It is required for Advanced Paralegal Topic:
Importance of Legal Research Legal research is an essential lawyering skill The ability to conduct legal research is essential for lawyers, regardless of area or type of practice. The most basic step in legal research is to find the leading case governing the issues in question.
As most researchers know, this is far more difficult than it sounds. Often the issues are not correctly identified, or some issues are missed altogether. Issue identification is crucial for effective research. The law is constantly changing. Recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada clearly show the fluidity of legal doctrine.
Even where there is a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, split decisions of the court make it difficult to determine how the next case will be decided.
In many areas there are conflicting decisions, or no binding authority.
Finding the law is an important part of legal research, but the ability to analyze what you have found and reach a conclusion or formulate an argument based on it is just as essential. Little, Brown and Company, at pages As a beginning researcher, one of the bigger mistakes you can make is to envision legal research as a bibliographic checklist of sources to consult.
You also need to formulate research strategies that tell which source, of several sources, you should consult. And your strategy should incorporate flexibility.
Successful researchers continually re-evaluate their research methodology and consider alternative research approaches as they find that various sources or research approaches are helpful or fruitless.
Even more important, you also need to learn how to advance your analysis of a law-related problem by means of your research. Even the most diligent researcher, armed with the latest technology, will not arrive at a successful result if he or she approaches legal research as a mechanical process devoid of analysis.
Thus, legal research is really just a portion of legal problem-solving. Standard of legal research required Our courts have set the standards they expect of counsel appearing before them.
It means cases which decide the same point of law. You may think you can justify not referring to a binding decision because it is distinguishable on its facts. However, such a determination is for the court to make: Counsel cannot discharge his duty by not bothering to determine whether there is a relevant authority.
Ignorance is no excuse. Given the ready availability of recent unreported cases on both commercial and free Internet sites, counsel has an obligation to her client to review this body of law. Even if you are not familiar with the most recent unreported cases, the judge or counsel on the other side probably will be.
Failure to have conducted proper research can have devastating consequences. The amount of the taxed bill of costs was significant. After deciding the point of law, Mr.
Justice Ferguson commented extensively on the failure of counsel to conduct adequate research, noting the professional obligation of counsel: He ordered both counsel to deliver a copy of his reasons to their clients. Rafuse 2 S.
A litigator who has not conducted sufficient research thus faces the possibility of being sued by his client, and also of censure by the court through an award of costs.
For a solicitor, failure to understand the law or conduct the research necessary to gain an understanding of it, will result in personal liability to the client.
Complexity of modern legal research Although we have more tools for conducting legal research than our predecessors, the research task has become harder rather than easier. There are more bases to cover. Computer research has introduced the need to be completely current, and to develop new skill sets.
There has been a dramatic increase in the volume of case law and statutory material.About the competence statement. On 11 March , the SRA Board approved the publication of a competence statement for solicitors. Made up of three parts (a statement of solicitor competence, the threshold standard and a statement of legal knowledge), the competence statement defines the continuing competences that we require from all solicitors..
The competence statement is an integral . The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide Menu.
Research Essentials; Electronic Research; Statutory Research; will not arrive at a successful result if he or she approaches legal research as a mechanical process devoid of analysis. Thus, legal research is really just a portion of legal problem-solving.
Standard of legal research . Office Memo Format and Explanation. will be discussed. For a useful discussion of an introductory section, please see pp. in Linda H. Edwards, Legal Writing and Analysis other cases to your case Counterargument = C Discuss and resolve any counterarguments in favor of your principal line of analysis Conclusion = C Answer.
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