Legal Databases

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Onsite Orientation:


Library Services

Places to Start Research

Legal Databases

e-Course Platforms

Current Awareness

1L Contest

Legal Databases

 Major Legal Research Platforms

Access:  C|M|LAW Students are eligible for full access to Bloomberg Law during Fall, Spring and Summer semesters without restriction.  Questions?  Contact Brian Cassidy, 216-687-7364

Access:  C|M|LAW students have access to Lexis Advance for educational purposes only during the Fall and Spring semesters. During the Summer semester, students have access without restriction. Questions? Contact Brian Cassidy, 216-687-7364

Access:  C|M|LAW students have regular access through the end of Spring semester for educational purposes only.  Questions? Contact Brian Cassidy, 216-687-7364

For Other Legal Research Databases go to the C|M|LAW Library's Law Databases page.


Access Policies

Please Note:  The use of many C|M|LAW Library legal research databases is restricted to educational purposes only.  C|M|LAW Library permits legal research database providers to monitor use for infractions.  A student violation of this policy may result in revocation of access privileges, and may be considered a violation of the C|M|LAW  Student Honor Code.




Retrieving a Case

What Is a Case?

When lawyers and law professors refer to cases, they typically mean the written opinions of appellate court judges.  These opinions from appellate courts can be crucial to understanding a given legal issue because such opinions are binding on lower courts deciding similar issues in the future.  Appellate court opinions are usually published in print and online.

Case Name Volume No. Reporter Starting Page No. Year
Anaple v. Standard Oil Co. 162 Ohio St. 537 1955


Anaple v. Standard Oil Co., 162 Ohio St. 537 (1955)

For more detail on finding caselaw, see our How To Read A Legal Citation guide.

TIP:  If you know the citation of a relevant case (typically consisting of the volume and page numbers and the publication abbreviation, e.g., 162 Ohio St. 14), the Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis and, Westlaw platforms permit users to enter the citation into the search box and click Go.


Searching a Database

  • Natural Language Search:  By using this type of search, you ask the database a question or you type in a sentence that describes the information you are looking for.  The database then uses programmed logic to select keywords from your sentence and search the database.
  • Terms & Connectors Search:  Terms & connectors search techniques can be used to carry out effective searches, cutting out many unrelated documents.  These are powerful searches, but there is a learning curve to understand how to construct a terms & connectors search statement. To learn more about Terms & Connectors in Bloomberg Law, WestlawNext, and Lexis Advance, see the Search Connectors tab in our  Bloomberg Law, Lexis and Westlaw Compared guide.
  • Simple terms & connectors operators:  AND, OR, NOT

    tort AND invitee

    occupier OR employee AND "duty of care"

    "premise liability" NOT "swimming pools"



Sample Search Statement:

("slip and fall"  injur!) /p (liab!  negligen!) /p grocery

To construct this search, you might consider this strategy:

1.    Identify the topic.  Determine the area that you want to research.

grocery store's liability for slip and fall injuries in Ohio

2.    Choose your search terms.

Remember Christopher Ernst's Tort Law treatise from our Scholar keyword search?  Reviewing relevant sections of such secondary sources can give you basic information on your topic and suggest terms to use in a database.

Use terms that reflect ideas essential to your research topic.  Include alternative terms, and avoid terms that are too general.  To find cases about  grocery store's liability for slip and fall injuries in Ohio, you might use these alternative terms:

injuries = tort ;   liability = negligence;    grocery = premise

3.    Use truncation and wildcards to include term variations.

!  Finds a root word plus all the words made by adding letters to the end of it.  [Example:   liabl!  finds "liable," "liability," etc.]

Note:  Terms that work best with ! are those that are unique in their truncated form.  For example, if you search for fir! (thinking that you want to find "fired," "firing," or "fires"), your results will also include "first," "firm," and so on.

*  Holds one space for a character at any point in a term.  [Example:   bernst**n  finds the "ei" and the "ie" spelling of the name.]

4.    Link the search terms in a search request using connectors.

Connectors such as AND or /P define relationships between your search terms.

5.    Set jurisdiction for Ohio in the dropdown to the right of the main search.

6.    Limit to Ohio Cases on the left after you've hit Search.

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aeb 8/2013