Peacock, Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, ColoradoLegal encyclopedias provide an excellent starting point for legal research. The articles summarize the basic law in a particular subject area and provide the researcher with citations to relevant cases, statutes and regulations on all levels. Relevant law review articles and ALR are also cited. The legal researcher who consults a legal encyclopedia, like Am. Jur. 2nd or C.J.S., can develop significant knowledge of a field of law and its terminology.

In addition to legal encyclopedias, legal dictionaries also assist in providing the definition and usage of legal terms of art. Another tool which is useful in explaining the meaning of legal terms is Words and Phrases.


American Jurisprudence, 2nd series and Corpus Juris Secundum

American Jurisprudence, 2nd Series, cited as Am. Jur. 2nd, and Corpus Juris Secundum, cited as C.J.S., are multi-volume sets, organized by legal topics in an alphabetical sequence. Both are currently published by the West Group, although Am. Jur. 2nd was formerly the product of Bancroft-Whitney and Lawyers Co-op, a former competitor of the West Publishing Company.

Since the merger of the West Publishing Company into what is today the West Group, both sets feature citations to case law from the National Reporter System.

Am. Jur. 2nd has more expansive uses in that it provides citations to relevant form sets, like Am. Jur. Pleading & Practice Forms and Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2nd, and to practice sets like Am. Jur. Trials and Proof of Facts.

Am. Jur. 2nd also includes a single volume entitled the Am. Jur. 2nd Deskbook, which features historical documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta, international agreements like the Charter of the United Nations, a list of elected Federal Congressmen and standing Federal committees, Internet addresses for various Federal agencies, Federal court addresses and telephone numbers, the Code of Professional Responsibility and Code of Judicial Conduct, national statistical tables, 35 anatomical drawings, vital records information for each state and interest tables.

Both sets feature subject indices and tables of statutes, rules and regulations cited. Am. Jur. 2nd also features a popular name table which will lead the researcher from the popular name of legislative acts to the location of their discussion in the legal encyclopedia.

Am. Jur 2nd is shelved on Deck Four at KF154 .A42; C.J.S. is shelved at KF 154 .C56.



Words and Phrases

Words and Phrases is a multi-volume set published by the West Group which organizes legal terms of art as embodied in single terms and phrases in an alphabetical sequence with cross references. The origins of the terms are explained by the publication of holdings statements for cases and the discussion of relevant statutes and regulations. State and Federal sources are cited.

Authorities are cited back to as early as 1658. Therefore, cases are cited out of pre-National Reporter System sources such as the American Decisions and Legal Reports Annotated and state reporters. Pocket parts and paper supplements tend to cite and discuss later cases, statutes and regulations.

Words and Phrases is shelved on Deck Four at KF156 .W6712.