A "primary authority" can be simply defined as a statement of the law made by a branch of government. In the case of the legislative branch, primary authority takes the form of statutes. Cases, on the other hand, emanate from the judicial branch while regulations are the product of administrative agencies which generally come under the executive branch. "Secondary authority," by contrast, offers explanation and commentary on the law by scholars and practitioners. This type of source helps to more fully understand the application of the law to a specific problem.
This guide is designed primarily for non-law students of Seattle University who have an occasional need for a regulation, statute, or case. Using this guide will help you decipher abbreviations, identify materials and locate them in the Seattle University Law Library. Students can also avail themselves of the Lexis-Nexis Academic option available through Lemieux Library. Click on "Databases" from the Lemieux front page and again on "Lexis-Nexis Academic" to use this service. Click on the "US Legal" tab to get a list of the federal and state databases. Selected federal materials are available on the Web and the law library's Web page is a good place to start. A similar page for Washington state cases, statutes, and regulations makes them easy to find.
NOTE: The locations provided within this guide are to the Seattle University Law Library. The number and letter locators are to the floor and range (e.g. 2A means floor two, range A). Reserve is located on the second floor.
Questions regarding the content of this guide should be directed to Bob Menanteaux.