A frequent question in legal research is “what do judges say about [insert phrase here]”
Fortunately there are many excellent sources for answering this question, both with print tools and their electronic equivalents.
Some examples noted by Slaw include these posts:
- Words and Phrases Compared by Gary Rodrigues, November 3, 2008
- Are Words and Prhases Judicial Definition Sources Still Required by Shaunna Mireau, September 17, 2009
And for a great example of judicial definition in a case quote see:
- Barratry, Champetry, Maintenance, Oh My! by Simon Fodden, September 20, 2011
Today’s tip: If you are searching (electronically) for the distinction between two phrases and they contain the same word, search only for the common word.
Like all searching, the less you put “in” for search criteria, the more results you will get “out”.
Conveniently, this process could also result in lower client disbursement fees in most environments. The most common metered legal research tools calculate suggested disbursement prices based on activity (each search generates a fee) and narrowing your search by filtering the initial results is often at no additional suggested charge. Costs are theoretical ‘suggested retail prices’ of course since access is based on a contract.