How Westlaw Edge Canada can help improve your process
New technology can mean big changes, even to established firms and organizations. While change is often presented as a disruption, it can also be an opportunity to reconsider the tools you use and how you use them. With that in mind, here are some important ways Westlaw Edge Canada can help improve your legal research process.
Reconsider how long legal research takes
Understanding the law as it relates to your case takes time, and as a busy lawyer, that is a luxury in short supply. Let's face it: finding decisions that provide meaningful judicial interpretation of your case is a necessary part of the job. Still, it can be a tedious and painful process sifting through hundreds of cited cases to find those golden nuggets.
Judicial Consideration for Statutes
The Judicial Consideration for Statutes feature solves this problem by identifying those cases for you, resulting in time saved. It provides an editorially curated list of headnotes from cases that meaningfully interpret the statute you're researching, thus providing a quality understanding of how courts have treated similar cases.
Reconsider your definition of confidence
Knowing that you're relying on good law is critically important for your reputation as a lawyer and the outcome of each client's case.
Even though traditional citators will warn you when a case has been explicitly invalidated, you'll still need to note up decisions thoroughly to catch one that has been indirectly invalidated. Despite your diligence, there is still the danger of missing those cases that call a law into question.
KeyCite Overruling Risk
This feature flags decisions that might have been implicitly undermined as opposed to explicitly invalidated by a subsequent ruling. Instead of reading through a long list of authorities to find that a decision relies on an overruled point of law, you will be alerted to this information upfront. In addition to saving time, it provides you with an extra layer of confidence that you're citing good law.
Reconsider what "results" mean
Sometimes, legal research is really just looking for answers. Perhaps you're on the phone with a client who needs quick and accurate legal advice, or you just need to confirm an answer to a straightforward legal question. You could do a Google search, but the results are too broad and aren't always reliable. You don't have time to review and validate the results in a crunch, especially in an unfamiliar area of law.
Save time using Common Queries, the feature that provides a curated list of accurate and concise answers extracted from cases, significantly reducing the time needed to research case law.
Reconsider how you search
Do you often feel paralyzed by where to start your search in an unfamiliar area of law? You're not alone. Many experienced legal researchers struggle with where to begin. Once you enter a term, robust results from general searches can make it challenging to isolate discrete issues quickly and effectively. Despite your careful scanning of results, the chance of overlooking relevant resources is an ever-present issue. But Westlaw Edge Canada has tools that will mitigate that danger.
Legal Topic Suggestions
This feature increases your research efficiency and quality by guiding you to a set of relevant cases and commentary while giving you confidence that you are considering all appropriate resources. For example, let's say you want to search on insurance but aren't sure how to narrow down the results for your specific insurance-related legal issue. Once you start typing, you'll see legal topics that contain the word “insurance.” From there, you can scan the topic suggestions and choose the most applicable to your case. It will then uncover issue-specific resources, getting you up to speed quickly and thoroughly.
Missing and Must-include Terms
This helpful search feature ensures that your search terms in a specific document are highlighted in the results list, and a link to re-run the search with the required missing terms is provided for more precise results.
Reconsider your workflow
Despite the advancement in technology, there are specific tasks that the legal community still performs manually, such as side barring. It's inefficient and time-consuming but required by some courts. Until now, it was done on a simple PDF editor, causing a bottleneck in your workflow. Enter Sidebar.
We created the Sidebar feature specifically for Canadian lawyers. You can sidebar decisions without leaving Westlaw Edge Canada. It's as easy as finding a case, selecting the desired text, and choosing the sidebar option. This feature will reduce time spent on tedious tasks so you can focus on more strategic work, delivering better results for your clients.
Westlaw Edge Canada has added other new technological enhancements since its launch in 2021, including the following.
Graphical View of History
This feature lets you see detailed visualizations of your previous research, allowing you to efficiently retrace your steps and pick up exactly where you left off in your last session.
Keep List/Hide Details
With this feature, you can curate a group of pertinent cases — all stored in your Keep List — ensuring easy access each time you log in to Westlaw Edge Canada. Easily save relevant cases for later review and hide others irrelevant to your research matter.
Reconsider how you navigate through content
It can be time consuming to scroll to relevant portions of a decision only to get lost in the sea of text. The Table of Contents for cases will help by allowing you to easily jump to relevant sections of long decisions. Additionally, you will be able to scan all headings for a quick overview of the structure and content of the decision.
Finally, Select Term Highlighting will allow you to choose up to five additional highlighting colors to draw attention to specific language within your search result list, making it easier to identify the most relevant result for your issue. It will also help you navigate to portions of the document text with your selected terms.
The way you research is our priority. Learn more about Westlaw Edge Canada.
Thomson Reuters originally published this article on September 7th, 2021.