News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for November 10th, 2011

Terms and Connectors Searching on WestlawNext v. Westlaw

If you type a terms and connectors search into the WestlawNext search box, you may not get the same results as doing the same search on Classic Westlaw.  This is true if your search only includes the connectors: and, or, ” “.  Why?  WestlawNext applies WestSearch, not a Boolean search, and pulls up relevant documents according to the WestSearch algorithm.  The algorithm adds synonyms to your Boolean search terms to broaden your search.  It may exclude documents that appear in the classic Westlaw search because it does not pull up every document with the specified terms, as some of these may not be relevant under the WestSearch algorithm.

For example, the search:

“sexual battery” and “excited utterance”

in WestlawNext yields 52 cases when selecting Ohio as the jurisdiction, while Classic Westlaw yields only 30 cases.  (more…)

This Point is Not “Moot”

What is Moot Court? “Moot court” is considered a “mock court”, but it is not a “mock trial”. Mock trials concern trials, but not appellate arguments, which is why moot court is considered more cerebral. During a moot court session, students “moot”, or practice, their appellate arguments in front of judges, or lawyers acting as judges. The students use a hypothetical case in which to base their arguments. George Crabb in his 1829 book, “A History of English Law” explains the origin of the word moot as being from the Latin “moveo, to move, agitate or debate…”. Sir William Holdsworth, in his 1924 book, “A History of English Law” describes the Inns of Court, where moots were held, in great detail. His books can be found in the base level of the Law Library and they are also available for check out. At one time, mooting was an essential part of the legal curriculum until Christopher Langdell at Harvard Law School introduced the “casebook” method of teaching in 1870.