Today’s Tip is an expansion on my post to Slaw.ca yesterday. In Tip language, my post would have said “do not panic if a commercial legal research site is down, there are other ways to find decisions.”
Anyone who has ever talked to me about case law research has (been forced to) listen while I wax poetic (or pedantic) about my true belief that the best and fastest way to retrieve the most usable copy of a judicial decision is by using an electronic research source. We are blessed in Canada to have many roads to Rome with commercial and public electronic legal research sources.
What do you do when the whole internet is down and you need ‘the leading case’?
Remember the basics! Find some commentary in a textbook or the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest or Halsbury’s Laws of Canada – your local courthouse or university library likely has the print. Look at the footnotes to see case references. Use the print noting up tools – the Canadian Case Citations – again you may have to visit or phone your courthouse library for assistance from a print copy.
The internet going down is not unheard of: In March 2010 an earthquake damaged undersea internet cables, cables were cut in December 21, 2008 which affected 75 million people. Recent history tells us that political activities can affect the web. Though you won’t be able to read this post if the web is down, perhaps you will remember not to panic.