually general newspapers such as the New York Times, or legal newspapers such as the National Law Journal.

Further References

*Copyright 2003, The Boston College Law Library. Used with permission. Not for sale.

First Year Resources

First Year Resources

By Tom Hemstock, Electronic Services Librarian
Created: June 2010
Contents:
Passwords | Study Guides | Maps | Old Exams | Librarians | Underused Resources
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___________________________________________
Westlaw and LexisNexis Password Assistance
Westlaw and Lexis both offer 24 hour password and research assistance via:
            1-800-WESTLAW
            1-800-45LEXIS
Additionally, some Westlaw/Lexis password issues can be solved in person by the Electronic Services Librarian (Tom Hemstock – 2nd floor of the library across from the circulation desk.)
Course Reserves and Study Guides
Behind the Circulation desk there are many great resources: a single copy of every required textbook is available for three hour loan, and there are many study guides available including hornbooks, nutshells, and concise hornbooks. Have a long commute to UNH Law? Sum and Substance CDs and Tapes are audio study guides that can make your drive much more productive.
Reminder: Academic Success also contains many study guides and advice on how best to use these resources.
Maps
The UNH Law library is contains over 25,000 square feet spread across three floors. Sometimes finding the right place can be complex. Luckily there are maps available here:
http://library.law.unh.edu/maps
Second Floor Map
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Old Exams
Copies of many, but not all, old exams are available in pdf format online here. Copies of exams are also available in print in the Reference section of the library. Please remember that the decision to release old exams rests with the professor – not all previous exams are available. Additionally, some professors may release their exams via their TWEN site or via in class handouts.
Librarians!
Librarians are always available to assist students at UNH Law. All librarians have an open door policy and want to help. Feel free to stop in for research questions, law school questions or just to say hi. We may not always know the answer but we’ll find out or refer you to the right place.
A map of librarian offices is available here: http://library.law.unh.edu/maps
Underused Resources
            Student Lawyer
Published by the ABA Student Division, Student Lawyer contains short but focused articles on law school topics such as finding summer jobs, exam writing, and more. The Library holds issues from the 1970s to the present. Copies are found on the first floor in the journals section of compact shelving.
         Old Textbooks
Older editions of current textbooks may be available in the stacks. These books may be checked out for a longer period of time. However, be sure to check for differences (page numbers, cases, etc) with the current edition. If you forgot your book at home and the reserve copy at circulation is out this could be a lifesaver!
Search for your textbook using the library catalog.
        Bluebook Guides
There are many books and websites available that demystify the bluebooking process. A complete list of Library resources is available here
Movies
Hundreds of legal themed movies are available to check out at the Circulation Desk. Titles range from documentaries to dramas. Information on specific titles is available in the catalog.
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Free Legal Resources

 

Free Legal Resources
Tom Hemstock, Electronic Services Librarian
Created June 2010
Contents
Cornell Information Institute | Google Scholar & Books | GPOAccess | Librarian HelpTHOMAS
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___________________________________________________________________________
 
In addition to subscription databases there are also many quality free resources available online. Free resources can be an excellent source but free sites often have limitations. For example, a statute on Westlaw or LexisNexis will contain links to cases, regulations and secondary sources. The same statute on a free site will not have links to additional material. Also remember that time is money. Finding a statute in 3 minutes on Westlaw/LexisNexis will likely be cheaper than taking 30 minutes to find the same statute in a free resource due to the value of your time.
Cornell Information Institute
Cornell’s website offers an extensive library of state and federal material. Be sure to check the date of material. For example the Code of Federal Regulations is available free but it may be updated by the Federal Register.  
Free resources include:
            Code of Federal Regulations
Federal Statutes – unannotated United States Code. Great for finding a citation but does not contain links to cases, regulations or other resources.
            State Statutes (organized by topic)
            Topical Guides – large library with short guides on many common legal issues
            Uniform Commercial Code (without comments)
           Back to Top
Google Scholar and Google Books
            Many free sources are archived in Google Scholar and Google Books. Additionally many books will have limited free previews – not enough to read a chapter but perhaps enough to confirm a citation or start a search. Additionally, Google Scholar will recognize your IP address when on campus and provide access to (some of) our subscription databases. As with all Google search products be sure to check out the Advanced Search options to limit your search by author, title, year and more.
            Google Scholar
            Google Books
            Back to Top
GPOAccess(Migrating to FDsys)
Many electronic documents are available on GPOAccess. In particular the eCFR is an excellent resource that is competitive with commercial publications.
            eCFR
            The eCFR combines the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) with the latest updates from the Federal Register. The eCFR is generally more up to date than either the CFR on Westlaw or LexisNexis. However, it does not have links to other sources like Westlaw/LexisNexis.
            Traditional CFR and FR
            GPOAccess also contains the traditional CFR and FR in PDF format.
            United States Code
Searching is possible but often clumsy. The USC on GPOAccess works best when you can browse or input a specific citation.
            Other Information
There is a surprisingly large amount of information on GPOAccess and FDsys. For example the 2010-11 federal budget is available.
Back to Top 
Librarian Help
            UNH Law
Librarians are available to help throughout the semester. Stop by an office, use the Meebo chat widget on our website, or send an email.
            Law Library of Congress
Email and phone reference is also available here. Remember that librarians answering this service will not be familiar with specific resources available at UNH Law.
            Government Information Online (GIO)
Email and online chat reference regarding government documents is available here. “Government information librarians with a specialized knowledge of agency information dissemination practices -- as well as expertise in how to use government information products, resources and or publications -- answer all the questions submitted to GIO.”
Back to Top 
THOMAS
            Thomas.loc.gov is the best free resource for finding federal bills and recent legislative history material. Before you dive into the many 
             resources available on THOMAS it probably is helpful to get a quick refresher on the legislative process using this page.
            THOMAS contains:
            Bills
            Full text from 1989 – Present
            Summaries from 1973 – Present
            And many other resources such as links to House and Senate Reports.
Detailed information on how to conduct federal legislative history research is available here.
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How to Shepardize a Case in Print

by Cindy Landau

Last Updated: 14 Oct 2008

NOTE: The Law Library subscribes only to the following print citators: N.H., Atlantic, Northeastern, and IP. Please use Shepard's on LexisNexis or KeyCite on Westlaw to validate cases.

As a legal researcher, you have an ethical duty to your client to perform competent and complete research. A vital step in that process is to validate every case to make sure the points of law in the case are still strong before you rely on it as an authority.

(**This is a simple overview of the Shepardizing process. For more in-depth instructions on Shepardizing, please consult a law librarian or a LexisNexis representative; consult a law librarian or a WESTLAW representative for information on Key Citing your case.**)

1. Obtain the correct citation for the case that you want to validate with Shepard’s Citations. You will also need the year that the case was decided.

2. Locate the correct set of Shepard Citations for the case that you want to Shepardize. For example, if your case is from the Atlantic Reporter, you will need to locate the set of Shepard Citations for the Atlantic Reporter.

3. Gather all of the volumes necessary to Shepardize your case. To determine which volumes are necessary, look at the cover of the most current softbound supplement for your set of Shepard’s. The books that you will need will be listed under “What Your Library Should Contain” on the cover of this supplement. You will need all of the books on this list dating back to the date of your case.

4. Look up your case by its citation in all of the necessary volumes; your cite may not appear in each volume. The reporter name can be found at the top of the page in the center, while the volume numbers are listed at the top of the page on the left and the individual page numbers are listed in order on each page.

5. Once you have found the initial page number of your case, you will see the case name and decision date listed. Below this, there will be a listing of citations to cases and other authorities which have cited your case. Note that the citations are to the specific pages of other cases which have mentioned your case. They are not citations to the initial pages of the cases that have mentioned your case.

6. The citations listed in the columns in Shepards ALWAYS follow the same order: parallel cites (in parenthesis); history of your cases; treatment by other authorities of the law in your case; and finally, a listing of any secondary authorities citing your case.

7. Citations in parenthesis at the top of the list of citations are parallel citations to your case, meaning that they are citations to your case as published in other reporters. You must Shepardize each of these citations to obtain a comprehensive result. Note that some cases do not have parallel cites.

8. The first entries listed in Shepards (after the parallel cite in parenthesis) may be history of your case. You will know this for certain if you see a history abbreviation listed to the left of the cite. Citations about the history of a case ALWAYS have an abbreviation. Be alert for negative history. Below is a list of common history abbreviations (a full list of history abbreviations and their definitions can be found in the Table of Abbreviations found in each volume of Shepard’s):

a = affirmed
cc = connected case
m = modified
cert. den. = certiorari denied
r = reversed
s = same case

9. In the treatment portion of the list of cites, citing references to cases are organized by jurisdiction and court. The highest court is listed first, followed by primary citing authorities and secondary citing authorities.

10. Cites without treatment abbreviations merely mention your case, while cites with treatment abbreviations have treated your case with more depth. Be alert for negative treatment. Below is a list of common treatment abbreviations (a full list of treatment abbreviations and their definitions can be found in the Table of Abbreviations found in each volume of Shepard’s):

c = criticized
d = distinguished
e = explained
f = followed
l = limited
h = harmonized
o = overruled
q = questioned

11. A negative history abbreviation would be “r” or perhaps “m”. A negative treatment abbreviation includes “o”, “d”, “c” and “q”. You MUST read the case(s) which produced this negative indication to see how that ruling affects the authority of your case and you should possibly reconsider using this case.

12. If the case listed has a superior (raised) number preceding the citing case’s page number, this case cites your case for the point of law contained in this particular headnote in your case. For example, if there is a superior number 2 in the citation, this case discusses the point of law discussed in headnote number 2 of your case. If you see a negative history or treatment abbreviation (see information in 11 above), the negative aspect may not be relevant to your research if you are working with a different headnote (point of law) than the one listed as being negative.

13. Additional information about Shepard’s, such as court abbreviations, reporter abbreviations and helpful examples are located at the front of each Shepard’s volume.

14. Any secondary authorities (ALR and journal articles) citing your case are listed at the end of the column of citations. They have no negative or positive affect on the authority of your case, but they do provide valuable research leads to interpretive materials. Additional information about Shepard’s abbreviations to secondary authorities is located at the front of each Shepard’s volume.

15. When Shepardizing in all of the print volumes, you are still lacking coverage for about the past two months. To complete the process, you should call the toll free number listed on the back of the soft cover supplements. The publisher will check your cite and provide any more current information.

16. You may also validate a case using Shepards Citations on Lexis/Nexis, or you may validate a case using KeyCite on Westlaw.

Intellectual Property Crimes : Research Tools & Strategies

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Local Library Resources

*** Please visit Library Catalogs (OPACs) for our broader scope of nearby library resources. ***

 
By Tom Hemstock, Electronic Services Librarian
Created: June 2010
Contents:
Concord Public Library | New Hampshire Law Library | New Hampshire State Library | UNH Library
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____________________________________________________________
In addition to the resources available at UNH Law Library there are many local libraries with useful resources. Remember that books can be requested from libraries around the world via Inter Library Loan (contact Kathy Fletcher).
Concord Public Library
            Location: 45 Green Street, Concord, NH, http://www.ci.concord.nh.us/library/
            Catalog
Unique Resources: The public library contains an excellent library of online resources. These resources can also be accessed online with a library card. Online databases include:
            Business Source Premier
            Gale Virtual Reference Library (includes scientific and medical databases)
Newsbank (excellent source of New Hampshire news that exceeds what is available on Westlaw and LexisNexis)
A complete list of databases and descriptions is available here.
Additionally there are thousands of new and classic fiction books when you need a break from the law. Think of it is as Netflix for books. Only free.
Finally there is comfortable seating and wireless internet available.
New Hampshire Law Library
Location: Supreme Court Building, One Charles Doe Drive, Concord NH, http://www.courts.state.nh.us/lawlibrary/index.htm
Catalog
            Unique Resources:   
                        Limited Westlaw and LexisNexis available to the public.
                        Comfortable seating and wireless are also available.
New Hampshire State Library
            Location: 20 Park Street, Concord, NH http://www.nh.gov/nhsl/index.html          
            Catalog
            Unique Resources:
                        New Hampshire State Publications Digital Library               
University of New Hampshire Libraries
            Location: 18 Library Way, Durham, NH http://www.library.unh.edu/
            Catalog
            Resources: More information coming soon about resource sharing between UNH Law and the University of New Hampshire.
 Back to Top

New Hampshire Legislative History

Committee Hearings Reports & Minutes

By Cindy Landau , Assistant Library Director

1. Obtain the Revised Statute Annotated (R.S.A) Number.

2. Find date of passage of law in "History Source" section at end of the R.S.A. section.

3. Go to New Hampshire House and Senate journals for the year of the bill's passage and turn to the subject index at the rear of the volume. Find the subject of your bill and the corresponding bill number(s). Turn to the bill number index to find the page numbers. Find date of passage of law in "History Source" section at end of R.S.A. section. the bill is mentioned in the journal. If there is no bill number index, as in older volumes, then the numbers are page number references. Combined House and Senate Journals will have two sets of page numbers. Scan the page for a reference to your bill or statute. Follow the course of the bill in the journal to ascertain what committees have examined it.

4. If you are researching a recent bill, call House and Senate clerks office to see if they still have documents in their possession.

5. If you are researching a bill that was passed one or more years ago, proceed to the New Hampshire Archives, at 71 S. Fruit St., Concord, and fill out a documents request form. If you have the (A) bill no., (B) year of passage and (C) [ Pre-1979 documents ] the House and Senate committees from which it came, Archives personnel will retrieve any applicable documents.

If your documents are pre-1935, call Records & Archives [271-2236] to ensure that the committee's records extend to your date.

Senate debates:

"Verbatim record in the Senate Journals since 1975"

N.H. House debates:

Debates for the past few years are available on tape from the NH State Library; others back to about 1977 are available from archives.

For additional information call:

(1) N.H. House Committee on Research, 271-3600 ;

(2) N.H. Senate Committee on Research, 271-2351 ;

(3) N.H. State Library, Gov = t Information Services, 271-2239 ;

Records & Archives, (Douglas Gourley, records clerk) 271-2236.

*Early statutory* Compilations Cited in History Source" Include:

RS Revised Statutes............................ 1842

CS Compiled Statutes.......................... 1853

GS General Statutes............................ 1867

GL General Laws................................. 1878

PS Public Statutes............................... 1891

PL Public Laws.................................... 1926

RL Revised Laws................................. 1942

RSA Revised Stats. Annotated.............. 1955

Copies of these editions, except superseded Revised Statutes Anno., are located in the NH section of the UNH Law Library, first floor . Most superseded R.S.A.'s & supplements are available on microfiche on the first floor or in hard copy in storage. Inquire at the desk for items in storage.

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Professional Responsibility & Attorney Malpractice Research

Professional Responsibility and Attorney Malpractice Research Guide

By Barry Shanks, University of New Hampshire School of Law Library

Codes

1. Model Rules of Professional Conduct
American Bar Association, Annotated Model Rules of Professional Conduct (6th ed. 2007), Print at KF305 .A75 A55
Lexis. ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Code of Judicial Conduct
Westlaw. ABA-MRPC unannotated; ABA-AMRPC annotated
American Bar Association, Legislative History of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct: Their Development in the ABA House of Delegates (1987), KF306.L45
 
2. Model Code of Professional Responsibility
American Bar Association, Model Code of Professional Responsibility (1982), KF305.A2 A6
 
3. ABA Canons of Professional Ethics (Historical)
American Bar Association, Canons of Professional Ethics. Online through MOML. Contains text of the 1908 Canons of Professional Ethics, the first code of ethics adopted by the ABA. 
 
4. Compilations of Model Codes, ABA Standards & Other Ethics Codes
Professional Responsibility Standards Rules & Statutes (annual), KF305 .A29 P76
Regulation of Lawyers, Statutes and Standards (annual), KF305.A15 R44
American Bar Association, ABA Compendium of Professional Responsibility Rules and Standards (annual), KF306.A2
 
5. State Codes
State Bar Web Sites, http://www.abanet.org/cpr/links.html. Alphabetical listing of all states, with bar associations and rules of professional conduct.
Westlaw. XX-RULES (XX is the state's postal abbreviation)
Lexis. Statutes & Legislative Materials. Contains the full text of the state code from all 50 states – including its code of professional ethics.
 
National Reporter on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility (Roy M. Mersky & Norman Quist eds., 1983- ) Print KF305.A3 N37. Contains the ethics code for each state. 
State Annotated Codes, Rules Supplement The “Court Rules – State” supplements include the state codes of professional ethics.
NH Rules of Professional Conduct: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/pcon/index.htm \
 

Ethics Opinions

The ABA and the bar associations of each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia publish ethics opinions in response to requests for advice from lawyers. The ethics opinions are advisory and not enforceable as law, but can be cited to show how a bar association has interpreted a specific provision of the Model Rules or Model Code.
 
ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct (1980-)KF306.A6 A4
Online BNA Database and available on Lexis and Westlaw (see Looseleafs below)
Since 1980, the Lawyers' Manual has published summaries of ethics opinions from all state and local bar associations, with an extensive subject index for locating opinions on a particular topic. 
 
National Reporter on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility (Roy M. Mersky & Norman Quist eds., 1983- ) KF308.A3 N37. Full text of state ethics opinions.
Westlaw. ABA-ETHOP database. ABA Formal and Informal opinions. METH-EO database.  XXETH-EO (XX is the state's postal abbreviation). Covers selected states only.
 
Lexis. ABA Formal Ethics Opinions and ABA Informal Ethics Opinions. Legal Ethics Opinions. Covers selected states only.
New Hampshire State Bar ethics opinions: http://www.nhbar.org/legal-links/ethics1.asp
 

Cases

Digests: Topics include Attorney & Client, District & Prosecuting Attorneys, Malicious Prosecution, Privileged Communication & Confidentiality
Lexis.  Judicial Ethics Opinions
Westlaw. Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility - Federal Cases and Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility - State Cases

Secondary Sources

Comprehensive Looseleaf Services
ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct (1980-) KF306.A6 A4
Primary materials and commentary on legal ethics. The "Manual" section contains a discussion of a wide variety of issues in legal ethics, citing the Model Code and Model Rules where appropriate.  Summaries of and citations to relevant opinions and cases are collected in binders for every five year period since 1980.  The print version includes a "Current Reports" section, which contains a biweekly newsletter that reviews the latest developments in the field.
 
National Reporter on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility (Roy M. Mersky & Norman Quist eds., 1983- ). KF308.A3 N37
Geoffery C. Hazard & W. William Hodes, The Law of Lawyering (3d ed. 2001-) KF306 .H33
 

Selected Treatises

Ronald E. Mallen & Jeffrey M. Smith, Legal Malpractice (2009 ed.) KF313.M34
David J. Meiselman, Attorney Malpractice: Law and Procedure (1980 -) KF313.M44
Duke N. Stern & JoAnn Felix-Retzke, A Practical Guide to Preventing Legal Malpractice (1983 - ) KF313.S82

For other books on legal ethics, try a subject search on MelCat using these subject headings:
Legal Ethics -- United States
Attorney and Client -- United States
Lawyers -- Malpractice
Lawyers -- United States -- Discipline

Restatement

American Law Institute, Restatement of the Law Third: The Law Governing Lawyers (2000), KF395.A2 L32 2000, also on Westlaw (REST-LGOVL database)
Attempt to clarify and synthesize the common law applicable to the legal profession. Topics: Regulation of the Legal Profession; The Client-Lawyer Relationship; Client and Lawyer: The Financial and Property Relationship; Lawyer Civil Liability; Confidential Client Information; Representing Clients - In General; Representing Clients in Litigation; Conflicts of Interest
 

Journal Articles

Many journals publish articles on issues relating to legal ethics. 
To locate articles by subject:LegalTrac, online Gale database, Lexis (Legal Resources Index),Westlaw (LRI database)
To determine whether we hold a specific journal and if so in what media:Serials Solutions (Journals A to Z Holdings), online database.
 
To search through full text of articles on legal ethics: Westlaw. (ETH-TP), Lexis. (Legal Ethics Law Review Articles, Combined)

Web Sites

ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, http://www.abanet.org/cpr/
Provides news, ABA publications, Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and ABA Formal Opinions.  ETHICSearch analyses ethical dilemmas and assist attorneys and law students identify appropriate standards and interpretive materials to resolve them.
 
American Legal Ethics Library (LII Cornell),  http://www.law.cornell.edu/ethics/
Digital library with ethics commentary and model and state rules of professional conduct.
 
Legalethics.com, http://www.legalethics.com
Links to articles, rules and information relating to ethical issues associated with the use of technology by legal professionals. 
 
Guide to Legal Malpractice Law (Hieros Gamos), http://www.hg.org/practic.html
Links to web sites, articles, discussion groups, ethics commentary, associations, and international, European, and Canadian malpractice information. 

 

Reading Legal Citations

 

Legal Citation

By Tom Hemstock, Electronic Services Librarian

Created: May 2010
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__________________________________________________________________________
Introduction
This is a quick and basic guide to legal citation. Please see the many sources linked below for exhaustive treatment of the intricacies of legal education. Entire books can, and have, been written on the correct use of citation.
Analogy time:
The APA Publication Manual in liberal arts is to The Bluebook in Law School.
 The Bluebook, copies available at the Circulation Desk, covers how to cite almost any imaginable document you will encounter in law school: cases, statutes, regulations, law review articles, books, and even Zambian statutes.
Quick Hints to Using the Bluebook:
  •  All rules and tables are listed on the table of contents on the back cover
  •  New Hampshire material is found on page 218 of the 18th Edition
  •  Abbreviations for case names are found in Table 6
  • The inside front cover contains a quick guide for Law Review style and the inside back cover contains a quick guide for practitioner style.
Books at the Law Library
Links contain information of the location and availability of the books.
Understanding and Mastering the Bluebook  | User’s Guide to the Bluebook
Legal Writing Citation in a Nutshell
Online Guides
There are many excellent in-depth guides on the Bluebook available online:
Suffolk Law School Library | Cornell – Legal Information Institute
Georgetown Law Library

Researching Criminal Law

 

Research in Criminal Law

By Kathy Fletcher, Reference and Public Services Librarian, UNH School of Law
 

Primary Sources on Criminal Law

U.S. Constitutions (and states too!)
  • Amendment IV – Search and Seizure
  • Amendment V – Self incrimination
  • Amendment VI – Speedy trial, right to a jury
  • Amendment VIII – Cruel and unusual punishments
United States Code -Title 18 (Annotated by U.S.C.S. andU.S.C.A. and analyzed by both Moore’s Federal Practice and Federal Practice and Procedure)
 
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 28 – Rules of the Department of Justice, Board of Prisons, and Office of Independent Counsel
 
State Criminal Codes (e.g. New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, Title 42; Massachusetts General Laws, Chapts. 263-274)
 

Treatises in substantive criminal law

Model Penal Code and Commentaries (official draft and revised commentaries), American Law Institute (in UNH Law Library Reference area KF 9209.5.A2 M631 1985)
 
Substantive Criminal Law, Wayne R. LaFave   (in UNH Law Library at KF 9219 .L386 2003)
 
New Hampshire Practice Series, Criminal Practice and Procedure, Richard B. McNamara (in UNH Law Library Reference at KFN1280 .N4 v.1,2,2A AND ON LEXIS)
 
Report of Commission to Recommend Codification of Criminal Laws established under chapter 451 Laws of 1965, Frank R. Kenison, Chairman. (in UNH Law Library at KFN1761.R44)
 
Massachusetts practice series, criminal law, Joseph R. Nolan and Laurie J. Sartorio (in UNH Law Library KFM2480 .M3 v. 32 AND ON WESTLAW)
 
Other subject specific criminal law books are located on the first floor of the library in the following classifications:
  • KF 9201 - KF 9220 -- Criminal law
  • KF 9223 -- Criminal justice administration
  • KF 9227.C2, KF 9927.D42 -- Capital punishment
  • KF 9241 - KF 9242 -- Insanity defense
  • KF 9315 -- Abortion
  • KF 9322 - KF 9324 -- Abuse
  • KF 9325 - KF 9329 -- Sex offenses
  • KF 9350 -- White-collar crime
  • KF 9375 -- Organized crime
  • KF 9444 -- Obscenity
  • KF 9619 -- Criminal procedure
  • KF 9625 -- Arrest
  • KF 9630 -- Search and seizure
  • KF 9632 -- Bail, pre-trial release
  • KF 9635 -- Extradition
  • KF 9640 -- Indictment & Prosecution
  • KF 9642 -- Grand jury
  • KF 9646 -- Right to counsel
  • KF 9660 - KF 9678 -- Evidence
  • KF 9680 -- KF 9682 -- Jury trial
  • KF 9685 -- Sentencing
  • KF 9690 -- Appeals & Post-conviction remedies
  • KF 9701 - KF 9710 -- Juvenile justice
  • KF 9728 - KF 9742 -- Imprisonment
  • KF 9771 - KF 9827 -- Juvenile justice
You can also try “subject” searching MelCat with one of these Library of Congress Subject Headings:
 
Criminal Law – Geographic Place Name
Criminal Procedure – Geographical Place Name
 

Other secondary sources:

AmJur 2d and CJSAmerican Jurisprudence 2d and Corpis Juris Secondum are legal encyclopedias which provide a broad overview of legal topics with annotations to state and federal cases. (examples of “criminal” subject headings include “search and seizure,” “former jeopardy,” “larceny,” etc.) (Available in our library on the second floor or, Westlaw “CJS” or Lexis “American Jurisprudence 2d”)
 
Note: there are also “Jurisprudences” for states as well. (e.g. Illinois Jurisprudence). Once you find a subject in one “jurisprudence,” that same subject will be the same in any state-level jurisprudence you find.
 
ALRAmerican Law Reports, ALR’s are “annotations” of specific questions of law, with well-laid-out compilations of various state and federal cases. (e.g. What Belief that Burglary Is in Progress or Has Recently Been Committed is Exigent Circumstance Justifying Warrantless Search of Premises,  64 A.L.R.5th 637 (1998)) (In our library on first floor or, Westlaw “ALR” or Lexis “ALR”)
 
Periodicals, blogs, and Current Awareness:
The Criminal Law Reporter, BNA (in UNH Law Library at KF9615 .C7, the most current copy on Reserve. A weekly reporter summarizing and analyzing recent state and federal criminal decisions.
 
U.S. Law Week, BNA (in UNH Law Library at KF8742.A3 U5 ) a weekly reporter summarizing and analyzing interesting cases from state and federal cases in the U.S.
 

Crim Prof Blog : A nationally recognized criminal law blog coming from the University of San Diego School of Law

SCOTUSblog: a blog published by the Akin Gump supreme court practice group following the activities of the U.S. Supreme Court including a Round Up,  Analysis, and  oral argument transcripts.

 

Journals and Law Reviews:

 
There are many journals and law reviews with a specific criminal law focus.
Hein On Line has a specific “Criminal Justice Journals” link which allows for full-text searching of over 70 American and international journals.
 
On Westlaw, there is the “JLR” library of “documents from law reviews, CLE course materials, and bar journals. A document is an article, a note, a symposium contribution, or other materials published in one of the available periodicals.”
 
On Lexis, “US Law Reviews and Journals, Combined “ a “combined United States Law Reviews and Bar Journals contains the full text of documents which are dedicated to the scholarly review of a variety of legal topics and developments and are of importance to students, practitioners and academics.”
 
 

Other “criminal” information

 
www.usdoj.gov – United States Department of Justice. Crime statistics, pleadings, publications for attorneys and the public.
 
www.fbi.gov – Federal Bureau of Investigation, home to the Uniform Crime Reports, the mother lode of crime statistics in the United States.
 
www.ussc.gov – United States Sentencing Commission, home to the Sentencing Guidelines as well as links to state sentencing commissions.

Researching International Criminal Law

 

Researching International Criminal Law

by

Judy Gire, Library Director

Sources of International Law

International criminal law is part of public international law and focuses on issues relating to extradition, cybercrime, terrorism, organized crime and narcotics, and human rights and war crimes under international law.  It is related to humanitarian law which addresses human rights in wartime as well as international human rights law which focuses on the protection of individuals and groups against violations of their rights under international law.

When researching international law issues, Article 38 of the International Court of Justice Statute http://www.icj-cij.org/documents/index.php?p1=4&p2=2&p3=0lists the sources of international law in order of their weight as authority:

1.      International conventions and treaties

2.      International custom as evidence of a general practice accepted as law

3.      General principles of law recognized by civilized nations (doctrines of fairness and justice applied universally in legal systems throughout the world)

4.      Judicial decisions and teachings of the most highly qualified publicists

The first three sources are primary sources while judicial decisions and teachings of the most highly qualified publicists are treated as secondary sources. Only the first three sources apply to international criminal law since “teachings of the most highly qualified publicists, i.e. judges or jurists of international courts or tribunals, cannot create supra-national binding laws as local legislative and adjudicatory bodies do.” See M. Cherif Bassiouni, International Criminal Law 4-5(2d ed. 1998).

Getting Started

            Introductory Guides

ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law

                        http://www.asil.org/crim1.cfm

Excellent discussion on how to do international legal research on the Internet, highlighting important primary and secondary sources. The section on International Criminal Law provides a textual pathfinder to major electronic sources for researching international and transitional crime as well as current issues common to both categories.

Globalex  

www.nyulawglobal.org/Globalex

Produced by Hauser Global Law School Program of New York University, Globalex offers high quality legal research guides on various international subjects as well as timely articles on international law topics and venues including international criminal law. Offers search function.

            Metapages

                        ASIL Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL)

                        http://www.eisil.org/

American Society of International Law’s comprehensive site with links to law instruments, web sites and online research guides. Includes subsection on international criminal law.

                        Guide to Law Online (GLIN)

                         http://www.loc.gov/law/guide/index.html

Law Library of Congress portal to Internet links for reference sources for nations and regions. Includes international sources.           

                        United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library

                        http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/

                        Good place to access U.N. information and documents.

Justice Information Center. National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

http://www.ncjrs.gov

Database of abstracts of books, articles and reports published by the U.S. Department of Justice, other state and federal agencies, international organizations and private sector. Areas of focus include: corrections, courts, crime prevention, criminal justice statistics, drugs, international information, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and victims.

Extensive global source of information on criminal justice.

National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/international/  

U.S. Department of Justice’s research agency site with links to international criminal justice community. Includes full-text of articles in NIJ publications.

            Treatises

Check for treatises on international criminal law and justice topics by leading authorities. Search by author and title if known or by subject heading or keyword in an online library catalog.

            Useful subject headings include:

                        Criminal law -- International

                        Criminal jurisdiction  

                        International offenses

You can also add a geographical limitation to subject headings to locate information in a particular country or region:

                        International offenses -- Angola

            Additionally, you can search by more specific topics:

                        Extradition

                        Narcotics and crime

                        Terrorism

                        War crimes

            Most international criminal law treatises in the library are classed under KZ.

·         MelCat

 http://cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/

                        Online catalog of all library treatise holdings.

·         Check Online Catalogs from Other Academic Law Libraries

http://lms01.harvard.edu/F/KU3DP9PF7YQ6U8857V5V1216T4MAC29QIDTHDNAUE7E2NIDV2R-30497?RN=516319807&pds_handle=GUEST

Some large academic law libraries have special international law collections. Go to the library web pages for the law school you want to search and run a search in their online catalog to identify relevant treatise material and then use our library’s interlibrary loan service to obtain the material. The link above is to the online catalog for Harvard which has a large international collection.

·         Interlibrary Loan

See Reference Librarian Kathy Fletcher if you need to interlibrary loan treatises not available in the library.

            Periodical Articles

Many law reviews and journals include articles on international criminal law topics which are sources for current information and citations to relevant material.

·         LegalTrac

http://0-infotrac.galegroup.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/itweb/nellco_main

Index of Anglo-American legal periodicals and law reviews. Search by author or title if known or by subject heading or keyword.  Coverage from 1980-

·         Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

http://0-ovidsp.ovid.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/autologin.html

Index to articles on foreign, comparative and international law published in legal periodicals and law reviews from around the world. Search by author, title, subject, keyword.  Coverage from 1985-

·         Ebscohost 

http://0-search.ebscohost.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/Community.aspx?authtype=ip&id=-186798001&ugt=62E771363C2635073766356632953E9224E363D36013679361E327E337133503&return=y&IsMobile=N                 

                        Interdisciplinary databases providing full-text access to many journal articles.

·         Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)

                        http://0-www.ciaonet.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/

Full-text collection of working papers, journal articles, books, policy briefs, research projects and conference proceedings discussing theory, policy and research of international affairs.

·         Interlibrary Loan

                        See Reference Librarian Kathy Fletcher if you need to interlibrary loan periodical articles.  

            Encyclopedias

·         Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law

http://0-www.mpepil.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/

Authoritative encyclopedia on public international law topics written by scholars and practitioners from around the world.

Statistical Sources

·         UN Crime and Justice Information Network (UNCJIN): Statistics and Research Sources

 http://www.uncjin.org/Statistics/statistics.html                      

Links to collections of global crime statistics and includes the UN Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems.

·         Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). International Justice Statistics

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/ijs.cfm

Complete resource for international criminal justice statistics with explanations and references to U.N. statistical sources, international web sites, and National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. Includes crime surveys and studies from individual countries and regions and Global Report on Crime and Justice as well as World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems.

Treaty Sources

            Treaty Collections

You can usually retrieve individual treaties by name through an Internet search.  Lacking the treaty name, there are several collections of treaties to check to locate the text of a treaty.

·         ASIL EISIL Database

http://www.eisil.org

American Society of International Law’s EISIL database links to selected treaties in the section devoted to international criminal law.

·         United Nations Treaty Collection

http://treaties.un.org/Pages/Home.aspx?lang-eng

Collection includes the Leagues of Nations Treaty Series (L.N.T.S.), 1920-1944, and the United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.), 1944-. The latter collection includes full-text of all bilateral and multilateral treaties registered with the Secretariat. Most comprehensive treaty series, but there can be a time lag.

·         HeinOnline Treaties & Agreements Library

http://0-heinonline.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/HOL/Index?collection=ustreaties

Largest and most complete collection of all U.S. treaties and agreements, whether currently in force, expired or not yet officially published. Includes United States Treaties and Other International Agreements set.

·         Check Web Sites of Regional Organizations

Web sites for regional organizations like the Council of Europe, European Union or Organization of American States often provide text of treaties between member countries. 

Treaty Status

Checking for signatories, status, ratification and reservation information on treaties is important. Options include:

·         United Nations Treaty Collection.  “Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General”

http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ParticipationStatus.aspx

·         Web Sites of Regional Organizations

Web sites for regional organizations often provide status information for treaties of member countries.

·          ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law. Treaty Page.

http://www.asil.org/resource/treaty1.htm

ASIL Treaty Page, Section 5, links to status and ratification information for treaties. Also includes information on declarations and reservations.

·         Department of State Web Page for U.S. Treaty Status         

The Department of State Web page has links to Treaties in Force http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/treaties/2009/index.htmand to Treaty Actions http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/c3428.htm  to check status of U.S. treaties.

Case Law

Decisions of international and national tribunals can be used as persuasive authority. 

·         Courts, Tribunals and Other Adjudicatory Bodies

http://www.asil.org/erg/?page=icl#id.s8evnomi7rwk

Check the ASIL International Criminal Law Resource Guide, Sec. IV for links to the major courts addressing international criminal law issues including: (1) the International Court of Justice; (2) the International Criminal Court; (3) various criminal tribunals; and (4) regional courts. Sites for these bodies often include their decisions.

·         Oxford Reports on International Law

http://0-www.oxfordlawreports.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/

Includes four modules of case law from international courts and dispute settlement bodies: (1) International Courts of General Jurisdiction; (2) International Criminal Law; (3) International Human Rights; and (4) International Law in Domestic Court.  You can search all four modules simultaneously or filter results to a particular module. Within a module, results may be limited to decisions from a particular jurisdiction or adjudicatory body.

 

Last revised: February 2012

Researching International Human Rights Law

 

Researching International Human Rights Law
by
Judy Gire, Library Director
 
 
Sources of International Law
 
International human rights law is part of public international law and focuses on the protection of individuals and groups against violations of their rights under international law. It excludes, but is related to, humanitarian law which addresses human rights in wartime and international criminal law.
 
When researching international law issues, Article 38 of the International Court of Justice Statute http://www.icj-cij.org/documents/index.php?p1=4&p2=2&p3=0 lists the sources of international law in order of their weight as authority:
 
1.      International conventions and treaties
2.      International custom as evidence of a general practice accepted as law
3.      General principles of law recognized by civilized nations (doctrines of fairness and justice applied universally in legal systems throughout the world)
4.      Judicial decisions and teachings of the most highly qualified publicists
 
The first three sources are primary sources while judicial decisions and teachings of the most highly qualified publicists are treated as secondary sources. The main sources of human rights law are international treaties which can be universal or regional, narrow or broad. Certain instruments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, decisions of human rights bodies, national laws and UN resolutions may rise to the level of customary law.
 
Getting Started
 
            Introductory Guides
 
ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law
www.asil.org/humrts1.cfm
 
Excellent textual discussion of how to do international legal research on the Internet, highlighting important primary and secondary sources. The section on International Human Rights is a great starting point to orient the researcher and link to many relevant sources.
 
United Nations. Research Guide: Human Rights
http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/spechr.htm
 
This research guide focuses on human rights sources related to various United Nations bodies.
 
Globalex  
www.nyulawglobal.org/Globalex
 
Produced by Hauser Global Law School Program of New York University, Globalex offers high quality legal research guides on various international subjects as well as timely articles on international law topics and venues including human rights. Offer search function.
 
            Metapages
 
                        ASIL Electronic Information System for International Law (ESIL)
                        http://www.eisil.org/
 
                        American Society of International Law’s comprehensive site with links to law instruments, web sites and online research guides. Includes subsection on human rights law.
 
                        Guide to Law Online (GLIN)
                         http://www.loc.gov/law/guide/index.html
 
                        Law Library of Congress portal to Internet links for reference sources for nations and regions. Includes international sources.         
 
                        United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library
                        http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/
 
                        Good place to access U.N. information and documents.
 
                        University of Minnesota Human Rights Library
                        http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts
 
                        Comprehensive source of links to human rights documents and sources efficiently organized. One of best sites for human rights research.
 
 
            Nongovernmental Organization Web Sites (NGO)
 
            Web sites for relevant nongovernmental organizations are also good starting places for research. While they often provide well-organized information about relevant laws and country conditions, most NGO Web sites are designed to inform and mobilize the public and are not intended primarily for lawyers and may not be as efficient as a relevant treatise, article or research guide.
 
            To locate an NGO on your topic, try Web searches with the terms human rights, advocates, NGO and nongovernmental organizations in combinations with terms related to your topic. The University of Minnesota Human Rights Library’s list of human rights organizations can also be helpful.
 
            Treatises
 
            Check for treatises on international human rights topics by leading authorities. Search by  author and title if known or by subject heading or keyword in an online library catalog.
 
            Useful subject headings include:
                                    -human rights
                                    -civil rights
                                    -civil rights (international law)
 
            You can also add a geographical limitation to the subject headings above to locate information on human rights in a particular country or region:
                                    -human rights – Angola
 
            Additionally, you can search by more specific topics or groups:
                                    -asylum, right of
                                    -women’s rights
                                    -Indians of South America – civil rights
 
            Most international human rights treatises are classed under KZ.
 
·         MelCat
 http://cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/
 
                        Online catalog of all Law Library treatise holdings.
 
·         NELLCO Catalogs
http://www.nellco.org/index.cfm?pageld=523&parentID=474
 
Provides access to online catalogs of NELLCO member libraries including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia and NYU. Search individual library catalog or search combinations to identify relevant treatises.
 
·         Interlibrary Loan
 
See Librarian Kathy Fletcher if you need to interlibrary loan treatises not available in the law library.
 
            Periodical Articles
 
Many law reviews and journals include articles on human rights topics which are sources for current information and citations to relevant material.
 
·         LegalTrac
http://0-infotrac.galegroup.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/itweb/nellco_fplc
 
Index of Anglo-American legal periodicals and law reviews. Search by author or title if known or by subject heading or keyword.
 
·         Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
http://0-ovidsp.ovid.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&MODE=ovid&PAGE=main&NEWS=n&DBC=y&D=iflp
 
Index to articles on foreign, comparative and international law published in legal periodicals and law reviews from around the world. Search by author, title, subject, keyword.
 
·         JSTOR 
http://0-www.jstor.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/
                       
                        Full-text database of leading interdisciplinary academic journals.
 
·         Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)  DIRECT - not via proxy server
                        http://0-www.ciaonet.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/
 
                        Full-text collection of working papers, journal articles, books, policy briefs, research projects and conference proceedings discussing theory, policy and research of international affairs.
 
·         Interlibrary Loan
 
                        See Librarian Kathy Fletcher if you need to interlibrary loan periodical articles not available through the law library.
 

            Yearbooks

            Published annually, yearbooks are often arranged by treaty and international activities and survey state practice. They frequently identify important new legislation, case law and diplomatic practice relating to international law and are a good source of customary law.

  • HeinOnline Foreign & International Law Resources Database

                        http://0-heinonline.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/HOL/Index?collection=intyb

                        Includes prominent yearbooks from around the world in PDF format as well as a digest of U.S. practice in international law.

 
            Encyclopedias, ALR and Restatements
 
·         Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law
http://0-www.mpepil.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/
 
Authoritative encyclopedia on public international law topics written by scholars and practitioners from around the world.
 
·         ALR International
 
New ALR series devoted to collecting and analyzing relevant U.S. and foreign cases from English and non-English speaking countries on specific legal issues of international importance that have been litigated in the U.S. and global courts. Each annotation summarizes and analyzes the selected decision with references to additional relevant cases, jurisdictional table of cases, law and rules with cites to international decisions and research tips. Includes human rights cases. Available on Westlaw and in library’s print collection.
 
·         Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, 1987.
 
Unofficial, but respected summary of United States law and practice in international and foreign relations. Source of “customary” law for United States international law. Available on LexisNexis and Westlaw and in library’s print collection.
 
Human Rights Treaties
 
            Treaty Collections
 
You can usually retrieve individual treaties by name through an Internet search. Lacking the treaty name, there are several good collections of treaties to check:
 
·         Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) Web Site
http://www.ohchr.org/english
 
Includes UN human rights treaties, but excludes regional human rights instruments. Click on “International Law” from the OHCHR homepage.
 
·         University of Minnesota Human Rights Library
http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/treaties.htm
 
Links to many of the most important human rights treaties. When possible links to authoritative ratification information.
 
·         United Nations Treaty Collection
http://treaties.un.org/Pages/Home.aspx?lang-eng
 
Collection includes the Leagues of Nations Treaty Series (L.N.T.S.), 1920-1944 and the United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.), 1944-. The latter collection includes full-text of all bilateral and multilateral treaties registered with the Secretariat. Most comprehensive treaty series and does include human rights treaties, but there can be a time lag.
 
·         HeinOnline Treaties and Agreements Library
http://0-heinonline.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/HOL/Index?collection=ustreaties
 
Largest and most complete collection of all U.S. treaties and agreements, whether currently in force, expired or not yet officially published. Includes United States Treaties and Other International Agreements set. Features Treaty Metadata Search option.
 
·         Check Web Sites of Regional Organizations
 
Web sites for regional organizations like the Council of Europe or Organization of American States may provide text of human rights treaties between member countries.
 
           
Treaty Status
 
Checking for signatories, status, ratification and reservation information on treaties is important. Options include:
 
·         United Nations. Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights
http://www.ohchr.org/english
 
Best free source for checking status for human rights treaties.
 
·         United Nations Treaty Collection. “Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General”
http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ParticipationStatus.aspx
 
Chapter 4 provides status information on human rights treaties.
 
·         University of Minnesota Rights Library
http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/treaties.htm
 
Provides ratification information on human rights treaties.
 
·         Web Sites of Regional Organizations
 
Regional human rights organizations’ Web sites often provide status information for treaties of their member countries.
 
·          ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law. Treaty Page.
http://www.asil.org/resource/treaty1.htm
 
ASIL Treaty Page, Section 5, links to status and ratification information for treaties. Also includes information on declarations and reservations.
 
·         Department of State Web Page
           
                        The Department of State Web page has links to Treaties in Force                                                   http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/treaties/2009/index.htm and to Treaty Actions  http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/c3428.htm to check status of U.S. treaties.
 
Case Law
 
            Decisions of international and national tribunals can be used as persuasive authority.  Check compilations of decisions for the international body or national tribunal entrusted with enforcing the treaty you are researching.
 
·         INTERIGHTS Human Rights Case Law Database
http://www.interights.org/database-search/index.htm
 
The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights case law
databases include summaries from significant human rights decisions from domestic commonwealth courts and tribunals applying human rights law.
 
·         International Court of Justice
http://www.icj-cij.org/
 
International Court of Justice Web site includes reports of this most significant adjudication in international law since 1947. Westlaw also provides all ICJ decisions in the INT-ICJ database.
 
·         Oxford Reports on International Law
http://0-www.oxfordlawreports.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/
 
Includes four modules of case law from international courts and dispute settlement bodies: (1) International Courts of General Jurisdiction; (2) International Criminal Law; (3) International Human Rights; and (4) International Law in Domestic Court. For each module you can view a list of the decisions as a while or those decisions coming from a particular jurisdiction or dispute settlement body.
 
Country Reports
 
“Country Reports” refers to documents generated by governmental, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations describing the human rights situation in a particular country. Human rights lawyers use these reports in various proceedings as evidence of the conditions in a country. Country Reports may focus on a single issue or summarize a whole range of human rights issues.
 
·         American Society of International Law (ASIL) Country Reports
http://www.asil.org/erg/?page=ihr#SectionAA
 
·         University of Minnesota Human rights Library country Studies Link to Library of Congress
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/
 
 
Last revised: September 2011

Researching International Law

Researching International Law

by

Judy Gire, Library Director

 

Sources of International Law

When researching international law issues, Article 38 of the International Court of Justice Statute http://www.icj-cig.org/documents/index.php?p1=4&p2=2&p3=0 lists the sources of international law in order of their weight as authority:

  1. International conventions and treaties
  2. International custom as evidence of a general practice accepted as law
  3. General principles of law recognized by civilized nations (doctrines of fairness and justice applied universally in legal systems throughout the world)
  4. Judicial decisions and teachings of the most highly qualified publicists

The first three sources are primary sources while judicial decisions and teachings of the most highly qualified publications are treated as secondary sources.

Getting Started

                Introductory Guides

·         International Legal Research in a Nutshell

Marci B. Hoffman & Robert C. Berring (Thompson-West  2008).

Designed for international legal research novices, this timely, succinct guide discusses the most important print and electronic sources readily available to anyone with access to a law library or the Internet.  Available  on Reserve in the library.

·         International and Foreign Legal Research: A Coursebook

 Marci B. Hoffman & Mary Rumsey (Martinus Nijhoff 2008).

Designed for classes in foreign and international legal research, this text can be used when a researcher needs information on an international law topic or source. Topics range from basic concepts of international law to particular international law subjects with emphasis on research strategies. Includes print and electronic sources. Available in Professor Gire’s office.

·         ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law: Introduction

www.asil.org/resource/ergintr1.htm

Revised every six months, this is an excellent textual discussion of how to do international legal research on the Internet, highlighting important primary and secondary sources.

·         Academic Law Library Research Guides on International Law

Academic law libraries with strong international collections often provide international law research guides on their web sites designed to aid beginning researchers.  These guides are frequently geared to the library’s own collection.  Examples: Columbia, Duke, Harvard, UC Berkeley and Yale.

·         Globalex   www.nyulawglobal.org/Globalex

Produced by Hauser Global Law School Program of New York University, Globalex includes high quality legal research guides on various international subjects as well as timely articles on international law topics and venues.

·         Law Library Resource Xchange –LLRX.com     www.llrx.com

This site includes a number of research guides on international law posted by law librarians as well as a search function.

                Online Tutorials for International Legal Research

·         CALI -- Private International Law Research (CALI Lesson LR77) www.cali.org

This 45 minute lesson by Tom Kimbrough is designed as a guide for students who are not familiar with researching private international law questions.

·         International Legal Research Tutorial www.law.duke.edu/ilrt

Duke University Law Library

This free online tutorial prepared by the Duke University Law Library offers basics of international legal research with emphasis on treaties and agreements, customary law and international organizations. Includes review questions.

                International Law Metapages           

American Society of International Law’s comprehensive site with links to law instruments, web sites and online research guides for international law.

Law Library of Congress portal to Internet links for reference sources for nations and regions.  Includes international sources.

Official United Nations web site section on international law with links to law-related U.N. bodies, U.N. Treaty Series, the ICJ and other international courts.

  • United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library

http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/

Good place to access U.N. information and documents

International Law Blogs

·         Opinio Juris   http://www.opiniojuris.org

·         IntLawGrrls  http://intlawgrrls.blogspot.com/index.html

Treatises

Check for international law treatises by leading authorities. Search by author and title if known or by subject heading or keyword in an online library catalog. Most international law treatises at UNH Law are classed under KZ.

·         MelCat   http://cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/

Online catalog of all UNH Law Library treatise holdings.

·         NELLCO Catalogs  http://www.nellco.org/index.cfm?pageId=523&parentID=474

Provides access to online catalogs of NELLCO member libraries including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia and NYU. Search individual library catalog or search combinations to identify relevant treatises.

·         Interlibrary Loan

See Librarian Kathy Fletcher if you need to interlibrary loan treatises not available in the UNH Law Library.

Periodical Articles

Many law reviews and journals include articles on international law topics which are sources for current information and citations to relevant material.

·         LegalTrac    http://0-infotrac.galegroup.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/itweb/nellco_main

Index of Anglo-American legal periodicals and law reviews. Search by author or title if known or by subject heading or keyword.  

·         Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

http://0-web5.silverplatter.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/webspirs/start.ws?customer=fplc999&databases-IFLP

Index to articles on foreign, comparative and international law published in legal periodicals and law reviews from around the world. Search by author, title, subject, keyword.

·         JSTOR    http://0-www.jstor.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/

Full-text database of leading interdisciplinary academic journals.

·         Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)

http://0-www.ciaonet.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/

Full-text collection of working papers, journal articles, books, policy briefs, research projects and conference proceedings discussing theory, policy and research of international affairs.

·         Interlibrary Loan

See Librarian Kathy Fletcher if you need to interlibrary loan periodical articles not available through the UNH Law Library.

Encyclopedias and ALR

·         Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law

http://0-www.mpepil.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/

Authoritative encyclopedia on public international law topics written by scholars and practitioners from around the world.

·         ALR International

New ALR series devoted to collecting and analyzing relevant U.S. and foreign cases from English and non-English speaking countries on specific legal issues of international importance that have been litigated in the U.S. and global courts. Each annotation summarizes and analyzes the selected decision with references to additional relevant cases, jurisdictional table of cases, law and rules with cites to international decisions and research tips. Includes human rights cases. Available on Westlaw and in library’s print collection.

Treaty Research

Sources for United States Treaties

·         Hein Treaties & Agreements Library

http://0-heinonline.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/HOL/Index?collection=ustreaties&set_as_cursor=clear

Hein Online’s comprehensive collection of historical sources of United States Treaties includes: U.S. Statutes at Large, Bevan’s Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, Treaties and Other International Acts Series and International Legal Materials. Fee-based.

·         International Legal Materials (I.L.M.), 1962-

This journal published by the American Society of International Law includes full-text of selected treaties and agreements. It is available on LexisNexis, Westlaw and Hein Online.

·         LexisNexis & Westlaw

LexisNexis and Westlaw have separate databases of U.S. treaties dating back to 1776 on LexisNexis and 1778 on Westlaw.

United States Treaty Indexing & Updating

·         United States Treaty Index: 1776-1990

Comprehensive print index to United States treaties kept current through a Current Treaty Index service with updating to the last 6 months. Available in library print collection.

·         Treaties in Force  http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/treaties/

Annual index prepared by the U.S. Department of State and available in print and electronically. Lists every bilateral and multilateral treaty the United States is a party to and indicates topic, parties, whether the treaty is still in force and sources of text. Also available in the Hein Treaties and Agreements Library and in separate databases on LexisNexis and Westlaw.

·         Guide to the United States Treaties in Force

Compiled by Igor Kavass, this annual print index to current United States treaties is similar in scope and format to the government’s Treaties in Force. It is also available in the Hein Treaties and Agreements Library.

·         Treaty Actions, 1997-

       http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/c3428.htm

Updates Treaties in Force and available on the U.S. Department of State web site.

Judicial Interpretation of United States Treaties

·         American International Law Cases, 1783-

Specialized print reporter collecting federal and state cases relating to international law from 1783 to date. Available in library print collection.

·         Legal Research System for International law in U.S. Courts

http://ilex.asil.org/

Database of select United States court cases and related materials to aid legal professionals in identifying and understanding how international law is interpreted and applied by United States courts at the federal and state level.

·         West Digest Topic & Key Number Approach

Digest topic “Treaties” will yield United States cases dealing with treaties and international law topics

Legislative History of United States Treaties

·         Senate Treaty Documents

Hearings and debates of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and transmittal messages from the President and Secretary of State to the Committee can provide evidence of “intent” behind a United States treaty.  The LexisNexis Congressional database is a good source for these documents.     http://0-web.lexis-nexis.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/congcomp?  

Sources of Treaties Where United States is Not a Party

·         United Nations Treaty Collection  http://treaties.un.org/Pages/Home.aspx?lang=eng  

This collection includes:

                League of Nations Treaty Series (L.N.T.S.), 1920-1944

                Full-text of treaties registered with the Secretary of the League

                United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.), 1944-

This collection includes full-text of all bilateral and multilateral treaties registered with the Secretariat. Most comprehensive treaty series, but there can be time lags. 

·         Web Sites for Regional Organizations for Treaties

Check organization web sites such as the Council of Europe, Organization of American States for text of treaties of their member states. Many IGO’s have web sites containing text of regional treaties.

Status of Treaties Where United States is Not a Party

Checking for signatories, status, ratification and reservation information on treaties where the United States is not a party can be difficult. There is no one collection of links providing access to all relevant treaty information.  The United Nation’s Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General   http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ParticipationStatus.aspx is a good place to start but status information and reservations are limited to a small portion of the world’s treaties. Check databases or web sites provided by treaty secretaries and depositories for regional organizations.

Customary International Law

“Customary international law develops from the practice of States. To international lawyers ‘the practice of states’ means official governmental conduct reflected in a variety of acts, including official statements at international conferences and in diplomatic exchanges, formal instructions to diplomatic agents, national court decisions, legislative measures or other actions taken by governments to deal with matters of international concern.”  (Thomas Buergentahl & Sean D. Murphy, Public International Law in a Nutshell  22-23 (4th ed. 2007).

Evidence of a state’s practice is found in: (1) treaties; (2) decisions of national and international courts; (3) national legislation; (4) opinions of national legal advisors; (5) diplomatic correspondence; and (6) practice of international organizations.

Yearbooks of States and Organizations

                Yearbooks published by individual countries and by intergovernmental organizations provide a good way to assess information on state practice. They can note important legislation, case law and diplomatic practice involving international law.  Check library online catalogs and web sites for countries and IGOs. 

·         HeinOnline Foreign & International Law Resources Database  

 http://0-heinonline.org.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/HOL/Index?collection=intyb

Includes prominent yearbooks from around the world in PDF format as well as a digest of U.S. practice in international law.

Sources for United States Practice

·         Digests of Practice

Series of digests first published in 1877 act as encyclopedias of United States international law practice. The last published was Whiteman’s Digest of International Law covering 1940s-1960s. Available in the library’s print collection and in HeinOnline’s Foreign & International Law Resources Database.

·         Digests of U.S. Practice in International Law, 1973-

These digests supplement the earlier digests and cover smaller time periods.

Available in the library’s print collection and in HeinOnline’s Foreign & International Law Resources Database.

·         Foreign Relations of the United States  http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments

epartment of State’s official documentary historical record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. Also available in library’s print collection.

·         Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, 1987.

Unofficial, but respected summary of United States law and practice in international law and foreign relations. Available on LexisNexis and Westlaw and in library’s print collection.

Judicial Decisions

                Includes decisions of courts as well as international tribunals.

·         International Court of Justice (ICJ), 1947-  http://www.icj-cij.org/homepage/index.php?lang=en

Source of text of decisions and activities of the most significant international court. Decisions also available on LexisNexis and Westlaw and in HeinOnline’s Foreign & International Law Resources Database.

·         Check web sites of other international tribunals such as the International Criminal Court for text of decisions.

·         Oxford Reports on International Law

http://0-www.oxfordlawreports.com.cardcatalog.law.unh.edu/

Includes four modules of case law from international courts and dispute settlement bodies: (1) International Courts of General Jurisdiction; (2) International Criminal Law; (3) International Human Rights; and (4) International Law in Domestic Court. For each module you can view a list of the decisions as a while or those decisions coming from a particular jurisdiction or dispute settlement body.

 

Last revised:  January 2011

Technology Licensing Resources: Secrets of the Power Searchers

View more presentations from Jon Cavicchi.

Using Law Reviews

by Tom Hemstock, Electronic Services Librarian

Created May 2010

Contents:

Introduction | Citation to an Article Available | No Citation Available | Other Search Options

 

A printer friendly link is available at the bottom of the page 

___________________________________________________________________________

 Why?
Law review and journal articles are an excellent starting point. Detailed, well footnoted articles can explain complex points of law and offer a mine of useful citations to primary sources. Law review articles can also provide persuasive authority from leading academic stars. Additionally, many law reviews have a practical focus that is useful to practitioners as well as academic audiences.
How?
Scenario: I have a citation to an article.
You’ve found a citation to a law review article and now need a copy. There’s a good chance Westlaw or LexisNexis contains a copy, but it may not. The library subscribes to dozens of electronic databases so it is not efficient to search each one individually. This is where the Find Articles link is helpful. By entering the title of the journal (not the article title) you can find what databases contain this title.
Example: I need an article from the 1985 in Student Lawyer
Step One:
Go to Find Articles on the library webpage.
Step Two:
Enter Student Lawyer as the title
Step Three:
Click to the database that contains the results.
 
Possible Problem: The title I am looking for doesn’t show up!
Solutions: Check spelling or switch the menu to “contains” instead of “starts with”. Sometimes even a small typo or a slightly confused title (Student Lawyer vs Monthly Student Lawyer for example) can quickly solve the problem. Or sometimes the journal is simply not available at the law school. In this case, see our Inter Library Loan page for details on how to request the article.
Scenario Two: I need to find articles on topic X.
Step One:
Search for articles using indexes such as Legaltrac. An index can help your search by focusing your results, providing search terms, and relying on the organization of professional indexers. Start with a narrow search and expand your terms to find all articles. Helpful cross references will also assist in your search.
Click here for a full listing of indices available at the Library.
Step Three:
Full text searching. Searching full text in HeinOnline, LexisNexis, or Westlaw is a powerful option. To limit the number of results, try searching in only certain fields such as author or title, and adding restrictions such as date or excluding certain words. Remember that LexisNexis and Westlaw generally only cover 1980 to date, while HeinOnline will contain older issues. Use Find Articles to find out all the databases that cover the title you are interested in.
Click here for a full listing of databases available at the Library.
Other Search Options
Google Scholar searches a number of scholarly databases.  You will only be able to access some articles when on campus (IP address range) but it will be seamless and you will not realize you are searching in a Law School sponsored database.
Many recent journals and law reviews are also available online for no cost. A Google search (try using Advance Search to limit to .edu addresses and search for a specific phrase) will turn up many results.

Using Statutes

What are statutes?

Statutes are laws enacted by a legislative body. They are binding on persons located within the jurisdictional authority of the legislative body. Statutes are what most people call "laws." While statutes are presumed to be clear as to their meaning, it is usually necessary to consult court decisions to determine how a particular statute is applied within the jurisdiction.

How are statutes published?

Statutes are published in three different forms: slip laws, session laws and codes. Each form provides advantages for different research needs. Slip laws are individual copies of laws published as soon as they are enacted. Session laws are chronological compilations of the laws passed by a particular legislature within each session. Codes are topical arrangements of all the permanent general laws in force in a particular jurisdiction at a particular point in time.

Most statutory legal research is conducted using codes, since they provide the most complete picture of what the law is at a particular time by bringing related provisions together and incorporating amendments into the text. A special type of code, called an annotated code, provides references to cases that have applied the statute, and to other research aids.

Codes

  • What are codes?

Codes are topical arrangements of all the current, general laws in force in a particular jurisdiction. They bring together related laws and incorporate amendments into the text of the existing statute.

Code sections on specific topics may be located by using indexes found at the backs of individual volumes or in separate volumes shelved at the beginning or end of the code set. Some codes are numbered with chapter or title numbers. Some state codes are really collections of codes on individual subjects such as domestic relations law, criminal law and commercial law.

The most frequently consulted codes are annotated codes. These contain the text of the current laws and also provide references to cases that interpret the statute. They may also provide cross references to other relevant statutes, regulations, and legislative history information. Codes are kept current with supplemental volumes, pocket parts and pamphlets. These must always be checked to ensure that you have the most recent version of the law.

  • How are codes used?

Codes are used to find the current law in a particular jurisdiction since they incorporate amendments and bring related provisions together. Because small changes in language frequently occur in compiling a code, the code may not be the most authoritative form of the law, even though it is the most convenient to use for research.

  • What codes do we have at the UNH Law Library, and where are they?

We have the print versions of the United States Code in the legislative history stack across from the microfiche collection. This version is published by the United States government without any annotation to case law. The USC is published every six years with annual cumulative supplements, but like other official government publications, it is frequently delayed. We also have a microfiche version of the United States Code available in the microfiche collection.

We also have West's United States Code Annotated (USCA) and LexisNexis Publishing's United States Code Service (USCS) in stack 1 on the first floor of the library. Most researchers use one of the unofficial commercially published codes because they are more current and also because they contain case annotations and other research aids. Both unofficial codes - The USCA and the USCS - are updated by annual pocket parts and monthly pamphlets.

The United States Code is available electronically on LexisNexis and Westlaw. It is also on the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/uscode/index.html.

State Codes are in stacks 18 to 20 on the first floor. These codes are arranged alphabetically by the state name and the UNH Law Library holds an annotated version of those codes that are annotated. State Codes are available on LexisNexis and Westlaw.

The New Hampshire code is also located in the Reference section on the second floor. The New Hampshire code is available electronically on LexisNexis and Westlaw; check the database directories for more information or ask at the Information Desk. The New Hampshire code is also available on the web at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/indexes/default.html

Session Laws

  • What are session laws?

Session laws are the enactments of a legislative body during a legislative session and are published in the order of their enactment. They contain the complete text of laws exactly as they were enacted.

There usually is an index to each legislative session, but to find a session law using the annual or biennial index, a researcher would have to know the legislative session during which a law was enacted. Luckily, code volumes usually contain references to the session law or laws that have been incorporated in a particular code section. This makes it much easier to find a session law.

Session laws are sometimes published in legislative advance services. These pamphlets are used to find additions or amendments made since the latest pocket parts were prepared for the code volumes.

  • How are session laws used?

Session laws are the most authoritative form of the law. If a difference in the wording of a statute occurs in its code form and its session law form, the words of the session law are controlling. Session laws are used in historical research, in compiling legislative histories, and are cited as proof of the historical fact of enactment, amendment and repeal. They also are useful in determining which laws were in force at a particular time.

  • What session laws do we have at UNH Law Library, and where are they?

The UNH Law Library has the session laws of the states as well as all federal session laws. The official set of federal session laws, Statutes at Large, is in stack 1 on the first floor. Federal Session Laws are also available on microfiche. Recent federal session laws are also available electronically on LexisNexis, Westlaw and the Internet from the Government Printing Office. Go to http://www.gpoaccess.gov , and then select "Public and Private Laws."

The session laws of the states are available on microfiche and can also be found in stack 19 on the first floor. The New Hampshire session laws, are in the Reserve Stacks on the second floor of the library. Recent state session laws are also available on LexisNexis and Westlaw. Consult the LexisNexis and Westlaw database directories or ask for help at the Information Desk. Some states have put their session laws on the web. New Hampshire session laws are available at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/ie/ .

Slip Laws

  • How are slip laws used?

Slip laws are separate copies of individual laws. They have no indexes since each law is published separately. Slip laws are used to keep up to date on new legislation since they are the first printed form available after enactment.

  • Do we get slip laws at UNH Law Library?

UNH Law Library gets slip laws from the US Congress. They are kept in the first floor of the library across from the microfiche. While we don't receive slip laws from other jurisdictions, we do receive legislative advance services for the states. These are shelved with the states codes in the state collections on the first floor of the library.

Helpful Hints for Statutory Research

  • How do I find out if a statute has been amended or repealed?

Tables of amendments and repeals published in codes and advance legislative services provide citations to session laws that modify existing statutes. All three versions of the US Code, USCCAN, and Statutes at Large through 1976 contain tables that allow researchers to find amendments, repeals, and new code provisions. Westlaw and LexisNexis will also contain up to date information on amendments and repeals.

  • What is the quickest way to find a citation to a statute?

When you know the popular name of a statute, e.g. "Lemon Law," you can quickly find its citation using a popular name table in the tables volumes of state or federal codes.

If you do not know the popular name of a statute, use the indexes at the end of the federal and state codes to locate a citation to your statute by looking up its subject (e.g. "driving under the influence").

When researching similar laws in more than one state, such as child support laws, it can be helpful to consult Subject Compilations of State Laws in the main stacks at KF1 .N93 2001 . This set provides citations to the laws of many states that discuss a particular topic.

Another quick way to find statutes is to consult the United States LawDigests volumes of the MartindaleHubbell LawDirectory, which is shelved in the Reference stacks at KF190 .M3 and available electronically on LexisNexis.

Excerpt from Martindale-Hubbell Law Digest for New Hampshire, 1997.

"WITNESSES:

No person interested as party or otherwise in the result of an action is excluded or excused from testifying on that account (c.516, §22) except as hereinafter stated.

Privileged Communications.- There is no statutory privilege as to communications to attorneys; however, confidential physician-patient communications are placed by statute "on the same basis as those provided by law between attorney and client" (c. 329, §26) as are communications between certified psychologists and their clients (c. 330A, §19). Priest-penitent privilege is also recognized. (c. 516, §35). Confidential communications between victims of sexual assault or domestic abuse and their counselors and third persons present to assist communication with victim are privileged. (c. 173-C, §2).

Death or Incompetency of Party to Transaction.- In action by indorsee or assignee of bill of exchange, promissory note or mortgage, against original party thereto, defendant may not testify in how own behalf if either original parties to such bill, note or mortgage, is dead or insane, unless plaintiff testifies or offers testimony of original party thereto. (c. 516, §26).

See also topic Depositions and Discovery."

  • What is a Uniform Law?

Uniform laws are state statutes patterned after a model law to ensure that laws are similar from state to state for easier interstate relations. Uniform laws should not be confused with federal laws. Uniform laws concern matters that are reserved to the states and have an impact on other states. Some notable examples are the Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act and the Uniform Commercial Code. Uniform Laws Annotated, in the main stacks KF165.A5 P4 1983 , is a useful source when dealing with a uniform law. The ULA contains information about legislative intent, as well as references to other states' interpretations of the same or similar statutory language. The ULA is also available on Westlaw in the ULA database. LexisNexis has many uniform laws in separate databases; for more information, consult the LexisNexis directory or ask at the Information Desk.

  • Are statutory numbering systems consistent between session laws and codes?

Many jurisdictions use the same terminology in the numbering system of both the session laws and the code. For example, the Massachusetts code is divided into major sections called chapters. Also, the individual acts of each session of the legislature are numbered by chapter, beginning with the first law in each session as Chapter 1, etc. However, there is no correlation between a law's chapter number in the session in which it is enacted and the code chapter number in which it will be placed.

Similarly, the United States Code is divided into fifty major topics called titles. Within individual pieces of legislation, major subdivisions are also called titles. Again, these title numbers are not consistent from session law to code. To alleviate this confusion, conversion tables that cross-reference code sections and session laws are published in most code sets.

Excerpt from USCA TABLES, Table 2, Statutes at Large, P.L. 101-194. Current through P.L. 105-22, approved 6-27-97

Excerpt from USCA tables, table 2, statutes at large, P.L. 101-194.

Further References

Cohen, Morris L., Robert C. Berring, and Kent C. Olson, How to Find the Law (West Publishing). Chapter on "Statutes." On Reserve KF240 .H65 1989

Jacobstein, J. Myron and Roy M. Mersky, Fundamentals of Legal Research (Foundation Press). Chapters on "Federal Legislation" and "State and Municipal Legislation." Main Stacks   KF240 .J3 1998

Sinclair, Michael, Guide to Statutory Interpretation (Lexis Publishing). Main Stacks KF425 .S55 2000

*Copyright 2003, The Boston College Law Library. Used with permission. Not for sale.