Case Law - Caroline Young - Documents Association of New Jersey

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Legal Research: New Jersey Case
Law
Legal Reference in the Digital Age
Documents Association of New Jersey
(DANJ)
Fall Conference, 2010
Caroline Young, J.D.,
M.L.I.S.
Rutgers Law LibraryNewark
1
What is Case Law?
Cases are Reports
of judicial decisions
Primary authority
Published cases are
precedential: courts
are bound to follow
earlier decisions
2
Where can I find New Jersey
cases?
LexisNexis ($$$)*-all
Westlaw ($$$)*-all
LoisLaw (www.loislaw.com) ($$)-1923-present
VersusLaw (www.versuslaw.com) ($)-1948present (partial 1930-1948)
Rutgers -Camden Law Library web site: free
archive 1995-present
Google Scholar Legal-1950-present
*Cost may be free if accessing through a library
3
Where can I find New Jersey
cases for FREE?
Best Bets
NEW JERSEY COURTS SEARCH PAGE
(RUTGERS-CAMDEN Law Library)
Google Scholar Legal
Opinions on the Judiciary web site
Libraries
4
NEW JERSEY COURTS SEARCH PAGE
(RUTGERS-CAMDEN Law Library)
http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/search.shtml
Supreme Court from March 1994 forward
Appellate Division and Tax Court from
Sept. 1995 forward
unpublished Appellate Division opinions
from Sept.20, 2005 forward.
5
What’s the Difference between a Published
Case and an Unpublished Case?!
A published case is a case that is published in
the official reporter and is precedential
All NJ Supreme Court decisions are published
Some Appellate Division decisions are published
Only a small percentage of Trial Court opinions
submitted for publication are approved
6
Why Does it Matter if a Case is
Published?
Unpublished opinions are not
considered precedent in New Jersey
Note: Under the Federal Rules of
Appellate Procedure unpublished
decisions issued after 1/1/2007 can
be cited as persuasive authority
7
NEW JERSEY COURTS SEARCH PAGE (RUTGERSCAMDEN Law Library)
http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/search.shtml
Enter keywords:
“foreclosure and
“predatory
lending
practices””
Enter Citation or
Docket Number
8
5 Results
9
Google Scholar Legal
*New Jersey case law 1950 forward
1.Select
Scholar in the
drop-down
menu under
“more”
2. Select “Legal
Opinions and
Journals”
OR go straight to
“Advanced
Search”
10
Advanced Google Scholar Legal
Go to Advanced
Scholar search:
http://scholar.google.co
m/advanced_scholar_se
arch?
Under “Legal opinions
and journals”, select
“Search only court
opinions from the
following states:” and
choose New Jersey
11
Search Results: Google Scholar
12
Published vs. Unpublished
Note this search is limited to New Jersey and we
only got 2 hits
we got 5 on the Rutgers-Camden Law Library
site
Does anyone know why?
Google Scholar only has published cases
Rutgers Law Library-Camden has published
cases and unpublished cases since 2005
13
Modern NJ State Court Reports
2 categories of reporters- official and unofficial
New Jersey Reporters
– Official
New Jersey Reports (N.J.) (Supreme Court decisions)(1948-)
New Jersey Superior Court Reports (N.J. Super.) (Appellate
Division and trial court decisions)(1948-)
New Jersey Tax Court Reports (N.J. Tax)(1979-)
– Unofficial
Atlantic Reporter – contains the cases found in N.J. and N.J.
Super. (and other states: CT, DE, DC, MA, MD, NH, PA, RI,
and VT) (1885-)
14
New Jersey Earlier Court Reports
New Jersey Law Reports (N.J.L.) (17891948
New Jersey Equity Reports (N.J. Eq.)
(1830-1948)
New Jersey Miscellaneous Reports (N.J.
Misc.) (1923-1949)
– Includes cases not found in the two official
series
Many “nominative” reports
15
Basic Citation Format
“v.” for versus
Reporter
volume no.
First page of
case
Brenman v. Demello, 191 N.J. 18 (2007)
First
party
Second
party
Reporter
Abbreviation
(N.J.
Reports)
Date of decision
(no court is listed
because it is clear
from reporter
name
16
Sample Case from Google Scholar
Legal
Parallel citations
Star Pagination
17
N.J. Court System/Structure
Seven million new cases are filed in New Jersey's statelevel courts annually
(http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/process.htm)
New Jersey Supreme Court (New Jersey Reports)
Superior Court (trial court) (New Jersey Superior Court
Reports) (Appellate Division and trial court decisions)
– Appellate Division (intermediate level court of appeal)
– Trial Court (right to one (1) appeal)
– Tax Court (New Jersey Tax Court Reports)
NJ Courts webpage: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/
18
Opinions on the Judiciary web
site: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/
Generally, recent
opinions published in
the last 10 days,
published/unpublished
19
Judicial Website
Links to
PDFs of
Opinions
Note:
These are
Slip
opinions
20
Libraries
New Jersey State Library:
http://www.njstatelib.org/Research_Guides/Law/Historica
l_New_Jersey_Laws.php#reporters
Rutgers Law Library-Newark: http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/
Any Public Library (or library YOU have
access to) with Westlaw Campus or
LexisNexis Academic
21
New Jersey State Library:
http://www.njstatelib.org/Research_Guides/Law/Historical_
New_Jersey_Laws.php#reporters
links to (mainly older)
volumes of N.J.Law
Reports, N.J. Equity
Reports, and Atlantic
Reporter available
through Google
Books
22
Rutgers Law Library-Newark: http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/
1. Click here for
New Jersey Law
2. Go to the NJ
Internet Law Guide
23
Databases at Libraries
Westlaw Campus (Rutgers University
Libraries)
– Federal and state cases, statutes, and regs.
– ALR case-finding system
– KeyCite citator system
– American Jurisprudence 2d (legal
encyclopedia)
– Law reviews
LexisNexis Academic
24
Westlaw Campus
Boolean Search
capabilities
Lots of Databases
25
What Free Sites Don’t Have
1. Headnotes
are summaries
of all points of
law discussed
in an opinion
2. Case History-Is
this case still
good law?
•Westlaw: KeyCite
•Lexis: Shepard’s
26
Case History on Westlaw
27
NJ ORAL ARGUMENTS
Supreme Court Arguments
http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/webcast/index.htm
Live webcast
thirty-day archive of arguments in streaming video.
includes the opinions under appeal
Supreme Court of N.J. Oral Arguments Archive (at
Rutgers-Newark Law Library)
http://njlegallib.rutgers.edu/supct/
Archive of arguments older than thirty days, starting
January 2005.
includes the opinions under appeal.
28
Thank You!
Questions?
Caroline Young
[email protected]
29
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