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Professional, and Ethical, Duty to Perform Adequate Legal Research


If you thought legal research skills were icing on the cake, think again:

Lawyers have an ethical duty to perform adequate legal research. (And, clients might expect a bit more than “adequate.”)

1) Ethical Obligations: Performing Adequate Legal Research and Legal Writing; Bast & Harrell, 29 Nova L. Rev. 49 (2004-5)

2) “Surfin’ Safari—Why Competent Lawyers Should Research on the Web,” Ellie Margolis, 10 YALE J. L. & TECH. 82 (2007):


No lawyer wants to be the subject of public ridicule in a judicial opinion, especially for something as basic as legal research. Yet in this age of increasingly available information, many lawyers do find themselves subject to public embarrassment or worse for failing to adequately perform the building blocks of law practice—legal research and analysis.2 How do lawyers find themselves in this position? And how can they avoid it?…” (Read full article)

3) See also, Commentary: Inadequate legal research as bad faith

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