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Ohio Innocence Project Student Research Guide

This guide has been produced to provide research guidance for students participating in the Ohio Innocence Project.

Ohio Constitution - Print

Call Number: KFO30 1994 .A2
The Ohio Constitution is in the Appendix
Provides annotations
 
Call Number: KFO30 1953 .P3
The Ohio Constitution is in separate volumes at the end of the set
Provides annotations

Ohio Constitution - Online

Ohio Constitution Via Lexis, Westlaw + Casemaker

Browse Sources > OH-Ohio Constitution
 
Baldwin's Ohio Revised Code Annotated (OH-ST-ANN) > Table of Contents > Constitution of the State of Ohio
 
CasemakerX -Law Students -Free access
Casemaker -Attorneys -State Bar Association Membership
 

Ohio Constitution Via the Web

Ohio General Assembly.
This web page provides access to the current Ohio Constitution and offers no annotations.

Federal Constitution

ABA Standards and Guidlines

Where Codes Are Published

Federal

Official (unannotated)

United States Code (U.S.C.)

  • The USC is published every six years with cumulative bound supplements issued in between editions. Publication typically runs several years behind.

Unofficial (annotated)

State

Publication of state codes will vary. The Law Library's state codes are located on the 4th floor with the other state materials at call numbers KFA through KFZ. Note that most of the print codes are no longer being updated.

Ohio

Ohio does not publish an official version of the Ohio Revised Code, instead unofficial versions of the code are published. 

Overview

There are several useful statutory finding tools that you can use when researching statutes.  These tools can save you time and money.  Some of them may be familiar to you such as indexes and table of contents.  Others may be new to you such as the popular names table.

Finding a Code by Citation

Retrieving  a statute by legal citation is the easiest and fastest way to get the specific case to which the citation refers.

Example of a United States Code citation:

42 (title) U.S.C. (Code abbreviation) Section 1983 (2006)

Suppose our citation was for 42 U.S.C.§ 1983 and I wanted to find this statute in print.

  1. I would first find the United States Code, United States Code Annotated, or United States Code Service in the UC Law Library print collection.
  2. Then I would find the volume or volumes containing title 42. 
  3. Next I would look for the section 1983 within the appropriate volume.

To find this statute online:

  • Westlaw:  type the 42 U.S.C.A. 1983 in the search box at the top of the screen.
  • Lexis:  type the 42 U.S.C.S. 1983 in the search box at the top of the screen.

A word about retrieving state statutes by citation online:

  • Lexis and Westlaw can be picky about the format for state statute citations and that format does not necessarily follow Bluebook form. Your best bet is to begin typing the statute citation.
  • In Westlaw, putting the state postal abbreviation in front of your section will usually work:  OH St 3503.06.

Finding a Statute by Popular Name

Popular Names

Sometimes a statute will have an official or popular name.  If there is a well-known name for the law you are interested in, consult the "Popular Names Table" in one of the code versions. This will provide you with the public law number and the Statutes at Large citation for the original act, as well as providing references to where the act has been codified.

An example of a popular name is the "USA PATRIOT Act."  The official name is "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001."  Quite a mouthful!   Another example of an act with a name is the Americans with Disabilities Act.  You can see in the image below that when you look at the Popular Name Table, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 has been codified at 42 U.S.C. § 12101 and following.

Popular Name Table

Where to Find the Popular Names Table

Print

The "Popular Names Table" may be a separate volume or be a section within the last volume of the general index. 

Online

  • Westlaw contains popular names tables for all of its statutes. 
  • Bloomberg Law provides a popular names table for the United States Code
  • HeinOnline provides a popular names table for the United States Code
  • Lexis Advance does not provide a popular names table for any of its state statutes but it does for USCS. 

Statutory Indexes

Index Tips & Tricks

All print codes and some online codes will contain separate subject indexes.  An index is a great finding tool.  Topics are listed alphabetically and will refer you to the codified statutory sections pertaining to that topic.  

  • Cross References
    • If you see an index entry for a topic that gives you another term and then states generally this index; generally, post; or generally, ante; it is telling you to search for that other term in the index either in another part of the index, after the entry you are looking at (post) or before the entry you are looking at (ante).
  • et seq
    • Latin for "and the following ones."  In other words, multiple sections -- it is just giving you the first one.

Online Codes

  • Westlaw contains indexes for all of its statutes
  • HeinOnline contains an index for the United States Code
  • Lexis does not generally provide indexes for its state statutes but does for the United States Code Service

Parallel Reference Tables

Each code includes volumes that contain tables for parallel references. Locate the session law citation or public law number you are interested in on the table, and it will provide you with the title and section numbers where the statute has been codified.

Codes will also contain tables that relate older state codifications to the current code.

More Help with Statutes -- CALI Lessons

CALI LogoAvailable to Law Students only (see a reference librarian if you do not have a CALI activation code).

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