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BA 770 Legal and Regulatory Environments of Business: Home


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Check encyclopedias for background information if you are unfamiliar with a topic.  As you read the encyclopedia entry, jot down synonyms, important people, court cases and other words that may serve as good search terms as you begin to gather information.  Review the sources listed to see if reliable resources and/or internet sites are mentioned.  Do not cite an encyclopedia.  Use it as a stepping stone to other information. 


(Guide creator: Teresa Grimm.  Currently maintained by Jamie Kellner.)


Getting Started

This guide is designed to help students in BA770 Legal and Regulatory Environments of Business find business and legal information in Lakeland's online library and beyond. Use the tabs across the top of the screen to move to sections on:

Primary and Secondary Sources

In legal research, primary sources are actual statements of the law.  Examples include: constitutions, statutes, administrative codes, court decisions, treaties, and executive orders. Primary sources may be mandatory or persuasive in a legal dispute depending on jurisdiction.  Jurisdiction refers to the right to authority.  The Wisconsin Supreme Court has jurisdiction in this state so it's rulings are mandatory primary sources in the state of Wisconsin.  However, in Michigan, a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision would not have jurisdiction so in Michigan the same Wisconsin Supreme Court decision is a persuasive source, one that can be considered by Michigan courts, but not mandatory to follow.  It is important to understand jurisdiction when researching a case.

Secondary sources explain the law by offering commentary, analysis, or background information.  Examples include legal encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, articles, books about law and annotated law reports.  Secondary sources may influence legal decisions, but they are not binding.

This guide will help you locate primary and secondary sources. 

Source: Library of Congress: Guide to SecondaryLegal Resources

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James Kellner
Distance Education Librarian
W3718 South Dr.
Plymouth, WI 53073
920-565-1038 ext. 2419
John Esch Library | Lakeland University | W3718 South Drive | Plymouth, WI 53073 | (920) 565-1038 ext. 2420