F&M College Library

BOS 332: Law, Ethics, and Society - Fall 2022

Introduction

This guide will get you started with many different aspects of legal research and will introduce you to some of the most important resources.

"But to live outside the law you must be honest"

- Bob Dylan, "Absolutely Sweet Marie"

Selected Reference Sources

Indexes and Databases

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Research Help

How to Find Court Cases

The fastest method is to use Westlaw Next

From the Browse menu, select Cases.  Then select All Federal Cases.

In the menu box on the top of the page, type in the name or the citation for the case you want

(a citation looks like 588 U. S. 310)

               Here are the citations for the cases you will need to find:

               Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission       558 U.S. 310      

               The citation will lead you directly to the case. It was decided on January 21, 2010..

.              After a brief synopsis and a list of head notes pertaining to aspects of the law, you'll see a lengthy syllabus (or summary) for the case,  Justice Kennedy's opinion follows that, along with concurring and dissenting opinions. 

 

              Grutter v. Bollinger       539 U.S. 306

              The citation will lead you directly to the case. It was decided on June 23, 2003.     

              Justice O'Connor wrote the opinion for this case and there were concurring and dissenting opinions.

 

              John Doe I v. Unocal      395 F.3d 932

              The citation will lead you directly to the case. It was decided on September 18, 2002.   

               This is NOT a U. S. Supreme Court case.  Rather, it was argued and decided by the U. S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.  Judge Pregerson wrote the opinion.

 

United States Reports (580 vols., so far)

  • Ref. JK 1561 .U5 (these volumes are in the compact shelving on the Ground Floor)
    The official compilation of U. S. Supreme Court opinions. Recent opinions are available on the Supreme Court's web page.