How does one research laws and regulations?

Laws drafted by administrative agencies are called regulations. Agencies are often responsible for administering certain statutes. Consequently, when working with statutes, there may be regulations that provide additional guidance with respect to those statutes. Agencies also enact other regulations when delegated by the legislature.

For more definitions, see Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary. When people talk about what the law says or what the law is, they are generally referring to statutes (sometimes called codes). Statutes, which are created by the U.S. UU.

Congress, and on the part of our state legislators, are trying to establish the basic rules of law. When disputes arise about the meaning of statutes, state and federal courts issue court rulings that interpret the statutes more clearly. This is known as case law. In addition, numerous federal and state agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the IRS, and the various offices of the Secretary of State, issue regulations that cover the legal areas that agencies control (such as environmental law, federal taxes, and corporate law).

There are two main ways to find a particular state or federal law on a state's website: by searching or by consulting the table of contents. Not all states allow you to search, but in those that do, just enter some terms related to the topic you're looking for. For example, if you are looking for the minimum number of directors that your state requires a corporation to have, you can enter the terms corporation and director. If you're looking for laws, you can visit the Library of Congress's legal research site, which provides links to state and federal laws.

To do a good search, you should anticipate the words used in the statutes you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a law on drunk driving in a car, you can choose to use the search terms vehicle and under the influence of alcohol. If that search returned hundreds of statutes, you probably want to narrow down the search instead of reading each statute. You can add the words alcohol and breath.

On the other hand, if your search doesn't show any status, you'll probably want to expand your search by using fewer search terms. However, this can often be difficult to do because you may not know the exact terms your state uses to address the topic you're researching. Navigating through the statute index is usually a better way to find laws on the subject, since it allows you to first analyze general subjects (titles or, sometimes, divisions). From there, you can move on to specific topics (chapters or sometimes articles) and then to the precise statutes you need (sections).

By browsing, you also get a general idea of all the statutes that exist on a specific topic. Fortunately, most statutes are organized into groups called statutory outlines, which are published together in a title, chapter, section, or law. So, once you find a law on your topic, it's simply a matter of figuring out where the legal outline begins (usually by making backup copies of previous laws) and then reading all the related laws until you reach a new title, chapter, section, or law. For example, if you search on the small claims procedure and find a relevant law, you will have to navigate back and forth until you are convinced that you have found all the laws that could relate to that issue.

Sometimes, the statutes you read will refer to other statutes. You should also take the time to read those statutes. Often, they'll include exceptions, additional explanations, or details that are important to your problem. Once a statute becomes law, it rarely remains unchanged for long.

A future legislature can change (amend) or repeal (repeal) a law for any number of reasons. Unfortunately, many online statute collections are not kept up to date. The code usually takes a year and it takes a long time to incorporate new federal legislation into the existing organizational framework. In this case, you can use Thomas, a congressional website that provides pending and recently enacted legislation, to find out if there have been any recent changes in the law that interests you.

In addition, many state statute collections are not up to date, but the state's website will normally tell you the year the collection was last updated. In that case, you will have to search for all the bills that have been passed since the last time the statutes were updated. The text of these bills is available on the website of your state legislature, which often includes links from your state's statutes. If you are a city or county resident, landlord, landlord, renter, or small business owner, there is likely to be a local law affecting you.

When researching the laws that apply to your situation, check local ordinances. Local laws can never be weaker than federal or state laws, and they are often more stringent. For example, the seismic safety standards of the San Francisco Building Code are more stringent than those of the California Building Code. You can also find county and municipal codes in your county or city clerk's office, or at a county law library or large public library.

Individual agencies, such as the county's public health department or the city's building inspection department, will generally provide copies of the rules that apply. The phone numbers of these county and city agencies are listed on the government pages at the front of your phone book. When most people talk about the law, they tend to think only of statutes. However, when disputes arise about the meaning of statutes, judges must interpret them.

The judges' interpretations of these statutes, called opinions, decisions or cases, are as important to understanding what the law is as the words of the statutes themselves. So, once you find a law that seems to address your situation, you may need to take the next step and see what the courts have said about it. There are two types of courts, federal courts and state courts. Generally, federal courts have the last word on the interpretation of federal laws, and state courts have the last word on the interpretation of state laws.

The cases are based on real lawsuits that were filed. As a rule, to file a lawsuit, a person first goes to the trial court (the name will vary depending on the state in which they are located). In federal courts, this is called district court.). The loser can challenge the decision in the appellate court.

Finally, the loser in the appellate court can sometimes re-appeal to the highest court in the state or federal system, the supreme court. However, be careful, because even this name is used differently in different New York states, the Supreme Court is a trial court. When you read opinions, they usually come from the appeals court or the state or federal supreme court. The Supreme Court is the highest federal court in the country, and the opinions of most of its judges (called judges) are the last word on what federal law means.

The Supreme Court can decide what a legislature meant when it drafted a law, or it can even repeal (repeal) a federal or state law if it declares it unconstitutional. You can use Google Scholar to locate any EE. UU. recent (or not so recent).

Simply select a jurisdiction to search and enter a case name or search term. With Google Scholar, you can also access most of the U.S. Simply choose a jurisdiction (or several jurisdictions) in which to perform your search (by case name or search term, that is,. Google Scholar also gives you access to many state court cases, including those issued at the appellate level and by the state's highest court.

For example, by selecting Florida from the list of jurisdictions, you can search for both the decisions of the Florida District Court of Appeals and those of the Florida Supreme Court (or you can limit your search to just one of those jurisdictions). You can also find cases in law libraries. If you don't know where the nearest law library is, call your local court clerk, search the Internet, or look in the government section of the phone book. Many cities or counties have public libraries available, as do law schools.

The librarian should be able to help you find the relevant cases. The open access site is a non-profit company dedicated to making the law known to the public at no cost. The authority to regulate is given by Congress, and many laws passed by Congress give federal agencies flexibility to decide how best to implement the laws. Most legal research focuses on state laws and not federal laws, because states have the sole power to enact law in many areas, such as child custody, divorce, landlord and tenant, small businesses, personal injury, and wills and trusts.

After all, you'll need a law that supports your legal argument, whether you're providing guidance to a client or drafting an internal note, summary, or some other legal document. After the comment period, the agency edits the draft and publishes the final regulation, which then has the force of law. Statutes that are published in a state's code are grouped by subject into titles, such as Title 11 of the United States Code (bankruptcy laws). If you are interested in a specific area of law (for example, small claims court proceedings), you should read all the relevant laws on that subject.

Agencies have the authority to create administrative laws through laws enacted by Congress and state legislatures. Before you start looking for laws and court rulings, you must first define the scope of your legal research project. There's a reason why there are full law school courses and countless books focusing solely on the methodology of legal research. The information provided on this site does not constitute legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no confidential attorney-client relationship is established or will be established through the use of the site.

Standard-making is the process of creating regulations, which are statements by agencies that have the force of law. .

Molly Keeny
Molly Keeny

Alcohol practitioner. General coffee fanatic. Amateur introvert. Lifelong social media specialist. Friendly beer advocate. General tv buff.