A Guide to Legal Research in Virginia

A Guide to Legal Research in Virginia
Publication Date: 2012
Available Formats: Print (206 pages, spiral-bound, 1 volume)
  Electronic (searchable PDF via flash drive, CD, or immediate download)
  Both Print and One Electronic Format
Product #: 882

Information

  • General Principles
  • Constitutional Law
  • Statutory Law
  • Case Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Local Law
  • Treatises, Manuals, and Form Books
  • Legal Periodicals, Indexes, and Other Information Sources
  • Fastcase
  • Quick Finding Guide

Legal research is at the foundation of every well-prepared representation. The last thing you want is to learn the law from the judge or worse, opposing counsel, in open court.

Even knowing that a research source exists can be the critical piece of your case. For example, if you handle unemployment compensation claims, did you know that Virginia Employment Commission’s “Precedent Decision Manual” is on the VEC website?

A Guide to Legal Research in Virginia provides the best way to locate and learn to use research sources on Virginia law. The Guide is focused on sources relevant to the practice of law in Virginia, from state sources to forms and treatises and more.


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Table of Contents

CHAPTER LIST

1. Introduction And General Principles

2. Constitutional Law

3. Statutory Law

4. Case Law

5. Administrative Law

6. Local Law

7. Treatises, Manuals, And Form Books

8. Legal Periodicals, Indexes, And Other Information Sources

9. Fastcase

10. Quick Finding Guide


CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES  (back to top)

1.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE

1.2 BRIEFING RULES
        1.201 Sources
        1.202 Principal Elements of Briefs
    
1.3 CITATION FORM

CHAPTER 2: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW  (back to top)

2.1 INTRODUCTION

2.2 PRIOR ORGANIC LAW
        2.201 Early Constitutions
        2.202 Civil War Constitutions
        2.203 Sixth and Seventh Constitutions

2.3 CURRENT CONSTITUTION
        2.301 General
        2.302 Structure of the Constitution
        2.303 Text of the Constitution
        2.304 Another Source; Comparison with Other State Constitutions
        2.305 Index

2.4 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTIONS AND
COMMISSIONS

2.5 JUDICIAL INTERPRETATIONS
        2.501 Code of Virginia of 1950, Annotated and West’s Annotated Code of Virginia
        2.502 Virginia and West Virginia Digest
        2.503 Shepard’s Virginia Citations
        2.504 Official Reports
        2.505 Unofficial Reports
    
2.6 TREATISES AND COMMENTARIES
        2.601 Michie’s Jurisprudence of Virginia and West Virginia
        2.602 Commentaries
        2.603 Other Sources

2.7 CITATION

CHAPTER 3: STATUTORY LAW  (back to top)

3.1 INTRODUCTION

3.2 LEGISLATION
        3.201 Scope
        3.202 Creation of Legislation
        3.203 Acts of the General Assembly
        3.204 Related Sources
        3.205 Concurrent Legislative Tracking

3.3 THE VIRGINIA CODE
        3.301 Code of Virginia of 1950
        3.302 Previous Codification
        3.303 Annotations
        3.304 Tables
        3.305 Virginia Code Index

3.4 THE VIRGINIA CODE IN ELECTRONIC FORMAT
        3.401 Online Systems and Services
        3.402 CD-ROM Products

3.5 OTHER SOURCES
        3.501 Michie’s Jurisprudence of Virginia and West Virginia
        3.502 Shepard’s Virginia Citations

CHAPTER 4: CASE LAW  (back to top)

4.1 INTRODUCTION

4.2 REPORTING OF DECISIONS OF THE COURTS OF
VIRGINIA
        4.201 Decisions of the Supreme Court of Virginia
        4.202 Appeals Granted; Cases Scheduled for Argument
        4.203 Print Sources of Published Opinions
        4.204 Decisions of the Virginia Court of Appeals
        4.205 Decisions of Circuit Courts
        4.206 Unpublished Decisions

4.3 VIRGINIA CASE LAW IN ELECTRONIC FORMAT
        4.301 Online Systems
        4.302 Virginia Cases on CD-ROM
        4.303 Internet Resources

4.4 FINDING THE RELEVANT CASE LAW
        4.401 Digests
        4.402 Encyclopedias
        4.403 Case Finders
        4.404 Updating Current Authority
        4.405 Briefs

4.5 FEDERAL COURT DECISIONS INTERPRETING
VIRGINIA LAW

4.6 COURT DOCKETS

CHAPTER 5: ADMINISTRATIVE LAW  (back to top)

5.1 INTRODUCTION

5.2 ORGANIZATION OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
        5.201 Governor
        5.202 Secretarial System
        5.203 Boards and Commissions
        5.204 Agencies

5.3 ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS ACT

5.4 PUBLISHED RULES AND REGULATIONS
        5.401 Registrar of Regulations
        5.402 Virginia Register of Regulations
        5.403 Limitations of the Virginia Register
        5.404 Virginia Register Research Aids
        5.405 Citation Form for the Virginia Register
        5.406 Virginia Administrative Code

5.5 AGENCY ORDERS AND DECISIONS
        5.501 Generally
        5.502 State Corporation Commission
        5.503 Workers’ Compensation Commission
        5.504 Virginia Employment Commission
        5.505 Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
        5.506 Department of Taxation
        5.507 Department of Environmental Quality
        5.508 Department of Health Professions
        5.509 State Lottery Department (Board)
    
5.6 OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
        5.601 Attorney General’s Duty to Advise
        5.602 Annual Report of the Attorney General of Virginia
        5.603 Opinions of the Attorney General in Electronic Format
        5.604 Citation of Opinions of the Attorney General

5.7 EXECUTIVE ORDERS

5.8 GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS

CHAPTER 6: LOCAL LAW  (back to top)

6.1 INTRODUCTION

6.2 FORMS AND FUNCTIONS OF LOCAL
GOVERNMENTS
        6.201 Definitions
        6.202 Functions
        6.203 Sources of Local Government Law

6.3 LOCAL ORDINANCES AND CODES
        6.301 Codification
        6.302 Sources of Ordinances and Codes
        6.303 Judicial Interpretations of Local Law and Ordinances
        6.304 Other Sources of Local Government Information

6.4 LOCAL COURTS
        6.401 Jurisdiction and Functions
        6.402 Other Sources of Court Information
        6.403 Virginia Court Structure

CHAPTER 7: TREATISES, MANUALS, AND FORM BOOKS  (back to top)

7.1 INTRODUCTION

7.2 GENERAL RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
RESOURCES

7.3 FORM BOOKS

7.4 RESOURCES IN SPECIFIC AREAS OF PRACTICE

CHAPTER 8: LEGAL PERIODICALS, INDEXES, AND OTHER INFORMATION SOURCES  (back to top)

8.1 INTRODUCTION

8.2 DICTIONARIES AND THESAURUSES

8.3 LEGAL PERIODICALS
        8.301 Introduction
        8.302 School-Related Journals and Reviews
        8.303 Legal Periodicals Available Online Through Legal Publishers
        8.304 Professional Law Journals
        8.305 Newspapers

8.4 INDEXES
        8.401 General Indexes of Note
        8.402 Online Indexes

8.5 STATISTICAL INFORMATION

8.6 DIRECTORIES
        8.601 Printed Directories
        8.602 Online Directories
        8.603 Internet Resources

8.7 QUICK REFERENCE

CHAPTER 9: FASTCASE  (back to top)

9.1 HISTORY

9.2 THE FASTCASE INTERFACE
        9.201 In General
        9.202 Fastcase Case Law Database Content
        9.203 Searching Case Law Options
        9.204 Authority Check
        9.205 Other Fastcase Databases
    
CHAPTER 10: QUICK FINDING GUIDE  (back to top)

10.1 STATUTES BY SUBJECT

10.2 STATUTES BY POPULAR NAME

10.3 PREDECESSORS OF CURRENT STATUTES

10.4 ACTS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BY
SUBJECT

10.5 ACTS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BY BILL
NUMBER

10.6 ACTS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AMENDING
OR REPEALING A PARTICULAR SECTION OF
THE VIRGINIA CODE

10.7 CODE SECTION THAT CODIFIES A PARTICULAR
ACT

10.8 PENDING LEGISLATION BY SUBJECT, BY BILL
NUMBER, BY PATRON, BY LEGISLATIVE
COMMITTEE, OR BY SECTION OF THE VIRGINIA
CODE POTENTIALLY AFFECTED

10.9 CASES BY SUBJECT

10.10 CASES CITING STATUTES OR CONSTITUTIONAL
PROVISIONS

10.11 CASES CITING LOCAL ORDINANCES

10.12 CASES CITING A KNOWN CASE

10.13 CASES BY NAME OF PLAINTIFF OR
DEFENDANT

10.14 CASES BY POPULAR NAME

10.15 SOUTH EASTERN REPORTER CITATIONS FOR
KNOWN CITATIONS IN VIRGINIA REPORTS AND
VIRGINIA COURT OF APPEALS REPORTS

10.16 VIRGINIA REPORTS AND VIRGINIA COURT OF
APPEALS REPORTS CITATIONS FOR KNOWN
CITATION IN SOUTH EASTERN REPORTER

10.17 RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY
ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES

10.18 DECISIONS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
AND EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS

10.19 OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

10.20 RULES BY SUBJECT

10.21 CASES CITING PARTICULAR RULES

10.22 LEGAL ETHICS OPINIONS AND UNAUTHORIZED
PRACTICE OF LAW OPINIONS CITING RULES OF
THE SUPREME COURT

APPENDIX: DIRECTORY OF INFORMATION SOURCES

INDEX

Authors

Editors

John D. Eure, Johnson, Ayers & Matthews, P.L.C., Roanoke

Gail Zwirner, University of Richmond Law School Library

Authors

Christopher Byrne, Wolf Law Library, William and Mary Law School

Timothy L. Coggins, University of Richmond Law School Library

Fred Dingledy, Wolf Law Library, William and Mary Law School

Terry Long, State Law Library of the Supreme Court of Virginia

Jennifer Sekula, Wolf Law Library, William and Mary Law School

Cynthia L. Smith, McGuireWoods LLP, Washington, D.C.

Gail Warren, State Law Librarian of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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