Case Law Research
Attorney Kimberlee Gee is experienced in case law research in the United States and has assisted law firms across the country with case law research.
What is Case Law?
Case law is a broad stroke term that encompasses a collection of all the cases or legal decisions that have been adjudicated in the past, and is also referred to as “precedent.” Whenever a ruling is reached in any one area of the law, those cases become part of the larger picture of what makes up that law. Effectively, case law includes all past legal decisions and opinions handed down by the Court in the course of deciding a legal issue and gives great insight into the justification or reasoning of the Court in deciding a particular case.
Why is Case Law Research Important?
Case law helps to inform our interpretation of how the law works in a particular jurisdiction and can assist in clarifying novel or ambiguous legal issues or interpreting settled case law precedent on a particular legal issue. Because there are a wide variety of cases being adjudicated at any given time in our country, at both the state and federal level, there are potential usurpations to case law happening every day. When a newer case overturns or invalidates the reasoning of previous cases, this case becomes the controlling precedent or legal standard for that aspect of the law.
While these changes affect case law each day, there are certain fields of the law, such as immigration and criminal law, that are consistently having changes made to the accepted body of case law. Any prudent attorney needs to have access to robust legal research services at all times, keeping track of all the changes in case law. Doing so could mean the difference between winning or losing a case due to recent changes in the law that either create obstacles to overcome or present opportunities.
Why Hire a Legal Research Professional?
One of the difficult parts about case law is how time-consuming it can be to complete because so many new cases are being decided every day. In fact, attorneys in large law firms dedicate 17% of their time to legal research, while solo practitioners dedicate nearly 33% of their time to legal research. Knowing where to find the correct case law and how to disseminate it quickly is vitally important. A Legal Research professional can help you synthesize the various laws in different states and give you the most accurate and up to date case law about the legal issues in your case.