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Ohio Secondary Sources Legal Research Guide: Encyclopedias, Words & Phrases


Ohio Jurisprudence 3d (West Group, 1977 - ) KFO 65 .O3543. The Franklin County Law Library keeps two sets of Ohio Jurisprudence 3d. One is for Library use only, but is only up to date through 2021. Volumes of the the other set, which is up to date, can be checked out by attorneys who have a Library card.

  • Legal Encyclopedia that summarizes the law on almost every legal topic in Ohio
  • Topical articles are arranged alphabetically
  • Articles have references to cases, statutes and other primary and secondary sources.
  • Top of each section has references to West Digest.
  • If you have a case or statute citation, look in the Table of Laws and Rules volume or Table of Cases volumes.
  • The print volumes have Index volumes, but be warned that the Index volume is not always up to date. You may have to consult a cross-reference table at the beginning or end of the O.Jur.3d article or the OJur.3d volume.
  • Find relevant sections in print:
    • Index at end of set or end of each article.
    • Table of Contents at beginning of each article.
  • Ohio Jurisprudence 3d is also available on Lexis Advance from the Franklin County Law Library public computers.

Words & Phrases

If you want to find out how Ohio courts define certain words, Words and Phrases is the place to look.  West's Ohio Digest KFO 57 .W53 has a Words and Phrases volume. The Franklin County Law Library no longer keeps the print Digests up to date, but Ohio Jurisprudence 3d KFO 65 .O3543 also contain Words and Phrases volumes.  The volumes are arranged alphabetically by word or phrase. Under each word or phrase are summaries from Ohio cases, defining that word or phrase.

Other ways to find definitions:

  • A search in a Lexis or Westlaw case law database, such as wanton! or willful! /5 (defin! or means)
  • There is a Westlaw version of Words & Phrases.
  • Ohio statutes, such as Page's Ohio Revised Code Annotated on LexisAdvance, Baldwin's Ohio Revised Code Annotated, and the Unannotated Ohio Revised Code Online may define a term as well.  Definitions are often contained in the first code section of a chapter.
  • Katz Giannelli Ohio Criminal Law and Rules, KFO561 .A3, Table of Definitions, p. A-125.

Video: Finding Ohio Jurisprudence Sections on WestlawNext and Lexis Advance

This video demonstrates how to find Ohio Jurisprudence on Lexis and Westlaw.  If you search everything, you will also be able to pick Ohio Jurisprudence out of the search results using the filters on the left.

Other Sources not Specific to Ohio

Restatements of Law set out the common-law rules or majority consensus in United States jurisdictions on a subject. Unlike most secondary sources, Restatements are often cited in legal opinions, and are annotated, making them excellent sources for finding leading case law.  Appendix volumes contain summaries of cases which cite to each Restatement provision, and are arranged by jurisdiction. Restatements are shelved in the Franklin County Law Library by their subject. The Library catalog is available by clicking on the   icon on the Library's website. Restatements are online on Lexis on the Franklin County Law Library public computers.

Uniform Laws Annotated (KF 165 .A5) models for legislation, such as the Uniform Commercial Code or the Model Penal Code.  If a state has adopted a particular uniform law, and there is no relevant case law in the state, case law from another state that has adopted the uniform law may help.  Uniform Laws Annotated contains the text of many uniform laws, as well as case summaries from all U.S. jurisdictions. Uniform Laws Annotated are also on Westlaw.

American Law Reports - ALR,  KF 132 .A5 through KF132 .A56. ALR Fed2d and 3rd and ALR 6th and 7th are available in print.  ALR is particularly helpful for state specific research, because it has a table of cases by state at the beginning of each article.   Articles focusing on various narrow and specific questions of law.  There is not an article for every legal issue, but the issues that are covered are very detailed and in depth.

American Jurisprudence, KF164 .A42 and on Lexis on the Franklin County Law Library public computers. Am Jur is a general legal encyclopedia.  It may site to Ohio cases in addition to cases from other jurisdictions.  If the Ohio specific sources are not panning out, Am Jur may be an option.