Legal Research


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.


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:

Continue Reading…


Upcoming Workshop: Steps to Justice

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.