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Choosing Writing Topics: Circuit Splits

This guide is aimed at law review candidates and seminar students in need of a topic.

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Circuit Splits

Sources for Circuit Splits and New Judicial Trends:

Topical areas where courts have made conflicting decisions on legal issues often yield fruitful writing topics as long as the issue is still unsettled by the time your writing project is completed.  Fortunately, it takes considerable time for the courts to settle issues in conflict, but a good strategy would be to check the progress of the issue on appeal before you confirm a topic.

New decisions which apply existing law to new factual situations or those which apply new law to existing factual situations are also topical areas for writing projects. 

Resources for finding topics on circuit splits, conflicting decisions and new judicial trends and developments:

Seton Hall Circuit Review   is a journal devoted to studies of the Federal Courts of Appeal.  Includes "Current Circuit Splits" column in each issue which summarizes both civil and criminal circuit splits.   Access articles in this journal through HeinOnLine.

Searches of Case Law Files on Lexis and Westlaw can also be done to locate circuit splits or decisions which involve conflicts with other courts or issues of first impression. 


BNA Topical law reports. The MLIC subscribes to reporter in many different topical areas which provide current information on new trends and developments. Each of these topical reports provides a current awareness service which provides e-mail updates on new developments.

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