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CML 1101: Principles of Legal Research (2010-11) Introduction to legal research

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CML 1101: Principles of Legal Research (2010-11) Introduction to legal research C. Addison, A. Fleichman, M.-A. Sheppard, J. Lavigne Brian Dickson Law Library : CML ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CML 1101: Principles of Legal Research (2010-11) Introduction to legal research


1
CML 1101 Principles of Legal Research
(2010-11) Introduction to legal research
C. Addison, A. Fleichman, M.-A. Sheppard, J.
Lavigne Brian Dickson Law Library CML 1101,
2010-11
2
Outline
  • review of syllabus and introduction to the course
    structure
  • the basics of legal research
  • categories of law (substantive / procedural /
    evidentiary)
  • primary vs. secondary sources of law
  • paper vs. computerized sources of law
  • overview of sources in law
  • general strategies for researching legal
    questions
  • registration for online research services

3
Review of syllabus
  • Contact information
  • Course materials
  • Evaluation
  • Rules for the completion of assignments
  • Weekly outline
  • division of students into Tutorial A and Tutorial
    B

4
Virtual Campus
5
Virtual Campus
6
Why this course is important
  • Research is fundamental to a lawyers work
  • But, more immediately
  • More opportunities for work/credit as a student
  • Ottawa Law Review
  • Law Technology Journal
  • Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest
    Clinic
  • Internships
  • Pro bono
  • Legal aid clinic
  • Deans Legal Research and Writing Fellowship

7
Other reasons this course is important?
  • efficient research efficient use of client
  • credibility (professional and personal)
  • professional liability

8
Meet the Rules!
  • Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Rule 2 Relationship to Clients
  • competent lawyer

9
The legal research process
10
The basics of legal research
  • Identify issues based on a fact pattern or
    problem
  • Identify the appropriate research tools, both in
    print and online, and know how to use them
  • Read and understand the sources to which your
    research has led and,
  • Apply the law to the fact pattern or problem.
  • For more information, consult Thurgood Marshall
    Law Library Guide to Legal Research 2009
    2010, online http//www.law.umaryland.edu/marshal
    l/researchguides/TMLLguide/chapter1.pdf.

11
Some examples
  • Typical law school problems tend to be fairly
    academic in nature
  • When do security liens under the Personal
    Property Security Act apply to chattels?
  • What remedies are available following a tort in
    negligence?
  • Is a contract drafted on a paper napkin
    enforceable?
  • What is the thin skull rule and when does it
    apply?

12
Some more examples
  • In legal practice, legal problems are often more
    hands-on
  • What is the official name of a person or company
    your law firm is trying to sue, and in what
    jurisdiction are they located?
  • Is there an execution against the vendor of real
    property that your client is purchasing?
  • How can you arrange for an expert witness to
    testify at trial about quantification of damages?

13
Categories of law
Private law
Substantive law
Public law
Procedural law
Evidentiary law
14
Substantive law
  • Legal rights and obligations legal rights may be
    enforced by way of legal proceedings, to which
    substantive law sets out the defences
  • ex. What are the elements of the tort of
    assault? What are the applicable defences?
  • Subdivided into public and private law
  • Public law governs the relationship between
    persons and the state
  • Private law governs the relationship between
    persons
  • Definitions Margaret Kerr, JoAnn Kurtz Arlene
    Blatt, Legal research step by step, 3d ed.
    (Toronto Emond Montgomery, 2010) at 5.

15
Procedural law
  • Sets out the procedure that a party must follow
    to enforce his or her rights in a court
    proceeding or to defend a proceeding
  • ex. What steps must be taken to pursue an action
    in tort? What documents must be filed to start
    the action? How long can you wait before filing
    with the court? When must the defence be filed?
  • Definition Margaret Kerr, JoAnn Kurtz Arlene
    Blatt, Legal research step by step, 3d ed.
    (Toronto Emond Montgomery, 2010) at 5.

16
Evidentiary law
  • Sets out the manner in which facts are proved in
    a trial or a proceeding
  • ex. What kinds of questions may you ask a
    witness at trial? Who may appear as a witness at
    trial? What may or may not be taken into
    consideration by a judge?
  • Definition Margaret Kerr, JoAnn Kurtz Arlene
    Blatt, Legal research step by step, 3d ed.
    (Toronto Emond Montgomery, 2010) at 5.

17
Sources of law
  • 3 main sources of Canadian law
  • statutes (laws) passed by federal Parliament or
    provincial legislature
  • regulations made at either the federal or
    provincial government level
  • decisions made by judges (case law)

Primary sources
18
But wait! Theres more
  • Secondary sources provide interpretations of case
    law and/or legislation
  • textbooks, reports, government documents,
    articles, etc.
  • A vast array of finding tools will help you
    locate these primary and secondary sources
  • Library catalogue, periodical indexes, search
    engines, legal gateways/portals, case digests

19
Paper vs. electronic research
Paper Electronic
PROS Better at providing context and explaining a broad area of the law. More comprehensive, especially for older cases and statutes. Cost to use is low. PROS Very current. Include unreported decisions. Cross-indexing of information is already done for you. Easy to pinpoint information in a large group of documents.
CONS Not as current. Not as easy to search. CONS Not always be available. Coverage is sometimes limited. Can be expensive to use.
20
Paper vs. electronic research
  • Use paper sources to find general statements of
    the law. (Or an electronic version of a book.)
  • Use electronic sources to find and update
    statutes and regulations, as well as to update
    cases.
  • Use both paper and electronic sources to find
    additional cases or to locate the text of the
    case once you have a citation.

21
The Four Cs of good legal research
  • orrect
  • omprehensive
  • redible
  • ost-effective

Source Christina Kunz et al.,The Process of
Legal Research, 6th ed., (New York Aspen
Publishers, 2004) at 6.
22
When can I stop researching?
  • When you have used a variety of appropriate
    sources
  • When you are finding the same authorities over
    and over again
  • When cost exceeds benefit, i.e. you run out of
    time

23
Homework for tutorial
  • Exercise
  • Read the case that is assigned to you and be
    prepared to give a 1-minute synopsis on what the
    judge says about the importance of legal research
    and a counsels duty to his or her client and the
    administration of justice (i.e. ignore any
    substantive law issues)
  • Lougheed Enterprises Ltd v Armbruster (1992), 63
    BCLR (2d) 316 (CA).
  • World Wide Treasure Adventures Inc v Trivia Games
    Inc (1987), 16 BCLR 135 (Sup Ct).

24
Homework for tutorial
  • Read Modules 1 and 2 in Virtual Campus and
    complete any associated quizzes in the modules
  • 1 The Research Process
  • 2 Using Keywords Boolean Operators
  • Read McGill Guide, Part 1 General Rules
  • Be prepared to discuss and ask any questions of
    your TA

25
Homework for tutorial
  • Connect your laptop to the wireless network and
    set up printing
  • http//www.ccs.uottawa.ca/connect/wireless/support
    .html and http//www.biblio.uottawa.ca/content-pag
    e.php?gensftxcfaq-sansfil-print
  • Register for LexisNexis/Quicklaw
  • Choose Login at http//www.lexisnexis.ca/lawscho
    ols/lawschools.php, then Register Now, then
    follow instructions
  • You MUST register from one of the library
    computers!
  • Register for Westlaw Canada
  • Use the address on the card given to you in
    class, and follow the instructions (can do this
    from any computer)
  • Problems? Want more information? Mary Régimbald
    and Julie Lavigne will hold drop-in sessions in
    the small computer lab (FTX 419A) during
    regularly-scheduled tutorial times in September.
    Go the week you are not in your tutorial if you
    need help!
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