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Availability of Court Records Online

#37: April - June 2007 (Non-Fiction)

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Availability of Court Records Online

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I just posted an Opinion from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. This is just one of quite a few lower court decisions, not to mention all the SCOTUS decisions, where I was able to find a free and complete copy of the opinions online. Until this century, most of these Opinions and other legal writings were only available in legal publications and then subscription-only websites (with very high subscription fees). Because I have always done all my legal research one such subscription site (LexisNexis), I'm shocked that I have been able to, rather easily, find most of the Opinions online. Now we are largely talking about cases that have set significant precedent, which I am sure lends itself to their free availability. But I just thought I would note that the last century, and the internet, has really opened jurisprudence up to lay examination with very little effort and expense. I love to see instances of the democratization of information.
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