Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reference Tidbit - Using Google Scholar for Combined Search of Texas State Court Opinions

By Jessica R. Alexander, J.D., M. L. S., Reference Librarian

The official web sites of the courts in the Texas Judicial system are not integrated when it comes to case and opinion searches. See Texas Courts Online. Thanks to the Google Scholar search this problem is solved to some degree.

Obviously Google has a search algorithm that extracts Texas appellate opinions from the official websites. Google overlays them with a Southwest Reporter citation. Of course the search is limited by the date spans of the loaded opinions.

To perform a search, go to the main Google page and click More and click on ScholarYou can search from that page by clicking the button Legal opinions and journals, or, even better, click on the Advanced search button. Put in your search terms and go to the bottom of the search form and specify the courts (either state or federal) that you want to search. Note there is also a link to a menu of combined searches. You can search any or all of the state or federal courts in a particular jurisdiction. The images below depict a sample search. Click on the images to enlarge them.