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Legal Research Basics for Summer Clerkships: Litigation Resources

Litigation Resources

Litigation practice involves numerous stages and encompasses many unique topics. Furthermore, there are several unique research resources that litigators regularly consult such as forms, court rules, judge and attorney profiles, litigation analytics, expert witness information, jury verdicts, and jury instructions. Legal publishers have created a number of specialized resources to help attorneys navigate the different stages of litigation practice. 

General Resources for Litigators

The following resources provide broad coverage of litigation practice topics.

Directories

Information about State and Federal Judges

Attorney Directories:

Other Directories:

Discovery

State-specific Litigation Resources

When in practice, it is wise to find out which state-specific resources are available to you. Examples of state-specific resources that are most useful to litigators include forms, court rules, jury instructions, online docket and filing systems, encyclopedias, practice handbooks, and CLE materials. 

Nebraska Resources

Many Nebraska State Bar Association publications are available online to bar members from the NSBA library.

The Nebraska Judicial Branch also provides access to numerous forms. Consult the Master Form List

Juries

There are numerous issues related to juries such as jury awards and verdicts, jury selection, and jury instructions. Nebraska jury instructions are available as a part of the Nebraska Practice Series. Listed below are two frequently consulted jury awards and verdicts resources.

Litigation Practice Centers

Westlaw Edge, Lexis+, and Bloomberg Law each include practice centers that group numerous litigation resources (primary, secondary, forms, analytics, etc.) together in one convenient location. Exploring these practice centers will help you discover a number of additional litigation resources and topics.

The Public Law Institute (PLI) also offers numerous litigation resources through the PLI Plus database.

The following boxes provide an overview of the litigation resources available in Westlaw Edge, Lexis+, Bloomberg, and PLI Plus.

Resources on Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law includes many helpful litigation resources. Many of these resources can be quickly located by consulting the Litigation Intelligence Center, which can be located under the blue "browse" icon on the top left side of the home screen. The Litigation Intelligence Center includes numerous analytical tools including company, law firm, and judge searches. The "practical guidance library" includes numerous forms, step-by-step instructions, samples, and checklists. Bloomberg Law also provides for in-depth docket searching. The docket search allows you to search for docket filings in pending/closed cases. The coverage varies by jurisdiction. Docket searching is available within the Litigation Intelligence Center and from the Bloomberg Law home page.

In addition to the Litigation Intelligence Center, Bloomberg Law also includes an E-Discovery practice center, which is available by selecting "Practice Centers" from the "browse" icon on the home page. This practice center includes both primary and secondary resources for federal and state e-discovery issues.

Resources on Lexis+

Litigation resources available in Lexis+ can be located in a variety of ways.

One way to find helpful litigation resources in Lexis+ is to click on the icon to the left of "Lexis+" logo at the top, left side of the home page. From here, you can quickly access several useful litigation resources including Litigation Profile Suite (judge, attorney, and expert witness profiles), Verdict & Settlement Analyzer, and Public Records.

Also available from the Lexis+ home page (see the vertical icon bar on the far left edge of the screen) is "Practical Guidance," which includes sample forms, clauses, and checklists for many different topics. Especially useful is the "Civil Litigation" option that includes pleadings and discovery forms and many others.

Another way to locate resources is by consulting the "Explore" section on the main Lexis+ research page. Under the "Content" section, you can quickly access jury instructions, jury verdicts & settlements, expert witness materials, briefs, pleadings, & motions, forms, dockets, and public records. The "Practice Area" section within "Explore" provides access to "Practice Centers." From the "Practice Centers" page, selecting a jurisdiction leads to jurisdiction-specific materials such as court rules, jury instructions, sample pleadings, etc. Unfortunately, Nebraska is not an included state at this time.

Finally, Lexis+ provides litigation analytics regarding judges, attorneys, and firms via Lex Machina. This data can be found within select cases. If Lex Machina data is available for the given case, a box labeled "Legal Analytics" will appear below the Shepards report on the right side of the screen.

Resources on Westlaw Edge

As with Bloomberg Law and Lexis+, Westlaw Edge includes many litigation resources. 

The "Practical Law" section in Westlaw Edge, which you can access from the main page, combines many practical resources in the "Litigation" section. Consult the "Transactional Law" page of this guide for an overview of "Practical Law." The litigation section includes resources that address the full scope of general civil litigation as well as specific types of litigation such as employment litigation.   

Another useful resource is the "Case Evaluator" report builder. "Case Evaluator" reports analyze jury verdict data, excerpts of verdicts and relevant court documents, and relevant medical and expert information. To find this tool, select "Jury Verdicts and Settlements" from the main Westlaw Edge page and locate "Case Evaluator" under the "tools and resources" bar on the right side of the page. 

Westlaw Edge also includes "Litigation Analytics," including analytics based on case type, judge, law firm, attorney, and damages. This material is found by selecting "Litigation Analytics" from the "Content" search on the Westlaw Edge home page. Make sure to evaluate the "Litigation Analytics Coverage" by following the link located below the main search box.

The "Content Types" section on the Westlaw Edge home page provides quick access to the following resources: "Practical Law," "Expert Materials," "Forms," "Trial Court Documents," "Directories," "Dockets," and "Litigation Analytics."

Westlaw Edge includes many additional tools that are useful for litigation practice, including "Drafting Assistant" and "Westlaw Doc & Form Builder," both of which are accessible at the Westlaw Law School home page.

PLI Plus

PLI Plus contains a number of litigation resources, such as treatises, answer books, forms and checklists, and transcripts from major CLE programs. To locate this information, select the "Browse" tab at the top of the home page, and then select "Litigation" from the "Practice Area" filter on the left side of the page. 

PLI Plus is available from the Schmid Law Library A-Z list of online resources.