A Guide to Legal Research in Virginia (OLD EDITION)

Publication Date: 2012 (view 2017 edition.)
Available Formats: Print (206 pages, spiral-bound, 1 volume)
Product #: 882

Information

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  • 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.

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

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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