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Legal Research Resources

This resource guide is designed to lead researchers to primary Maryland and Baltimore County legal sources held by the Law Library or freely accessible online. However, it is not an exhaustive list of resources and is not meant as legal advice. The Law Library is not responsible for the information linked to or the utilization thereof.

While the Law Library provides links to legal resources online, the courts may or may not accept material found online as evidence. Section 10, subtitle 200 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings article of the Maryland law should be reviewed before submitting online material in a case. If there are any questions about what is or is not admissible, check with an attorney.

Maryland Laws, Regulations and Court Opinions

Laws

Annotated Code of Maryland—The Law Library has an almost complete collection of the 1957 Code in print.

The Maryland Archives Online—Provides access to the historical session laws

General Assembly—The Maryland General Assembly offers many useful resources for legal researchers including information on committees, finding legislature members by address, a variety of publications, hearing videos, links to municipal charters, fiscal and policy notes, and access to order bills from 1996 forward.

Executive Orders and Regulations

Executive Orders—From time to time the Governor issues orders that have the effect of law. These Executive Orders are available on the Governor's website.

COMAR—The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) is the compilation of regulations "promulgated" or created by state agencies. The Law Library holds only the most current version of the COMAR in print. Note: the contents of the Maryland Register and the Code of Maryland Regulations shall be judicially noticed from the official text of those publications. (Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, §10-203(a)(2), Code of Maryland.)

Maryland Register—The Division of State Documents provides online access to the Maryland Register. The Register is published every two weeks and the six most recent issues can be viewed online. The Register is a temporary supplement to COMAR and publishes other public interest documents. The entire collection is available at the Baltimore County Law Library.

Court Opinions and Forms

Opinions of Maryland's Appellate Courts—The Law Library holds Court of Appeals case opinions in print starting from 1658 and Court of Special Appeals print opinions beginning with 1967. Opinions dating back to 1995 may be searched on the state's Judiciary Appellate Opinions page. It is also possible to search for case law from 1950 forward via Google Scholar.

Circuit and District Court Opinions—These opinions are not searchable and hold no precedential value.

Forms—The District Court tends to be more form driven with official fill-in-the-blank forms. The Circuit Court is more freeform with the majority of official forms relating to family law matters such as divorce, guardianship, etc. If someone needs a form for Circuit Court for which there is nothing available online, then it is possible to utilize the resources within the Law Library to get some idea of the wording to use when creating a form from scratch.  

Publications—Various publications from the judiciary.

Baltimore County Laws and Regulations

Baltimore County Law—Baltimore County laws may be found in the Baltimore County Code or the County Council Bills. The Law Library holds some older versions of these resources in print.

COBAR—The Code of Baltimore County Regulations is currently only found online.

Board of Appeals—Recent decisions of the Baltimore County Board of Appeals are available online.

Zoning Regulations—The current Baltimore County Zoning Regulations can be viewed online. The Law Library also holds select previous versions of the County's zoning regulations.

Building Codes—Parts of the current Baltimore County Building Code can be viewed online. The Law Library provides access to some historical versions of the code in print. Since the 1970s the County's Building Code consists of two components: a bill of adoption and external resources. Every three years the County usually passes a bill that adopts an external resource as the County's Building Code. This bill of adoption also contains various changes to that adopted resource.  

Other Resources

  • Avalon Project—This Yale Law School project provides easy to read major legal, historical and diplomatic American documents. Among the documents found here are the Charter for the province of Maryland as well as the state's Constitution.
  • Maryland Manual—This is a guide to the Maryland government. It shows the government's organizational structure, presents information about the three branches of state government including statistics on Maryland and the local communities, and offers biographies of Maryland officials. The last print edition was published in 2006. The Law Library holds this edition and select older editions as well. Other print and online editions are available through the Archive of Maryland.
  • Maryland State Archives—This site contains a lot of historical information about Maryland including the Session Laws and Maryland Manual.
  • Office of the Attorney General—This state office advises many sections of state government and acts as the attorney for various state agencies as well. It has broad interactions with every state agency and Maryland county. Two particularly helpful divisions of the OAG are the Civil Rights Division and the Consumer Protection Division. The Attorney General also writes opinions which represent the considered views of the Attorney General on a significant legal question, generally involving Maryland law or other law that governs the actions of public officials in Maryland.
  • Public Service Commission (PSC)—The PSC oversees the regulation of public service companies. These companies are defined in the Public Utilities Article §1-101(x) of the Maryland Code. The PSC publishes orders and reports that may be useful to legal researchers and attorneys preparing for utility related hearings and trials.
  • State Board of Education—The Maryland State Board of Education heads the Maryland State Department of Education and determines the elementary and secondary educational policies of Maryland. It also adopts bylaws, rules and regulations for the administration of the public schools which have the force of law. (Maryland Code, Ed. §2-205) The Board may also issue legal opinions and orders as allowed by law and regulations.
  • Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) Ethics Opinions—The MSBA periodically issues ethics opinions to help lawyers provide ethical service to the community. The Law Library holding selected print versions as well.
  • People's Law Library—Find legal and self-help information on Maryland and federal law affecting low and moderate income persons and their families. Hosted by the Maryland State Law Library.
  • University of Baltimore School of Law Library
  • University of Maryland School of Law Library
 
Revised April 6, 2020         

 

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