Tag: legal research
I was reminded today by this insightful article by Bryan A. Garner, titled “10 Tips for Better Legal Writing”, that secondary sources are an important component of legal research.
In addition to the 5th edition of Probate Practice, Ian M. Hull and Suzana Popovic-Montag are also co-authors of the 4th edition of Feeney’s Canadian Law of Wills, along with James MacKenzie. Both of which were recently released.
The 4th edition of Feeney’s provides a straightforward commentary on the existing probate and estate administration regimes, in addition to in depth commentary on the applicable case law. The 4th edition of Feeney’s is a resource that draws from statute and case law across all provinces of this country as well as the Commonwealth and the U.S.
As an example, the 4th edition of Feeney’s was recently cited in Vanier v. Vanier, 2016 ONSC 4620, for the following summary of the law on undue influence (at paragraph 10),
“In general, to establish undue influence, the burden of proof rests with the party alleging it. The extent of the influence must amount to coercion; simple influence is not enough. The testator’s free will must be overborne. Put another way, it is not improper for any potential beneficiary to attempt to influence the decision of the testator provided the pleading does not amount to coercion and the latter continues to act as a free agent. “Some begging is permissible.” See Feeney’s Canadian Law of Wills, 4th at 3.10 to 3.14; Hall v. Hall (1868), L.R. 1 P. & D. 481.”
All 18 chapters of this loose-leaf are available for purchase here at the LexisNexis Online Store.
Thanks for reading.
In the hallowed halls of law school, contrary to what some “lay” people might expect, students are not taught “what” to think but rather “how” to think. The law is a living thing and so for lawyers to truly add value they must be able to find and apply the law to their client’s particular circumstances and legal problem.
While being a specialist greatly assists the ability to know answers to the questions that pop up regularly in one’s area of expertise, we frequently find that there is a slight wrinkle in the facts that requires some research.
The commercial services (LexisNexis and West) and the free CanLII are well used for case law, but there is no better place to start research than with secondary resources such as textbooks and journal articles. Here are some online sources that that you might find useful:
- Irwin Law – an online dictionary of terms from Irwin Law’s “Essentials Series” of textbooks; and
- HeinOnline – an extensive digital collection of Canadian, US and International law journals as well as English Law Reports. Free to members of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
For online guides to legal research in general, see:
- Catherine Best’s “Best Guide to Canadian Legal Research”, which provides effective strategies and techniques for finding and using secondary sources, case law, statutes and regulations, and legal research in other countries. You can also find tips on legal writing, comparisons of online case law services and suggestions for effective electronic searching; and
- Ted Tjaden’s Legal Research and Writing, which is a companion site to the third edition of his book of the same name.
Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.
I recently came across Osgoode Hall Law School’s blog site about the Supreme Court of Canada, The Court. Under the supervision of faculty, law student editors write on the upcoming decisions that are scheduled to be heard or have been recently decided by the Supreme Court of Canada.
There are a number of legal scholars who regularly comment on the decisions and readers are encouraged to post their own comments. The “exchange of ideas” format is designed to appeal to both legal practitioners and other interested citizens and makes for interesting reading. The archives go back to November 2006 and decisions are searchable by subject.
Aside from the commentary, there are a number of online resources related to the Supreme Court, including online texts and a statistical database of recent Supreme Court decisions. There is also a link to Top Court Talk where correspondents from around the world discuss the decisions of their highest court.
It is an interesting way to keep informed with what is going on with the Supreme Court.
Enjoy your day,