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LBST 330: Legal Research

LBST 330: Legal Research

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LBST 330: Legal Research

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  1. LBST 330: Legal Research Yolanda Koscielski, Librarian for Criminology and Psychology ysk6@sfu.ca

  2. objectives • Provide an introduction to legal research to fulfill course needs: • Understand case citations • Use the legal databases CANLII and Quicklawto find case law and statutes • Locate decisions and statutes in databases • Use the Canadian Abridgment Digest (CAD) to locate decisions on a legal topic

  3. 1. Understanding Case Citations • Case name=plaintiff & defendant, petitioner & respondent, etc. • This report can be found in the 69th volume of the Dominion Law Reports on page 433. • The "2nd" tells you that the DLR has been published in multiple series; the second series was 1956-68 • SCBC indicates this was a Supreme Court of British Columbia decision

  4. Understanding Case Citations Examples: • LeBrun v High-Low Foods Ltd. (1968), 69 D.L.R. (2nd) 433 (S.C.B.C.) • R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103, 26 D.L.R. (4th) 200, 65 N.R. 87(S.C.C.) • Hopp v Lepp, [1980] 2 SCR 192, 112 DLR (3d) 67 • Silva v. Silva, 2014 BCSC 29 • Neutral citation = cite a case without relying on court reporters; provides a persistent and unique identifier for a case • EXERCISE

  5. Understanding Case Citations Wells v. Newfoundland (1997), 156 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 271, 483 A.P.R. 271, 5 Admin. L.R. (3d) 113, (N.L.C.A.) The same citation in 2 electronic databases: • 1997 CarswellNfld 199 (LawSource/Carswell) • 1997 CanLII 14705 (NLCA) (CANLII) • Citing and Writing Tab of Legal Information Guide; tutorial

  6. Wells v. Newfoundland (1997), 156Nfld. & P.E.I.R.271, 483 A.P.R. 271, 5 Admin. L.R. (3d) 113, (N.L.C.A.) • Case name (Appellant + Respondents) • Year of Decision • Volume number of law report • Law reporter name (Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island Reporter) • Page number in that law report volume • Other law reporters (aka parallel citations) • Series number of law report, as applicable • Court the case was heard in

  7. CANLII • “CanLIIis a non-profit organization managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. CanLII's goal is to make Canadian law accessible for free on the Internet. This website provides access to court judgments, tribunal decisions, statutesand regulations from all Canadian jurisdictions”. • Free & easy to use • Continually improving & expanding

  8. CANLII • Use Scope of Databases link to search within decisions from: • Canadian Human Rights Tribunal 1979 – • BC Human Rights Tribunal 2008 – • BC Labour Relations Board 2004 – • BC Labour Arbitrations Awards 2010 – • Links to associated legislation included • Date range limited; may need to use other sources for older cases • DEMO x 2

  9. Note Up a Case • Means you are researching a case to see if… • it has been cited in subsequent cases • the decision has proceeded to a higher court • Process ensures you have found the most recent (i.e., legally relevant) version of a case • DEMO - 126 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 295

  10. Key Concept: Secondary Legal Literature • Searching primary sources directly for case law by keyword is usually not recommended • Keyword = 1000s of unrelated hits • Exception: very unique terminology • Start with secondary legal sources and/or specialized legal research tools, such as: • Canadian Abridgment Digest

  11. Key Concept: Secondary Legal Literature • Primary Legal Literature: case law + decisions • Secondary Legal Literature: articles from academic legal journals, case commentary, newsletters and digests by legal experts, textbooks • Uses of secondary lit: • Current awareness of legal issues (e.g., weekly digests) • Efficient way to locate case law by topic • Provide understanding of legal issues and case law in context

  12. CASE LAW BY TOPIC • Canadian Abridgment Digest (CAD) • Quicklaw’s legal journals

  13. Canadian Abridgment Digest • Available in LawSource database • “Digestsof Canadian case law that are organized by legal issue according to a single taxonomy” • Scope: over 1,000,000 cases • 1803  all reported cases • 1986  all unreported and reported cases (Quebec) • Updated daily • A case may be “digested” in more than one subject category • DEMO

  14. QuICKLAW • Case Law • Academic Legal Journals (a secondary source or finding cases) • EXERCISES

  15. Questions? • Yolanda Koscielski, Liaison Librarian for Criminology & Psychology at Burnaby ysk6@sfu.ca • Rebecca Dowson, Liaison Librarian for History & English & Labour Studies, rda26@sfu.ca General queries: • Research Help Desk • AskAway • TextUs