FREE SEARCHABLE CALIFORNIA OPINIONS NOW AVAILABLE ON
October 30, 2003
The Administrative Office of the Court's AOC (with a little
help from Lexis-Nexis) has launched a free searchable online
database of published California opinions. While it has
some drawbacks, this new database has the advantage of being
both free and comprehensive. The new site is actually
a Lexis-Nexis webpage providing free access to all published
California cases going back to 1850. You can search by party
name, natural language search terms, and date. You can also
pull opinions by citation.
There are a couple of potential drawbacks to the database.
First, to access the webpage from the California
Courts CourtInfo Opinions page, you must first click
through an "Important Information" page and then
a LexisNexis "Terms and Conditions" page. You
can avoid the CourtInfo page and the "Important Information"
page by book marking this page: http://www.lexisnexis.com/clients/CACourts/?.
Or access the page from the FDAP
free law library page . But there is no way to avoid
the "Terms and Conditions" page. Second, the search
engine is probably not a complete substitute for fullpowered
searching, using such services as Westlaw or Lexis. For
instance, the cases do not include the interior page numbers,
so you have to use a different source to get your jump cites.
Despite these possible drawbacks, the cost and comprehensiveness
of the site may make it a helpful tool for those who don't
pay a flat-rate for a more sophisticated service.