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Statutory Research

This guide discusses what statutes are; how statutes fit into legal research; how statutes are published; where they can be found online & in print; how to update statutes; how to find 50 state statutory surveys; & the role of uniform/model laws.

What is my State's Session Law Compilation Called?

Check Table 1 of The Bluebook for the jurisdiction at issue. Each state has a chronological session law compilation, equivalent to the federal Statutes at Large. 

A glance at T1 will show that the official compilation of Massachusetts session laws is called The Acts & Resolves of Massachusetts. Lexis and West each publish unofficial versions that are more up-to-date and may include laws not yet printed in the Acts & Resolves.

How do I Cite a Massachusetts Session Law?

Cite according to Bluebook Rule 12.4 and T1.

Example: Regulation of Business Practice and Consumer Protection Act, 1967 Mass. Acts 781.

Note: for acts passed too recently to be included in the official session law compilation for the jurisdiction, look at the unofficial publications listed in T1.  

Finding State Session Laws

What do the Massachusetts Session Law Compilations Look Like?

OFFICIAL:

Acts and resolves of Massachusetts, official

 

UNOFFICIAL (WEST):

Massachusetts legislative service, West unofficial

UNOFFICIAL (LEXIS):

Mass Advance legislative service, Lexis unofficial