WESTLAW NEXT Tip of the Week: Graphical Statutes – An Interactive Timeline For Statutes

June 10, 2013

Tip of the Week

As a statute changes over time it can quickly become difficult to track which bills, session laws, committee reports, journals, amendments, and other documents correspond with each version of a statute.

Graphical Statutes® presents an easy-to-read, interactive timeline that identifies every change to a statute and links to the documents that contributed to, or affected that change. Graphical Statutes include:

  • Links to enacting and amending public laws and session laws
  • Relevant legislative history materials (e.g., bill drafts, reports, journals, and the Congressional Record)
  • Cases that negatively impact the statute
  • Prior versions of the statute
  • Legislation that has been enacted but has not yet been codified

Accessing Graphical Statutes

Once you have accessed the statute section you need, click the History tab to access the History Overview page. From here click Graphical Statute.

Accessing Graphical Statutes

Using Graphical Statutes

  • Each section of the timeline corresponds to one of the differing versions displayed in the expandable list below
  • The green section represents the time period for which the Current Text is effective
  • If there is Proposed Text for the statute, that section will be in orange
  • When you hover over or click on any other section, that section and the corresponding time period in the expandable list will turn blue
  • Once you click on a section in the timeline, the box for the corresponding version expands and displays the available legislative documents that impacted that version

Hover over the timeline to see the exact date range for each version. When you hover over a section, a window also displays the type of documents and number of documents available for that version.

Click the section for July 6, 2011 – May 7, 2012. As you can see, both the relevant section of the timeline and the corresponding version in the expandable list turn blue. The version of the statute that was effective July 6, 2011 – May 7, 2012 expands to display all of the available legislative documents that impacted that version.

Using Graphical Statutes

Using Graphical Statutes can save you a tremendous amount of time. When you use Graphical Statutes on WestlawNext, you can jump right to the version you’re researching and get every legislative document you need, all in one place.

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