Synopses & Reviews
This text presents a unique approach to legal research and writing by giving equal weight to both areas. This up-to-date and classroom tested book includes outstanding chapters on research, including a chapter with detailed explanations of legal reasoning and analysis and another on computer-assisted legal research. The research chapters end with legal assignments, and cyber law exercises are included at the end of most chapters, which require students to perform computer-assisted legal research. The writing portion of the text devotes entire chapters to writing client opinion letters, pleadings, contracts, office memos, memoranda of law, and appellate briefs. Sample documents are provided containing heavily footnoted tips, that are designed to provide students with as much help as possible in their writing. The text contains case excerpts, illustrating material introduced in the text and emphasizing the perils of performing inadequate legal research and writing poorly. Reader-friendly in tone, the many examples included will appeal to students and instructors alike.
The author's tone is quite professional and the writing style is on the whole concise and well written.
I thought the internet material was terrific. Many resources and web sites are listed, and the exercises are great.
Real life examples, and sample documents serve as a resource for anyone who has to perform legal research or draft legal documents. A complete chapter is devoted to computer-assisted legal research written by an expert in the field.
This unique text presents a balanced approach to legal research and legal writing. Outstanding chapters on research are included and key topics such as legal reasoning and analysis and computer-assisted legal research are discussed. Chapter concepts are reinforced with end-of-chapter legal research assignments and cyber law exercises, which require students to perform computer-assisted legal research. The writing portion of the text devotes entire chapters to writing client opinion letters, pleadings, contracts, office memos, memoranda of law, and appellate briefs. The many writing tips, case excerpts, and numerous examples provided make this reader-friendly text appealing to students, instructors, and professionals alike.
About the Author
Carol M. Bast is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida and a member of The Florida Bar, the Orange County Bar Association and the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. Ms. Bast is a member of many professional organizations, including American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects and the Legal Writing Institute. She has won several professional awards, presented at numerous events and co-authored several publications, including FOUNDATIONS OF LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING AND FLORIDA COURTS. Carol M. Bast is a graduate of New York Law School and received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida and a Doctoral Degree in Spanish from the University of Florida.Margie Hawkins received her Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree from the University of South Florida, and is a member of Beta Phi Mu, the international library and information science honor society. She holds undergraduate degrees in History and Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida. She is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the Florida-Caribbean Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), and the Orange County Bar Association. She served on the Advisory Committee for the Valencia Community College Paralegal Studies Program (1993-2006). Ms. Hawkins is a co-author of the 2nd and 3rd editions of Foundations of Legal Research and Writing. Her area of expertise is computer-assisted legal research and the Internet. Margie is the Librarian for the Orlando office of Holland and Knight LLP.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Law and Sources of Law 1 Introduction 1 The American System of Law 1 Our Tripartite System 7 Interplay Among the Three Branches of Government in Lawmaking 9 Sources of Law 13 Summary 16 Key Terms 17 Exercises 17 Cyberlaw Exercises 17 Discussion Points 18 Chapter 2 Legal Reasoning and Analysis 19 Introduction 19 Doctrine of Stare Decisis 20 Judicial Opinions 24 Legal Analysis of Statutory Law 28 Legal Analysis of Constitutional Law 36 Reasoning by Analogy and Deductive Reasoning 40 Summary 44 Key Terms 45 Exercises 46 Cyberlaw Exercises 46 Discussion Points 47 Chapter 3 Secondary Sources and Finding Tools 49 Introduction 49 Encyclopedias 50 American Law Reports 60 Attorney General Opinions 70 Restatements of the Law 72 Treatises 74 Legal Dictionaries 74 Legal Directories 79 Formbooks 79 Looseleaf Services 79 Legal Periodicals 80 Digests 84 Summary 96 Key Terms 96 Cyberlaw Exercises 97 Legal Research Assignment—Legal Encyclopedias 97 Legal Research Assignment—American Law Reports 100 Legal Research Assignment—Digests 103 Discussion Points 106 Chapter 4 The Judicial Branch and Cases 107 Introduction 107 The Judicial Branch 107 Reading Cases 115 Briefing a Case 126 Location of Cases 130 Case Citations 132 Summary 136 Key Terms 137 Cyberlaw Exercises 138 Legal Research Assignment—Reading Cases 138 Legal Research Assignment—Case Law 139 Discussion Points 142 Chapter 5 Primary Sources: Constitutions, Statutes, Court Rules, and Administrative Law 143 Introduction 143 Constitutions 143 Statutes 146 Court Rules 170 Administrative Law 178 Summary 192 Key Terms 193 Cyberlaw Exercises 193 Legal Research Assignment—Constitutions 194 Legal Research Assignment—Statutes 195 Legal Research Assignment—Court Rules 197 Legal Research Assignment—Administrative Law 200 Discussion Points 202 Chapter 6 Citators 203 Introduction 203 Citators 204 Shepardizing Procedure 206 Statutes 220 KeyCite 223 Summary 234 Key Terms 234 Cyberlaw Exercises 234 Legal Research Assignment—Citators 235 Discussion Points 236 Chapter 7 Overview of the Research Process and Ethical Considerations 237 Introduction 237 George Peak Illustrative Fact Pattern 237 The Eight Steps of Legal Research 238 Preliminary Considerations 239 Three Basic Approaches to Legal Research 242 Step One: Gathering Information 243 Step Two: Identifying Key Terms 244 Step Three: Learn More About the Area of Law You Are Researching through Second Authority 248 Step Four: Locating Primary Authority 249 Step Five: Locating Other Primary Authority 250 Step Six: Reviewing Found Sources and Updating 252 Step Seven: Deciding Whether You Are Finished with Your Research 253 Step Eight: Evaluate What You Have Found and Determine the Answer to Your Research Question 254 Inadequate Legal Research As an Ethics Violation 254 Summary 260 Key Terms 260 Exercises 260 Cyberlaw Exercises 261 Discussion Points 261 Chapter 8 Computer-Assisted Legal Research 263 Introduction 263 History of Computer-Assisted Legal Research 264 CALR: Pros and Cons 264 Evaluative Guidelines 265 Copyright Concerns in a Digital Environment 268 Computer-Assisted Legal Research Tools 268 Legal Databases 268 Public Records Databases 273 Credit Reporting Laws 275 Company and Financial Information 276 Legal and Government Internet Resources 281 Administrative Law 282 Government Agencies 282 Intellectual Property Law 283 International Law 284 Law Reviews, Journals, and Legal Periodicals 284 Legislative Information 285 Case Law 286 Court Dockets and Case History 287 Limitations to Using the Internet as a Research Tool 288 Summary 289 Key Terms 291 Discussion Points 291 Exercises 291 CyberLaw Exercises 292 Chapter 9 Introduction to Legal Writing 293 Introduction 293 Importance of Good Legal Writing to the Law 293 Types of Legal Writing 311 Summary 315 Key Terms 315 Cyberlaw Exercises 315 Exercises 316 Discussion Points 316 Chapter 10 Fundamentals of Writing 317 Introduction 317 Writing Process 317 Structure 319 Mechanical Errors 324 Summary 327 Key Terms 328 Cyberlaw Exercises 328 Exercises 328 Discussion Points 329 Chapter 11 Transmittal Letter and Client Opinion Letter 331 Introduction 331 Purpose of the Transmittal Letter 331 Style of Letters 332 Purpose of the Client Opinion Letter 332 Format of the Client Opinion Letter 333 Sample Client Opinion Letters 334 Summary 342 Cyber Examples 343 Exercises 343 Writing Exercise 343 Discussion Points 343 Chapter 12 Writing Contracts 345 Introduction 345 The Substance of the Contract 346 Writing a Contract 348 Checklist of Matters To Be Considered When Writing a Contract for the Sale of Goods 350 The Perfect Contract 350 Whats Wrong with the Computer Contract? 352 Checklist for an Employment Contract 355 Organization and Format 355 A Type of Employment Agreement—The Attorney-Client Retainer Agreement 358 Summary 360 Key Terms 361 Cyberlaw Exercises 361 Contract Exercises 361 Discussion Points 362 Chapter 13 Pleadings 363 Introduction 363 Purpose and Use 363 Format 364 Format of the Complaint 365 Format of the Answer 366 Evidentiary Facts, Ultimate Facts, and Legal Conclusions 370 First Sample Set of Pleadings 374 Second Sample Set of Pleadings 379 Summary 383 Key Terms 384 Cyberlaw Exercises 384 Cyber Examples 384 Discussion Points 385 Chapter 14 Law Office Memo 387 Introduction 387 Purpose and Use 387 Style 388 Format 389 First Sample Office Memo 395 Second Office Menu 403 Summary 410 Key Terms 411 Exercises 411 Cyber Examples 411 Discussion Points 411 Chapter 15 Memorandum of Law 413 Introduction 413 Purpose and Use 413 Style 414 Organization 415 Format 416 First Sample Memorandum of Law 418 Second Sample Memorandum of Law 426 Summary 432 Exercises 432 Cyberlaw Exercises and Examples 433 Discussion Points 433 Chapter 16 Appellate Brief 435 Introduction 435 Purpose and Use 435 Format 437 First Sample Appellate Brief 442 Second Sample Appellate Brief 452 Summary 464 Key Terms 464 Exercises 464 Cyber Examples 465 Discussion Points 465 Appendices 467 Appendix A Search and Seizure 467 Introduction 467 The George Peak Search and Seizure Problem 468 The Fourth Amendment 469 Federal Eavesdropping Statutes 478 Background Information on Search and Seizure 485 Writing Exercises 489 Appendix B Citation Rules 491 General Citation Tips 491 United States Supreme Court Cases 492 United States Courts of Appeals 492 United States District Courts 493 Citations for Constitutions 493 Citations for Statutes 493 Citations for Court Rules 494 Citations for Administrative Law 494 Citations to Legal Encyclopedias 495 Citations to American Law Reports 495 Citations to Attorneys General Opinions 495 Citations to Restatements 496 Citations to a Treatise 496 Citation to Legal Dictionary 496 Citation to a Law Review Article 496 Citation to Internet Material 496 Cyber Citations 496 Appendix C Rules for Quotations and Short-Form Citations 497 Introduction 497 Quotations 497 Short-Form Citations 503 Short-Form Citations for Statutes 505 Exercises on Short-Form Citations 505 Appendix D Mechanical Errors 507 Introduction 507 Excess Words 507 Use of Apostrophes 509 Sentence Fragments 511 Run-On Sentences 512 Parallel Construction 513 Antecedents 515 Active versus Passive Voice 516 Change in Tenses 518 Appendix E Problems 521 Was Swimming Pool an Attractive Nuisance? 521 Defamation 523 The Nightmare Property 524 I Wonder What Is In the Package 525 Appendix F Electronic Information Formats 527 Introduction 527 Electronic Information Formats 527 Summary 533 Appendix G Internet Technology 535 Introduction 535 Internet Protocols 535 Internet Domain Names 536 Web Browsers 537 Browser Plug-Ins 537 Appendix H Internet Search Tools 539 Introduction 539 Search Engines 539 Web Directories 540 Meta-Search Engines 541 Specialized and Subject-Specific Search Engines 541 Legal Search Engines 542 Query Planner 544 Appendix I Legal Research Starting Points 547 Introduction 547 Appendix J Federal Law Web Resources 549 Introduction 549 Appendix K State and Local Web Resources 553 Introduction 553 Appendix L International Law Web Resources 555 Introduction 555 Appendix M The Paralegals Role in Technology 557 Introduction 557 Case Management and Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) 557 High-Tech Courtrooms 558 Videoconferencing 560 Litigation Support 560 Locating Experts 561 Glossary 563 Index 575