This is an old axiom, but seems to ring true now more than ever. It came to mind while reading Greg’s post today about finding that elusive needle in a haystack. I completely agree with his statement:
Not every fact pattern can be answered by a previous court decision. In fact, it is usually the attorney that takes a blending of statutes, case decisions, and the ability to interpret the intention of the law within the community’s setting that wins the day. Fact-based, “one case in one jurisdiction,” is valuable, but the research process is far greater than that idea. Admitting failure by not finding that “one case in one jurisdiction” is selling yourself and the legal research process short. (my emphasis)
The entire point of legal research and the practice of law is the analysis/interpretation of what is found during the process, not the process of research. If we removed the analysis/interpretation step, then the practice of law becomes obsolete.