Introduction to the Series (Robert C. Berring) 9 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The printed Legal Research Survival Manual will provide more information on each of these topics. The idea of these videos is to give you a quick overview. We all love doing legal research, it is a very creative enterprise. We might not be able to convince you that it is fun, but we want you to be good at it…and to look smart.
- Welcome to the video series designed to accompany the book Legal Research Survival Manual. I am Bob Berring, a professor at Berkeley Law School. I have been teaching about legal research my whole life, and I am really excited about these videos. Four of us have teamed up to present you with a basic introduction to legal research and legal information. Our plan is to provide you with the information that you need to know in order to survive and thrive as a brand new legal researcher, like a first year law student. These videos are designed to be short and approachable. Our pledge is to keep them close to ten or twelve minutes in length and to the point. They supplement the book but it goes into greater detail on each point.
- Video Five presents an overview of the online legal research services. Professor Michael Levy, long time teacher of Advanced Legal Research at Berkeley, our expert on web-based legal research, will describe the systems to you. They are just that: legal research systems. If you only think of them as search boxes you will be missing a bet. Michael will show you that they are research universes that you can exploit.
- Video Six will cover Finding Cases. Michael will show you a series of methods that can help you find the case that you need. There are pathways built into the legal research systems that you should exploit. We will beseech you not to simply sit down at your iPad and start researching. There are excellent pathways. We want to make you smart researchers.
- Video Ten covers Administrative Law and Legislative History. These are critical components in real life legal research that will be trace elements for those in the first year of law school, but once again, they will pop up. Many cases that you read will concern the interpretation of administrative rules and statutory language. Michael will give you a guided tour of what you need to know.
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A Note on Sex, Drugs and Rock ’n’ Roll 8 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Since you are holding the book right now, let’s talk about it. It is written as a survival manual for first year law students. Our goal is to tell you what you need to know to get through the first year of law school, specifically the first semester. Maybe you will learn enough to help you get that first legal job. This does not mean that we think you should limit yourself to survival skills. We think that you should take a full-blown course in legal research. The reality is that very few law schools have the luxury of offering a complete course in legal research to first year students. Usually legal research is combined with legal writing and analysis. Frequently it is crammed into a few weeks. You can feel as if you have been thrown into the deep end of the pool and are expected to start swimming through sheer terror. This ...had our way, each person who reads this book (and if we really had our way that would be zillions of people), will go on to take a course in Advanced Legal...
- First, this book is not intended as a comprehensive treatment of legal research. Other books fill that need. Our favorite is Kent Olson’s Principles of Legal Research. It is a carefully written treatment of legal research. This means that it is fairly long and detailed. You know, the kind of thing that is good for you.
- Since we are going to be informal, introductions are in order. Bob Berring is a professor of law at Berkeley Law School. He has been teaching courses in legal research and advanced legal research for, well, let’s just say a long time. He also teaches Contracts, a fact which will intrude into the text at several points. (Bob also teaches courses about China, but that may not come up.) Michael Levy is a Lecturer and the Associate Librarian at Berkeley Law School. He has helped thousands of first year law students weather the first semester of law school, and unlike Bob he learned his skills at a time when computers were the center of the research enterprise. Michael is far better at web surfing than Bob. He also has a very fine British accent—check out the videos and enjoy for yourself.
- With that behind us, we can proceed. If you understand legal information it will make everything else in law school easier. It is the one skill that you will learn in law school that will have immediate application in the workplace. As the world of legal information shifts from paper to digital materials and as the legal marketplace becomes more and more cost conscious, good research skills will be valuable. We want to make you a better, smarter researcher. Let’s see if we can do it.
- As you may have already noticed, we will adopt an informal style in presenting this information. We happen to think that legal research is a vitally interesting topic, but then we also believe that tapioca is delicious, so we know better than to trust our instincts. We decided that if we are going to give you the nuts and bolts of legal research, we will do it our own way. The book is filled with opinions and short cuts. Things that we think you are unlikely to have to deal with during your first year are missing altogether. We have tried to keep the tone light. Let’s face it, we are both smart mouths from birth. We have also tried to keep it short. Remember, there are lots of places to go for more details. Our motto has been that less is more. The videos take this all one step further. No matter how you learn best, we try to get at you. Remember, if this does not work, we will show up at your door.
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12. Research Strategy (Robert C. Berring) 10 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The best part of legal research is when you have your materials assembled and you use your brain to analyze them. Our goal was to help you get everything that you need. These videos, and these tips, along with detail provided in the Legal Research Manual should get you there. Good luck!
- In this video we will discuss research strategy. How do you approach a research problem? What can you do to make yourself more productive? As always we want you to be smart and to look smart.
- If the problem is in an area with which you are already familiar, you may be ok. If the person giving you the problem has supplied you with a few good research hooks, supplied some useful buzz words and given you context, all will be well. But what if you do not know the area, or where to start? Here is where the secondary sources discussed in the earlier video can help. A hornbook, a nutshell, a practice book, even a legal encyclopedia may be the place to start. But how to know which one to use? Here is a secret. Ask a reference librarian in the law library. These professionals spend all day every day working with sources.
- Research Strategy
- Some questions will be simple look-ups. You will be asked to find a case or a statute. That is one-off research. In this video we discuss when there is a more complicated problem.
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5. Overview of the Online Systems (Michael E. Levy) 16 results (showing 5 best matches)
- I will spend the most time discussing the three premium services but you will encounter all three levels of legal research services both in law school and in practice, and they all have a role to play in the legal research toolbox.
- It is good for students to be aware that the legal research market place is in some flux as these smaller players attempt to make inroads and have designs on your legal research dollars.
- The answer to the question is going to depend on the type of research you are doing, and of course the personal preferences you develop as you become more familiar with legal research.
- Before broadly discussing the content of the legal research services, I wanted to quickly touch on a question I hear from many neophyte legal researchers, which is “Will I use books if all of the legal information is online?”
- Then there are the legal research tools provided by courts, legislatures, administrative agencies, universities and non-profits. These are the economy level cars and tend to provide legal information for free.
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7. Citators and How They Can Save You (Michael E. Levy) 14 results (showing 5 best matches)
- There are also other ways to narrow your results, such as jurisdiction and date. Also, if you want to get sophisticated you can choose to limit the cases you see to just those that discuss the point of law in a particular headnote. More in depth legal research books and your legal research trainers will be able to give you more details about this.
- Citators are one of the lynchpins of legal research both academically and professionally. It is important to understand how they work and how you can effectively use them.
- A good deal of your introductory legal research will revolve around cases. Throughout this module we will use Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1, a Supreme Court case from 2005, as our example.
- The Shepard’s citator became such an integral part of the legal research universe that it spawned the verb “to shepardize.” It was eventually considered malpractice not to shepardize your case.
- This was the only game in town until the late 1990s, when after various mergers and consolidations in the legal research industry, West introduced KeyCite as a competitor to Shepard’s.
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Chapter 2. Cases 15 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Many lawyers trained in the past, (and that may include someone for whom you will work), were trained in the paper world of cases. Citation is built around the paper world of cases. So we wish to give the printed volumes their due. If you want a lot of detail go to one of the longer research books. What follows is our survival guide approach.
- Other than the bits and pieces of cases in your casebooks, most students who read this book will read cases on Westlaw and Lexis. At this point in time, Westlaw and Lexis offer full-text libraries that include every case that can be found in the paper reporters, and more. Some of you may share the love of the printed page that we have, and your law library will still be there to support you if you do. But the world of legal research has gone digital. If you keep the question of your case’s relevant jurisdiction in mind, and recall our three-part court diagram, you can pretty much figure out what you have in hand.
- There is some weirdness here. An opinion is officially published only if the issuing Court deems it so. Often a Court will write an opinion addressed to the parties, but will not designate the opinion for publication. But information vendors like Lexis and Westlaw can gain access to such opinions and may load them into their database. Thus you may read an opinion which is not published. There is even a printed West set called the Federal Appendix which contains printed unpublished opinions. Printed unpublished opinions! You just cannot tell us that legal research is not funny.
- ALWD Manual,
- Let’s say that one of your authors, let’s say Bob, is preparing to give a lecture on legal research. He is thinking about how he wants to do a really great job. He wants to make you able to walk into the library, or to sit down at your computer terminal, and know what you are doing and, even better, why you are doing it. Engrossed in thought, (and if you ever saw Bob thinking you would know just how apt the term “engrossed” really is), he is crossing the street carrying a double latte when he is suddenly struck by a Lamborghini Diablo driven by Bruce Springsteen. Bob is injured. His leg is broken. As a result of the injury, he can’t make it to the school to do his lecture. He loses his self-esteem. He loses sleep, weight, friends and hair. There might be
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Chapter 1. Things That You Will Encounter in Your First Semester 18 results (showing 5 best matches)
- has faced challengers in recent years. The Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) publishes a manual called the
- There are two full-text online legal information systems that will be central elements in your legal education. A third is trying desperately to join the game. Westlaw and Lexis are great shimmering cyberspace libraries of legal information. (Bloomberg Law has built an impressive system itself, but it has not yet deeply penetrated into most law schools.) Each system contains the full text of judicial opinions, statutes, administrative rules and more related legal information than any three dimensional library could ever hope to house. As a 21st Century law student you are a very lucky duck, because you will be given, yes given, access to these systems for free. In fact your law library is paying a large fee for your use of them, although even then the cost is deeply subsidized. Nor will you just be given access to these Rolls Royce systems in the law library. You will get home access, in-person training, a blizzard of manuals, crib sheets and even a 1-800 number to call for research...
- Go to Westlaw or Lexis (the two largest and most prominent online legal research systems) and look it up. Bloomberg Law can also perform this function for you, but that system has yet to take root in most law schools. We will stick to Westlaw and Lexis which are omnipresent in most of the discussion that follows. Or take a real walk on the wild side and go pull the relevant case reporter volume off the shelf in the law library. When you read the version of the case as used by lawyers you will not only find the full text of the decision but you will also find a variety of features designed to explain what is going on. (We will talk about these features in Chapter 2.) The publishers of judicial decisions for lawyers design them to make things as easy for the practitioner as possible. You will be told who the parties are, who won, and why. Since the casebook often is designed to confuse and amaze you, a research tool that is at least
- As you will learn in subsequent chapters, citing to your source with precision will be an important component of legal research. For many generations the Bible of legal citation has been
- b. Citation Manuals
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6. Hints for Online Case Searching (Michael E. Levy) 9 results (showing 5 best matches)
- How do you get that initial case? You often will start a research problem with a case from your casebook or legal research and writing assignment. If you are in the real world, the person who is giving you the research assignment might be the best source. Don’t be shy about asking for suggestions.
- In conclusion, when you are given a research problem you will wish to leap into it and start finding cases. However, frequently the worst place to start your research is looking for cases. Get some context and background first. Use these context providing sources to find terms of art as well as the lay of the legal research universe. Is there a treatise on your topic? Experience tells us that oftentimes the print versions of treatises are easier to use when you are getting started on a topic.
- In this segment I am going to discuss case finding. This is an important part of the legal research process as so much of legal education is focused on cases.
- When legal research was exclusively in books the world of available cases was defined by West’s National Reporter System. For every published case an editor prepared a headnote for each point of law decided in that case. Each headnote was then placed into a massive classification schema called the Topic and Key number system. If you knew the Topic and Key Number that covered your research issue, you had a powerful entry point into an enormous, organized and sophisticated case collection system.
- You can go further and change your jurisdiction to meet your specific research needs.
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- In this module I’m going give a brief overview of administrative and legislative history legal research. When you are beginning your legal research career you will most likely come across references to both administrative and legislative history materials but won’t conduct a lot of research in these areas. It is useful to know a little about these areas for when you become more advanced. As with our other videos we will be using some references from Gonzales v Raich.
- Being able to find legislative history documents can be a time consuming task, and is covered in most Advanced Legal Research classes and more in depth research texts. Some of the factors that come into play are the time period you are looking at, with documents from the mid-1990s onwards available from government’s sites such as Congress.gov.
- I mentioned earlier that there is another government publication called the Federal Register. It is published every business day and it is the place where most rules and regulations of general application first appear. There are many good legal research texts that will discuss the Federal Register and CFR in detail, including Principles of Legal Research, second edition by Kent Olson. Suffice it to say, that proposed and final rules first appear in the Federal Register. You are therefore able to track the history of proposed rules as they make their way towards becoming final rules. Once the rules are finalized and go into effect, they then appear in the CFR.
- In conclusion, the novice researcher needs to at least know that administrative and legislative history materials exist as you will see references in the cases that you read. You will spend more time in these areas when you embark on more in-depth research assignments later in your career.
- I first want to look at administrative law research. In the Raich case, the justices make a number of references to the CFR. The CFR stands for the Code of Federal Regulations. What is the CFR? Back in the 1930s with the massive increase in regulations emanating from the executive branch, it became increasingly difficult to keep track in any systematic way of these regulations. Thus was born the Code of Federal Regulations, and its accompanying publication the Federal Register. More about the Federal Register in a moment.
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- This is a number used for internal purposes by the Court. It can be a good hook in looking for the case, since it is unique. The docket number is often even more important in state cases where the materials are not nearly so well organized. In legal research you want to collect what I call research hooks that can help you identify information. The docket number is a good research hook. It is unique to the case. A fight over how to cite to cases is raging. Many folks want to wean legal research away from depending on citation to the paper copy. So far tradition has won out, but as Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan sang, the times are a changing. The docket number could end up being an important part if the system changes.
- This is bits and pieces of the case. In real life research a lawyer wants help reading an opinion. Though there are many variations available, we are going to show you the decision in Gonzales v. Raich, a Supreme Court of the United States opinion as it appears on WESTLAW. Like LEXIS and Bloomberg, WESTLAW offers you a rich menu of options to help you understand the opinion and to launch research from it. While you will find more stripped down versions of the decision in many fora, this is premium blend. This bears no resemblance to the type of case you will find in your casebooks. Nor are we looking at one of the low cost, or free versions that you might find online. This is the Rolls Royce version that you will use while you are in law school and quite likely when you work as a lawyer. We do not have time to show you the same case on LEXIS and Bloomberg but you will find parallel features. Check it out when we are done.
- Then come the WESTLAW headnotes. A headnote can be really helpful. Once again, an editor at WESTLAW has read the opinion. She has distilled each point of law that is decided in it. In Gonzales v. Raich. She pulls out each point of law and summarizes it for you. In this case she finds four legal holdings, so she has written four headnotes. Each is numbered. If you look in the text you will find the number of each headnote adjacent to the text from which it is drawn. You can click right to it. Here is Headnote One
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Chapter 5. Statutes, Short and Sweet 22 results (showing 5 best matches)
- During your first year of law school it will seem to you that lawyers spend all their time weighing one case against another, pondering which common law principle comes closest to solving the legal puzzle at hand. We decided we shouldn’t leave you with the impression that we were trying to fool you too. Here’s the truth: in practice, the majority of appellate decisions today involve the application or interpretation of statutes. When you venture into the real world it is much more likely that you will be researching a statute rather than a case. Statutes and other related legislative forms constitute the second category of primary legal sources. Checking to see if there is a relevant statute should become one of your first instincts when approaching a legal research issue. If you do find a controlling statute in an annotated code, you’ve struck legal research gold.
- The primary method for updating the statutes is the annotated code. Annotated codes provide regularly updated information on the validity and treatment of legislation. The paper version of the code will be kept current by the pocket parts or pamphlets we mentioned above. A common research mistake is to use only the pocket part and to stop. Specific state research guides can be consulted when you are confronted with a particular legal research problem, and you can always check with a librarian to find all the components necessary to update your code section. Generally speaking, you’ll need to check the pocket parts and the advance session law publications (which are issued during the current legislative session) as well.
- Make sure you ask your friendly law librarian questions when you hit a legal research road block. Law librarians want to help you. They are on your side. You would be foolish not to take advantage of these human resources.
- can be found in more comprehensive legal research texts.
- contribution to legal research is the inclusion of after each statutory section. These include references to relevant judicial or administrative decisions, administrative code sections, encyclopedias, attorney general opinions, legislative history materials, law reviews, and treatises. Additionally, they have good indexing, using words and phrases that are in common use instead of legal jargon to help you find what you seek.
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9. Legislation—What You Need to Know (Michael E. Levy) 6 results (showing 5 best matches)
- While the currency is very important, the unique editorial contribution to legal research is the inclusion of annotations after each statutory section. These include references to relevant judicial decisions, legislative history materials, treatises, legal encyclopedias and law reviews.
- During your first year of law school there is a strong emphasis on cases and pondering common law principles and you may not come across statutes with the exception maybe of civil procedure. In practice, many appellate decisions involve the application or interpretation of statutes. When you venture into the real world it is much more likely that you will be researching a statute rather than a case, so checking to see if there is a relevant statute should become one of your first instincts when approaching a legal research issue.
- Beyond the case annotations, you will find references to a slew of secondary sources that can be invaluable to your research. For example, on Lexis, the same code section, 21 USCS 801, has case annotations and also “Research References & Practice Aids” citations to a range of useful secondary sources that discuss section 801.
- The statutory codes, in particular the annotated codes at the federal and state levels, are incredibly important and useful research tools. The annotated codes drop you into a whole research universe of codes, cases, and secondary materials. It pays to spend some time with them and learn how they are organized and can work for you.
- While session laws in paper form will have subject indexes and tables indicating which laws have been modified or repealed by new legislation, they are not practical tools for most research, which is the reason for the development of statutory compilations or codes.
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11. Secondary Sources (Robert C. Berring) 7 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Legal encyclopedia can help you in your research too. There are two national legal encyclopedia, Corpus Juris Secundum and AmJur 2d.
- ...to persuade a court to look at an issue in a new way. If a professor has her article cited by a court, it is a happy day for her. If one is cited by the Supreme Court, it is champagne time. If you want to cite an article to support your argument it helps if the author is famous and respected or if the article appears in the flagship journal of a top tier law school. The competition to publish in the best journals is fierce. It is the pathway to tenure for law school professors. Not to say that you cannot use the work of a brand new professor in the journal of a fourth tier school, just understand that it might not have the same pop. Law review articles are easy to find on WESTLAW and LEXIS. Even if you do not want to cite one in making an argument, you can use them as research aids. The law reviews style calls for extensive footnotes. Authors will cite to hundreds of sources, tying every assertion to a citation. It makes reading a law review something like swimming in jello...
- When you embark on your study of law, you will encounter a range of materials that explain the law, criticize the law or which tell you how to interpret the law. These are called secondary sources or persuasive authority. Only the decisions of the courts and legislation (including Constitutions) are primary sources. We want to give you a heads up on what you will be seeing and how you should interpret it. There are a range to tools, some of which stay close to the primary source and try to summarize it, for example headnotes of cases. Some try to simplify things for you. Others try to change the law by criticizing it. For example, law reviews. You can array these sources on a research spectrum
- Each works like any other encyclopedia: there is an alphabetic arrangement of legal topics with a general summary of the law on that topic and many footnotes to cases. Encyclopedia are helpful if you need background on a topic. They are general, vanilla and they should not be cited. Think of them as explanatory tools. You can learn the jargon and the points of contention in an area. They will be general, but sometimes a good background explanation is just what you need.
- ...on how cases are published, the advent of the West National Reporter System made thousands of cases available for the first time. Many of these cases were duds. The elite members of the Bar decided that someone should read the cases, cull out the best ones, and formulate rules that made sense of the common law. The original Restatements covered most of first year subjects, with the ones on Contracts and Torts being very influential. The drafting process was a long one. An eminent scholar prepared a draft, it goes to a committee, which then sends it back yada yada yada. It took years to draft these puppies. The original plan was that each Restatement would serve as a starting point for future research. No one would have to go back to sort through the cases. The plan did not work. The Restatements became powerful persuasive authority, but no one was willing to view them as gospel. Researchers still read the earlier cases. There are now Restatements on many topics. The take-...
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Chapter 4. Using Citators 17 results (showing 5 best matches)
- , the first product to truly compete with Shepard’s. KeyCite is an online (only) citating system. KeyCite performs the verification functions of Shepard’s as well as supplying the same opportunities for expanding your research. Despite concerns by older researchers that it would have serious trouble getting accepted by the legal world the market took to KeyCite right away. Since 1999 there has been keen competition between the two systems, and that has been a good thing for legal research since both systems have improved tremendously since that time. It is also a bad thing for legal research as now there are two places to go, and they sometimes do not tell you the same information. While you are in law school you will have the opportunity to use each of them. Take advantage and use the comparative shopping technique.
- Citators are the lynchpin of legal research both academically and professionally. Excuse us if we’ve shocked you with such a serious statement, but citators deserve to be taken seriously—someday, they will save you from certain humiliation.
- Until 1997 the Shepard’s company occupied a unique place in legal research—there was no competition. Shepard’s citators remained a neutral source used by everyone. Courts required all attorneys to “shepardize.” You may wonder how the entire legal profession came to rely on the products of one publisher for such a vital function. Even more amazing, the acceptance was uncritical. Shepard’s citators simply WERE the world of citation.
- pointing you to potential research sources
- Citators are a beautiful thing. Not only will they protect you from making a fool of yourself in front of a judge, they will put you on the trail of every decision that impacts your case. Just as importantly they allow you to expand out your research by finding relevant secondary sources that will more often than not be the best place to start and give context to your specific research issues. While you are a law student you will be able to play with both citators. Figure out which one is better at scratching your research itch.
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Chapter 3. Case Finding 24 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Leave it to us to say that the best way to find cases is to start with a case. What good is that to you? Actually, it is a good tip. You often will start a research problem with a case from your casebook or from your moot court assignment. If you are in the real world, the person who is giving you the research assignment might be the best source for you. There may be materials that come along with the research problem such as filings, briefs or previous work product that give you relevant cases. The assigning attorney just might say, “Here are a few good cases.” If she doesn’t, ask if she has suggestions. One of the realities of legal research is that a knowledgeable human being can save you time.
- When you arrive at law school you will be operating in a new world. New terms will abound and lots of your classmates will appear to be much smarter than you are. You will want to prove yourself. You will be anxious. When you are given a research problem you will wish to leap into it. Often you will think that the answer to your research task will be to find a case. Filled with nervous energy you will want to plunge into legal research databases to find a case. If we had a dime for every first year law student who has asked us a question like, “I tried to find out about the First Amendment as is applies to high school students, where can I find a case?” We would not be rich but we would certainly have a lot dimes.
- The truly excellent method of case finding is to start with a good case in hand. Once you have one good case you can leverage it into a lot of information. You can take the citation to that case to almost any legal tool (such as Lexis and Westlaw) and you will be plugged into a research system. Most of the research systems are organized around cases. Having one good case in hand will give you the “hook” that you need to tap into them.
- Some who teach legal research don’t like the algorithmic searching because it feels sloppy, whereas traditional terms and connectors searches call for precise thought and careful planning. Algorithmic searching seems less rigorous and requires the user to trust the underlying search algorithm which is opaque to the searcher. However, the train has already left the station and while terms and connectors searching still has its place in the sophisticated users toolbox, most users are going to put their trust in the smart computer scientists and the ever adapting algorithms.
- 3. For those of you who want to get really sophisticated, you can search for cases in a specific practice area. Rather than limiting by jurisdiction (tip #2) you can choose to limit to cases in a particular topic. Of course, this requires you to know a little about legal issues presented in the research problem and to choose the appropriate practice area. This just might not be possible, especially as a newly minted 1L. In that case, you can go back to tip #2.
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8. The Bluebook and You (Patricia P. Hurley) 10 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The Bluebook is published by The Harvard Law Review and in 2015, they came out with the 20th edition. There are other citation manuals but this is the one most practitioners and courts utilize. Unless you hear differently from your supervising attorney, or judge, or perhaps even the local court rules, you’ll use the Bluebook as your citation manual.
- Hi, I am Trish Hurley. I've been teaching Legal Research and Writing at Berkeley Law for seventeen years, and in that time, I've helped many law students master citation style.
- You need to cite after every legal proposition or rule, when directly quoting a legal authority, when referring to a holding, reasoning or facts from a case, and when you rely upon a particular authority to come to a legal conclusion.
- 3) Third: you need to master Bluebook form because it builds credibility. If your citations look correct, your Reader will have more trust that your research and reasoning is similarly correct.
- Much of the Bluebook is for the use of academics. The focus for most research is on the practitioners’ world of Bluebook, which is more circumscribed and narrow.
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Our Thanks 2 results
- Michael wants to thank his colleagues Kathleen Vanden Heuvel, Director, Berkeley Law Library and Marci Hoffman, Associate Director, Berkeley Law Library for their always sage advice and ongoing commitment to the enterprise of legal research. A final thanks to Michelle Quinn, Nico Quinn and Natalia Levy for keeping it all in perspective.
- We want to thank Elizabeth Edinger, Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Law Library at Catholic University, co-author of the first edition of this text. Her influence remains. We would also like to thank Alex Williamson (‘18) of the Berkeley Law School for her help in keeping the text in check and the screen grabs clear. Roxanne Livingston helped preparing the manuscript. Many useful suggestions from instructors of legal research and writing came to us via a survey conducted by West Academic, they helped us in shaping this book and the accompanying videos. As always, Bob thanks Leslie Berring for her help and inspiration.
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- One of things I love about opinions like this is that the Court is at a turning point. It could go either way. The lawyers make the best arguments possible, then we wait. No one was sure how this case would come out. The Wickard line of cases and the Controlled Substances Act or Lopez and Morrison and the Compassionate Use Act. Same Constitution, same statutes, same lines of authority. You have to love legal research.
- At this point I am going to urge you to go read the case. I would not ask if it was not important. You will learn a lot about the history of drug laws in the United States and the extent of the reach of the Commerce Clause. Don’t worry that you cannot understand all of it. But reading it will help you understand what follows. Besides it is good for your head to sit down and read an opinion from start to finish. It is too easy to carry out legal research, even to make it though the first year of law school reading only bits and pieces of opinions. There is value in reading one all the way through. Go ahead, I will wait right here.
- Even though Justice Scalia agrees with the Court’s outcome, he does not want to be seen as agreeing with its reasoning. A great legal thinker once said, a good decision badly explained is not as valuable as a bad decision that is well reasoned. I would not go that far, but I see the point.
- In those cases the Supreme Court said that the expansion of the Interstate Commerce Clause had gone too far. The Court stated that there really had to be interstate commerce involved in the activity for the federal government to be allowed to regulate it. Since Raich could claim that she grew her pot on her own land, for her own use, and that that use was for medical reasons and was legal in CA, she had nothing to do with interstate commerce. To enforce a federal rule against her would go too far.
- This is a delicious collision of legal rules. Justice Stevens chooses to follow the Wickard line of reasoning. But he does not just say that. He provides a history of the regulation of marijuana, describes how and why the Controlled Substances Act was passed, sketches out the California Compassionate Use Act and he carefully parses through the problem of Lopez and Morrison as precedents. He even spars with Justice O Connor who authored the dissent. A careful examination of his reasoning, the cases that he cites, the authorities that he chooses, all point to him making the most powerful possible case for his conclusion.
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2. How Cases Came to be Published (Robert C. Berring) 7 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Now every law library could have a complete set of all the cases in its region, even within the whole of the United States. This standard, comprehensive printing of cases changed the law. With so many cases available so easily, legal research changed. Grant Gilmore, one of the great legal writers of the 20th century blames the National Reporter System for bringing down the myth of the overarching rationality of the Common Law. How could one now contend that a judge just revealed a part of a great pre-existing framework of the common law? There were now too many moronic decisions available.
- At a time when you can find the wisdom of the world, or the latest trending gossip, on your smart phone, why would we want to tell you about the story of how cases started out being published in paper? Are we nuts? Well, perhaps, but there is more to it than that. The legal research system is built around paper. Despite the dominance of LEXIS and WESTLAW in the life of the 21st Century law student, the roots of the system lie in the days of books. The official system of citation is STILL built on the printed copy of material. In law school you will buy casebooks in paper form. Knowing the roots of the process will help you deal with the material. It is also important to recognize that senior legal types, lawyers and judges, come from a world of paper. They will be the people who hire you. You want to be able to speak their language.
- It all changed in the last decades of the 20th Century. LEXIS and WESTLAW digitized cases, invented search algorithms and easy to use front ends and sent legions of trainers into law schools. Trust me, the change was not easy. Getting lawyers and judges to trust WESTLAW and LEXIS took years. The information revolution that swept up all of our culture aided in the process. By the turn of the century, almost everyone was using WESTLAW and LEXIS. Since the vendors provided free 24/7 access to law students, why not? You can sit home in your pajamas and do research on your laptop or you can go to the library and try to find a book. You make the call.
- That’s Lord Coke, his compiled reports were hugely influential in England. The influence was based on HIS reputation. No one thought he was providing just the text of judicial opinions. It was the law summarized by a brilliant judge. His intellect was the authority. The published cases were not big money-makers, they were more a matter of prestige or building a reputation. Or building a legal system.
- I have a pet peeve about the official publication of legal information. The market is not driving the publisher to do it well, cheaply or quickly. Without competition as an incentive things can slow down. One has to buy it if it is official. In the realm of judicial reports, the point is easily made. As of the end of 2016, the U.S. Reports, the official version of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States is more than four years behind in publishing its volumes. Imagine having to wait four years to see an important new decision?
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Copyright Page 1 result
- Greetings! My name is Lindsay Sturges Saffouri and I am a professor of research, writing and advocacy at UC Berkeley School of Law. In the next ten minutes or so, I will give a basic overview of the United States court structure. For some of you this is review, but for most of you this information is brand new. Many, many law students begin law school with very little knowledge of how the U.S. Courts are structured, and that’s okay. The concepts that I will review will be reiterated throughout law school, especially during the first year.
- There are two basic kinds of legal disputes in the United States: civil and criminal. Civil matters are private disputes, as opposed to criminal matters where the government asserts criminal charges.
- When two parties have a legal dispute, they start at the bottom of the court structure, in the district court. This example again uses the Northern District of California.
- In addition: there must be an actual case or controversy before the court. The court is not empowered to answer hypothetical legal questions. And the plaintiff must have standing to sue. The case cannot go forward with the wrong plaintiff.
- This is a key feature of our legal system because it promotes two practical goals: first, it promotes fairness, so that litigants with similar disputes face similar outcomes. Second, it promotes predictability, so that litigants can modify their behavior based on the outcome they will likely face.
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- Publication Date: April 1st, 2017
- ISBN: 9781683284659
- Subject: Legal Research
- Series: Career Guides
- Type: Academic/Prof. Development
This text and the accompanying videos provide a basic introduction to the mysteries of legal research, giving the new legal researcher the tools necessary for success. The title Legal Research Survival Manual is chosen with care. The work does not provide comprehensive coverage of legal materials, and is not designed to replace traditional legal texts. Instead, it is an easy-to-read introduction for students at the very start of their career. It is designed to be an approachable resource to launch them into the first year of law school or as a legal research refresher for those starting their first jobs or internships. The videos can be watched in conjunction with the book or separately.
Video topics include:
- Structure of US Court System
- How Cases Came to be Published
- The Parts of a Judicial Opinion
- How to Read a Judicial Opinion
- Overview of the Online Systems
- Hints for Online Case Searching
- Citators and How They Can Save You
- Bluebook Citation and You
- Legislation—What You Need to Know
- Administrative Law and Legislative History
- Secondary Sources
- Research Strategy