This week in the Law Library we’re welcoming our newest librarian, asking rising 2 and 3Ls to fill out our legal research survey, covering more bar exam resources, providing additional summer legal research tips, and celebrating Disability Pride Month.
Welcome Ashley Russell!
We are excited to welcome the newest addition to our library! Ashley Russell comes to us from the University of Dayton School of Law where she served as the Assistant Law Library Director of Public Services and Director of Student Life. Ashley is no stranger to the College of Law, however. Many know Ashley through her previous work as our most excellent former Lexis Representative.
Fill Out Our Legal Research Survey
We’re asking rising 2Ls and 3Ls to fill out our Legal Research Survey so that we can better plan future research instruction.
Bar Exam Study Resources
Congratulations! You have made it through law school but now the bar exam looms. Don’t worry, the Law Library’s got your back. We have resources that can help. Check out our Bar Exam Research Guide.
The July 2023 bar examination will be administered at the Roberts Centre, 123 Gano Road, Wilmington, Ohio July 25-26, 2023. Ohio Bar Exam FAQs
5 More Bar Exam Resources
The Bar Exam is not a sprint, it’s a marathon so pace yourself! You can see the previous week’s featured bar exam resources on our July 10th, July 3rd, June 26th, June 20th, June 12th, May 30, and May 22th posts. Check out this week’s Bar Exam Resource highlights below on what to do this last week before the bar exam.
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, statutory finding tools, using citators to 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 More Like this Headnote to Find Cases
More Like This Headnote appears at the end of a headnote, and gives you the ability to find cases that have headnotes that closely match the language or meaning of a headnote in your case.
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
Disability rights are civil rights. From voting to parking, the ADA is a law that protects people with disabilities in many areas of public life. From answers to common questions to official legal documents, ADA.gov has everything you need to understand your rights and responsibilities under the ADA.
This research guide provides an overview of relevant laws and regulations related to disability rights. It provides resources from the federal government and non-profit organizations that work toward advancing the rights of people with disabilities. The guide is by no means exhaustive, however it offers a extensive guidance on resources for performing legal research on this subject, as well as information from leading advocates and government entities with missions to protect those with disabilities from discrimination.
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, EveryBody: An Artifact History of Disability in America
People with disabilities have been present throughout American history, but rarely appear in textbooks or shared public memories. This online exhibition helps us understand the American experience and reveals how complicated history really is.
This Web site looks at the efforts of people with disabilities, and their families and friends, to secure the civil rights guaranteed to all Americans.
The UN Programme on Disability/Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) falls within the Division for Social Inclusive Social Development (DISD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). This page provides disability resources related to its mission.