An announcement early today from Google Distinguished Engineer Anurag Acharya that Google Scholar now features major cases, as well as an ability to search in legal periodicals for case citations.
I thought initially it was just American, but searching on the following names brought interesting results:
Donoghue v. Stevenson 2380 hits
R. Drybones 849 hits
Delgamuukw 956 hits
Mabo v. Queensland 2770 hits
Google hat-tips “several pioneers, who have worked on making it possible for an average citizen to educate herself about the laws of the land: Tom Bruce (Cornell LII), Jerry Dupont (LLMC), Graham Greenleaf and Andrew Mowbray (AustLII), Carl Malamud (Public.Resource.Org), Daniel Poulin (LexUM), Tim Stanley (Justia), Joe Ury (BAILII), Tim Wu (AltLaw) and many others”.
Google’s official blog comments:
As we worked to build this feature, we were struck by how readable and accessible these opinions are. Court opinions don’t just describe a decision but also present the reasons that support the decision. In doing so, they explain the intricacies of law in the context of real-life situations. And they often do it in language that is surprisingly straightforward, even for those of us outside the legal profession. In many cases, judges have gone quite a bit out of their way to make complex legal issues easy to follow. For example, in Korematsu v. United States, the Supreme Court justices present a fascinating and easy-to-follow debate on the legality of internment of natural born citizens based on their ancestry. And in United States v. Ramirez-Lopez, Justice Kozinski, in his dissent, illustrates the key issue of the case using an imagined good-news/bad-news dialogue between the defendant and his attorney.
The Google Scholar Advanced Search feature permits searching by
Legal opinions and journals
Search all legal opinions and journals.
Search only US federal court opinions.
Search only court opinions from the following states 50 states plus DC
It’s a start.
Watch this space