Posts Tagged ‘Legal Research’

Google takes on Lexis and Westlaw

November 17, 2009

Not quite but Google has added free case law to its Google Scholar offering.  Quickly searching this database I was struck by two things:

*In terms of content, this is a limited database which could serve as a quick and cheap alternative when I need to find out something about a legal issue.  It isn’t appropriate for any question when the goal is to be exhaustive. 

*The Google interface is far superior to anything the proprietary legal vendors offer.  It’s very straightforward and easy to use in a way that I hope is keeping Lexis and Westlaw product developers up at night.


November 27, 2008

Here is a site ( ) that has a great mission and has already collect an impressive amount of state and local administrative codes.  I think its resources should be much greater. 

While Lexis and Westlaw play a role; providing quick and efficient access to public information for professionals who can and should pay for that access, its seems to me that the public should, when necessary have access to the same information.  Not with the same bells  and the whistles perhaps; not the ability to see annotations or download multiple cases or perform sophisticated research.  That’s fair.  But if they  are sued or feel the need to sue, they should be able to lookup case law, statutory law, administrative law, court records and filings.  To that end, I think Los Angeles County Superior Court’s effort to monetize its court filings is wrong.  Even Pacer should provisions for free public access and charge attorneys a fee.   Okay, that my Thanksgiving rant for the day!