Module 6: Forum Discussions & Assessment


Rule 11 Sanctions:

As you do legal research over the years, you need to be sure the understand the iterative process of legal research and understand the “ins and outs” of all legal or non-legal resources you use – know and understand the content AND know and understand how to access the content and to use the tools that the publisher provides. Remember, that Lexis and Westlaw are platforms that contain thousands of resources, including the all of the University of Miami law reviews, the Florida statutes, treatises by former and current University of Miami faculty members, etc. How you approach these platforms is important.
For example, If you are looking for Florida statutes, remember to “filter” to Florida statutes, before you begin your search.

You need to really look at every screen or print page and understand what features it provides. And, when you see a feature, consider how you will use it. Also, features will be continually changing and you need to need to understand the changes and use them to your advantage. So many times when I am using Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law, Fastcase, etc., I see a feature that I did not notice or I use a feature that I knew was there but used it a different way!

And, as a heads up, the look and feel of Lexis Advance will be changing the first week of August. So take advantage of the change and take a good relook at Lexis Advance.

And, and, researching need not be a completely solo event. Talk to colleagues, librarians, , etc. about your research and you will, in all probability, get some good tips and insight from those conversations.

Point of Views:

Yes, algorithms are all around us. Our responsibility is to understand how they work so that our searches work with the algorithms. You will need to know how to use the resources that you are provided. You may have access to Westlaw only. Or Lexis only. Or Fastcase only. Or Online Sunshine only. You need to be sure that whichever resource you use, you understand how to use it in the best manner possible and understand how to search efficiently and effectively. It will take some work in the beginning but it will be time well spent. Again, talk to others (see above), including the resources that your resource provides. For example, talk to the Reference Attorneys at Westlaw.

Current Awareness:

The posts are fascinating. As you think where you “go” for news and where “others” go for news, remember when you are working and using your law degree, that you will need to understand what sources your clients. colleagues and supervisors, friends of all ages, etc. use for general and business news. If a major client reads Aviation Weekly, then you may want to take a look and understand what it offers. You may also want to check to see if it available online from a Library. Or find a good blog on aviation. Be creative!


Remember that KeyCite and Shepard’s are not just useful for finding out information on the validity of a case!
Also, don’t assume that all citators work alike. There are differences. Be sure that you understand the differences.  Talk to others, including the Reference Librarians.

Westlaw Edge just introduced a new KeyCite feature – Overruling Risk. Be sure you understand this feature works and also, always, always, read all cases involved.
Here is a Westlaw Edge recording

Headnotes are useful for the following reasons:
1) they are useful to find cases dealing with the same issue.
2) they are useful because when you click on them you are taken to the place in the case where the matter in the Headnote is discussed
3) they allow you to easily find out how other jurisdictions have dealt with the matter in the Headnote.

Do take the opportunity when you are working on your Research Guide to use Headnotes.  Then you will have the knowledge to use them efficiently and effectively in practice.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

Bye for now.