This service is especially useful for attorneys who need case law from a jurisdiction that is not included in their own research databases. Get the first 20 cases returned by your Query either by Date or by Relevance.
Submit a “Terms and Connectors” Query to Research.Legal to retrieve case law in a particular jurisdiction by Date or by Relevance. Make every effort to focus the Query so as to return useful case law. Some of the Query example are strictly to illustrate how to use “Terms and Connectors” and will return more than a 10,000 cases, which of course is useless to you.
Research.Legal will e-mail you up to the first 20 hits in case law with each Query whether by Date of by Relevance, which you can select above.
The Query consists of key terms (words) relevant to your issue connected by specific connectors (/p, /s, for example) specifying the relationship between those terms.
- The singular form of a term retrieves the plural and possessive forms of the term, including irregular forms. The plural or possessive, however, will not retrieve the singular. Submit the singular form of a term unless you have a good reason not to.
- To search for terms with multiple endings, submit a term with the root expander (!) at the end of the root of the term. For example, submit (object!”) to retrieve cases which include object, objected, objection, objecting, objective, and objectified, etc.
- To search for a term exactly as you submit it, submit the term with the pound symbol (#) at the beginning of the term. For example, submit (#damage) as your Query to retrieve damage but not damages. The pound symbol will turn off plurals and equivalents.
- To search for words with variable characters, submit the term with the universal character (*). For example, submit the term (withdr*w) as your Query to retrieve the terms withdraw and withdrew.
- To search for terms with multiple endings, use the root expander (!) at the end of the root of the word. For example, the Query (object!) will retrieve case law which includes the terms: object, objected, objection, and objecting, etc.
- To search for a phrase, submit it wrapped in quotation marks (“”). For example, submit “collateral source” to retrieve those terms as that exact phrase.
- /p – submit this connector for your search terms to appear in the same paragraph (hearsay /p utterance)(note: what qualifies as a “paragraph” can vary somewhat in different cases or opinions or in cases from different jurisdictions)
- +p – this connector means the the first search term must precede the second term in the same paragraph (coverage +p “fairly debatable”)
- /s the search terms must appear in the same sentence (design /s defect)
- +s the first search term must precede the second term in the same sentence (attorney +s fee)
- /n the search terms must appear within n terms of each other, where n is a number from 1 to 255 (personal /3 jurisdiction)
- +n the first search term must precede the second term by n terms, where n is a number from 1 to 255 (elena +2 kagan)
- AND (&) connector – to retrieve documents containing two or more search terms anywhere in the document. For example, the query (narcotics & warrant) retrieves both terms anywhere in the case or opinion.
- OR connector – can also just be a “space” between terms, to search for alternative terms. For example, the query (“attorney or lawyer or counsel”) or (“attorney lawyer counsel”) retrieves any document containing at least one of these terms.
- BUT NOT (%) connector – this connector excludes everything that follows the BUT NOT (%) connector in your Query. For example, the query (“fairly debatable” % uninsured) will return case law most of which will fall into insurance law but not insurance law cases which contain the term “uninsured”.