Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources / Dictionaries:  A legal dictionary is a work that connects the reader with the specialized vocabulary of the law by taking the reader from lay persons’ language to the language of cited legal decisions, cited statutes, and cited regulations. A legal dictionary may sometimes cite to the language of legal scholars.

  • BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY   the seminal legal reference book. Electronic version of the 8th edition (Hardcopy of the 4th pocket edition has the call number KF156 .B533 2011, and it is located in our Reference Room on the 3rd floor of the library.)
  • WORDS AND PHRASES - an exhaustive presentation of judges’ definitions and constructions taken from legal opinions, with full citations to the opinions.

Secondary Sources /Treatises:  A treatise is a law publication that provides overview of the doctrine underlying a law topic.  It draws from basic statutes, court opinions, and regulations (as appropriate), and puts them into context.  Its author may be a highly regarded academic.  A treatise may be a single-volume or multi-volume work.

Quick overview:  A Nutshell is a paperback law book that provides succinct overview and solid introduction to one area of the law. It is usually clearly written and includes accurate citations, but it is seldom cited as authoritative. (Nutshells can also be useful as study aids)

Securities regulation : in a nutshell by Ratner, David L

Call Number: KF1440 .R37 2009

10th edition.

Located by call number on the 5th floor of the stacks

Located also in our Study Aids area of the 3rd floor Reference Room.

Comprehensive overview:

Focused overview (National in Scope):

Electronic source. Addresses pertinent fiduciary obligations; personal and institutional liabilities; government enforcement; and related matters.

Multi-volume. Available on WESTLAW NEXT or in hard-copy. Coverage ranges from corporate governance to Sarbanes-Oxley and Blue Sky Laws.

Hardcopy call number (Yale Law Library) KF 1432. S42.

Overview of States

This online treatise by Joseph C. Long discusses state-level  regulation of securities in all the states as well as in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Covers the Uniform Securities Act, as amended, which has been adopted in part or in whole in most U.S. jurisdictions.

Most recent edition only.


Secondary Sources /HORNBOOKS

A hornbook is a succinct legal treatise, usually one volume, that provides a broad overview of the doctrine underlying an area of the law and also provides citations to some cases, statutes, and regulations. A hornbook, unlike a casebook, is a narrative punctuated with citations, whereas a casebook contains cases, interspersed with narrative as well as thought provoking questions about the cases.

A hornbook.

Basic coverage of the securities laws with bibliographical references.

Call number: KF 1439. H388 2009, 5th floor stacks and 3rd. floor Reading Room Study Aids.

With updating pocket part.

A one volume version of the multi-volume classic.

Secondary Sources/Looseleafs: looseleaf is a law publication on a selected law topic which, in hardcover, appears in binder form: its pages update repeatedly and regularly. A loose-leaf’s pages may be newsletters that accumulate, or its pages may interfile individually in a complex subject arrangement. A loose-leaf provides access to a variety of practical materials on its selected topic, which is often a highly regulated area of the law.

                Federal Securities Law Reporter

Multi-volume guide with excellent indexes and finding lists. Contains statutes, some legislative history, leading court opinions, rulings by commissions, proposed regulations, regulations, releases and the text of some forms.

Hardcopy (Yale law Library) on the 4th floor.

Some loose-leafs now appear online, where they may update as frequently as daily.


Database contains Federal Securities Law Reporter (see above).

·  Securities Regulation and Law Report

The electronic version. This link takes you to a link on a MORRIS and then to a BLOOMBERG sign-in page.

Provides current awareness of federal and state developments of securities and futures trading and accounting. Includes materials on SEC, Commodities Futures Trading Commission, industry, courts and Congress.

A loose-leaf may contain forms. Forms are law templates. The drafter fills in the  blank spaces, as appropriate.

Secondary Sources/ Articles in Academic and Non-Academic Law Journals:

Law journal articles usually contain summarized doctrine, but also cite to primary and secondary sources, from which researchers can deepen and broaden their understanding of the area of the law covered in the article. Law review articles are useful to researchers who seek fundamental primary details, as well as overview of doctrine in an area of the law.

A useful article on the Securities Law could appear in most academic law journals, including the leading journals.  Articles in academic law journals not only summarize doctrine and offer detailed citations to primary and secondary sources, they also tend to feature coverage of recent changes in an area of the law or they propose new changes

Online indexes to law review articles serve to identify articles pertinent to the researcher’s work and even provide access to full text of the articles.

Law Articles in Indexes:

  • Legaltrac This online index begins its coverage in 1980. It provides for keyword and author searching, and, as special features, uses refined Library of Congress subject headings and numerous cross-references. It indexes in excess of 800 English-language law periodicals.
  • Heinonline This database contains full-text, image-based (PDF) content of more than 1000 English-language law periodicals, as part of a much larger online collection that includes statutes, cases, legislative history, and treaties. Coverage of journals usually starts with the first volume and then extends to the near-present. Limited search options include Author/ Title and Full Text Word and Phrase.
  • JSTOR This database contains image-based (PDF) full-text from more than 600 scholarly journals, including several dozen law journals. Coverage starts with volume one, but stops five to seven years prior to current. It includes a few pertinent economics and law-theory journals not available on Heinonline. Search-options include author, title, exact phrase, and combined terms.
  • And please note: SECURITIES LAW REVIEW

This periodical collects securities articles from the past year. It is, therefore, a quick way to stay current on evolving theory and practice.


Also in hard copy at call number (Yale Law Library) KF 1066. A 32 S4 1977.