12 Dec Where Can I Find Case Laws
The main way to update codes, cases, and regulations is to use an online service like KeyCite by West or Shepard`s Citations by Lexis/Nexis. Print versions of Shepard`s are available in many law libraries. These types of legal research resources will help you understand the history before and after cases and laws. A good place to start is your public law library`s research mini-course, offered by the Council of California County Law Librarians. This is an online research mini-guide to help you learn the legal research process and tell you where to start and what resources to consult when researching your legal problem. In addition, many law schools have online research guides that include links and suggestions for your legal research. The Cases and Codes section of FindLaw contains resources and links to state and federal laws. This includes resources related to constitutions, articles, business, etc. Search for case summaries or select a jurisdiction to search for applicable law. Once you have completed and updated your legal research, you will need to include it in your written documents that you file with the court. You need to explain what your legal authority is, where it is and how it supports your case.
You may also need to explain why a particular legal authority does not apply to the particular circumstances of your case. The law changes quickly and often. You can find a perfect case and find that it was then canceled or reversed. The law you are relying on may have been amended or repealed. Find a way to update your research before telling a court that the law you`re relying on is still a “good” (valid) law. It is usually quite difficult to determine what “the law” is for a particular legal issue. Often, you have to compare many different cases with the specific facts of your case to find out which law really applies to your case. Jurisprudence, also known as precedent or common law, is the set of previous judicial decisions that guide judges in deciding the issues before them. Depending on the relationship between the deciding court and the previous one, case law may be binding or simply convincing.
For example, a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth District is binding on all federal district courts in the Fifth District, but a California court (whether a federal court or a state court) is not strictly bound to follow the previous decision of the Fifth District. Similarly, a decision of one New York district court is not binding on another district court, but the reasoning of the original court could help the second court make its decision. Each state has its own judicial system, which includes courts of first instance and appeal. The highest court in each state is often referred to as the “Supreme Court,” although there are some exceptions to this rule, for example, the New York Court of Appeals or the Maryland Court of Appeals. State courts typically hear cases involving state constitutional cases, state laws, and regulations, although state courts can usually hear cases with federal laws as well. States also generally have courts that deal with only a certain subset of legal issues, such as family law and inheritance. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. Courts below the federal level include the U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S.
District Courts, U.S. Court of Claims, U.S. Court of International Trade, and U.S. bankruptcy courts. Federal courts hear cases involving matters related to the U.S. Constitution, other federal laws and regulations, and certain cases involving parties from different states or countries and numerous disputes. Please also see the library`s Virginia Legal Materials Research Guide for information on Virginia`s free resources. There are many up-to-date online legal research guides, many of which have been written by librarians at universities and public law libraries. In addition to the George Mason Law Library`s research guides, other recommended sources for research guides include: You can also check out previous appellate briefs filed in California courts for guidance on how to use your research to support your legal arguments. Four law libraries in California serve as repositories for appeals. Contact libraries for information about their briefings, including years covered and format.
Some county law libraries in the state may subscribe to online services that allow you to conduct your legal research for free or for a small KeyCite or Shepardize printing fee. Check with your library to access these services. KeyCite and Shepard`s providers allow researchers to pay online to update their research references. Check Westlaw or Lexis/Nexis. For more primary sources and articles on legal practice, see our Professional Reference Documents section. U.S. Supreme Court decisions are binding on all federal and state courts. Legal research can be complicated and time-consuming, but it is very important if you want to represent yourself. There are many resources in your county law library, public library, and internet to help you do your research.
And you can ask for help from the Ask a Law Librarian for help.saclaw.org/law-101/researching-law-topic/ You also need to make sure you properly cite your legal authority. California Court Rule 1,200 states that all documents filed with the court must be in the style defined by the California Style Manual or The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation when selecting documents filed by the parties. To do this, you can use these resources: There`s no one way to search, but here are some common practices to help you search effectively and efficiently: The services listed below offer a variety of plans that help improve the search for primary legal documents, although they have fewer search features than premium legal databases. Also, although these products offer Citators, the update features are not the same as Shepards, Keycite, or BCite. Each library`s website provides information on location, hours of operation, and phone numbers: these sources limit web searches to legal resources. Please refer to the Library`s International Law Research Guide under “Other Online Resources” for additional resources. For state-level codes and regulations, visit the FindLaw.com Codes section. A law librarian can help you understand how to use these guides to update your research. In addition, some county law libraries have access to online services that allow you to update your agencies. There are also online tutorials that discuss it in detail.
For an example, see the Sacramento County Public Law Library`s Guide to Shepardizing California Cases and Statutes. Check out a research guide on using Shepard`s Online.