Legal Research Quick and Easy

20 November 2017 00:00

Legal research is a most time consuming process. Traditionally, it can take hours for legal professionals to sift through conventional law reports or their indices to determine the precedential strength and weaknesses of cases referenced in an argument. However, with the use of good research tools, the process can be simplified.

Meeting the need for greater research efficiency, LexisNexis developed Legal Citator, an online research tool designed to reduce research time from hours to mere minutes. The solution facilitates quicker assessment of the precedential value of reported judgments. It shows how a particular case has been regarded by South African courts over time, at national, provincial and local division levels.

In this way, at the touch of a button Legal Citator assists legal practitioners to avoid building an argument around outdated information. It also provides the researcher with a case analysis report which indicates how a particular judgment was regarded by the divisions in which it was cited.

Easy searches can be done by case details (ranging from a delivering judge’s name to the date of the judgment), legislation, regulations, rules or subjects, complete with a predictive type-ahead feature unique to Lexis Library that provides prompting of available cases.

Legal Citator has the ability to efficiently locate cases that deal with a specific section in an Act, rule or regulation. It also enables users to easily find similar cases for reference through a quick search, or to know how much weight to place on cases referenced in arguments by easily showing how determinative a precedent is without researchers having to spend hours on evaluation.   A single search on Legal Citator tells you how your case has been treated nationally and within the same division.

Key features of Legal Citator include:

Judgment History: showing whether the case was subject to review or appeal (as published in the law reports)., what the result was, subsequent appeals and where the case fits in the appeal hierarchy.

Judgment Treatment: providing a summary of how a particular case has been utilised by other courts, outside of appeals, including a list of which courts have referred to discussed the case, which portion of the case was discussed with, where in the case it was cited, together with coloured signal indicators that give researchers a quick indication of the case’s precedential strength.

Currently, Legal Citator encompasses references to judgments reported in the following law report series and between the following dates, as well as to all cases cited which were published prior to 1947 and any judgment of a foreign court used as an authority:

  • All South African Law Reports from 1996 to current volume
  • Butterworth’s Constitutional Law Reports from 1994 to current volume
  • Butterworth’s Labour Law Reports from July 1994 to current volume
  • Competition Law Reports
  • Judgments Online; Industrial Law Journal, Butterworth’s Pensions Law Reports, South African Labour Law Reports and South African Criminal Law Reports (for parallel citations indicating that the same chosen judgment has been published in another law report series).
  • South African Law Reports from 1947 to current volume

Dual View: Is a new feature within the LEGAL CITATOR which allows a researcher to view the published law report alongside the analysis report.

Legal Citator is ideal for use by attorneys, advocates, judges, in-house legal advisors, legal librarians, students and researchers.

It forms a part of LexisNexis online Law Reports Suite and can be customised to suit client budgets and needs. With the Lexis Library Select Packages it is available as a free value add on Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Select Packages. Furthermore, existing Lexis Library Select Package subscribers can also upgrade to include Legal Citator with their subscription.

For more information, visit:

About LexisNexis Legal & Professional

LexisNexisLegal & Professional is a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organizations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis and Nexis services. Today, LexisNexisLegal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. LexisNexisLegal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 175 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

In July 2012, investment firm Tsiya Group, chaired by Fani Titi, acquired a minority interest in LexisNexis South Africa. Tsiya is a privately owned investment group that was established in 2008 and focuses on acquiring interests in unlisted businesses. The company has a particular interest in the media and information industry and is currently invested in two radio stations, namely Heart FM (which broadcasts in the Western Cape) and Gagasi FM (which broadcasts in KwaZulu-Natal). In November 2015 LexisNexisacquired a 100% stake in Korbitec, a provider of content-enabled workflow solutions for South African property professionals. Korbitec’s offering includes two industry leaders, GhostConvey and Windeed.