Cite-on-Site Legal Research Publications

The History of Cite-on-Site Legal Research Publications

The rationale for providing concise, economical and timely newsletters customized for a subscriber's needs, started when I was an articling student in 1989. I was immersed in the minutiae of my first residential real estate transaction when a very experienced (and kindly) real estate practitioner thrust into my hands an unreported Manitoba case about surveys and told me to read it and to send copies of it to those lawyers who objected to a particular request about surveys. Although this case was quite short, it was very specific on a point of the area of the law dealing with surveys. At the time, I asked myself why this case had not been reported and thus was introduced to the shortcomings of reported caselaw. After questioning the kindly real estate practitioner about how he came across this case, I found out there was no simple way of keeping track of cases concerning Manitoba real estate law which I found disconcerting because the law keeps subtly changing at all times.

Fast forward to 1996. I had left the law firm and had started my own research practice. I found myself unable to easily keep myself up-to-date on Manitoba law without having to read many cases or spending on what I considered at the time a substantial amount money on a summary service and was at my wits' end as to what to do. While having lunch with the aforementioned kindly real estate practitioner, I was reminded of the survey case and asked him if he would be interested in a service that kept track of Manitoba law for him. He said he would be interested only on those cases that dealt with real estate law as he had neither the time nor the interest to read about other areas of the law (a point raised by many a potential subscriber over the years). At this time it dawned on me that a newsletter service regarding Manitoba law would be worthwhile. After several years of experimenting with price, amount of material to put in a newsletter, topics and how to create a customized newsletter for each subscriber without having to do it manually, I came up with the versions of the Manitoba newsletters dealing with civil, family, (Family Fax published from 1998 to 2017), and criminal, (Criminal Fax published from 2000 to 2015) law.

Regarding First Nations Fax, (published from 2002 to 2017), this newsletter grew out of the need to provide a headnote service to a research client of mine who specialized in Aboriginal law. When I was in her office discussing a particular research problem, she expressed her dissatisfaction with the then current reporting options available to her due to their lack of coverage, high cost or bias in reporting. Because of my experience with the Manitoba newsletters, I knew that I could provide a newsletter in this area of the law, but the question was whether there would be a sufficient number of subscribers for it. After some market research, it was quite apparent to me that the market was there and I knew that I had to create it.

Brad Brooks
Cite-on-Site Legal Research Publications