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Research 101: How to Find Forms and Precedents

How to Find Sample Forms and Precedents

Forms and precedents can be found in multi-volume sets, such as O'Brien's Encyclopedia of Forms and Canadian Forms and Precedents, or through online databases, such as Lexis Practical Guidance (available through Lexis+). For those multi-volume sets, you can use the index found in the last volume to locate the specific form you need. Subject specific publications may also contain useful forms. Some examples are listed under the Subject Specific Sources tab.

To locate further sources of forms, search InfoLocate, the Great Library's online catalogue, using the following search strategy:

  • Use the Advanced Search option.
  • In the first Search box, enter your subject terms. Leave the first drop-down box at all of these, and leave the within box at Keyword Anywhere.
  • In the second Search box, enter the terms forms precedents. Change the first drop-down box to any of these, and leave the within box at Keyword Anywhere.
  • Optional: add a subject or area of law, for example, partnership and forms precedents.
  • Click Search.

Keep in mind that forms can also be prescribed by legislation and therefore included as part of an act or regulation. Check relevant legislation or commonly used office consolidations such as the Ontario Civil Practice or Martin's Ontario Criminal Practice. The Ontario government provides access to selected family law, civil procedure and Small Claims Court forms on the Ontario Court Services website. Selected forms under the Criminal Rules of the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court are also available on the Ontario Court Services website.