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Using LexisNexis Quicklaw

Page history last edited by Cecilia Tellis 12 years ago


Quick hint: Check the LexisNexis Quicklaw Source Directory to search or browse relevant sources.


 Searching LexisNexis Quicklaw

There are various ways to search from this default home page:



1)  The first way is by using the Find a Document option which gives you quick access to commonly required items. Here you can find a case by name (use one or more of the party names) or citation; note up a case (find parallel citations, history and judicial treatment of a case) or note up a statute; find legislation; or find a Canadian journal article (using the title of the article). You can also find a definition, Shepardize a US case and find a source.


2) In the middle of the page, there's a general search box. To create a search, type in your terms and phrases

then select the source in which you'd like to search. Remember, you'll be in the General Search when you log-in. If you want to search for a particular type of document, use one of the content-type search pages (e.g. Court Cases, Commentary, Journals, etc.).



3) At the bottom of this page, My General Search Sources give you instant access to your frequently used General Search sources. This section can be customized to include or remove sources.



Above we reviewed how to search QL's directory by clicking on the Source Directory tab. If you ever get 'lost' in the database (e.g. you've clicked on a source and found that it's not helpful, clicked back, ended up on an unfamiliar page), just click on the Start Page button which appears at the top right-hand side of the page and you will be brought back to the opening General Search page. You can always access the Help menu from any page or click the ? icon for help on filling out a specific form.

In some sections of Quicklaw, you are given the option to browse a table of contents instead of searching a source. For example, we can browse the International Journals listed here:






Like WestlaweCarswell, you can use connectors and expanders in Quicklaw as well as very specific commands. There is very detailed information on QL's connectors and commands in the Help menu but below I've highlighted some of the very unique ones:


Using the /seg  Connector

The /seg connector tells the service to find documents in which both of your search words appear within the same segment. Words joined with /seg can occur together in any segment.

For example, the search below finds documents in which "opec" and "gasoline" are in the same segment:


opec /seg gasoline

The /seg is slightly more restrictive than the AND connector.


In the example above, a document in which "opec" is in the headline and "gasoline" is in the text would not be found by this search, because the words are not in the same segment.

/seg is primarily useful for searching files of highly segmented information, such as annual reports. If you want to find annual report footnotes that mention unitary taxation, your search might look like this:

tax! /seg unitary

Using the ALLCAPS Command

Using the ALLCAPS command, you may restrict your Boolean search to find words in which all letters are capitalized. 


Example: allcaps (obca) finds documents referencing the Ontario Business Corporations Act (OBCA).

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.

For example, to find documents that contain an in-depth discussion of the Charter, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, enter:





This search requires "charter" to appear in every document at least 10 times. You can use any number from 1 to 255 with the ATLEAST command.

Using the NOCAPS Command

Using the NOCAPS command, you may restrict your Boolean search to find words in which none of the letters are capitalized.



For example, to search on documents about foreign aid, but not the disease AIDS, use

nocaps (aid)


The documents this search request finds may also include references to AIDS, but only incidentally.


Using Masculine/Feminine

By selecting the Masculine/Feminine box when searching in French, the research service will automatically look for both the masculine and feminine forms of your words. For example, if you type "instructeur" and select the box, the research service will automatically look for "instructrice" as well. However, the reverse is not true. Typing the feminine form will not find the masculine.



Noting up cases using QuickCITE


The QuickCITE case citatory is used to validate the authority of your case using the case history and treatment coverage available in Quicklaw's online case citator. The coloured case treatment indicators located throughout the Quicklaw service tell you at a glance which cases in your search results to examine first. They reveal how cases have subsequently been treated by the courts and provide links to QuickCITE™ records.



*       Citator Information Icon


Click this link to view more information on this citation.


*       Positive Treatment Icon


The case has positive history (affirmed, judicial review denied, or leave to appeal refused by a higher court) or positive treatments (followed or followed in a minority opinion of a subsequent court).


*      Cautionary Treatment Icon


The case has been distinguished by a subsequent court.

*       Negative Treatment Icon


The case has negative history (judicial review allowed, reconsideration allowed, reversed, quashed, or varied by a higher court) or negative treatments (not followed or questioned by a subsequent court).


*       Neutral Treatment Icon


The case has neutral treatments (mentioned, explained, or cited in a dissenting opinion).


*       History Treatment Icon


The case has history (abandoned, abated, leave to appeal granted, reconsideration denied, related proceeding, same case, or supplementary reasons by a subsequent court), but the citing court does not comment on the case.


No Treatment Icon


The case has no known history or treatments.


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