Covering Legal Issues

AuthorMark Bourrie
chapter four
Covering Legal Issues
ere are two very dierent ways to do legal research in Canada. One
is expensive and easy; the other is much less expensive but a bit more
e easiest way to do legal research is to have an account with one
of the big online database companies. Westlaw (owned by the Canadian
company omson Reuters) and LexisNexis are the two largest. Not
only are these databases up to date with caselaw, they also have expert
commentary. eir customer support sta can train you to use these
databases eectively and help when you run into snags. However, it’s
very unlikely that your media organization will pay for a subscription
to one of these services.
You may be able to get access to these databases at a county law asso-
ciation library or a municipal library, but that will depend on where you
work. If you are a reporter on the justice beat, it’s imperative that you
befriend a law librarian. Legal research is extremely complicated, since
it requires a knowledge of legal concepts, current issues, and an under-
standing of the places where data is stashed. Even if your publication is
1 I am very grateful to Brenda Lauritzen, librarian with the County of Carleton Law
Association, for her generous help with this section. Researchers should under-
stand that librarians are their best friends and allies, and she has made my life
much easier.

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