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LGST 12000: Introduction to Legal Studies

Nexis Uni: Access it

A top database for news, business and legal research is Nexis Uni.  You can find the database on the library's homepage under the Databases.   You can access it 24/7 by authenticating (sign-in with your Netpass user name and password).  It is recommended that you create a personal account so you can more readily save your research.

Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis) 

Universal Characters and Wildcards

Use a ? to find variations of a word
Use a question mark (?) to find variations of a word by replacing characters anywhere in the word, except the first character.  Use one question mark for each character you wish to replace.  Example: wom?n would find woman and women ;  p??erson would find both the ea and the ie spelling of the name

Using * or an ! to find variations of a word
Use an asterisk (*) or an exclamation mark (!) to find a root word plus all the words made by adding letters to the end of it.
Example: Employ* would find variations on the term employ such as employee, employer, employment, and their plurals
Tip: Use * only to find unique roots: fir! will find fired, firing and fires but will also find words which you may not want (ex. firment)
You can use an exclamation mark (!) in place of the * if you wish.  Both function in the same way but there must be at least 3 characters in from of the ! or you might receive unexpected results

Segment Search Fields

Once you become familiar with the citation formats, you can type the command search string directly in the search box. 

With the new Nexis Uni interface (2018), you can start usually just type the citation or the case name in the search box.  Searching using segments will give you more control if needed.

format:        section name(what you want to search)

CORE-TERMS search:
Core Terms identify key points of a case by closely tracking the court's language

  • Type core-terms("sexual harassment" ) in the search box

Common Case Law Segments
The following list provides a description of the most commonly used case law document segments. Not all sections appear in every document.

Attorney: name of an attorney  ex.  Luke w/2 Fenchel
Cite: the citation of the case in an official reporter or parallel reference. ex. ​ cite(411 u.s. 792)
Concur: name of concurring opinion  
Concurby
Core-Terms:  searches the list of assigned core terms atop the case
Counsel: the name of individuals, law firms, or organizations representing a party of interest in the case.
Court: the name of the court that heard the case.
Dissent: name of dissenting opinion
Dissentby:
Disposition: the final decision of the court. You can search segment by date.
History: the prior and subsequent history of the case.
Judges: the names of the judges hearing the case.
Name: the names of all the parties involved in a case.
Number: the docket number(s) assigned to a case by the court.
Opinion: the text of the opinion issued by the court. It includes the majority, dissent, and concurrence.
Opinionby:
Outcome:
Overview:
Searches the "overview" within the case summary  overview("sexual harassment" )
Summary: searches the summary of the case supplied by LexisNexis; it searches the Procedural Posture, Overview and Outcome
Writtenby: the name of the judge(s) authoring the opinion, including the majority, concurrence, and dissent.

Search Commands

Tips from LexisNexis:

Universal or Wildcard Characters   use ! to truncate ex. child!,  use * to replace a letter ex. wom*n
Using the W/n Connector  Use the W/n connector to find documents with search words that appear within "n" words of each other. The value of "n" can be any number up to 255.  ex. william w/3 hearst
Using the W/p (Within Paragraph) Connector Use the W/p connector to find documents with search words that appear within the same paragraph. You may also use W/p when you want your search words to have a general relationship to each other. ex. rule 11 W/p sanction
Using the W/s (Within Sentence) Connector Use the W/s connector to find documents with search words that appear within the same sentence. You may also use W/s when you want a close relationship between words without specifying an exact proximity. ex. sanction W/s frivolous
Using the ATLEAST Command   Use ATLEAST to require that a word or words appear ‘at least’ so many times in a document. Use ATLEAST when you want only documents that contain an in-depth discussion on a topic rather than just a mention. ex. atleast10(cercla)
Note: use this when searching law reviews or broadcast transcripts.

Cathy Michael

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