Shaunna Mireau on Canadian Legal Research

Tips on Canadian legal research from the Library at Field LLP.
Postings are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the firm.

November 01, 2007

A virtual leap to new sources of valid secondary content

A Field student asked a question today that made me think about which sources I point people to. The question was about anton piller orders.

Anton Piller Orders are a form of injunctive relief, so I naturally thought of the book by Sharpe titled Injunctions and Specific Performance which we have in looseleaf form in both our large office libraries. I pointed the student in this valid and traditional direction.

Then, out of curiosity, I Googled 'anton piller order'. I learned that there is a Wikipedia page for them, they are frequently misspelled as anton pilar orders and that there was a blog post about a 2006 SCC decision at The Court. Some links to potentially valid CLE material also appeared in the first page of Google hits.

Although I would never suggest that someone base a short timeline legal opinion on Wikipedia, certainly a supervised blog of comments on SCC cases based out of Osgoode Hall Law School, like The Court, is a fabulous starting point for legal research which I am very comfortable recommending.

Does this mean I can no longer discount a poke into Google as a valid form of legal research?

Does this mean that in addition to all of the traditional sources (texts and looseleafs, encyclopedias, journal articles, Canadian Abridgment, WeC and QL) I should have inexperienced legal researchers Google their client's question?

Do I Google for them so that I can vet the results?

Comments greatly appreciated.
A note to Field Students - If you only look on Google I will hunt you down :-)