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Legal Research

CANADIAN SITES
The Canadian Legal Research & Writing Guide
Bora Laskin Law Library Alphabetical Listing of Electronic Journals
Canadian National Class Action Database
Courthouse Libraries BC Tutorials
eLegal Canton
Lancaster House Labour Law Online
Law Society of Upper Canada - Great Library page
Megadox
PracticePro Limitations Online Companion
SLAW
Statistics_Canada

AMERICAN SITES
FindLaw
Findlaw Academic Law Reviews and Journals
Law Engine
Citation Machine

INTERNATIONAL SITES
Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations



CANADIAN SITES

The Canadian Legal Research & Writing Guide
Formerly known as Best's Guide to Legal Research, this site is divided into four parts: Research Essentials, Electronic Research, Statutory Research and Other Jurisdictions. Each of these sections is logically broken down into various sub-headings, each of which can be clicked on for a step by step explanation of the topic. Statutory Research is divided into provinces and some have guides on how to do legislative research in that jurisdiction. As far as manual research goes, the Research Essentials section offers effective strategies for Canadian legal research, including finding and using secondary sources, finding and analyzing cases and updating your research. This site is a great place to go to learn as much or as little as you want - you can easily look up a specific research question, or browse for more wide-ranging information. http://LegalResearch.org


Bora Laskin Law Library Alphabetical Listing of Electronic Journals
The popular Bora Laskin Law Library Alphabetical Listing of Electronic Journals has been converted into an easily searchable database of full text law journals available on Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw, WestlaweCarswell, Quicklaw, University of Toronto Electronic Resources or the Internet. As stated on the home page, the list includes direct links to full-text law journals. Wherever possible holdings information (e.g., from 1992) has been included. Some databases include only selected coverage. Although Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw and Quicklaw are pay-per-use services, these services are available either free or for a small fee here at the MLA Library. Items marked (Full text through U of T Library Resources) are available only to the University of Toronto Community.
http://www.law-lib.utoronto.ca/journals/search.asp

Canadian National Class Action Database
The Canadian Bar Association has produced this National Class Action Database, a repository for information and documents about class actions across Canada.  It is intended that the public, counsel, and courts need only look to one source, at no cost, for this information.  The National Class Action Database is a voluntary initiative and as such does not claim to provide a comprehensive listing of all class action lawsuits currently underway in Canada. It includes brief descriptors of the class action proceedings, namely, the filing date, style of cause, description of the class, subject-matter of the action, and status of the case.  A search engine allows users to identify quickly the existence of class action proceedings with overlapping class members or subject matter. Users can also browse class action proceedings, obtain useful information and download relevant documents.  All class actions are listed annually in chronological order beginning with the most recent and the list goes back to 1996.  The jurisdiction where each proceeding is filed will be indicated on the list. http://www.cba.org/ClassActions/main/gate/index/

Courthouse Libraries BC Tutorials
Courthouse Libraries BC has a collection of excellent legal research video tutorials available for viewing on their website. While some segments pertain specifically to the BC Court system, others are of general interest. Especially helpful is the segment called Researching Legislation, Part 1, Tracing Legislation back. This eight minute segment uses both online and print sources to clearly explain how to research the origins and history of a federal statute section.  Other segments include researching legislative intent and finding precedents. These are nice refreshers for experienced researchers, and a good introduction for new ones. http://www.courthouselibrary.ca/

eLegal Canton
David Canton’s blog is a well-considered survey of current issues relating to online law and information. You can click on the tags to jump to blog results in your area of interest or use the search function available within the blog site.  It can be accessed at http://www.canton.elegal.ca.  

Lancaster House Labour Law Online
Located in Toronto, this company has been publishing books, loose-leafs and newsletters on labour and employment law for over 30 years. Now on-line, their web site provides a great deal of free information for anyone involved in this area of practice, especially with regard to disciplinary issues. Look for recent Supreme Court cases, a directory of arbitrators, arbitration decisions and current news updates. Also available is a paid e-mail subscription and e-mail alert service to their traditional newsletters. http://www.lancasterhouse.com

Law Society of Upper Canada - Great Library page
This is a good site for legal research including access to the online catalogue and a wealth of legal research guides. You can also access "Legal Periodicals Online", which gives a list of what’s available for free online, complete with links. Also available at all times on the home screen are the the pre and post-judgment interest rates and you can click the link to access historical rates. You can also use the Great Library's e-Reference service. http://www.lsuc.on.ca/greatlibrary.aspx

Megadox
We don’t usually highlight commercial websites, but this one comes recommended by one of our members as an efficient and reliable Canadian source of forms and precedents from Canada, the USA, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.  Simply click on Canada and be linked into a page listing the forms available by topic. Some forms are free while others range from $4.99 to $24.99. http://www.megadox.com/

PracticePro Limitations Online Companion
For those of you who are fans of the LexisNexis limitations manuals, LPIC offers a helpful online companion.  The site provides a good review of the legislation, including an article by Graeme Mew, as well as a printer friendly version Transition Rules Chart.  There is also a chart of Notice Periods for Commonly Encountered Actions in Ontario. www.practicePRO.ca/practice/limitation.asp

SLAW
Up and running since July 2005, Slaw describes itself as “a co-operative weblog about Canadian legal research and the impact of technology on it.” The targeted audience includes “practicing lawyers, legal librarians, legal academics and students — anyone, in short, who uses IT in researching the law. The aim is to share information, offer advice and instruction, and occasionally provoke.”  Feedback and participation from readers in the form of comments or guest postings is strongly encouraged. It is a great legal current awareness tool.  http://www.slaw.ca/

Statistics Canada
For those of you who prefer your useful websites without humour or commentary, Statistics Canada is pleased to announce a redesign of one of its key web-based modules, Canadian Statistics.  Canadian Statistics provides a selection of free statistical information on a wide variety of topics, from agriculture to wholesale trade. A search engine offers access to the data, which may be browsed by subject, by province or metropolitan area. New features include a more robust search engine, alphabetical and new table lists, print-friendly versions, adjustable font sizes, and related data recommendations. Especially helpful is the list of subject headings, which ranges from agriculture to travel and tourism, with government, justice and labour along the way. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/

AMERICAN SITES

FindLaw
This is a US-based web directory of Internet legal information for lawyers, students, businesses and the public. It provides summaries of various areas of law, and access by subject index, law schools, consultants, law firms, etc. Also a good source of US case law and legislation for those without subscriptions to the more structured on-line legal services like Westlaw or Lexis. On a humorous note, take a moment to access the site's Legally Weird page. www.findlaw.com

Findlaw for students: Academic Law Reviews and Journals
This site lists and provides links to the homepages of a wide range of law journals, with particular emphasis on the United States.  While the site is searchable, there is also a helpful list of journals by subject.  Each individual title has a hyperlink to the web page for the journal, whether or not the full text is available on-line. 
http://stu.findlaw.com/journals/

Law Engine
Another US web directory for law on the Internet, claiming to provide "the best on-line law sources in an easy, single-page format!" Provides searching and links to a variety of information, including US case law and legislation, and a very useful source of the ever-popular Delaware State Code. The Law Engine is a good alternate source of American material where in offices and libraries where print versions are not available. http://www.thelawengine.com/

Citation Machine
This web tool was created by U.S. educator David Warlick and is part of the Landmarks for Schools web site for teachers. Since 1995, Mr. Warlick has been the owner and principal consultant of The Landmark Project, a professional development and web design firm in Raleigh North Carolina.  This wonderful resource allows you to translate any type of raw bibliographic data into an authoritative APA or MLA style citation with one click of the mouse.  http://citationmachine.net/index2.php

INTERNATIONAL SITES

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations 
As described on its first page, this web-based service allows you to search for the meaning of abbreviations for English language legal publications, from the British Isles, the Commonwealth and the United States, including those covering international and comparative law. A selection of major foreign language law publications is also included. The database mainly covers law reports and law periodicals, but some legislative publications and major textbooks are also included.  The coverage includes Canadian materials as well.   If you have a legal abbreviation you can find out what it stands for, or you can learn how to abbreviate the name of a law publication to create a recognized legal citation.  This handy index can be searched either from abbreviation to title or from title to abbreviation, and can also be searched using only a part of an abbreviation. http://www.legalabbrevs.cardiff.ac.uk