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GC 320 Environmental Policy & Regulation

Library Resource Guide

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Court Cases
Statutes/Regulations

Reference & Secondary Sources

Black's Law Dictionary..........(click on Content List, then Legal Encyclopedias & Dictionaries link)
.............Also available in the library Reference Collection...........................Reference:: KF 156 .B53
Legal Thesaurus ............................................................................................Reference: KF 156 .B856
Legal Research in a Nutshell .......................................................................Reference: KF 240 .C54
The Elements of Legal Style ........................................................................Reference: KF 250 .G37
Introduction to Legal Research on WestLaw
This guide contains helpful information about searching Westlaw.

American Jurisprudence 2d
A comprehensive legal encyclopedia summarizing legal principles of state and federal law (written for lawyers). Provides citations to leading cases, statutes, regulations, and journal/law review articles.

Michigan Law and Practice Encyclopedia
A 26 volume encyclopedia for Michigan law, this is the Michigan equivalent of Corpus Juris Secundum. Located in the Olson Library Reference collection, 2rd floor: Reference KFM 4265 .M5


A.  FEDERAL COURT CASES

Decisions

Westlaw Campus
Westlaw Campus is a comprehensive database containing the decisions of cases from all 50 states as well as the federal courts including the Supreme Court.

To locate an environmental case from the Supreme Court:
     * From the Search box on the home page:
     * Enter a volume number (1 thru 78) and ERC in quotes ("54 ERC").
     * Select "United States Supreme Court" from the All Federal pull-down menu
          next to the Search button, then click "Search."
Cases listed with the phrase "/Case below," listed below the name of the case are usually summary action only cases. Do not select one of these cases. See the GC320 Notes for additional information on reading a court case.

United States Reports (U.S.) - KF 101 .A3 (v.389- ; 1967-present)
The complete decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, including dissenting opinions (does not include headnotes). Available online from 1745 here; and from 1893 on here.

Supreme Court Reporter (S.Ct.)
The Library's earliest set of Supreme Court cases.  Contains the headnotes of the main points of law for each case. Available through Westlaw Campus.

Federal Reporter, Second Series (F.2d) and Federal Reporter, Third Series. (F.3d)
Contains the complete decisions of cases decided from the U.S. Courts of Appeal and Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals. Available through Westlaw. The Court of Appeals decisions for each circuit are also available online (date of coverage varies by circuit, but generally is around 1995 to the present).

Federal Supplement (F.Supp.), and Federal Supplement, Second Series (F.Supp.2d).
Contains the complete decisions of selected cases decided in the U.S. District Courts and U.S. Customs Court. Available through Westlaw. District Court information is available on the Web, but is highly variable from one court to another. Most courts will provide links to opinions, but some do not.

Digests (Subject indexes to court cases)

Westlaw's KeySearch System
Indexes Michigan court cases and Federal cases arising in or appealed from Michigan (or any state). Click on the "Go" button under their KeySearch, select your topic, then Michigan.

Michigan Appellate Digest
Summarizes and indexes all published Michigan Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions since 1992.

Citators

Citators provide access to the judicial history and interpretations of reported court cases, verify the current status of each case, and locate earlier cases that have been cited in later court cases.

Within Westlaw is their KeyCite system. This coded system provides an indication of the status of the law:

A red flag indicates:

  • in cases and administrative decisions, the case or administrative decision is no longer good law for at least one of the points of law it contains.
  • in statutes and regulations, the statute or regulation has been amended by a recent session law or rule, repealed, superseded, or held unconstitutional or preempted in whole or in part.
  • in patents, a court has held all or part of the patent invalid or invalid and not infringed; unenforceable due to the patentee's inequitable conduct; or has recognized the patent was held invalid or both invalid and not infringed in another case.

A yellow flag indicates that:

  • in cases and administrative decisions, the case or administrative decision has some negative history but has not been reversed or overruled.
  • in statutes and regulations, the statute has been renumbered or transferred by a recent session law; that an uncodified session law or proposed legislation affecting the statute is available (statutes merely referenced, i.e., mentioned, are not marked with a yellow flag); that a notice or proposed rule affecting the regulation is available; that the statute or regulation was limited on constitutional or preemption grounds or its validity was otherwise called into doubt; or that a prior version of the statute or regulation received negative treatment from a court.
  • in patents, a court has held the patent was not infringed but did not rule on its validity; held all or part of the patent valid and not infringed; or recognized the patent was held not infringed in another case.

A blue H indicates that:

  • in cases and administrative decisions, the case or administrative decision has some history.
  • in patents, a court has construed the meaning of terms within the patent; held the patent was infringed; held all or part of the patent valid; or held all or part of the patent valid and infringed.

A green C indicates that:

  • in cases and administrative decisions, the case or administrative decision has citing references but no direct history or negative citing references.
  • in statutes and regulations, the statute or regulation has citing references but no applicable history.
  • in patents, the patent has citing references but no applicable history.

 

B.  MICHIGAN COURT CASES

Decisions

Michigan Reports (Mich.)
Official publication of all decisions of the Michigan Supreme Court.  Available through Westlaw Campus. Cases after 1980 are continued in North Western Reporter 2d. You can also search for Michigan Supreme Court cases on the Web from October 2001 to the present.

Michigan Appeals Reports (Mich.App.)
Official publication of all decisions of the Michigan Court of Appeals.  Available through Westlaw Campus. You can also search for Michigan Court of Appeals cases on the Web from August 1992 to the present.

North Western Reporter 2nd (N.W.2d)
Contains the complete decisions of the Michigan Supreme Court and Michigan Court of Appeals.  The decisions are the same as those that appear in the official editions.  All three sets are indexed in the Michigan Digest. Available through Westlaw Campus.

Digests (Subject indexes to court cases)

Westlaw's KeySearch System
Indexes Michigan court cases and Federal cases arising in or appealed from Michigan (or any state). Click on the "Tools" tab from the Browse section, then select West Key Number System. Click on the appropriate topic (Key Number) and browse through the detailed listing to find a narrow aspect of the topic.

Michigan Appellate Digest (available from the State of Michigan)
Summarizes and indexes all published Michigan Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions since 1992.


A. FEDERAL STATUTES AND CODES

Westlaw Campus contains federal and state statutes (United States Code Annotated and Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated) as well as the Code of Federal Regulations and state administrative codes. Click on the U.S. Constitution & Code for federal laws or State Constitutions & Statutes to find the laws of an individual state.

United State Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.)
The entire body of federal law currently in force, organized into 50 subject divisions (called titles).  Includes references to court decisions and articles related to particular laws.  Available through Westlaw Campus. Click on the U.S. Constitution & Code to access the popular name table of federal laws. Freely available on the Web is the United States Code (U.S.C.) from the Government Printing Office--this is the official version of this publication (and not annotated). All enhancements and reproductions work from it.

United States Statutes at Large (Stat.) - KF 50 .A2 (v.1, 8, 10-11, 13-14, 16-63, 70-present; 1789-present)
The official publication of all laws passed during a session of Congress.  Statutes are published complete and in the order they were passed. Available online from Constitution.org.

B.  FEDERAL ADMINSTRATIVE REGULATIONS

Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) - AE 2 106/3: (Located in the Government Documents collection; 2008 is most recent print edition at NMU).
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. The 50 subject matter titles contain one or more individual volumes, which are updated once each calendar year, on a staggered basis. Available through Westlaw Campus and the Government Printing Office.

Federal Register (F.R.) (available online only)
The daily compilation of executive and administrative rules and regulations which have the force of law. Freely available on the Internet from the Government Printing Office in two ways: an electronic version of the daily print edition, or the user-friendly Federal Register 2.0. An additional non-government website that searches this publication is http://govpulse.us/.

As another library put it, "The United States Code is the law we have to follow; the Code of Federal Regulations is how we follow that law".

C. MICHIGAN STATUTES AND CODES

Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated (M.C.L.A.)
The entire current law of Michigan arranged into subject divisions. Includes references to court decisions and journal articles related to particular laws.  Available through Westlaw Campus. Click on State Constitutions & Statutes to access the popular name table of Michigan laws. The non-annotated version is available freely from the State of Michigan.

Public and Local Acts of the Legislature - KFM 4225 A2
The official publication of all laws passed by the Michigan Legislature. An annual publication with laws published complete and in the order in which they were passed. The Public and Local Acts of the Legislature is available freely online from 1997.

D.  MICHIGAN ADMINSTRATIVE REGULATIONS

Michigan Administrative Code - Ref. KFM 4235 1972 A2
A compilation of administrative rules and regulations issued by various state agencies and departments. Available through Westlaw Campus and from the State of Michigan.

Michigan Register
The state version of the Federal Register issued monthly.  Contains new and proposed rules issued by state agencies.  Approved rules and regulations are compiled in the online version of the Michigan Administrative Code. The Michigan Register is available on the Web from 2000 to the present.


LEGISLATIVE HISTORIES (Committees & Need for Legislation)

State of Michigan

Journal of the House of Representatives (Michigan) - KFM 4218 .H6 (1900-present)
Journal of the Senate (Michigan) - KFM 4218 .S4 (1900-present)
These journals contain the transcripts of the legislative sessions of the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives.  With the public act number (found in MCLA), use the Table of Acts and Bill Numbers index to find the bill number (look in the last volume for the year of your law).  With the bill number you can use the History of House Bills or the History of Senate Bills section to see who and when the bill was introduced, what committee it was referred to, and other events that led to the passage of the bill into law.  These journals are searchable online from 1995 to present at the Michigan Legislature site.

Federal

Popular Names of Acts in the US Code from Cornell (which is derived from that on the U.S. House of Representatives' website). Westlaw also contains this information in the Popular Name Table (which is found by selecting the U.S. Constitution and Code from the left hand side of the initial page).

U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News - KF 63 .U53 (1952-present)
Contains references to the legislative committee(s) that worked on a particular law as well as the report of that committee. Committee reports indicate the background and need for legislation, how the bill was moved through committee, budget implications, and other details of how the bill was passed into law. The most recent issue is in the Reference Collection; older editions are on the 3rd floor.

Congressional Record - KF 35 (1919-1980, 3rd floor; 1825-1919 Reference microfiche/film)
Prior to 1952 (where our coverage stops for the U.S. Code Congressional & Administrative News), use the Congressional Record for background information on bills and laws. Although the detail is not as in-depth, the Record will tell you what committee(s) dealt with the bill, the date and text of debates on the floor of Congress, and when the bill was signed into law. NOTE: The name has changed over the years: Register of Debates in Congress (1824-1837), Congressional Globe (1833-1873), Congressional Record (1873-present).

Congressional Quarterly Almanac - KF 49 C652 (Reference Collection, 1942-present and online back to the 79th Congress [1945])
This is an additional resource quite similar to the U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News that can give you insight to the law and its path through Congress.

Congress.gov (online from the Library of Congress)
Legislative histories of bills from the 93rd Congress (1973-74) on. However, detailed texts of the histories do not begin until the 99th Congress (1985-1986).

NMU Library Catalog and the Catalog of Government Publications
You can also use the catalog to locate congressional committee reports that accompany senate and house of representative bills.  Search for the word "accompany" and the report or bill number
(ex. accompany 108-509 or accompany 3846).


PURPOSE OR INTENT OF THE LAW & LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

Legal Periodicals from Westlaw
Full text articles from over 800 legal journals and law reviews available through Westlaw. Articles often discuss developing areas of law, legal issues on which there is disagreement among scholars and judges, or legal issues of particular social importance.

Legal Resources from LegalTrac
Over 875 journals, newspapers, and other resources relating to the field of law. 1980 to present.

American Law Reports
Attorney-written articles that cite, summarize, and analyze case law on a particular legal issue.

Access World News
Access World News provides full text articles from over 600 U.S. and over 500 international news sources. You can search across all newspapers or titles from a particular state, country, or continent. While coverage varies from title to title and typically goes back only to the late 1990's, some titles extend back to the mid 1970's.


Citations and Abbreviations

The basic citation form for any legal reference you may find is:

504
U.S. 
353
volume number
source
page number

In general, abbreviations for law materials found in Olson Library are listed below. Click on an abbreviation to determine the Olson Library holdings of that particular source. 

Code of Federal Regulations
Gov Doc AE 2.106/3
E.R.C.
Environment Reporter, Cases
KF 3775 .A6 E49
Federal Reporter, Second Series
KF 105 F42
Federal Reporter, Third Series
KF 105 F42
Federal Register
Gov. Docs. AE 2.106:
Federal Supplement
KF 105 F45
Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated
Ref KFM 4230 1948 A44
Michigan Reports
KFM 4245 M5
Michigan Appeals Reports
KFM 4248 A2
North Western Reporter, Second Series
KFM 4245 M52
Supreme Court Reporter
KF 101 S9
U.S. Statutes at Large
KF 50 A2
U.S. Reports
KF 101 A3
U.S. Code Annotated
Ref KF 62 W4

 

For abbreviations not listed above, see:

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation - Ref. KF 245 .U58

Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Citations - Ref. KF 246 P73

Further Assistance
If you need help with any of these resources, ask for assistance at the Library's Reference Desk (227-2294), use the live chat, or contact Mike Burgmeier, Reference Librarian (227-2187).

 



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