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This research guide provides resources related to Appellate Advocacy.


Secondary or commentary sources are materials that are not the law itself (the statutes, cases, and rules created by government entities), but materials that help explain and interpret the primary law. Secondary sources include encyclopedias, treatises, law review articles, restatements, and ALR's. These are good resources to consult when you are confronted with an unfamiliar or new area of law and you want to get an overview of the topic.

Dunnell Minnesota Digest

This resource (subtitled "An Encyclopedia of Minnesota Law") is an encyclopedia of legal topics and their treatment in Minnesota; it also includes references to cases (hence the “digest” part of the title). Dunnell's is an excellent resource that can give you context to help you understand how a particular topic is addressed in Minnesota. It can also help you understand specific issues as they relate to other issues commonly raised in the same factual or legal background. This resource is available in the Library's Minnesota Reference Collection, and on Lexis:

Minnesota Practice Series

Minnesota Practice Series is a multi-volume West product that addresses many different areas of Minnesota law. The library owns one print copy of this series, located near the reference desk, and it is available on Westlaw:


A treatise is a scholarly commentary on the law usually written by a law professor or lawyer. It contains comments, citations to cases and other sources of the law, and internal finding aids like an index.

To find a treatise in our library by author name, put in the author's last name in this search box (followed by the author's first name, if you know it) and hit enter:



To find a treatise on a specific topic, you'll want to do a subject search:



Some suggested subject searches include:

Searches and seizures -- United States

Criminal procedure -- United States

United States. Constitution. 4th Amendment

Chat With A Librarian

If you need more information on this topic, please contact the reference desk:

by phone: 651-290-6424

via e-mail:

Or, during regular work hours, you may chat with a Mitchell Hamline research librarian here.