Free Legal Research

Now that I have your attention . . . .

Ever wonder what happens to those case summaries that you receive from me by email? (If you’re not getting them you’re not on my listserv; sign up for free here). I sort them by subject and add them to my Criminal Case Compendium, an online, fully searchable resource. The Compendium, now a whopping 514 pages long, turned six years old this month. [Editor’s note: Actually, last month — I was a little slow in getting this post up!] In honor of the Compendium’s birthday, here’s quick primer on using this free legal research tool.

Search the Compendium using expandable/collapsible navigation links or full text searching (hit Control + F on your keyboard to get the search box).


For example, suppose you want the most recent Crawford substitute analyst cases. Open the navigation link for “Evidence,” then “Crawford and the Confrontation Clause.” Click on the navigation link for “Substitute Analyst and Related Cases” and you are there.

Now suppose you’re a prosecutor and you’re handling a robbery case. You want an officer to identify the perpetrator in court from the store surveillance video. The defense has objected and you need a case on point. But you can’t use the navigation pane because you don’t know what it’s at issue—Is it an authentication issue? Something else? No worries! Hit Control + F and search for “video.” A couple of clicks in and you’re here, in “Evidence;” “Opinions;” “Lay Opinions,” with at least three cases directly on point. You’re going to look so good in court!

Tutorial over. Go forth and do justice! But if you have a minute, let me know what you think of the compendium. If you don’t want to post a comment here, feel free to email me directly:

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