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Legal Writing
UMKC School of Law
Temm, Wanda M.

Research Outline
1.                  Federal Statutes
a.       Compiled Chronologically
                                                              i.      Official: “Session Laws”- United States Statues at Large
1.      Cites as “Stat.”
2.      Published annually- By government. Laws of the first session of the 96th Congress, which met in 1979, are contained in volume 93 and the laws of the second session of the 96th Congress, which met in 1980, are contained in volume 94. Hard to use.
a.       Takes 2-3 years from enactment to publish statutes
b.      Contains all statutes passed during that annual session.
3.      Will Need: a citation (volume number and page number) or an “address”
4.      Can find the Common or Popular Title of an Act.
5.      Public Law Number: 
a.       On top of page. 
b.      First number (designates the number of the Congress that enacted the legislation) Second Number (Indicates that this law was the –th law passed by that congress). Ex. 93-295
c.       Used to refer to the ENTIRE ACT (which Statute at Large citation will be different for each page of the statute as it appears in the Statute at Large.)
6.      Arranged sequentially in order of Public Law Number.
7.      Only the text of the statute as it was originally adopted. i.e. no pocket parts.
8.      Used to
a.       Determine the Congress’ intent by looking at the statute’s original language
b.      Review of eh whole body of Congressional action for a given session
c.       Locate some Congressional action that does not appear in a subject matter compilation of federal statutes (a code).
                                                            ii.      Slip Laws
1.      Paper pamphlet publication of statutes immediately after enactment
2.      Retained until bound publication is available
                                                          iii.      Unofficial: United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (U.S.C.C.A.N.)
1.      Contains laws published by Congressional session-provides a detailed (although incomplete) legislative history of the statute, often including a copy of the House or Senate Report.
2.      Published Commercially by West
3.      Public Law Number Applies
4.      The Legislative history is found in a separate section, you must look in volume that contains the legislative history of the public laws passed by the Congress.
5.      Listed are the bill and report numbers and dates that you will need in order to do more thorough research on the legislative history in other resources.
6.      No cumulative general subject index, only a subject index in the last volume of each year for the subjects covered in the volumes of that year.
7.      Used when
a.       Knows at least the year
b.      To research the legislative history of a known statute
                                                          iv.      United States Code (U.S.C.)
1.      Official
2.      Published by government
3.      Code: statutory law research tool. Organizes or “codifies” statutes by subject matter rather than by date on which the statute was enacted.
4.      New edition published every 6 years.
5.      Organized alphabetically by general subject matter or topic. All the statutes, no matter when they were enacted by congress, are grouped together under one “title.”
6.      Divided into 50 titles or broad subjects. Table of titles and Chapters appears near the front of every volume.
7.      Differs from Statutes at Large: in that amendments are incorporated into the original text and repealed laws are deleted from the compilation.
8.      Each Chapter is concerned with a Specific Act
9.      Each section covers one statute within the Act.
10. 16 U.S.C.§ 1531 Title 16- Chapter 35 Section 1531
11. Updated: By bound supplements (which are cumulative); thus only look in the latest supplement.
12. 8 months to 2 years out of date., often necessary to con

                       ii.      Code of Federal Regulations
                                                                                              iii.      Cross Reference
                                                                                              iv.      Research Guide
1.      No reference to West Key Numbers
2.      Refers to American Jurisprudence and Law Review Citations
                                                                                                v.      Interpretive notes and Decisions
1.      Squibs of both judicial decisions and Administrative decisions
VIII.       Steps
a.       Descriptive words
b.      Use descriptive word index for whatever code you are using
c.       Find the statute
d.      Update the statute- pocket part, interim pamphlet, slip laws/advance sheets for newest legislation
e.       Shepardize the Statute. Better to help interpret and make sure it is still good law.
f.       Other Methods:
                                                                                                  i.      By “Popular Name”: But do not know the citation, looks that the popular name table in the US Code, US Code Annotated, US Code Service, USCCAN, and Shepard’s.
                                                                                                ii.      Conversion tables (if you have the Public Law number or Statutes at Large cite, you can find the actual cite in the code to statute.)
g.      To find a case that cites a particular statute
Look in annotations (Notes of Decisions