Our lecture today focused on American Law Reports (ALRs). One of the greatest resources of the ALRs are the annotations. They provide analysis of the legal topics presented.

American Law Reports


ALR started by printing information that included a Landmark Case. They would include the case and provide annotations for that case.


However, we will never use an ALR case citation as a parallel citation. Instead, know that seeing an ALR citation is a notice for an annotation.


  • Article Outline
  • Index
  • Table of Cases, Laws and Rules
  • Research References

The outlines for these annotations are very helpful because they provide cases that show when an analysis supported a principle and when a case countered a principle.

The index can be helpful in finding cases that relate to certain events.

Next, the table of cases, laws, and rules share which cases are related to the topics listed in the Index.

An important thing to note is that in print, you want to look at the “pocket part” to find the most updated information. Online, this is called the “Cumulative Supplement”.

Legal Encyclopedias


There are two commonly used Encyclopedias, Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS) and American Jurisprudence. Am. Jur. is more selective in which cases they use in their encyclopedias. They instead lead you to the annotations. The reason why there are two encyclopedias is because they were competitors. At one point, West bought purchased the other.


Most states also have their own legal encyclopedias.

Consider the following hypothetical: A man goes to a bar and has a few drinks. He begins driving but pulls over to sleep when he realized the drink had an effect on him. A police offer approached him, tested him, and charged him with a DUI. The man is our client, how would we conduct our legal research? We will want to fill out a TARP.


  • Beer
  • Rest Area
  • Car
  • Breathalyzer


  • Driving under the influence


  • Not driving, just sleeping when charged

Relief sought:

  • Dismiss the charge


  • Drunk Driver v. State

We can go to the index of the encyclopedia, find up terms such as “Driving Under the Influence” which will give us references where we can compare the facts of our case with different scenarios.

Words and Phrases

This is a resource that helps us define a law through judicial definitions.


The content contained in this article may contain inaccuracies and is not intended to reflect the opinions, views, beliefs, or practices of any academic professor or publication. Instead, this content is a reflection on the author’s understanding of the law and legal practices.

Will Laursen

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