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LRAW Research Spring 2023

American Law Reports (ALR)

ALR volume.

 

American Law Reports or ALRs, are in-depth articles, called annotations, on specific legal topics or issues. Each annotation collects summaries of cases from a variety of jurisdictions to provide an overview on the topic.  ALRs are most useful for identifying key cases, statutes, and regulations, as well as relevant secondary sources on a legal topic.  

American Law Reports comprises many series of ALR including ALR, ALR2d, ALR3d, ALR4th, ALR5th, ALR6th, and ALR7th; and three federal series: ALR Fed., ALR Fed. 2d., and ALR Fed. 3d.



Each ALR annotation provides an article outline and an index to help you locate where your precise issue is addressed in the annotation, as well as a Table of Cases, Laws, and Rules to help you find primary sources included in the annotation from your jurisdiction.  ALR annotations also include Research References to legal encyclopedias, practice materials, law review articles, West topics and key numbers, and more. 

First page of 16 A.L.R. 3d 26 titled Comment note. Age and mentality of child as affecting application of Attractive Nuisance Doctrine. Includes links to an Article Outline, Index, Table of Cases, Laws and Rules, and Research References.

In Westlaw and Lexis, updates are incorporated into each annotation. If an ALR annotation is superseded by a newer annotation, Westlaw and Lexis will refer you to the newer superseding annotation.

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).

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.

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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.

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

ATTORNEYS' FEES (highlighted: ATTRACTIVE NUISANCES) ATV

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.

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

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Finding American Law Reports in Print

ALR Index volume next to the ALR Table of Laws, Rules, and Regulations volume.


In print, the multi-volume ALR Index: ALR Complete Series organizes annotations by subject for all of the ALR series. The print ALR Index is updated with annual pocket parts, to help you find the most up-to-date annotations.

For example, to find an annotation on the attractive nuisance doctrine, select the A-B volume of the ALR Index and look up attractive nuisance doctrine.  There are many annotations listed on the broad topic of attractive nuisance.

Entry in the ALR Index that includes the ALR Annotation from above on the age and mentality of a child listed under the topic Attractive Nuisances.

At the end of the ALR Index set is a volume entitled Tables of Laws, Rules, and Regulations that lists federal and state statutes and regulations and directs you to ALR annotations that include references to those authorities.

In print, ALR annotations are updated by pocket parts inserted in the back of the volume. These supplements provide citations to more recent cases relevant to the annotation topic. The Annotation History Tables show whether an annotation has been superseded, or replaced, by a more updated annotation.