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I have also included useful further reading that has been recently published.I would like to thank Lyn Mair for her help with the initial stages of this update.Welcome to the August 2008 online update to Legal Research Skills for Scots Lawyers.Both paper and, especially, electronic sources of legal information have continued to develop since the publication of the second edition of Legal Research Skills for Scots Lawyers in September 2007.While the principles of searching have generally remained the same there are now some additional features which have improved the presentation of the database and made the system more user-friendly. This means that caution must continue to be used when using this site and sources of legislation which are updated (such as Westlaw) should be used in preference.2.51A Important reminder about the status of material retrieved electronically In the author's experience students are finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate between the large and diverse sources of information retrieved via online searching.Failure to research the law accurately can clearly lead to the provision of misleading advice which could constitute negligence and leave a solicitor open to being sued. Willock, The Scottish Legal System, 4th edn (Haywards Heath: Tottel, 2007) and the relevant discussion on judicial precedent is on pp 335-371.It is very important to base your research on authoritative sources such as textbooks, articles published in legal journals, legal encyclopaedias, official governmental reports or primary legal materials such as legislation and case law. 3.12 Session Cases is now available from 1898 on Westlaw.
2.6 Increasingly universities are moving away from providing access to subscription services via the Athens Access Management System.
This is a problem as it is resulting in the increasing practice of inappropriate material being treated as authoritative and being used as sources for coursework. "Evidence has emerged that increasing numbers of solicitors, from trainees to senior partners, are putting clients and their own practices at possible risk by using collaboratively written online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, Google and other search engines for legal research." (J.
Rayner "Net-surfing Lawyers warned of Compliance Risk" Law Society Gazette 2008 (accessed 24/07/2008).
This update attempts to include the most important changes.
Material is presented on a chapter by chapter basis with specific references to relevant paragraph numbers in the second edition.