Attorney and author Kathy Biehl practiced law privately in Houston, Texas for 18½ years before relocating to New York City in 1998. She has taught legal research and writing at the University of Houston Law Center and business law at Rice University. A member of the State Bar of Texas, she earned a B.A. with highest honors from Southern Methodist University and a J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law, where she was a member of Texas Law Review and Order of the Coif. She is co-author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Internet Research (Scarecrow Press, Nov. 2000), with Tara Calishain.
Each edition of Research Roundup will pull together related, practical online services that take outstanding advantage of the convenience and efficiency of the Internet.
There’s no need to wait for the advance sheets to arrive in the mail, if a slip opinion listserver or notification service is available for the jurisdictions you follow. Though traditional fee-based subscription services exist, a number of these list emanate directly from courts, at no cost. This list represents my most recent tally of both types of alert services and will be periodically updated. The fee-based listings include services that are available at no additional charge to paid subscribers of a publication or members of an organization.
Free Slip Opinion Listservers
To receive the Report of Decisions’ official syllabi of opinions the day they are issued, send the message “subscribe liibulletin [your name]” to [email protected] (Do not use brackets, and replace “[your name]” with the name for the subscription.) This service is provided by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell School of Law. FindLaw’s Supreme Court announcement list sends out abstracts of recent cases.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sends out opinions by e-mail as they are released; subscribe at the Court’s site.
Subscribe at FindLaw to receive e-mails abstracts of slip opinions as they are released.
Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt, L.L.C. sends out descriptions of the previous week’s Supreme Court opinions; subscribe at the firm’s Website.
Illinois Court Reports sends e-mail notification of new opinions.
The Social Law Library alerts mailing list members to state appellate decisions as they are issued. (Although membership is necessary to use the library, it is not to subscribe to this service.)
For an analysis of recent Court of Appeals decisions (which may be two weeks), send the message “subscribe liibulletin-ny [your name]” to [email protected].law.cornell.edu. This is another service of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.
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The Supreme Court notifies list members when new opinions have been issued.
TBALink Opinion-Flash, a service of the Tennessee Bar Association, distributes the latest appellate decisions by e-mail to anyone (not merely bar members) who subscribes at http://tba.org/op-flash.html.
The Court of Appeals of the Fifth Judicial District The Court of Appeals of the Fifth Judicial District will e-mail you your choice of civil, criminal, published or all opinions. Look for the vNotices! icon at the site.
Fee-Based Slip Opinion Services
JuriSearch subscribers receive Ninth Circuit opinions the day after their release.
A Cal Law subscription includes daily opinions by e-mail.
The Colorado State Bar e-mails summaries of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions to bar members; sign up here.
E-mail notification of newly issued Georgia appellate decisions comes with a paid subscription to Daily Report Online.
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court and Court of Appeals slip opinions by e-mail.
Michigan Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court and Court of Appeals slip opinions by e-mail.
Missouri Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court and Court of Appeals slip opinions by e-mail.
New Jersey Law Journal offers an e-mail service summarizing state, federal and administrative decisions. The Web page does not give pricing, but instructs readers to phone for information.
Ohio Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court slip opinions by e-mail.
North Carolina Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court and Court of Appeals slip opinions by e-mail.
TexLaw subscribers may receive daily e-mail alerts of the latest opinions.
Virginia Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court and Court of Appeals slip opinions by e-mail.
The Daily Opinion Service allows visitors to retrieve summaries of slip opinions (from all state courts and federal district courts, the Circuit Courts of Appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court and some specialized courts) that have been issued within the previous two weeks – including the current day, if it is during the work week. There is no charge to run searches or view summaries of core terms in the opinions. To read an opinion, you must have a Web subscription to LEXIS-NEXIS or purchase the document by credit card.
Loislaw.com subscribers may set up the LOIS LawWatch feature to e-mail new caselaw (and other developments) in areas selected by the user. (Alternatively, this feature saves the updates on the user’s personal Loislaw.com start page.)