Research Guides

General Tips for Researching Court Rules, Forms, and Practice Materials

  • A jurisdiction (i.e., the federal government or each state) may have rules of civil procedure, criminal procedure, appellate procedure, and evidence, among others. There may also be procedural law that appears in the substantive statutes of the jurisdiction, such as statutes of limitations and jurisdictional and venue provisions.
  • Usually the jurisdiction's rules are published as part of its code, and contain annotations to interpretive cases, which must be researched to determine how a rule has been applied. Annotated rules are available both in print and on Lexis and Westlaw. Many court Internet sites also include rules.
  • Forms are often included in the rules volumes. More extensive sources of forms are listed in the federal, Maryland, and state pages in this section of the Summer Strategies Guide. Always use forms with caution to make sure that they are not outdated or do not precisely fit your situation.
  • There are many treatises that provide commentary on procedural rules as well as citations to interpretive cases. Many frequently used treatises are listed in the federal, Maryland, and state pages in this section of the Summer Strategies Guide.

A list of commonly used general-jurisdiction form books and practice guides appears in the TMLL Guide to Legal Research "Practice Materials and Form Books."


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