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.