Legal Research


Asked and Answered: Canadian Railway Cases

This question has come up a few times now at the library, usually stated something like this:

I’m looking for a case that I can’t find. The citation is 1 CRC 461. Help!!

The citation “CRC” refers to a dusty, but clearly still useful, law report series titled Canadian Railway Cases. While this was published originally by Canada Law Book, it still hasn’t made its way in its entirety onto WestlawNext Canada. It seems that if the case was also reported in another law report series, it will be available on the electronic services (most likely), but if the case only appeared in the CRCs, it will probably be just available in the print version for now.

The series ran from 1902 to 1939, and we are fortunate to still have this set in our collection. So, if during your research you find you need a case with that citation and you can’t find it on any of the online services, we’re only a quick email away, and we’d be happy to send it over for you!

 

 


Advanced Search Forms Now Available on Lexis Advance Quicklaw

This is an update to the Lexis Advance Quicklaw database that we are super excited for. If you’re a Quicklaw user, check this out:

Advanced search forms are now available on Lexis Advance Quicklaw. If you like being able to search for cases, legislation, or other materials using highly detailed search forms that allow you to search for documents with specific pieces of information, this is for you.

From the home screen…

 

You will find the quick link to the advanced search forms above and to the right of the search bar. Click on this to get to this screen:

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Upcoming Workshop: Steps to Justice 1

On July 11 at 1:00 PM, we’re excited to be hosting an hour-long workshop in the CCLA library that looks at the new website “Steps to Justice.” This website has been put together by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO), and provides answers to legal questions in a very accessible and plain-language way. The site covers a wide variety of legal topics, and presents information in the form of answers to commonly asked questions.  As an example, here’s a peak at the page for the question “What are my rights if the police approach me and ask questions?”

We’re excited to learn more about this program, and would invite any of our lawyers who are interested to attend as well. The session is free, but please RSVP with us if you plan to attend.


Save the Date! HeadStart Ottawa 2017

We in the library are busy working away on a cool new project (details soon!), and a tonne of reference questions (we love hearing from you!), so this post is brief, but important!

Save the Date! Our 6th annual HeadStart Ottawa: Legal Research for Articling & LPP Students will be happening on Friday, August 18, 2017!

This half-day session on legal research has been getting new articling and LPP students ready for the year ahead since 2012, and we’re thrilled to bring it back again for 2017. The session will be held, as always, at the Ottawa Courthouse, and will give students a chance to meet us librarians, learn about the resources they have at our library, and get a great refresher on legal research.

We’ll be announcing all the details, as well as how to register, over the summer, so stay tuned for that!


Federated Searching on WestlawNext Canada

There’s a been a great new featured rolled out in WestlawNext Canada!

“Federated searching” is one of those fancy terms that I think librarians might use but isn’t necessarily clear to other people. What’s meant by federated searching is the ability to search for something across multiple platforms, instead of just one. In this case, you would be searching within WestlawNext, but it’s also searching in their ProView platform, which is where a lot of looseleaf titles are kept (and we talked about here and here). Your results will now show relevant hits from the WestlawNext database and hits from the ProView platform.

Here’s an example:

In this example, I’m running a simple search for wrongful dismissal within the same paragraph as pregnancy. I’m doing this from the homepage of WestlawNext Canada.

 

 

This brings back a results screen, where the default is to give you an overview of what WestlawNext has. You can see in the larger pane on the right hand side that your results are broken down into the categories for you to quickly glance at and get a sense of what is there, such as “Cases and Decisions” and “Canadian Encyclopedic Digest.”

 

The new category that’s been added to these search results is “eLooseleafs on ProView.” You can see that on the left side pane (and it would also be in the right side pane like above if you scroll down further). If you click on that heading in the left pane, it will bring up a full list of what hits come back from eLooseleafs on the ProView platform. If we don’t have a subscription to that title, it will say “Out of Plan” at the very far right. If we do have a subscription, however, you can click on the title and go straight to that book.

Continue Reading…


Judicial Decisions with Missing Graphics

The issue of graphics or diagrams missing from online versions of judicial decisions has recently come to our attention. We’ll use McDonald’s Corp. v. Silverwood Industries Ltd. as an example, with specific regard to item number 3 in the table.

In the online version of this case, you get this from Lexis Advance Quicklaw:

Next, this is the version as it appears in Westlaw Next Canada:

Finally, though, in the print version, you get this:

Poor Mayor McCheese, excised from the online versions of the decision. This is very common in IP cases, where there are understandably a good many more drawings and graphics.

While the CCLA Library still has a wide collection of print reporters, and can easily go grab a copy of this decision off the shelf, the (maybe sad) truth is that many libraries have been discarding their print law reporter collections (as we will too, eventually). So, how do you get a copy of the print version?

How to Get a Copy of a Print Version of a Case Where the Graphic Has Been Removed

1. If this is time sensitive / “The Easiest Way”: Check with us. You can send us an email, or check our catalogue yourself to see if we have the law reporter you need. We’re more than happy to scan and send you a copy of the decision. If we don’t have the print reporter here, chances are we can still get a copy for you, but allow a business day turnaround time. It will likely be faster, but just in case

2. If you’re a WestlawNext Canada client: Contact their customer care department at ResearchSupport.LegalTaxCanada@TR.com. They will do their best to track down the print version and send it over. Please note that they can’t guarantee that they will have a copy, or what the turnaround time will be. Good news though: they are working on adding graphics back into decisions.

3. If you’re a Lexis Advance Quicklaw client: Contact their customer care department at service@lexisnexis.ca to get a copy of the image. Same disclaimer would apply about availability and turnaround time.

 


Asked and Answered: O’Brien’s Jury Charges (1998)

We’ve had a couple inquiries for the O’Brien’s Jury Charges (also known as Civil Jury Charges) publication at the library now. It was first brought to our attention by a student tasked to find it, as it had been referenced in the case Iannarella v. Corbett, 2015 ONCA 110 (CanLII) as follows:

[8] In charging a jury regarding the onus of proof for rear-end motor vehicle collisions, trial judges often use a variation of the standard liability instruction from O’Brien’s Jury Charges (1998), which provides:

A prudent motorist should drive at such rate of speed with his vehicle under such control that he is able to pull up within the range of his vision. If there is any difficulty in seeing because of weather conditions, then common sense dictates that he should travel more slowly. In other words, “if you can’t see where you’re going don’t go”. If the road is icy or slippery, then even more care should be taken. In a case where a vehicle is struck without the driver of the rear vehicle having seen it until it was too late to avoid a collision, then you should ask yourselves; (1) Was he keeping a proper lookout? (2) If he was keeping the best lookout possible, was he going too fast for the lookout that could be kept in the circumstances?”

Members of the jury, generally speaking, when one car runs into another from behind, in the absence of any excuse for such a collision, the driver of the rear car must satisfy you that the collision did not occur as a result of his negligence.

Not being able to find the publication listed anywhere under that particular name, we began to suspect that perhaps it was associated with our other more prominent precedent set of a similar name, O’Brien’s Encyclopedia of Forms and Precedents. Search as we did though, we could find no evidence to that effect either.

So we starting asking around in our librarian circles. At first, except for references to the publication found in other cases as well, we could find no other trace.

Eventually, Jen managed to connect with someone at the National Judicial Institute, the only place we could find that actually had a copy, who had some more information on this little mystery. There is some question about whether the Jury Charges were written by Judge W. David Griffiths and later updated by Judge Joseph W. O’Brien, or vice versa, but either way it was an older set of charges from the late 1990s that seemingly had not been kept up to date, though still useful and quoted since. Since copyright and ownership was somewhat in question, it was clear that it was to remain an internal document available only to judges.

So while we couldn’t actually get our hands on a copy, we count that as a mystery solved.


Research and Writing Tools on WestlawNext

Apparently it’s research week on the blog, with a great resource highlighted yesterday by Jen. Another resource on this topic oft overlooked is the research and writing section in WestlawNext, which you can find by scrolling down to the bottom section of the homescreen and clicking on “Research and Writing Tools”. This section is excellent for use by students and other legal professionals looking for the basics on how to get started on a topic.

This will bring you to the screen below, where you can find a template for a memo, an excellent research checklist that will guide you through the research process, and guides to the Canadian Abridgment (the Abridgment is still, by the way, on our list of most useful underused tools).

Check it out!

We also have a free WestlawNext training session upcoming on April 6, 2017, so RSVP to that if you would like to learn more about how to most efficiently use the platform, or if you just need a refresher!


Thomson Reuters ProView: Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about the Thomson Reuters ProView eReference collection – what it contains, and how you can get access to it at our library. Today, I’m going to focus on a few quick primers for using the platform, and also provide some links to even better training materials. Click on any of the images below to see them a bit bigger.

Basic Navigation Tips

When you enter into the ProView platform at the CCLA Library, you will have a huge screen containing images of all of the titles we have available in our subscription. To find a title, you can scroll through the whole page (it’s organized by subject), or you can also use the box right above the images:

Here I’ve searched for “remedies” in the title field.

 

Continue Reading…


Thomson Reuters ProView: Part One

We’ve been meaning to do a post on the Thomson Reuters ProView eReference platform for a long time; as it turns out, we’re going to do two posts! In this first post, I’ll talk about what that big long title (“Thomson Reuters ProView eReference”) means, what’s included in it, and how you find it here at our library. Tomorrow, I’ll post more about how to use the platform, and some great links to online tutorials.

 

Thomson Reuters ProView eReference Collection – What’s That?

This is the proper name for the online versions of some of the looseleafs published by Thomson Reuters. Some of their looseleafs are only available in Westlaw, and some are only available on the ProView platform. If that seems a little complicated to keep straight, it’s because it is! To help keep it all straight, we’ve put a sticker on all of the looseleaf binders here at the library that have online versions available. You can see a picture of that here.

What’s Included?

Currently, the CCLA library has 80 titles available in our ProView subscription. For the time being, all of these titles are also available in print in the library, but that is likely to change over the course of this year. Some of the titles include:

  • Canadian Employment Law
  • The Law of Costs
  • Construction, Builders’ and Mechanics’ Liens in Canada
  • Compensation and Duties of Estate Trustees, Guardians and Attorney
  • Evidence in Family Law
  • Insurance Law in Canada
  • Remedies in Tort
  • Law of Real Property
  • And many, many more.

How Do I Access This?

The first question everyone has: can I use this from my office if it’s online? And the answer, regretfully, is no. You’ll still have to visit the library to access these online titles. On each of our public computers, you can access ProView through the CCLA Library Toolkit icon. There should be no additional steps to accessing this platform from there.

While you still have to venture into the library, many people will find the ability to search the book using keywords to be an excellent additional value. You may also appreciate the ease with which you can email excerpts of the books to yourself, or save them to a memory stick. Also, since we also have a Westlaw subscription at the library, you can easily link to case law from the book you are reading.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at how to use the ProView platform. This program is unlike Westlaw, and also unlike more traditional e-books (like those you might borrow from the library, or purchase for your Kindle or Kobo), so you’ll want to check out how to best use this service.