Research Guides

TMLL Research Guide - Chapter 8


THE LEGAL RESEARCH PROCESS: STATE LAW SOURCES


  • Analyze the facts and formulate a preliminary statement of issues.
  • Develop a system for organizing research notes & putting cites in Bluebook  form.
  • Familiarize yourself with the court structure of the jurisdiction.
    • Bluebook Table T1
  • Do background research to get an overview of the subject area, identify issues and terms, and get clues to primary sources.
    • Hornbooks [Reading Room across from library desk]
    • Law review articles [print - compact shelving on Level 1; Lexis; Westlaw; HeinOnline]
    • American Law Reports (ALR) [print on Level 2; Westlaw]
    • Seek expert advice
  • Search for legal authority (relevant statutes & cases) using appropriate methods of updating.
    • Annotated codes [print on Level 3 (Md. Code is on Level 2); Lexis; Westlaw]
    • West digests [Level 3 (Md. Digest is on Level 2)
    • full text case databases (Westlaw; Lexis; Internet sites)
    • American Law Reports (ALR) [print on Level 2; Lexis; Westlaw]
    • BCite [Bloomberg Law]
    • Shepard’s [Lexis]
    • KeyCite [Westlaw]
  • Read and evaluate primary authorities.
    • Reporters [print on Level 3 (Md. reporters on Level 2); Westlaw; Lexis; Internet sites]
  • Make sure cases are still good law.
    • BCite [Bloomberg Law]
    • Shepard’s [Lexis]
    • KeyCite [Westlaw]
  • Refine analysis & formulate conclusion.
    • Treatises [Level 2; check the library's online catalog]
    • Law review articles
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