Commercial Research Website Is Down – the Library Is Open

I am having an interesting day. Interesting in a cursed way.

Before I left for the day last night I was made aware of some “first thing in the morning” research needed for a 9:30 meeting. A simple case-gathering task looking for the most authoritative Alberta Court of Appeal decision on a point of law. No problem.

Also before I left for the day, I started the firm’s memo template, typed in the “you asked me to find” statement, did a very quick search of the CED headings (one not quite relevant hit, pasted into the memo) and a quick search of the Canadian Abridgment headings for my phrase of interest (no results – no surprise). This activity combined with the big note I left on my keyboard made sure that I would address the research first rather than my usual morning routine.

On arrival at my desk after some coffee gathering and voicemail message updating I called up my first choice commercial legal research service. My browser replied with:

Unable to determine IP address from host name

The kind and helpful human who quickly answered the tech support 800 number for this service attempted some fixes but needed some time to problem solve.

Rush request. Deep breath. Strategy alteration. Different combination of online and print tools used. Answer found. Internal client happy.

I share this story to remind Slawyers, as I had to remind myself after a momentary and unnecessary panic, that even in this web-delivered reality that we are living in, there is always a way to find an answer.

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