The San Joaquin County Law Library provides patrons with multiple web-based legal research databases, including EBSCO, VerdictSearch, OnLAW (CEB), Lexis Advance, and Westlaw. These services are not available remotely, the patron must visit the library to utilize them.
Novice legal researchers are recommended to begin with EBSCO. The primary benefit of beginning with EBSCO is its user-friendly interface. Advanced search is available, but the home page will smoothly guide the patron to the desired section. Pro se litigants will find the full line of NOLO self-help books available online, in PDF format.
For the veteran legal researcher, Lexis Advance is a comprehensive research database, which includes access to Federal and State primary authority, as well as, secondary resources including, the California Annotated Forms of Pleading and Practice. Lexis Advance simplifies the Shepardizing process and expedites the acquisition of supporting points and authorities. Lexis Advance also permits searches of periodicals and law review journals.
Similar to Lexis Advance, Westlaw is a comprehensive legal research database. Westlaw utilizes a “Google Search” style engine. The user simply types in a search phrase, and within moments, case law, forms, regulations, secondary sources, and statutes are at your disposal. Westlaw also utilizes “West’s KeyCite” which allows the user to Shepardize the source they are reviewing, and reverse-research the tables of authorities.
VerdictSearch is a database used for evaluating damages, finding expert witnesses, analyzing settlement offers, and projecting trial outcomes.
CEB is a helpful digital library that provides step-by-step procedures. It also offers a substantive analysis of the law and best-practice strategies. CEB’s titles can be found in print at the Law Library in addition to OnLaw’s electronic format.