I’ve seen posts here and there, but what’s everyone’s favorite/best research tip?

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likefunnyhelpful

They are helpful, sometimes you really need to focus their terms though

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To answer my own question, I would say it’s finding a case in your favor then searching pacer for the briefs, usually helpful in finding other cases

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I also search pacer for briefs for the cases that are in my favor 🤫🤫🤫

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Google -> broad WL search -> find good case -> see what it cites and also what cites it -> look for briefing

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Go transactional

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Go in-house

The live chat option- Lexis and Westlaw both have it... not sure why no one knows about it. They are so great at formulating searches and it's free!

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Yep, they’re helpful with at least getting the Boolean coding. Can be hit or miss in terms of substance

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Google scholar case law. Your welcome.

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Search the issue broadly and then narrow by your specific judge to see if/how they’ve weighed in on the issue.

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Include search terms that are the opposite of what you’re looking for — subjective vs objective, significant vs insignificant, etc. And use a thesaurus!

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I get google and multiple westlaw tabs going at same tab so I’m going down different roads at the same time. Jury instruction comments and annotations can be very helpful starting points

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Westlaw

I went from being a not so great associate to being a much better one when I learned about pulling the briefs for the cases in your favor and using them as your starting point. It really helps me understand how to map out a given brief, which I often find to be the hardest part. Plus, reading good, “winning” writing, helps you become a better writer. I went to an Ivy League law school and took multiple “practical skills” focused litigation courses to help prepare me for practice, and literally not one had this tip. I highly recommend it.

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Probably not the answer your looking for but I typically pull the case and then ask my library department to pull the briefs filed in support/opposition to the original motion. I’m sure they are using pacer or going through the state’s docket website. If you’re not overly concerned with using Westlaw/lexis, at the top of an opinion there is a button sometimes for “supporting documents/briefs” (I don’t remember the exact name). It’s usually to next to the buttons for “citing decisions” to Shepardize the case and “procedural history.” And yeah, sometimes the briefs filed in support and opposition are there. (Not the case for all opinions though.)

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Ask a junior

likefunny

Make sure you’re effectively using Boolean search and also using “field” searching — like TI(blah blah) to search the title fields of the cases.

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