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LRAW Research Spring 2025

American Law Reports (ALR)

ALR volume.

American Law Reports or ALR is a longstanding, highly trusted series of in-depth articles, called annotations, on specific legal issues.

Attorneys research each ALR annotation, including summaries of key cases to provide an overview of how various courts approach the topic.

ALR annotations are most useful for identifying key cases, statutes, and regulations on a legal topic, organized by jurisdictionas well as relevant secondary sources.

Check the header at the top of an ALR annotation to see if it is still being updated, or if it has been supersededAn ALR annotation that is still being updated is OK to use, despite an older publication date. However, if an older annotation has been superseded by a newer annotation, use the newer annotation instead.

Example: A young boy trespassed into a national park. . . .
Your client, a relative of the boy, wants to bring a wrongful death action. . . .
The National Park Service claims that the attractive nuisance doctrine cannot apply. . . .


The ALR annotation below alerts us to case law in which the age of the trespassing child affected whether the attractive nuisance doctrine applied. This is a tangential issue to what we have been asked to research, since we have not been given the age of the client's young relative. We would alert the assigning attorney to this line of case law, and offer to research it if asked. Use the original publication date in the citation. Check the header to see how often the database is updated. The case law cited in this annotation should be current as of this week. Title of ALR annotation: Age and mentality of child as affecting application of Attractive Nuisance Doctrine;  Select a jurisdiction at the left, orclick on Table of Cases, Laws, and Rules to jump directly to citations to primary sources cited in this annotation, from a particular jurisdiction. Click on Research References to jump to other secondary sources, as well as Topics and Key Numbers that help you find relevant cases on Westlaw.

Use the article outline to jump to a specific issue. Issues are in the order they are presented in the ALR annotation. Use the index to jump to a specific issue. Issues are listed in alphabetical order in the index. Use the Table of Cases, Laws, and Rules to get citations to important primary authorities. Click links to sections of the ALR annotation to see what rules the article authors pulled from each case.  Use footnotes in the ALR annotation to find primary authority for rules described in the text.

Finding American Law Reports Using Westlaw

To search for an ALR annotation in Westlaw by subject, begin typing American Law Reports, then select it when it appears under Content Pages below the search bar.


You can keyword search all ALRs in the search bar, or click on a specific topic below. Another option is to select the American Law Reports Index on the right under Tools & Resources

screenshot - search bar to Search American Law Reports, list of specific annotation topics, American Law Reports Index under Tools & Resources

Then click Index Contents to access the index.


Select an index topic to find a list of subtopics. Then choose the citation link next to the ALR subtopic that seems most relevant.


Age, mentality and age of child as affecting application of attractive nuisance doctrine, 16 ALR3d 25

Finding American Law Reports Using Lexis

To search for an ALR annotation in Lexis, type American Law Reports into the search bar on the homepage. Click on American Law Reports (ALR) when it appears below the search bar, next to Sources.


From here, you can keyword search all American Law Reports.


Citing American Law Reports (ALR)

Rule 16.7.6 (p. 168) of The Bluebook describes how to cite ALR annotations.  Citations to annotations include the following parts:

  1. The author's full name (if any), as it appears on the publication (do not include "J.D.");
  2. The word "Annotation" (if no author, start with Annotation);
  3. The title of the annotation in italics;
  4. The volume, the abbreviated name of the ALR, and the first page of the annotation;
  5. A pinpoint citation to the page the material you are referencing;
  6. The annotation's date (original date, even if updated via print pocketpart or online).

For example, the ALR annotation on the age and mentality of the child as affecting application of the attractive nuisance doctrine found at 16 ALR 3d 25 is cited as:

D.E. Buckner, Annotation, Comment Note.—Age and Mentality of Child as Affecting Application of Attractive Nuisance, 16 A.L.R.3d 25 (1967).

Another example of a citation to an ALR annotation:

George L. Blum, Annotation, Effectiveness of Employer’s Disclaimer of Representations in Personnel Manual or Employee Handbook Altering At-Will Employment Relationship, 17 A.L.R.5th 1 (1994).

Citation Tips:
ALR citations always include the word Annotation after the author’s name.
If there is no author designated, begin with Annotation, followed by a comma.
Use the original publication date, even though ALR Annotations are updated in print by pocket part, and new information is incorporated within the annotations in electronic databases.