This research guide is not all-inclusive. It does, however, present resources available at the California Western library and online consisting of selected treatises and hornbooks. It is designed to provide the researcher with guidance as to some of the treatises that are available at the California Western library by subject. Additional research can be conducted by using the KIM system, legal periodical indices, and other finding aids. Access to Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg BNA is limited to students and faculty at California Western. We welcome suggestions for improvement on this and other research guides. Please consult the Reference Librarian with suggestions and further research questions. This research guide was originally compiled by CWSL Librarians Bill Bookheim and Ian Kipnes in 2009. It was most recently revised in 2012.
Introduction to Treatises/Hornbooks
By CWSL Lbrarian Ian Kipnes , compiled and updated by Lisa Foster
Note : Adapted for California Western School of Law’s Library holdings from Kent C. Olson, Principles of Legal Research (West 2009).
A legal treatise is a scholarly publication containing a lengthy, in-depth, analysis and explanation of the law relating to a particular area, such as criminal law, trusts and estates, contract law, etc. They are considered secondary authority and serve as a useful starting point for legal research, particularly when the researcher lacks familiarity with an area of law. This is because treatises contain an in-depth explanation of a legal topic as well as numerous citations to case law, statutes, law review articles, and other relevant sources. Some treatises are supplemented yearly, others (particular those in loose-leaf or electronic format) may be updated more frequently.
Treatises contain more detailed discussions of specific legal topics than legal encyclopedias. In law schools, treatises are commonly used as supplemental study materials, covering legal subjects at a higher level of detail than most casebooks. Hornbooks are generally briefer versions of longer, multi-volume treatises and are directed toward law students. Lawyers commonly use legal treatises to review the law and update their knowledge of pertinent primary authority such as case law, statutes, and administrative regulations.
This research guide contains selected legal treatises available through the CWSL library in print or online. It is organized by subject, with a focus on California materials. It is not intended to be a comprehensive listing. Please consult a reference librarian with any questions or for additional resources.
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