Power Point Ch. 4

Chapter Four
Finding the Law: Legal Research
Primary Sources
Constitutions
 Statutes
 Case Law
 Ordinances
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Secondary Sources
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Dictionaries
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Encyclopedias
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Form Books
Introduction to Law, 4th Edition
Hames and Ekern
Periodicals
 Treatises
 Digests
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Facts and Issues
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A factual situation must exist before a legal
issue can be identified
The facts come first
The facts help define the legal issue
The legal issue is ultimately decided by the
court ( if the case does not settle)
Law is applied to the facts
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© 2010 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
Factual Categories
Relevant Facts
Explanatory Facts
Unnecessary Facts
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© 2010 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
How to Sort the Facts
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A fact is relevant if the fact pattern changes
substantially when the fact is removed or
changed
A fact is explanatory if it simply helps the
researcher what actually happened
A fact is unnecessary if when removed it does
not alter the fact pattern
Introduction to Law, 4th Edition
Hames and Ekern
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© 2010 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
What is Case Law?
An opinion is a reported case written
by a judge.
 Once a dispute has been presented to
the Court, the judge writes an opinion
explaining the reasoning of the Court
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© 2010 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
Federal Case Law
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United States
Reports
Supreme Court
Reporter
Lawyer’s Edition
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Federal Reports
Federal
Supplement
Specialty
Reporters
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Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
How to Read a Case Citation
Miranda v. Arizona,
case name
384 U.S. 436, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966)
official citation
parallel citations
year
State Case Law
Official Reporters
Regional Reporters
Unofficial Reporters
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Introduction to Law, 4th Edition
Hames and Ekern
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© 2010 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
What is Statutory Law?
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Federal Statutes are found in the
U.S.C., U.S.C.S and the U.S.C.A.
State Statutes are also found in
annotated and unannotated format.
Statutes, often referred to as Codes, are
laws enacted by the legislature.
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Hames and Ekern
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© 2010 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.