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United States: legal resources: Digests

Subjects: American Studies, Law

Digest of US practice in international law

Digests

A digest is an index to case law, organized by subject, in which all of the cases that discuss a given point of law are listed, with a brief statement of the holding or the facts of the case.

The standard and most comprehensive digest is the group of publications in the American Digest System (also known simply as the American Digest) which uses the West “key number system”. This system was devised for the First Decennial Digest, and is now used in a wide range of West publications.  The “key numbers” form a complex system of classification in which a number is assigned to every point of law, making it much easier to find most or all of the cases that involve that point of law.  Each Decennial Digest contains a comprehensive table of cases for the period covered by that digest.  The Century Edition does not have a table of cases but is covered by a composite table in the First Decennial Digest.  These are the definitive tables of cases in American law.

 

American Digest System

Century Edition of the American Digest (1658-1896)
(Does not use the key number system)
USA 150

First to Eleventh Decennial Digests (1897 on)
Large multi-volumes covering 10 year periods.

USA 150 (sec coll)

NOTE The Ninth & Tenth Decennial Digests were each published
in 2 separte volumes covering 5 years
eg Ninth Decennial Digest Part I covers 1976-81
while Part 2 is 1981-86 

 

Eleventh Decennial Digest was published in 3 parts
Part 1 (1996-2001), Part 2 (2001-2004) & Part 3 (2004-2007)

 

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