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GO 113: Overview of the US Legal System: Finding Statutes

Westlaw Limiters & Expanders

" "

Phrase (e.g., “environmental law” brings back only documents containing the phrase, not documents with only either word)


truncation (e.g., driv! = drive, driving, driven)



Universal character (e.g., wom*n=woman, women)



In same sentence



In same paragraph


Westlaw Statute Fields

E.G., PR(marriage)

Where laws are published

After the President signs a bill into law, it is first published in unbound pamphlet form. These are known as Slip Laws. The laws passed during each session of Congress are then compiled, and published in the United States Statutes at Large, where they appear in chronological order. Every six years, they are codified, that is, organized by subject, and published in the United States Code. In the years between publication, the U.S. Code is kept up-to-date via supplements.

The U.S. Statutes at Large, and the U.S. Code are official government publications. However, there are also annotated versions of the Code:  the United States Code Annotated, and United States Code Service. These editions are published by private companies, and provide additional material such as relevent cases, indexes, etc. The United States Code Annotated can be accessed online via Westlaw Campus Research, making searching easier and faster.

Similar to the United States Code, Maine statutes are codified and published by the State in the Maine Revised Statutes, and in an annotated version called Maine Revised Statutes Annotated which is also available via Westlaw Campus Research

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