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Legal Research

Page history last edited by abogado 3 years, 7 months ago



Legal Research




In our Paralegal Classes, you will be asked to "discuss" law cases. You do not have to do a formal brief, but you should be aware of the various elements of a "Case Brief, and then, in a simple fashion, when discussing the case, include the vital elements of the case (that would be whichever parts of a normal Case Brief which are important to understand the case). You do not have to do a "formal brief" of every case you read. Here is how to "brief a law case". (from Prof. Edward C. Martin). Also read Legal Notes - click here and U.S. Court System - click here., and EZLegal Research 

Law Search Engines: the LawEngine -Legal Search Engines - Lawyer Express - Law on the Web - Legal Research Using the Internet - Findlaw - California Cases - Legal Research on the Internet - California Legal Research - - - -

Case citations - federal - california - 

Plagiarism - Avoiding How not to - Paraphrasing - 

Legal Search of Cases:

Google Scholar (Click Here) -  Type in the name of the case. Click on the bubble below the search line, on "legal opinions". . Also there is an "adanced search" on the right side and you can enter "keywords" to help you find your case or legal topic. 

Findlaw:  - http://findlaw.com. Type in some of the simple terms, name of the case, or "operative legal language", that is the key words of the case. these could be key legal terms, like "probable cause" , "premise liability" as examples. the more general you are the wider arrangement, both valid, and invalid you will get. The more specific, the more specific the results.

Court Info - California Cases - click here. (no username or password is necessary). The California Courts now has an "Official Reports" page, and it uses Lexis-Nexis. One downside is that in using natural language it just pulls up one case at a time, and not a list of related or series of cases which have the same "search terms" found. This makes it a less powerful tool. The idea is to promote a full version of Lexis-Nexis to the user.  

here is information on the court reporters: see the particular states in the particular reporters, eg. CT is Connecticut, and it is in the Atlantic Reporter eg. of case 245 A. 2d 45 (CT is a Connecticut case, and located in the Atlantic Reporter) -

REGIONAL REPORTERS & DIGESTS (state appellate courts)

Atlantic Reporter "A./A.2d" (REF KF135 .A7A7)
Atlantic Digest (REF KF135 .A7W4) --discontinued 1990

North Eastern Reporter "N.E./N.E.2d" (REF KF135 .N6N12)
North Eastern Digest (REF KF135 .N6N2) --discontinued 1970

North Western Reporter "N.W./N.W.2d" (REF KF135 .N7N12)
North Western Digest (REF KF135 .N72W4)

Pacific Reporter "P./P.2d" (REF KF135 .P2P2)
Pacific Digest (REF KF135 .P21W424) --discontinued 1990

South Eastern Reporter "S.E./S.E.2d" (REF KF135 .S6S12)
South Eastern Digest (REF KF135 .S6S235) --discontinued 1990

South Western Reporter "S.W./S.W.2d" (REF KF135 .S7S12)

Southern Reporter "S./S.2d" (REF KF135 .S8S12)
Southern Digest (REF KF135 .S8S2) --discontinued 1987

California appellate courts only:
California Reporter "Cal. Rptr./Cal. Rptr.2d" (REF KFC41 .W4) 
New York appellate courts only:
New York Supplement "N.Y.S./N.Y.S.2d" (REF KFN5040 .N5N52)

updated: 6/13/19

Prof J.



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