Dear Googlers: Please fix search for legal cites.
Example: google "Thomas v. Cate, 715 F. Supp. 2d 1012, 1029-1030 (E.D. Cal. 2010)". That's a full, standard format case citation.
I get various docs that cite it (which is actually useful, since I can spider others' arguments that cite it*), but not the case. OK, let's try scholar.google.com
-> case law (which I can't autosearch from scholar.google.com
tab completion in chrome, which is another problem). Huh, still no results.
Only when I put in the bare case cite - 715 F. Supp. 2d 1012 - dod I finally get the result. Instead, it should be the first google hit, with a direct link to paragraph 1029, i.e. https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=8077828207685361756#p1029
* Note that 'how cited' in google scholar -> case law doesn't
reveal non-opinion citations. Which, again, lame. I want to know how it's been cited in arguments, not just
in opinions. Argument citations' context very often have relevant case collections and so forth.
While I'm at it:
* Could you please just buy everything on PACER and offer to make it all hosted for free to the courts? Paying 10¢ per page
for electronic documents is sheer nonsense.
* Please support Westlaw & Lexis cites too. I don't have access to either, but I often have to look up cases cited using WL. And you don't seem to even have FRD opinion texts at all. (E.g. "United States ex rel. Englund v. Los Angeles, 235 F.R.D. 675, 684 (E.D. Cal. 2006)" - it has citations, but not the opinion. What gives?)
As is, google scholar very often fails, even for opinions. I end up having to try to find it in PACER case locator, go through the docket manually to find the date & document #, and only then do I get to read the document (not always even then, since some docket-listed documents aren't on PACER for whatever reason).
Spending $0.20-$3.00 just to search
for a court opinion (supposed to be free!) is incredibly stupid.
* You have duplications in google scholar, eg among different citation forms of the same thing, even for SCOTUS cases (eg US vs Sup Ct style cites). I suggest collapsing them and making parallel paragraph citation anchors (#p for the most official, #sctp
, etc for the rest).
* Adding the docket text for opinion results would be helpful. It often has tl;dr summaries or some extra info.
* Linking related cases (eg appeals) would also be very helpful.