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