Features – EastLaw: A Review through the Southern California Online Users Group Rating Scale Lenses

T. R. Halvorson is a lawyer in sole practice in Sidney, MT, President of Pastel Programming Co. , a division of Synoptic Text Information Services, Inc., and author of Law of the Super Searchers: the Online Secrets of Top Legal Researchers , How to Avoid Liability: The Information Professional’s Guide to Negligence and Warranty Risks, and Legal Liability Problems in Cyberspace: Craters in the Information Highway.

Editor’s Note: On January 25, 2001 Regscan announced a change of name for their legal materials from Eastlaw to RegscanLaw Online. It can now be found at http://law.regscan.com.

Previously I reviewed the LOIS Law Library , 1 VersusLaw’s V. 2 Jurisline.com, 3 National Law Library 4 and Quicklaw America 5 applying the Southern California Online User’s Group Rating Scale (SCOUG Rating Scale). 6 The rise of alternative online sources of American legal information continued in the second half of 2000 with the introduction of EastLaw.

On November 6, 2000 RegScan, Inc. of Williamsport, Pennsylvania announced “that it now provides fully searchable State and Federal Appellate Case Law with EastLaw Legal Research. Coverage includes all State and Federal Appellate courts, plus selected Federal District courts.” 7 The service is offered by EastLaw, LLC ® .8 The Other Services page at the EastLaw site says, “EastLaw® has a strong partnership with RegScan, Inc., an electronic publisher headed by former Congressman and Attorney, Allen E. Ertel.”9 This new service should not be confused with several other EastLaws. 10

Before relying on data, we generally need to “think bibliographically.” We need to ask ourselves the standard question, “Who is the source of this data?” Recent history and facts specific to EastLaw add special reasons to ask this question. Jurisline.com took its data from the Lexis Law on Disc™ CD-ROMs. LOIS sued National Law Library over some of its data. Striking similarities exist in coverage, scope, and data errors of case law on EastLaw and VersusLaw, as is shown below. The combination of factors makes it more important than ever to know the source of this new service’s data.

A Strategic Alliance

VersusLaw and EastLaw responded to my inquiries. This came as no surprise. Jim Corbett, Vice President of Business Development at VersusLaw, has been in the legal and financial industry for over 20 years. He understands the reasons customers, particularly law librarians, need to know the source of data. Corbett responded to my email and scheduled a conference call with Tom Balaban, Vice President of Sales at EastLaw, Robert Lang, Vice President of Marketing at EastLaw, and himself. Balaban and Lang also demonstrated understanding of the questions that have been circulating about their new service in venues such as LAW-LIB, an email-based discussion forum for law librarians.

Corbett, Balaban, and Lang were happy to say that EastLaw and VersusLaw have formed a strategic alliance and will be working closely together. RegScan specializes in the timely maintenance of text that changes frequently and will continue to focus its efforts on the regulatory databases it provides. RegScan’s regulatory databases are highly current. Their service could be dubbed the “Early Edition” of federal regulations. They incorporate changes the day they are made. That is faster than the government itself does. To add value and broaden its service, RegScan looked for a way to offer case law to its regulatory information customers. In contrast to regulatory data, the text of case law is relatively static. Rather than developing its own staff, skill sets, and software tools to handle text with attributes so different from its existing expertise, EastLaw and VersusLaw formed an alliance in which VersusLaw provides EastLaw with case law databases. This is an ongoing alliance in which VersusLaw continues to provide newly released opinions. VersusLaw delivers new cases to EastLaw electronically as soon as VersusLaw has them.

Although anyone can subscribe to either VersusLaw and EastLaw, their respective primary target markets are distinct. RegScan’s corporate and other customers usually look first to regulations, then statutes, and sometimes finally to cases. VersusLaw’s lawyer customers are more apt to look at cases before looking at regulations. Through their alliance, EastLaw has added the availability of case law to its subscribers and VersusLaw has developed another outlet for the use of its case law databases, an outlet that provides revenue streams to support continued development of the databases.

EastLaw is a very new service. Like all new services, when viewed as closely as the SCOUG Rating Scale demands, it will have blemishes. Balaban and Lang mentioned a number of improvements slated for development. This service is likely to undergo noticeable change over the next few years making it worthy of ongoing re-evaluation. From the outset, traits that might be a disadvantage for EastLaw with some potential customers can be an advantage with others. For example, EastLaw uses its own, proprietary query language that has quirks I don’t especially like, as reported below, but its existing regulatory information customers already know the language, so that’s an advantage for EastLaw with them.

Coverage and Scope

With three exceptions, the published coverage and scope of cases is identical to VersusLaw’s V.

U. S. Supreme Court



1990 1990

Federal Circuits



1st Circuit



2nd Circuit



3rd Circuit



4th Circuit



5th Circuit



6th Circuit



7th Circuit



8th Circuit



9th Circuit



10th Circuit



11th Circuit



DC Circuit



Federal Circuit



Federal Districts



California, Central District



Maryland, Fed. District



Mississippi, Northern Dist.



New Jersey, Fed. District



North Dakota, Fed. District



Pennsylvania, East. District



S. Carolina, Fed. District



State EastLaw


State EastLaw





Alabama 1955 1955 Kentucky 1945 1945 N. Dakota 1930 1930
Alaska 1960 1960 Louisiana 1980 1980 Ohio * 1992 1992
Arizona 1930 1930 Maine 1996 1996 Oklahoma 1994 1954
Arkansas 1957 1957 Maryland 1950 1950 Oregon 1950 1950
California 1930 1930 Mass. 1930 1930 Pennsylvania 1950 1950
Colorado 1930 1930 Michigan 1930 1930 Rhode Island 1950 1950
Connecticut 1950 1950 Minnesota 1930 1930 S. Carolina 1996 1996
Delaware 1950 1950 Mississippi 1994 1994 S. Dakota 1965 1965
D.C. 1945 1945 Missouri 1960 1960 Tennessee 1950 1950
Florida 1950 1950 Montana 1993 1993 Texas ** 1950 1950
Georgia 1940 1940 Nebraska 1965 1965 Utah 1950 1950
Hawaii 1930 1930 Nevada 1996 1996 Vermont 1930 1930
Idaho 1965 1965 New Hamp. 1930 1930 Virginia 1930 1930
Illinois 1985 1985 New Jersey 1930 1930 Washington 1935 1935
Indiana 1940 1940 New Mexico 1930 1930 W. Virginia 1991 1991
Iowa 1995 1995 New York 1955 1955 Wisconsin 1945 1945
Kansas 1982 1982 N. Carolina 1955 1945 Wyoming 1993 1993

* Ohio database contains opinions from the Supreme Court and the 3rd, 5th and 9th Districts
** Texas database contains all but the 10th and 11th Districts.

The three exceptions are North Carolina, Oklahoma, and VersusLaw’s offering of some Native American tribal court databases that EastLaw lacks.

Accuracy/Error Rate

The general appearance of case display is very similar on EastLaw and VersusLaw.. The jurisdictions covered are strikingly similar. The two services have exactly the same few federal district courts. The published historical depth of the two services differs in only two jurisdictions. Because of this, before I was able to speak with EastLaw and VersusLaw, I decided to check cases in which I previously noted data errors on VersusLaw.

My article reviewing VersusLaw’s V. was published on LLRX.com ™ on March 15, 1999. I reported seeing cases where initial letters of words were missing, for example Weng v. United States, 137 F.3d 709 (2nd Cir. 1998):

[21] “otice [must be] reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections . . . . hen notice is a person’s due . . . he means employed must be such as one desirous of actually informing the absentee might reasonably adopt . . . . ” Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 314-15, 70 S. Ct. 652, 657 (1950) (citations omitted).

Precisely the same errors occur on EastLaw:

[21] “otice [must be] reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections . . . . hen notice is a person’s due . . . he means employed must be such as one desirous of actually informing the absentee might reasonably adopt . . . . ” Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 314-15, 70 S. Ct. 652, 657 (1950) (citations omitted).

I reported similar errors on VersusLaw in Sipes v. Oklahoma, 950 P.2d 881 (1997) on VersusLaw

[28] ¶14 Original jurisdiction is the “urisdiction to consider a case in the first instance. Jurisdiction of court to take cognizance of a cause at its inception, try it, and pass judgment upon the law and facts. Distinguished from appellate jurisdiction.” Blacks Law Dictionary 1099 (6th ed. 1990).

* * *

[31] ¶17 Before 1988, 47 O.S. 1981, Section 6-211(a), vested the district courts with original jurisdiction over petitions filed by “ny person denied a license, or whose license has been canceled, suspended, or revoked” by DPS, except in enumerated instances.

Again, precisely the same errors occur on EastLaw:

[28] ¶14 Original jurisdiction is the “urisdiction to consider a case in the first instance. Jurisdiction of court to take cognizance of a cause at its inception, try it, and pass judgment upon the law and facts. Distinguished from appellate jurisdiction.” Blacks Law Dictionary 1099 (6th ed. 1990).

* * *

[31] ¶17 Before 1988, 47 O.S. 1981, Section 6-211(a), vested the district courts with original jurisdiction over petitions filed by “ny person denied a license, or whose license has been canceled, suspended, or revoked” by DPS, except in enumerated instances.


EastLaw’s home page says “New Case Law added with Four (4) daily updates.” Its FAQ page says, “EastLaw is constantly expanding and cases are added four (4) times a day as they are received from the courts. When added, they are fully searchable as are the other cases in the library.” Given the information Corbett, Balaban, and Lang disclosed concerning the strategic alliance between EastLaw and VersusLaw, this claim likely is true. Timeliness on EastLaw will be virtually as good as on VersusLaw.

Accessibility/Ease of Use


EastLaw requires only a standard web browser, either Internet Explorer 5 or higher or Netscape 4.5 or higher.

Trial Account and Subscribing

EastLaw does not offer a trial account. It does offer free searching that goes as far as the hit list, but cases in the hit list cannot be displayed without subscribing. Three sample cases are viewable. The first month of a subscription costs $9.95.

Subscribing online with a credit card is easy. Account activation is immediate. New users can also subscribe by calling a toll free telephone number.

Hours of Availability

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I searched the service at widely varying hours on all days of the week. The speed of responses to search actions often is a bit sluggish. Sometimes response is so slow one wonders whether the system is responding at all. A number of times after clicking the Full Search command button, the system appeared stalled leading me to click the button again several times to awaken it. This could be the result of web page programming and browser action rather than server capacity. If so, the problem is likely to improve soon with refinements of page coding.

Connecting; Logging In

Connecting to the service is simple. The service is on the web.

Users can log in either at the home page or on a page that appears after clicking the link for a case in a hit list. To log in, a user enters her email address as given at the time of subscribing and a password. Changing passwords online is simple and takes effect immediately.

Search Screen

The search screen is divided into three frames. In the following graphic from EastLaw’s tutorial, the service refers to each frame as a “screen,” but that is a misnomer. What they are calling screens are frames.

A searcher can choose a type of search activity either from the treeview in the left frame or from the row of command buttons along the top of the screen. “Full Search” simply means ordinary searching. Before submitting a query, one or more jurisdictions must be selected. Notice the vertical scroll bar at the right side of the jurisdiction frame. All state and federal jurisdictions are bound inside that frame. To select any but the top dozen or so options, one must scroll down the frame.

Navigating to a Database

One does not navigate to a database on EastLaw. Databases are selected using checkboxes in the jurisdiction frame. Checkboxes are selected or deselected by clicking with the mouse.

Boolean Operators

EastLaw supports AND, OR, NOT, character span proximity, and wildcard operators. It supports phrase searching by enclosing phrases in double quotation marks.

Unfortunately, AND, OR, and NOT cannot be typed as such. EastLaw requires these operators to be represented by symbols. The AND operator is represented by the space, and thus may be deemed the default operator. The search statement parent mother father on EastLaw is equivalent to what we would expect of parent and mother and father on almost any other system. The OR operated is represented by the pipe symbol or vertical bar, |. The search statement parent|mother|father is equivalent to what we would expect of parent or mother or father on almost any other system. The NOT operator is represented by the caret symbol, ^. The search statement parent^father is equivalent to what we would expect of parent not father on almost any other system.

EastLaw’s tutorial says it supports natural language searching, but as it uses the term, it is a misnomer for phrase searching or literal string searching. The search phrase is enclosed in double quotation marks. The search statement “easement by prescription” does what we would expect on other systems. A useful quirk of EastLaw’s query processor lets us use the OR operator in an otherwise literal phrase. The search statement “purposely|knowingly cause bodily injury” will hit on cases in which either the phrase “purposely cause bodily injury” or the phrase “knowingly cause bodily injury” occurs. Be aware, however, that if you want “purposely or knowingly” as part of the phrase, inserting the OR operator rather than the word “or” won’t accomplish what you want. You would need to submit “purposely or knowingly cause bodily injury” .

The proximity operators are idiosyncratic in two ways. First, instead of being a single operator or expression, the proximity operators are the square brackets, [ and ], and the colon followed by an Arabic numeral. The square brackets must enclose the terms to be found in proximity to each other. The terms must be followed by a colon, :, and then an Arabic numeral specifying the character span. Second, they reckon proximity by the span of characters rather than by number of words. For example, the search statement [law merchant :30] will hit on cases where the words “law” and “merchant” occur within 30 characters of each other. It will hit on “law merchant”, “merchant law”, “law applicable to a merchant”, and “‘merchant’ as a matter of law”. The search statement [air agency :22] will not hit on Air Pollution Control Agency”. The proximity operation has a default character span of 100 that is implied without having to type it. The search statement [air agency] will hit on “Air Pollution Control Agency”.

The single-character wildcard operator is the question mark, ?. The multiple-character wildcard operator is the asterisk, *. These operators can be used anywhere – at the beginning, middle, or end of a word – and they can be combined within a word. This is more flexible and powerful than on some systems that don’t allow wildcards at the beginning of words, nor in combination. The expression ?ffect* will hit on effecting, effective, affects, etc. The single-character wildcard is a soft placeholder. For example, judg?ment will hit on “judgement” and “judgment”. The latter has less characters than the search term, and nothing where the ? was in the search term. Wildcard operators do not hit on numerals, e.g., 19?? will not hit on 1984.

EastLaw’s query processor might perform some automatic term variations. In one search I did, the search statement [easement prescription :50] hit on the phrase “prescriptive easement”, apparently hitting on “prescriptive” as a variation of “prescription”. The identical search on EastLaw and VersusLaw using the query “easement by prescription” in Montana Supreme Court cases retrieved 29 hits on VersusLaw and 30 on EastLaw. The case retrieved by EastLaw but not by VersusLaw is Bache v. Owens (1994), 267 Mont. 279, 883 P.2d 817. The phrase “easement by prescription” does not occur in that opinion, but the phrase “easements by prescription”, with easements in the plural, occurs twice.

Operator Precedence (Order of Operation)

EastLaw supports express order of operation by nesting with parentheses. The search statement ((negligen^ [assum* risk]) jaywalk*) is valid. Processing of this statement follows standard rules for evaluation of algebraic expressions. The innermost nest is evaluated first yielding tentative results. Those results are combined with the results of the next innermost nest. Processing continues inward-to-outward until the outermost expression is evaluated and combined with the results of the previous stages of evaluation. In the example, the expression [assum* risk] is evaluated first. Because the next innermost expression, negligen^, is connected by the implicit AND represented by a space, the tentative results of [assum* risk] will be narrowed to only those records that also contain variants of “negligen”. Finally, those intermediate results will be narrowed further to only those records that also contain variants of “jaywalk”.

Unfortunately, EastLaw does not document the implicit or default order of operation. I usually recommend expressly controlling the order of operation even when a searcher is familiar with the implicit order. On EastLaw, doing so is a necessity.

Specific Case Searching

EastLaw offers a Specific Case search mode. This feature works on a hit-and-miss basis. When I tried to retrieve Bache v. Owens (1994), 267 Mont. 279, 883 P.2d 817, the system failed to retrieve the case by attorney, citation to the official reporter, citation to West’s reporter, party names, docket number, and issue date.

Good or Bad Case

EastLaw offers a Good or Bad Case search mode. That’s what it is: a search mode. It is not a citator. This feature lets you search by formal citation or party names to find opinions that cite the case you are checking. The feature is handy enough, but it does nothing more than carefully formulated full-text searching can do.

When I searched for Bache v. Owens by party names, the system hit on eight cases including the one I was checking. When I searched by the two formal citations, it hit on four cases for each. That’s because, when opinions are first issued by the Montana Supreme Court, they do not as yet have official or West citations. In Halverson v. Turner (1994), 268 Mont. 168, 885 P.2d 1285, the case was cited as “Bache v. Owens (Mont. 1994), ___ P.2d ___, 51 St.Rep. 1001.” The form, ___ P.2d ___, means that the cited case was not yet printed in West’s Pacific Reporter when it was cited in a subsequent opinion. In some Montana Supreme Court opinions you might also see the form, ___ Mont. ___, indicating that the cited case is not yet printed in the official reporter. Other online services later edit the text when citations become available. Halverson v. Turner has been so edited on other services, but not on EastLaw, and that’s why the Good or Bad Case search mode fails to hit on it by citation. It hits on it only by party names.

Advance Sheets

EastLaw offers an Advance Sheets search mode. This, again, is merely a search mode. It employs a collection of interface elements that have the effect of preset date range search qualifiers.


Hit List

When a submitted search in any of the modes hits on records, the treeview in the left frame is replaced by the hit list. The cases in the histlist are hyperlinked. Clicking on a case name brings up the opinion in the right frame, replacing the search and jurisdiction frames. The right side of the treeview and results frame is a slider that can be moved left and right with the mouse. This allows the viewing area for reading cases and the viewing area to read citations to be expanded and contracted alternately as need.

Order of Hit List; Ranking

In Full Search, EastLaw lists hits in the order of unweighted, relative term frequency, i.e., the number of occurrences of search terms relative to the number of words in the document. The system does not support any other sorting or ranking of hits.

In Advance Sheets Search, EastLaw lists hits in chronological order by jurisdiction. In Specific Case Search, the results are listed in chronological order. In Good or Bad Case Search, the hits are listed in chronological order by jurisdiction.

General Appearance of Documents

The document display format is much like the format on VersusLaw.

Context of Search Terms

EastLaw offers no KWIC ® -like display format.

The HTML is coded to support displaying search terms in bold italics in some documents and coloring them in red in others. This, too, is strangely like VersusLaw even thought the search engines are different. One wonders whether it is somehow an effect of the documents themselves since the documents do come from VersusLaw.

When a case is selected from the hit list, it appears pre-scrolled to the first occurrence of a search term. There is no Locate Next, Locate Previous, or similar commands, but the Find on This Page command of the browser works, with its usual limitations and annoyances.

The formatting or coloring of search terms is not always “smart.” In the search [easement prescription :50] , the single word “easement” or the single word “prescription” sometimes was formatted or colored when it was not within 50 characters of the other word.

Citations; Pagination; Paragraph Numbers

EastLaw’s FAQ page says:

EastLaw carries its own unique citation system on every opinion, including paragraph numbering. While EastLaw also carries official and parallel citations, we must go through the same lengthy process as other publishers in both acquiring these citations and maintaining them in our databases.

The FAQ provides an explanation of how to cite cases from EastLaw according to the Bluebook, 17th edition (2000).


Cases print neatly via the browser’s Print command. There is no other, special print format. Formatting and coloring of query terms appears in the printed cases. By contrast, National Law Library now has a Print Version command that effaces that service’s logos, the query terms, etc. to provide a copy that is presentable to court and that does not reveal search strategy to opponents.

Saving Documents to Local Storage

Documents may be saved to local hard drive using the browser’s Save As command. It works, but music it isn’t. In Internet Explorer, what gets saved is simply the frameset without the contents of any of the frames; the case does not get saved. You have to right click the case frame, choose the Open Frame in New Window command from the pop-up context menu, wait for the case to load into the new window, and then use Save As in the new window.

There is no separately downloadable format such as Word, RTF, or WordPerfect.


The search interface and query modes are consistent from database to database. The means of filtering or field limiting a search are consistent. Document formats are largely consistent. The same editorial policies and indexing practices are in effect from database to database. The omit list of non-indexed stop words that, hence, are not searchable is not documented.


EastLaw is integrated to a degree. From a single screen, any combination of case law databases can be searched at once. Cases citations within an opinion are not hyperlinked, and neither are United States Code sections.


EastLaw’s documentation consists of a tutorial page, an FAQ page, and tips from the search screen. The tutorial is functional. Read it and you can search the databases. The degree of errors in grammar, diction, punctuation, and logic is distracting, however.

The tutorial and FAQ page are biased toward the non-professional searcher. The FAQ says:

Is there a concise explanation, in layman’s terms, about how to use EastLaw?

Yes, it is called the EastLaw Instructions and Tutorial, it is accessed by pressing the Tutorial button on the search screens.

Both characterize the Good or Bad Case search mode as being superior to citators on the basis of a vacuous argument. They say:

Most researchers use the term “shepardize®” to mean that they have determined if the case is still good law; i.e. not been reversed, overruled or severely criticized. But EastLaw’s system does not rely on some other person’s judgment; but allows you to form that judgment. Would you rather rely on yourself or a faceless other person?

Apparently EastLaw thinks we don’t read the citing cases we find in citators to see how they affect the cited case. Apparently they think we just trust whatever the citator says. The argument also fails to acknowledge the failure of Good or Bad Case to hit on all citing cases as in the example of Bache v. Owens mentioned earlier.

The service offers email updates of system enhancements and new content.

Customer Support and Training

The website says nothing about customer support or training except in connection with subscribing and changing passwords.

Value-to-Cost Ratio

EastLaw offers flat rate pricing. The first month is $9.95. Subsequent months are $69.95. The service offered a charter subscription through December 31, 2000 that froze the monthly fee at $19.95 for 24 months through December 2002. It would be nice if the time to qualify for that offer were extended.

The case law data derives from VersusLaw. The effects of the Advance Sheets, Good or Bad Case, and Specific Case features can be achieved on VersusLaw through properly formulated search statements. VersusLaw charges a flat rate of $6.95 per month. VersusLaw’s query language is more standard. Discounting the availability of the U. S. Code on EastLaw (since it’s readily available elsewhere cheaply) and assuming one is in the market for an alternative to Westlaw or Lexis primarily for case law, it is difficult to see the rationale for choosing EastLaw over VersusLaw at present.

On the other hand, if one’s primary legal information need is for regulatory data, the ratio easily goes the other way. RegScan customers pay between $12,000.00 and $20,000.00 per year for regulatory information. Its customers can gain access to EastLaw for about $360.00 per year. For that relative pittance, they can search case law with the same query language they already know from RegScan. For searchers who have been living in RegScan regulatory databases, the Advance Sheets, Good or Bad Case, and Specific Case features are more attractive than they are to others who have been living in case law databases. Searchers who spend most of their time in case law databases know tricks for doing, in effect, citation searching where they don’t have citators, but RegScan’s established customers might not. Similarly, experienced case law searchers use date ranges by second nature in ways not often demanded when searching current-status regulatory databases.

Properly understood, EastLaw has a place where its value-to-cost ratio is favorable. Properly understood, the strategic alliance between VersusLaw and EastLaw makes sense, with neither firm undercutting itself through the alliance because the overlap in their niches is negligible. Depending on implementation, this plan is promising and it is good news for information consumers. EastLaw has enhanced its offerings to its customers using a reputable, established source, and VersusLaw has developed an enhanced revenue stream from its existing databases that bodes well for its longevity and improvement.

Privacy Policy

EastLaw publishes its privacy policy on its FAQ page:

EastLaw will not share, rent nor sell your address or contact information to third parties. Information will only be released as part of the order fulfillment process, additionally from time to time EastLaw will send email messages about services enhancements, new product offerings and message related to usage of the EastLaw system to subscribers.

and on a separate Privacy Pledge page:

We pledge not to pass your personal information entrusted to us on to any outside company or organization, except as needed by third-parties to meet requirements for processing your order. We pledge not give out your telephone number, credit card information or screen names. We give you the opportunity to correct your personal contact and billing information at any time.

We promise to limit the information collected about you to what is needed for conducting business and offering products and services that might be of interest to you. We may use this information about the kinds of products you purchase from us to make other marketing offers to you, unless you request that we not do this. However, we do not give others this information for marketing purposes.


1 T. R. Halvorson, “The LOIS Law Library: A View through the Southern California Online Users Group Rating Scale Lenses,” LLRX.com™, March 1, 1999. < back to text>

2 T. R. Halvorson “VersusLaw’s V.: A View through the Southern California Online Users Group Rating Scale Lenses,” LLRX.com™, March 15, 1999. < back to text>

3 T. R. Halvorson, “Jurisline.com: What You See … What You Don’t See,” LLRX.com™, January 17, 2000. < back to text>

4 T. R. Halvorson, National Law Library: A View through the Southern California Online Users Group Rating Scale Lenses, LLRX.com™, May 1, 2000. < back to text>

5 T. R. Halvorson, Quicklaw America: A View through the Southern California Online Users Group Rating Scale Lenses , LLRX.com™, October 2, 2000. < back to text>

6 Reva Basch, “Measuring the Quality of the Data: Report on the Fourth Annual SCOUG Retreat,” Database Searcher, vol. 6, no. 8, October 1990, pp. 18-24. The SCOUG Rating Scale is the earliest full-orbed view of quality and value of information in the electronic age that I can find. It came out of the 1990 annual retreat of the innovative Southern California Online Users Group (SCOUG). Despite its pre-web genesis, the SCOUG Rating Scale has enduring value today. There are a number of SCOUG-inspired rating systems being applied to web services. That’s why I previously proposed that searchers “use the Web to conduct and publicize SCOUG-inspired quality evaluations of selected Web resources.” T. R. Halvorson, “Searcher Responsibility for Quality in the Web World,” Searcher, vol. 6 no. 9, October 1998, pp. 12-20. < back to text>

7 RegScan, Inc. claims “EastLaw” as a trademark by a filing on October 4, 2000 with the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to the USPTO’s TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) as of the time of this writing, the filing is a “Newly filed application, not yet assigned to an examining attorney.” According to Network Solutions’ WHOIS directory, the web domain of the EastLaw service, eastlawonline.com , was registered to RegScan, Inc. on October 4, 2000. RegScan also holds registrations for e-eastlaw.com and eeastlaw.com . < back to text>

8 Press Release, November 6, 2000, RegScan, Inc., 605 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, Pennsylvania USA 1770, 1-800-734-7226 ext. 1415, e-mail [email protected]. < back to text>

9 Ertel is also a former district attorney, state court judge, unsuccessful (but not by much) candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania in 1982, and unsuccessful candidate for Attorney General of Pennsylvania in 1984. See Congressional Biography of Allen Edward Ertel, Member of the Ninety-fifth, Ninety-sixth, and Ninety-seventh Congresses (January 3, 1977-January 3, 1983) for the 17th District of Pennsylvania. < back to text>

10 This new EastLaw is not to be confused with:

  • EastLaw, a legal research service of EastLaw, LLC, a New Hampshire company with principal place of business in Washington, DC. According to TESS, that firm claimed it first used “EastLaw” in commerce on September 30, 1996, filed a trademark application with the USPTO on March 27, 1997, filed an assignment, and abandoned the claim on July 28, 1998. The attorney of record for the claim was Mark S. Harris whose address was “The Thompson Corp., 1 Station Pl, Stamford, CT 06902.”

  • EastLaw, a service providing information on the east Asian regulatory environment. According to TESS, Tawen Chang of Dallas, Texas previously claimed service mark rights in “EastLaw” by an application filed November 20, 1997, but the claim was abandoned on February 8, 1999.

  • EastLaw, a service of EastLaw Limited, a United Kingdom company, that provides information on Ukrainian commercial legislation. See the LLRX.com ™ feature ” Guide To European Legal Databases, Update 5“, May 15, 2000, by Mirela Roznovschi.

  • EastLaw, a defunct legal research service formerly at www.eastlaw.com announced November 9, 1996. The announcement made on the TEKNOIDS email-based discussion list is as follows:

To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: www.eastlaw.com

New Legal Research Service Just Launched
November 9, 1996


EastLaw is cheaper, faster and easier to access than any other legal
research service.

We offer:
An easy to use Web-based interface.
Thirty day FREE trial to everyone.
One click connections to primary source information, cases and cutting edge legal news and information.
A flat monthly fee—no hidden costs or connection charges.
Special Services including expert referral, hard to find information, custom reports and Custom EastLaw Servers on a per firm basis.

EastLaw has hundreds of connections to Internet, Environmental and General Law databases from all over the world.

“Tomorrow’s Law Today”

Phil Pfalzgraf
[email protected]

< back to text>

Posted in: Features, Online Legal Research Services