Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Secondary Sources for Moot Court

By now you all know about the importance of secondary sources when researching. But there are some secondary sources that are not covered in the standard 1L research curriculum. If you have a state based research issue you might be interested in looking at a specific state based secondary source. Two come to mind -

1. See if you are working on a problem where the state has its own legal encyclopedia. Not every state has its own encyclopedia but it is worth checking out. Take a look at California Jurisprudence (CalJur) or New York Jurisprudence 2d (NYJur2d). There are other states like Florida and Ohio that have their own encyclopedias.

2. One of the best state specific resources is the state "practice series." For example, we have a great practice series for Connecticut available in print and online. Massachusetts has a practice series available online. A state practice series is not always comprehensive but, like ALR, if it covers your topic, you are very close to finding exactly what you want. Both are available on Westlaw.

Caveat - Watch Out! The Connecticut Practice Series is not the Connecticut Practice Book. The Practice Book contains the official rules of procedure (and more) for the state. The Practice Series is a practice guide to Connecticut law written by practitioners, judges, and professors.

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