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Friday, November 16, 2007

Free caselaw on the Internet

For all of you lawyers who’ve not yet subscribed to a computer assisted legal research provider due to the cost, it looks like the wait is paying off -- at least as to federal caselaw.

Earlier this week it was announced that all federal Courts of Appeals decisions from 1950 to the present and all Supreme Court decisions since its inception will be made available for free to the public.

Fastcase, a legal research provider, has agreed to supply Public.Resource.Org with 1.8 million pages of federal caselaw. It’s expected that Public.Resource.Org will begin making the information available in early 2008. The two companies say that further announcements will be forthcoming on the availability of additional caselaw, including federal district court and pre-1949 appellate decisions.

Currently, lexisONE allows free access to state and federal caselaw, but it only goes back five years. Supreme Court decisions are available back to 1781. Another free caselaw database in the works is Altlaw.org, a pilot project by Columbia Law School and the University of Colorado Law School.
For more information on the new federal caselaw archive, see the press release announcing the project.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of course, full Fastcase access is already available to all MSBA members, so while I am a bit fan of this news for the public, it shouldn't change anything for Minnesota lawyers.