Sneaky legal research trick

by Ted McClure 28. June 2011 07:35

Ever need to find out what court handled customs appeals before the creation of the Court of International Trade? What the trial courts are called in Massachusetts? Well, you can quickly find answers to questions like these in an unlikely reference book that you almost certainly have within reach.

The BLUEBOOK.

What?

Yes, the BLUEBOOK. The book that has all those fussy rules about how to cite cases, statutes, and kitchen sinks. (Maybe not kitchen sinks, but I wouldn't be surprised.) Because it must provide complete guidance on how to cite cases from all courts over all time, with appropriate abbreviations, somebody has done extensive research on which courts have existed when. For United States jurisdictions, go to Table T1. It will tell you which courts were reported in which reporters at what times. This doesn't work as well for foreign jurisdictions in Table T2, because the focus is on reporters rather than courts, but it's worth a shot. At least it will give you some words to start searching on in other resources.

Tags:

Research | Tips


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