Legal Research

Available CCLA Library Services during COVID-19 Shutdown

The CCLA Library may have closed its physical doors for the time being, but we’re still able to assist you remotely with many of your legal research needs! Here’s what we can still help with :

  • Case & Looseleaf Searching: We still have access to Quicklaw Advance, WestlawNext, and Proview and are able to run keyword searches for you on a wide variety of topics.
  • Case & Document Retrieval: Missed the chance to grab a remote HeinOnline password while the Great Library is closed? Let us know if there are any journal articles you might need and we can forward them along to you!
  • Precedents: We might not have our print collection, but there are a ton of precedents available in O’Briens and Quicklaw that we can search for you to assist with your drafting.
  • Legislative Research: Historical legislation is confusing! (but we love doing it!) Let us help point you in the right direction with tracing or helping to find point-in-time legislation.

Unfortunately for the time being we are not able to assist with:

  • Scanning Print Materials
  • Interlibrary Loans
  • Eliminating pandemic-related anxiety (let’s all breathe and do some yoga)

So please don’t hesitate to send us an email if there’s anything we may be able to help with as you’re locked up at home! Wishing you and your families health and safety.

CCLA Conference Papers: Now on CanLII!

Back in August, we mentioned that software and hardware upgrades at the CCLA necessitated our taking down the CCLA Conference Papers Database on our website. For almost 10 years we provided free access to our excellent archive of conference materials, and whatever was going to replace the database had to be great. We believe we’ve found the perfect solution. 

As of today, select papers from the CCLA’s four major conferences will be available on CanLII! CanLII’s Commentary collection has been growing steadily in the past few years, bringing more and more free and highquality legal information to its platform. Freely accessible from anywhere, the collection has been a monumental step forward in access to justice. When CanLII said they would host our conference papers collection, we were thrilled!  

The collection on CanLII currently is just from 2018; it will eventually date back to 2014, and we will continue to add new materials to the collection after each conference. Which materials are included are decided by the editorial team at Lexum (the platform CanLII lives on), so if you want your paper or presentation to be included, be sure to make it awesome. If you have contributed in the past and you’d rather not have your work on CanLII, that’s okay too – just let us know. 

If you want to go check out the collection, here’s a direct link to the “Conference Proceedings” page  on CanLII. Materials will come up in search results too, under the “Commentary” tab. 

As for the materials from previous years and the materials that did not get posted to CanLII, you can always request those from us. On each of the conference pages on the CCLA website, you can find a Table of Contents for each conference. Call, email, or visit us and we’ll set you up with those materials. 

Thank you to CanLII for giving our conference papers collection a new home! 

International Materials Round-Up

It’s been a minute since we covered the wide range of international materials we have here in the library, so let’s do a round-up!

International materials are often fairly expensive to subscribe to. A firm that doesn’t do a lot of work requiring materials from outside Canada will likely not subscribe to any international services. Fortunately, the CCLA has your back! If you need non-Canadian case law, we’re definitely here to help and provide a very cost-effective solution to your research needs.

Note the following:

  • Most of these resources only contain case law and legislation. We don’t have many secondary sources available. International treatises are very expensive to acquire, so if you need something from a text, get in touch and we’ll find another library who does have a copy of the item and can make a scan or lend.
  • Any of the paid resources below are for use in-library only. Unfortunately, legal publishers aren’t keen to provide off-site access to their databases. The exception to this is …
  • For HeinOnline: This resource has some very old English case law in it, a fantastic collection of Canadian legislation, and a lot of legal journals. The Law Society is able to provide remote access to this database for all licensees in Ontario. To get your own password, please contact the Law Society’s library.

United Kingdom

By far, the UK is the most sought-after foreign jurisdiction. We have UK case law available in several services, as well as some old print materials still on the shelf.

  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw
  • JustisOne
  • ICLR.3
  • Hein Online
  • BAILII – Use from Home or Office!

Australia & New Zealand 

Australia and New Zealand have been coming up more and more frequently. Fortunately, we have you covered!

  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw
  • JustisOne
  • AustLII – Use from Home or Office!

United States of America

American case law and legislation can be a bit tricky to figure out, but we’re covered for that, too.

  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw
  • LII – Use from Home or Office!
  • Google Scholar – Use from Home or Office!

Other Free Resources

  • Free Access to the Law member websites – Here is a list of sites that are basically like CanLII, but from other countries. Be warned: CanLII is easily the best of the bunch, so temper your expectations for other countries.
  • GlobaLex – Great guides to the law from a huge number of countries.

Finally, if none of these services have what you need, don’t fear! We work with other libraries who have different subscriptions, and we’re always happy to ask around if you need something.

Spicy Hot News from CanLII!

Last week, CanLII delivered some great news from their development team. I’ll let you tell them about it themselves at this blog post, but the two major new features are:

1. Decision highlights and paragraph-level note-ups: Check out how a specific paragraph of a decision has been cited in subsequent cases.

2. Decision intensity indicators: A little blue jalapeno icon will now show you, from your search results list when do you do a note-up, how extensively a case has been discussed. Here’s a look at our spicy little friend: undefined

And in action:


Again, check out CanLII’s blog post for full information on how these features work, and more importantly, get in there on CanLII and try them out for yourself!

Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario, January 1999 – October 2019 Update

The most recent update to our Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario is now available! You can download a copy of the 2019 update here, or find it on the Civil Litigation Practice Portal of the CCLA website.

As always, we would like to thank The Honourable James Chadwick for his leadership on this project, as well as the law students and lawyers who make this update possible every year. This year’s update was completed with the efforts of Parisa Khazra and Alex Di Giovanni of the University of Ottawa Common Law program. Thank you very much, and a job well done!

CCLA Conference Papers Database: On Hiatus

Following our post from earlier this week about the CCLA Library Catalogue, we’d also like to note that our Conference Papers Database is currently unavailable.

If you would like to receive a copy of a CCLA conference paper, please feel free to email us in the library.

If you would like to review the contents of past conference binders, a PDF and Word document version of the contents for each conference from 2010 to the present are available directly from the conference page on our website.

We will be sure to update everyone when the papers are available online again.

Ontario Employment Standards Act Policy and Interpretation Manual – Now Online!

Here is a terrific resource for any of you practicing employment law in Ontario: The Employment Standards Act Policy and Interpretation Manual is now available for free, online, from anywhere you can get internet access. This is straight from the Ministry of Labour’s Employment Standards Program, so it’s good stuff.

You can find the HTML version of the guide here:

As you can see, the latest update was just a few days ago. Typically, the manual is updated a couple of times per year. We hope this helps in your research work, and also in your budget for collecting quality legal research materials for your office.

CCLA Articling & LPP Students Breakfast & Legal Research Primer

On August 22, the CCLA welcomes 2019-2020 articling and LPP students to our breakfast and legal research primer!

Following a light breakfast, students will take a crash course in the legal research they’ll be given over the next year, and how to get the work done. They will also have a chance to tour the CCLA library and learn about all of the resources we have available for to use at absolutely no cost.

This event is free with payment of the CCLA articling student membership registration. For $25 + HST, CCLA Articling Student Membership entitles students to 24/7 access to the CCLA Library, an Ottawa Courthouse Security Card (to bypass security in our courthouse), and other CCLA membership perks.

Registration is capped at 60 students, so make sure to register early!  A waiting list will be established once we hit capacity.

To register (or to register on behalf of your students), please follow this link! If you are already a CCLA student member, please sign in to the site before proceeding and the registration will be free.

CanLII Spring 2019 Updates

Keen observers and users of CanLII may have noticed that things look a little different lately. Last month, the CanLII team wrote about new design changes that were made on the website to help with clarity and consistency. Check out their blog post (linked above) for all the details.

For my money, I think the biggest change that you may want to familiarize yourself with is where to find additional information on decision and legislation pages. You can see on the example below, for a judicial decision, that links (or tabs) to the case history, decisions cited, subsequent case citations, and links to material on CanLII Connects are now available just below the name of the case (or legislation). Previously, these links were tucked in a bit further below.




Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario, January 1999 – October 2018 Update

The CCLA Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario has been updated to October 2018! 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 future reference, you can find this publication on the CCLA website under our “Civil Litigation” practice portal.