7.6 Legal Research Exercise


Using CANLII, complete the following exercise to build your legal research skills.


SITUATION: You want a share of a house that was purchased by your former spouse before the marriage. You are bringing a claim in the BC Supreme Court.


1) Which are the keywords you would use to search CANLII? Check all that apply

a) Spouses
b) Property division
c) Home
d) Purchased before
e) Spousal support 

Answer: a, b, c, d

2) Which Operator would you use? 

a) OR
b) AND
c) No Operator

Answer: b

3) If you are applying for property division under the Family Law Act, how might you narrow your search? 


Answer: add "Family Law Act" to your search terms 

4) Which cases are binding, if any? 


Answer: None since there are no SCC or BCCA cases. But there are a number of BCSC cases that could be used for support. For example:  

  • Kim v. Hong, 2013 BCSC 587 (CANLII)
  • Dhillon v. Gaba, 2014 BCSC 1474 (CANLII)

5) What might your next steps be? 


Answer: read the cases and see if the facts match your case 

Both have been cited. You need to check to see what the other cases say. Have the decisions been overturned? Are there more recent cases? 

7.6 Legal Research Exercise