Advanced Legal Research


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Lawyers now have more research tools available than ever before.

How do you choose between the multitude of tools out there while balancing costs, diligence, and time?

Attorneys Ed Walters of Fastcase and Adam Ziegler of Mootus join Clio's Lawyer in Residence, Joshua Lenon, to walk you through all the research options available.

Learn about:

- Local and State Resources
- Modern Search Engines
- Crowd Sourcing
- Academic Publishing
- Alternative Sources of Legal Information

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  • This is GoToWebinar, the product we are using for this webinar, you will notice that there is a Questions box on the bottom right of your panel where you can enter in questions as we go through the webinar. I will go back and answer them at the end. You can raise your hand which looks like a hand icon with an up arrow underneath. If you are having technical difficulties, meaning you cannot see my mouse moving around the screen or you can’t hear me, please click on this and then type into the questions panel exactly the problem you are having so we can address it as quickly as possible.Remember, we will be addresses questions sent at the end of this presentation. So please don’t feel bad if your question isn’t answered immediately.There are three questions that everyone asks during these presentations. I’ll try to address them here.First, this presentation will be about one hour in length.Second, we will be sending you copies of the slides and proof of CLE accreditation for the states that already approved this talk for CLE. These will arrive in your email either later today or tomorrow.Lastly, we will be providing a recording of this presentation to every attendee through email. Don’t feel like you have to copy everything down. We’ll send it to you.There will also be a blog post with every website and tool discussed today linked on to help you find everything we talked about.
  • Ed Walters, the CEO and Co-Founder of Fastcase, Inc. Before founding Fastcase in 1999, Mr. Walters clerked for the Honorable Emilio M. Garza of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, served as an associate at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington D.C. and Brussels, and worked in the White House from 1991-93, first in the Office of Media Affairs and then in the Office of Presidential Speechwriting. He has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, The University of Chicago Law Review, The Green Bag, and Legal Times, and has spoken extensively on legal publishing around the country, including before the ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference.Mr. Walters serves on the boards of Pro Bono Net, Democracy in Action, Friends of Telecom Without Borders, and Save a Child’s Heart Foundation and has served on the Visiting Committee for the University of Chicago Law School and the University of Chicago Main Campus Library System. He earned an A.B. in government from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.
  • Programming: Github There are 5.1M people collaborating right now across 10.6M repositories on GitHub.Science: PLOS (Public Library of Science) recently published 100,000th article that represents the efforts of authors, editors, reviewers and staff from more than 200 countries.
  • The United States Code is a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is prepared by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives. Includes currency information. classification tables, and Popular Name Tables
  • From the mid-1990s a group of organizations, known as ‘legal information institutes’ or ‘LIIs’ have been working together to improve widespread free access to law across the world. These institutions publish legal information from more than one source (not just ‘their own’ information) for free access via the Internet. Their cooperation was informal at first, but since 2002 they collaborate both politically and technically through membership of the ‘Free Access to Law Movement’ (FALM), a loose affiliation of 46 members from countries all over the world. The first Legal Information Institute was established in 1992 at Cornell University. This type of initiative, and use of the suffix ‘LII’, then spread in Australia (AustLII), Canada (CanLII), and many other countries and regions, including the UK (BAILII), the Pacific Islands (PacLII) and Southern Africa (SAFLII).
  • Advanced Legal Research

    1. 1. Advanced Legal Research Joshua Lenon – Clio Ed Walters – Fastcase Adam Ziegler - Mootus
    2. 2. Agenda • • • • • • Modern Search Engines – 20 minutes Crowdsourcing – 10 minutes Academic Publishing – 5 minutes Alternative Sources – 10 minutes Research Plan – 5 minutes Questions – 10 minutes
    3. 3. Modern Search Engines
    4. 4. Modern Search Engines Ed Walters, CEO, Fastcase January 28, 2014
    5. 5. <1> Intro
    6. 6. Chaos
    7. 7. Hammurabi
    8. 8. Blackstone
    9. 9. West Key Number System
    10. 10. LexisNexis
    11. 11. Google
    12. 12. “standard of review” w/3 question w/10 (law and fact)
    13. 13. Hey, Siri, is the judge going to review my mixed issue of law and fact de novo?
    14. 14. </1> Intro
    15. 15. <2> Filter and Sort
    16. 16. Filter
    17. 17. Overinclusive and Underinclusive
    18. 18. Where’s the algorithm?
    19. 19. Sort
    20. 20. Google
    21. 21. PageRank
    22. 22. </2> Filter and Sort
    23. 23. <3> Beyond Filter and Sort
    24. 24. Numerosity, proximity, density, diversity
    25. 25. Empower people with customized sorting.
    26. 26. Created citation analysis tools.
    27. 27. Data Visualization
    28. 28. Read me.
    29. 29. Forecite.
    30. 30. One more thing.
    31. 31. </3> Beyond Filter and Sort
    32. 32. <4> What’s Next
    33. 33. </4> What’s Next
    34. 34. Crowdsourcing
    35. 35. What is Crowdsourcing? Opening labor, decision-making, or information gathering to an undefined public. - Wikipedia Photo by Jeremy Nicoll on Flickr under Creative Commons License
    36. 36. Crowdsourcing • Old vs. New – Stock market – Sports betting – American Idol – Kickstarter Photo by Andos_pics on Flickr under Creative Commons License
    37. 37. Crowdsourcing Professional Knowledge • • • • • Programming Design Research/Science/Data Architecture Medicine Photo by Michael Kramer on Flickr under Creative Commons License
    38. 38. Crowdsourcing Law Knowledge • What’s new is old: common law = crowdsourcing • Collaboration is heart of lawyers’ work – – – – – Colleagues Online/offline groups Blogging/commentary “Moot” arguments Amicus briefing • Crowdsourced legal research/analysis is the next step Photo by yuan2003 on Flickr under Creative Commons License
    39. 39. How Crowdsourcing Works • Applications – Q&A – Annotation – Curation • Contributor Incentives Photo by amanky on Flickr under Creative Commons License
    40. 40. Crowdsourcing Advantages • Quality • Efficiency Photo from the Library of Congress Limitations • Tool in the toolbox • Responsibility remains with lawyer • Ethics and confidentiality • Field still developing
    41. 41. Academic Publishing
    42. 42. Academic Resources • “There are two things wrong with almost all legal writing. One is its style. The other is its content.” – Professor Fred Rodell, “Goodbye to Law Reviews” (1936) Photo by chickeninthewoods on Flickr under Creative Commons License
    43. 43. Academic Resources Academic Source Citation 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1970-80s 2000+ Source: New York Times, “Lackluster Reviews that Lawyers Love to Hate,” 10/21/2013
    44. 44. Social Science Research Network SSRN eLibrary Statistics: • Abstracts: 525,956 • Full Text Papers: 431,203 • Authors: 244,094 • Papers Received in Last 12 months: 66,308 Citations: • Papers with Resolved References: 249,640 • Total References: 8,855,914 • Papers with Cites: 238,195 • Total Citation Links: 5,911,972 • Papers with Resolved Footnotes: 86,465 • Total Footnotes: 8,931,406
    45. 45. SSRN Top Downloads
    46. 46. Alternative Sources
    47. 47. Alternative Sources 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Source Materials Local and State Resources Non-Profit Sources Non-Academic Writing Non-Legal Search Engines
    48. 48. Source Materials • Legislatures and Courts publishing their own materials – US Office of the Law Revision Counsel – Bound Volumes of the Supreme Court – State Court Opinions – Regulatory Opinions Photo by Sarah Price Photography on Flickr under Creative Commons License
    49. 49. Local and State Resources • Libraries – Courthouses – Law Schools – Bar Association Headquarters • Bar Association Resources – Member Benefits Photo by Dan Cronin on Flickr under Creative Commons License
    50. 50. Non-Profit Sources
    51. 51. Non-Academic Writing
    52. 52. Non-Legal Search Engines
    53. 53. Non-Legal Search Engines
    54. 54. Research Plan
    55. 55. Research Plan • Use Academic Sources and NonAcademic writings to maintain subject matter competency • Turn to Alternative Sources for basic research • Confirm results using Modern Search Engines
    56. 56. Questions
    57. 57. Thank You @goClio @Joshualenon @SFInnovation