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Legal Research On The Internet
 

Legal Research On The Internet

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10/08/08 presentation at the SL Bar Assn. by Cat Galileo (Kate Fitz). Handouts available at: http://slba.info/speakers/links.pdf

10/08/08 presentation at the SL Bar Assn. by Cat Galileo (Kate Fitz). Handouts available at: http://slba.info/speakers/links.pdf

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Legal Research On The Internet Legal Research On The Internet Presentation Transcript

  • Legal Research on the (Free) Internet Presented by: Kate Fitz Public Services Librarian Sacramento County Public Law Library
  • Sources of law
    • Primary Sources contain the law
      • Actual statements of the law
      • Codes, Cases, Regulations
      • Generally available online
    • Secondary Sources explain the law
      • Material “about” the law, often starting point for research
      • Limited availability online
  • Search Techniques on the Internet
      • Boolean, wildcards, “exact phrase,” proximity
      • Always take a peek at the “help” or “search tips”
      • Broken links? Site map, URL trimming, Google’s “site:” search
      • Alternative terms, terms to focus
    Introduction
  • Primary Sources
  • Case Law
  • http://findlaw.com/cacases/
    • 1934 to the present
    • Free, but registration required
    California cases
  • http://findlaw.com/cacases/ Cases citing this case Pin cite No indication of total hits
  • http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/ Advanced Search More Search Terms California Courts – Powered by LexisNexis
    • Cases since 1850
    • Registration not required
    • Many search options
  • Print or email Focus w/in results Validation symbols California Courts http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/
  • Other State Case Law
    • FindLaw a good source, but varies in coverage
    • Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII): http://www.law.cornell.edu/states/listing.html
    • Check with your local public law library! http://aallnet.org/sis/sccll/membership/libraries.htm
  • Federal Case Law
    • All Supreme Court, F2d and F3d
    • West Rptr citations w/ pagination
    • Advanced search available
    http://www.precydent.com/
  • Federal Case Law – other options
    • Altlaw: http:// altlaw.org / . All Supreme Court cases, 40+years of federal appellate cases, most with West Reporter citations, but not pagination. Advanced search functions available.
    • Justia: http:// law.justia.com / Federal and state cases, including some access to current case dockets. Citations, but not pagination. Google search (no built-in advanced search)
  • Statutes
  • California statutes http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.htm Click here For CA code
    • Current code only
    • Not annotated
    • Keyword searchable
    NO INDEX!!
  • Searching the California Codes fence Can my neighbor build a 12-foot high fence next to my property just to annoy me? http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.htm
  • The plain statement of the law http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.htm
  • leave keyword blank Browsing Table of Contents Choose a code to view, then… http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.htm
  • Browsing Table of Contents No way to plug in cites! http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.htm
  • Other State Statutes
    • FindLaw a good source, but varies in coverage
    • Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII): http://www.law.cornell.edu/states/listing.html
    • Check with your local public law library! http://aallnet.org/sis/sccll/membership/libraries.htm
  • United States Code
    • U.S. House of Representatives http:// uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml Plug in citations or search text. Many search options including cross-references to a citation. Classification Tables (recently enacted changes). Prior versions of Code.
    • Cornell Legal Information Institute http:// www.law.cornell.edu/uscode / Plug in citations or search text. Table of Popular Names; advanced search options.
  • Regulations
  • California Code of Regulations http://www.calregs.com/
    • Regulations of all California agencies
    • Only the current edition is available
    • Title 24 (CA Building Standards Code) is NOT available on the Internet
  • Click for Table of Contents http://www.calregs.com/ California Code of Regulations Plug in citation Search for words
  • http://www.calregs.com/ California Code of Regulations What insects can be imported without a permit? import AND insects AND permit
  • http://www.calregs.com/ California Code of Regulations
  • Other State Regulations
    • Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII): http://www.law.cornell.edu/states/listing.html
    • Check with your local public law library! http://aallnet.org/sis/sccll/membership/libraries.htm
    • e-CFR: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov
    • Federal Register: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/
    Federal regulations http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html
  • Municipal law
  • California City & County Codes http://igs.berkeley.edu/library/calcodes.html Also see: California City Websites & City Codes http://law.justia.com/ california/cities/
  • Other Municipal & County Codes http://tinyurl.com/3rppn
  • Sacramento City Code Online http://www.qcode.us/codes/sacramento/
  • Public Records Searching
    • Types of records available varies from County to County and from State to State
  • Cal. Secretary of State http://kepler.ss.ca.gov/list.html
    • Links to many free public records databases around the U.S.
    • Can limit by state
    • Also many links to pay searches
    www.freeprf.com
  • Court Records
    • California
      • Many California courts offer online case index
      • More and more offer online documents
      • Find California courts on the Judicial Council site http://courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/find.htm
    • Other States
      • Available records vary
      • Find court websites at Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII): http:// www.law.cornell.edu /
    • Federal dockets and documents: see PACER. Some free at Justia.com and public.resource.org
    http://courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/find.htm
  • Secondary Sources
    • Secondary sources such as:
    • CEB practice guides
    • Rutter Group materials
    • Matthew Bender pleading and practice guides
    • … are NOT available for free on the Internet
    $215.00 $361.25 $4201.00
  • Cornell Legal Information Institute: Wex http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex Articles arranged alphabetically Keyword Search
  • FindLaw: “Learn About the Law” http://public.findlaw.com/ Arranged topically or alphabetically
  • Nolo.com: Self Help Publisher www.nolo.com Commercial site, but many helpful articles available free
  • California Judicial Council www.courtinfo.ca.gov Self-Help Center
  • Local court websites http://www.caeb.uscourts.gov/
    • Info on specific topics and local practice
    • Forms, instructions, samples
    • Links to more resources
    • Find your jurisdiction: www.law.cornell.edu/soj.html
  • Law Reviews
  • Washburn Legal Research on the Web www.washlaw.edu/lawjournal/
  • L aw Review Home Pages ( D’Angelo Law Library) www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/law/lawreviews.html
  • Google Scholar – article search
    • Links to full text sometimes availalble
    http://scholar.google.com/
  • Keeping current – Law Blogs
    • Written by practitioners or scholars
    • Regularly updated news, case reports, and commentary on specialized topics
    • RSS feeds can deliver the news to you
  • Finding blawgs - Justia http://blawgsearch.justia.com/
  • Law Professor Blogs http://www.lawprofessorblogs.com/
  • Thank you for coming!
    • [email_address]
    • IM Cat Galileo
    • www.galileolaw.com (coming soon)