Building Logical Queries


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AND and OR containers

Logical containers are the backbone to building complex queries in Everlaw. The AND and OR terms create containers within the query builder that you can then add other search terms into. In addition, logical containers can also be nested within each other.  

Documents must satisfy all the search term criteria contained in an AND operator. Documents must satisfy one or more of the search criteria contained in an OR operator.

Let’s take a look at the complex search example below. Take a minute to try to interpret the logic of the query yourself before scrolling down to read to the explanation.


The search in the figure above will retrieve documents that match the following criteria:

  • The document’s text contain either the word “california”, or the word “energy”, or both the words “wind” and “solar”
  • In addition, the document must be an email, or a spreadsheet, or a PDF

Remember that you can easily switch between the logical operators in the query builder by double-clicking on the logical operator.


If you have multiple logical containers in the query builder, the currently active container is designated by a thin blue border around the selected container. If you add new search terms into the query builder by clicking on them, they will automatically go into the currently active logical container. To change the currently active container, click once on the desired container so that the new container is outlined in blue. Now, any terms you click to add to the query will automatically go into the newly selected container.


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Using the NOT operator to negate logical containers

Any individual term added to the query builder can be negated. To negate a search term, simply click on it once, or drag and drop a NOT term from the left-hand sidebar over the term. Negating a search term will find documents that do not have that particular property. In the example below, after negating the search terms, you are searching for documents that do not contain the word “energy” and are not emails. To remove the NOT, simply click the term again.

You can also negate any logical operator that appears in the query builder by dragging and dropping a NOT term over the container.


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Additional options

You can specify additional grouping and filtering options for your documents by clicking on the More Options tab, located at the bottom right of each logical container.


From this menu, you can access the following options:

  • Include or exclude duplicates from your search results. This option will only appear on projects that have search deduplication enabled.
  • Randomly sample a specified percentage of documents from your search.
  • Group your documents by family and choose whether you’d like to remove certain family members from your search results.

To read more about grouping and removal options in Everlaw search, please see the grouping and filtering article.

A summary of your selected options will appear in a chevron-style list in the bottom right of the corresponding logical container. You can apply grouping and removal options to multiple logical containers. The settings selected on this tab will apply to all documents recalled by the logical container.

Here is an example of a search for which the More Options tab has been activated for more than one logical container:


This search can be read like so: Documents containing both “solar” and “wind” and grouped by attachments, or containing “California,” including duplicates and grouped by exact duplicates, with 20% sampled of total results.

The documents in the results table will be organized into duplicate groups, including the attachments of the documents containing “solar” and “wind.”



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