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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Useful Resources for Legal Research

Many court decisions regarding employment discrimination are handled by the courts, based on what is known as Case Law. you can read about the definition of Case Law on Wikipedia at this link.

For those of you who would like to research the current state of Case Law regarding your favorite subject, there is bad news. Most Case Law is published by private companies that try to squeeze the most bucks out of what is essentially, public property. Most attorneys are using services like LexisNexis, that restrict access to a paid subscription audience.

Here is the arrogant LexisNexis view of the world:


Luckily, Cornell University Law School has come with their own solution to provide a (free of charge) public access Case Law service, which is available at: Legal Information Institute.

The idea behind doing your own research is not necessarily to save on hiring an attorney to handle a potential legal case, but rather to be informed before consulting with an attorney, and being able to determine if they are competent enough to serve you in seeking a set goal. While an attorney spent more time than you studying the law, you are more familiar with specifics of your case and your work environment. By complementing your knowledge with legal background information you will be able to ask more relevant questions and even challenge the assumptions that an attorney makes, because they don't really know how your situation before investing time in investigations.

There are many more reasons to know about the law and the legal processes that govern our lives. What could be more therapeutic for an unemployed person than expanding their horizons with exciting new subjects ... :)

Below is a screen shot of one of my query results.


Here is another screen shot.


I encourage everyone to poke around in this site, discover the capabilities and share with the rest of us.

All the best.

--Dr. Flywheel

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