Paralegal Research and Writing
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No.1 Reason to do legal research "the right way"(according to bob berring)
3 Basic Prinsiples (according to bob berring)
- 1. Understand Information
- 2. Understand Research System
- 3. Use Context -its crucial, waht are the subjects, buzzwords?
What are the different forms of Judcial Reports? (according to bob berring)
When looking at Cases/Decisions, what must you take into consideration?
- 2.Holding v. Dicta
- 3. See Opinions as "universe of information"
- 4. Reading must be done carefully.
What are OPINIONS?
They are advocacy documents (a judge's opinion); are rethorical devices.
Judicial Opinions Deal with why type of Issues?
Issues of Law
Three Part Court System
- 1. trial court (Federal level: District Court)
- 2. Appellate Court
- 3. Court of last resort (usually supreme court)
- Trial Court (state level)
- District Court (federal level)
- -resolve issues of Fact as well as Issues of Law
- Only Issues of Law
- 3 judges make decision.
- There are 13 Federal Appellate Courts (U.S. Courts of Appeals) broken down into CIRCUITS (1-11 AND Federal circuit and District of Columbia Circuit)
Court of Last Resort (Supreme Court)
- Usually discritionary Jurisdiction.
- Nine Justices (appointed by president & confirmed by U.S Senate)
- Discretion to consider many issues. AKA Certiorari.
- may hear disputes between two states.
What will you see in a Opinion?
- the MEAT of the case
- ways to identify opinions
- -Pocket #
#internal #used by courts to keep files organized
To serve as reference to locate orginal document cited
- -Syllabus/summary (any part of a opinion that can quckly help you understand the case)
- -Headnotes (abstract of every legal issue in a case; cannot cite them)
- -Editorial Headnotes ( research systems, topic and key numbers system)
- -Lexis System ( core words)
- -Keysite(direct history of case;find out who has been discussed/quoted; every decision where your case has been noted)
- -Shepards (direct history divided between "Distinguished, followed)
"The cycle of a case" graphic representation of the history of a case
opinion (concurring or dissenting, per curiam (no specific judge writes;all write) or denial to hear)
Modern Research Systems
- --find law
- --legal information institute
ways to find cases
- -Use Research Systems (have context; useful tools such as topic and key # system)
- -Boolean Searching (not good, no context)
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