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Legal Research

This guide will provide basic legal information that can be found in the NMSU Library and elsewhere on the internet.


Citations for Case Law

                X vs. Y ___a____ ____b____ ____c____ (d)

a.       Volume

b.       Title of publication (see sample abbreviations at left)

c.        Page number

d.       Date in parenthesis


Citations for Statutes

                ____a____ ____b____ ____c____

a.       Title number

b.       Title of Publication

c.        Section


“Parallel citations” means an entry show two sources

Example: 452 N.M. 383, 822 P.2d 535

(this is the same statute, one entry is in NM Reports and the other in Pacific Reporter)


For legal citations to be mentioned in a body of writing: use the “Blue Book”, which is titled A Uniform System of Citation (Ref KF245 U55).


Finding Supreme Court Cases

The Supreme Court only deals with Constitutional issues.  The U.S. Reports are a compilation of Supreme Court Cases in chronological order, but they do not contain the most current information.  Most recent cases are at the Supreme Court website.

U.S. Reports at NMSU Library:

Finding District Court Cases

The first level in the Judicial Branch is the District Court.  Most District Courts only publish about 60% of the cases they hear. 

The second level is the Appeals Court.  This court deals with legal issues only. 

The third level is the Supreme Court.