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Skills Center: Finding Cases that Interpret a Statute

When researching statutes, finding the right statute is just the first step. The next step is to see how that statute has been applied in cases that come before the appellate courts.

There are several ways to find cases in which the courts have interpreted a statute.

  • Annotated versions of the statutes publish the text of the statutes along with Notes of Decisions summarizing the cases that have interpreted them. Minnesota Statutes Annotated, United States Code Annotated and United States Code Service are available in the Law Library and in many county law libraries around the state.
  • The online archive of Minnesota appellate court decisions is also searchable. The statute number makes a good search term. This archive only goes back to May of 1996.
  • Lexis and Westlaw are available in the Law Library. The statute number makes a good search term.

  • DISCLAIMER:  As librarians and not lawyers, we can suggest resources but cannot give legal advice (such as which form to file), or legal opinions, (such as how a statute might apply to particular facts.)  To do so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law.  Even though we try to suggest materials that will be of help, further research is usually required to find a complete and correct answer.  For many questions, the best answer may be to consult an attorney.  For links to resources on finding an attorney, see http://www.lawlibrary.state.mn.us/selfhelp.html#atty.

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    Minnesota State Law Library: Skills Center: Finding Cases that Interpret a Statute

    Last updated on March 10, 2015.
    Links checked on January 14, 2015.

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