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Author Topic: how does westlaw work?  (Read 5056 times)

Highway

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Re: how does westlaw work?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2006, 12:55:33 PM »
Don't forget that a firm can also charge the client separately for computer searches. For instance, if they bill the client at $125 per hour for associate time, they can also charge an additional $50 or $100 per hour for computer research on top of that.

Of course, whether or not that is incentive to putz around on Lexis for your research depends on how much the firm likes earning unnecessary money at the expense of their clients.

TheJesus

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Re: how does westlaw work?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2006, 01:42:37 PM »
i understand that the number of cases is huge and the accuracy of each case would be vital to a successful free website but the fact of the matter is that cases are out there for anyone to read.  they can easily be published on the internet just like any reference tools. 

as far as i know, cases arent copyrighted so there is no infringement occurring if you post it on the internet and dont charge for it.  so i dont understand why there isnt a quality website out there that is posting this stuff for free.
 

that's basically what sites like findlaw.com arw

RootBrewskies

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Re: how does westlaw work?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2006, 02:25:40 PM »
i understand that the number of cases is huge and the accuracy of each case would be vital to a successful free website but the fact of the matter is that cases are out there for anyone to read.  they can easily be published on the internet just like any reference tools. 

as far as i know, cases arent copyrighted so there is no infringement occurring if you post it on the internet and dont charge for it.  so i dont understand why there isnt a quality website out there that is posting this stuff for free.
 

that's basically what sites like findlaw.com arw



then why is westlaw still in business.  there is obviously something that westlaw offers that findlaw.com doesnt.  unless the legal community is filled with the dumbest people in the world and people would pay thousands of dollars to get something they could be getting for free.

im not familar with either of the systems, but it just doesnt make sense to me.  and judging how people havent really answered the question, i take it nobody knows why.

lakerat

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Re: how does westlaw work?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2006, 04:28:39 PM »
case history, cross referencing, reference attorney's on staff that you can call at anytime, news databases, public records, organization, printing services, email updates, court forms, briefs, all constantly updated and all cross-referenced to each other with full boolean searching power...

sdlaw

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Re: how does westlaw work?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2006, 04:38:11 PM »
the value comes in that to site a case that has been overturned is suicide, it will lose you the case at best and land you in jail at worst.  If you look in law library books you will see in the back they have updates.  The online services keep the cases up to date and give quick signals to people if the case is up to date.  They also point out the most relevant lines of text, which you can not site those (you will learn they are summarys), they still lead you to the relevent text, which saves me hours every day.

J D

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Re: how does westlaw work?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2006, 05:52:49 PM »
the value comes in that to site a case that has been overturned is suicide, it will lose you the case at best and land you in jail at worst.  If you look in law library books you will see in the back they have updates.  The online services keep the cases up to date and give quick signals to people if the case is up to date.  They also point out the most relevant lines of text, which you can not site those (you will learn they are summarys), they still lead you to the relevent text, which saves me hours every day.

Land you in jail?  That seems like an exaggeration.  The only way I could see something like that happening is contempt of court, but it seems like no judge would have an attorney jailed for that kind of error; monetary sanctions as a threat are more than a sufficient deterrent, it seems.
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

LoverOfWomen

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Re: how does westlaw work?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2006, 06:08:37 PM »
the value comes in that to site a case that has been overturned is suicide, it will lose you the case at best and land you in jail at worst.  If you look in law library books you will see in the back they have updates.  The online services keep the cases up to date and give quick signals to people if the case is up to date.  They also point out the most relevant lines of text, which you can not site those (you will learn they are summarys), they still lead you to the relevent text, which saves me hours every day.

Land you in jail?  That seems like an exaggeration.  The only way I could see something like that happening is contempt of court, but it seems like no judge would have an attorney jailed for that kind of error; monetary sanctions as a threat are more than a sufficient deterrent, it seems.

If intentional, I think it would amount to contempt.

J D

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Re: how does westlaw work?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2006, 06:31:52 PM »
the value comes in that to site a case that has been overturned is suicide, it will lose you the case at best and land you in jail at worst.  If you look in law library books you will see in the back they have updates.  The online services keep the cases up to date and give quick signals to people if the case is up to date.  They also point out the most relevant lines of text, which you can not site those (you will learn they are summarys), they still lead you to the relevent text, which saves me hours every day.

Land you in jail?  That seems like an exaggeration.  The only way I could see something like that happening is contempt of court, but it seems like no judge would have an attorney jailed for that kind of error; monetary sanctions as a threat are more than a sufficient deterrent, it seems.

If intentional, I think it would amount to contempt.

Yeah, but my point is that usually contempt gets you a fine, not jail time.  Being jailed for contempt often requires really egregious and inappropriate conduct; screwing up and forgetting to Shepardize a case doesn't pass the threshold, although it is probably sanctionable under Rule 11 or equivalent state rules. 
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

LoverOfWomen

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Re: how does westlaw work?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2006, 06:50:40 PM »
the value comes in that to site a case that has been overturned is suicide, it will lose you the case at best and land you in jail at worst.  If you look in law library books you will see in the back they have updates.  The online services keep the cases up to date and give quick signals to people if the case is up to date.  They also point out the most relevant lines of text, which you can not site those (you will learn they are summarys), they still lead you to the relevent text, which saves me hours every day.

Land you in jail?  That seems like an exaggeration.  The only way I could see something like that happening is contempt of court, but it seems like no judge would have an attorney jailed for that kind of error; monetary sanctions as a threat are more than a sufficient deterrent, it seems.

If intentional, I think it would amount to contempt.

Yeah, but my point is that usually contempt gets you a fine, not jail time.  Being jailed for contempt often requires really egregious and inappropriate conduct; screwing up and forgetting to Shepardize a case doesn't pass the threshold, although it is probably sanctionable under Rule 11 or equivalent state rules. 

Oh no, I agree with you that in most cases, the punishment would probably amount to a fine.  However, I think sdlaw was allow for conceivable instances where the conduct would be egregious.  For example, someone could cite the numerous body of statutes that regulated slavery or even the Alabama state constitution which technically still requires segregation (of course, the provision is unenforceable).  In any case, a judge could correctly surmise in such an instance that no reasonable attorney could have made the error unintentionally; a fine could be imposed, but I'm sure many judges would also jail the attorney for contempt.