What are legal encyclopedias?

Asked by: Danny Bashirian  |  Last update: December 23, 2022
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A legal encyclopedia is a comprehensive set of brief articles on legal topics. It is arranged similarly to a general encyclopedia, such as Encyclopedia Britannica, with topical articles arranged in alphabetical order. In the final volume(s) of most legal encyclopedias is an index.

What are some legal encyclopedias?

The two major legal encyclopedias on US law are American Jurisprudence (Am. Jur.) 2d (available on NexisUni and Westlaw) and Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS) (available on Westlaw).

Do all states have legal encyclopedias?

State legal encyclopedias provide background and explanations of state legal topics. Not every state has a legal encyclopedia. Depth of coverage and quality vary. State encyclopedia articles are updated irregularly.

How do you access legal encyclopedias?

Many states have legal encyclopedias. Organization is similar to that of the national encyclopedias, though the coverage is limited to one - or two - jurisdictions. Lexis and Westlaw provide access to many state legal encyclopedias.

Is the Britannica a legal encyclopedia?

Not a legal encyclopedia but contains the text of the 32-volume Encyclopædia Britannica plus additional articles, images, videos, dictionary entries and more.

The Use of Legal Encyclopedias in Legal Research

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Are legal encyclopedias binding?

Overview of Secondary Legal Sources

Unlike primary legal sources, secondary sources are generally not binding on courts (for an exception see Restatements, below). You may cite secondary sources in a memorandum or article when you wish to provide the reader with a more in-depth explanation of a topic.

Is American Law Reports a legal encyclopedia?

American Law Reports

Unlike a legal encyclopedia, ALR annotations are very specific in coverage, dealing with narrow topics. These topics are discussed with more depth and detail than those presented in a legal encyclopedia.

Are legal encyclopedias primary authority?

Secondary sources explain the law. They include legal dictionaries, legal encyclopedias, legal periodicals, annotations, and treatises. Primary sources are the law. They include codes and cases.

How many restatements are there?

Restatements currently exist for twenty areas of law such as Contracts, Law Governing Lawyers, and Torts. The ALI created Restatements to help courts understand and interpret the current common law. Thus, Restatements synthesize and restate existing case law and statutes from various jurisdictions.

What are the footnotes in a legal encyclopedia?

Footnotes provide excerpts from judicial decisions and statues. References are found to A.L.R. annotations, West Topic and Key Numbers, and subjects within the A.L.R. Digests.

Are Restatements binding law?

Why Use Restatements? They are the most persuasive secondary source because they can become binding law if adopted by a jurisdiction.

How do you cite a legal Restatement?

Restatements should be cited according to Bluebook rule 12.9. 5. “Model Codes, Restatements, Standards and Sentencing Guidelines.” For example, Restatement (Third) of Unfair Competition § 3 (1995).

How are Restatements created?

Restatements are secondary sources that seek to "restate" the legal rules that constitute the common law in a particular area. They are written by the American Law Institute (ALI), a prestigious legal organization composed of noted professors, judges and lawyers.

What is the difference between a legal encyclopedia and a treatise?

What are Treatises? They are ususally written by an expert(s) in the field; They are more authoritative than an encyclopedia; Format: Print and electronic; single volume and multi-volume sets.

What are the legal materials?

NOTE: Legal material is only the materials dealing with an inmate's court cases, not personal mail, papers, pictures, etc. Legal material will be limited to a maximum of up to one cubic foot in the living area. Legal material must be saved and protected—preserved—to allow for future use.

What is an example of legal authority?

Legal Authority means any provision of law or regulation that carries the force of law. Legal Authority means any provision of law or regulation that carries the force of law, including, for example, statutes, rules and regulations, and court rulings.

Is Encyclopedia Britannica a secondary source?

The first edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica was a secondary source when first published in 1768; but today it is a primary source to historians.

What does ALR stand for legal?

ALR (American Law Reports) provide summaries of important legal issues as well as links to relevant state and federal court decisions.

How do you find the legal encyclopedia on Lexis?

On LexisNexis Academic, click on "Search by Content Type" and then on "Legal Reference". Click on "Advanced Options" and you should see American Jurisprudence 2d under "Sources". You can search within this encyclopedia by checking the box next to American Jurisprudence 2d and entering search terms in the search box.

What are primary legal sources?

Primary sources are the actual laws and rules issued by governing bodies that tell us what we can and cannot do. The four primary sources are constitutions, statutes, cases, and regulations. These laws and rules are issued by official bodies from the three branches of government.

How do legal encyclopedias direct researchers to primary authorities?

Legal encyclopedias contain brief, broad summaries of legal topics, providing introductions and explaining terms of art. They also provide citations to primary law and relevant major law review articles.

What are the 2 types of legal authority?

'Authority' or 'primary authority' is divided into two types, mandatory and persuasive.

Why might you use a Restatement in your legal research?

Restatements cover broad topics, such as Contracts or Property. They are organized into chapters, titles, and sections. Sections contain a concisely stated rule of law, comments to clarify the rule, hypothetical examples, explanation of purpose, as well as exceptions to the rule. Restatements are not primary law.

What Restatement means?

/ˌriːˈsteɪt.mənt/ the act of saying something again or in a different way: Her recent speech was merely a restatement of her widely publicized views.

What are financial Restatements?

A restatement is an act of revising one or more of a company's previous financial statements to correct an error. Restatements are necessary when it is determined that a previous statement contained a "material" inaccuracy.