Google Scholar Adds US Case Law

November 17, 2009

On November 17 Google Scholar made a large collection of US Federal and State case law available online. See: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/finding-laws-that-govern-us.html

While Google has yet not provided details of the extent of the coverage, it appears as though coverage of US Supreme Court decisions begin with volume 1 of the United States Reports and other Federal and State decisions begin at 1950. (Our test of volume 10 (1810) of the United States Reports found every case we searched).

It is unclear what Google’s sources are for much of this case law (some appears to come from publicresource.org) but all cases have the same pagination as the printed reporters but do not include editorial content such as headnotes and Key Numbers.

At this stage of course the commercial sources’ (Lexis, Westlaw) added editorial content and the ability to note up make them a more complete academic research tool. Still this is an interesting development that could lead to wider access to US case law in the same way that CANLII has increased access to Canadian case law.

In addition to US case law Google Scholar also searches some major online journal collections such as Hein and JSTOR. Searching Google scholar while connected to the UofT network will link you to the full article via the Library’s licensed access to Hein or JSTOR. When not connected to the UofT network, search results are limited to only the first page of a journal article.

We will update this entry as more information comes out.


New and Cool: Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots)

November 6, 2009

It is often difficult to keep current with what is new in the world of legal academic publishing. Jotwell, sponsored by the University of Miami School of law, attempts to make this task easier by identifying and discussing the best new legal scholarship in the form short (500-1000 words) reviews of recently published articles, or contributions to pre-publication sites like SSRN or BePress. Each section of the site is supervised by an editorial team of legal academics who solicit entries from the academic community.  The site includes sections on

Users can subscribe to an RSS feed which makes keeping up to date even more efficient by delivering content to you via your news aggregator or directly to you e-mail


New Title: Selden Society Publications and the History of Early English Law

November 3, 2009

Selden Society Publications and the History of Early English Law

This new resource from Hein Online provides U of T students with access to  huge collection of resources. These resources include searchable PDF versions of  publications from the Selden Society and Harvard’s Ames Foundation as well as the English Reports ( 1220-1694), the Statutes of the Realm (1235-1713), and collections of early English legal classics and scholarly law review articles on the subject.

The Selden Society is a ‘learned society devoted to the history of English Law.” Each year the Society publishes a volume of reprints of  original legal sources; including early law reports, courts’ records, judges’ notebooks, legal treatises, precedent and practice books. The source material is accompanied by a modern English translation. The Ames Foundation, has also published a number of reprints including the Year Books of Richard II and Lex mercatoria.

The collection also includes:

  • Fitzherbert’s Grand Abridgement of the Law
  • Brooke’s Grand Abridgement of the Law
  • Bracton’s Laws of England
  • Hughes Grand Abridgment of the Law
  • Rolle’s Abridgment
  • Cowel’s Interpreter
  • Matthew Hale’s History & Analysis of the Common Law of England
  • Pufendorf’s Law
  • Selden’s Opera Omnia
  • Viner’s Abridgment  & Supplement
  • Blackstone’s Analysis of the Laws of England
  • Blackstone’s Commentaries
  • Comyns’ Digest – First and Second Editions
  • Bacon’s Reading on the Statute of Uses
  • Coke’s Institutes – First through the Fourth Parts
  • Coke’s Reports
  • Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws
  • Travers Twiss’ Monumena Juridica, The Black Book of Admiralty

The collection can be accessed from the library catalog at  http://main.library.utoronto.ca/eir/EIRdetail.cfm?Resources__ID=889043&T=J&F