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 site.edu .ac .gov all educational or governmental sites.com 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-
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
24 & 32
Legal research - getting started with Westlaw & Lexis
Emily AllbonLEGAL RESEARCH Legal Method
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
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…
Remember… Information on the internet can be: Out of date Unreliable Biased It can be moved or removed without warning There are no standards or index online
Google scholar http://scholar.google.co 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.
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
What do we have at City? Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline i-law …plus content on Lawbore
„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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Improving your search OR Phrases Wildcards Truncation And Proximity*Use the Terms in Context to help you filter*
Combining words – and e.g. defamation and internet
OR searching medical negligence baby infant and or
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
Truncationstartoftheword! Will find all endings of the word
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.
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
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.
Case search Just click on citation for full text of case
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
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)
Some insults to finish… Can you find the name of the case where the defendant called someone a „monkey- faced tart‟?
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‟?