Legal Research Techniques-Robin Schard

Legal Research Techniques

Law 151BS
Fall 2015
Course Web Site: http://personal.law.miami.edu/rschard

Robin Schard
Office D-138
305/284-6441
rschard@law.miami.edu
schardr@gmail.com
  
Class Schedule     Course Description and Requirements     Sample Research Journal Entry
   

Class Schedule

Aug. 19 (Monday?)

Introduction to Course
Register for TWEN
What Research Skills Should Law Students Develop?
Reading: AALL Legal Research Competencies
Please read the excerpt from the article entitled Which Practice-Ready Courses Should You Take? from the Student Lawyer on the TWEN page, Additional Readings section
Powerpoint: Introduction (pdf)
Library Web Page
Library Catalog
Subscription Databases

Huka Falls
Aug. 24

Evaluating Information
Refresher: Evaluating Web Sites (10:17)
Boilerplate: a technological milestone
Dehydrated Water
All About Explorers
Dog Island
World Trade Organization (http://gatt.org)

WHOIS Lookup
Register.com (http://register.com)
Scout Report (https://scout.wisc.edu/scout-report/selection-criteria)
Google
Urban Legends & Folklore or Snopes.com
Places to complain about fraud:
     Internet Fraud Complaint Center (FBI & National White Collar Crime Center)
     National Fraud Information Center
     SEC Complaint Center (corporate, consumer or mail fraud)
     FTC Consumer Complaint Form (trade, retail, consumer fraud)
     Florida Division of Consumer Services

Aug. 26

Evaluating Authority (Listen to recording and complete exercise before class on Aug. 26th) (Bring exercise to class on Aug. 26)
Due: Evaluating Authority (Due in-class on 8/26)

Aug. 31 Basics of Using Bloomberg Law
Sept. 2 General Online Searching Techniques
Sept. 7

Labor Day

Sept. 9, 14, 16

Secondary Sources: The Basic and the Practical
Refresher Recordings:
The Process of Legal Research (06:32)
How and When to Use Print Sources (08:56)
Secondary Sources Part I (15:00)
Secondary Sources Part II (10:47)
Reading: Nutshell Chapters 2 and Sections 3-6 and 7-6
Handout: Exercise on Secondary Sources
Due: Topic Selection for Pathfinder (9/14)
Subject Guide to Treatises
Hein Online
Making of Modern Law
Index to Legal Periodicals
Legaltrac
SSRN (working papers)

Sept. 21

Constitutions and Statutes
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 4
Due: Secondary Sources Exercise (9/23)
Powerpoint: Statutory Research (pdf)
Florida Senate Calendar (Session Dates Description and 2016 dates)
Online Sunshine (FL Statutes, Constitution, Laws)
Florida Statutes (from FL Senate - with bills, etc.)
Sunshine Statutes
Florida Statutes (Historical)
American Law Sources Online (for material from other states)
U.S. Code (Fdsys)
U.S. Code (LII)
Hein Online

Powerpoint: Constitutions
Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (from GPO provides basic description and leading cases for each section)
Founders' Constitution (text plus supporting documents on understanding the history of each clause)
Century of Lawmaking (from the Lib. of Cong. includes Farrand's Records and other original documents)
The Federalist Papers (Avalon Project at Yale)
State Constitutions (from Constitution Society)
Florida Historical Legal Documents

Sept. 23

BloombergLaw

Sept. 28

Constitutions and Statutes continued...
Exercise: Sign-up for statutes research practicum (Sign-up sheet will be available on TWEN after class on 9/28)
U.S. Code (Fdsys)
U.S. Code (LII)
Hein Online

Powerpoint: Constitutions
Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (from GPO provides basic description and leading cases for each section)
Founders' Constitution (text plus supporting documents on understanding the history of each clause)
Century of Lawmaking (from the Lib. of Cong. includes Farrand's Records and other original documents)
The Federalist Papers (Avalon Project at Yale)
State Constitutions (from Constitution Society)
Florida Historical Legal Documents

Sept. 30

Case Law Research
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 3
Citation of Unpublished Opinions
Refresher Recording: Case Law Research (14:53)
Due: Research Journal Entry (9/30)
Powerpoint: Case Law (pdf)
State Court Structure (National Center for State Courts)
Google Scholar

Fastcase (also on Hein)
U.S. Courts
State Court Web Sites (National Center for State Courts)
Federal Judicial Center
Robing Room (Comments on judges)
Miami-Dade County Judicial Poll Results
FL Supreme Court Briefs and Opinions
Oyez

Oct. 5-9

Fall Break

Oct. 14, 19

Administrative Law
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 6
Handout: Exercise on Administrative Law
Due: Encyclopedia Section for your Pathfinder (required) (10/14)
Powerpoint: Administrative Law (pdf)
United States Government Manual
A-Z List of Gov't Departments & Agencies (federal)
eCFR
Code of Federal Regulations (FDsys)
Regulations.gov (comments and dockets)
Reginfo.gov
Hein Online
Federal Administrative Decisions, etc
State Administrative Codes & Registers
Florida Adminstrative Code & Weekly

WPA Poster
Oct. 21, 26

Legislative History
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 5
Handout: Exercise on Legislative History
Due: Administrative Law Exercise (10/26)
Powerpoint: Federal Legislative History
Congressional (Proquest)
Congress.gov
FDsys
Hein Online
Legislative Histories of Selected U.S. Laws on the Internet
Florida Legislative History Research Guide
Florida House of Representatives (history and tracking)
Florida Legislative History (FL Senate, 1998-2010)
Selected Florida Staff Analysis (1971-1997)
Florida, Current Session(s)

Oct. 28

Research Strategy
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 1
Powerpoint: Research Strategy (pdf)
Research Guide: Integrated Research Strategy

Nov. 2

Fact-Finding, Interviewing
Reading: Choose one of the articles in the Additional Readings section of the TWEN page.
Reading: Adam J. Post, Advice for Your First Client Interview, Law Trends & News (Fall 2009).
Reading: Jim Calloway, The Initial Client Interview, Oklahoma Bar Association (2002).

Looseleafs and other Topical Sources
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 8
Due: Overview to your Pathfinder (required) (11/2)

Nov. 4

Government Documents and Agency Materials
Due: Legislative History Exercise (11/4)
Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Compilation of Presidential Documents
Congressional (Proquest)
Department of Labor
Department of State
FedStats
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Government Publishing Office (GPO)
Grants.gov
IRS
Library of Congress
National Institutes of Health
Public Papers of the President
Small Businss Administration
Statistical Abstract of the United States
Uniform Crime Reports
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
USA.gov
USAJobs

D.C.
Nov. 9

CLASS CANCELLED


Nov. 11

Legal Tech Audit, Verdicts, Settlements, Court Rules & Citators
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 7
Last day for pathfinder drafts (optional) (11/14)
Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure
FL Rules of Court Procedure

Nov. 16

Florida and State-Specific Legal Research
Uniform Law Commission (unannotated)
Hein Online
Florida Law Weekly (description)
The Florida Bar
     Florida City-County-Circuit Listing
Florida Bar LOMAS
Florida Bar - General Practice Solo and Small Firm
Municode (municipal ordinances or codes)
Miami-Dade Public Library System
Florida Government Information Locator
11th Judicial Circuit (Clerk of Court)
Florida Professional Liability (Office of Insurance Regulation) (malpractice claims)
50-State Surveys

Nov. 18

Search Engines and Online Techniques
Ravel Law
Researching Business and Non-Legal Materials
BloombergLaw
Daily Business Review
Public Records Online (search property records)
Sunbiz (Florida Division of Corporations)
Florida Secured Transaction Registry
UM Libraries Business Sources Guide (other business databases)
SEC (public company filings)
Howjsay pronunciation dictionary
Tasa Group
Expert Pages (self-identified experts)
Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator (current and released former inmates)
FL Department of Corrections (current inmates in FL prisons)

Nov. 23

No Class

Nov. 24 Final Pathfinder due by 11:59pm.
Please put it in the Assignment Drop Box on TWEN, e-mail it to me, or turn it in to me directly.
Last update: 11/18/2015