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 jurisdiction, as 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Check the header at the top of an ALR annotation to see if it is still being updated, or if it has been superseded. An 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 However, if an older annotation has been superseded by a newer annotation, use the newer annotation instead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rule 16.7.6 (p. 168) of The Bluebook describes how to cite ALR annotations. Citations to annotations include the following parts:
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).