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Moritz Law  /  Law Library  /  Opinio Juris  / July 2013


Opinio Juris - July 2013

Scroll down to read about the Oyez Project's plans to incorporate oral argument audio from state high courts, a new judicial opinion resource called Casetext, the Legal Trac database, and update sessions for Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg.

Oyez - State High Courts

Chicago-Kent College of Law's Oyez Project, widely known for its archive of U.S. Supreme Court oral argument audio and transcripts, recently announced plans to expand its coverage to state high courts. The project will use a funding award from the Knight Foundation to begin assembling material on high courts in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, and Texas. In addition to oral argument coverage, Oyez plans to provide biographical sketches of the judges and voting information. Eventual plans also include coverage of federal appellate courts. See Oyez's press release and a related article in the National Law Journal.

Annotated Cases Available on Casetext

An interesting new tool for freely accessing judicial opinions recently emerged in beta form -- Casetext. The site's co-founders are former presidents of Harvard Law Review and Stanford Law Review, both clerking for First Circuit Judge Michael Boudin. Casetext offers a Wikipedia-like option to annotate cases. Users can add descriptions, comments, tags, and links to related cases and explanatory secondary material. For an example, see Shelby County v. Holder. To annotate cases, users must first sign-up (see link at upper right of site). Coverage is currently limited to U.S. Supreme Court cases, federal circuit court cases from Volume 1 of F.2d, federal district court cases published in F.Supp. and F.Supp.2d from 1980, and Delaware cases published in A., A.2d, and A.3d from Volume 30 of A. Hat tip to Katrina Lee for noting this new resource.

Legal Trac

The Moritz Law Library offers access to Legal Trac, a database that offers subject searching for articles in law journals and other legal publications. At times this can be a useful alternative to full-text searching in Westlaw, Lexis, and other journal databases. Coverage begins in 1980. Users can limit searches to peer-reviewed publications or expand the scope to include legal newspapers and bar association journals. As users type terms into a "subject guide" search, the search box will automatically generate possible suggestions of indexed subjects. Legal Trac is accessible anywhere in Drinko Hall.

Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Update Sessions

As reported elsewhere, representatives from Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg will soon be at the College to conduct faculty/staff information sessions on recent and upcoming changes to their research platforms. The schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, August 1st at noon with lunch provided - Lexis


  • Monday, August 5th at 10am with coffee and pastries provided - Bloomberg


  • Thursday, August 8th at noon with lunch provided - Westlaw


All sessions will be in Room 245. RSVP is not necessary.