June 4, 2008
Free Citators Available from Public Domain Legal Search Engines
Check out Bonnie Shucha's (Wisconsin) review of new citators now available from AltLaw & PreCYdent. I agree with her assessment completely. These services "just aren't proven yet. What is the depth of coverage? Will it pick up all the important cases? One must feel a fair degree of trust in a citator. Are you ready to rely on a free one in preparing your brief?" In other words, not yet ready for prime time, that is to say, for use by legal professionals.
But of all the new open source legal search engines, the one to watch in my opinion is PreCYdent, not because of its new citator, but because of its very sophisticated search capabilities. See our earlier post: Law Prof as Toolmaker: An Interview with PreCYdent's Thomas A. Smith (San Diego) and the following brief video on how to use PreCYdent. [JH]
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