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Pennsylvania Civil Practice Resources: Legal Encyclopedias

This guide reviews the different types of Pennsylvania civil practice resources available, and lists examples of each type of resource.

Description of Resources

Legal encyclopedias provide a general summary of the law. Their footnotes include references to relevant cases, statutes, practice guides, and other resources. Legal encyclopedias typically don't include detailed procedural guidance or sample forms.

Legal encyclopedias usually aren't detailed enough to be the final destination on an attorney's research trial, but they are often a good first stop for a researcher working with an unfamiliar area of the law.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia 2d

  • Published by Lexis, available on Lexis.
  • Call number for print version: KFP .P415 1988.
  • Format is similar to a general encyclopedia in that its subjects are arranged in alphabetical order, starting with “Actions” and ending with “Witness."
  • 128 different subjects, ranging from “Criminal Law” to “Street Railroads."
  • Print version includes index. Lexis version allows keyword searching and browsing table of contents.

Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence 2d

  • Published by West Group, available on Westlaw.
  • Call number for print version: KFP65 .S86 1991.
  • 12 subjects compared to the PLE's 128 subjects. Subjects are Business Relationships, Commercial Law, Criminal Law, Employment and Labor Relations, Environmental Law, Family Law, Insurance, Municipal and Local Law, Probate Estates and Trusts, Property, Taxation, and Trusts.
  • These subjects are covered in much greater depth than in the PLE.
  • Doesn't include sample forms, but it does include references to other West Group products that include sample forms.
  • WestlawNext version includes searchable index.
  • Standard Westlaw version allows keyword searching and browsing table of contents.
  • Print version includes index.

Pennsylvania Keystone - Lawyer's Desk Library of Practice

  • Published by Bisel Publishing Co. Not available in electronic format on Lexis or Westlaw.
  • Call number for print version: KFP77 .L38
  • Provides comprehensive introduction of Pennsylvania law topics.
  • Subjects arranged in alphabetical order.
  • Doesn't include forms.
  • Includes index.