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Chapter 1 Review Questions

Lia Claxton
Introduction to Legal Writing
Chapter 1 Review Questions
1. What is a citation?
A citation, also known as a cite provides information about a legal source that directs you to
the volume and page that the legal source appears in.
2. How do official reporters and unofficial reporters differ?
Official reporters are sanctioned by the court to generate the opinions contained within its
pages whereas unofficial reporters are not. However, official reporters are usually less useful
than their unofficial counterparts.
3. What is the National Reporter System? List the regional reporters in that system.
The National Reporter System is a reporter system that covers the decisions of all the states.
It contains seven regional reporters that correspond to geographic area. They are:
Northeastern Reporter
Atlantic Reporter
Southeastern Reporter
Southern Reporter
Northwestern Reporter
Southwestern Reporter
Pacific Reporter
4. What is an annotation?
An annotation provides a comprehensive analysis of a significant legal issue raised in its
corresponding decisions, along with an extensive review of how the issue is treated in various
5. Describe the difference between slip laws, session laws and codes.
Slip laws are the initial format in which a signed statute is presented, while session laws
compile these slip laws into a subsequent format. Codes are a compilation of volumes that
groups statutes by subject matter.
6. Describe the types of legal authority.
There are four types of legal authority, primary authority, mandatory authority, persuasive
authority and secondary authority. Primary authority is the original text of the sources of law,
including constitutions, court opinions, statutes and administrative rules and regulations.
Primary authority can be mandatory or persuasive. Mandatory authority is binding upon the
court considering the issue whilst persuasive authority is all non mandatory primary
authority. On the other hand, secondary authority analyzes the law.
7. Identify the hierarchy of law.
The hierarchy of law is divided into primary and secondary sources. Primary sources of law
generally include constitutions, statutes, cases court rules and administrative rules and
regulations. Primary sources are the law itself. On the other hand, secondary sources provide
analytic insights and useful explanations of primary sources. These include legal
encyclopedias, restatements, treatises and texts, law reviews and periodicals etc.
8. Where can the text of administrative regulations be found?
The text of administrative regulations can be found within primary legal source material.
9. What is a legal encyclopedia? What is a treatise?
A legal encyclopedia is a multi volume collection that provides in depth coverage of every
area of the law. On the other hand, a treatise is a scholarly study of one area of the law.
10. Name two Internet sources where recent court decisions are located.
Two internet sources where recent course studies are located are:
www.supremecourtus.gov and www.uscourts.gov.