Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library Fifth Hour Legal Research / Fall 2013

Researching Case Law Creating an Issue Statement for Research / Search String:
5Ws Plus: Who, What, When, Where, Why, Legal Theory, Relief, Procedural Posture (use what’s appropriate). TAPP: Things, Actions, People, and Places.    List synonyms and antonyms. Characterize people and parties (e.g. grandparents instead of grandmother, nanny, or grandma). Revise by examining your search results: Are certain words bringing up irrelevant concepts or cases? Are there terms of art that should be included in your search string?

Useful Boolean Connectors and Expanders
And or /s /p Use to connect two different words or concepts. Use to connect synonyms. Dictates that the words appear in the same sentences Dictates that the words appear in the same paragraph Dictates that the words appear within a certain number of words of one another. Wild card; use at the end of a word. Use for phrase searching Universal character Use parentheticals to dictate order and keep like concepts together President and emergency power or authority supervision or control President /s power Congress /p policy

/n

President /50 authority

! ““ * ()

president!= presidential, president “Executive order” Dr*nk= drink, drunk, drank (mill or plant or factory)

In the Westlaw Next Search box, you must use adv: or the advanced search options

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Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library Fifth Hour Legal Research / Fall 2013

One Good Case Research Method:
With one good case you can find other, on-point authority by 1. Using the Headnotes to find an on-point Topic/Key Number. Topic/Key Numbers represent a narrow point of law contained in the case. Using the Headnote/Topic/Key Number will lead you to other cases from all jurisdictions that share the same narrow point of law. 2. Using the cases and other authority cited by the court by referring to the Table of Authorities or using the hyperlinks in the case. 3. Use the Citator (Shepards / Citing References/ Bcite) to find additional authorities. 4. Use the terms and concepts contained in the case to build additional search strings. Lexis Advance Headnote: Topic (Broad) Narrow Topics

Narrow point of law from the case Brings you directly into the case at that point. Westlaw Next Headnote:

Narrow point of law from the case. Brings you directly into the case at that point.

Topic (Broad)

Key Number: follows the k and corresponds to the narrow issue of law.

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Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library Fifth Hour Legal Research / Fall 2013

Hints for Using Headnotes  Use the narrowest topic (in Lexis Advance) or the Topic and Key Number (in Westlaw Next) to take you to more cases that share the same, narrow point of law.  Adjust your jurisdiction.  Receive a list of headnotes from cases (in Westlaw Next) or cases (in Lexis Advance) that share the same narrow point of law.  Search within the results for a specific keyword/term/concept.

Citating
1. Use a Citator to confirm you have good law and to find more cases. 2. Determining that you have good law is a two-prong analysis: (a) How have subsequent, other courts treated your case? (i) Note: depth of treatment (ii) Note: jurisdiction (iii) Note: flags/symbols – interpret (b) What happened to your case as it progressed through the system? Overruled? Affirmed? Remanded? etc. 3. Use a citator to find additional relevant cases because the citator lists all cases that cite your case. (Shepard’s / Citing References). To Citate in Westlaw Next Citating in Westlaw involves interpreting flags or symbols that are attached to each case. The most common are

1. Use the History Tab. Review the subsequent appellate history (What happened to your case subsequent to the decision at hand? Was the judgment affirmed? Was the judgment reversed? Was an appeal dismissed? Was certiorari denied or granted?).  Direct history is listed on the left.  Previous history is what happened to your case before the decision at hand (for purposes of citating, its not important but it may provide some context to the procedural history).  Subsequent history is what happened to your case after the decision at hand. This is important for determining whether you case is good law.  Graphic in center, right shows all history.

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Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library Fifth Hour Legal Research / Fall 2013

Use the drop-down menu to specify previous or subsequent history. 2. Use the Negative Treatment Tab to determine whether any courts in the relevant jurisdiction (consider: mandatory authority / binding precedent) have said anything negative about your case as to relevant issue (Did subsequent courts from the jurisdiction decline to extend? Distinguish? Question?)  Focus on the issues: Use the Headnotes in the column on the right to determine what issue(s) the case listed is treating your case.  Focus on jurisdiction. Does negative treatment come from a court in another jurisdiction? Are the decisions from that court binding?  Read the decisions to determine how negative the treatment really is. For example, distinguished by is considered negative treatment, it doesn’t typically impact the validity of prior cases.

3. Use Citing References to find more on point cases.  Focus on the Headnotes to find the cases that discuss the relevant issues.  Use Search within Results to search for relevant words and concepts (consult your issue statement).  Filter by Jurisdiction, Depth of Treatment, and Headnote Topics (left)

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Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library Fifth Hour Legal Research / Fall 2013

Citating on Lexis Advance Similar to Westlaw Next.

1. Click the Shepardize button on the right. 2. Review the Appellate History.

3. Review the Citing Decisions.  Narrow by Analysis (how other courts have treated or analyzed your case)  Narrow by Jurisdiction (to focus on the relevant jurisdiction).  Narrow by or look for relevant Headnotes number to focus on the relevant issues.

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Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library Fifth Hour Legal Research / Fall 2013

For more on learning to research a legal issue, see Introduction to Legal Research Handout available on the Small Group website.

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Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library Fifth Hour Legal Research / Fall 2013

I.

Draft an issue statement for research:

Use 5Ws Plus (Who, What, When, Where, Why, Legal Theory, Jurisdiction, Procedural Posture) or TAPP (Things, Actions, People, Places) to identify keywords and concepts. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

II.

Locate Secondary Material:

A. Treatises Concepts for searching (more general; select the more broad terms/concepts from your issue statement): __________________________________________________________________ Find a treatise using the Law Library Treatise Finder: __________________________________________________________________ Find a treatise using Morris (law library catalog): __________________________________________________________________ B. ALRs Concepts for searching (select general and specific concepts from your issue statement): __________________________________________________________________ Find an ALR in Lexis Advance or Westlaw Next: __________________________________________________________________

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Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library Fifth Hour Legal Research / Fall 2013

C. Law Review Articles Concepts for searching (more specific; select the more specific terms/concepts from your issue statement): __________________________________________________________________ Find a law review article using Google Scholar (Settings / Library Links / Yale University Library): __________________________________________________________________ III. A. Locate Case Law Jurisdiction: _______________________________________________________________ Search Strings: _______________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ C. Relevant Case(s): __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ D. Topic and Key Numbers: __________________________________________________________________ E. Citating for good law: __________________________________________________________________ F. Citating for more cases: __________________________________________________________________
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