In Americanlaw, the American Law Reports are a resource used by American lawyers to find a variety of sources relating to specific legal rules, doctrines, or principles.
Each ALR volume contains several annotations. An annotation is an article that summarizes the evolution of a very specific legal concept in a concise and precise fashion. Usually, the article will be preceded by the full text of an important relevant case.
The article will contain a wide variety of relevant citations to cases from throughout the United States and secondary sources like law review articles. The range and number of citations is always strongly representative but not always guaranteed to be completely comprehensive.
Although similar in tone to the articles in legal encyclopedias, ALR annotations are different in that they are not organized alphabetically, and they tend to drill more deeply into a specific legal principle or doctrine while in contrast, encyclopedia articles aim for the big picture.
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An encyclopedic treatment, published aproximately monthly, which provides synopses and an analytic structure for judicial decisions on selected issues of law.
For example, an article might address all judicial opinions that discuss whether punitive damages are available under a state employment discrimination statute, or the dismissal of a criminal charge in the "interest if justice."
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