A Guide to Legal Research in Virginia

A Guide to Legal Research in Virginia
Publication Date: 2017
Available Formats: Print (233 pages, spiral-bound, 1 volume)
  Electronic (searchable PDF via flash drive, CD, or immediate download)
  Both Print and One Electronic Format
Product #: 882

Information

Chapter List
  • General Principles
  • Constitutional Law
  • Statutory Law
  • Court and Case Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Local Law
  • Treatises, Manuals, and Form Books
  • Legal Periodicals, Indexes, Directories, and Statistical Information
  • Fastcase
  • Legal Ethics
  • Quick Finding Guide

A Guide to Legal Research in Virginia provides the best way to locate and learn to use research sources on Virginia law. Written by the experts in research—attorney librarians—the book comprehensively covers materials available in print and online, to ensure you can explore all likely research avenues should a novel issue present itself.

  • Focuses on sources relevant to the practice of law in Virginia, from state sources to forms to treatises, and more
  • Includes information on finding hard-to-find agency rules and orders
  • New in the 2017 edition: researching ethical rules, and appendices containing directories of libraries and other useful research organizations

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Table of Contents

CHAPTER LIST

1. Introduction and General Principles

2. Constitutional Law

3. Statutory Law

4. Courts and Case Law

5. Administrative Law

6. Local Law

7. Treatises, Manuals, and Form Books

8. Legal Periodicals, Indexes, Directories, and Statistical Information

9. Fastcase

10. Legal Ethics

11. Quick Finding Guide


CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL
PRINCIPLES


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

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 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

3.1 INTRODUCTION

3.2 LEGISLATION
        3.201 Publication
        3.202 Legislative History
        3.203 Creation of Legislation
        3.204 Resources for Locating Proposed and
        Enacted Legislation

3.3 THE VIRGINIA CODE
        3.301 Code of Virginia 1950
        3.302 Previous Codification
        3.303 Annotations
        3.304 Tables
        3.305 Other Sources for Researching Statutes
        by Subject
        3.306 The Virginia Code in Electronic Format

3.4 UPDATING
        3.401 Shepard’s Virginia Citations
        3.402 Table of Subscription Databases with
        Virginia Code and Statutes

CHAPTER 4: COURTS AND CASE LAW

4.1 INTRODUCTION

4.2 COURTS
        4.201 In General
        4.202 Supreme Court of Virginia
        4.203 Court of Appeals
        4.204 Circuit Courts
        4.205 District Courts

4.3 CASE LAW
        4.301 In General
        4.302 Elements of Virginia Appellate Opinions
        4.303 Appeals Granted; Cases Scheduled for
        Argument
        4.304 Citation

4.4 VIRGINIA CASE LAW IN PRINT
        4.401 Decisions of the Supreme Court of Virginia
        4.402 Decisions of the Virginia Court of Appeals
        4.403 Decisions of Circuit Courts
        4.404 Unpublished Decisions

4.5 VIRGINIA CASE LAW IN ELECTRONIC FORMAT
        4.501 Online Subscription Services
        4.502 Free Internet Resources

4.6 RESEARCHING VIRGINIA CASE LAW IN PRINT
        4.601 Digests
        4.602 Encyclopedias
        4.603 Case Finders

4.7 RESEARCHING VIRGINIA CASE LAW ONLINE
        4.701 In General
        4.702 Westlaw
        4.703 Lexis Advance
        4.704 Bloomberg Law
    
4.8 UPDATING CURRENT AUTHORITY
        4.801 In General
        4.802 Shepard’s Citation in Print
        4.803 Online Citators

4.9 FEDERAL COURTS INTERPRETING VIRGINIA
CASES
        4.901 In General
        4.902 Sources of Federal Decisions
        4.903 Finding Federal Opinions
        4.904 Unpublished Federal Decisions
        4.905 Updating Federal Opinions
    
4.10 OTHER COURT DOCUMENTS
        4.1001 Dockets
        4.1002 Records and Briefs

CHAPTER 5: ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

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 Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage
        Control
        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

6.1 INTRODUCTION

6.2 FORMS AND FUNCTIONS OF LOCAL
GOVERNMENTS
        6.201 Definitions
        6.202 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

CHAPTER 7: TREATISES, MANUALS, AND FORM
BOOKS


7.1 INTRODUCTION

7.2 GENERAL RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
RESOURCES

7.3 FORM BOOKS

7.4 RESOURCES IN SPECIFIC AREAS OF PRACTICE
        7.401 Attorney Fees
        7.402 Appellate Practice
        7.403 Bankruptcy
        7.404 Civil Procedure
        7.405 Construction Law
        7.406 Contracts
        7.407 Corporations
        7.408 Criminal Law And Procedure
        7.409 Debtor And Creditor Rights
        7.410 Elder Law
        7.411 Equity
        7.412 Evidence
        7.413 Family Law
        7.414 Insurance
        7.415 Juvenile Law
        7.416 Labor And Employment Law
        7.417 Law Practice Management and Ethics
        7.418 Products Liability
        7.419 Real Estate, Construction, and Land Use
        7.420 Taxation
        7.421 Torts
        7.422 Trial Practice and Instructions
        7.423 Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning
        7.424 Workers’ Compensation

CHAPTER 8: LEGAL PERIODICALS, INDEXES,
DIRECTORIES, AND STATISTICAL
INFORMATION


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 In General
        8.402 General Indexes of Note

8.5 STATISTICAL INFORMATION

8.6 DIRECTORIES

8.7 INTERNET RESOURCES

8.8 QUICK REFERENCE

CHAPTER 9: FASTCASE

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 Statutes
        9.206 Additional Databases
        9.207 Additional System Features
    
CHAPTER 10: LEGAL ETHICS

10.1 INTRODUCTION

10.2 VIRGINIA RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
        10.201 Finding the Rules in Print
        10.202 Finding the Rules Online: Free and
        Subscription Databases

10.3 STATUTORY AUTHORITY

10.4 LEGAL ETHICS OPINIONS AND UNAUTHORIZED
PRACTICE OF LAW OPINIONS
        10.401 Finding LEOs and UPL Opinions in Print
        10.402 Finding LEOs and UPL Opinions Online:
        Free and Subscription Databases

10.5 DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
        10.501 Finding Disciplinary Actions in Print
        10.502 Finding Disciplinary Actions Online

10.6 FINDING CASES
        10.601 Annotated Code
        10.602 West’s Virginia and West Virginia Digest

10.7 SECONDARY SOURCES
        10.701 Treatises and Loose-leaf Services
        10.702 Journals
        10.703 American Law Reports
        10.704 Citators

10.8 WEB-BASED RESOURCES
        10.801 American Bar Association
        10.802 Google
        10.803 Google Scholar
    
CHAPTER 11: QUICK FINDING GUIDE

11.1 STATUTORY MATERIALS
        11.101 Statutes by Subject
        11.102 Statutes by Popular Name
        11.103 Predecessors of Current Statutes
        11.104 Acts of the General Assembly by Subject
        11.105 Acts of the General Assembly by Bill Number
        11.106 Acts of the General Assembly Amending
        or Repealing a Particular Section of the
        Virginia Code
        11.107 Code Section That Codifies a Particular Act
        11.108 Pending Legislation by Subject, by Bill
        Number, by Patron, by Legislative Committee,
        or by Section of the Virginia Code Potentially
        Affected

11.2 CASES
        11.201 Cases by Subject
        11.202 Cases Citing Statutes or Constitutional
        Provisions
        11.203 Cases Citing Local Ordinances
        11.204 Cases Citing a Known Case
        11.205 Cases by Name of Plaintiff or Defendant
        11.206 Cases by Popular Name
        11.207 South Eastern Reporter Citations for Known
        Citations in Virginia Reports and Virginia
        Court of Appeals Reports
        11.208 Virginia Reports and Virginia Court of Appeals
        Reports Citations for Known Citation in South
        Eastern Reporter

11.3 ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIALS
        11.301 Rules and Regulations Promulgated by
        Administrative Agencies
        11.302 Decisions of Administrative Agencies and
        Executive Departments

11.4 OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
        11.401 Opinions by Subject
        11.402 Opinions Citing a Known Statute or
        Constitutional Provision
        11.403 Opinions Citing a Known Judicial Decision
    
11.5 RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIA
        11.501 Rules by Subject
        11.502 Cases Citing Particular Rules
        11.503 Superseded Rules
        11.504 Legal Ethics Opinions and Unauthorized
        Practice of Law Opinions Citing Rules of
        the Supreme Court

APPENDIX A: LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS 1950-2017

APPENDIX B: DIRECTORY OF LAW LIBRARIES

APPENDIX C: DIRECTORY OF LEGAL AND LIBRARY
ASSOCIATIONS

APPENDIX D: DIRECTORY OF PUBLISHERS OF
VIRGINIA LEGAL MATERIALS

APPENDIX E: SELECTED VIRGINIA GOVERNMENT
AGENCIES

INDEX

Authors

Editor

Joyce Manna Janto, University of Richmond Law School Library (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Joyce Manna Janto, editor of this book and author of Chapter 10, is the Deputy Director of the University of Richmond’s William Taylor Muse Law Library. Prior to her position as Deputy Director, she served as the Acquisitions Librarian (1982-1989) and the Associate Director for Collection Development (1989- 1991). She teaches Legal Research in the first year Lawyering Skills program and Professional Responsibility. She is very active professionally, having served as president of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries and the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries. She also served first as the treasurer and then as the president of American Association of Law Libraries. She has published extensively in both legal- and library-related publications and presented at conferences and CLE programs on the international, national, regional, state, and local levels. Ms. Janto earned a B.S. from the Clarion State University of Pennsylvania, an M.L.S. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a J.D. from the University of Richmond.

Authors

Christopher D. Byrne,Wolf Law Library, William & Mary Law School (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Christopher D. Byrne, co-author of Chapter 7, is Head of Research and Instructional Services at William & Mary Law School’s Wolf Law Library. He teaches legal research through the law school’s Legal Research and Writing program as well as Foreign and International Research. He earned a B.A. from Hamilton College, an M.L.I.S. from the University of Rhode Island, and a J.D. from Harvard.

Frederick W. Dingledy,Wolf Law Library, William & Mary Law School (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Frederick W. Dingledy, co-author of Chapter 7, is a Senior Reference Librarian at William & Mary’s Wolf Law Library. He teaches legal research through the law school’s Legal Research and Writing program as well as Foreign and International Research. Mr. Dingledy is a former President of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries. He earned a B.S. from The Pennsylvania State University, an M.A.L.I.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.

John D. Eure, Johnson, Ayers & Matthews, P.L.C. / Roanoke (Expand/Collapse Bio)

John D. Eure, author of Chapter 1, is a member of the Roanoke law firm of Johnson, Ayers & Matthews, P.L.C. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar, The Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, and the American Bar Association. He chairs the Board of Editors of The Journal of Civil Litigation, a quarterly journal published by the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys. Mr. Eure has lectured in continuing legal education seminars on appellate practice, legal writing, and insurance coverage matters and has lectured in the Roanoke City Public Schools on Shakespeare, the Restoration, and Eighteenth Century British literature. He earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and an M.A. and J.D. from the University of Virginia.

Kristin Glover, University of Virginia Law School Library (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Kristin Glover, co-author of Chapter 6, is a Research Librarian at the University of Virginia School of Law’s Arthur J. Morris Law Library. She teaches Advanced Legal Research. Ms. Glover earned an A.B. from Harvard University and a J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law.

Marie Summerlin Hamm, Regent University Law School Library (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Marie Summerlin Hamm, author of Chapter 4, is the Law Library Assistant Director for Collection Development and Adjunct Professor of Law at Regent University School of Law where she has taught both first-year and advanced legal research and writing courses. She is an active member of the James Kent American Inn of Court, the Association of American Law Schools, the Association of Legal Writing Directors, the Legal Writing Institute, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries, and a past president of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries. Mrs. Hamm earned a B.S., summa cum laude, from Mount Olive College, an M.L.S., summa cum laude, from Syracuse University, and a J.D. from Regent University School of Law, where she served as a member of the law review.

Kathleen Klepfer, University of Richmond Law School Library (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Kathleen Klepfer, co-author of Chapter 3, is a Reference and Research Services Librarian at the University of Richmond’s William Taylor Muse Law Library. She teaches Legal Research in the first-year Lawyering Skills program and Public Policy Research and Drafting at the Law School. Ms. Klepfer is an active member of the American Association of Law Libraries, the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries, and the Virginia Library Association. Ms. Klepfer has presented CLE programs on LGBTQ issues and public records. She received a B.A. from the University of Florida and an M.L.I.S. and J.D. from Florida State University.

Caroline L. Osborne, Washington and Lee University Law School Library (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Caroline L. Osborne, author of Chapter 8 is the Director of the Wilbur C. Hall Law Library and Professor of Legal Research at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. There, she directs the first year course in legal research and teaches advanced legal research. She is a past president of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries and a past chair of the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries. Ms. Osborne is a frequent speaker at both library and legal conferences. Prior to becoming a librarian, she practiced law in North Carolina, Georgia, and New York in the areas of leveraged finance and commercial real estate. Ms. Osborne earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a J.D. from the University of Richmond, an LL.M. from Emory University, and an M.L.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jennifer Sekula, Wolf Law Library, William & Mary Law School (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Jennifer Sekula, co-author of Chapter 7, is the Head of Access Services and the Foreign and International Law Specialist at the William & Mary Law School’s Wolf Law Library. She teaches legal research through the law school’s Legal Research and Writing program as well as an advanced course in international and foreign legal research. Ms. Sekula earned a B.S. from the College of William & Mary, a J.D. and M.S.E.L. from Vermont Law School, and an M.S.L.S. from The Catholic University of America.

Alexis Fetzer Sharp, Hunton & Williams LLP / Richmond (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Alexis Fetzer Sharp, co-author of Chapter 3, is a Reference Librarian at the Richmond office of Hunton & Williams LLP. She was formerly a Reference and Research Services Librarian at the University of Richmond’s William Taylor Muse Law Library. She has taught legal research in the law school’s first-year Lawyering Skills program, U.S. Legal Research and Writing, a course for LL.M. students, and Advanced Legal Research in Foreign and International Law and has guest lectured on international legal research topics. She is active in the American Association of Law Libraries, serving in leadership positions in the Foreign, International and Comparative Law, the Professional Growth and Advancement, and Research, Instruction and Patron Services Special Interest Sections. She is also an active member of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries and the Virginia Association of Law Libraries. Ms. Sharp earned a B.S., J.D./D.C.L., and M.L.I.S. from Louisiana State University where she also served as a library fellow.

Roger V. Skalbeck, University of Richmond Law School Library (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Roger V. Skalbeck, author of Chapter 9, is Associate Dean for Library and Information Services and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Richmond. Mr. Skalbeck teaches Legal Research in the first-year Lawyering Skills program as well as an Advanced Legal Research course. Mr. Skalbeck is an active member of the American Association of Law Libraries, where he served on an advisory committee dealing the issues of copyright and access to government information. He speaks and writes frequently on the role of technology in the legal profession, and he is an active supporter of programs to expand access to justice through technology. He earned a B.A. from Macalester College, an M.L.I.S. from Dominican University, and a J.D. from George Mason University (now the Antonin Scalia Law School).

Gail Warren, State Law Library, Virginia Supreme Court (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Gail Warren, author of Chapter 2, is the State Law Librarian of the Supreme Court of Virginia and has served in this position since September 1982. Ms. Warren was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 1982 and is a member of the Education of Lawyers section. From 1991-2000 she served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at the T.C. Williams School of Law of the University of Richmond. She is active in the American Association of Law Libraries and has held leadership positions in AALL, the Government Law Libraries Special Interest Section of AALL, and the Virginia Association of Law Libraries. Ms. Warren was appointed to the Virginia Access to Justice Commission in November 2013. She earned a B.A. from James Madison University, a J.D. from the University of Richmond, and an M.S.L.S. from The Catholic University of America.

Amy Wharton, University of Virginia Law School Library (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Amy Wharton, co-author of Chapter 6, is Research and Emerging Technologies Librarian at the University of Virginia School of Law’s Arthur J. Morris Law Library. She teaches Advanced Legal Research at the School of Law. Ms. Wharton was president of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries (2013-2014) and is an active member of the American Association of Law Libraries. She earned a B.A. from the University of Virginia, a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law (now the Antonin Scalia Law School), and an M.L.I.S. from the University of Oklahoma.

Gail F. Zwirner, Richmond Public Library (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Gail F. Zwirner, author of Chapter 5, is currently the president of the City of Richmond Public Library Board. Before her retirement, she was the Head of Access Services at the University of Richmond Law School Library. While at Richmond she taught Legal Research in the Lawyering Skills program. Before joining the faculty at the University of Richmond, she was the Senior Reference Librarian at the Richmond office of Hunton & Williams. She is a former president of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries and, in that association, helped initiate the project for the creation of the Virginia Administrative Code. Ms. Zwirner was also an adjunct faculty member for The Catholic University of America’s School of Library and Information Science. She earned a B.A. from Juniata College and an M.S.L.S. from The Catholic University of America.

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