There are some recent decisions of the Federal Court that acknowledge the necessity of using online legal research sources and seem positioned to allow law firms to charge reasonable disbursements for them. The basis for having computer research costs allowed appears to be the ability to justify both the amount claimed, how it is calculated and the relevance and necessity of the research performed.
The key to costs happiness will lie in how legal researchers keep track of their work. A researcher in a costs argument will have to explain that the disbursements for billed research on Westlaw or Quicklaw . . . [more]