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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    77

    Question What's the Best Online Tool or System for Researching Case Law

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: Arizona

    Can anyone recommend what they consider to be the best online tool/system for researching case law?

    I need to be able to track down cases based on key legal terms in order to build my own references.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Best Online Tool/System for Researching Case Law

    If you're talking higher end, WestLaw and Lexis are quite comparable - some prefer one or the other, but many pick whichever is cheapest when their contract is up for renewal.

    For cheaper services you'll have to search out those that offer the case law and other resources you want and decide if their feature set is adequate - most, for example, lack a tool for checking the validity of a case, leaving you to search for future references to the case and to verify yourself whether or not the ruling has been affected by subsequent legislation or judicial rulings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,280

    Default Re: Best Online Tool/System for Researching Case Law

    If you try larger public libraries, or the libraries at many state universities, you may get to use Lexis (or Westlaw) there for free. It behooves you to be efficient as times may be limitted and others be waiting. You might want to try some "googling" to get some relevant cases (even if you can't find the opinions) before sitting down logged into Lexus.

    Actually, Westlaw has a pay as you go service I used to do a few years back. You can search and I think you only pay when you pull the actual cases, but I'd check that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Best Online Tool/System for Researching Case Law

    There is no one tool that is best.

    It depends if you are looking for freebies or you are a practicing attorney and can pay $200 a month or more (for a single practioner) for access to Lexis and Westlaw.

    Google works fine for most purposes. Most appeal court opinions, etc. are available online.

    LexisOne is the free version of Lexis and can be useful.

    To do indepth research you need a real law library and you need to know how to sheperdize cases.

    The most important thing is to have a complete understanding of the area of law you are researching. That means lots of reading of case law. Of course you need to have a good understanding of terms and concepts to begin with so you understand what you are reading and the significance of it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Best Online Tool/System for Researching Case Law

    I use two, and they are both free. They include: Lexis (you can get back to 10 yrs historical opinions free w/reg.) & google scholar. But I actually prefer westlaw. Maybe your courthouse has westlaw & online then you can use all 3 if you like.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Best Online Tool/System for Researching Case Law

    I'm pro se and as broke as they come. If you Google and look for cases on Casetext, you can often read the case and copy and paste right from the page. Doesn't work though if you go to their website and try searching because then you'll get the pop up asking for a card. I also use Recap, a plugin for Google to revisit Pacer cases that are then sent to Court Listener. I think you can download documents that other's have purchased for free there.

    Free trials are great too!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,280

    Default Re: Best Online Tool/System for Researching Case Law

    I also had a "fastcase" (another Thompson service) subscription for a while. Gave you pretty good access to most state and federal stuff. Ran about $90/mo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,670

    Default Re: Best Online Tool/System for Researching Case Law

    This thread is almost 9 years old!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,280

    Default Re: Best Online Tool/System for Researching Case Law

    Yeah, I noticed that, but this one, unlike most, is rather timeless in its subject matter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,274

    Default Re: Best Online Tool/System for Researching Case Law

    These days Google Scholar is a decent source and it's free.

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