(c) Objects

By 'objects', we mean the things that caused the problem or dispute. For example, in a case about a power surge caused by a magpie building a nest on an electricity pole,117 the objects include 'magpie', 'nest', and 'electricity pole'. In a case about an accident in which a Renault car collided with a moped,118 the objects include 'Renault' and 'moped'. In a dispute about an apartment infested with cockroaches,119 the objects include 'apartment' and 'cockroaches'.

'Objects' include more than just physical things. For example, 'a speech' (the object) might have caused a slander; the object 'an oral contract' might have caused a business dispute; the object 'excessive speed' might have caused a collision; and the object 'accidental death' might have led to an insurance claim.

For now, do not worry about how specifically you describe the objects and subjects; you will raise and lower the specificity later.120

brainstorm BRAINSTORM

Examples

  • accidental death
  • apartment
  • cockroaches
  • electricity pole
  • magpie
  • moped
  • nest
  • oral contract
  • Renault
  • speech

Table 19: Objects (examples)

Listing 'objects' will supply a list of keywords you can use to find similar cases (Step 4), which will lead you to more information about the relevant legal concepts. Listing the objects may also help you to identify the:

117 Catriona Cook et al, Laying Down the Law (6th ed, 2005) 296.

118 David Stott, Legal Research (1993) 9.

119 Christopher G Wren and Jill Robinson Wren, The Legal Research Manual: A Game Plan for Legal Research and Analysis (1983) 33.

120 See Step 4.

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