Westlaw tip: Using the Statutes Index to find state statutes by topic

June 29, 2011

From the Westlaw Reference AttorneysStatutes Index is an excellent source when looking for state statutes by topic.

For example when looking for Statutes of Limitation for various causes of action in Idaho (ID-ST-ANN) go to the Statues Index under “L” for Limitation of Actions.

You will see a large list of different topics and causes of actions with links to the relevant statutes.

Another good use of Statutes Index is finding alternative terms for legal topics.

In Louisiana for example agents can be called a mandatary and the principle/agent contract can be called a mandate.

If a customer called in asking about ‘mandates’ in Louisiana you could easily go to the Louisiana statutes index and search under ‘M’ for ‘Mandate’.

The very first link under ‘generally’ would take you to the code section discussing principal agent (mandatary) relations in Louisiana.

Another example is looking for current topics in jurisdictions.

If you’re looking for New York statutes on ‘Subprime Mortgages’, you can look at the New York Statutes Index under ‘Mortgages’ to see ‘Subprime Home Loans’.

You can see that the New York statutes also say ‘Home Loans’ so that will be a better term to search for than ‘Mortgages’.