Research Exam TWO

Flashcard maker : Blake Terry
The United States has how many separate court systems?
More than 50
What are some examples of court systems?
Federal system, 50 state systems, District of Columbia system
How many levels of courts are within the Federal system?
What are the levels within the Federal system?
United State District Courts (trial courts)
United State Court of Appeals (the intermediate appellate courts)
United States Supreme Court (the court of last resort)
T/F Most state court systems are structured the same way as the federal court system
Judges from any of these courts can issue written decisions, and their decisions are……
one source of legal rules
Court opinions are also called…..
Court opinions or cases are published in books called…..
Reporters are set of books collecting cases in…..
chronological order
Many sets of reports are limited to opinions from…..
a single jurisdiction or level of court
Federal reporters contain opinions from….
federal courts
State reporters contain opinions from…..
state courts
T/F In addition to reporting opinions in each respective area, each set of reporters may be subdivided into different series covering different time periods
What Reporter is Indiana in?
North Eastern Reporter
How many Regional Reporters are there total?
A reporter published under government authority is known as an…..
Official Reporter
Reporters published by commercial publishers are called….
Unofficial Reporters
T/F Opinions may only be cited within one of the reporters
T/F The text of the opinion should be exactly the same in an official and unofficial reporter
What is the difference between an official and unofficial reporter?
One is published by the government and the other is not
T/F The text of a case in an unofficial reporter should always be the same as the text of the same case published in an official reporter QUIZ
T/F Cases can be located in multiple ways, including by citation and by subject QUIZ
A lawyer should check court rules when citing non-precedential opinions QUIZ
There are four levels in the court system QUIZ
False; three
A regional reporter will contain decisions from both the federal trial courts and the state trial courts QUIZ
A West digest is divided into topics and those topics are then subdivided into what are called divisions QUIZ
False; Divided into subject categories, called topics, Then divided into key numbers
When choosing what digest to use, it is usually best to start with the broadest coverage digest available QUIZ
Case summaries found in a digest correspond exactly to one of the headnotes at the beginning of an opinion QUIZ
According to Sloan, the digest research process consists of only two steps QUIZ
False; Four steps
When a case appears in more than one reporter, it is called a….
parallel citation
T/F Within a parallel citation, each set of reporters will have its own citation
The only federal court opinions published by the government are…..
those of the U.S. Supreme Court
Federal Court opinions are published in reports called…..
United States Reports
What is the largest commercial publishing company?
Thomson Reuters/West, formerly West Publishing Company
The unofficial reporters from West are called….
National Reporter System
The National Reporter System is compromised of….
decisions from almost every U.S. jurisdiction
West publishes U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the …..
Supreme Court Reporter
West publishes decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals in the ….
Federal Reporter
Decisions from the U.S. District Courts are published in the…..
Federal Supplement
Name two specialized reporters also?
FRD (Federal Rules Decision) contains federal district court decisions interpreting the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure
Federal Appendix (Fed. Appx. or F. App’x) contains non-precedential decisions from the federal court of appeals
State court opinions are published in….
regional reporters
West has divided the country into how many regions?
T/F The state’s official reporter and N.E. Reporter are the same thing
False; State official reporter is an official reporter; West is an unofficial reporter
A case published in a West reporter has how many components?
What are the components?
1. Heading (which may contain the parallel citation, if one exists)
2. A synopsis of the decision written by case editors, not by the court
3. One of more paragraphs summarizing the key points within the decision (headnotes, written by the editors)
4. Names of the attorneys who represented the parties and the judge/s who decided the case
5. The opinion of the court (and any potential concurring or dissenting opinions)
What part of the published case is legal authority
Only number five: the opinion of the case. The rest are editorial enhancements.
What are the benefits of the editorial enhancements?
Very helpful for locating cases
Should you ever cite any other part of the case except the court opinion
T/F All court decisions are published
False; Only those designated by the courts for publication appear in the print reporters
The decisions not designated for publication are called …..
unpublished decisions
Where can one obtain unpublished decisions
By going to the clerk’s office in the courthouse…
Although some are now available through electronic research services and on the Internet
Where and since when are unpublished decisions issued by federal courts now found?
Federal Appendix, since 2001
A more accurate term for unpublished is…..
Non-precedential opinions since what date can now be cited without restriction?
January 1, 2007
T/F Use of non-precedential decisions is welcomed in all court systems
Name two ways in which you can locate cases in a reporter
By citation to the case or by the source-driven/content-driven approach
If using the source-driven approach to finding a case, what are the steps?
1. Deciding what jurisdiction you want to research
2. Once you have selected a jurisdiction, you can search for cases by subject, words in the document or by party name
You can search by subject in print using a research tool called a …..
Name the ways that you can sort cases electronically.
Subject categories
Word Searching
Party name
Can you research in print by party name?
Yes; you can use a directory of cases organized by party name
In Lexis Advance, cases appear under the…..
Cases tab
In WestlawNext, cases appear under the…..
Overview tab
Reporters are published in…..
chronological order; NOT by subject
The research tool that organizes cases by subject is called……
a digest
What is the finding tool that you would use to locate cases by topic, in preparation for using a reporter?
a digest
What does the term digest mean?
To arrange and summarize
In a digest, the law is arranged into different…..
subject categories, such as torts, contracts, or criminal law
What is the most commonly used digest system in legal research?
The digest system created by West
West has divided the law into more than how many subject categories?
These subject categories are called what?
Each topic is listed how in a digest
T/F Because there are so many topics, a digest actually consists of a multivolume set of books
Each subdivision within a topic is….
an assigned number that West calls a key number
What is the purpose of key numbers?
Allows a researcher to focus more specifically on the precise issue that he or she is researching, instead of reading summaries of all the cases on a very broad topic
T/F The topic, key number and case summary that you find in a West digest will correspond exactly to one of the headnotes at the end of the opinion published in a West Reporter
False; headnotes are located at the beginning of an opinion
Digests are updated how?
By pocket parts
The digest research process consists of how many steps
What are the four steps?
1. Locate the correct digest set for the type of research you are doing
2. Locate relevant topics and key numbers within the digest
3. Read the case summaries under the topics and key numbers
4. Update your research to make sure you find summaries of the most recent cases
What should one use to locate all federal cases?
West’s Federal Practice Digest
T/F The disposition of the summary is the same as the holding of the case
The holding of the case that you can rely on is found….
in the body of the case (not in the syllabus of the case)
The syllabus/synopsis/editorial summary is written by whom?
An editor at West Publishing
Where is the case format in citing found?
ALWD rule 12 Basic Case Citation Format
What is the majority opinion?
an opinion joined in by more than half the judges/justices
What is the concurring opinion?
opinion which agrees, but often for different reasons or through a different line of reasoning.
What is a dissenting opinion?
a disagreement with a majority opinion.
What is a Per Curiam opinion?
an unsigned opinion, no identified author.
Where are two places that opinions are found?
Opinions are generally found
(1) in reporters and
(2) Opinions can also be found in fee and free online services, legal newspapers and in a variety of other types of sources.
What is the difference between Official and Unofficial Reporters?
Official Reporters: Governmentally approved set of reported cases within a given jurisdiction.

Unofficial Reporters: Published by a commercial publisher, often with the approval of a governmental entity.

T/F All jurisdictions have official reporters
Many jurisdictions don’t have official reporters – Indiana, Federal Courts of Appeal and Federal District Courts are some examples.
T/F All jurisdictions requiring citing to official reporters only
Some jurisdiction citation rules require citing to official reporters. (Michigan) Some require citation to unofficial reporters. (Indiana) Some require both. (Illinois, prior to July 1, 2011.)
T/F Jurisdiction citation rules are not the same as ALWD requirements.
Where should you check to see if an official reporter is available for your jurisdiction?
Check Appendix 1 of ALWD to see if an official reporter is available for your jurisdiction.
Where should you check to see if an official reporter has ceased publication
Appendix 1 of ALWD
Where should you check in AWLD for all state and federal court abbreviations
Appendix 4
Where should you check in AWLD for ordinal numbers and superscripts?
ALWD Rule 4.3(a) & (b) & Part 1B4
Where should you look for common reporter abbreviations and spacing?
Sloan Figure 5.1
Where should you check to find the appropriate jurisdiction?
Appendix 1
T/F A writer should always use a parallel citation
Unless required to do so by local rule, do not provide parallel citations
T/F Generally, at least for legal research, parallel citation is not required
When citing state cases for legal research class, you should
Only cite to West’s regional reporters
What is the order of appearance?
Slip Opinions
Advance Sheets
Bound Volumes
Are reporters updated?
Cases are not updated so there are never pocket parts in reporters
Digests, though (per Sloan) ARE updated
How many Federal Circuits exist?
11, plus D.C. Circuit and Federal Circuit (13 total)
How many states don’t have intermediate courts?
9 states don’t have intermediate courts, some have different appellate courts for criminal and civil
What is the Court of Last Resort typically called?
Supreme Court
How many Reporters have no digests?
Atlantic Reporter 3d
North Eastern Reporter 3d (no digest)
North Western Reporter 2d
Pacific Reporter 3d
South Eastern Reporter 2d
South Western Reporter 3d (no digest)
Southern Reporter 3d (no digest)
How many regions does the West system divide the country into?
The West system divides the country into 7 regions, each with its own reporter
What makes up the National Reporter System?
The Regional Reporters, together with Supreme Court Reporter, Federal Reporters, and Federal Supplements, make up the National Reporter System
When searching on-line, the researcher should choose…..
the smallest database that will give you your results! (ex: results in the Federal suits vs results in Indiana suits…..pick those in Indiana)
Which of the following is the correct citation to a federal case:
A) Smith v. Jones, 914 N.E.2d 823 (Ind. 2011).

B) Smith v. Jones, 318 F.3d 1102 (2010).

C) Smith v. Jones, 211 F. Supp. 2d 983 (N.D. Ind. 2011).

State or Federal?
Adams v. Smith, 932 N.E.2d 257 (Ind. 2010)
State or Federal??
Adams v. Smith, 147 F. Supp. 2d 903 (S.D. Ind. 2010)
Why use a digest?
Cases are placed into reporters in a simple chronological order. Digests provide a way to find cases on a specific subject.
Digests are arranged by subject areas of law called…..
topics (over 400)
Each topic is then further divided into smaller divisions called….
key numbers (can range from a few to a hundred)
T/F Each headnote will reference a specific topic and key number
What do headnotes do?
They describe various points of law found in case
T/F Headnotes are an editorial enhancement and can be cited.
Headnotes are an editorial enhancement. NEVER cite a headnote.
How does a researcher use headnotes?
To find the point of law a headnote refers to in the case match the headnote number with the [ ] containing the same number in the case.
What is the most beneficial point of topics and keynotes?
The Topic and Key Number System allows you to locate cases with the same or similar legal issues in any jurisdiction in the United States1.
Topics and Key Numbers are the _________ to the entire National Reporter System
T/F Topics and Key numbers are a comprehensive and detailed outline of the entire body of case law in this country, and a classification system for case law with at least one topic and key number attached to each point of law (headnote)
T/F Topics are re-numbered when one is added or deleted
Approximately how many specific key numbers are there?
There are approximately 100,000 specific key numbers.
What are the subsets for a digest?
1) Main Volumes – subject arrangement of topics in alphabetical order.
2) Descriptive Word Index – the preferred method of accessing digest information.
3) Table of Cases – used when you only have party names.
4) Words and Phrases – used to see how a legal term has been defined by a court.
Which of the following apply to digests:
A) Their topics and key numbers are unique to each jurisdiction.
B) Headnotes are the numbered items at the beginning of each case.
C) The description in a headnote can be cited as primary authority.
D) All of the above.
??? B??
What are the three methods of finding cases in a Digest?
1. Descriptive Word Index (DWI) – Preferred
2. Table of Cases – only available if you have party names
3. By subject – only when you have extensive experience and even then, not the best.
Six steps of the Descriptive Word Index?
1) Use the TARP method to determine words you will need.
2) Identify the digest you need to use.
3) Use the Descriptive Word Index at end of the appropriate digest.
4) Look up words from (1) to be directed to the Topic and Key Number(s) on point.
5) Go to appropriate volume of the main digest set and look up Topic and Key Number.
6) Update your findings.
What are the two types of pocket parts?
1) in pocket at back of volume
2) Stand-alone immediately following the volume
How often is the DWI updated?
The Descriptive Word Index is updated yearly with a pocket part.
T/F Further up-to-date by supplementary pamphlets published between annual pocket parts are available
What is the difference between a pocket part and a supplementary pamphlet?
A pocket part, whether in the volume or next to the volume, ONLY covers the material contained in the hardbound volume.
A supplementary pamphlet contains material for the ENTIRE digest set.
T/F When using the Descriptive Word Index, you should be sure to check its pocket part for the most up-to-date information.
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