Google Scholar = Free Caselaw

by Annette Burns on November 19, 2009

Tried Google Scholar yet?  I'm not saying that it's going to do all your complex legal research for you, but it's definitely useful.

If you can use Google, you can use Google Scholar.   Try it out this way:

Go to the regular Google home page

At the top where various Google services are listed, click "more" and then on the drop-down menu, click "Scholar"

The Google Scholar home page looks alot like the regular Google home page.   Save it to your favorites.

On that page, go to "Advanced  Scholar Search".

On this page, for a keyword type in something fairly specific to Arizona law, such as "Drahos", "Cockrill", Rueschenberg", or the like.  (If you don't know how to spell Rueschenberg, best not to use that example.)

Before hitting "search", scroll down further on that page and check the box next to Arizona, so your search is limited to Arizona court opinions.

Now hit the "Search Scholar" button, and bingo—the sole result is your case, in full.  Arizona cites within the case are hyperlinked so you can go directly to other cases from there.

What a great way to quickly grab a case that you know!

I recently had to find the Arizona case that states that while a wage assignment can only take up to 50% of the obligor's diposable earnings, the obligor still owes any child support which is ordered in excess of that amount.    I used Google Scholar to search "wage assignment", again limited my search to Arizona, and a page of Arizona cases was produced.   The case I wanted —- Fuentes —- was right there on the first page of search results.

Try it.

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