Authority on point
First look for controlling primary authority. Primary authority being defined as one of the sources located below that can be applied to your jurisdiction. You will have a good start to look for primary material through the secondary material you researched. If you have no luck, try and find persuasive authority.
1. Ask: Is there a STATUTE on point?
When searching for primary authority, you must first discover if there is a statute that is relevant to the issue at hand. If the answer is no, then you must move on to examining cases as primary authority.
Resources where statutes can be located:
2. If so, are there also ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS?
Administrative Regulations are when Congress decides not to regulate a specific area and instead decides to delegate the regulation to either a pre-existing administrative agency or to an administrative agency created for the purpose of regulation. The delegation occurs through a broadly worded statute setting out the intention to regulate an area as well as a specific reference to implementation by regulation as well as specific delegation to an agency or commission.
Resources where Administrative Regulations can be located:
3. If there are no annotations to statutes on point, try a Legislative History.
4. Ask: Are there CASES on point?
Cases are an excellant source of primary authority. When searching for primary authority, you must absolutely find cases relevant to the isse at hand. However, remember to check to see if the cases haven't been overturned.
Resources where cases can be located:
5. Find an applicable West TOPIC and Key Number or Lexis headnote or topic.
Look for primary authority. If there is none, check for persuasive authority.
6. Locate an American Law Report as a complement to digests and other case-finding resources
ALRs can help you locate relevant primary authority through articles called "Annotations". Annotations collect summaries of cases from a variety of jurisdictions to provide an overview of the law on a topic. However, there are some disadvantages to using an ALR. ALRs don't answer legal questions, but organize relevant authority around the question. In addition, an ALR is not jurisdiction specific, so you will have to sort through the information