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Internet and Subscription-based Legal Research


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Internet and Subscription-based Legal Research

  1. 1. Internet and Subscription-based Legal Research Margaret Clark, Reference Librarian FSU College of Law Library December 2005
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Identify Web sources of value for conducting legal research </li></ul><ul><li>Identify subscription databases other than L/W for conducting legal research </li></ul>
  3. 3. Legal Research on the Web <ul><li>GOOD FOR: </li></ul><ul><li>Current and recent documents </li></ul><ul><li>Significant or recent cases; SC cases </li></ul><ul><li>Federal & state codes, statutes and regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Government publications </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign and international materials </li></ul>
  4. 4. Legal Research on the Web <ul><li>NOT GOOD FOR: </li></ul><ul><li>Older cases; historical materials </li></ul><ul><li>Annotated codes </li></ul><ul><li>Full-text journal articles </li></ul><ul><li>Treatises </li></ul><ul><li>Complete overview of the law </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth, thorough legal research </li></ul>
  5. 5. Subscription-based databases <ul><li>GREAT FOR: </li></ul><ul><li>Locating full-text articles, law reviews, some treatises </li></ul><ul><li>Locating retrospective and current articles and cases </li></ul><ul><li>Florida case law not in W/L </li></ul>
  6. 6. Secondary Sources <ul><li>Treatises </li></ul><ul><li>Law reviews and articles </li></ul><ul><li>Encyclopedias and dictionaries </li></ul>
  7. 7. Locating treatises <ul><li>Aleph , online catalog </li></ul><ul><li>NetLibrary </li></ul><ul><li>WorldCat </li></ul><ul><li>Index Master </li></ul>All are subscription databases.
  8. 8. Locating law reviews <ul><li>LexisNexis Academic </li></ul><ul><li>Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP), 1980- </li></ul><ul><li>ILP Retrospective, -1980 </li></ul><ul><li>LegalTrac </li></ul><ul><li>Hein Online </li></ul><ul><li>JSTOR; Project Muse </li></ul><ul><li>E-journals page </li></ul>All of these are subscription databases
  9. 9. Locating law reviews <ul><li>Emory’s list of legal journals </li></ul><ul><li>Findlaw’s list </li></ul><ul><li>Google Scholar </li></ul><ul><li>Law Library of Congress </li></ul><ul><li>University Law Review Project </li></ul>All of these are free Internet sites
  10. 10. Encyclopedias and Dictionaries <ul><li>Pathfinders/Research Guides </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LLRX (Law Library Resource Exchange) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LexNotes .com Pathfinders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online encyclopedias </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zimmerman’s Online Encyclopedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cornell LII’s Wex </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online dictionaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li> dictionary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Lectric Law Lexicon </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Case Law <ul><li>Court Web sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Florida Supreme Court </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Portal Web sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Florida State Courts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Law Journal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subscription databases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lexis-Nexis Academic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hein Online </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Case law – Portal sites <ul><li>Findlaw: Cases and Codes </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Cornell LII </li></ul><ul><li>American Law Sources Online (ALSO) </li></ul><ul><li>National Law Journal </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Court Locator </li></ul><ul><li>Florida State Courts </li></ul>Text of Opinions
  13. 13. Case law – US Supreme Court <ul><li>Opinions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FREE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Supreme Court 1991 to present </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Findlaw 1893 to present </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> 1790 to present </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SUBSCRIPTION DATABASES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hein Online 1754 to present </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>BNA U.S. Law Week, 1997 to present </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LexisNexis Academic </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Case law – US Supreme Court <ul><li>Oral Arguments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supreme Court site (transcript) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oyez Project (audio) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Records and Briefs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Findlaw 1999 to present </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Case law – Federal courts <ul><li>PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic public access to service that allows users to obtain: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Case information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Docket information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From Federal Courts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Courts of Appeal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>District & Bankruptcy courts </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Case law – Federal courts <ul><li>Searching PACER </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. Party/Case Index </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PACER District Look-Up </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subscription database: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>agencies or individuals must register </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Very inexpensive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$.08/page (applies to number of pages that results in any search), OR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$.60/minute charge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$2.40 maximum per document </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Case law – Federal courts <ul><li>Other sites for federal cases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.uscourts. gov free Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LexisNexis Academic subscription </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Case law – Florida <ul><li>Free, Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Florida Law Online portal site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ALSO: Florida (portal site) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Florida Supreme Court 1999+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fla. SC Records and Briefs Apr 1998+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FSU Briefs and opinions Nov 1989+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WFSU Oral Arguments Online 1997+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opinions from other Florida courts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subscription </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Florida Law Weekly 1995+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LexisNexis Academic – State search </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Court Rules <ul><li>LLRX’s Court Rules </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Supreme Court , Cornell LII </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Judiciary </li></ul>
  20. 20. Constitutions <ul><li>U.S. Constitution (GPO Access) </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Constitution (Library of Congress) </li></ul><ul><li>Florida Constitution </li></ul>
  21. 21. Statutes - Federal <ul><li>Portal sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Law Library of Congress </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Federal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GPOAccess , Cornell LII , US House of Representatives site , Thomas </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Statutes - States <ul><li>Florida </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Sunshine constitution, statutes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Department of State public laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digest of General Laws only electronic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law Library of Congress portal site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other States </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Findlaw , Cornell LII , Law Library of Congress </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Municipal Codes -- municode .com </li></ul>
  23. 23. Legislative History <ul><li>Federal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thomas , GPO Access free </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LexisNexis Academic subscription </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Florida </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Sunshine official online site </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Administrative Law <ul><li>Federal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal Register </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GPO Access , Regulations. gov (Internet) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hein Online (subscription) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Code of Federal Regulations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GPO Access (official text) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E-CFR (most up-to-date) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cornell LII </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Florida </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FAC : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FAW : </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Administrative Decisions <ul><li>Federal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual agency web sites ( directory ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>List of federal agency decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Florida </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Division of Administrative Hearings (free) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Florida Administrative Law Reports (sub) </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Current Awareness <ul><li>Cornell’s InSite highlights selected law-related Web sites </li></ul><ul><li>LLRX Buzz Web journal on Internet legal research </li></ul><ul><li>The Virtual Chase legal research articles </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract Appeal weblog for Florida law </li></ul><ul><li>Findlaw’s Breaking Legal Documents email newsletter </li></ul>
  27. 27. Citation Guides <ul><li>Cornell’s Basic Legal Citation </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. The End