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Google scholar – free case law


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  • 1. Free Case Law
    A Power Point Presentation
    By DittakaviRao
  • 2. Google Scholar - Introduction
    Documents of Google Scholar ( specialized database includes: “articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other websites.”
    Provides free full-text case law from federal and state courts.
    Started in November 2009.
    Cases taken from court websites and other sources such as Cornell (, Justia ( and
  • 3. Google Scholar – Coverage
    Coverage of case law includes:
    U.S. Supreme Court cases from 1791
    Federal Appellate (Circuit & District), Tax & Bankruptcy Court cases from 1923
    State Appellate and Supreme Court cases from 1950
  • 4. Google Scholar - Search
    General query box
    Click radio button “Legal opinions and journals”
    Advanced Scholar Search
    Provides several options
    Jurisdiction (You have to select only ONE from the following)
    All legal opinions and journals
    Federal cases (you cannot select individual court)
    Individual state(s) (you cannot select individual court)
  • 5.
  • 6. Google Scholar – Advanced Scholar Search
    Advanced Scholar Search is different than the advanced search feature of general Google.
    Offers similar Boolean search features in the ‘Find articles’ section: all of the words; exact phrase; at least one of the words; without the words; anywhere in the article/in the title of the article
    Also provides options for ‘author’; ‘publication’; ‘date’ and ‘collections.’ Two options are in the collections: In all subject areas or specific subject.
  • 7.
  • 8. You cannot select all three options. However, you may select multiple states.
  • 9. Google Scholar – Segment Search
    Does not recognize punctuation. Follow Blue Book citation format. e.g. “391 a 2d 1020”
    Case name
    Use Advanced Scholar Search and use ‘exact phrase option and select ‘in the title of the article’ option. E.g. “Azzarello v Black Bros” (Do not use ‘versus’ or v with period (v.) between the names.
  • 10. Google Scholar – Segment Search
    Use exact phrase – put the name in quotes from the general query box. e.g. “judge Flaherty”
    You can also restrict the results by selecting a jurisdiction and time (since year) specification. e.g. since 1998
    Topic search
    By default Google adds AND connector in between the words that amounts to more results. Use quotes if you know the words are in sequence. e.g “grandparents visitation rights”.
  • 11. Citation in quotes brings 449 results, without quote brings 15,600 results.
  • 12. When you select ‘Pennsylvania cases’ brings 114 results
    To select state jurisdictions, click on ‘Advanced Scholar Search’ option next to ‘Search’ button
  • 13. Name in quotes brings 307 results and without quotes brings 460 results
  • 14. Number of results vary upon selection of a year under “anytime” menu (1991-2010)
    Only 21 results came (since 2008) where Azzarello mentioned. Azzarello case did not appear since the case published in 1978.
  • 15.
  • 16. Google Scholar – Results Page
    Results are shown in order of relevance
    Next to each result you will see ‘ How cited’ link
    Bottom of the search result you may see links such as ‘Cited by’, ‘Related articles’, ‘All versions’, ‘BL Direct’ depending on the result.
    ‘BL Direct’ link provides documents from British Library for purchase. ‘All versions’ link provides the same document from different participating sources.
    Legal Opinions and journals
    Articles and patents
    Articles excluding patents
    Legal opinions and journals
    Federal Cases
    Advanced search
    Drop menu brings the list of the years (since 1991 – 2010 OR anytime options)
    Include citations
    ‘Include citations’ option provides only citation information not full text . ‘at least summaries’ option removes the citations that are not hyperlinked nor contains full text in the results list.
    Create email alert
    You can create an alert for your research. It sends new results to your email account. There is no option of selecting a daily/weekly/monthly alerts rather it sends whenever new results available.
  • 18. How cited (next to name of the case, Azzarello v Blck Bros)
    Provides list of the cases and articles, in which the Azzarello case was mentioned, providing context by including the exact location within quotes.
    Cited by 493 (bottom of the result)
    Provides list of the cases and articles where the case Azzarello is mentioned (no exact location)
    Related articles (bottom of the result)
    Provides similar cases and articles
  • 19.
  • 20. You can search within the results
  • 21. This is the results list of ‘Related articles’ link.
  • 22. Google Scholar – Reading a Case
    From the results list click on any case to read.
    Provides official and commercial cites.
    Page numbers in the text and margins are references to the page numbers in the reporter (star paging.)
    Full-text access to the cases cited within the case.
    Click on footnote numbers, takes you to the footnote text.
  • 23. Reference to Pennsylvania State
    Reports page number
    Reference to Pennsylvania State
    Reports page number
  • 24. Cases with hyperlinks are available in full text since they are in Google’s database.
  • 25. Without quotes Google adds in between words AND connector. Search within quotes brought 588 results. After selecting ‘Pennsylvania’ the same search brought 5 cases. Remember you may select year also from ‘anytime’ option.
    Subject Search
  • 26. Selection of ‘Pennsylvania’ resulted only five cases.
  • 27. Remember you can restrict the search to ‘Pennsylvania’ and also in a specific ‘Year’