New York criminal defense firm Tilem & Campbell announces that Google has recently launched a new site entitled Google Scholar which can be used for legal research by legal professionals and non-lawyers. The Site allows searches for articles and full text legal opinions for free. Opinions from both State and Federal Courts can be searched. Although the site is a wonderful resource it does have its limitations and is not expected to replace Lexis or Westlaw which are the two main paid legal research sites.

One of the chief limitations, is the lack of any type of citator. The question any lawyer asks when they find a case that they wish to use as a legal precedent is whether the case is still “good law”. In other words has this case been overruled by a subsequent Court decision, a higher Court decision or a subsequent statute. Paid research sites allow a lawyer to check the status of the case with just a few clicks. Google Scholar lacks such a citator.

The service, however, does give both the general public and lawyers alike a free, first glance at the law. Google Scholar appears to be a breakthrough in making our laws accessible to the general public in a free, accessible and searchable way. Members of the general public should be aware, however, that a little legal knowledge can be dangerous and are well advised to check other resources such as this blog and to consult with a lawyer for any legal issue.

As described in this blog, the law can be in its own language and if any members of the general public need help in understanding any of the New York Criminal issues that they research on Google Scholar they can check the “Legal Terms Defined” section of this blog or contact anyone of our experienced New York Criminal Lawyers.

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