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My overall recommendation for an online source for primary law and secondary sources is Westlaw.
Content Relevant to Product Liability Law
There are three main features of Westlaw that make it more desirable:
Missouri Practice Series
As discussed in great detail in the Secondary Sources tab, Missouri Practice Series is a great resource that only Westlaw has. It provides a great overview of Missouri law (not just in product liability, but in other areas of law that are also relevant to product liability). The navigability of the Missouri Practice Series and the fact that it has practice forms makes it just a little better than the Mo Bar CLEs offered by LexisNexis. Bloomberg does not have a comparable source for Missouri law.
Practitioner Insights for Product Liability
On the Westlaw home page, there is a "practice areas" tab under "browse." If you click on "Products Liability" it brings you to this web page: Practitioner Insights for Product Liability. From this page, you can search through product liability cases, statutes, regulations, forms, and many other sources. There is also a news & analysis section, which provides current updates in product liability law. LexisNexis only has a "torts" practice area, and while Bloomberg has the Product Safety and Litigation Reporter, it does not have that in combination with the Missouri Practice Series like Westlaw does.
American Law of Products Liability 3d
Only available on Westlaw, this helpful treatise (as described thoroughly in the Secondary Sources tab) is indispensable to those who are new to practicing product liability law. It is also useful to those who have been practicing a while, because it contains plenty of primary law. However, the practice aids it provides in addition to the primary law make it a great treatise for both new and experienced attorneys. Lexis nor Bloomberg provides access to this valuable source.
Other Reasons to Use Westlaw
While Lexis does have a great "Answers" feature that I prefer to Westlaw's and Bloomberg's "Product Safety and Liability Reporter" is wonderful, the fact that Westlaw has the Missouri Practice Series, the Practitioner Insights page, and access to the American Law of Products Liability 3d, along with the following advantages, make it the more preferable option:
- Westlaw is much easier to search, in my opinion, than both LexisNexis and Bloomberg. LexisNexis requires a lot of backtracking to navigate to other parts of the website and Bloomberg requires a lot of clicking around to get where you want to go. Westlaw seems to be much more streamlined.
- Secondary Sources Seem to be Updated More Often
- While Bloomberg does not have a resource comparable to the Missouri Practice Series, LexisNexis's Mo Bar CLE's do not seem like they are updated as often as the Missouri Practice Series. It is important to have up-to-date information when researching, and Westlaw (when combined with the current awareness tools) does a great job of doing that.