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University at Buffalo Libraries

Charles B. Sears Law Library SUNY Buffalo Law School

Legal Research Video Bibliography

All legal research videotapes are available from the Law Library Koren/AV Center, 5th Floor.


Bob Berring's Commando Legal Research Series

Commando Legal Research Handbook. Los Angeles, CA: Legal Star Communications, 1989.

This handbook covers tapes 1-6 and is a detailed outline of search strategies and sources presented in the video programs. It also includes a bibliography, problem section and the Ten Commando Commandments.


Introduction to Cases.
VHS, 53 min. 1989. Tape 1

Berring covers the impact of legal jargon on research; mastering the federal jurisdiction system by identifying patterns in publications and publishers; the research spectrum concept and the identification and use of primary and secondary sources. Berring also discusses the court structure and where the cases come from; what written case law is, and the methods of reporting case law which include jurisdictional reporting, corporate reporting, selective case reporting and online case reporting.


Case Finding Techniques.
VHS 48 min. 1989. Tape 2

Berring discusses traditional research strategiesusing case digests, the West Digest System, how cases are published at the West Publishing Company, forms of selective West Digests and methods of finding the proper topic and key number; case finding on LEXIS and WESTLAW and methods of finding "The One Good Case" through the use of secondary sources such as annotated codes, looseleaf services, legal periodicals, and reference sources.


Statutes and Administrative Materials.
VHS, 49 min. 1989. Tape 3

Berring emphasizes the importance of research in the area of statutes and administrative materials. Under statutes, he covers the importance of identifying patterns of publication in Session Laws (the first level of publication), Codes (second level of publication), and Annotated Codes (third level of publication). Sources specifically covered are United States Statutes at Large, United States Code, United States Code Annotated (West Pub.), United States Code Service (Lawyers Co-op), and discussion of


Legislative Histories.

Under administrative materials, Berring discusses the FederalRegister and its creation in 1935, Code of Federal Regulations, List of CFR Sections and Parts Affected and the online systems LEXIS and WESTLAW.


Secondary Source Materials.
VHS, 54 min. 1989. Tape 4

This program covers the use of secondary sources such as dictionaries, citation manuals, encyclopedias, periodicals, newspapers and finding tools. Berring specifically discusses sources including: dictionaries such as Black's Law Dictionary (West Pub.), Ballentine's Law Dictionary (Lawyers Co-op) and Words and Phrases (West Pub.), citation manuals such as A Uniform System of Citation and the University of Chicago Manual of Legal Citation; legal encyclopedias such as Corpus Juris Secondum (West Pub.) and American Jurisprudence (Lawyers Co-op). Berring also discusses legal newspapers such as the National Law Journal and finding aids such as the Index to Legal Periodicals (H.W. Wilson) and Current Law Index (Information Access Co.).

Shepard's Citator and Online Information. VHS, 47 min. 1989. Tape 5

Berring discusses Shepard's history, function, and methods for constructing a search. He specifically discusses Shepard's for cases, statutory Shepard's (i.e. for session laws), specialized Shepard's (i.e. for the C.F.R.) and Shepard's online. For online systems, Berring gives a general overview of LEXIS and WESTLAW and what each system provides. He includes strategies and hints for effective use of both systems.


Research Strategies.
VHS, 63 min. 1989. Tape 6

The purpose of this program is to show the user how to construct their own research strategy. Berring provides two models that a researcher may use to understand the relationship between types of publications and the law. He also includes a five step research strategy that may be used to solve a research problem.


International Law.
VHS, 65 min. 1990. Tape 7 w/handbook (Reference)

Berring covers resources in foreign, comparative and international law. The program includes a review of reference sources - International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law (J.C.B. Mohr), and Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (AALL); international business and commercial law publications - International Business Transactions: A Guide to Research Sources by Igor I. Kavass and a number of other sources for doing business in other jurisdictions; comparative law - the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law; international law - major international law journals, finding tools for treaties such as Treaties and Other International Acts Series (Dept. of State), and some legislative history materials concerning treaties.


Income Tax.
VHS, 69 min. 1990. Tape 8 w/handbook (Reference)

Berring introduces the major resources needed to become an effective tax researcher. Berring covers the use of tax research guides; primary tax materials in legislation, administration and case law; secondary tax materials; online and CD-ROM tax systems.


Securities Regulation.
VHS, 75 min. 1990. Tape 9 w/handbook (Reference)

Berring reviews principle statutes including the:

  • Securities Act of 1933
  • Securities Act of 1934
  • Public Housing Act of 1934
  • Trust Act of 1939
  • Investment Company Act of 1940
  • Investment Advisory Act of 1940
  • Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970

Also included are discussions on standard sources, such as the United States Statutes at Large, Title 15 of the United States Code, United States Code Annotated (West Pub.), and United States Code Service (Lawyers Co-op); legislative histories including Federal Securities Laws: Legislative History, 1933-1982 (B.N.A.) and a number of compilations covering legislative histories. The review of primary administrative sources for securities regulation include use of the Federal Register, C.F.R. and SEC Publications. Berring also discussed strategies in using primary case law sources and secondary sources for laws and regulations governing securities.


Other Research Videotapes

Introduction to Shepardizing.
Colorado Springs: Shepards McGraw Hill, U-matic, 22 min. 1988
US 01.7 I69

Provides a short step by step introduction to Shepardizing.


Legal Research Made Easy: A Road Map Through the Law Library Maze. Los Angeles CA: Legal Star Communications, VHS, 150 min. 1990
KF 240 .L24 1990

A basic overview of legal research in which Bob Berring reviews federal, state, and local statutes; court cases; government agency regulations; law review articles; legal encyclopedias and Shepard's case updates.


Introduction to Legal Research. Minneapolis: West Pub. 2 VHS, 1987
KF 240 .W4373 1987

Tape 1: This program includes an introduction to legal research and a review of West's case law reporters, digests, and Westlaw. 34:20 min.

Tape 2: This program reviews statutes, secondary materials, and special searches. 44:30 min.

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