This week in the Law Library, we’re moving into our new building, wishing everyone good luck on the bar exam, providing new summer legal research tips, and celebrating Disability Pride Month.
Law Library Access in Old & New Buildings
We are moving this week into our new building so there is no student and visitor access this week to the old building. General access to the new building will begin on Monday August 8th. Students will have 24/7 access to the new building starting at that time.
Take a sneak peak inside our new home! Peruse renderings and progress photos in our image gallery, watch in real time as our new home is constructed with the Construction Camera, and get the full picture of what to expect by reviewing the new building features.
Good Luck on the Bar Exam!
This week is it! The bar exam will be administered July 26-27, 2022 at the Roberts Centre, 123 Gano Road, Wilmington, Ohio. We’re wishing everyone the best of luck! Below are some last minute tips:
Summer Legal Research Tips
Previously, we looked at initial steps to take when you get a summer research project, researching secondary sources, the structure and organization of statutory codes and where to find them, finding and searching within annotated codes, how to update and validate statutes, researching historical codes, and statutory surveys. This week we will begin covering how to find cases.
Finding Cases by Headnote
Headnotes are summaries of the issues in a case. They are not actually part of the opinion. Each headnote is numbered. You can click on the headnote number and be taken to the place within the opinion where the issue of the headnote is discussed. Headnotes are tools that can be used for research but they are not part of the actual case itself. You should never cite to a headnote and always read the opinion and do not rely on the headnote.
Headnotes in Westlaw
Using Westlaw Topic and Key Numbers Assigned to Headnotes to Find Cases
Each headnote in a case published in Westlaw is assigned a topic and key number. These topic and key numbers can be used to find more cases on the same subject. For example, if we had a headnote that was assigned the topic of Damages and the key number of 57.21 and we want to find more cases that talk about what is needed to prove a claim of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, we can use the topic of Damages and the key number of 57.21 and look online to find more cases that discuss this same thing. If you want to see the topic and key numbers in Westlaw headnotes, you may have to click the grid view link at the top of where the headnotes begin. The key number assigned to a particular headnote is always the last and narrowest key number assigned. Click on the link for the topic and key number and Westlaw will run a search and bring up all cases in their system that have been classified under that topic and key number. Note that you may need to change your jurisdiction for the search because the system keeps the last jurisdiction chosen.
Using Cases that Cite This Headnote
To find other cases that cite a particular headnote, click on the “Cases that cite this headnote” link located below the headnote summary of the point of law. Cases that cite a headnote consist of the citing references that specifically address that particular point of law in the case. Because cases may address many different issues, this can be a quick way to find the most relevant cases citing your case for the particular issue covered by that headnote.
Headnotes in Lexis
Using Lexis Topics Assigned to Headnotes to Find Cases
Lexis headnotes are still organized by broad topics and then progressively subdivided by narrower subjects, but Lexis headnote subjects tend to be broader concepts than the Westlaw key numbers. Also, Lexis headnotes do not editorialize, they actually lift language straight from the text of the case. We can find more cases on a topic by clicking on the topic links assigned to the headnote. In Lexis, the topic links are above the headnote. If we want a broader search, we can use the topic intermediate levels, for example, we could search Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress rather than the specific Elements beneath that. A search on any intermediate level will bring up results for all the more specific levels below it.
Using Shepardize – Narrow by this Headnote to Find Cases
To find more cases that discuss the same point of law, click “Shepardize – Narrow by this Headnote.” This will show you all cases that cite to this case that reference the same issue as that headnote.
Lexis Legal Issue Trail
Another way to use one case in Lexis to find more cases on an issue, is to Activate Passages within the Legal Issue Trail. You will find the Legal Issue Trail and the Activate Passages link off to the right of the case under the “Info” tab. Note that you may have to expand out your document window to see the Legal Issue Trail option. Once you do see it, slide the toggle on the Activate Passages button to begin. The passages in the document contain references to specific legal issues will be outlined with dotted lines and each discrete passage will have an asterisk in front of it. You would search for the passage containing the language you are interested in finding in other cases. Clicking within the purple dotted lines will get cases that our case has cited for this language, as well as cases that have cited our case for that language.
Where to Find More Information on Researching Cases
July Is Disability Pride Month!
About Disability Pride Month
Disability Pride Month is an annual worldwide observance holiday during the month of July. It promotes awareness of disability as an identity, a community, a culture & the positive pride felt by disabled people. It directly challenges systematic ableism and discrimination.
5 More Resources on Accessibility & Disability Issues
According to the UN High Commission on Human Rights six hundred million people, nearly one tenth of the world’s population, are afflicted with some form of disability. Many live deplorable lives faced with physical and social barriers which prevent their integration and full participation in their communities. As a consequence of the International Human Rights Movement persons with disabilities now have a mechanism to petition their local authorities and national governments to secure their rights and privileges to fully participate in their societies. In addition to the human rights dimension, advances in medical science and rehabilitation techniques are enabling people with disabilities to take a more active role in the workplace. The Cambridge Disability Law and Policy Series will address this global movement and provide publications that will address, analyze and explore, in a comparative and international perspective, legal and policy perspectives that will provide resources for individuals, academics, practitioners and policy makers on how to effectively further the cause of disability rights.
Available in Westlaw, Disabilities & the Law provides a comprehensive overview of the rights of persons with disabilities in primary, secondary, and higher education, employment, public accommodations and public services, housing, transportation, and health care.
Available through the West Academic study aid subscription, Disability Law and Policy provides an overview of the major themes and insights in disability law. It is also a compelling compendium of stories about how our legal system has responded to the needs of impacted individuals. During the past three decades, disability law and policy, including the law of the ADA itself, have evolved dramatically in the United States and internationally. Walls of inaccessibility, exclusion, segregation, stigma, and discrimination have been torn down, often brick-by-brick. But the work continues, many times led by advocates who have never known a world without the ADA and are now building on the efforts of those who came before them.
Available in Lexis, Mental Disability Law: Civil and Criminal is a logically organized discussion of the entire body of law affecting the mentally disabled. It provides thoughtful answers to practically every research, counseling or litigation problem that could conceivably arise in this area. Each chapter of this treatise contains practical checklists and commentary to highlight and clarify case authority. Extensively annotated, it contains a table of cases and cites hundreds of authoritative secondary sources.
Available in the LexisNexis Digital Library study aid subscription, Understanding Disability Law discusses important statutory and constitutional issues relating to disability discrimination. It includes an analysis of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Fair Housing Act Amendments, and other laws, as they relate to controversial issues of disability rights. The book discusses the leading cases on each of the major topics of disability law, and suggests ways of thinking about unresolved questions and debates over legal policy. It covers Constitutional law bearing on disability discrimination; The controversy over who is a person with a disability for purposes of federal statutes; Employment discrimination rights and remedies; Educational discrimination, including special education law and higher education for students with disabilities; Discrimination in public accommodations; Discrimination by federal, state, and local governments; and Disability discrimination related to housing, transportation, and telecommunications.