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Finding a Legal Case (U.S.) with Nexis Uni 20190626 2007 1


Welcome to this presentation on finding
a US legal case from the Webster University library on the home campus in
St. Louis, Missouri. My name is Kathy Gaynor and I’m the library’s liaison
to the Legal Studies department. Please feel free to get in touch with me if I
can be of assistance to you as you go through your Legal Studies program here
at Webster. Cases are usually published in sources called reporters and you will
still find rows of the print editions on the shelves in many libraries, especially
law libraries. there are different reporters for different courts. The US
Supreme Court has three prominent reporters that all publish cases from
that Court. Court of Appeals cases appear in the federal reporter and district
court cases appear in the federal supplement. There are also reporters to
cover the state courts in the US. Courses from the state of Missouri are
included in the southwestern reporter. Legal citation is a little different
than what you may have used before for citing books and articles. Here’s a
sample citation to a case. Microsoft and AT&T are the parties involved. 2007 is
the date the case was decided. What does the 550 U.S. 437 mean? 550 is the volume
number. U.s. is an abbreviation for the source. In this case, a source called US
reports. And 437 is the beginning page number. If we had the US reports
reporter on our shelves, we could select volume 550 and open it up to page 437
to find the Microsoft case. More and more you can find the full text
of case opinions on the Internet. Google Scholar for example, lets you
search for case law. Notice the citations at the top. Remember that the same case
may be published in more than one reporter. Each reporter will have its own
unique citation to the case. Let’s also see how we can access the Microsoft case
through the library’s website. Begin at the library’s homepage at
library.webster.edu. Click on the blue Articles and Databases link at the left. On the page tha appears, click the Legal Studies link on the right, under Social Sciences.
One of the main databases for legal research is Nexus Uni. Click on Nexus Uni.
To begin, you will need to login to the database to gain access. Here’s the opening screen. Notice the
database name, Nexus Uni, at the top left. You can always click on this to return
to the opening screen from anywhere in the database. The large search box at the
top can be used to search for all types of legal materials, including cases. Or
you may choose to use the special case search feature below. To find our case,
I went to the guided search section of the home page. I clicked on cases at the
left under ‘What are you interested in?’ To the right, I type the citation for our
case in the search box. I left the jurisdiction option in the
middle set two federal cases since that’s what I wanted. You don’t need to
specify the date. This search is usually successful when you supply the citation,
but what if you only know the party names? You can try typing them in the
search box because this often works as well. You can also use the ‘Get a Doc
Assistance’ feature located just under the large search box. When you click on
Get a Doc Assistance, this page will appear. I clicked on cases by party name
at the top middle, then filled in the names in the search boxes. I didn’t
supply a jurisdiction or a date, but you could if you wanted. Then I did the
search. Here’s the case we searched for. One
advantage of accessing cases through the Nexus Uni database is that the database
adds helpful information such as the prior history case, summary, etc. These
extras generally do not appear in sources such as Google Scholar. Let’s
return to the home page. You may use the same case of search to find multiple
cases on a topic. Instead of a citation, type your topic into the appropriate
search box. It helps to enclose phrases in quotation marks. You may also adjust
the date to retrieve cases from a specific range of years. You can also
find additional search options with the advanced search feature located just
under the large search box. You’ve just learned how to find US legal
cases. Additional resources for legal studies may be found on our legal
studies research guide. On the library homepage, click on the blue Research
Guides button in the middle of your screen. If you need further assistance,
contact me or go to the library home page and click the blue Contact a
Librarian link in the middle of the screen. On the contact a librarian page
on the left, you will see ways that you can contact a Webster University
librarian. Be sure to use the toll-free 800 number or email if you’re outside of
the St. Louis area. Note that our chat service is available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week. Except for selected US holidays. Thank you for spending time
with me today. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions
about this presentation or need assistance with your Legal Studies
assignments.

Stephen Childs

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