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Does Casetext have annotated statutes?
Does Casetext have annotated statutes?
Valerie McConnell avatar
Written by Valerie McConnell
Updated over a week ago

Yes! Casetext offers annotations for federal and state statutes, regulations, and rules to help you understand how these authorities have been interpreted and applied by the courts.

I.  How to access annotations:

To access annotations, you will first need to go to the web page for the statute, regulation, or rule that you are researching. (To find out how to access statutes, rules, and regulations, please see How can I access statutes, regulations, and rules?)

Once you are on the web page for your selected statute, regulation, or rule, you can access annotations from the tab that says "Annotations." This tab is found in the menu bar that appears at the top of your screen, right beneath the statute's citation.

When you view a statute, regulation, or rule, you may notice that portions of the text are highlighted in green and portions of text are highlighted in pink. The green text refers to "key referencing passages," which are discussed in greater detail below. 

The pink text refers to portions of the statute, rule, or regulation that have been cited with "emphasis added" in judicial opinions. If you click on the pink highlighting, a window will appear, which will list all of the cases that have cited the pink highlighted text with emphasis. This feature is used to alert you to phrases or sentences in a statute, regulation, or rule that were significant enough to warrant added emphasis by the courts. To learn more about this feature, please see the article available here.

 II.  I clicked the "Annotations" tab. What can I do now?

After you click on the "Annotations" tab, you will see two panels: "Key Referencing Passages" and "Cases applying this statute." You will also see a search bar under "Narrow."

Search bar: Use the search bar to search through the annotations by keyword and limit your results to those annotations mentioning a specific word or phrase. For example, you can search through the annotations to 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983 to find annotations that mention false imprisonment:

Key Referencing Passages: These are heavily-quoted case passages that discuss your statute. If you entered a search term, the list of key referencing passages will be limited to those passages containing your search term.

To read a case containing a key passage, click on the case name (which appears in blue, hyperlinked). You will be taken to that case and specifically, to the portion of the case discussing the statute. 

Cases Applying the Statute: These are cases that have applied your statute. In other words, these cases discuss whether your statute applies to, or should be enforced under, a particular set of facts. Please note that the number of cases applying a statute will be smaller than the number of cases that merely cite to a statute. The list of "cases applying the statute" reflects a subset of cases that have analyzed your statute in depth.

Next to each case name, you will see a summary describing how the case has applied the statute. These summaries are pulled from judicial opinions.

III. What else I can do to research a statute?

In addition to annotations, you can also access articles written by attorneys and law firms that discuss your statute. These articles are available from the tab entitled "Attorney Analyses," which appears in menu bar at the top of the statute's web page. 

From that menu bar, you can also access briefs that cite your statute (under the "Citing Briefs" tab), as well as all cases that cite to your statute (from the "Citing Cases" tab). To find out more on our "Citing Cases" tab, including ways of searching through citing cases, please see What are "Citing Cases"?

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