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Statutory Law

Locating the Appropriate Statute

Locating the Appropriate Statute

As a paralegalassisting in the dealings of a law firm, one is often called upon to do extensive research on all aspects of law as are appropriate to the cases that may be under their care at the time. Such research may be comprise of finding statutes, for instance. Since statutory law provides such important precedence for court hearings, it is no wonder that finding statutes presents itself as an oftentimes pertinent and lengthy task for any paralegal to undertake.
The first step in such a process of finding statutes is to be assured that statutory law does exist for the case at hand. Good areas to start include that of “law review articles” and other such sources related to statutory law. When pursuing federal statutes, familiarity with its organization is important. Federal statutes are ordered “chronologically” in terms of “session laws” and “topically” in relation to “codes.” These codes are pertinent to start of an endeavor with the express purpose of finding statutes. 
This is due to the fact that codes exemplify the way in which current statutory law is arranged according to subject. Within these codes, as well, are the languages that stemmed from session laws in addition to language associated directly with statutory law. When using sites such as Lexis-Nexis and West Law, you may just enter in citations of code into the prescribed search areas. When finding statutes by topic, however, you may search according to keyword terms. The two main texts from which to look, if you wish to go a route aside from the internet, is that of the “United States Code Annotate” and the “United States Code Service.”
You may locate these texts in various law-focused libraries. Be advised that each possesses its own specific ways of indexing or classification. If you already possess the specific citation for your statute, you may look to match the title number with the corresponding section. If you lack this number, however, you may look to the subject index of either these two texts, which will reside in the last volume. 
A “general index” will also provide you with topics related to each federal statute. When attempting to dissect a “citation number,” you must be aware of the following, the first number is representative of the title number, the capitalized acronym is the code, the following digit(s) compose the section number, and the last hyphenate letters stand for the subsection. Familiarization with such parts of a citation number ensures a more direct approach to finding statutes.
When finding statutes according to individual state statutory law, however, processes differ slightly according to your state. In Kentucky, for instance, you will be asked to attain the “general index.” This text arranges terms in alphabetical order in relation to the “Kentucky Revised Statutes.” Reviewing this text is the first step to then acquiring the books needed for whatever aspect of statutory law that you may be seeking.

How Does the Supreme Court Interpret the Constitution

How Does the Supreme Court Interpret the Constitution

When seeking out statutory law, paralegals must be aware of an important task that accompanies it, and that is of interpreting the constitution. This is significant because statutes are exercised according to what is set forth within the constitution. 
While the constitution maintains and authorizes the foundational doctrine of the law, statutes demonstrate how they will be put into practice in terms of their specific natures. Statutes take their cues from the constitution, and, thus, such a hierarchical relationship makes it vital for paralegals to be quite familiar with the intricacies of interpreting the constitution with the final goal of understanding the statutes themselves.
To begin with, the Supreme court holds the ultimate power when concerning both the institution and employment of federal and state laws or statutes. They possess the authority to decide and preside over any statutes that they find in violation of the constitution. Now equipped with the knowledge of how exactly statutes relate to the constitution, we will highlight the considerations involved in the actual interpretation of the constitution. In general, there exist five elements, which assist in such an interpretation. 
These consist of the following: its wording and framework, the intent behind its construction, precedence for it, the various results connected to areas such as economic and political due to additional interpretations, and finally, that of natural law. These areas of concerned may be compressed into four more specific titles of interest. These include the “textualist,” “intentionalist,” “pragmatist,” and the “natural law theorist.” The textualist is an individual who looks to the specific wording within the constitution in search of meaning, which they apply to their assertion of the lackluster ability of courts to garner “collective intent.”
An Inventionalist is one who maintains the intent of various parties, such as that of “ratifiers,” as a primary area necessary for constitutional interpretation to occur. Pragmatists look to other venues as they look very keenly upon precedence as a key to interpretation. They make use of the occurrences of multiple interpretations, which they would then seek in connection to their own. “Natural law theorists,” however, seem to be in contrast to all these aspects altogether as they look to aspects of “higher moral law,” and place it above law that they feel is at odds with what is just and right.
In constitutional law, which reigns over all interpretations of its text, all authority set forth must have its origins as stemming directly or indirectly from it. Since statutory law does enter at a level coming under the constitution, it is vital that paralegals do their research. 
Without a correct understanding as well as a firm grasp on the principles that lie within the constitution, there is little or no basis for which to even begin the journey towards the finding of statutory law, let alone its desired interpretation. It is important to be aware of the distribution of power within a country in order to apply all such sources in the correct ways in pursuit of your final goal of such pertinent interpretation.

Finding & Interpreting Statutory Law

Finding & Interpreting Statutory Law

4 Steps to Statute Interpretation:

Statute interpretation consists of four important steps that must be followed in order to guarantee its achievement. These include: acquisition of facts, location of relevant statutes, analyzing the aforementioned statutes, and the concluding results. 
Each step leads to the other in direct succession as the absence of any one will render the completion of such interpretation impossible. Attaining the appropriate facts will allow the paralegal to determine the course of action that must be taken in ascertaining what statute may then be relevant to the case. When seeking out such a relevant statute, then, it is vital that language be scrutinized as well as the intent involved. 
In addition to this is the importance of acknowledging the date in which a statute had been put into effect. If the date of your client’s case came prior to the advent of a particular statute, this would no longer be an appropriate candidate in terms of relevance. Assuming that you have determined a statute appropriate for your cause, analyzing would be the next viable step to be employed. This is comprised of actually breaking down the structure and components of a statute. 
In such a way, you will be able to discern any ambiguities that will undoubtedly arise as a result of complicated statutes. One route to start with would be to acquire one’s own interpretation of a statute aside from any additional sources. This will allow for a non-biased outlook as well as will improve your entire analysis of the statute. 
Consideration of opposing arguments will also ensure that such an examination is thorough in connection to the attorney’s prepared case. In conclusion of statute interpretation, the prior steps will have worked together in concurrence toward the efficient use of resources and time. Adequate adherence will allow for more attention to be placed on other vital aspects of the legal proceedings.
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