Legal research - getting started with Westlaw & Lexis


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Slides for session with LLB1 students - learn about the problems of researching via google as well as getting familiar with the many different ways of searching in databases.

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  • Good for finding out random facts…not so good for legal research…
  • Who?Name & responsibilitiesContact detailsIndividual or organisation?Where? Domain-check the URLs for an indication of the type of organisations who created the .ac .gov all educational or governmental commercial site When? When was the site last updatedPurpose Are aims of website clear? Is website designed to steer you towards a particular point of view? Content Written in ‘Good’ English No spelling mistakes Any bias? Any ads? …may indicate biasWhat?Serious or hoax?Evidence?Problems online:Might not be up-to-dateNot a good source to use for essays – you don’t know where their info has come from-Risky for plagiarism-Need to sense game plan-
  • AlertsFolders
  • Show terms in context
  • Getting the right keyword can be difficult Good to get into the habit of brainstorming your search before typing.Remember the databases will only look for exactly what you tell them tooNeed to think of synonyms, related words etc
  • RevengeGang Weapon
  • 24 & 32
  • Legal research - getting started with Westlaw & Lexis

    1. 1. Emily AllbonLEGAL RESEARCH Legal Method
    2. 2. What will I be able to do at the end? Understand the limitations of Google Be able to find cases, legislation and journal articles via Westlaw and Lexis Know which resources are available Be able to plan your searching & choose keywords wisely Use advanced search techniques
    3. 3. Everything‟s on googlenow isn‟t it?
    4. 4. Discuss… What do you look for to see if a website is authoritative? What are the problems with relying on something found freely online?Fake or real?Login to Moodle to find some examples…
    5. 5. Remember… Information on the internet can be:  Out of date  Unreliable  Biased It can be moved or removed without warning There are no standards or index online
    6. 6. Google scholar m/ References to peer- reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professiona l societies, preprint repositories, universitie s and other scholarly organizations.
    7. 7. So why are databases so vital? Easier to search by subject Access to more material than in the library Easier to print than photocopy Access 24/7 Value added, up to date info Authoritative (unlike Google!) Used in all major law firms and chambers
    8. 8. What do we have at City? Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline i-law …plus content on Lawbore
    9. 9. How to access?
    10. 10. Your profile
    11. 11. Westlaw
    12. 12. What is Westlaw? Online searchable database 1000‟s of sources of legal information Legislation, law reports Books &… Brilliant for journals
    13. 13. CASES
    14. 14. Phrase searching
    15. 15. Your turn Find this case: Airedale NHS Trust v Bland [1993] AC 789
    16. 16. No need for the „v‟ Find cases where aword has been defined (e.g. guardian)
    17. 17. Case Analysis
    18. 18. Journal articles
    19. 19. „Traffic light‟ coding system:• Red no entry = negative judicial treatment – at least one point of law has been overruled or reversed on appeal.•Yellow exclamation mark = mixed or mildly negative judicial treatment•Green C = Positive or neutral judicial treatment received
    20. 20. Additional views within case analysis
    21. 21. These can sometimes look complicated!
    22. 22. LEGISLATION
    23. 23. Looking for acts…  Look for Welfare Reform Act 2007
    24. 24. Finds statutes & SI’s
    25. 25. 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 •No entry = Provision superseded
    26. 26. Amendments pending? Use the version button to see how it WILL look…
    27. 27. Looking for acts…  Your turn!  Look for The Freedom of Information Act…
    28. 28. Finding legislation
    30. 30. 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.
    31. 31. Journal searching – browse or search
    32. 32. Your turn! Look for…Self-standing actions for judicial review and theSwedish Factortame by Xavier Groussot
    33. 33. Full text available
    34. 34. Looking for journals Email it to yourself!
    35. 35. Email options
    36. 36. 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.
    37. 37. More detailed searching
    38. 38. Thinking about keywords It‟s hard!
    39. 39. Cartwheel step Possible search terms1. Broader words Bankruptcy2. Narrower words Administration, termination, extinguish3.Synonyms Liquidation, restructuring4. Antonyms – might give useful cross- Solvent, credit, profit, cash flowref5. Closely related words Debts, arrears, assets, estate, trustee, creditor, debenture, property6a. Terms of procedure Winding-up, receivership6b. Terms of remedy Voluntary arrangement, liquidator, administrator7. Courts and agencies Companies House, Central Registry for Company Winding Up Petitions, Register of Insolvencies8. Long shots Fraud, disqualification order
    40. 40. Group exercise You‟ll be given an object As a group gather together a list of all the possible keywords you could use to search for information on it. These could include:  Synonyms (words that mean the same)  Antonym  Related words  Narrower/broader words
    41. 41. Applying those principles…See if you canfind this case… An appeal on behalf of two men getting their own back on a gang who broke into their home with weapons…wea pons.
    42. 42. Improving your search OR Phrases Wildcards Truncation And Proximity*Use the Terms in Context to help you filter*
    43. 43. Combining words – and e.g. defamation and internet
    44. 44. Using OR Think like a thesaurus!
    45. 45. OR searching medical negligence baby infant and or
    46. 46. 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
    47. 47. Truncationstartoftheword! Will find all endings of the word
    48. 48. Truncation continued…borrow! tax! borrower  taxation borrowing  taxes borrowed  taxed But also…  taxi  taxidermist
    49. 49. Your turn Search for cases on: Unfair dismissal and pregnan!
    50. 50. 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?
    51. 51. Wildcards “dr*nk driving” Drink driving or drunk driving
    52. 52. Your turn  Search for cases involving: g*psy and caravan
    53. 53. When did the claimant in Doherty and Others vBirmingham City Council [2008] UKHL 57 obtain a licence to station a caravan on plot 12?
    54. 54. Your turn…  Search for a judgment by Lord Denning that talks about a red hand.
    55. 55. Advanced searching keyword s Name of judge
    56. 56. A better hit list!
    57. 57. Your turn… Search for cases that discuss the: Criminal Justice Act 1991 s.28
    58. 58. Proximity searching = the best one of all! Westlaw  /p  /s  /3
    59. 59. Your turn… Search for cases of negligence in swimming pools…
    60. 60. Cut abig listdownwithproximitysearch!
    61. 61. Try /s or /5 to get the list down further…
    62. 62. Other jurisdictions? Patchy and well hidden UK & EU as standard US, Australia, Canada more limited International materials available
    63. 63. Some silly ones to finish with Westlaw… Find a case involving midgets, who were on exhibition at a circus when an elephant knocked them down.
    64. 64. And another… Find a case about dodgy cabbage seeds where Lord Denning quotes the walrus from Lewis Carroll‟s Through the Looking Glass…
    65. 65. Saving your research • New feature allows you to save your research in Westlaw. • My folders
    66. 66. Westlaw rep - Rojin GELLB2 student Regular slots twice a week to help
    67. 67. HeinOnline American service – obvious emphasis on US materials Easy-to-use Brilliant for journals Includes English Reports
    68. 68. Find this CLJ article (1955)
    69. 69. Find this pre-1865 case – 3 Man & G. 842 What is thename of the case andits
    70. 70. Using e-journals on Lawbore The stuff here!
    71. 71. Journals are confusing…
    72. 72. Why is Lexis an essential resource? Full text of 56 law reports including the Law Reports and All ER. Searching by party name, citation and subject Some details of history of the case and subsequent treatment.
    73. 73. CASES
    74. 74. Searching from the front screenQuick find Your turn! …when you know what you want… Look for Radmacher v Granatino
    75. 75. Searching for a case
    76. 76. Results
    77. 77. Background stuff Case history – tracks the different instances of this case (e.g. Fam division, Court of Appeal, HL) – check the signal for how that case has been received – e.g. good law? Cases referring to this case – where has been used since? Positive (applied, followed) or negative (doubted)? Or just neutral (noted)? Catchwords and digest - abstract
    78. 78. Key Negative Treatment Icon The decision has been subsequently reversed, disapproved or overruled. Cautionary Treatment Icon The decision has had some doubt cast on it. Positive Treatment Icon The decision has received positive treatment : affirmed, applied, etc. Neutral Treatment Icon The decision has received neutral or ambivalent treatment : considered, explained, etc. Citation Information Icon No treatment has been given - only citation information available.
    79. 79. Case search Just click on citation for full text of case
    80. 80. Full text
    81. 81. More detailed case searching
    82. 82. LEGISLATION
    83. 83. Your turn  Find the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003
    84. 84. ASBO’s What is the date of Royal Assent?
    85. 85. COMMENTARY
    86. 86. Halsbury’s Laws
    87. 87. Halsbury‟s Laws Onlineasylum 656asylum AND detention 97asylum w/10 detention 14
    88. 88. Commentary = Books Huge numbers of practitioner texts:  Blackstone‟s Criminal Practice  Encyclopedias – banking,  Clarke Hall and Morrison on Children  Paget‟s Law of Banking  Whish: Competition Law  Lester, Pannick and Herberg: Human Rights Law and Practice
    89. 89. JOURNALS
    90. 90. Your turn• Find the following article in the Journal of Criminal Law: Unfitness to plead and the overlap with Doli Incapax: an examination of the Law Commission’s proposals for a new capacity test Helen Howard (2011) JCL 75 (380)
    91. 91. Some insults to finish…  Can you find the name of the case where the defendant called someone a „monkey- faced tart‟?
    92. 92. Second one… 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‟?