Chapters 1 & 2
Law- The enforceable rules that govern individual and group conduct in a society
Legal research-Finding the law that applies to the problem
Legal analysis-Determining how it applies to the problem
Types of law (pg.4-6)
Enacted-Body of law adopted by the peopleconstitutions, statutes, admin/regulations
Common-Law created by the courts in absence of enacted law
Case-Broader than common. everything + laws created from interpretation or application of enacted
Court Systems (pg.7-8)
Over persons by geographic area-Personal jurisdiction
Over subject matter by types of cases-Subject matter jurisdiction
More than one court has authority to deal with the same matter-Concurrent jurisdiction
Federal Courts (pg.8-9)
Trial court= US District Court
75k+, US Const, Fed laws, treaties, etc.
Court of Appeals= Circuit Courts-13
Only for review, no new trials
The Supreme Court= The last stop
A party who disagrees with a COA ruling must request a petition for a writ of certiorari
Stare decisis- Requires a court to follow a previous decision of that court or a higher court when the decision involves issues and facts similar. (pg.11)
Types of secondary authority:
Annotations-Notes and comments on the law. ALR. Provides a list of cases from other jurisdictions.
Legal Dictionaries- Black's Law. Defines legal terms & maybe cite
Law Reviews Published by law schools|specific topics|references
Restatements of the law
Primary and Secondary as Persuasive (pg. 18)
IRAC Analysis (pg.30)
Issue- Identify the issue(s) raised by the facts
Rule-Identify the law the governs the issue
Analysis/App-Determine how it applies
Conclusion-Summarize the results
Chapters 3 & 4
Statutory law- Laws passed by Congress or state legis. Local level= Ordinances.
Anatomy of a statute (pg.62-63)
Numbers-Different # for every legis authority
Short Title- The name by which it's known. i.e "Affordable care act"
Purpose Clause- Purpose of the legis body when drafting. Shows intent.
Scope-Some sections define what is and isn't covered by statute
Definitions-Helps determine if legis gave specific meaning to terms
Annotations/Reference- History of section, dates of ammend,
USCA (pg. 65)
-200 Volumes + Gen Index
-Gen Index- Softbound set|updated annually| Descriptive words/phrases, alphabetically with headings and subheadings
-Pocket parts are cumulative-Volume is updated from the date of its publication.
-Up to date = "This Volume Contains No Pocket Part"
-Pocket parts published once a year
Cannons of Construction (pg.91)
Rules and guidelines the courts use when interpreting statutes
Expressio Unius- "The expression on one excludes all others" exclusion of everything not covered. A dwelling...not a dwelling
Ejusdem Generis- Other things of the same class. Bicycles, tricycles...
Pari Materia-Same subj matter. Gender preference
Case Law (pg. 105)
Why analyze court opinions?
-To learn the case law|Interpret con or stat law| Understand litigation process| To gain insight into legal analysis|Develop legal writing skills
Elements of Court Opinions (pg. 106)
Caption- Names of partie|Appellee-winner of the trial court level|Appellant-Loser who filed the appeal
Syllabus- A brief summary of the opinion. Editorial by West.
Headnotes Summaries of the points of law discussed in the case
Court Opinion Research (pg. 113)
Slip Opinions- Published by the court|Concurring and dissent| That's it!
Reporter- Only published when there are enough adv sheets to fill a vol
-U.S Reports is the official reporter for SCOTUS. Indexed but no headnotes of key #'s
-Supreme Court Reporter- Unofficial, published by West| Since 1882| Faster| Adv sheets published twice a month
Case Brief (pg. 123)
Chapters 5 & 6
Legal Encyclopedias- No in-depth coverage, very broad
CJS is larger than Am. Jur 2nd. Begin with Gen Index.
Treatises- Use this when you need more than a general summary of the law from a encyc. Valuable in locating cases
American Law Reports (pg.153)
ALR (First Series)- 1919-1948 has 175 Vol
ALR.2d-1948-1965 has 100 Vol
ALR.3d-1965-1969 state cases '65-'80 has 100 vol
ALR.4th State '80-'91-100 vol
ALR 5th State '91-Jun 2005- 125 vol
ALR.6th State '05-Present
Key Number- West (pg. 163)
Legal Periodicals (pg. 193)
Law Reviews- Usually include: Articles, notes + comments. recent developements, book reviews
Restatements of the law- American Law Institute 1923. Greater recognition than treatises.
Computers (pg. 229)
Boolean searches- Searches using key words or terms from the issue
Natural language stating the query using plain English
& (and) - All documents with BOTH terms= Lots and lots of docs
space (or) - either term
/s - Both terms within same sentence
/p - Both terms in same paragraph
/n - Where n = the number, terms appear within that many words