Annotated Law Reports

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					American Law Reports (ALR)

A unique research tool to help you
find encyclopedic essays on a
particular point of law.
        American Law Reports

   Selective case law reporting.

   Publisher focuses on a particular legal
    issue and collects relevant cases.

   Provides entry into the publisher’s Total
    Client-Service Library research system.
    A unique case finding tool.
   Identifies points of law not previously
   Helps to signal a change in the law.
   Identifies emerging trends in legal
   Groups cases in one place to assist in
    analyzing and synthesizing material.
   Find a relevant A.L.R. and you have a
    great start on any research project.
Direct Route To Case Law Research

   Each A.L.R. is a complete legal
    memorandum on a particular legal
   Relevant sources are collected and
   Detailed discussion of the general
    principles deduced from the cases.
And . . .

   The A.L.R. series provides information
    – distinctions,
    – exceptions,
    – and applications of the principal under
The Substantive Section
   The bulk of the article is the case
    summary. It provides an objective
    discussion of the court’s statements on
    a given issue.
    – 1. General conclusion on the issue.
    – 2. The facts and contentions before the
    – 3. The court’s reasoning to support its
               A.L.R. Federal
   Discusses Federal topics only.

   A.L.R. Fed. -- 1969 to date.

   Until 1993 (volume 111) the illustrative case
    immediately preceded the Annotation.

   Cases are now reported in full following the
                 A.L.R. Federal
   Includes references to West Group products.
    – Ex. C.J.S. and the Topic/Key Number System.

   Volume 128 introduces a new Special
    Commentaries feature written by an expert
    practitioner dealing with their legal specialty.

   A component of the set, called ALR Federal
    Tables, is a useful finding aid.
Fifth Series -- A.L.R. 5th
   State topics only.
   1992 to date.
   Refers to
    – textbooks and encyclopedias from various
    – Pertinent law review articles.
    – Suggested electronic searches.
    – Relevant West Key Numbers.
   Has Table of Contents, Scope Note,
    Jurisdictional Tables, Related Annotations
    and Practice Pointers.
A.L.R. 5th Article Features
   Prefatory Statement functions as a
    scope note.
   Citation of illustrative case which is fully
    reported infra.
   Table of Contents provides a detailed
    outline of the article.
   Both sides of an issue are presented.
    – Provides objective and balanced analysis
      of the law.
Fourth Series A.L.R. 4th 1980-1992.
   State topics only.

   Regular set features -- illustrative cases,
    outlines, Annotations, indexes, and
    research references.

   Enhancements found in the Federal and
    5th series are being incorporated in the
    annual pocket parts.
Earlier A.L.R. Series
   Third Series A.L.R.3d 1965 -1980.
    – State & Federal topics from 1965 -1969.
    – Updated by annual pocket part.
   Second Series A.L.R.2d 1948 -1965.
    – Contains state and federal topics.
    – More convoluted updating method.
   First Series A.L.R. 1919 -1948.
    – Contains state and federal topics.
    – More convoluted updating method.
How to find a relevant A.L.R.

   Index Method -- multi-volume ALR
    Index covers all but the 1st series.
    Updated by annual pocket part.

   Also, a ALR Federal Quick Index and a
    ALR Quick Index for ALR 3d, 4th, and
    5th. (Coverage is not as thorough).
The index uses an alphabetical,
descriptive word approach:
   Use synonyms and antonyms. Also,
    TARP Rule --Things, Actions, Relief,
    Persons or Parties.

   Classifying entries under a variety of
    legal and factual terms and concepts.

Another way to find a relevant A.L.R.
   Digest method.
    – Subjects are classified in over 400 legal
      topics arranged alphabetically.
    – Initially it was not a West Group
      publication and the prior publishers had
      their own classification scheme.
   First determine applicable topics and
    consult the outline for sections
    covering your point of law.
Alternatively, . . .
   Consult the Table of Laws, Rules, and
    Regulation if you have:
    – A specific federal or state statute,
    – rule or regulation,
    – uniform laws,
    – model acts,
    – restatements, or
    – code of ethics
You will be pleased to know . . .

   The over 13,000+ Annotations from the
    2d to latest A.L.R. series are available
              electronically on . . .
            WESTLAW and LEXIS
         Check vendor directories.
And don’t forget . . .

   When “Shepardizing” primary legal
    authority, references are given to
    whether an American Law Report has
    been written on the case or statute.
    – This is a great way to get started on a
      research project that deals with a known
      case or statute.
         Be careful, be aware!
          Things change . . .
   The credibility of any A.L.R. you use is
    influenced by:
    – New statutes that are enacted,
    – Recent cases continue to interpret
    – and the law continues to evolve.
     How to stay up-to-date using
      the various A.L.R. series.
   A.L.R. 3d, 4th, 5th, and Federal.
    – These newer series are updated by annual
      pocket parts.
    – But, for complete coverage, as new volumes
      are published in any of the series, the
      contents page or “subject annotated” section
      must be consulted.
    Earlier series are a little more
              difficult . . .
   A.L.R. 2d utilizes a multi-volume Later
    Case Service system updated with
    pocket parts.
   A.L.R. (First Series) utilizes a
    cumbersome 8 volume A.L.R. Blue
    Book of Supplemental Decisions.
   Plus pocket parts!!
For all series check for:
                             Supplementing
   Superseding               Annotations
    Annotations               Used by the first two
    Editors may rewrite       series. You must
    and publish in a          consult the original
    later A.L.R. a            Annotation and read it
    superseding               with the new
    (replacement)             supplemental material
    Annotation.               as if they were one
    Keeping current is critical!

   Consult the Annotation History Table to
    avoid relying on obsolete or incomplete
    – The table is located in the index volume
      containing the letter Z.

   You can also “Shepardize” Annotations.

   Call the Latest Case Service Hotline --
    located on cover of the supplement.
Final points to remember:

   American Law Reports are a great
    starting point for finding relevant cases
    on a particular point of law.

   As a secondary resource, the
    Annotations functions as a finding aid
    that will lead you to primary authority.
Bluebook Rule
   Cite discussions in selective case
    reporters (such as American Law
    Reports and Lawyer’s Reports
    Annotated) by the author’s full name,
    followed by the designation “Annotation”
    in ordinary roman type and the title of
    the work in italics.
16.6.6 Annotations

   William B. Johnson, Annotation, Use of
    Plea Bargain or Grant of Immunity as
    Improper Vouching for Credibility of
    witness in Federal Cases, 76 A.L.R.
    Fed. 409 (1986).