At the core of the legal field is research. Why is it important to update and validate research? How do you update legal research to determine whether a statute or case you have found is still “good law”?
Chapter 7 also explores in detail a wide variety of links, websites, and online resources beyond Westlaw and LexisNexis that are potentially useful in legal research. Explore and select at least three of these links, and discuss the quality and usefulness of what you find there.
When you respond to other student’s posts, access their recommended websites. Locate a source from a website you recommended and find it in one of your classmates’ recommended websites. Compare the ease or difficulty of finding the same source in different sites.
Loislaw databases include federal and state case, statutory, constitutional, and administrative law, as well as other authority. The secondary authority databases include treatises, practical tools, and forms from Wolters Kluwer companies, Aspen Publishers, CCH, state bar partners, and other sources. The databases cover a wide variety of practice areas. A list of Loislaw services and prices is available on its Web site: http://www.loislaw.com. Searches are conducted in a terms and connectors format similar to the one used in both Westlaw and LexisNexis. Loislaw also has a validation tool, called GlobalCite, and an alert tool, called LawWatch. GlobalCite is not as comprehensive as either Westlaw’s KeyCite or Lexis’s Shepard’s, so researchers should be sure to validate using one of the more comprehensive citators.
VersusLaw provides access to the United States Code; state statutes; full-text appellate decisions from 50 states, the United States Supreme Court (since 1900), 13 federal circuits from 1930, federal district courts, and specialty practice collections. Searches are conducted using a terms and connectors format. A list of VersusLaw services and prices is available on its Web site: http://versuslaw.com.
Fastcase primarily allows access to federal and state cases and statutes. Many state bar associations provide access to Fastcase for their members. Fastcase has Authority Check as a validation tool. Authority Check, like VersusLaw’s GlobalCite, is more limited than Shepards or KeyCite, but it does provide a list of other cases citing your case.
Casemaker is similar to Fastcase in that numerous state bar associations provide access to it for their members. Casemaker allows access to state and federal primary sources as well as legal forms. Casemaker is expanding to include secondary sources as well.