Role of legal research in litigation drafting

Legal research is the process of identifying and retrieving information necessary to support legal decision-making. Legal Research helps solve complex legal issues, gives the lawyer understanding and analysis of a case while identifying the relevant facts and determining the legal issues.

Legal research can have various sources, such as statutes, regulations, treaties, court orders, administrative regulations, policy material, opinions of the judges, commentaries, law journals or periodicals, articles, annotations and legal opinions. Research is considered as an objective, methodical, well-determined scientific process of investigation. Research provides a decision-maker to get a summary of the present scenario, improving his/her information base for making sound decisions affecting future operations of organizations. It is useful to expedite the decision-making ability as it can create possibility to identify the determinants.

Courts are already overburdened and conduct a fast-paced workflow giving little or no scope for errors and even less time for conducting quality research.  Legal Research and writingentail extensive, well-reasoned and synoptic writing tactics typically perfected by training and experience. This is where the necessity to outsource legal research for litigation drafting arises.

Litigation attorneys, represent plaintiffs and defendants in civil lawsuits. They manage all facets of the litigation from the investigation, pleadings, and discovery through the pre-trial, trial, settlement, and appeal processes. And hence research is that handy piece of aid which is provided to them by the off-shore paralegals, thereby raising its significance and making it more important to be accurate with the outcome. To conduct a legal research ensuring the best deliverables relevant information needs to be gathered and brief facts of the case should be understood in the process of analysing before giving a head start.

Legal research methodology, focuses on the letter of the law and the law in action. A researcher needs to compose a descriptive and detailed analysis of legal rules found in primary sources (cases, statutes, or regulations). This helps the researcher to gather, organize, and describe the law, provide commentary on the sources used and going on to identify and describe the underlying theme or system and how each source of law is connected.

The researcher is liable to conduct a critical, qualitative analysis of legal materials to support a hypothesis. The researcher must identify specific legal rules, then discuss the legal meaning of the rule, its underlying principles, and decision-making under the rule as to whether cases interpreting the rule fit together in a coherent system or not. The researcher must also identify ambiguities and criticisms of the law, and offer solutions. Sources of data in doctrinal research include the rule itself, cases generated under the rule, legislative history where applicable, and commentaries and literature on the rule.

Legal Research shall be upheld as the central element to move forward in a case and hence to conduct a valid, timely and relevant legal research, it is very important to understand the legal issues at question in the case. Apart from that, identifying relevant parties involved, location and jurisdiction implication of the case, putting the events occurred in a chronological order to have a better understanding, taking into consideration the opposing counsel’s arguments in the case and finally evaluating the legal remedy or the relief sought in the case holds parallel level of importance.

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