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Legal Research: Statutes, Regulations, Legal Cases: Cases

Resources for finding statutes, regulations, and caselaw.

Searching for cases

in law reviews and other published articles - to identify or determine the parties in a case when you are not sure or are starting with uncertain information. 

  Path: Libraries home page: MultiSearch

Example: Search for lorena weeks
Scroll down the results list to glean useful information about the case.  Open the full text of a specific article if necessary to read more. When you have sufficient information go to Westlaw Campus Research and search either by parties or by citation.  

by parties - to find the decision(s) that comprise a case. This method assumes you know at least one keyword of each party.  The more complete the information you supply the fewer unrelated decisions will be retrieved.

  Path: Westlaw Campus Research / Cases (This puts you in just national Federal cases by default.)

  Alternate Path: Westlaw / State Materials tab (This lets you focus on State and Federal court cases within a particular state.)

Example: weeks "southern bell" (or "southern bell" weeks will both work fine and likely put the important decisions at or near the top of the results list.  For more precision try typing in the exact case name in parentheses, e.g., "weeks v southern bell").  Open the principal case decision of this case--usually the first item in the results list.  To see the case history click on the History tab. You will see where the case started and if it went somewhere else after the main decision.

by citation - to retrieve a single court decision when you have a precise citation

   Path: Westlaw Campus Reseach (Type/paste citation in landing page search box.)

     Example: 408 F.2d 228

Notes about working with case law...

Citing References. Within each case decision, Westlaw Campus Research provides citing references under the citing references tab. These may include secondary source articles, administrative decisions, and other legal documents which cite or discuss the decision.

KeyCite® system of flagging cases. When scrolling through search results and lists of citing references you will also see many decisions flagged. The different flag colors are part of the KeyCite® system and denote negative treatment, invalidation of certain points of law, and documents that have been appealed to U.S. Courts of Appeals.‚Äč

Your Librarian

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John Prechtel
Main Library Research & Instruction Department

706 542 3472
Subjects: Law

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