This method of case research assumes you know part of a citation, either party names or information about the volume of the case reporter in which the opinion is published.
When you have a reporter volume and page information:
When you have only party names:
One other way to perform case law research presumes you are starting with a known statute and you want to find judicial opinions that have interpreted that specific statute. Nevada has three annotated statutory codes to assist with this type of research:
An annotated code means that, in addition to the text of the statute, you get other helpful information to assist you with your research. This includes cases that have interpreted a specific statute.
Although there are three annotated statutory codes, all of them work the same way. Once you retrieve the statute from any of these sources of the NRS, the annotations come immediately after the text of the statute. The case annotations are called Notes of Decisions (West) or Notes to Decisions (Michie's). Because these are print publications, make sure to check the pocketpart at the end of the book for new case citations that may have been added since the hardbound volume was published!
The official NRS lumps all Nevada cases first, then includes any other cases that cite this statute from other states or federal courts. The case annotations to the official NRS are not updated between legislative sessions, so this may not be the best source from which to identify new cases interpreting a statute.
While all three statutory codes contain annotations, and there will be substantial overlap in case coverage in these annotations, it is editorial discretion as to which cases to cover. This means that some annotated codes may include cases that the others do not.
Depicted below are illustrations from the three annotated codes for NRS 125.010, Causes for Divorce.
What is a digest? A digest organizes cases into major topics and narrower subtopics. They exist in books as well as online in fee-based services such as Westlaw and LexisNexis. While print digests are still published, they are not frequently used by legal researchers because such research is more efficiently performed online. As such, few libraries continue to purchase case law digests. If you happen to find yourself in a law library, please ask for assistance from a librarian on how to use case digests.