Legal Research


Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario, January 1999 – October 2017 Update

The CCLA Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario has been updated to October 2017! This invaluable guide is a favourite with local litigators, and has been produced for the CCLA for several years under the leadership of The Honourable James Chadwick and with the assistance of students from the University of Ottawa law school.

To check it out, please click here. For your future reference, you can find this publication on the CCLA website under our “Civil Litigation” practice portal.

Also, if you’re looking for the CCLA’s Compendium of Costs, our most recent update is from 2015 – you can find that here.

 


Category Browse on JustisOne

Anyone who has been to my training sessions has heard me say that I am a huge fan of browsing. For legal research, I love being able to browse through tables of contents, indices, alphabetical lists, or subject guides to drill down to the specific set of information that I need, as opposed to just entering keywords or case or legislation names I’m not entirely sure about. As such, I was very excited to hear that JustisOne, a UK legal research platform that we subscribe to in the library (read more here!), was launching a browse feature. This feature would allow the researcher to choose from a list of categories, or subject areas, and drill down into more specific topics within that general area, ultimately finding cases on that point.

As of this this week, the beta version of the browse functionality has been added to the platform, so here’s a look at this brand-new feature. I’ve recently read a book for the Canadian Law Library Review on reproductive donation, so since it’s fresh on my brain, I’ll use this as an example. Click on any picture to make it bigger.

From the homepage of JustisOne, you can see on the left side bar a new icon – for the browse feature.

When you click on that icon, you open up the browse screen. A brand new column appears, with a list of topics presented alphabetically. These are the broadest levels of topics.

You can click to select a topic, and as you do, another column will open up with more specific categories to do with that initial topic. You can keep clicking and with each new column that is added to the right, you will get more and more specific topics. As you can see below, this browse went through a path of looking for family law cases, then cases to do with children, to do with assisted reproduction, and then finally donor identity.

 

You can keep clicking until you either reach a point where you’re satisfied (say you didn’t want anything more specific than “assisted reproduction”) or until there is nothing more specific to drill down to. This example above could actually have kept going to even more specific topics than donor identity. Finally, once you’re ready to see the cases under the category you’ve browsed to, you can click on the “Find Cases” button atop the columns:

This will bring up a list of cases that have been categorized under that topic:

You can also use these categories as a starting point to do a search. For example, here I stopped clicking through to more specific topics when I reached “assisted reproduction.” You can see that in the search box, and the number of cases is listed below that box:

I can add terms to that search box, however, to search just within the cases that were identified as being about assisted reproduction. In this example, I searched for cases classified as being about assisted reproduction, which also mention the phrase “embryo transfer”:

 

I think this is a really great addition to JustisOne, and one that you may find helpful in your research. Foreign law research can be quite daunting, but with this new browse function walking you through legal topics, not just entering key words in and hoping for the best, you may find case law searching from the Commonwealth to be a fair bit easier. I’ve heard that Justis is working to add more and more cases to the categories and sub-categories, which is just great. JustisOne is available on all of our library computers; let us know if you need any help using it!


Lexis Advance Quicklaw: Upgrade to Finding the Halsbury’s Laws of Canada

If you’ve used Lexis Advance Quicklaw lately, you’ll notice a new feature to the home screen: the “Explore Content” box beneath the search bar.

 

 

This box is still new, and continued enhancements to it are sure to follow, but for now I think it’s a really great tool to highlight the Halsbury’s Laws of Canada, which are available within Quicklaw. The Halsbury’s series is a great introduction to many different legal topics, featuring titles by leading authors in their respective areas of law.

Prior to this new “Explore Content” box, finding the full set of the Halsbury’s was a bit difficult. Now, it couldn’t be easier. When you enter Quicklaw at the CCLA library on any of our public computers, the box will be almost at the top of the screen. Just click where it says Halsbury’s Laws of Canada

 

 

 

And you’ll be brought to a nice and tidy page containing a list of all of the  titles.

 

You can click on any of the titles in blue, and be brought to the table of contents for that book, as well as a search box that will search that title of Halsbury’s alone. As an example, here is the screen for the Halsbury’s Law of Canada – Aboriginal Law:

 

 

I love any feature that makes browsing available materials in a database easier, so this to me is a really great upgrade. Check it out next time you’re in the CCLA Library!


New on CanLII: Browne v. Dunn

A small ripple of excitement went up on legal Twitter yesterday when CanLII announced that a copy of the seminal case Browne v Dunn (1893) 6 R 67 (H.L.) was now available for free online. This case has plagued Canadian law libraries somewhat over the years – it’s incredibly important, regularly cited, and before now, not freely available anywhere. Many libraries, ours included, had an old photocopied version kicking around for when it was needed. Thanks to the Great Library at the LSUC, a copy is now up on CanLII. Enjoy!


vLex Canada Tip: Canada Gazette Part II

Ever get mired down in trying to dig up old federal regulations on the government’s antiquated Canada Gazette Archives? Fortunately, vLex Canada is here to help with that. Following our previous tips on Irwin Law Essentials and MLB Topics, today we’ll have a quick look on how to find older regulations in Part II of the Canada Gazette, now available on the new vLex Canada platform.

The easiest way to get to the Gazette from the vLex homepage is to click on “Browse” in the lefthand toolbar. From there, click on the “List of Sources” tab in the top under the search bar, and you will come to a screen like the following. The Canada Gazette is one of the first listed, with the French equivalent Gazette du Canada found a little further down.

Clicking on the Gazette will bring you straight to the most recently published edition. To find older editions, simply click the “Older Issues” button in the righthand sidebar, and it will pop up with an option to select which month you are interested in:

As you can see, coverage on the platform goes back to January 1998.

After selecting the issue you are interested in, a table of contents will open where you can click through to the Regulation that you are looking for.

Perhaps what is best about all this though, is that search bar at the top of the page. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you can search through all the available issues of the Canada Gazette by using the search with the Gazette filter on. This provides better functionality than the official government website for the same – plus the clean interface of vLex’s platform which is much easier on the eyes!

 


vLex Canada Tip: MLB Topics

Last time we had a look at the Irwin Law Essentials collection which is now available on vLex, and continuing with our tips for the new database, today we’ll be having a peek at the MLB (Maritime Law Book) Topics and how they can help your research.

If you’ve ever taken any legal research training sessions from us, you’re probably aware that we are very much fans of skipping keyword searching altogether. It’s messy, ugly, and for the most part you get dumped on with a load of garbage.

Ok perhaps I’m exaggerating, but instead of wasting time picking through thousands of cases, we very much advocate for whatever publications or shortcuts you can use to cut down your research time. MLB topics are one of those shortcuts: they group similar cases by topics, so if you find a case that is relevant, you can click on the topic you’re interested in and find similar cases really quickly. You can also browse the topics, as we’ll see below.

From the homepage of vLex, select “Browse” from the sidebar. From there, navigate to “MLB Topics” in top menu. You’ll see a list of alphabetical topics you can now either search or peruse through.

Clicking on any one of these topics will bring up a listing of all the specific topics under that heading. For example, Contracts:

From here you can click through to any topics that interest you to find links to cases that are under that topic.

Similarly, if you are looking at a case on vLex, at the top of the case all the MLB topics will be listed so you can select your issue and find similar cases on that point of law. At the top of each case it will look something like this:

Clicking on any one of those magnifying glass will search that classification and bring up a list of cases on the topic. So skip the keyword case searching and browse through the MLB topics instead!

 


New on HeinOnline: Canadian Bar Review

HeinOnline has recently announced that the Canadian Bar Review, the journal of the CBA, has now been added to their database. Available issues date all the way back to volume 1 from 1923. As LSUC members, you have free access to HeinOnline, right from your desk. The password changes regularly, so get in touch with us here at the library if you need the most up-to-date version.

Since it is Thursday, here’s a Throwback to the intro to the first article in the first volume.  The title is “Law as a Link of Empire” and it’s authored by The Right Honourable Lord Shaw of Dunferline.

Just the first page – if you’d like a copy of the entire article, let us know!


vLex Canada Tip: Irwin Law Essentials

As you may have heard or seen in-library, we now have access to the vLex Canada database! We’ll be showcasing some tips over the next couple of weeks to help you get some idea as to the uses and functionality of this new database.

First up: the Irwin Law Essentials Collection!

You might be familiar with these books in print; they are extremely popular in our library and can usually be distinguished at a glance by their characteristic maroon colour. Some of the most well-known titles include: The Law of Evidence by Paciocco and Stuesser, The Charter of Rights and Freedoms by Sharpe and Roach, and Child Support Guidelines in Canada by Payne and Payne. Fortunately, they are now also available in electronic format on vLex Canada!

To access them, simply log in to vLex and click on “Browse” in the sidebar. Under “Books and Journals”, you will then find a link to Irwin Law: The Essentials of Canadian Law. From there, you can see all of the titles currently available on the platform, as can be seen in the screenshot below:

Once you click on a title, it will bring you through to a table of contents where you can browse to find what you need. You can then click through to individual sections and chapters to view the text.

At any time, you can click into the search bar at the top of the screen. If you only want to search the subsection of the content you are viewing, click on the option for “Advanced Search”, as it appears, and that will only search the particular section. You can see an example of this below.

Stay tuned for more vLex tips, and in the meantime, come to the library and play around with it yourself! With an account you will then have 24 hour access from anywhere!

 


New Filter Option in WestlawNext Canada

This is a great new tip we learned about in WestlawNext Canada, from our amazing local trainer Josée Provost.

If you’re anything like us, you love the Canadian Abridgment for quickly and easily finding cases on a specific topic. To make your case law research even easier, you can now filter search results from a note-up in Westlaw by Adbridgment topic. Here’s an example below.

Through noting-up section 13 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, I’m told there are 190 cases that cite this section. On the left hand side of the screen are your filtering options. Tucked in second from the bottom is “Abridgment Topics.”

If you click on “Select” a box will open up showing you a list of topics from within the Abridgment that have this cases included. You can also search for a topic (if there is nothing, you’ll be told there are no hits).

You can select as many topics as you would like. For this example, I’ll select “Contracts”…

And I have limited the 190 citing cases down to just 3 that have to do with contracts.

This feature is really neat, and I know will come in handy to many people during their case law research. If you’d like to learn more about WestlawNext Canada, we do have a free lunch time training session at the library scheduled for November 22. You can RSVP for this session here.


Black’s Law Dictionary: Now on WestlawNext Canada!

Here’s a cool new feature we just learned about in our library’s WestlawNext Canada subscription.

Black’s Law Dictionary, the most well-known legal dictionary on the market, is now tucked away (but free to use in our library) under the “International” tab.

From the home screen, you will want to select the “International” tab:

 

From there, you can find a link out to the Black’s Law Dictionary underneath the Westlaw US document titles:

This will open a new screen and log you into the American version of Westlaw’s interface for the Black’s dictionary. There is a dedicated search screen for this title, so you will only be searching within the dictionary itself – not the other American content on Westlaw.

Et voilà, your results list!

 

If you have WestlawNext at your office, see if this is included in your LawSource package (but of course, be mindful of what charges might be incurred for this search first). As always, any Westlaw work you do at the library is free of charge.