Thursday, February 14, 2008

Well, this is pretty cool
Tom Smith

This makes me very happy, from Above the Law:

2. PreCYdent. PLoL isn't the only free law library on the web. From a tipster:

Have you posted about Professor Tom Smith's new research tool, PreCYdent? It's an amazing concept and it works quite well, even though only in its early stages.

A description from Professor Smith:

Right now our library consists of all US Supreme Court cases and US Court of Appeals cases going back to the 1950s (i.e. F.3d and F.2d). Automatic updaters are in place, so new cases are uploaded in slip opinion form as soon as they are released by these courts. We are working on having the last ten years of cases from all 50 states available soon. Everything is in XML.

It's free. We believe that all law that is in the public domain should be available to everybody for free. Personally, I think I paid for it once already around April 15th or so.

More details here and here.

check out the comments too, especially this one:


I have used Precydent before. It produces much more relevant results than Lexis or WestLaw. More importantly, its free so I don't have our librarian complaining about my searches. 

And in fact, the commentor is quite correct.  Just think what we could do if we charged thousands of dollars per search and had annual revenues in the billions!  We have no comment on the comment about the Lexis rep, which I am sure is a complete fantasy, and indicative of what happens to the mind when billings exceed 2500 hours per year.

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Tom Smith