Legal Research


Even More New on CanLII: Newsletters

Just recently we shared the announcement that CanLII had added law reviews to its databases. In another exciting development, they’ve announced that they have now added newsletters to their growing wealth of secondary materials.

From the Newsletters page of CanLII, you can now review issues of two newsletters that have been shared with CanLII:

  • “Justice as Healing” – published by the Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan
  • Siskinds Class Actions Case Review – published by Siskinds LLP

While these topics may not intersect with your practice, I suspect CanLII is looking to grow the collection of newsletters they can offer to users. If these do add value to your practice, however, enjoy!


Canadian Bar Review: Now Open Access

Yesterday’s post about CanLII now having law reviews recalls another news item from this month that you may have missed.

The Canadian Bar Association has recently made all of the past issues of the Canadian Bar Review available online and open access. To access past articles, no password, credit card, or anything else is required!

To check out the archive of the Canadian Bar Review, click here.


New on CanLII: Law Reviews

CanLII announced an exciting new addition to CanLII on Friday: law reviews! From their blog:

It has been a long term goal for us to have a substantial collection of legal commentary on CanLII, so we are thrilled to be able to tell you about an expansion of CanLII’s secondary sources section to include law reviews.

Law reviews are often the only place a particular topic is discussed, and they often provide insight into the law for a particular jurisdiction where no one else does that make them invaluable for research.

In addition to being able to navigate within the commentary section by law review and issue, results from law review issues will appear in your search results. If all you want to see is commentary, you can limit your search results by clicking on the “Secondary sources” tab.

We would like to thank the generous contributors of content that will help enrich CanLII as a legal research tool. Here are the law reviews that are participating in our initial launch of this project:

Alberta Law Review

Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform

Canadian Bar Review (coming soon)

Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law

Canadian Journal of Human Rights

Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies

Justice As Healing (coming soon)

McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution

McGill Journal of Law and Health

McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law

Ottawa Law Review

University of New Brunswick Law Journal (coming soon)

Currently we have loaded them back to 2015, but more law reviews and additional years of coverage will be added over time. If you edit or publish a law journal you’d like to see on CanLII, please feel free to contact us. We’d love to hear from you! (feedback-form@canlii.org).

Check out their law review coverage from the Law Journals page on CanLII. A heads up if you use the left sidebar on CanLII – to get to all of the secondary sources, including law reviews, the new heading is “CanLIIDocs.”


New on WestlawNext: Reading Mode

Recently we’ve had to depend much more on our electronic subscriptions here at the library while renovations are ongoing, so we were delighted to see a “Reading Mode” button added to electronic texts in our WestlawNext Subscription!

This mode adds several features to enhance readability. It adds the Table of Contents for the text on the left for quick browsing, links at the top of the article to subheading anchors in the text, and it eliminates the top icon bar to avoid distraction (clicking out of Reading mode will bring it back so you can have your usual download/email options).

Best of all, when you scroll through the text new content just keeps loading! No more having to click through countless sections as you read. All in all, a much nicer experience when dealing with e-looseleafs. We definitely approve of this nice new feature!


New Database Subscription: ICLR

We may have limited physical space available at the moment, but to somewhat make up for it we’re happy to announce we’ve added a subscription to the UK Case Law Reporter database ICLR! If you’ve ever used a British case you’ve probably gotten it from an ICLR publication, so we’re very excited to still be able to still access that collection while we are renovating.

We love the clean interface of the program, and its searching and navigation are intuitive and easy to use. Stay tuned as we explore and demonstrate some of its features over the coming months!

You can access the ICLR on site at the CCLA Library, through our lawyer computers. Friendly reminder that all our databases can be accessed through the Library Toolkit icon on each desktop!


‘Charterpedia’ Launched by Department of Justice

If you were paying attention on twitter and/or were very on the ball a couple weeks ago, you may have noticed that the Department of Justice launched a new online service called the Charterpedia, and it is really great! This new resource provides summaries and note ups on every Charter section, and it is now available free of charge to everyone!

As per its own description:

This Charterpedia provides legal information about the Charter and contains information about the purpose of each section of the Charter, the analysis or test developed through case law in respect of the section, and any particular considerations related to it. Each Charterpedia entry cites relevant case law, and citations to Supreme Court of Canada decisions are hyperlinked whenever possible.

Check it out!


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!