Monday, 28 April 2008

PreCYdent: a new legal research website

The San Diego Business Journal reports on a new legal research website called PreCYdent (still in beta), started by Tom Smith, a law professor at the University of San Diego’s School of Law and chief executive officer of PreCYdent. The interface looks like a plain old search engine, which is no accident -the founder has heard many law students complain that they can’t do legal research on Lexis or Westlaw with a few search words the way people do searches on Google. On PreCYdent, you can search cases for free by typing just a few key words - the site is supported by advertising. PreCYdent searches the legal citations network the way the major Web search engines search the Web. The beta version contains U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals cases from 12 states, including California, Florida, Hawaii and New York. Within the next two to three months, Smith says he anticipates extending the service to cover all 50 states.

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