Legal research is critical to analyzing any legal issue. From statutory, case law and regulations, all can come into play in the analysis of any legal matter.
The reality as well is that law can change over time. For example, statutes can ultimately be amended over time. From wholesale revisions to minor changes, it is important to stay up-to-date.
Regulatory changes can also impact the analysis of a legal matter. For example, there are state and federal regulations that are often implemented without little fanfare that can dramatically change the way a legal matter should be analyzed.
Case law can also have a big impact on a legal situation. For example, courts of appeal on the state and federal level can issue all kinds of important legal decisions that can alter or change the way a legal dispute should be analyzed.
Of course, cases can often go before the state supreme courts or even the United States Supreme Court. The decisions in these kinds of cases can often be far reaching. Lower courts are to abide by the decisions of higher courts under the doctrine of stare decisis.
For all of these reasons, researching and searching the law is critical in any legal decision. The law can often be complex and not as black and white as many may think.
Small differences in facts from various cases can also impact the decision of the courts. It is true as well that different judges can often view similar fact patterns differently based on their judicial philosophy.
For all of these reasons, it is important for anybody researching the law to stay up-to-date.