The goal is to narrow the scope and cost of the research. The key is to determine which bill first added your terms of interest. To do this, simply follow the steps outlined below.
Option One: Quick & Easy
If you find yourself scratching your head or looking quizzical, feel free to Contact Us for help, and we'll be happy to assist. We regularly receive rave reviews for the high quality of our customer service. We truly enjoy working with our clients to help them meet their needs.
Option Two: Do It Yourself
Step One: Go to the annotated codes
Sometimes the annotated codes will provide descriptions of the changes made by each bill, and you can use this information to help determine which bill made the change you care about.
However, if such descriptions are not provided, you will have to review the chaptered laws and determine what changes were made by each. To do this, you will have to review the cited chaptered laws.
Step Two: Review the chaptered laws
The annotated codes will provide you with a list of chaptered laws at the end of the code section. But there might also be prior law cites buried deep in the historical annotations. Look under the "Prior Law" or "Derivation" headings following the code section. Sometimes the "Former" citations are relevant too. Many people miss these additional cites, so please be careful.
LRI provides instructions on how to quickly access these chaptered laws in our "Statutes Online" article. Review them in chronological order, and pick the one(s) that added or substantively amended the terms at issue. This will not only help you narrow the scope and cost of the research, but it brings an added bonus - reconstructing how a code section has evolved over time has been known to resolve cases (e.g. language-in, language-out can signal important legislative intent).
This is not rocket science, but it does require focus and attention to detail. Good luck, and don't forget that we are here to help if you need us at any stage of the identification process. Most of the time we can help you cut to the chase quickly and at no cost.
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