Google Scholar has made freely available a searchable database of US legal cases. in a blog post on the Official Google Blog the details of this great new development have been found. According to Google, “We think this addition toGoogle Scholar will empower the average citizen by helping everyone learn more about the laws that govern us all.” Case citations will often being clickable (as inWestlaw or Lexis) and a “cases cited” function, similar to the manual “shepardizing” of cases many of us learnt in law school will find cases in the newGoogle database that cite the case your are searching. The database also includes links to various legal journals, though when I tried to click through to results, often only the first page of the journal was available, some kind of paid scholar research account was necessary to retrieve the full article. The coverage will initially include eighty years (80) of federal case law, including Supreme Court decisions from the founding of the Republic, and fifty (50) years of state case law. You can access Google Scholar case law here (will open in a new window).
Will this bring down the cost of Lexis and Westlaw? Probably not as they still monopolize digital access to many of the legal treatises that provides specialized legal knowledge to practitioners in various specialty areas.Read More