Alexsei – Legal Memos. On Demand.

GUIDE TO USING ALEXSEI

We want you to get the most out of Alexsei. In the guide below, we explain how to get the answers you need and want.

Alexsei can answer any legal research question

Alexsei can answer any legal research question, about any area of law, in any jurisdiction that we operate. From civil procedure to tax law (and everything in between), we’ve got you covered.

   Our customers have asked us questions like:

  • Can an object that was stolen from the defendant by the plaintiff prior to trial be admitted into evidence in a civil trial?
  • Can a person injured in a car accident, but who is not the policy holder of the relevant automobile insurance, claim against the insurance broker who sold the policy for negligence in the sale of the policy?
  • What is the standard of care of a physician in prescribing benzodiazepines to a chronic pain patient?
  • Can an originating application for retroactive child support be made if the children are no longer dependent?
  • What is the mens rea of the offense of failing to provide the necessaries of life?
  • Can evidence of prior criminal charges that were resolved by a plea bargain be considered at a sentencing hearing?
  • Does Ontario employment law apply to an employee of an Ontario corporation that does not have a written employment contract and works outside the province?

Alexsei cannot provide a legal opinion

Alexsei’s proprietary AI technology cannot provide you with a subjective legal opinion – that’s why your clients need you – a lawyer. Instead, Alexsei is designed to help lawyers form opinions about their clients’ situations by answering legal research questions in memo format with the most relevant, up-to-date caselaw and legislation. Alexsei’s memos help lawyers understand the law, form an opinion, and refine their arguments.

Below are some examples of question pairs that demonstrate how to ask legal research questions that Alexsei can answer:

✗ Asks for an opinion

ISSUE: Will a tort action against the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) be successful?

FACTS: The plaintiff was injured by in a motor vehicle accident and alleges that the MTO was negligent in giving the other driver a driving licence.

ISSUE: Is the homeowner liable?

FACTS: During a home renovation, a contractor removed copper piping from the kitchen and left the copper piping out on the sidewalk at the front of the property so that any interested passersby could take the copper for free. That night, a pedestrian walking along the sidewalk tripped and fell on the piping. The pedestrian was injured and sued the homeowner alleging negligence.

ISSUE: Has the employee been constructively dismissed?

FACTS: An hourly employee has been working 36 hours/week for the last 4 years with some sporadic overtime hours during busy times of the year. The employer told the employee that, starting in one week and continuing for the next 6-12 months, the employee will only be scheduled to work 27 hours/week.

✔️ Improved question

ISSUE: Does the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) owe a duty of care to other users of the roadway when determining whether to issue a driver’s licence to a particular driver?

FACTS: The plaintiff was injured by in a motor vehicle accident and alleges that the MTO was negligent in giving the other driver a driving licence.

ISSUE: In what circumstances can a homeowner be held liable to a third party for injuries caused by a hazardous condition on adjacent municipal property if the hazard was created by the homeowner’s contractor?

FACTS: During a home renovation, a contractor removed copper piping from the kitchen and left the copper piping out on the sidewalk at the front of the property so that any interested passersby could take the copper for free. That night, a pedestrian walking along the sidewalk tripped and fell on the piping. The pedestrian was injured and sued the homeowner alleging negligence.

ISSUE: Can a reduction in the hours of work for an employee who is paid on an hourly basis constitute constructive dismissal?

FACTS: Hourly employee has been working 36 hours/week for the last 4 years with some sporadic overtime hours during busy times. The employer told the employee that, starting in one week and continuing for the next 6-12 months, the employee will only be scheduled to work 27 hours/week.

Alexsei can only answer questions based on published caselaw and legislation

In order to answer your question, Alexsei reviews and synthesizes millions of cases and legislative documents. If your question can be answered by referencing caselaw or legislation, Alexsei can provide you with a memo. But, if your question requires reference to secondary sources, like newspapers or journal articles, it’s best to refine your question to focus on the objective state of the law, as set out in caselaw and legislation, so that Alexsei can help.

Below are some examples of question pairs that demonstrate the types of questions that can be answered by Alexsei:

✗Original question

British Columbia is about to introduce new legislation that will give drivers greater insurance benefits if they are injured in an accident. Will the courts interpret the legislation to allow drivers to claim accident benefits for mental distress caused by an accident?

What are the steps for bringing an application for enforcement of a judgment?

What’s the problem with this question?

No caselaw can be identified about how the courts will interpret legislation that is not yet in force.

Question has no basis in caselaw or legislation.

✔️ Improved question

Does the new insurance benefits scheme speak to whether drivers will be able to claim accident benefits for mental distress?

OR

How have British Columbia courts treated drivers’ claims for car accident benefits for mental distress caused by an accident?

In an action to enforce a judgment, can a creditor apply to garnish the wages of debtor?

Ask a general question if you want a general answer

The level of specificity of an Alexsei memo corresponds to the level of specificity in the question asked. If you ask a general question, Alexsei will return a memo that provides a broad overview of the area of law and sets out the basic principles.

Lawyers often begin by asking Alexsei a general question, and then ask a series of progressively more narrow questions to focus on more specific points of law.

   Examples of general questions you can ask Alexsei include:

  • What is the test for the oppression remedy?
  • What factors do courts consider when deciding mobility issues on an interim basis?
  • How is the reasonable notice period determined in the context of wrongful dismissal?
  • What is the test for determining whether a trial court will grant summary judgment?

Ask a specific question if you want a focused answer

While asking a general question will result in an Alexsei memo that provides a broad overview of an area of law, asking a specific question will generate an Alexsei memo with a narrowly focused answer.

Formulating a specific legal question requires some general knowledge of the area of law that you are asking about. If you aren’t sure where to start, you may want to start by asking Alexsei a general question to develop the knowledge that you need to focus your research.

   Examples of specific questions you can ask Alexsei include:

  • What are the minimum maintenance standards for highways in Ontario with respect to snow and ice on sidewalks?
  • What is the range of non-pecuniary damages in cases involving mild traumatic brain injuries in elderly women?
  • Will a lump sum payment made to a payor under the Veterans Well-Being Act properly be included in their income for the purposes of child support?
  • What is the test to determine whether use of portions of a textbook by an elementary school educator in the classroom constitutes “fair use”?
  • Can a not-for-profit organization be held vicariously liable for a tort committed by one of its volunteers that occurred while the volunteer was acting for the organization?

Use precise terminology

Alexsei will answer the question you ask. If you have a question about breach of contract but use the word “rescission” when you meant to ask about “repudiation,” the memo that Alexsei provides in response will be different from what you expected. You can ensure that your memo answers the question that you had in mind by using correct legal terminology.

Below are some examples of question pairs that demonstrate the importance of using precise terminology:

✗Original question

What is the duty of care owed by a construction contractor to a property owner?

Is liability for damages between a passenger and a driver due to a car accident joint and several or apportioned?

What’s the problem with this question?

Whether a duty is owed or not is a threshold (yes/no) question. The contents of a duty, (if owed,) is determined by identifying the standard of care.

The question misunderstands the law – joint and several liability does not preclude apportionment.

✔️ Improved question

Do construction contractors owe a duty of care to the owner of the property under construction?

OR

What is the standard of care owed by a construction contractor to the owner of the property under construction?

Have courts found joint and several liability for the passenger and driver of a car that caused an accident?

OR

How has liability been apportioned in cases where both a passenger and driver were found liable for damages as a result of a car accident?