Step 2. Annotations to the Law in McKinney's or CLS.These annotations are useful in compiling a legislative history. They indicate the derivation of the law from prior law, its effective date, and its subsequent amendment. Sometimes they include a note, "Legislative Histories." If these annotations appear incomplete, it may be necessary to go back through the superseded volumes. Previous editions of McKinney's are stored near the Reference Area and are retrieved by staff at the Reference desk.
Check all the amendments to your law to see if your particular subject matter, for example, the definition of a word in the law, is contained among them. The original bills for amendments should be reviewed for changes and compromises in wording.
Annotations of the Consolidated Laws are described in the "Explanation" preface, and may include the following:
- Session Law Citation. It consists of the year and chapter number of the law and those of its amendments.
- Historical and Statutory Notes. Includes amendments and derivation of the law; effective dates.
- Cross References. Refers to other sections of the Consolidated Law.
- Legislative Histories. Lists memoranda published in McKinney's Session Laws of New York.
- Library References. Provides references to legal encyclopedias, WESTLAW, American Digest System.
- Notes of Decisions. Provides abstracts of reported decisions of New York courts.
- Practice Commentaries. These are usually several- page essays about the law.
- Law Review Commentaries. List of journal references.
- New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations. Contains any State regulations based on this law.