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Moritz Law  /  Law Library  /  Opinio Juris  / January 2011


Opinio Juris - January 2011

Scroll down to learn about the Report of Current Opinions, more case search options in Google Scholar, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, top iPad apps for lawyers, and a GPO Access clarification. Link to the Moritz Legal Information Blog for information about additional topics.

Report of Current Opinions

Public.Resource.Org announced an ambitious initiative to provide a free weekly release of all newly-issued federal and state appellate court opinions. The opinion release, called the Report of Current Opinions (RECOP), will begin in 2011. Legal publisher Fastcase will provide the opinions, which will be available in html form with star pagination. There will be no restrictions on reuse. The report will continue through 2012 with the hope that governments will provide similar access in the following years consistent with the principles set forth by Law.Gov. For more details, see this article by Public.Resource.Org founder Carl Malamud. The initial RECOP feed for 2011 is not yet available.

More Case Search Options in Google Scholar

Google Scholar now allows users to search its free U.S. case database by specific court. Users can search in a specific state supreme court and/or across a state's appellate courts. At the federal level, users can search in the U.S. Supreme Court and/or in specific appellate and district courts. According to Google, the database covers U.S. Supreme Court cases since 1791, lower federal court cases since 1923, and state supreme and appellate court cases since 1950. Information is not available as to how frequently Google updates the database, though recent searches have returned cases less than a week old. There are no headnotes, synopses, or caution flags such as are found in subscription databases, though there are lists of citing cases. To search for cases in specific courts, click the hyperlink at the bottom of Google Scholar’s Advanced Search page.


Eighteenth Century Collections Online

The Eighteenth Century Collections Online database provides access to digital images of over 200,000 volumes published between 1701 and 1800. Titles are mostly in English and printed in Britain or territories once under its control. The database allows for full-text searching of law-related material as well as other topics such as history, religion, and literature. Highlights of the law collection include classic legal treatises like Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, Sir John Comyns’ Digest of the Laws of England, and Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws, translated from the French. The database also includes an extensive collection of trial records. Eighteenth Century Collections Online is accessible on campus or off campus with OSU authentication.


iPad Apps for Lawyers

Technologist, Findlaw's legal technology blog, recently posted a list of its top five iPad applications for the legal field. The list includes Read It Later that allows iPad or smart phone users to easily mark and set aside articles or other items for later reading. Another is Dragon Dictation, a voice recognition application with which users can dictate emails, memos, and other documents. Also on the list is Evernote, a tool for storing and organizing notes, reminders, documents, photos, and more for easy access across computing devices. Click here for the full list of apps, all of which are free.

GPO Access Clarification

Reports of the imminent demise of the Government Printing Office's public access site GPO Access appear to have been slightly exaggerated by some sources including last month's newsletter. The latest news from the Government Printing Office is that the migration of content from GPO Access to the new FDsys site is complete, but that GPO Access will remain a parallel resource until mid-2011 when it will be officially retired. Nevertheless, users of GPO Access would be wise to become familiar with FDsys' interface and searching options.