Andrew Zimmerman, Director of Library Services at Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander LLC in Baltimore, Maryland, has been compiling tips, tricks and tools for legal research into a “guide” over the past several years. He calls his guide, which started as a collection of notes and papers, a “work in progress.” Zimmerman’s “work in progress”, a/k/a “An Online Encyclopedia for Legal Researchers”, is now being offered online for free at LexisNexis InfoPro. The guide offers alphabetical browsing by topic, as wll as keyword searching, and covers a broad range.
Just for fun, I hit the jump to “insurance.” Zimmerman offers this guidance in the first couple of introductory paragraphs:
Statutes, regulations, insurance department opinions, and other primary materials are published for all 50 states in the multi-volume National Insurance Law Service (NILS), or you can get them from each state’s statutes, administrative codes, etc. In addition, most insurance materials are available on Westlaw – either in the Domestic Insurance Compliance Materials database (MULTI-INS) or the individual state or practice area insurance law databases (see the Westlaw Database Directory or call Westlaw at 1-800-773-2889 for assistance).
The leading insurance law treatises are Appleman’s Insurance law and practice (Matthew Bender) and Couch on Insurance (West). Appleman is available on Lexis (INSURE;APLMAN). Couch is available on Westlaw (COUCH).
There are some full-text secondary source materials in a Westlaw insurance databases, notably materials by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and law review articles. To find insurance-related articles, search Westlaw’s INSNEWS database or the appropriate files in the Lexis INSURE library. Alternatively, you can search the abstracts of the Insurance Periodicals Index (Dialog File 169), which probably covers more periodicals.
The Davis Library at the School for Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science (formerly the College of Insurance) in New York City is an excellent source for insurance-related materials. They do research and document delivery for students, faculty and members of the Insurance Society of New York; non-members can use the library only by coming in person and purchasing a day pass. For more information, visit the Library’s Web site or call the Library at 212-815-9263.
Ad you can see, the Guide also offers links to related materials.
I appreciate Zimmerman’s (and LexisNexis’) evenhanded recommendations regarding materials available on Westlaw – it encourages the feeling that the Guide is offering an objective snapshot of where to find information. And while the entry is simplistic from the point of view of a veteren insurance law practitioner, I would find entries on unfamiliar topics a great starting point for research in uncharted waters.
Thanks Andrew and thanks LexisNexis for another useful research tool at the right price!
Hat tip to Ross-Blakely Law Library blog