Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Deciphering Legal Abbreviations

Legal writing is filled with legal abbreviations, and it’s often necessary to use special resources to decipher them. While The Bluebook and Black’s Law Dictionary include many abbreviations, a researcher may need yet another resource often referred to as Bieber’s. The Library owns the updated version of this dictionary, Prince's Bieber Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations: a reference guide for attorneys, legal secretaries, paralegals, and law students (location: Ref. Area and Ref. Office, KF246 .B46 2009).

The previous edition, the fifth edition, is available on Lexis. To locate Bieber’s on Lexis, go to the Search by source tab, then under the Option 2 - Look for a Source tab, click on the Find a Source tab and type in the word Bieber. While the older version available on Lexis may be useful to you, the print version available in the Library contains over 1,500 new or expanded entries.

Here are some examples for treaty researchers:

I.L.M. = International Legal Materials (periodical)
TIAS = United States Treaties and Other International Acts Series
KAV = Number assigned to treaty texts when TIAS number is not yet available. Used in Treaties in Force and United States Treaty Index, Igor Kavass, ed. (Hein)
Bevans = Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America 1776-1949, compiled under direction of Charles I. Bevans

No comments: