Back in the day, when ZiefBrief was learning the techniques of legal research, it was a given that there was no truly satisfactory way to find cases interpreting the Code of Federal Regulations. The one tool, Shepard's Code of Federal Regulations Citations, was so beset with quirks and pitfalls that it intimidated even expert researchers. Then came Lexis and Westlaw, and we could write full-text searches to pick up references to the CFR. But that technique (like the Shepard's CFR citator) depended on anticipating all of the ways a court might possibly have referred to a relevant CFR section.
Westlaw's new RegulationsPlus changes all that.
Among the many features of RegulationsPlus are annotations for the CFR. The annotations are written by West editors and are exactly analogous (in concept and look-and-feel) to the annotations to Thomson⁄West's USCA. (Thomson⁄West even plans on taking the retro step of bringing out selected annotated CFR titles in print.)
For examples of CFR annotations, take 36 C.F.R. 1191.1, the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities. To see the annotations written by the Thomson⁄West editors, be sure you select the "Links for" tab in the left-hand frame, then click on the "Notes of Decisions" link in the "Links for" tab.
Or, if you prefer, you can use Westlaw's KeyCite to find cases and other documents that cite your CFR section. To use KeyCite, Select the "Links for"” tab, then select the "Citing References" link.
[This is ZiefBrief's first post on RegulationsPlus. The second is More Ways to Find Federal Regulations - RegulationsPlus Index on Westlaw. The third is A Growing Federal Register Archive from Westlaw’s RegulationsPlus.]