With tweets and blogs, legal research is just so much more interesting.
After posting yesterday on Practitioners Beware…Research on Westlaw / Lexis is a Necessity in Texas?, a Tweet from a fellow librarian led to an interesting post on the Supreme Court of Texas Blog.
The post, Researching Unpublished COA Opinions in Texas, offers a free and pretty nifty trick for combating the problem of searching for unpublished COA opinions in Texas. It involves some handy-dandy Google searching. (Note: Google indexes all the COAs in Texas except for Dallas.)
As the blog explains:
Texas has fourteen courts of appeals. Luckily, the opinions in thirteen of those (all but Dallas) can be quickly searched in Google by including the following operator within your search query:
If you want to focus your results on a particular court, such as the appellate district your case is in, just add that to the operator. For example, “site:3rdcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions” restricts the search to opinions coming out of the Austin Court.
Very nifty. So, sure it isn’t perfect, but it is a free option that the bloggers at SCOTXblog claim works pretty darn well. They also offer some tips for searching the Dallas court and the Texas Supreme Court.
And, if you can’t deal with the search strategy above, you can click on the “Search Opinions and Orders” box at the far left of their blog page. Cool!