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Secondary Sources - usually, the best place to start your research

  • Books by Experts in Landlord Tenant practice:
    • Daniel Finkelstein & Lucas A. Ferrara, Landlord and Tenant Practice in New York (1998) (a two-volume looseleaf, updated by occasional supplemental filings)KF5145 .F56 Law Reserve and Law Reading Room. (Also on Westlaw - NYPRAC-LT.)
      This is a practice oriented treatise, with tips regarding representing clients. It includes forms for leases as well as for court filings.
    • Finkelstein & Ferrara's Landlord-Tenant Practice Reporter (monthly) K 6 .I62 Law Periodicals and Law Reserve
      A monthly newsletter discussing the developments and current issues in Landlord/Tenant law.
    • Robert F. Dolan, Rasch's Landlord and Tenant: Including Summary Proceedings 4th ed., 1998, 3 vol., updated with annual pocket-parts. KFN5145 .R3 Law Reserve. (Also on Westlaw - NYLTINSP )
      This three volume treatise examines the relationship between landlords and tenants in detail, with extensive references to both statutory authority and case law. The four parts are: (1) the creation of the relationship (e.g. requisites and validity of leases); (2) rights and obligations of landlord and tenant (e.g. assignment, subletting, repair); (3) temrination of the relationship (e.g. actual and constructive eviction); and (4) summary proceedings to recover possession. This treatise is considered by some to be landlord oriented.
    • Andrew Scherer, Residential Landlord-Tenant Law in New York Annual. KFN5145 .S34 Law Reserve. (Also on Westlaw - NYRESIDLT )
      Topics include housing discrimination, rent control, evictions, rent strikes, and federally subsidized housing. Provides step-by-step guidance.
    • Robert G. Schwemm, Housing Discrimination: Law and Litigation (1990) Updated Looseleaf. KF5740 .S39 Law Classified.
      Provides a point-by-point analysis of the entire field of housing discrimination law, including analysis of the fair housing act, recent cases and litigation tips.
    • National Housing Law Project, HUD Housing Programs : Tenants' Rights (3rd ed. 2004) HD7288 .H6 2004 Clinic Library (NLO)
      Known as "The Green Book", this is a comprehensive, issue-oriented guide to the federal housing programs. It explains and analyzes applicable laws central to effectively representing tenants assisted under the HUD programs. It covers public housing, subsidized rental housing, vouchers, Section 8 homeownership, evictions, resident participation and loss of units.
    • Sember, Tenant's Rights in New York (2000)
      An overview of tenant's rights for non-lawyers.
    • New York Attorney General's Office, Tenants Rights Guide (pdf)
      An overview of tenant's rights for non-lawyers.

  • Books for background in Litigation, Property, Agency and Debtor/Creditor law:
    • Thomas A. Mauet, Trial Techniques (2007) 7th ed. KF8915 .M39 2007 Law Reserve.
      Practical advice about examples of the courtroom skills needed to present evidence and arguments persuasively
    • Property

    • Bergman on New York Mortgage Foreclosures (1990) Updated looseleaf. KFN5177.F6 B42 Law Reserve.
      Among the most heavily used for this area.
    • Restatement of the Law, Property 2nd : Landlord and Tenant Updated by pocket parts. KF566 .A42 1977 Law Reserve - also available on Lexis and Westlaw ( REST-PROP )
      A well respected and often cited publication by scholars and practitioners, which attempts to set forth basic principles of Property Law with comments and case citations.
    • John G. Sprankling, Understanding Property Law (2007) KF561 .S67 2007 2nd ed. Law Classified.
      A good place to get a basic understanding of the fundamentals of property law. Chapters 15-19 discuss landlord/tenant law, including an introdiction, the creation of the tenancy, condition of leased premises, transfer of leasehold interest and termination of the tenancy. There is also a chapter on mortgages, nuisance, trespass and several chapters on zoning. This is a good place for an introduction. For more in depth guidance, use one of the titles listed above.
    • Debtor/Creditor

    • Enforcing Judgments and Collecting Debts in New York (1996) Updated looseleaf. KFN6065 .B67 Law Reserve.
      A basic one-volume treatise, with forms.
    • Agency

    • Restatement of the Law, Third : Agency 3d Updated by pocket parts. KF1345 .A45 2006 Law Reserve - also available on Lexis and Westlaw ( REST-AGEN )
      A well respected and often cited publication by scholars and practitioners, which attempts to set forth basic principles of Agency Law with comments and case citations.
  • For recommended books in other subject areas, see RECOMMENDED TREATISES IN THE DEANE LAW LIBRARY (pdf file)
  • How to find other books:
  • Library catalog - use keyword searches, e.g. landlord and tenant, then look for relevant subject headings. One relevant subject heading is Landlord and tenant -- New York (State) . Use ? as root expander, e.g. employ? for employ, employee, employer, employing, etc...

  • How to find law review articles:
    Index to Legal Periodicals Search this law review articles index to find citations to articles discussing particular topics.

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Primary Sources - Statutes, Local Ordinances, Cases, Regulations

  • Statutes- Many experienced researchers find it more effective to search Statutes in print so that they can see relationship between sections. Annotated codes are best, since they will give you references to cases which interpret your statute section, as well as other references to Secondary Sources. An annotated code may also give you cross references to relevant administrative code regulations.
    • Federal
    • New York - check for Practice Commentaries or Practice Insights for your section. These can be very valuable in explaining the interpretation and application of your section.
      • McKinney's - also available on Westlaw
      • Consolidated Law Service (CLS) - also available on Lexis
        CLS contains forms which follow the section to which they apply.
      • Specific sections of interest:
        To search these Titles and Articles of McKinneys on Westlaw, use one of the following searches in the box below and add your search terms at the end:
        If asked for a "Client Id", just use your initials.
        • Real Property Actions & proceedings Law (RPAPL) - Articles 7, 7A
          ci(rpapl) and pr("article 7" "article 7a") and your search terms here

        • Real Property Law (RPL) - Article 7
          ci("real property law") and pr("article 7") and your search terms here

        • Multiple Dwelling (MULT DW) - Article 7-C
          ci("multiple dwelling") & pr("article 7-C") and your search terms here

        • Search McKinney's:
          Terms & Connectors Natural Language
        • General Obligations (GEN O) - sections 5-321 , 5-703, 5-905 , 7-103 , 7-105 , 7-109 or
          use this search in the box above and add your terms at the end:
          ci("general obligations law") and your search terms here

  • Local Ordinances- some will include town/city buidling and zoning codes
  • Cases
    1. Reported cases
      • West Topics and Key Numbers - in the New York Digest, look through topic analysis in beginning of each topic.
      • keyword searches on Lexis or Westlaw
      • Use combination of Topic / Key number and key word searching on Westlaw.

        Examples of some useful Westlaw Topic / Key number and keyword searches (use search box below):
        Topics and Key numbers of particular interest Westlaw search using Topic and Key Number
        Landlord Tenant Topic 233
        Key # 125 Tenantable condition of premises
        233k125 and your search terms here
        Key # 150-161 Repairs, insurance and improvements
        233k15! and 233k160 and 233k161 and your search terms here
        Key # 162-170 Injuries from dangerous or defective condition
        233k16! and 233k170 and your search terms here
        Key # 171-180 Eviction
        233k17! and 233k180 and your search terms here
        Key # 293 Summary Proceedings
        233k293 and your search terms here
        Civil Rights Topic 78
        Key # 1071 Property rights
        78k1071 and your search terms here
        Key # 1072 Permits, licenses and certificates
        78k1072 and your search terms here
        Key # 1073 Zoning, building and planning, land use
        78k1073 and your search terms here
        Key # 1074-1087 Housing
        78k1074 and your search terms here
        Municipal Corporations Topic 268
        Key # 717.5(1)-(5) Public Housing
        268k717.5! and your search terms here

        Search New York cases - reported and unreported:
        Terms & Connectors Natural Language
      • Unreported cases - often an excellent source of case law in this area
        • keyword searches on Lexis and Westlaw ( NY-CS, or use search box, above)
        • New York Law Journal - only "Decisions of Interest" are available (password required to view cases - see a Reference librarian)
          To find "Decisions of Interest" on WESTLAW, use the following search in the box, below: pr("court decisions") and your search terms here
          Search NYLJ on Westlaw "Decisions of Interest":
          Terms & Connectors Natural Language
        • NYC Housing Court Reporter- KFX2005 .H6 Law Reserve

  • Regulations

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Westlaw Research Tips

  • Litigation Tab - (Click on Add a tab at far right of the top of Westlaw screen to set up if you don't already have the Litigation Tab). The litigation page includes, jury instructions, court rules, briefs, practice guides and much more all on one page.
  • New York Tab - (Click on Add a tab at far right of the top of Westlaw screen to set up if you don't already have the New York Tab). In addition to links directly into the databases for NY cases, statutes, court rules, regulations ,etc. there is also a link directly into the database for Residential Landlord-Tenant Law in New York.
  • Key Number Search - Click on Key Numbers at top in blue . In the Key Numbers screen, try Key Search to browse or search for key numbers.
  • Databases
  • Always use quotations around a phrase in your search - e.g. "hot water"

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Lexis Research Tips

  • Research Tasks Tab - NY Litigation: Lexis puts together all sources needed for NY litigation on one page. Included are primary law sources such as NY cases, codes and rules; NY news, analytical sources; secondary sources such as journals and treatises; NY public records and NY practice area guides and help with drafting, discovery, investigation and current awareness.
  • Search by Topic or Headnote > Look for a Legal Topic - Real and Personal Property Law - Landlord Tenant Law: You can then choose another sub-topic and then search for cases in any jurisdiction or analytical materials in that sub-topic.

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Fact-based Research

  • Sources on Lexis
    • People, Business & Asset Locators
    • Public Records : Judgments & Liens
    • Public Records : Real Property Locator : Tax Assessor, Deed Transfer & Mortgage Records by State - real property records
    • Business & Corporation Information : Corporation & Limited Partnership Information
    • Civil & Criminal Filings : Civil & Criminal Filings - Selected States : New York
  • Census Bureau - data research
  • Data and Statistics - USA.gov
  • Executive Branch - via Georgetown
  • FedStats
  • Statistical Abstracts - 1995 - present
  • Switchboard Directory - for phone numbers and addresses
  • Zabasearch - search for addresses, may also provide birth dates (data may be inaccurate)

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Web Sites

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