Westlaw for Criminal Procedure - D'Angelis

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Westlaw for Criminal Procedure - D'Angelis

  1. 1. WESTLAWNEXT Criminal Procedure – D‟Angelis
  2. 2. This is what you see when you first open WestlawNext! The search box is designed like Google for simplicity. 24/7 assistance
  3. 3. Let‟s take the following fact pattern: • Jay C was putting his trash out for next day pick-up, but had mistakenly thrown out a large supply of methamphetamine in his garbage the night before. Word around town was the Jay C was a key seller of the substance, and the police had long suspected Jay C of manufacturing methamphetamine in his home. • Late that evening, two New York State troopers, acting on a tip that Jay C had been partying and, most likely, dealing heavily the night before, searched Jay C’s trash. They found the methamphetamine and arrested Jay C for criminal possession and manufacture thereof.
  4. 4. Legal Issue: • Do citizens have a 4th Amendment right to privacy in their trash left outside for pick-up in the State of New York, or do police need a search warrant?
  5. 5. Some courts located in New York (and in all of the United States) are federal courts, which is why you see both Federal and State court listings under New York. It may seem confusing at first, but it is the U.S. court structure. The following slide contains a very simplified version of the U.S. court structure. For further clarification, ask your professor or a librarian.
  6. 6. In general, you will search these courts most often.
  7. 7. By selecting All New York State Cases, we ensure that we are getting cases from NY trial courts, appellate courts and most importantly, NY‟s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals.
  8. 8. Here we are searching all NY cases using a natural language search: Do people have a 4th Amendment right to privacy in their trash left outside for pick-up, or do police need a search warrant?
  9. 9. You can sort your results by relevance (your terms appear most frequently in the top case and less so as you go down the list).
  10. 10. You can sort your results by date… but this is only a county court case. Higher court cases are preferred IF the fact pattern resembles yours and IF they are still good law.
  11. 11. You can search by date, meaning most recent cases are listed first. You can search by “most cited” meaning other courts have referred to these case most frequently in descending order. That, however, does not mean the top cases fit your fact pattern most closely!
  12. 12. Which case do I choose? • After you have identified your issue and your key search terms and retrieved a list of cases, your challenge is then to determine which case(s) you should use. • This is where you need to take some time. Work with a librarian, ask your professor, and balance whether the case is still good law, and whether it closely follows your fact pattern . • This may sound overwhelming, but it can be done, with practice and help!
  13. 13. Note that in addition to a list of cases, WestlawNext provides secondary sources, such as law review articles, interpreting the legal issue you have searched.
  14. 14. LET‟S RUN THE SEARCH AGAIN, THIS TIME USING SIMPLE BOOLEAN CONNECTORS. Boolean searching, while not as easy as natural language searching, allows you to control your search results very specifically.
  15. 15. AND, OR, NOT… • Boolean Operators are words (AND, OR, NOT) used to combine or exclude words in a search, producing more focused results. • Click HERE for a simple visual explanation of this concept.
  16. 16. Boolean Symbols in WestlawNext Connectors and Expanders • & AND • /s In same sentence • Or OR • +s Preceding within sentence • /p In same paragraph • " " Phrase • +p Preceding within paragraph • % But not • /n Within n terms of • ! Root expander • +n Preceding within n terms of • * Universal character When and how should I use these? • When: You have a focused search in mind. • How: Use one, two, or more in combination. • How: Don‟t get overwhelmed with trying to incorporate several connectors or expanders. • You may actually ELIMINATE useful results this way!
  17. 17. With simple Boolean searching, we retrieved 32 cases, very similar to the results we found with natural language searching.
  18. 18. Now what? Your challenge now is to find a key case that most closely matches your fact pattern, is reasonably current (though a pivotal case may be very old), and is still good law.
  19. 19. Is the case still good law? • KeyCite is Westlaw‟s mechanism for determining this. There are two ways to use KeyCite. • While viewing a case with a KeyCite flag, click the flag (if there IS one). • No flag = no negative treatment (so far) • Yellow = CAUTION • Red = CASE HAS BEEN OVERRULED – DO NOT USE -or- • Type kc or keycite followed by the case citation in the search toolbar.
  20. 20. No flag = good law so far - Yellow flag = caution – Red flag = no longer good law (has been overruled, overturned) Click on the flag for specific negative history.
  21. 21. Just because there is no flag… • … does not mean this is the best case! • A case like Roe v. Wade – (Supreme Court of the United States January 22, 1973 - 410 U.S. 113) • a very famous U.S. Supreme Court case in the 1970s, has a yellow flag because some courts have not agreed with certain aspects of the Court‟s ruling – but this case has been cited over 22,000 times! • If later cases have „cited‟ to (referred to) a case thousands of times, even if there is some negative treatment, this case is still good law, and very, very important! • Bottom line: don‟t be afraid of cases with yellow flags!
  22. 22. Click on the flag.
  23. 23. OR… Here we are keyciting Illinois v. Caballes
  24. 24. HEADNOTES…. …explained
  25. 25. 1. A court issues an opinion in a case. 2. A copy of the case is obtained by West, where attorney-editors read the cases and pick out the points of law or legal issues in the case. 3. These legal issues or points of law are summarized in a “headnote” and assigned a topic and key number.
  26. 26. Headnote 6 of Illinois v. Caballes is discussed extensively in State v. Griffin.
  27. 27. LET‟S DO ANOTHER EXAMPLE. Case Law Searching
  28. 28. Fact Pattern: • Jay C is a suspected methamphetamine manufacturer and seller in the small town of Clear Lake. The police think Jay C keeps drugs and paraphernalia in his truck. • While Jay C is at work, the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Dept. walks a K9 drug dog by Jay C’s truck, without a warrant. The dog immediately detects illegal substances and Jay C is arrested for criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material.
  29. 29. Legal Issue: • If a K9 is used to walk by an automobile the police suspect might have drugs in it, is that a search without a warrant?
  30. 30. Here we are approaching the legal issue with natural language searching.
  31. 31. Which case do I choose? • As with the prior example, this is the challenge, once you have formulated your search technique. It is a balancing act between: • Is the case most like my fact pattern? • Is the case still good law? • Is there a more recent case close to my fact pattern?
  32. 32. LET‟S RUN THE SEARCH AGAIN, THIS TIME USING SIMPLE BOOLEAN CONNECTORS. As we saw in our prior example, Boolean searching, while not as easy as natural language searching, allows you to control your search results very specifically, and can produce more effective results!
  33. 33. Boolean searching! • Connectors and Expanders Before jumping in and deciding that natural language is your best bet for retrieving search results, remember correct Boolean searching produces accurate results that you can compare to your natural language search results. & AND /s In same sentence Or OR +s Preceding within sentence /p In same paragraph " " Phrase +p Preceding within paragraph % But not /n Within n terms of ! Root expander +n Preceding within n terms of * Universal character
  34. 34. Concepts: • Canine or dog or K9 • Auto or automobile or car or vehicle or truck • 4th Amendment or Search and Seizure or Right to Privacy • Search Warrant • (k9 or dog or canine) & (auto! or car or vehicle or truck) & ("4th amendment" or "search and seizure" or "right to privacy") & "search warrant"
  35. 35. Notice we retrieved 19 more cases on this topic with Boolean searching! This is a perfect example of why you should not rely solely on natural language searching.
  36. 36. WEST‟S KEY NUMBER SYSTEM
  37. 37. REFRESHER!!! WHAT ARE HEADNOTES AND WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT???
  38. 38. 1. A court issues an opinion in a case. 2. A copy of the case is obtained by West, where attorney-editors read the cases and pick out the points of law or legal issues in the case. 3. These legal issues or points of law are summarized in a “headnote” and assigned a topic and key number.
  39. 39. Corresponding Key Numbers
  40. 40. Click on “Tools” to access the Key Number System. Let‟s start from the Home screen to see how the Key Number System works.
  41. 41. Browse the list of topics to find the topic related to your issue.
  42. 42. Click on the topic, e.g., searches and seizures, to display the topic page, which contains the key numbers (subtopics) classified under that topic.
  43. 43. At the topic page, you can zero in on key numbers that match your issue. 1. 2. (Select jurisdiction)
  44. 44. By selecting the general topic searches and seizures (topic #349), and then within that topic selecting the key number(s) associated with your specific legal issue(s), you are able to easily search for cases that discuss these legal issues.
  45. 45. STILL A LITTLE UNEASY? Don‟t be. Click here for more info.
  46. 46. DOCUMENT DELIVERY Printing, emailing, downloading…
  47. 47. You can email, print, downlo ad or send the document to your Kindle.
  48. 48. You can email yourself a case on Westlaw in Microsoft Word, PDF, RTF or Word Perfect format.
  49. 49. Email, print and download delivery methods give you the option of including West headnotes, written by Westlaw attorneys summarizing the key points of law in a case.
  50. 50. You will be prompted to open or save a PDF of your document before you print. You can also right-click on your mouse to print.
  51. 51. Pay attention to whether you want to print the entire document or just certain pages!
  52. 52. You can download a case on Westlaw in Microsoft Word, PDF, RTF or Word Perfect format.
  53. 53. Be sure to check formatting requirements before sending to your Kindle.
  54. 54. AMERICAN LAW REPORTS “ALR” = a legal encyclopedia!
  55. 55. American Law Reports • American Law Reports (ALR) delivers an objective, in- depth analysis of your specific legal issue, together with a complete list of every case – in every jurisdiction – that discusses it. • With thousands of attorney-authored articles covering the entire breadth of U.S. law, ALR saves you time by taking you deeper on a topic, faster. • Use ALR to: • Quickly get up to speed in an unfamiliar area of law. • Locate all relevant case law in one easy step. • Determine which cases are controlling and understand why.
  56. 56. Searching for “Illinois v. Caballes” within these 1,773 results
  57. 57. Illinois v. Caballes is highlighted in purple.
  58. 58. Introductory paragraph in ALR
  59. 59. YOU CAN DO IT! Ask for help. How?
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