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There are ___ separate governments within the US. Name them.
52; Each of the 50 states (plus DC) have their own state government. There is also a national/federal government.
The Constitution was written in _____ and ratified in _____.
1787; 1789
Federal power is divided into three branches. Name them.
Executive, Legislative, Judicial
The legislative branch includes only ______.
The US Congress
The US Congress is divided into the _____ and the _____.
Senate; House of Representatives
The executive branch is headed by _____.
The US President
The judicial branch is headed by _____ Court.
The US Supreme Court
True or False: each state also divides it's power into three "branches".
Who heads the state executive branch?
The State Governor
What is encompassed by the state legislative branch?
The state legislature
What are the two main purposes of the US Constitution?
It sets out the structure of the government, and prohibits the government from infringing individual rights in certain ways.
Do the individual rights provided for in the Constitution apply to the state governments as well as the federal governments?
Must federal laws comply with state constitutions?
The highest law in the American government structure is _____. The second highest is _____. The third highest is _____. The fourth highest is _____. This applies to state and federal government.
Constitution; Laws enacted by a legislature (statutes); Laws created by an agency (regulations; Common law (made entirely by courts)
Is common law binding?
In the absence of a statute or regulation, yes.
State courts have _____ jurisdiction. Federal courts have _____ jurisdiction.
General; Limited
State courts are bound only by the decisions of higher state courts:
a)within the same state
b)anywhere in the US
The federal district courts and the federal courts of appeals are organized geographically into _____ circuits.
Federal district courts are bound to follow decisions of federal courts of appeals:
a) anywhere in the US
b) in their own circuit
When a federal court decides an issue of state law, it is bound by the decisions of:
a) every ct of the state
b) only the highest ct of the st
Is persuasive authority limited to court decisions?
According to Bronsteen, the first words of a sentence should always be:
According to Bronsteen, what are the "four essentials" of the subject/verb relationship?
1. use a short subject;
2. use a concrete subject;
3. put the subject at the start of the sentence; and
4. follow the subject immediately with a verb
What are the five sections of a legal memo?
Introduction, Brief Answer, Facts, Discussion, Conclusion
In writing a legal memo, you should always use:
a) names
b) legal labels
Where should the page numbers be located on a legal memo?
Top right or bottom center
Should you number the first page of your memo?
When writing a memo, your margins should be _____ inch on all sides of the page.
How many spaces should you use between a period and the next sentence?
When writing a memo, case names should be:
a) underlined
b) italicized
for example
that is
et al.
and others
inter alia
among other things
ipso facto
by that fact alone
res ipsa loquitor
the thing speaks for itself
in camera
in private with a judge rather than in open court
You should _____ use Latin phrases in your writing:
What does a hyphen look like? When should it be used?
-; to connect the parts of a two-word adjective
What does an en-dash look like? When is it used?
--; to separate times
What does an em-dash look like? When is it used?
---; to separate a dependent clause within a sentence, as an alternative to parenthesis or commas
What is "dictum"? Is it binding?
When the ct says something in its opinion that isnt necessary to the result; if it expresses a view about something, but the result of the case would be the same regardless whether the ct had taken that view. It is not binding.
What are the four categories of Signal?
Support; Comparison; Contradiction; Background
What are the six signals that indicate support?
no signal; e.g.; accord, see, see also, and cf.
What does the signal "no signal" mean? What type of signal is this?
the source you're citing states the point for which you're citing it, or stands directly for that point; support signal
Should you use a signal when you quote from or name the cited source in the sentence before the citation?
What does the signal "e.g." mean? What type of signal is this?
means "for example" and can be used in combination with other signals like no signal or see; support
What does the signal "accord" mean? What type of signal is this?
your sentence refers to one case, and you cite not only that case but also other sources that say precisely the same thing; support
What does the signal "see" mean? What type of signal is this?
your point obviously follows from the cited source)that an inferential step is required; support
What does the signal "see also" mean? What type of signal is this?
most use it when they've already cited other authorities that strongly support a proposition are are now citing authorities that support the preposition a bit less strongly; support
What does the signal "cf." mean? What type of signal is this?
means that the source you're citing says something different from your sentence but analogous to it; support
What is the weakest type of support signal?
How many signals does the Comparison category of signal include?
One: compare/with
(as in compare _____ with _____)
How may signals does the Contradiction category of signals include? What are they?
Three: contra, but see, and but cf.
What does the signal "contra" mean? What type of signal is this?
negative version of no signal, indicates that the cited authority directly contradicts what you've written; contradictory
What does the signal "but see" mean? What type of signal is this?
negative version of see, indicates that the cited authority contradicts what you've written via an inferential step; contradictory
What does the signal "but cf." mean? What type of signal is this?
negative version of cf.; contradictory
How many signals are included in the Background category of signals?
One: see generally
What does the signal "see generally" mean? What type of signal is this?
when the source doesnt come down in facor of, or against, your point but rather provides background info about the subject; background
Primary authority consists of:
constitutions, statutes, regulations, case law
A resource is primary mandatory if:
The law is from your own jurisdiction
A resource is primary persuasive if:
The law is from somewhere other than your own jurisdiction
What are secondary authority resources? What are some examples?
Commentary on the law;
Treatises, hornbooks, restatements, articles, annotations
What are some examples of finding aids?
Digests, citators
What are some examples of research and reference aids?
A.G. opinions, legal dictionaries, directories, form books, model jury instructions
Are state court trial judgments published in case law reporters?
True or false: Some federal district court trial judgments published in the Federal Supplement (F. Supp. and F. Supp. 2d).
How are state intermediate appellate opinions published?
In seven regional reporters; some states have own reporters
What are the seven regional state reporters?
Atlantic, Pacific, North Eastern, North Western, Southern, South Eastern, South Western
Federal appellate opinions published in the _____ Reporter. How many editions are there?
Federal; F., F.2d, F.3d
Name some other federal court publications.
F. Cas., Federal Appendix, F.R.D., Military Justice Reporter, Bankruptcy Reporter, Federal Claims Reporter, Veterans Appeal Reporter
Which are the state courts of "last resort"?
Usually the supreme court
What are some exceptions to the ct of last resort being the Supreme ct?
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (for criminal cases), Maryland Court of Appeals, New York Court of Appeals
Court of last resort opinions are published in _____ _____ reporters. Name them.
7; Regional: Atlantic, Pacific, North Eastern, North Western, Southern, South Eastern, South Western
Where are the four main places that United States Supreme Court decisions are published?
U.S. Reports (official publication by the gov’t)
S. Ct. Reporter (West)
L. Ed. and L. Ed. 2d Reporters (Lawyers Coop.)
U.S.L.W. (Bureau of National Affairs)
What are the three stages of publication of case law? Detail the process.
Slip opinion, Advance sheets, Bound reporters
Slip opinions get collected into paperbound advance sheets, which are later bound into the permanent volumes in the National Reporter System
What is the National Reporter System?
It organizes both federal and state case law into a cohesive body of law that can be researched within and across jurisdictions (ex: 123 S. Ct. 321)
How are cases organized in in the National Reporter System?
Volume, Reporter, Page
West’s National Reporter System has compiled cases from state and federal courts and organized them into various reporter sets since _____.
Volumes in a set are numbered consecutively. A new series starting with volume 1 is begun when one series becomes too unwieldy. What volume would logically follow 999 F. Supp.?
1 F. Supp. 2d
Where are some places other than the National Reporter to find case law?
Tarlton Law Library
Texas Judiciary Online
What are the three stages of writing?
What you do before you write;
The process of actually writing;
What you do after you write
In the pre-writing stage, you should consider the _____, _____, and _____.
Audience, Purpose, and Tone
What should you do with an objective tone?
Explore; anticipate; assess; predict
What should you do with a subjective tone?
What should you do with a sentimental tone? When is this usually used?
Appeal to emotions; often a tactic in criminal defense and prosecution
When writing an opinion letter, who is considered a Primary Audience?
the client
When writing an opinion letter, who is considered a Secondary Audience?
Interested Third Party, Regulatory Agency, Opponent’s Counsel
When writing an opinion letter, your _____ determines your _____.
a) assignment, audience
b) audience, assignment
When writing an opinion letter, what are the four purposes of written communication?
Which of these should you do when writing an opinion letter to a layperson:
a) plain English
b) legalese

Should you cite cases?
A, No.
When writing an opinion letter to a corporate officer, you should use:
a) English.
b) language of the corporate culture

Should you cite cases?
Both A and B; May cite cases dependent upon the sophistication of the client.
When writing an opinion letter to opposing counsel, you should use:
a) plain English
b) legalese
c) cite cases
All of the choices
What are the seven components of the opinion letter?
Brief Conclusion
What is the format of an opinion letter?
What are some nicknames for Vernon’s?
the VATS or the black statutes
The TX legislature meets _____.
Session Laws
the body of laws enacted by a state legislature at its biennial sessions. These laws are published in pamphlet format, throughout the legislative session and then at the end of the session are bound, in order of their enactment, into a more permanent form
What is the more permanent format of session laws?
The General and Special Laws of the State of Texas.
Session laws in "The General and Special Laws of the State of Texas" are arranged by _____ in either the _____ or the _____. T: 50 alphabetically arranged subjects, numbered sequentially articles 1 through 8324.
Vernon’s Annotated Code:
Subject; Texas Revised Civil Statutes; Vernon’s Annotated Code
How do the Texas Revised Civil Statutes break down?
50 alphabetically arranged subjects, numbered sequentially articles 1 through 8324
How does the Vernon’s Annotated Code break down?
26 topical codes
The ongoing Statutory Revision program is the non-substantive revision and re-codification of all _____ and _____ law for the purposes of making the law more _____ and _____.
General; permanent; accessible; understandable
The ongoing Statutory Revision program makes the law more accessible and understandable by
a) Rearranging it in a logical order
b) Employing a format and numbering system to facilitate citation of the law and to accommodate future expansion
all of the choices
Under the Statutory revision program, the Texas Statutes will eventually be contained in _____ of _____ topical codes of Vernon’s Texas Codes Annotated.
1; 26
Under the Statutory revision program, the Texas Statutes will eventually be contained in one of 26 topical codes of what?
Vernon’s Texas Codes Annotated
A remark, note, case summary, or commentary on some passage of a book, statutory provision, court decision or the like intended to illustrate or explain its meaning; helps the researcher expand the research
Derivation Table
Table that shows where provisions of a codified statute (Texas Code Annotated) were formally located in Vernon’s Texas Revised Civil Statutes Annotated and Vernon’s Annotated Penal Code of 1925
A derivation table is one that shows where provisions of a codified statute (Texas Code Annotated) were formally located in _____ and _____.
Vernon’s Texas Revised Civil Statutes Annotated and Vernon’s Annotated Penal Code of 1925
Disposition Table
A table that shows where provisions of former articles of Vernon’s Texas Revised Civil Statutes Annotated and Vernon’s Annotated Penal Code of 1925 located in Vernon’s Code Annotated
A disposition table is one that shows where provisions of former articles of _____ and _____.
Vernon’s Texas Revised Civil Statutes Annotated and Vernon’s Annotated Penal Code of 1925 located in Vernon’s Code Annotated
A derivation table involves _____. A disposition table involves _____.
Provisions of a codified statute; provisions of former articles
Master Disposition Table
An integration of all the Disposition Tables for the existing Codes, as originally enacted, tracing repealed subject matter into the Codes as they existed at the time of their enactment
What are the two types of access points when using Vernon's?
General Index; Final volume of each Code
Go through the Step-by-Step Walk Through of going thru Vernon's.
1) bound volume, 2) pocket part, 3) non-cumulative Interim Annotation Service to Vernon’s (if any), 4) most current Vernon’s Texas Session Law Service (table of contents for the entry titled “Civil Statutes, Codes and Acts Amended, New or Repealed.”), 5) Shepard’s Texas Citations
If you are looking for the most current text of a statute, you must verify that _____ and _____.
a) the legislature has not amended or repealed the text within a current session; and b) the judiciary did not declare the statute void or unconstitutional
What are the two reasons to compile a legislative history?
1) To trace pending legislation to determine if it will affect the client; and 2) To find the intent of the legislature in enacting the statute
Why do we want to find the intent of the legislature in enacting the statute?
In order to:
Correct the implementation of the law, Aid in the courts, As a definition tool, To better understand the prior laws which the new legislation seeks to amend, Establish scope
What steps should you follow when compiling Legislative History?
a) Determine the bill number and session that enacted the bill; b) View the bill file; c)Find the bill history; d)Consult other documents
Name two websites that are helpful in compiling Legislative History.
Municipalities or municipal corporations are the _____ government
The power given to municipalities is given to them by _____.
The State
Municipal Charter
The charter sets out the basic power of the municipality
The municipal charter is similar to a State _____.
Municipal Ordinances
The legislative enactment of local jurisdiction
What are Municipal Codes? Which ordinances do they pertain to? How are they arranged?
Codification of the ordinances; only pertains to those in force at the time of publication; classified and arranged according to subject
What are some common features to most Municipal codes?
Arranged by subject, contain the City Charter, contain the text of the ordinances, Topical analysis, historical notes, cross-reference,Indexes, Table similar to a disposition, Supplementation is not always up to date, and the annotations are rare if any
What's a good internet site to use for municipal law research?
Why do we use Form Books in legislative research?
they contain usable forms, avoid reinventing the wheel
What are two characteristics of the legal encyclopedia?
a) Emphasis on case authority and little treatment of statutory law; b) Over-simplified generalized treatment of the subject
What are the three types of legal encyclopedia?
a) General
b) Local
c) Special interest
What are two disadvantages of Form Books?
a) Need to read and understand the form, b)Need to make modifications, and c)Need to be sure the form is still accurate.
What are the "writ and petition history"?
It is a statement on the merits of the appeal and lends precedential weight to the value of the published opinion of the Court of Appeals
What are the 4 steps to finding the writ and petition history of a case?
1) Check the Subsequent History Table; 2) check the Southwest or Texas Shepard’s if any information is given; 3) If the opinion is recent check the Texas Supreme Court Journal (civil), or
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Opinion Service; 4) Read Greenbook appendix A and B.
The TX legislature will meet for the _____ legislature session in Summer 2006.
Texas administrative regulations are officially published in _____ sources, the _____ and the _____.
two; Texas Register; Texas Administrative Code
Proposed and final agency rules, along with additional administrative information, are first published in the _____.
Texas Register
After they are published in the Texas Register, rules adopted by Texas agencies are later codified in the _____.
Texas Administrative Code
The Texas Register is provided for in the _____ _____ through the implementation of the _____ _____.
Government Code; Texas Legislature
The Texas Register is published by the _____.
Texas Secretary of State
The Texas Register's contents include:
Notices of proposed rules issued an filed
The text of rules adopted and filed Notices of open meetings
Executive orders issued by the Governor
Summaries if requests for opinions
Summaries of opinions
Guidelines prepared by the Texas Attorney General
Other information of general interest to the public
The Texas Register is published _____ in print form or updated on the Internet.
a) weekly
b) monthly
c) annually
Which web sites are helpful when researching Texas administrative law?,, Westlaw/Lexis.
The Texas Legislature requires the Texas Secretary of State to _____, _____, _____ the Texas Administrative Code at least _____ a year.
compile, index, and publish ; once
What does the T.A.C. contain? How is it arranged?
each rule adopted by a state agency; it is arranged by subject matter
The T.A.C. is arranged in _____ nonconsecutive titles
The T.A.C. is published in print annually. This incorporates any _____, _____, or _____ through the calendar year. So the 2004 edition has all the amendments as of December 31, _____.
amendments, revisions, or additions; 2003
What information should you always look for when beginning your research within the TAC?
the date of the T.A.C.; found on the title page of the relevant volume
Go through the process of researching within the TAC.
First, check the date. Then, consult the most recent quarterly or annual index of the Texas Register for titles affected. Finally, consult the Tables of Contents in each Texas Register Issue published after the most recent index
You may update regulations and locate authorities that have cited various T.A.C. provisions by consulting _____ _____ _____.
Shepard’s Texas Citations
According to Merksy, the term "sources of law" can refer to three different concepts. What are they?
1) legal concepts and ideas
2) governmental institutions that formulate legal rules
3) published manifestations of the law
Define Mersky's legal authority
any published source of law setting forth legal rules, legal doctrine, or legal reasoning that can be used as basis for legal decisions
In discussions about legal research, the term AUTHORITY is used to refer to:
Both to the types of legal information, and to the degree of persuasiveness of legal information
What are some examples of primary authorities?
case law, constitutions, legislation, etc
What are some examples of secondary authorities?
Treatises, ALR, annotations, Restatements, etc
The _____ _____ _____ is the name given to the entire group of publications that report both state and federal cases decided throughout the country.
National Reporter System
_____ appear before the text of every case in the National Reporter System.
a paragraph summary of a single point of law discussed in the case
In what order do headnotes appear?
in the order the points of law are discussed in the case
Headnotes are prepared by _____ _____ _____ using
consistent and current legal terminology instead of ambiguous, regional or outdated words
descriptive terms instead of proper names
West atty editors
The headnotes help you retrieve many _____ cases that you would otherwise miss
The point of law discussed in each headnote is assigned to _____ West topic number(s) and key number(s)
The headnotes from every reported case in the National Reporter System are organized by _____ and _____ in _____ _____ _____ _____.
topic; key number; West’s Key Number Digests
Headnotes become _____ _____.
digest paragraphs
Using an on-point _____ ______, you can find similar headnotes from other cases in any National Reporter System publication.
key number
Each headnote in a digest cites, and on Westlaw® links, to the _____ in which the headnote appears
Map out the Topic and Key Number System.
Cases are printed in the National Reporter System reporters.
Each point of law discussed in a case is summarized in a headnote.
The point of law in each headnote is assigned a key number(s).
Digests organize all headnotes (digest paragraphs) by key number.
The key number in a digest is used to find other relevant cases.
What is the ALR? What is it based on?
American Law Reports; based upon cases that represent emerging, unsettled or changing areas of the law or legal issues
The annotations (often called ‘articles’) in the ALR are written by _____ _____, using the _____ as the basis for the annotation. They provide an _____ analysis of the current state of the law in this area
legal scholars; case; objective
Articles explore the law of the _____ that have dealt with this issue and include references to cases on both sides of the issue
In print, American Law Reports are published in _____.
What are some features of individual articles in West's ALR?
Total Client-Service Library® and other research references, An Article Outline and Index to topics included in the annotation, Jurisdictional table of cases, text of article
Each recent volume of the ALR includes:
Contents, Subjects, Table of Cases, Series 4th - 6th and ALR Fed 2d include instructions explaining how to find/use an article, etc
West’s ALR Digest classifies ALR articles according to the _____ _____ _____ _____, which is divided into more than 700 topics arranged alphabetically
West Key Number System
What two things should you check for when updating an ALR annotation?
Has the annotation been revised or replaced because of a change in the law (superseded)?
Have new cases been decided since the publication of the annotation that relate to this subject?
_____ _____ _____ in the last volume of the ALR Index gives the history of articles in all the ALR series.
Annotation History Table
KeyCite History on Westlaw also shows whether an ALR articles has been _____ or _____.
superseded; supplemented
A _____ KeyCite flag is
displayed on superseded
ALR annotations.
What are two things a Constitution does?
Establish forms and limitations of government;
Provide the scope of legislation
What type of authority is a constitution?
Primary mandatory in your jurisdiction
Where are Constitutions found?
Usually found at the beginning of the set of codes
What three forms are statutes published in?
Slip law, Session laws, and sometimes “advance session laws”
Laws of different subjects that have been passed are collected and grouped into broad subject topics, called _____. Each is divided into _____ and numbered in _____.
titles; chapters; sections
U.S. Congress meets in _____-year terms.
Each term has _____ annual sessions.
two; two
Several _____ statutes are enacted each term of the US Congress
a) hundred
b) thousand
c) hundred thousand
Each act passed during the US Congress session is either a _____ law or _____ law
public; private
Pub. L. 109-1 is the _____ public law passed during the 109th Congress
a) first
b) hundred and ninth
Only _____laws are codified
a) public
b) private
c) both
United States Code Congressional and Administrative News; also known as U.S.C.C.A.N. is published by _____
The U.S.C.C.A.N.:
Provides the official pagination that will eventually appear in the Statutes at Large

Includes presidential documents, new court rules, selected administrative regulations, and selected legislative histories
The U.S.C.C.A.N. does not include private laws.
a) True
b) false
The United States Code is a codification of the _____ _____ _____.
Statutes at Large
The United States Code is published every _____ year(s). In addition, there is a supplement every _____ year(s).
6; 1
About 1/2 of the titles in the US Code have been reenacted as _____ law, which makes the Code the _____ text
positive; authoritative
The U.S.C. General Index is supplemented _____.
a) annually
b) biannually
What are a couple of shortcomings about the official Code?
Not timely updated
No information about court decisions
Name two Annotated Versions of United States Code
The U.S.C.A. AND U.S.C.S are commercially published.
a) true
b) false
A; West and Lexis, respectively

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