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Law Library News for February 11, 2002

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


African American History Month

In a Presidential Proclamation dated February 1, 2002, President George W. Bush declared February 2002 as National African American History Month. This year�s theme is �The Color Line Revisited: Is Racism Dead?� The President�s proclamation goes on to state that the �observance calls our Nation�s attention to the continued need to battle racism and to build a society that fully lives up to its democratic ideals. This commitment includes ensuring a high-quality education for all Americans, so that no child is left behind, and challenges us to continue to rebuild and restore our communities, to fight crime and violence, and to pursue equal opportunity and equal justice in every part of our society.�

In honor of African American History Month we wanted to highlight a collection of papers (archive) from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Papers of NAACP (Microfilm A8473 at Microform and Newspapers in Suzzallo Library). This large collection of materials was created between 1909 and 1965. Although not ideal for leisure reading, archives are a great source for research (historical, legal, sociological, etc.) In these papers you will find information on the voting rights campaign, the campaign against residential segregation, discrimination in the U.S. armed forces, and NAACP legal department case files. To locate the papers of NAACP dealing with activities in Seattle, conduct the following keyword search in the UW Libraries catalog: " papers and naacp and seattle." The records you retrieve deal with the Seattle Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) analysis and plan concerning segregation and integration in Seattle public schools and correspondence, newspaper clippings, and press releases regarding employment discrimination, labor unions, and the aircraft industry (specifically Boeing Aircraft Co.).

For more information on the NAACP, check out Fight For Freedom: The Story of the NAACP, by Langston Hughes (E185.5.N276H8 1962 at Historical Collection) or The NAACP's Legal Strategy Against Segregated Education, 1925-1950, by Mark V. Tushnet (KF4155.T87 1987 at Classified Stacks). For current information on the activities of the NAACP, visit their website,

What Are Restatements?

by Kristy Moon, Reference Intern

Restatements are legal rules drafted and published by legal scholars of the American Law Institute (ALI) with the goal of unifying common law on a national basis. The objective of ALI is �to reduce the complexity and uncertainty of American common law by promulgating one authoritative, rule-like source.� (Christina L. Kunz et al., The Process of Legal Research 90-91 (5th ed. 2000))

Why Do They Matter?

Although they are not primary authority, some courts adopt certain sections of Restatements. In those jurisdictions, the adopted language becomes primary authority. Furthermore, Restatements are useful as persuasive authority when no primary authority supports your argument, existing primary authority is adverse to your position, or you want to suggest what the law should be. Restatements generally carry a lot of weight, and courts often cite them because they are drafted by highly respected legal scholars and published by ALI only after the drafts have been revised and approved through a long, deliberative process.

How Do You Research in Restatements?

Restatements are published in multiple series covering twelve large subject areas. Each rule is followed by comments (giving scope, meaning, and rationale of the rule) and illustrations (examples of how the rule is applied, often based on real cases).


  1. Select an appropriate Restatement subject and series (generally, begin in the most recent series). For example:
Subject Edition & Date of Adoption(s)
Contracts 1st: 1932
2d: 1979
Property 1st: 1936, 1940, 1944
Property - Landlord & Tenant 2d: 1976
Property - Donative Transfers 2d: 1981, 1984, 1987, 1990
Property - Mortgages 3d: 1996
Torts 1st, 1934, 1938, 1939
2d: 1963, 1964, 1976, 1977
Torts - Products Liability 3d: 1997









  1. Locate an applicable Restatement section through a table of contents or index.
    1. A table of contents is found in the front of most volumes (it usually covers the entire subject in that series but for few subjects, it covers only those topics found in that particular volume).
    2. A comprehensive one-volume index exists for the 1st series but not for the 2d or 3d series. So for the 2d or 3d series, search the index for the particular Restatement subject and series which may be found in the last subject volume (not an appendix volume) or in the back of each volume (covering only that volume).
    3. Once you find a section number, find that section in a main subject volume (not an appendix volume or a supplement).
    4. Read the bold-typed rule.
  2. Locate cases that cite particular Restatement sections by consulting the case summaries.
    1. Case summaries usually appear in the appendix volumes of the most recent series for a subject, but for some Restatements, they appear in the pocket part of the main volumes.
    2. Summaries of very recent cases along with a list of most recent cases appear in the softbound pamphlet, Interim Case Citations to the Restatements of the Law, which updates all of the Restatements.


Both Westlaw and LexisNexis databases contain complete text of the Restatement rules, comments, illustrations, reporter�s notes, and summaries of cases. (A word of caution -- it is a bad idea to print Restatements from Westlaw or Lexis.)

In Westlaw:

  • Search a database that covers all Restatement subjects (REST) or select a database for a specific Restatement and series (e.g., REST-TORT for Restatement of the Law - Torts).
  • To see a list of available Restatement databases, go to the "Directory," click on "Forms, Treatises, CLEs, and Other Practice Materials," and then "Restatements of the Law & Uniform Laws"
  • Once you've selected a database, do a keyword search using Terms and Connectors or Natural Language
  • To limit your search to certain portions of the Restatement such as the text of the rule, comments, etc., use the Field Restrictions feature located below the search text box.
  • Alternatively, you can browse the tables of contents by typing in �ci (contents)� in the search text box

In LexisNexis:

  • Start at the "Search" tab (upper left-hand corner of screen).
  • Click on the "Secondary Legal" folder.
  • Then click on the "Individual Restatements of Law" folder. This will give you a list of available Restatement databases.
  • Click on "Torts," for example, and you will be given three choices�Table of Contents, Rules, or Case Citations.
  • You can browse the table of contents, or you can click on either the Rules or Case Citations and enter your search terms in a Terms and Connectors or Natural Language search. If you click on the plus sign next to "Restrict Search Using Document Segments" in a Terms and Connectors search you will see a drop-down menu that will allow you to limit your search to different segments such as the rule, court, summary, etc.