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Corporate Law Research Guide

This guide provides an overview of pertinent resources at Loyola Law School for students interested in corporate and business law.

Primary Law Sources

Corporate law is primarily controlled by state law.  Because Delaware law is particularly important in this area of law and because most graduates of this law school practice law in the state of  California, this section of the research guide focuses on Delaware and California sources of corporate law. That being said, the guidance here is generally applicable when researching the corporate law of other states as well.

State Primary Sources of Law

Statutes pertinent to corporate law can be found in multiple titles of the United States Code, as well as individual state codes. When looking for relevant statutes in codes, it is best to begin in the table of contents. 

Delaware

The Delaware statutes are found in the Delaware Code, which is divided into thirty-one (31) titles. Statutes dealing with corporations are primarily found in Title 8: Corporations

California

Instead of one single code, California has twenty-nine (29) legal codes. California statutes dealing with corporations are primarily found in the Corporations Code. The Business and Professions Code may also be relevant to your research.

Note: Code sections dealing with limited liability companies, partnerships, and other types of business organizations are often found in the title or code section that covers corporations.

Both the Delaware Code and the California Codes are available in databases like Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law. The California Codes are also available in print (Deerings and West's Annotated Codes) at the Rains Library on the second floor in the California section.

To find state codes in either Westlaw or Lexis Advance, either start in the section of the database devoted to state materials or in the section that covers statutes and court rules, then filter down as appropriate.

Westlaw

On Westlaw, if you are looking for the California Corporations Code or Title 8 of the Delaware Code you could try the following paths:

  • State Materials tab → California → California Statutes & Court Rules → Corporations Code
  • State Materials tab → Delaware → Delaware Statutes & Court Rules → Title 8
    • Note: On Westlaw, the state code is called Delaware Statutes Annotated.

Lexis Advance

On Lexis Advance, you could try this path:

  • Statutes & Legislation → Codes → Delaware → Delaware Code Annotated, then
    • Use the search box, or
    • Navigate the table of contents to see the list of titles in the code and select Title 8.

Bloomberg Law

To find statutes using Bloomberg Law, start in the universal search bar at the top of the screen. Use the Select Sources option on the right end of the search bar to narrow your search parameters to statutes and the relevant jurisdiction. 

Alternatively, follow these paths to get to the Delaware and California codes.

  • To get to Title 8 of the Delaware Code: Litigation Resources → In the Laws & Regulations box near the bottom of the page select State Laws & Regulations → find and click Delaware on the map → Delaware Legislative → Delaware Code → Title 8.
  • To get to the California Corporations Code: Litigation Resources → In the Laws & Regulations box near the bottom of the page select State Laws & Regulations → find and click California on the map → Cal. Legislative → California Code → California Corporations Code.

Cases related to corporate law are published in general case reporters and included in the West digest system. Search for cases related to corporate law the same way you would search for any other case, using Westlaw, Lexis Advance, or Bloomberg Law. California cases are also available in print on the second floor of the Rains Library in the California section.

There are three main places to begin a search in Westlaw, Lexis Advance, or Bloomberg Law: (1) the universal search bar found at the top of the screen, (2) the state law section, or (3) the case law section.

Using the Universal Search Bar

If using Westlaw or Lexis Advance remember to choose your jurisdiction before beginning the search.

If using Bloomberg Law use the Select Sources option on the right end of the search bar to narrow your search parameters to cases and the relevant jurisdiction.

Starting in the State Law or Case Law Sections

On Westlaw and Lexis Advance the state law and case law section are readily found on the front page of each database. Whether you choose the state or the case law section, filter down as needed.

On Bloomberg Law, follow these paths to get to the state law sections of the database:

  • Option 1: Litigation Resources → In the Court Materials box (center of the page) select Search All State Court Opinions (or all Federal & State Court Opinions, if appropriate) → In the advanced search box that appears select relevant state and court.
  • Option 2: Litigation Resources → In the Laws & Regulations box near the bottom of the page select State Laws & Regulations → click on Delaware, California, or other state on the map → [state name] Opinions.

Using a Statute to Find Cases

If you have already found a relevant statutory provision, then an efficient and reliable way to find cases pertinent to that provision is to review the annotations associated with that statute.

  • On Westlaw the annotations are found under the Notes of Decisions and Citing References tabs.
  • On Lexis Advance the annotations are found in the Case Notes section following the text of the statute.
  • On Bloomberg Law the annotations are found under Citing Documents.
Note: Delaware Courts
The Delaware court system includes the Supreme Court, the Court of Chancery, the Superior Court, the Family Court, the Court of Common Pleas, and the Justice of the Peace Court. The Court of Chancery has jurisdiction to hear all matters relating to equity and largely deals with corporate issues, trusts, estates, other fiduciary matters, disputes involving the purchase of land and questions of title to real estate as well as commercial and contractual matters.

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Regulations governing corporate law are found in multiple titles of the Code of Federal Regulations. These regulations are best found by using the CFR index, which is available in print as well as on Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law.

Each state also has regulations that may be relevant to your research. In California, these are called the California Code of Regulations and in Delaware, simply Delaware Regulations.

To find state or federal regulations in databases follow these paths:

  • Westlaw → Regulations → select Code of Federal Regulations or applicable state
  • Lexis Advance → Administrative Codes and Regulations → select Federal or applicable state
  • Bloomberg Law →
    • start in the universal search bar and use the Select Sources option at the edge of the search bar to narrow search parameters, or
    • Litigation Resources → Laws & Regulations box, select Code of Federal Regulations or State Laws & Regulations