Legal Information: an introduction for Information Science students


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Lecture to City University's MSc Information Science students (March 2013). Covering the legal information profession, role of law librarians and intro to legal information.

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  • Domain analysis from Hjorland approach. Lots of dissertations/studies been done on how legal info users unique in their needs and processes.English law – 4 Inns of Court have the exclusive right to Call men and women to the Bar – Inner Temple, Lincolns Inn, Grays Inn and Middle Temple came into existence before the middle of the 14th century. Voluntary associations essentially. Inner Temple destroyed by Great Fire and then blown up a couple of times. Grays Inn bombed too. 25-30, 000 members. Collections aren’t just about books but about legislation, case law…Legal jargon, esplatin. Giveeg of student searching for moot eg babies and life support – widening search out. Students may find case on exact facts but may be lower court, more valuable to find one on related facts in higher court.
  • Academic, law firm, government, for the legal professions (the Law Society, Inns of Court, Advocates Library), Industry and Commerce, Freelance and consultancy. Loose-leafing to building taxonomies, organising conferences, database design, editing publications, sales representation, CPD trainingLocal and specialist groups too – e.g. US law firms in London, Information leaders in lawWithin law firms the top legal information professionals manage IT, technology-led , large teams (sometimes the PSL’s too) - responsible for a big chunk of a law firms spend. Directors of Knowledge Management. A large % of these reporting to Managing Partner or CEO.
  • Sue Doe – Sidley Austin (US law firm)Loyita Worley – Reed Smith – manages all library teams in Europe, Middle East and Asia – never met those in HK and Beijing. The LIS team here is responsible for all information needs in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.We work across different time zones, languages, currencies and cultures.5.5 staff in London, 1.5 in Paris, 1 in Beijing and 1 in Hong Kong – we are the central hub for EMEA.Many LIS staff in US.Our 2 main roles are to provide the materials needed and to offer research services.This includes training, troubleshooting, updating the intranet, providing current awareness services via Ozmosys etc. ·         I manage all the EMEA team – some from afar and have never met those in HK and Beijing.·         Very little travel permitted now so we rely heavily on the telephone, video-conferencing, Live Meeting/WebEx etc.·         I set and manage the budgets for all the practice groups (PG) and libraries in offices in the EMEA region.·         I negotiate contracts for the online resources.·         I attend PG meetings to offer services and promote Library·         As an Operational Head(!) I am also involved in certain areas of the firm’s management. 
  • MSc – what are my friends doing now?Issues with GIP Some promotional stuffDo open evenings/law fairs at other universitiesAttend committee meetingsJISC appLawbore redesign/mobile compatibilityExciting stuff around conferencesTwitter
  • Primary - Treaty provisions that establish the legal framework of the EU. Agreed upon by each of the MS. OJ series – record of the EU. Pink L series – text of adopted legislation and details of international agreementsC series – brief details of ECJ cases and CFI action and judgments, draft legislationRegs- apply directly in all MS – binding and does not need to be implemented separately by national law to come into force.Directives - Do not apply directly to all MS. Need to be implemented separately by governments into national law. Is legally binding and will normally be accompanied by implementation instructions and proposed timetable (implementation usually via SI in UK and timeframe of 2 or 3 yrs)Decision - Different in that they usually address specific individuals, organisations (companies) or national governments. Binding. Recommendations & opinions – not legally binding
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  • Legal Information: an introduction for Information Science students

    1. 1. Legal Information: an introductionEmily Allbon (March 2013)
    2. 2. What’s covered today? Legal librarianship Lawbore Westlaw Q&A
    3. 3. What makes law special and unique? Academic libraries produce special subject guides for law Law has its own thesauri/classification systems (see Moys) Legal information users are regarded as a specific grouping English Law has a long history, giving rise to its own literature, as does law librarianship Primary legal documents take very specific forms (e.g. legislation) It has its own specialist language Indexing legal documents is a specialist area and legal information retrieval is also very specialised skill (e.g. doctrine of precedent) *Special thanks to Hilary Vieitez for this – ideas from her 2010 dissertation on domain analysis and law.
    4. 4. Classifications General classification schemes incorporate law but Moys (1968) is law- specific. LC didn‟t allow levels of complexity required – Moys splits into primary, secondary, law reference and law journals. Moys still used in many corporate, government and academic settings – now on 5th edition (2012) in UK, Canada, Australia and NZ Law usually approached in terms of jurisdictionMOYS PRIMARY LAW CLASSIFICATIONS KF - Great Britain KF 20-34 English Legislation KF 51-54 English reports of cases before 1865 KF 55 English Authorised law reports after 1865 KF 60 English General law reports KF 65 English specialised law reports KF 101-160 Scottish legislation and law reports KF 201-260 Irish legislation and law reports KG - North America KG 1-280 Canada - legislation and law reports KG 301-377 United States - legislation and law reports
    5. 5. Law librarians Work in range of places  Law firms  Academic institutions  Professional orgs  Industry & commerce  Government  Freelance International network Professional organisations Variety
    6. 6. Director of Information & Research in LawFirm ~ remitLibrary, legal information & Records & archiveresearchData protection Environmental Group ChairKnow how Intranet & web 2.0 functionalityBudgets Liaison with Professional Support LawyersVendor negotiations and Strategic advice to Chicagodevelopment HQ on information retrieval and access
    7. 7. What do the team do?Library admin (jnl circulation, Research – business/financialcataloguing, invoices etc) & legalCurrent awareness – Training – including researchmonitoring & alerts, filtering, skills to lawyers (CPDcompiling, distribution accredited)Intranet content control & Know how databasedevelopmentPro bono administration CPD recordsCopyright permissions & advice Vendor meetings/Practice group meetingsDemos & webinars with other Competitiveoffices intelligence/practice development/client pitches
    8. 8. Challenges for our sector Doing more with less – squeezed budgets arising between fierce competition between law firms mean being more inventive in supplying services and resources More pressure on fee earner time so easier the better for them – looking at federated searching Squeeze on space – Reed Smith moving again and losing 40% of space Industry, geographic and and international company info most in demand Outsourcing Legal information literacy – improving standards of legal research to offset google effect
    9. 9. What is my role?  Background  Why law?  Who are my users?  Responsibilities:  Collection  Teaching & assessment  Managing the space  Supporting the CLS – active liaison with academics, students, law careers, volunteering.  Mooting  Lawbore  Current projects
    10. 10. New library
    11. 11. What are people’s perceptions of legalinfo? Scary Too important to get wrong Either know it or you don‟t All over the place Expensive
    12. 12. Realities Very specialised Many pitfalls Essentially getting your help wrong could mean someone failing an essay or losing a case Mix of sources, electronic and hard copy Legal publishers rule
    13. 13. Lawbore Student guide to web  Unique Created 2002  International interest
    14. 14. More Lawbore Topic guides: links to web resources via subject studied City Hub: community site for students: E-Library, News, Twitter, Database access Learnmore: how-to wiki, learning legal skills Future Lawyer: careers blog – participation from current students AND alumni
    16. 16. Sources of Primary UK lawCase law Legislation „Made‟ by the courts  „Made‟ by Parliament Interpret what is in the  Split into primary and act in relation to the secondary. very particular situation  Act = primary: general laid out in front of them principles Some areas do not  SI/Byelaws/Codes of have much legislation – Practice = the detail courts have to lead the  Progress of an act is way very lengthy
    17. 17. Sources of Secondary UK law Journals Legal encyclopedias Textbooks Reference works e.g. dictionaries
    19. 19. The rest of the world?
    20. 20. What types of UK legal information arethere? Case law (law reports) Legislation (statutes, SI‟s, bills…) Parliamentary material (Hansard, command papers, House papers) Commentary (journal articles, practitioner texts)  Reports (e.g. Law Commission, government departments)
    21. 21. Free stuff More of a reality, but…  Legal publishing aggressive  LexisNexis/Thomson dominate  Specialist areas tied up by international publishers like Kluwer, Informa  Legislation complex BAILII is the king of the free legal web Legal Information Institute movement
    22. 22. Legal Databases – the two giantsLexisLibrary Westlaw Cases, Legislation,  Cases, Legislation, Journals, Books Journals, Books Covers UK, EU, US and other common law  Covers UK, EU, US and jurisdictions other common law Not easy to use jurisdictions Holds a wider range of  Popular for its law reports navigation Respected for its  Brilliant for value-added legislation and encyclopedia facility info (Case Analysis esp) (Halsbury‟s Laws)  Excellent journals
    23. 23. How to access?
    24. 24. Your profile
    25. 25. Westlaw
    26. 26. What is Westlaw? Online searchable database 1000‟s of sources of legal information Legislation, law reports Books &… Brilliant for journals
    27. 27. CASES
    28. 28. Phrase searching
    29. 29. Looking for cases…Look forPepper vHart [1993]AC 593
    30. 30. Cases tab
    31. 31. No need for the „v‟ Find cases where a word has been defined (e.g. guardian)
    32. 32. Case analysis
    33. 33. Journals from case analysis
    34. 34. „Traffic light‟ coding system:• Red no entry = negative judicial treatment•Yellow exclamation mark = mixed or mildly negative judicial treatment•Green C = Positive or neutral judicial treatment received
    35. 35. Additional views within case analysis
    36. 36. These can sometimes look complicated!
    37. 37. LEGISLATION
    38. 38. Looking for acts… Look for Welfare Reform Act 2007
    39. 39. Finds statutes & SI’s
    40. 40. Sections of the Act It‟s those traffic lights again! • Tick = In force • N = Not yet in force • P = Partially in force • R = Repealed • ! = Amendment pending
    41. 41. Amendments pending? Use the version button to see how it WILL look…
    43. 43. Journal searchingLEGAL JOURNALS FULL TEXT INDEX  Full text articles from Summaries of articles 111 legal journals. from 400 legal journals.  Gets straight to the Comprehensive search. article. Articles not on Westlaw  Not comprehensive – could be in library or on coverage never goes Lexis or HeinOnline. back further than Frustrating if no access 1986. to full text.
    44. 44. Journal searching – browse or search
    45. 45. Look for…Self-standing actions for judicial review and theSwedish Factortame by Xavier Groussot
    46. 46. Full text available
    47. 47. Looking for journals Email it to yourself!
    48. 48. Email options
    49. 49. Commentary Several key practitioner texts including Archbold (for Crime) Be aware that we only have the basic subscription for books…We don‟t have access to Chitty (Contracts) or Clerk & Lindsell (Tort) amongst others.
    50. 50. More detailed searching
    51. 51. Improving your search OR Phrases Wildcards Truncation And Proximity*Use the Terms in Context to help you filter*
    52. 52. Combining words – and e.g. defamation and internet
    53. 53. Using OR Think like a thesaurus!
    54. 54. OR searching medical negligence baby infant and or
    55. 55. Connectors and or NARROWS SEARCH  BROADENS SEARCH• Use when both words • Use for synonyms HAVE to appear • Use for abbreviations• Use when both words • Use when you don‟t mind have to appear but not which word appears so next to each other long as one of them does
    56. 56. Truncationstartoftheword! Will find all endings of the word
    57. 57. Truncation continued…borrow! tax! borrower  taxation borrowing  taxes borrowed  taxed But also…  taxi  taxidermist Search example: Unfair dismissal and pregnan!
    58. 58. Queen Victoria Seaman’s Rest Ltd v Ward (2009) What issues did the claimant have with her workspace? What was the result of the appeal?
    59. 59. Phrase searching In Westlaw: drink driving = drink AND driving (not necessarily together) If searching for a phrase: “drink driving”
    60. 60. Wildcards ****** Search example: g*psy and caravan
    61. 61. When did the claimant in Doherty and Others vBirmingham City Council [2008] UKHL 57 obtain a licence to station a caravan on plot 12?
    62. 62. Your turn…  Search for a judgment by Lord Denning that talks about a red hand.
    63. 63. Advanced searching keyword s Name of judge
    64. 64. A better hit list!
    65. 65. More advanced… Search for cases that discuss the: Criminal Justice Act 1991 s.28
    66. 66. Search for cases on:Truncation hijack! and aeroplane or plane How many cases do you find?
    67. 67. Proximity searching = the best one of all! Westlaw  /p  /s  /3
    68. 68. Your turn… Search for cases of negligence in swimming pools…
    69. 69. Cut abig listdownwithproximitysearch!
    70. 70. Try /s or /5 to get the list down further…
    71. 71. Remember – how to cut down results…• Use more keywords• Use more specific keywords• Restrict by date• Restrict by publication• Use proximity connectors rather than AND• Look at your results and adjust your search• Maximum results for browsing probably 25
    72. 72. Other jurisdictions? Patchy and well hidden UK & EU as standard US, Australia, Canada more limited International materials available
    73. 73. A silly one to finish… Find a case about dodgy cabbage seeds where Lord Denning quotes the walrus from Lewis Carroll‟s Through the Looking Glass…
    74. 74. …and another Find a case involving midgets, who were on exhibition at a circus when an elephant knocked them down.
    75. 75. Some insults…  Can you find the name of the case where the defendant called someone a „monkey- faced tart‟?
    76. 76.  In which case did a well-known actor, director and writer bring an action against a journalist for writing statements which purported him to be „hideously ugly‟?
    77. 77. Saving your research • New feature allows you to save your research in Westlaw. • My folders
    78. 78. Further reading Introductions to using a law library:  Clinch – Using a Law Library (2001) Blackstone also Legal Research: a practititoners handbook (2010) Wildy  Holborn – Butterworths Legal Research Guide (2001) Butterworths Journal: Legal Information Management (CUP) via Westlaw Online stuff:  Talking slideshow (via Learnmore)  BIALL website and blog  Mailing lists – lis-law and BIALL list Keep an eye out for BIALL events – especially bursaries for conference.
    79. 79. Any questions? @lawbore
    80. 80. Image credits Slide 1 - Slide 11 - Slide 19 - Slide 29 - Slide 45 - Slide 49 - Slide 51 - Slide 52 - Slide 53 - Slide 61 - Slide 62 - Slide 66 - Slide 67 - Slide 68 - Slide 73 - Slide 74 - Slide 75 - Slide 76 - Slide 77 -