More than 160,000 new accounts in the federal judiciary’s Public Access to Electronic Court Records (PACER) service were established in fiscal year 2011. That’s an average of more than 3,000 new accounts each week.
The PACER service center, located in San Antonio, responded to about 165,000 telephone calls and about 42,000 emails in FY 2011. More than one-third of the existing 1.3 million PACER accounts were active over the course of the fiscal year that ends September 30, 2011.
Nice article on the Electronic World Treaty Index and related sources:
- The Electronic World Treaty Index, by Daniel Martin Katz, VoxPopuLII, Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute (May 6, 2011).
Gary has a not-to-be-missed article over at Resource Shelf about how the new feature in Google Scholar, which allows you to search within a set of papers that cite a particular paper, works on legal opinions and articles in law journals. He gives tips and examples.
- New from Google Scholar: Search Within Cited Articles, by Gary Price Resource Shelf (July 2nd, 2010).
See also the post on the Google Scholar Blog, Search within citing articles, that announces the service (but which does not mention legal information).
Big hat tip to Gary!
As announced last year, Google Scholar searches now include legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate, and supreme courts. An earlier review said that it would not replace commerical case law providers but that it does offer is an amazing place to start case research. A new review echoes those findings:
- Google Scholar: A New Way to Search for Cases and Related Legal Publications, By David Tsai and Courtney Minick, LLRX (December 30, 2009). [Previously Posted by: The Bar Association of San Francisco, republished with permission.]
...Google Scholar will not replace commercial legal publishers such as LexisNexis® or Westlaw® any time soon. The value in paid services lies mostly in the editorial work they provide on top of caselaw -- e.g., headnotes and cite checking features...
Something else to keep in mind -- Google Scholar is limited to case law, and does not include statutes or regulations...
All together, many lawyers have concluded that Google Scholar is a great place to conduct preliminary research, or to review new cases that have not yet been affected by precedent.
Google announced recently that Google Scholar searches would now include legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate, and supreme courts. There is an early review of this service at LLRX:
- Bridging the DiGital Divide: A New Vendor in Town? Google Scholar Now Includes Case Law. By John J. DiGilio, LLRX (November 18, 2009).
Is Google Scholar a replacement for the more expensive case law providers on the market? DiGilio says not really, but that it does offer is an amazing place to start case research.
The Fastcase Public Library of Law was launched yesterday as "the most comprehensive free resource for legal research online." PLoL claims that it is the largest free law library in the world. A cursory examination shows an easy to use interface with links to caselaw, statutes, and regulations. You can look at federal law or choose your state from a dropdown menu. We'll all have to spend some time trying it out to see if it's a resource we can enthusiastically recommend.
There are also links to content you have to pay for - legal forms, for example, is one of the main tabs but you have to buy the forms after viewing them. I'm not crazy about that - But most of the links are free. Fastcase is a commercial legal research company that specializes in caselaw databases. Offering free, well-organized legal information is probably a smart business decision too if it builds the name and reputation of your company.